A question was put forward regarding the optimal duration of keeping company (suhba) of Shaikh.
Hakim al Umma Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanawi (Allah have mercy on him) replied,
‘The optimal duration of this association is until the reality of the path (tareeq) is clearly understood. Once this is happens and a congeniality is developed with this path it is no more necessary. ‘
Husn al Aziz, vol 1, part 2, p 118