Sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Mohammad Taqi Usmani (Allah protect him) wrote in reply to a seeker’s question,
‘The greater the spontaneous (t’abai) love and reverence of Sheikh the better and most beneficial it is. However, they are not the absolute criteria.
The logical (aqli) love and reverence plus spontaneous spiritual congeniality (munasbet) are the essential criteria (to benefit spiritually from the Sheikh).
That is, intellectually one should have firm conviction that for my reformation (islah) my Sheikh is the most appropriate.
The spontaneous spiritual congeniality (munasbet) means that instructions given by the Sheikh are usually easily accepted by mind (qalb) and thoughts of objections do not arise. Except on rare occasions.
If the logical love and reverence, and spontaneous spiritual congeniality are lacking then spiritual benefit is in fact impossible. In this case the seeker must look at other places (for a new Sheikh) where he feels the logical love and reverence, and spontaneous spiritual congeniality. He should inform his initial Sheikh and establish a contact with the new Sheikh. There is no disrespect (bay–adabi) in doing so.
Act on this very important issue after understanding it thoroughly. Do not hesitate to ask again if any doubts remain.’
The seeker replied,
All praise is for Allah, by His blessing I find logical love and reverence, and spontaneous spiritual congeniality with you in me.
Sayyidi wa sanadi replied,
‘If at any time these do not remain then informing me without any reservations is imperative. Insha Allah I will not be even slightly upset on this.’