Asslamo Allaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh,
For basic issues around Tassawuff please see this.
As far as this thread is concerned then we are discussing two different matters:
- Islah of a specific problem or matching of temperament: It is well known that in order to take a Shaykh in Tassawuff the temperament has to match and nobody denies this, for example Shaykh A may be the well known and credible but not matching with someone's personality type. There are innumerable examples where Ulamah have either sent a Mureed or someone enquiring about Tassawuff to another Shaykh. Does this mean that they were not competent to perform Islah? Of course not it simply means that temperament of the Mureed matched another Shaykh. The second scenario is where a person has a specific problem e.g. with lust/love/romance or anger and again Ulamah send certain people to certain Mashayh and one of the most famous examples is of Maulana Qasim Nanotwi (RA) sending a person (who had issues with his temper) to a book binder in Delhi and after a while he came back and reported that his anger was under control but surprisingly the book binder never said a word about controlling anger so how was his problem solved? Maulana Qasim Nanotwi (RA) explained that his “Kaafiyat of Hilm” was transferred into you by simply spending time in his company!
- General Islah & reformation: The Maslak of current Deobandi Ulamah is of "Tawheedul-Matalib" i.e. seeking Islah from one Shaykh (only) and this is the position which Aapa Talibah has explained.
I meant point 1.
To further illustrate this point (practically) if someone has a drug problem then the most qualified Shaykh who understands drugs and addiction is Shaykh (Muti) Zubair Dudha (HA) in UK so it would make sense for a person with this sort of problem to contact a Shaykh who specialises in not only Tassawuff but this specific issue.
The Chishti head movement during Dhik’r is slightly modified in the Tareeqa of Shaykh (Hakeem) Akhtar Saheb (RA) and his Khulafah explain that our Shaykh is not only a Shaykh of Tassawuff but also a Hakeem so according to his (medical) research the head movements should be minimised due to health reasons. Responding to women with husbands (with uncontrollable anger) Shaykh (RA) prescribed not only Dhik’r but freshly squeezed lemon juice, again based on his (medical) expertise.
If someone is suffering from lust/fantasising of people of opposite gender then again the Mashaykh in our times are Khulafah of Shaykh (Hakeem) Akhtar Saheb (RA).
In the Naqshbandi Silsila of Shaykh Asif (RA) the Dhik’r is accompanied by certain Tasbeeh movements (and noise) as per the Silsilah while this is abandoned in all of the Khulafah of Peer Ghulam Habib (RA) downwards.
Point 2 is a very complex issue and way beyond my capability and understanding and I certainly I can’t discuss something which I don’t understand. I am not Bay't so I can only discuss from theoretical perspective but Dr76 (SF user) who is a Shaykh of Tassawuff made some very powerful points as to why practically it is needed in our times.
I am not qualified to comment on practicalities of Tassawuff,