Invoking God in numbers that are not found in the Sunna
Is making dhikr in numbers more than those prescribed in the Sunna a reprehensible bid’a or impermissible ?
Making dhikr (invoking God) in abundance and in numbers more than those found in the Sunna is praiseworthy. In fact, it is a clearly stated injunction in the book of God for He says, “O you who believe invoke God with much invocation.” And God praises 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 resemble the hypocrites, “… and they [the hypocrites] do not invoke God except a little.”
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “The unique ones have advanced.” The Companions asked, “Who are the unique ones O Messenger of God?” He replied, “The men and women who invoke God often.” He also said, “Let not your tongue cease to be moist with the remembrance of God”, and “Whoever says ‘There is no deity but God alone, He has no partner, 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 has freed ten slaves, one hundred good deeds are recorded for him, and one hundred evil deeds are erased from his record…no one can do better than this except someone who does it often.”
All of these verses and ahadith emphasize that there is no limit to the number of times one can make dhikr and that the Shari‘ah (Islamic law) did not restrict this act of worship. As mentioned in the previously quoted hadith, for someone to invoke God more than the number of times mentioned in the corpus of hadith literature is better than one who does less. Therefore invoking God is a recommended act and performing this act of worship in abundance is tantamount to performing a recommended act in abundance. It is by invoking God that hearts become alive and by neglecting it, hearts become dead.
Based on the above and on the mentioned proof texts, it is permissible for a person to invoke God as much as he wishes as a daily practice or in the number prescribed by a sheikh who has insight. We ask God to enliven our hearts by constantly making remembrance of Him. And God is most high and all knowledgeable.