Ijaza (permission) to initiate mureed is not synonymous with mashikhyet (being a Shaikh).
Not all mujazeen are Shaikh!
This is especially true for the present day young very fresh mujaazeen (permission holders).
Both the mujaaz and mureed are confused about this.
This is because of not understanding the concept of Ijaza.
Hakimul al Umma Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Allah have mercy on him) has explicitly stated that Ijaza is like graduation certificate. It indicates that the individual has completed the very basic course. It does not mean that this individual is a certified expert in this field. However, if continues his efforts to study further he has the capacity to excel.
Mujaazeen these days consider Ijaza a certificate of excellence (mashaikhiyet) and are eager to initiate mureed to the extent of shamelessly having agents who act like pimps.
This is in stark contrast to the example of our pious elders (akabir). On receiving ijaza they felt extreme humility and sense of worthlessness. They wished and tried to keep it secret. Even if someone approached them for initiation they would refer him to someone reliable. Only when forced by elders they would take mureed. And even then with the same feelings of humility and worthlessness and usually not within their Shaikh’s lifetime.
The hallmark of our akabir is extreme humility in addition to the firm adherence to Sunna.
A fresh mujaaz of sayyidi wa sanadi Mufti Taqi Usmani (Allah protect and preserve him) was instructed in year 2002 by a pious elder in the blessed city of Makkah that the real time to put effort and struggle has just started now.
We must remind ourselves that graduates working for masters or doctorates can not even think of taking full time jobs or establishing their own setups. Similarly fresh mujazeen should not delve into setting up of khaqahs and enlisting an army of mureedeen. They should focus on their own self for the time being.
The naive seekers unaware of these details can not be blamed. However, the awareness of reality has to be highlighted.
Some of the pious masters of this path (Tasawwuf) have mentioned that an individual should only take up initiating mureed after receiving an explicit ijaza from Allah and His Prophet (Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him). (And Allah knows its real meaning and may He by His benevolence make us knowledgeable. Ameen!).