Answered by Shaykh Amjad Rasheed
What is the benefit of reciting the litanies (ahzab, awrad) ascribed to the major Sufis? Isn’t it best to restrict oneself to reciting litanies from the Qur’an and Sunna?
In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate
It is obvious to anyone that reads the litanies of our masters, the Sufis, that many of them have been gathered from the dhikrs and du’as that have come to us [s. from the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him] and from others which have been arranged by righteous scholars. So whoever reads them is actually reading from the Prophet’s sunna as well as others, so he gets the reward for both of them, and he receives the benefit of acquiring blessings in everything he does, receiving protection from the Shaytan and his whisperings, as well as purity of heart and tranquility and more from what has come about the merits of du’as and dhikr.
There has been scholarly consensus on the permissibility of asking for what one wants in du’a as long as it is not a sinful request or the cutting off of relations, as has come in a hadith. And the reason for many people concerning themselves with reading the du`as of great Sufis is that, as the questioner said, they [s. the great Sufis] are very knowledgeable in this and tasawwuf is nothing but the knowledge of sincerity and adab with Allah in everything. So for these types of people, du’as and praise of Allah, Majestic is He, is always flowing on their tongues which is not easy for most people because they are far from knowing Allah, Most High, and He has said in his honorable book, “Fear Allah and Allah will teach you”.
True, the dhikrs and dua’s which have come from the Prophet are better than any other that has come to us, as Imam al-Nawawi has mentioned in the beginning of the Adhkar, and with that, we see that he, may Allah have mercy on him, has gathered for himself a famous litany which includes invocations from the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, and from others.
(Translated by Sr. Shazia Ahmad)