Hazrat Moulana Muhammad Ilyaas (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) once mentioned the following:
One of the important principles of this effort (of Da’wat and Tableegh) is that a person should not regard himself free to do as he pleases and he should not be self-opinionated. Rather, he should always subject himself to the mashwarah of his elders. (In other words, he should regularly report to them and take their counsel and guidance in regard to how he should carry out the effort in his locality.)
The elders that he should be in constant contact with are those whom our Akaabir who have passed on had full confidence in (and were pleased with their level of Deen), and they are renowned for their piety and strong relationship with Allah Ta‘ala.
After the demise of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), the general practice of the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) was that they would refer more to those Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) upon whom Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) had more confidence (and with whom he was most pleased).
After the period of Hazrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) and Hazrat Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) would refer more to those Sahaabah upon whom Hazrat Abu Bakr (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) and Hazrat Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) had more confidence (and with whom they were most pleased).
In matters of Deen, before one refers to a person, it is extremely important for him to ascertain whether the person has the capability of guiding him in Deen. If one does not choose the right person as his guide, then there is a great fear of him falling into misguidance (on account of him following the wrong person).
(Malfoozaat Hazrat Moulana Muhammad Ilyaas [rahmatullahi ‘alaih] pg. 95)