Hakim al Ummah Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanawi (Allah have mercy on him) said,
The sequence of events in the suook according to the people of this path are,
Firstly, there is development of determination (to traverse the path). At this time one should entrust one’s self to a perfect (kamil) Shaykh. In our era this is described as baiyah (or islahi ta’aluq).
Then the Shaykh e kamil will train the seeker either via general or comprehensive methods. This will create nisbet (experiential strong mutually friendly relationship with Allah) to an extent.
Alternatively, the Shaykh may initially bestow and transfer the nisbet and then proceed for training.
When the heart (qalb) is emptied from all the connections then the Shaykh may give khilafa (ijaza to instruct) to the seeker or wait till the down pouring of states and marifa. If they are destined then their knowledge and affects will descend on qalb (of the seeker). Their overwhelming is known as ascension (urooj ) and their peak is manifested as a indescribable effulgence (tajjali e bay kaif).
Then some are drowned in this forever while others recuperate. This recuperation is called descending (nuzool). The perfect viceregency (khilafat) and being a advanced level Shaykh is achieved at this level. ‘
Shariat wa Tariqat, page 51-2