Tasawwuf is an essential element of religion according to the Deobandis.
It is this tasawwuf that produces life in the physical forms of worship done and makes them worthy of being accepted. Without it Shariah is a body without a soul.
However, it must be clear that tasawwuf alone without the actions prescribed by Shariah is heresy (zindaqah).
All great scholars of Deoband were either shuyukh or mureedeen in Chishti, Naqshbandi, Qadri or Suharwardi tariqahs.
For example, Qutub e ‘Alam Mawlana Rashid Ahmed Gangohi , Hakeemul Ummat Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanavi and Shaykhul-Hadith Mawlana Zakariyyah Kandhlawi (rahimahumullah) were from Chishti silsilah. Mawlana Aziz ur Rehman, Mawlana Habibur Rehman and Mawlana Badar e Alam Meerthi (rahimahumullah) were Naqshbandi-Mujaddidi. Mawlana Taj Mehmood Amrooti and Mawlana Ahmad Ali Lahori (rahimahumullah) were Qadiri. Mawlana Anwar Shah Kashmiri (rahimahullah) had ijaza’ from his father in Suharwardi tariqah.
Also, most of the present day serious Deobandi scholars are into Tasawwuf practically. This is evident by their demeanor, speech, mutual and financial dealings, etc. Not by mere lip-service and boastful claims.
As it is said in Persian proverb: mushuk (musk) does not need a label to let others be aware that it is musk. Its smell in enough advertisment.
A very important fact is that real tasawwuf exists in these Deobandi shuyukh to date.
In Muslim world you find a lot who claim to be sufi, whereas in reality they are not. It is a ritualistic or ceremonial SUFISM they follow. It has nothing to do with effacement of destructing moral characteristics like pride, envy, love of wordly etc and establishment of elevating moral traits, like sincerity, love of Allah Ta’ala and His Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam), humility, perpetual remembrance, etc. all leading to a firm and acceptable relationship with Allah Ta’ala (that is, ta’aluq ma’Allah).
The real Tasawwuf is thriving, vital and pristine in Deobandi-tradition. It is totally subservient to Shariah and hence, in complete harmony with Sunnah. It is a unique treasure to be acquired as soon as possible.
It is within our home. Why ignore and look outside at the flashy gimmicks?
Please, take time to reflect!
We, the admirer of Deobandi-tradition where do we stand?
Are we following the real inheritors of this tradition?