Hakim al Umma Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Allah have mercy on him) instructed,
‘Following the pious elders is the safest path.
Holding self-opinions (khud–raiy) is dangerous.
Hence, in outward matters it is most appropriate for a scholar to follow the Hanafi fiqh. A common person should follow a Hanafi scholar.
And in internal (batini) matters follow a perfect Shaykh. Do not do anything new worldly or religious without his permission. However, if a scholar or Sufi-Shaykh instructs explicitly contrary to Sharia then do not follow him .’
Ta’leem ut Talib, #6, p23