Is it an innovation to recite 70 000 Kalimah Tayyibah for the deceased for protection from the punishment of the grave?
It is not an innovation to recite 70,000 first Kalimah for the deceased for protection from the punishment of the grave as long as one does not consider it to be a Sunnah practice.
Few things to keep in mind, one should not believe it to be from the Quraan or practice of Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam. Rather, it is based on the experiences of the pious elders and there is no guarantee that the deceased’s punishment will be lifted.
One may recite any number of Zikrs or do as many optional acts of worship (Ibaadat) for the deceased with the hope that Allah Ta’aala will forgive him. There is nothing wrong in reciting the first Kalimah in abundance for the deceased, as it is sending reward (Isaale Thawaab) for them.
Below is a story of the experience of one of our pious predecessors from Fazaa’il-E- Aamaal of Sheikh ul Hadeeth Maulana Muhammad Zakariyya Rahimahullah:
Sheikh Abu Yazid Qurtubi Rahimahullah writes: “On learning that one who recites لا إله الا الله seventy thousand times becomes safe from the fire of Hell, I completed this number once for my wife and then several times for my own self as a provision for the Hereafter. There used to live near us a young man who was known to be blessed with the power of Kashf (divine manifestation of unseen things), even in respect of Paradise and Hell, but I hesitated to believe it. Once when this young man was dining with us, he uttered a cry of agony, his breathing became difficult and he exclaimed, “I see my mother burning in fire of Hell.”
When I saw him so perturbed, I thought of bestowing one of my complete seventy thousand recitations of the Kalimah in favour of his mother, so that the truth of what the young man said could be tested. I quietly did so in my heart, without telling anybody else about it. But as soon as I did this, the young man felt relieved and said, “O Uncle! My mother has been relieved of the punishment of Hell!” This incident proved useful to me in two ways: firstly, the blessing of reciting the Kalimah seventy thousand times was proved by actual experience, and secondly it was established that the young man was truly blessed with the power of Kashf.
Checked and Approved By:
Mufti Muhammed Saeed Motara Saheb D.B.
Fazaa’il-e- Aamaal– page 128- chapter 2 of virtures of Zikr under Hadeeth 17