Learn to Value Instead of Take for Granted
Shaykh al-Hadith Mawlana Zakariya Kandhelawi (may Allah have mercy on him) mentions in his autobiography, Aap Beti,
“…there is one very important fact to which I wish to draw attention.
When the (Elder) Shaykh passes away, many people desire to see their special qualities in those who succeed them. But it is a fact that all those who follow the Elders will be less gifted. Except in a very few cases, as Allah may desire.
The people who do not see the qualities of the Elder in his successor (khalifa), and as a result turn away from their path of Tasawwuf, are only doing themselves a great harm.
I began to see this very clearly since the time of Hazrat (Rasheed Ahmad) Gangohi (may Allah have mercy on him). During the era of his most prominent deputies, I saw many of their contemporaries who were also attached to Hazrat through bay’ah, but they saw that some of the special qualities which Hazrat had were no longer present in these deputies so they did not approach them for spiritual guidance. This caused me great pain and sorrow because these deputies (khulafa) were near to Allah and possessed ‘nisbat‘(the perpetual, close and mutually favorable relationship with Allah). If indeed these people had become connected to one of these deputies (khalifa), they would have progressed greatly.”
The great shaykh and khalifa of Hazrat Mufti Taqi Usmani Sahib (DB), Dr. Hanif Kamal (DB) comments on the above by mentioning,
“It is usually hidden and complex arrogance (kibr) that makes an individual consider his fellow brother (appointed by the Shaykh to lead) to be deficient and unsuitable for following.” (taken from Ashrafiya.com: Appreciate the Present Shuyukh)
I guess the point is that we must learn to value the khulafa of the shaykh as we value the shaykh if we ever want to progress and move forward. Obviously they are not the same as the shaykh, but it is imperative that we learn to value instead of take for granted.