Mawlānā Ashraf ʿAlī Thānawī said, “Once in the blessed city of Makkah, Ḥaḍrat [Ḥājī Imdādullāh] said to Ḥaḍrat Mawlānā Gangohī that there is a mīlād gathering at such a place, you come. Mawlānā categorically refused [by saying], Ḥaḍrat, I cannot go, I prohibit it in India. Ḥaḍrat said: May Allah reward you. You going would not have pleased me as much as you not going.” (Malfūẓāt, 11:76).
[Tr. Note: This demonstrates that a student and a murid (spiritual pupil) is obliged to follow the Sharīʿah. Ḥājī Ṣāḥib was the spiritual Shaykh of Ḥaḍrat Mawlānā Gangohī. In fact, Ḥakīm al-Ummah once said, “Ḥājī Ṣāḥib would not listen to a complaint regarding anyone. He would not be mistrustful about anyone. If someone would complain, Ḥaḍrat would not stop him due to forbearance, but would say when the 999person had finished: That person is not like that.” (Malfūẓāt,)
Mawlānā Ashraf ʿAlī Thānawī said in response to a person’s question that some statements of Ḥaḍrat Shaykh Muḥyuddīn ibn ʿArabī were more severe than those of Ḥusayn ibn Manṣūr Ḥallāj who was executed, “If Muḥyuddīn ibn ʿArabī was afforded the same treatment for the management [and execution] of the Sharīʿah, then there was permission for this. Sharīʿah is not a thing that its violation should be tolerated because of an individual’s greatness.” (Malfūẓāt; for further details, see Imdād al-Fatāwā, 4:446).