Hazrat Shaikh Moulana Muhammad Zakariyya (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) once mentioned:
Strive to emulate our pious predecessors and follow in their footsteps. I have seen great barakah in emulating our pious predecessors. I myself have studied and closely examined the life of Hazrat Gangohi (rahmatullahi ‘alaih) and the four great senior personalities who succeeded him viz. Hazrat Sahaaranpuri, Hazrat Thaanwi, Hazrat Raipuri and Hazrat Kaandhelawi (rahmatullahi ‘alaihim).
Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and his illustrious Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) lived in an era far and distant from our era and their deeni condition and level was extremely lofty and high. Their level of deen can never be matched by us. The era of our pious predecessors, however, is close to our era. Therefore study their lives carefully and try your utmost to follow them. We should follow them because they were living examples of the sunnah and their lives closely resembled the lives of the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum). The example they left for us through their strict adherence to the sunnah had certainly made it easy for us to follow Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), as it is easy for one to emulate and follow something when one has a practical example before him. Hold firm to the taqwa and piety of these pious predecessors. Allah Ta‘ala states in the Quraan Kareem:
And for those who fear Allah, Allah Ta‘ala prepares a way out for him, and He provides for him from (sources) he never could imagine.
If you hold firm to their piety, you will, in this world, receive your sustenance with ease and will receive your reward in the hereafter as well. (Malfoozaate Hazrat Shaikh 2/163)