Is invoking God in numbers more than those found in the sunna a reprehensible innovation?
Is invoking God (dhikr) in numbers more than those found in the sunna a reprehensible innovation (bid‘a) or impermissible (haram)?
Invoking God in abundance and in numbers more than those found in the sunna is an encouraged act. In reality it is an act that is commanded clearly in the book of God as He says, “O you who believe invoke God with much invocation.” And God has praised those who follow this command by saying, “save those who believe and do good works, and remember God often.” God also says, “Indeed in the messenger of God you have a good example for him who looks to God and the Last Day, and remembers God often.” , and “men who remember God often and women who remember - God has prepared for them forgiveness and a vast reward.” God has mentioned that those who invoke but a little have resembled the hypocrites, “and they [the hypocrites] do not invoke God except a little.”
The Prophet said, “The unique ones have advanced” and the companions asked, “who are the unique ones O Messenger of God?” and he replied, “The men who invoke God often and the women.” He also said, “Do not seize your tongue from being moist with the remembrance of God.” , as well as:
Whoever says “there is no deity but God alone is He, no partners does He have, to Him belongs the dominion, to Him belongs all praise, and He is over all things capable” one hundred times a day it is as if he freed ten slaves, and one hundred good deeds are written for him, and one hundred bad deeds are wiped away from his record…no one can bring better than this except someone who does it often.”
All of these verses and hadiths emphasize that there is no limit to invoking (dhikr), and that the Shari‘ah has left the door to abundance in invoking open to any number. For someone to invoke God a number of times more than that found in the hadith literature is better than the one who has done less as is mentioned in the previously quoted hadith. Therefore invoking God is a recommended act and doing this abundantly is doing a recommended act abundantly. It is by invoking God that the hearts become alive, and by leaving it the hearts become dead.
From what has been mentioned and based on the proof texts provided, it is permissible for a person to invoke God with any number he has chosen as a daily practice for himself, or has been given to him by a Sheikh who has insight. We ask God to enliven our hearts by invoking Him constantly and God is most high all knowledgeable.