Mulana Ashraf Ali Thanawi most obvious contribution to the Muslim community of the subcontinent was his incredible output of literature on islamic subjects specially in Tasawwuf. There is no denying the importance of Mulana's written work. Yet of no less importance to the Muslims of subcontinent was mulana Thanawi's spiritual guidance. It had become a lamentable fact of life in India that tasawwuf had degenerated to such a degree that there was little to distinguish a yogi from a sufi.
Mulana Thanawi's contribution was to re-establish in the public mind the connection between Shari'a and tariqa. He accomplished to a certain extent in his writings. However, the real breakthrough in this potent field for the reform of the individual and society was made by Mulana Thanawi, the sheikh and murshid , not by mulana Thanawi, the auther and scholar.
In bringing the Islamic ideal of equilibrium to the field of spiritual guidance,mulana Thanawi' established a number of criterias for his disciples.It should be obvious that the rectification of inner conduct is essential. Yet , the problem is that inner elements are difficult to detect and , even if they are detected, it is no easy matter to prescribe a proper cure for them, In fact ,even if the cure were to be known, the taking of the medicine is nearly always distasteful. For these reasons an accomplished sheikh is required one who will be able to recognise and dignoses such spritual maladies and the prescribe for them the approprite cure. More over , the sheikh should have the power to create the ability to rectify himself/herself within his disciple. For this purpose,the sheikh will require the disciple to engage in certain spiritual exercises and disciplines.There for Hazart Thanawi explained Tasawwauf's every aspect in the light of Islami sharia, and socalled,sufies were defeated along with thair factities activities.