Mawlānā Ḥusayn Aḥmad Madanī writes in Naqsh e Ḥayāt
The ‘ulamā’ of Deoband and their noble predecessors, may Allāh (Exalted is He) have mercy on them, have always been combiners of Sharī‘ah and Ṭarīqah, pure Ḥanafīs and followers of the predecessors of the Ahl al-Sunna wa l-Jamā‘ah. They maintain their chain of pupillage through Ḥaḍrat Shāh ‘Abd al-Ghanī Ṣāḥib Mujaddidī al-Madanī, Ḥaḍrat Shāh Muḥammad Isḥāq Ṣāḥib Dehlawī al-Makkī, Ḥaḍrat Shāh ‘Abd al-‘Azīz Ṣāḥib Dehlawī and Ḥaḍrat Shāh Waliyyullāh Ṣāḥib, may Allāh sanctify their souls; just as Quṭb ‘Ālam Ḥājī Imdādullāh Ṣāḥib, may Allāh sanctify his precious soul, and their spiritual guides maintain their chain of spiritual direction (irāda) through the Chishtī, Naqshbandī, Qādirī and Suhrawardī Paths.
In beliefs, they are followers of the Ahl al-Sunna: Ash‘arīs and Māturīdīs. In actions and peripherals, they are muqallids of Ḥaḍrat Imām A‘ẓam Abū Ḥanīfah, may Allāh (Exalted is He) have mercy on him.
Their knowledge was not merely verbal. Rather, their hearts and limbs too were truly adorned and coloured by taqwā. Based on this, their impact of being loved and accepted has always remained very great and very deep amongst the Muslims, in much the same way as such people who are to also be found amongst the noble predecessors. The Noble Qur’ān and authentic ḥadīths are upright witnesses to the general acceptance of these people. In Sūrah Maryam [it states]: “Truly those who believe and do good works, the Most Merciful will create love for them.”
Their knowledge was not merely verbal. Rather, their hearts and limbs too were truly adorned and coloured by taqwā.
The above has been taken from AhlusSunnah Forum