“Take the example of a person who wants to lose weight. In the initial weeks, when self motivation is at its peak, he will exercise regularly, eat special supplements and do all the necessary things in order to achieve his objective.
However in a few weeks, as the initial motivation wanes, this person will return to exactly where he started off from and there will be no long term difference what so ever.
But if this person was to have taken professional advice at the outset he would have been able to set a timetable and develop a manageable action plan under expert guidance.
This is conjunction with the continued help of the dietician would have resulted in much greater long term benefit.
This is the exact example of the relationship between a Shaykh and a mureed. A mureed will find great difficulty in attaining the recognition of Allah ta’ala by himself and it is very likely that he will be unable to do so.
Thus he needs someone to slowly – but surely – guide him and take him along the path that leads to the recognition of Allah.”
Kindly taken from www.shaykh.orh