"That which had passed never returns": Appreciating our Scholars
...there is one very important fact to which I wish to draw attention.
When the Elders passed away many people desired to see those special qualities which were part of the Sheikh (in those that succeeded them). But it is clear that all those who follow the Elders and in their footsteps will be less gifted than the Sheikh except in some cases, as Allah pleases.
Those people who, because they do not see the qualities of the Elder in his followers, turn away from that Sheikh's line of Tasawwuf, are only doing themselves great harm. I began to see this very clearly since the time of Hazrat Gangohi. During the time of the most prominent Khalifas of Hazrat, I saw many of their contemporaries, who were also attached to Hazrat through Bay'at, saw that now some of the special qualities which Hazrat had were no longer present in the Khalifas. They then declined to return to these Khalifas for spiritual guidance. This caused me a lot of pain and sorrow because the Khalifas were near in relationship (with Allah Ta'ala) and men of 'Nisbat'. If indeed these people had become connected to one of the Khalifas, they would have progressed greatly.
Similarly I have seen many in the third generation of Khilafat who did the same thing. I did my utmost to explain to them the wrong of their actions. After the death of my uncle, Hazrat Ilyas رحمة الله عليه , I have heard many people say that this 'Hazrat-ji' was not nearly in the same class as Maulana Ilyas Dehlawy.
To those people I replied: "You have spoken the truth. But in Hazrat Dehlawy we did not see those special qualities which we saw in Hazrat Saharanpuri."...
...Now it is the era of Maulana Inaamul Hasan and very often we hear the complaint that it is not the same as in the time of Maulana Yusuf. Then I tell them: "My friends, after him you will not find even those qualities which are in him. That which had passed never returns."