A individual from Bengal wrote a letter,
I am an illiterate sinful person. I am one of your admirers. Once I requested from you permission to see (listen) Qasd us Sabeel (Hakim al Umma’s primer on Tasawwuf). However, I could not decide what to select for myself and do (from the instruction given in it) and consultation with you to express my desire was not possible. Due to these reasons I became a mureed of (visiting) Shaykh from Lucknow. He instructed various litanies to me. He is very sweet and soft spoken. Majority of his disciples are from the affluent class, police and security professionals. He visits them with pomp and grandeur and eats freely from their income (irrespective of it being contaminated with impermissible). He instructs the wives and household members of these people directly without any barrier (pardah) in between. He recites over them (for protection or treatment) and touches them for blessings.
In an interpretation of one of my dreams he instructed me to arrange for an individual to go for Hajj in my place as my medical condition does not permit me to do so. When I arranged for the funds he himself volunteered to go. I was happy. Few days later he wrote to me that these funds are insufficient and more money is required. I paid the excess amount. Prior to departure for Hajj he instructed me to pay for his household expenses in his absence. After a long duration (after returning from Hajj) he wrote to me that all the blessed gifts he had brought from Haramain were stolen.
Few months later he visited our town. In private he demanded significant amount of money from me. I had a genuine excuse and postponed it by a future promise.
Later he wrote that because of travelling to the blessed Makkah for my sake he became sick on returning and had to spend a lot on treatment. He demanded that I pay that amount. After much struggle I paid a small amount. He was furious.
I shared all these details with a religious friend and he advised that I consult you. It for this reason I am dictating this letter. Please, tell me what to do.
(Letter is edited. The answer is not.)
Hakim al Umma Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Allah have mercy on him) replied,
‘All of this results from ignorance (of reality of this path), overconfidence in one’s own opinion (khud raiy), haste and lack of understanding.
Utmost caution is essential in developing a spiritual relationship (with a Shaykh).
As per the principles of Shariah and Tasawwuf it is obligatory (wajib) to break off relationship with this individual.
However, confronting him harshly or criticizing him in the presence of his disciples will lead to commotion and confusion. In this path (Tasawwuf) commotion and confusion are (spiritually) detrimental.
Therefore, with quietness and calm break off relationship with him in your heart. Then seek a pious and accomplished (muhaqiq) spiritual mentor (Shaykh). Do not hurry to become his disciple. You had a (bad) experience (already). Inform him of your condition and follow his instructions. If after doing this (you observe the benefit and) you wholeheartedly desire to do so then there is no objection in becoming his disciple. Though it is not necessary.
I make supplication (duaa) for you. You should also continue making supplication (in this regards).
Tarbiyet us Slaik, volume 3, page 177-80