On every last Sunday of the month, we get together with a group of 30 or more sisters and each of us reads two or three hizb (portions of Qur’aan) until we complete the Holy Qur’aan in one and a half or two hours. We have been told that this will count – in sha Allaah – as a completion of the Qur’aan for each one of us. Is that correct? After that we make du’aa’ and ask Allaah to give the reward for our reading to the rest of the believers, living and dead. Will the reward reach the dead? They quote as evidence for that the words of our master Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “When a man dies, all his good deeds come to an end except three: ongoing charity, beneficial knowledge or a righteous son who will pray for him.”
On the festival of the Prophet’s birthday (al-mawlid al-nabawi), they hold a ribaat (vigil) which starts at 10 a.m. and lasts until 3 p.m. They start with prayers for forgiveness, praise of Allaah, tasbeeh and takbeer, and sending blessings upon our master Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) silently, then they read the Qur’aan, and some sisters fast on that day. Is singling out this day for all these acts of worship regarded as an innovation (bid’ah)? We also have a lengthy du’aa’ seeking blessing that we say at the time of suhoor, for those who are able to say it. It is called du’aa’ al-raabitah. It starts by sending blessings and salaams upon our master Muhammad and his party and the other Prophets, and the Mothers of the Believers, and the female companions of the Prophet, the Rightly Guided Caliphs, the Taabi’een, and the righteous close friends (awliya’) of Allaah, mentioning each of them by name. Is it correct that mentioning all these names will make their owners recognize us and call out to us in Paradise? Is this du’aa’ an innovation? I feel that it is, but most of the sisters disagree with me. Will I be punished by Allaah if I am wrong? How can I convince them if I am correct? This matter is making me lose sleep and every time I remember the hadeeth of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) which says that every newly-invented matter is an innovation and every innovation is a going-astray, and every going-astray will be in the Fire, my worry and grief get even worse.