I hope that you can advise us about a practice that we have inherited and learned from many of the Shaykhs that we have here in Syria, but I do not know for sure how sound it is. It is a means of fulfilling one’s needs and attaining one’s desires. Many of our communities adhere to this practice. One of the ways is to recite Soorat Yaa-Seen forty-one (41) times in order to fulfil one's needs, either reading it by oneself or gathering a number of people and sharing it among them. Or we read Soorat Yaa-Seen and repeat certain verses a certain number of times, and recite a certain du’aa’ after repeating the verse. Or we send blessings upon the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in a certain manner a certain number of times (such as ten thousand times), either individually or gathering a number of people and sharing it among them. Or we read certain soorahs of the Qur’aan by gathering a number of people and sharing it among them so that each one of them reads a certain part. There are many people to whom I have said that this is not valid or that it is not a Sunnah of the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), but they defend it vehemently and say that it has brought proven results.
What you have mentioned about reading Soorat Yaa-Seen a certain number of times, or reading other soorahs, or sending blessings upon the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) a certain number of times, in a group or individually, with the aim of fulfilling one’s needs or attaining one's desires, has no basis in sharee’ah, and it is something innovated that has been introduced into Islam. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Anyone who introduces anything into this matter of ours that is not part of it will have it rejected.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (2697) and Muslim (1718).
What is established among the scholars is that acts of worship must be prescribed with regard to their basis, their nature, their time and their place. Adhering to certain numbers, manners or forms of worship for which there is no evidence from sharee’ah is regarded as innovation (bid’ah).
Al-Shaatibi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: Bid’ah (innovation) refers to something that is newly invented in matters of religion that appears similar to that which is prescribed, by which people intend to go to extremes in worshipping Allaah, may He be glorified. That includes adhering to certain forms of worship, such as reciting dhikr in a group, in unison, or taking the day of the Prophet’s birth as a festival, and so on.
That also includes adhering to certain acts of worship at certain times, for which there is no evidence in sharee’ah, such as always fasting on the fifteenth of Sha’baan (al-nusf min Sha’baan) and spending that night in prayer. End quote from al-I’tisaam (1/37-39).
The fact that people have become accustomed to a practice or inherited it from their forefathers or that they have got some results from it, does not indicate that it is prescribed, rather words and deeds must be measured against the words and deeds of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him); whatever is in accordance with them should be accepted and whatever differs from them should be rejected and thrown back at the one who does them, no matter who he is.
It may be noted here that if this deed was good, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and his companions would have been the first ones to do it, especially since there was a need for it, as many of the Sahaabah faced harm and wrongdoing, but it is not proven that any of them did that or that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told them to do it.
All goodness is in following the salaf (early generations of Islam) and all evil in is the innovations of those who came afterwards.
The point is that we should keep away from these innovated matters, and be content with the du’aa’s and dhikrs that are prescribed in Islam which Allaah has made a means of fulfilling needs and attaining desires. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Is not He (better than your gods) Who responds to the distressed one, when he calls on Him, and Who removes the evil, and makes you inheritors of the earth, generations after generations? Is there any ilâh (god) with Allaah? Little is that you remember!”
“And when My slaves ask you (O Muhammad) concerning Me, then (answer them), I am indeed near (to them by My Knowledge). I respond to the invocations of the supplicant when he calls on Me (without any mediator or intercessor). So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright”
al-Tirmidhi (3475), Abu Dawood (1493) and Ibn Maajah (3857) narrated that Buraydah al-Aslami said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) heard a man supplicating and saying: O Allaah, I ask You by virtue of my bearing witness that You are Allaah, the One, the Self-Sufficient Master, Who begets not nor was begotten, and there is none co-equal or comparable to Him. He (the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)) said: “By the One in Whose hand is my soul, he has asked Allaah by His greatest name, which if He is called upon thereby He answers and if He is asked thereby He gives.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.
And al-Tirmidhi (3544) and Ibn Maajah (3858) narrated that Anas said: The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) entered the mosque and there was a man who had prayed and was supplicating and saying in his du’aa’: O Allaah, there is no god but You, the Bestower, the Originator of the heavens and the earth, the Possessor of majesty and honour. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Do you know by what he has asked Allaah? He has asked Allaah by His greatest name which if He is called upon thereby He answers and if He is asked thereby He gives.” Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.
And Allaah knows best.