Shaykh Ashraf Ali Thanwi (Raheemahullah) says:
“What! Has anyone attained perfection by only books? It is simple to understand that one cannot become a carpenter without sitting in the company of a carpenter; one cannot become a tailor without the companionship of a tailor; one cannot become a calligraphist without the company of a calligrapher. In short, one cannot attain perfection or become an expert without the companionship of an expert.”
Every traveller travelling the unknown needs a guide who is familiar with the terrain and is aware of its pitfalls. There is safety in having a guide who knows the path well.
Similarly on the path of Sulook (the path to purification) the Saalik (seeker) is in need of a guide who is aware of the pitfalls as he himself has traversed the path under the guidance of another qualified guide.
This guide is a Shaykh-e-kaamil and the company of the Shaykh is the means of attaining proximity to Allah Most High as this is the ultimate goal.
For further information on the signs of the Shaykh-e-kaamil see here….