The Second Safeguard

“And Allâh would not punish them while you (Muhammad) are amongst them, nor will He punish them while they seek (Allâh's) Forgiveness.”  (Al-Anfal: 33)

Collected and prepared by:

DR. Faisal bin Mash’al bin Sa’ud bin Abdul Aziz al Sa’ud

Translated by: Abu Anas Sami bin Emarah.

In the Name of Allâh,

the Most Beneficent,

the Most Merciful.

In the Name of Allâh, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

And we ask Him for help

الْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ الَّذِي هَدَانَا لِهَـذَا وَمَا كُنَّا لِنَهْتَدِيَ لَوْلا أَنْ هَدَانَا اللّهُ لَقَدْ جَاءتْ رُسُلُ رَبِّنَا بِالْحَقِّ وَنُودُواْ أَن تِلْكُمُ الْجَنَّةُ أُورِثْتُمُوهَا بِمَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ }الأعراف43

“All the praises and thanks be to Allâh, Who has guided us to this, never could we have found guidance, were it not that Allâh had guided us!" (Al-A'raf: 43)

رَبَّنَا لاَ تُزِغْ قُلُوبَنَا بَعْدَ إِذْ هَدَيْتَنَا وَهَبْ لَنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ رَحْمَةً إِنَّكَ أَنتَ الْوَهَّابُ }آل عمران8}

(They say): "Our Lord! Let not our hearts deviate (from the truth) after You have guided us, and grant us mercy from You. Truly, You are the Bestower." (Aal-'Imran: 8)

O Allâh! Respond to us.

 Dedication

I am pleased to dedicate this book to each Muslim slave seeking the Mercy and Forgiveness of his Lord, hopeful of earning the reward for his remembrance of his Creator, hoping and repenting to the Most Forgiving of sins, with truthful and sure intention of sincere repentance, and a tongue not stopping seeking Allâh's Forgiveness.

وَمَن يَعْمَلْ سُوءاً أَوْ يَظْلِمْ نَفْسَهُ ثُمَّ يَسْتَغْفِرِ اللّهَ يَجِدِ اللّهَ غَفُوراً رَّحِيماً }النساء110}

                “And whoever does evil or wrongs himself but afterwards seeks Allâh's Forgiveness, he will find Allâh Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful.”   (An-Nisa': 110)

قُلْ يَا عِبَادِيَ الَّذِينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلَى أَنفُسِهِمْ لَا تَقْنَطُوا مِن رَّحْمَةِ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَمِيعاً إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ }الزمر53

                “Say: "O 'Ibâdî (My slaves) who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allâh, verily Allâh forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Az-Zumar: 53)

Our Lord! All the praises and thanks be to You

                O Allâh! All the praises and thanks be to You for creating, sustaining, guiding, teaching, saving and removing our troubles.

All the praises and thanks be to You for the faith.

All the praises and thanks be to You for Islam.

All the praises and thanks be to You for Qur'ân.

All the praises and thanks be to You for the household, money and well-being. You suppressed our enemy, increased our provision, provided us with safety, gathered us together, gave us all what we asked you for.

So, I say very much:"All the praises and thanks be to You for that."

All the praises and thanks be to You for each grace You bestowed on us beforetime or recently, secretly or openly, personally or generally, on a dead, alive, present or absent person.

All the praises and thanks be to You until You are pleased, and all the praises and thanks be to You when You are pleased.

May Allâh exalt the mention of our Prophet Muhammad, his household and companions, and peace be upon them.[1]

 A light

                It is reported that Ali ibn Abi Talib (May Allâh be pleased with him) said:"There were two safeguards against the torment of Allâh on the earth, one of them was lifted up, so, hold fasr to the other.

As for the lifted up safeguard, it's the Messenger of Allâh (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him), and as for the other, it's seeking Allâh's Forgiveness. Allâh, the Most High, said:

وَمَا كَانَ اللّهُ لِيُعَذِّبَهُمْ وَأَنتَ فِيهِمْ وَمَا كَانَ اللّهُ مُعَذِّبَهُمْ وَهُمْ يَسْتَغْفِرُونَ }الأنفال33}

                “And Allâh would not punish them while you (Muhammad - peace be on him -) are amongst them, nor will He punish them while they seek (Allâh's) Forgiveness.”  (Al-Anfal: 33)

A supplication to seek Allâh's forgiveness:

                (O Allâh! I seek Your Forgiveness for what I repented to You from, then I returned to it.

And I seek Your Forgiveness for what I promised You to do, then I didn't fulfill it.

And I seek Your Forgiveness for what I seeked Your Face while doing it, but my intention has been mixed.

And I seek Your Forgiveness for the graces You bestowed on me, but I used them in disobeying You.

I seek the Forgiveness of Allâh - there is no true god except Allâh, the Ever-Living, the Self-Subsisting, the All Knower of the unseen and the seen, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful – for every sin I did, every evil deed I committed, and every sin Allâh had known.

I seek the Forgiveness of Allâh, I turn to Him in repentance, and all the praises are for Him

I say: "All the praises are for the Lord of worlds" as many times as the number of His creatures, in accordance with His Good Pleasure, equal to the ink that may be used in recording His words and equal to the weight of His Throne.

I seek the Forgiveness of Allâh as many times as the number of remembrance of Him by the tongues.

I seek the Forgiveness of Allâh as many times as the number of talking of the tongues, and declaring of Athan (calling for prayers).

I seek the Forgiveness of Allâh as many times as the number of weighing by the balance and reciting of the Qur'ân.

I seek the Forgiveness of Allâh as many times as the number of the feathers, the hairs of the camels, the sand particles and the stones.

I seek the Forgiveness of Allâh as many times as the number of the feathers, hairs, and folds of the foam of the ocean.

I seek the Forgiveness of Allâh as many times as the number of walking of the feet, and writing by the pens.

I seek the Forgiveness of Allâh as many times as the number of arranging of the rows, and writing of the letters.

I seek the Forgiveness of Allâh as many times as the number of the heavens and what they shaded, and all the praises are for Allâh as many times as the number of the earthes and what they carried.

I seek the Forgiveness of Allâh as many times as the number of the alternation of the night and the day

I seek the Forgiveness of Allâh as many times as the number of prayers of the observers of prayers, fasting of the observers of fasting, and "Talbiyah" of the pilgrims and the observers of "Umrah".

I seek the Forgiveness of Allâh as many times as the number of circumbulation of the circumbulators, and "Sa'yi" of the observers of "Sa'yi".

I seek the Forgiveness of Allâh as many times as the number of sun rising, and appearance of the moon.

I seek the Forgiveness of Allâh as many times as the number of sun setting, and fading of the moon.

I seek the Forgiveness of Allâh as many times as the number of what was found, what is found, what will be found.

I seek the Forgiveness of Allâh until He's pleased, I seek the Forgiveness of Allâh when He's pleased, and I seek the Forgiveness of Allâh after His Pleasure.

I say:”I honor Allâh from all what (unsuitable things) is ascribed to Him, and all the praises are for Him, I honor Allâh, the Most Great, from all what (unsuitable things) is ascribed to Him” as many times as the number of that.

I say:” There is no true god except Allâh, Allâh is Greater, and there is neither might nor any power except with Allâh the Most High, the Most Great.” as many times as the number of that.

I seek the Forgiveness of Allâh, the Most Great, there is no true god except Allâh, the Ever-Living, the Self-Subsisting, and I turn to Him in repentance as many times as the number of that.

May Allâh exalt the mention of our Prophet Muhammad, all his household and companions.

 Introduction

                All the praises and thanks be to Allâh who has written Mercy for Himself - I honor Him from all what (unsuitable things) is ascribed to Him, and all the praises are for Him - the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful, the Forgiver of the sins, and the Acceptor of the repentance. And may Allâh exalt the mention of the person, whom Allâh sent as a witness over this nation, Muhammad bin Abd Allâh, his household and companions. And peace be upon them.

Surely, one of the graces of Allâh, Exalted and Majestic is He, on His slaves is His mercy and pardon for them, as He's the All Knower, I honor Him from all what (unsuitable things) is ascribed to Him, of the weakness of their states and deeds whatever they reached, in comparison with the graces He bestowed on them, which no one can count but He, I honor Allâh from all what (unsuitable things) is ascribed to Him and Exalted is He.

And the Creator, Exalted and Majestic is He, when He created His slaves - as He's the Knower of their nature, their frequent sins, the limits of their abilities to worship Him and the shortage of their knowledge - He has ordained for them the grace of seeking His Forgiveness which the Creator bestowed on His slaves due to His mercy towards them.

Those are the slaves who have sincere intention of worshipping Him, but they may fall into the traps of sins, knowingly or unknowingly, then they remember the attribute of their Lord, the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful, so, they seek His Forgiveness, regret and Ask for the pardon from the Owner of Pardon, who has opened the gates of mercy for them, and He's the most Merciful of all.

From this aspect, the idea of this booklet came to me, by the grace of Allâh. Allâh bestowed on me the grace of preparing this booklet and choosing its name, which is a fact Allâh mentioned in His Perfect Book, while addressing His prophet - May Allâh exalt his mention and peace be upon him – saying:

 وَمَا كَانَ اللّهُ لِيُعَذِّبَهُمْ وَأَنتَ فِيهِمْ وَمَا كَانَ اللّهُ مُعَذِّبَهُمْ وَهُمْ يَسْتَغْفِرُونَ }الأنفال33}

"And Allâh would not punish them while you (Muhammad - peace be upon him -) are amongst them, nor will He punish them while they seek (Allâh's) Forgiveness." (Al-Anfal: 33)

Ali ibn Abi Talib (May Allâh be pleased with him) explained this verse saying: "The first safeguard (the Messenger of Allâh ,peace be upon him) was lifted up, and the second is still present." 

O Allâh! We seek Your forgiveness and turn to You in repentance from all our sins, so that You may provide us with safety and save us from the torment, which You have made seeking Your Forgiveness a safeguard against it, by Your grace and Great Hospitality, I honor You from all what (unsuitable things) is ascribed to You.

While seeking Forgiveness of Allâh, the Most Great, there is no true god except Allâh, the Ever-Living, the Self-Subsisting, turning to Him in repentance as many times as the number of enjoying His graces by His slaves, ascribing all the praises to Him, and thanking Him folds of that, I shouldn’t forget to thank my brother and friend: Ahmad bin Abdelazeez

At-Twegry, who helped me in preparing this book.

And I return here to say that I did this work seeking its reward from Allah, and intending to remind my dear Muslim brothers, who may be engaged in this worldly impermanent life through its occupations and distresses, of one of their Generous Creatoror's promises to forgive them, bestow His Mercy on them, and not to torture them if they hold fast to seeking His Forgiveness, as it is found in the traditions of the Prophet (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) who  used to ask Allâh for forgiveness more than seventy or hundred times per day.

This was the tradition of the Prophet, Muhammad bin Abd Allâh (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) who is the best of humans and has been forgiven of his former and latter sins, what about us, the weak and sinful individuals of his nation at this late period characterized by weakness of the Muslims, much engagement in worldy affairs, and unawareness of the remembrance of Allâh, obedience to Him, approaching to Him, and seeking His Forgiveness for the sins we commit, knowingly or unknowingly.

I remember here what happened to the best scholar of his period of the generation of first followers of the Prophet's companions, Bakr bin Abd Allâh Al-Muzani. While he was walking behind a woodman, who was saying:” All the praises and thanks be to Allâh, I seek the Forgiveness of Allâh”

Bakr said to him:”Can't you say another thing?”

He said:”Yes! I save the Qur'ân by heart and I know many things, but every person is still fluctuating between a sin and a grace. So, I seek the Forgiveness of Allâh for the sin, and I ascribe all the praises to Him for the grace."

The scholar said:" Bakr didn't know (this fact) and the woodman knew it."

Also, I remember, at the end of this introduction, what was mentioned by my grandfather, the King Abdulazeez bin Abdurrahman al Faisal al Sa’ud (May Allâh have mercy on him), in his book which he chose to be his "Werd" (a collection of supplications and forms of remembrance) which is called "Al-Werd Al-Musaffa Al-Mukhtar".

I read in it some words of seeking the Forgiveness of Allâh, which shakes the body parts and the mind and sight stops for a long time to reflect on its meanings and accuracy. He (May Allâh have mercy on him), said:"O Allâh! I seek Your Forgiveness for what I repented to You from, then I returned to it. And I seek Your Forgiveness for what I promised You to do, then I didn't fulfill it. And I seek Your Forgiveness for what I pretended that I seeked Your Face while doing it, but my heart was affected by what You know." O Allâh! Respond to us

O Allâh! Forgive and have mercy on all of our dead and the dead of all Muslims, and reward the righteous ancestors the best reward for what they left for us of a beneficial knowledge, a comprehensive remembrance and a clear white faith.

O Allâh! O Ever-Living! O Self-Subsisting!  Make our righteous deeds devoted to Your Honourable Face, and make them a witness for us on the Day when we meet You denuded of every thing but our righteous deeds.

O Allâh! Make seeking Your Forgiveness, Your remembrance and the gratitude towards Your graces inherent in our tongues.

 O Allâh! Make our last speech the testification that there is no true god except Allâh, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allâh.

And at the end of this introduction, I mention what our Prophet Muhammad bin Abd Allâh (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) told us about the most superior way of asking for forgiveness from Allâh.

اللَّهُمَّ أَنْتَ رَبِّي لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ خَلَقْتَنِي وَأَنَا عَبْدُكَ وَأَنَا عَلَى عَهْدِكَ وَوَعْدِكَ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُ أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّ مَا صَنَعْتُ أَبُوءُ لَكَ بِنِعْمَتِكَ عَلَيَّ وَأَبُوءُ لَكَ بِذَنْبِي فَاغْفِرْ لِي فَإِنَّهُ لَا يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ           

"O Allâh! You are my Lord. There is no true god but You. You created me and I am Your servant, and I abide to Your covenant and promise as best as I could. I seek refuge in You from the evil of what I have done. I acknowledge Your Grace You have bestowed on me, and I acknowledge my sin, forgive me for none forgives sins except You."

I seek the Forgiveness of Allâh, the Most Great, there is no true god except Allâh, the Ever-Living, the Self-Subsisting, and I turn to Him in repentance.

I seek the Forgiveness of Allâh, the Most Great, there is no true god except Allâh, the Ever-Living, the Self-Subsisting, and I turn to Him in repentance.

I seek the Forgiveness of Allâh, the Most Great, there is no true god except Allâh, the Ever-Living, the Self-Subsisting, and I turn to Him in repentance.

The author

1/9/1422 H

 The definition of seeking the Forgiveness of Allâh:

                The Forgiveness of Allâh means the protection against the evil of the fault.

The Forgiveness of Allâh is better than His covering up the fault, as the Forgiveness of Allâh means the protection against the evil of the fault, so the slave will not be punished for it.

As for covering up the fault only, he may be punished for it in secret, and the slave who was punished for the fault secretly or openly, his faults have not been forgiven.

The Forgiveness of Allâh is realized if the slave isn’t punished for the fault the due punishment.[2]

Seeking the Forgiveness of Allâh and its great importance in the relation between the Muslim and his Lord:

                Surely, seeking the Forgiveness of Allâh has a great importance in Islam, as there’re many verses in the Honourable Qur'ân, which focus on the Forgiveness of Allâh and seeking the Forgiveness of Allâh, in ordering , requesting, or praising form.

Surely, Allâh ordered His Prophet Muhammad (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) saying:

وَاسْتَغْفِرِ اللّهَ إِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ غَفُوراً رَّحِيماً }النساء106}

“And seek the Forgiveness of Allâh, certainly, Allâh is Ever Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (An-Nisa': 106)

And Allâh, the Most High, ordered the faithful saying:

20 وَاسْتَغْفِرُوا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ} المزمل }

“And seek Forgiveness of Allâh. Verily, Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most-Merciful.” (Al-Muzzammil: 20)

 And there’re other verses focusing on the same subject.

And there’re also many authentic traditions which shows the importance of seeking the Forgiveness of Allâh, Allâh's reward for it, and the necessity of the slave for it. The Prophet (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) said:

إِنَّهُ لَيُغَانُ عَلَى قَلْبِي وَإِنِّي لَأَسْتَغْفِرُ اللَّهَ فِي كُلِّ يَوْمٍ مِائَةَ مَرَّةٍ

“Sometimes I perceive a veil over my heart, and I supplicate Allâh for forgiveness a hundred times in a day.”[3]

                And said:

وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ لَوْ لَمْ تُذْنِبُوا لَذَهَبَ اللَّهُ بِكُمْ وَلَجَاءَ بِقَوْمٍ يُذْنِبُونَ فَيَسْتَغْفِرُونَ اللَّهَ فَيَغْفِرُ لَهُمْ

“By the One in Whose Hand my soul is! If you do not commit sins, Allâh would replace you with a people who would commit sins and seek forgiveness from Allâh; and Allâh will certainly forgive them.”[4]

                And seeking the Forgiveness of Allâh has a great importance in the life of the Muslim, as it has many advantages and blessings. Allâh has raised its significance in His Honourable Book, He mentioned it ordering the Muslims to do it at more than eighteen verses, and mentioned it in a praising form at sixteen verses.

And this denotes its great status and that its doing by the slave is liked by Allâh, as by it, Allâh removes the troubles, blots out the faults, covers up the defects, purifies the hearts.

                And by it, blessings descend from the heavens, properties and progenies increase, and what is greater than that is what happens in the Hereafter, as raising the ranks in the Gardens of delight (Paradise).

                And seeking the Forgiveness of Allâh is a separate form of worshipping Him and it is a means of approach to Him, so, every slave needs it even the Prophets, Messengers, and Angels (May Allâh exalt their mention, and peace be upon each one of them). And this is our Prophet and model, Muhammad (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) who was the best example as regards this aspect, he was used to seeking the Forgiveness of Allâh and worshipping Him frequently, while we have a greater necessity for that, due to our lower status and weakness of our faith.

Surely, he (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) was seeking the Forgiveness of Allâh frequently while sitting or standing.

 It was reported that Abu Huraira (May Allâh be pleased with him) said: “I did not see anyone used to say: “I seek the Forgiveness of Allâh, and I turn to Him in repentance.” more frequent than the Messenger of Allâh (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him).”

And before that, we have a greater necessity for seeking the Forgiveness of Allâh, knowing its meanings and secrets, and increasing its frequency, as submission and humiliation to the Creator - I honor Him from all what (unsuitable things) is ascribed to Him - are markedly apparent in it.

And he whom Allâh intends good, He guides him to repentance, seeking His Forgiveness, remorse, humiliation to Him, continuous invocation and supplication which make this fault a reason for Allâh's mercy to the extent that Allâh's enemy, Satan, says:" I wish I left him, and did not tempt him to commit it."

Allâh mentioned that Adam, the Father of humans, seeked His Forgiveness and repented to Him, so, He chose him, accepted his repentance, and guided him. As for Satan, the father of jinns, He cursed him, as he did not repent and accused the Foreordainment.

So, whosoever committed a fault, then repented and regretted, he imitated his Father, Adam. And whosoever committed a fault, and insisted on it, he imitated Satan.

And seeking the Forgiveness of Allâh is a continuous need of the Muslim, and due its importance, Allâh, Glorified and Exalted is He, mentioned it in conjugation with Monotheism in several verses, such as:

{فَاعْلَمْ أَنَّهُ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لِذَنبِكَ وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ مُتَقَلَّبَكُمْ وَمَثْوَاكُمْ }

“So know (O Muhammad!) that none has the right to be worshipped but Allâh, and ask forgiveness for your sin, and also for (the sin of) believing men and believing women." (Muhammad: 19)

And Allâh - I honor Him from all what (unsuitable things) is ascribed to Him – encouraged us to hasten to ask His forgiveness when we commit a fault, as He forgives the sins, as He says:

وَمَن يَعْمَلْ سُوءاً أَوْ يَظْلِمْ نَفْسَهُ ثُمَّ يَسْتَغْفِرِ اللّهَ يَجِدِ اللّهَ غَفُوراً رَّحِيماً }النساء110 }

“And whoever does evil or wrongs himself but afterwards seeks Allâh's Forgiveness, he will find Allâh Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (An-Nisa': 110)

And in the narration of Anas:

يَا ابْنَ آدَمَ لَوْ بَلَغَتْ ذُنُوبُكَ عَنَانَ السَّمَاءِ ثُمَّ اسْتَغْفَرْتَنِي غَفَرْتُ لَكَ

“Allâh, the Exalted, has said: O son of Adam! I do not care even if your sins should pile up to the sky and should you beg pardon of Me, I would forgive you.”[5]

And seeking Allâh's Forgiveness has a great value and many benefits, in this worldy life and in the Hereafter. Muhammad (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him), and his nation following him, were ordered to hold fast to it. Allâh, the Exalted, said:

فَبِمَا رَحْمَةٍ مِّنَ اللّهِ لِنتَ لَهُمْ وَلَوْ كُنتَ فَظّاً غَلِيظَ الْقَلْبِ لاَنفَضُّواْ مِنْ حَوْلِكَ فَاعْفُ عَنْهُمْ وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ وَشَاوِرْهُمْ فِي الأَمْرِ فَإِذَا عَزَمْتَ فَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللّهِ إِنَّ اللّهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُتَوَكِّلِينَ }آل عمران159

“And by the Mercy of Allâh, you dealt with them gently. And had you been severe and harsh hearted, they would have broken away from about you; so pass over (their faults), and ask (Allâh's) Forgiveness for them; and consult them in the affairs.” (Aal-'Imran: 159)

And said:

فَاصْبِرْ إِنَّ وَعْدَ اللَّهِ حَقٌّ وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لِذَنبِكَ وَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ بِالْعَشِيِّ وَالْإِبْكَارِ }غافر55}

“So be patient (O Muhammad!). Verily, the Promise of Allâh is true, and ask forgiveness for your fault, and glorify the praises of your Lord in the Ashi (i.e. the time period after the midnoon till sunset) and in the Ibkâr (i.e. the time period from early morning or sunrise till before midnoon) (Ghafir: 55)

                And Allâh guaranteed for the nation of Muhammad (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) that through asking forgiveness, general destruction and torment will not overtake them:

   وَمَا كَانَ اللّهُ لِيُعَذِّبَهُمْ وَأَنتَ فِيهِمْ وَمَا كَانَ اللّهُ مُعَذِّبَهُمْ وَهُمْ يَسْتَغْفِرُونَ }الأنفال33 }

“And Allâh would not punish them while you (Muhammad - peace be on him -) are amongst them, nor will He punish them while they seek (Allâh's) Forgiveness.” (Al-Anfal: 33) 

                Allâh's Prophet, Saleh, has ordered his people and guided them to seek  forgiveness. Allâh, the Exalted, said:  

وَإِلَى ثَمُودَ أَخَاهُمْ صَالِحاً قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ اعْبُدُواْ اللّهَ مَا لَكُم مِّنْ إِلَـهٍ غَيْرُهُ هُوَ أَنشَأَكُم مِّنَ الأَرْضِ وَاسْتَعْمَرَكُمْ فِيهَا فَاسْتَغْفِرُوهُ ثُمَّ تُوبُواْ إِلَيْهِ إِنَّ رَبِّي قَرِيبٌ مُّجِيبٌ }هود61

“And to Thamûd (people, We sent) their brother Sâlih (Saleh). He said: "O my people! Worship Allâh, you have no other Ilâh (God) but Him. He brought you forth from the earth and settled you therein, then ask forgiveness of Him and turn to Him in repentance. Certainly, my Lord is Near (to all by His Knowledge), Responsive.”(Hud: 61)

                Nuh also interested his people in it through promising them with abundant rain, and increased properties and children.

فقُلْتُ اسْتَغْفِرُوا رَبَّكُمْ إِنَّهُ كَانَ غَفَّاراً -   يُرْسِلِ السَّمَاء عَلَيْكُم مِّدْرَاراً - وَيُمْدِدْكُمْ بِأَمْوَالٍ وَبَنِينَ وَيَجْعَل لَّكُمْ جَنَّاتٍ وَيَجْعَل لَّكُمْ أَنْهَاراً }نوح10-12

“I said (to them): 'Ask forgiveness from your Lord; Verily, He is Oft-Forgiving; (10) He will send rain to you in abundance; (11) And give you increase in wealth and children, and bestow on you gardens and bestow on you rivers (12) (Nuh: 10 -12).

And Hud (Peace be on him) gave the same promises to his people, if they asked forgiveness.  

وَيَا قَوْمِ اسْتَغْفِرُواْ رَبَّكُمْ ثُمَّ تُوبُواْ إِلَيْهِ يُرْسِلِ السَّمَاء عَلَيْكُم مِّدْرَاراً وَيَزِدْكُمْ قُوَّةً إِلَى قُوَّتِكُمْ وَلاَ تَتَوَلَّوْاْ  

“And O my people! Ask forgiveness of your Lord and then repent to Him, He will send you (from the sky) abundant rain, and add strength to your strength, so do not turn away as Mujrimûn (criminals, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allâh)  (Hud: 52 ).

And the sons of Ya'qûb (Jacob) apologized to him asking him to seek the Forgiveness of Allâh for their sins. Allâh, the Exalted, said:  

قَالُواْ يَا أَبَانَا اسْتَغْفِرْ لَنَا ذُنُوبَنَا إِنَّا كُنَّا خَاطِئِينَ  }

قَالَ سَوْفَ أَسْتَغْفِرُ لَكُمْ رَبِّيَ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ }يوسف98

“They said: "O our father! Ask forgiveness (from Allâh) for our sins, indeed we have been sinners (97) He said: "I will ask my Lord for forgiveness for you, verily He! Only He is the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful (98) (Yusuf: 97 – 98)

                And seeking forgiveness is conjugated with piety and it is

a follower of it. Allâh, the Exalted, said:  

قُلْ إِنَّمَا أَنَا بَشَرٌ مِّثْلُكُمْ يُوحَى إِلَيَّ أَنَّمَا إِلَهُكُمْ إِلَهٌ وَاحِدٌ فَاسْتَقِيمُوا إِلَيْهِ وَاسْتَغْفِرُوهُ وَوَيْلٌ لِّلْمُشْرِكِينَ }فصلت6

“Say (O Muhammad!): "I am only a human being like you. It is inspired in me that your Ilâh (God) is One Ilâh (God - Allâh), therefore take Straight Path to Him (with true Faith Islâmic Monotheism) and obedience to Him, and seek Forgiveness of Him. And woe to Al-Mushrikûn (the disbelievers in the Oneness of Allâh, polytheists, idolaters, etc. (" (Fussilat: 6)

                And Allâh, the Exalted, gently guided the Christians to seek His Forgiveness, when they said their repulsive saying, that Allâh is the third of the three. Allâh, the Exalted, said:  

لَّقَدْ كَفَرَ الَّذِينَ قَالُواْ إِنَّ اللّهَ ثَالِثُ ثَلاَثَةٍ وَمَا مِنْ إِلَـهٍ إِلاَّ إِلَـهٌ وَاحِدٌ وَإِن لَّمْ يَنتَهُواْ عَمَّا يَقُولُونَ لَيَمَسَّنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِنْهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ - أَفَلاَ يَتُوبُونَ إِلَى اللّهِ وَيَسْتَغْفِرُونَهُ وَاللّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ }المائدة73-74

 “Surely, disbelievers are those who said: "Allâh is the third of the three (in a Trinity)." But there is no ilâh (god) (none who has the right to be worshipped) but One Ilâh (God -Allâh). And if they cease not from what they say, verily, a painful torment will befall the disbelievers among them (73) Will they not repent to Allâh and ask His Forgiveness? For Allâh is Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful (74) " (Al-Ma'idah': 73 – 74)

                And by seeking Forgiveness of Allâh, Dâwûd (David) has had a nearer access to Him, and a good place of final return. Allâh, the Exalted, said:  

وَظَنَّ دَاوُودُ أَنَّمَا فَتَنَّاهُ فَاسْتَغْفَرَ رَبَّهُ وَخَرَّ رَاكِعاً وَأَنَابَ

فَغَفَرْنَا لَهُ ذَلِكَ وَإِنَّ لَهُ عِندَنَا لَزُلْفَى وَحُسْنَ مَآبٍ }ص25

“And Dâwûd (David) guessed that We have tried him and he sought Forgiveness of his Lord, and he fell down prostrate and turned (to Allâh) in repentance (24) So We forgave him that, and verily, for him is a near access to Us, and a good place of (final) return (25) " (Saad: 24 – 25 )

                And by it, Allâh forgives the faults, blots out the sins, and the mercies descend. Allâh, the Exalted, said:  

ولو أنهم إِذ ظَّلَمُواْ أَنفُسَهُمْ جَآؤُوكَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُواْ اللّهَ وَاسْتَغْفَرَ لَهُمُ الرَّسُولُ لَوَجَدُواْ اللّهَ تَوَّاباً رَّحِيماً }النساء64

 “If they (hypocrites), when they had been unjust to themselves, had come to you (Muhammad ) and begged Allâh's Forgiveness, and the Messenger had begged forgiveness for them: indeed, they would have found Allâh All-Forgiving (One Who accepts repentance), Most Merciful.” (An-Nisa': 64)

And said:

وَمَن يَعْمَلْ سُوءاً أَوْ يَظْلِمْ نَفْسَهُ ثُمَّ يَسْتَغْفِرِ اللّهَ يَجِدِ اللّهَ غَفُوراً رَّحِيماً }النساء110

“And whoever does evil or wrongs himself but afterwards seeks Allâh's Forgiveness, he will find Allâh Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (An-Nisa': 110)

And by it, Allâh grants the slave in this worldy life good enjoyment, which includes every allowed good pleasure. Allâh, the Exalted, said:  

                وَأَنِ اسْتَغْفِرُواْ رَبَّكُمْ ثُمَّ تُوبُواْ إِلَيْهِ يُمَتِّعْكُم مَّتَاعاً حَسَناً إِلَى أَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى وَيُؤْتِ كُلَّ ذِي فَضْلٍ فَضْلَهُ وَإِن تَوَلَّوْاْ فَإِنِّيَ أَخَافُ عَلَيْكُمْ عَذَابَ يَوْمٍ كَبِيرٍ }هود3

“And (commanding you): "Seek the forgiveness of your Lord, and turn to Him in repentance, that He may grant you good enjoyment, for a term appointed, and bestow His abounding Grace to every owner of grace (i.e. the one who helps and serves needy and deserving, physically and with his wealth, and even with good words). But if you turn away, then I fear for you the torment of a Great Day (i.e. the Day of Resurrection) (Hud: 3)

And by it, the Angels, specially the largest Angels, the bearers of the Throne, beg forgiveness for the believers. Allâh, the Exalted, said:  

الَّذِينَ يَحْمِلُونَ الْعَرْشَ وَمَنْ حَوْلَهُ يُسَبِّحُونَ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّهِمْ وَيُؤْمِنُونَ بِهِ وَيَسْتَغْفِرُونَ لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا رَبَّنَا وَسِعْتَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ رَّحْمَةً وَعِلْماً فَاغْفِرْ لِلَّذِينَ تَابُوا وَاتَّبَعُوا سَبِيلَكَ وَقِهِمْ عَذَابَ الْجَحِيمِ }غافر7 “Those (angels) who bear the Throne (of Allâh) and those around it glorify the praises of their Lord, and believe in Him, and ask forgiveness for those who believe (in the Oneness of Allâh) (saying): "Our Lord! You comprehend all things in mercy and knowledge, so forgive those who repent and follow Your Way, and save them from the torment of the blazing Fire!” (Ghafir: 7).

                And the pious contiuously ask Allâh for forgiveness in the hours before dawn while others are asleep, and during the hours of the night and day. Allâh, the Exalted, said:  

إِنَّ الْمُتَّقِينَ فِي جَنَّاتٍ وَعُيُونٍ -  آخِذِينَ مَا آتَاهُمْ رَبُّهُمْ إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا قَبْلَ ذَلِكَ مُحْسِنِينَ -

كَانُوا قَلِيلاً مِّنَ اللَّيْلِ مَا يَهْجَعُونَ - وَبِالْأَسْحَارِ هُمْ يَسْتَغْفِرُونَ }الذاريات15-18

 “Verily, the Muttaqûn (pious) will be in the midst of Gardens and Springs (in the Paradise) (15) Taking joy in the things which their Lord has given them. Verily, they were before this Muhsinûn (good-doers) (16) They used to sleep but little by night [invoking their Lord (Allâh) and praying, with fear and hope] (17) And in the hours before dawn, they were (found) asking (Allâh) for forgiveness (18) (Adh-Dhariyat: 15 – 18)

                And it is an essential character of the firmly grounded in knowledge and faith. Allâh mentioned five characters of those people, one of them is begging Allâh's Pardon at the best times for confiding secrets to Allâh. Allâh, the Exalted, said:  

الصَّابِرِينَ وَالصَّادِقِينَ وَالْقَانِتِينَ وَالْمُنفِقِينَ وَالْمُسْتَغْفِرِينَ بِالأَسْحَارِ }آل عمران17}

(They are) those who are patient ones, those who are true (in Faith, words, and deeds), and obedient with sincere devotion in worship to Allâh, those who spend [give the Zakât and alms in the Way of Allâh] and those who pray and beg Allâh's Pardon in the last hours of the night.” (Aal-'Imran: 17)

                Surely, seeking the Forgiveness of Allâh has a great importance in Islam, and it is an important cause of getting every good thing and repelling every evil.

                Ibn Taimiyah said:" If Allâh loves a slave, He inspires him to repent and beg His Pardon. So, he doesn't persist in committing sins."

The Creator - I honor Him, the Exalted, from all what (unsuitable things) is ascribed to Him – guides us to beg His Pardon and to seek the gifts of His Mercy, and He promised us to forgive us. Then, what is the matter with us that we beg not His Pardon, while we are committing major evils and sins? Proper it is for us that we beg Allâh's Pardon during the hours of the night and day, as we sin every time. Our ears, our eyes, our body parts and our hearts sin, and the cure for that is begging Allâh's Pardon.

O Allâh! Inspire us to follow right guidance, make us obedient to You, Inspire us to beg Your Pardon truthfully every time, make the Angels' seeking forgiveness embrace us, and accept our repentance, You are the One Who accepts repentance, the Most Merciful.[6]

 Benefits of begging Allâh's Pardon:

                Begging Allâh's Pardon has very great benefits such as:

1.      Forgiveness of the sins: whosoever acknowledges his sin, he'll be forgiven.

2.      Allâh's satisfaction and love: seeking forgiveness is one of the important causes that leads to Allâh's satisfaction and love.

3.      Allâh's Mercy: Allâh, the Exalted, said:  

 لَوْلَا تَسْتَغْفِرُونَ اللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ }النمل46

“Why seek you not the Forgiveness of Allâh, that you may receive mercy?" (An-Naml: 46)

4.       Elimination of the torment: seeking forgiveness is is one of the important causes of elimination of the torment. Allâh, the Exalted, said:  

وَمَا كَانَ اللّهُ لِيُعَذِّبَهُمْ وَأَنتَ فِيهِمْ وَمَا كَانَ اللّهُ مُعَذِّبَهُمْ وَهُمْ يَسْتَغْفِرُونَ }الأنفال33

“And Allâh would not punish them while you (Muhammad - peace be on him -) are amongst them, nor will He punish them while they seek (Allâh's) Forgiveness.”  (Al-Anfal: 33) 

5.      Much welfare and blessing: Hud said to his people:    

وَيَا قَوْمِ اسْتَغْفِرُواْ رَبَّكُمْ ثُمَّ تُوبُواْ إِلَيْهِ يُرْسِلِ السَّمَاء عَلَيْكُم مِّدْرَاراً وَيَزِدْكُمْ قُوَّةً إِلَى قُوَّتِكُمْ وَلاَ تَتَوَلَّوْاْ مُجْرِمِينَ }هود52

“And O my people! Ask forgiveness of your Lord and then repent to Him, He will send you (from the sky) abundant rain, and add strength to your strength, so do not turn away as Mujrimûn (criminals, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allâh)"  (Hud: 52 )

And Nuh said to his people:

فَقُلْتُ اسْتَغْفِرُوا رَبَّكُمْ إِنَّهُ كَانَ غَفَّاراً - يُرْسِلِ السَّمَاء عَلَيْكُم مِّدْرَاراً -

وَيُمْدِدْكُمْ بِأَمْوَالٍ وَبَنِينَ وَيَجْعَل لَّكُمْ جَنَّاتٍ وَيَجْعَل لَّكُمْ أَنْهَاراً }نوح10-12

“I said (to them): "Ask forgiveness from your Lord; Verily, He is Oft-Forgiving; (10) He will send rain to you in abundance; (11) And give you increase in wealth and children, and bestow on you gardens and bestow on you rivers (12)" (Nuh: 10 -12)

6.      Purifying the hearts: seeking forgiveness removes the sin and its effect, so it purifies the heart of the dirts of sins.

7.      Seeking forgiveness is the continuous need of the slave. He needs it during the hours of the night and day, in the sayings and deeds, in the unseen and the seen, due to its benefits, its leading to every good thing, repelling of evils, and seeking increase in the strength for bodily and cardiac faith deeds .[7]

8.      Forbearing, deliberateness and truthfulness: whosoever wants that Allâh deals with him through forbearing, he should be of the forbearers.

And seeking forgiveness make the slave be used to forbearing and deliberateness, and by it, the tongue stands straight and becomes accustomed to saying the truth.

9.      Leading an ascetic life and increased worship: seeking forgiveness needs remorse and repentance, which needs increasing the worship. Allâh, the Exalted, said:   

إِنَّ الْحَسَنَاتِ يُذْهِبْنَ السَّـيِّئَاتِ ذَلِكَ ذِكْرَى لِلذَّاكِرِينَ }هود114

“Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds (i.e. small sins). That is a reminder (an advice) for the mindful (those who accept advice)" (Hud: 114)

10.   Expiation of the sins and raising the ranks: Allâh, the Exalted, said:  

وَمَن يَعْمَلْ سُوءاً أَوْ يَظْلِمْ نَفْسَهُ ثُمَّ يَسْتَغْفِرِ اللّهَ يَجِدِ اللّهَ غَفُوراً رَّحِيماً }النساء110

“And whoever does evil or wrongs himself but afterwards seeks Allâh's Forgiveness, he will find Allâh Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful." (An-Nisa': 110)

And Allâh, the Exalted, said:  

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا تُوبُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ تَوْبَةً نَّصُوحاً عَسَى رَبُّكُمْ أَن يُكَفِّرَ عَنكُمْ سَيِّئَاتِكُمْ وَيُدْخِلَكُمْ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ }التحريم8

“O you who believe! Turn to Allâh with sincere repentance! It may be that your Lord will remit from you your sins, and admit you into Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise)" (At-Tahrim: 8)

11.  Increased provision, wealth and children. Nuh said to his people:

فَقُلْتُ اسْتَغْفِرُوا رَبَّكُمْ إِنَّهُ كَانَ غَفَّاراً - يُرْسِلِ السَّمَاء عَلَيْكُم مِّدْرَاراً -

وَيُمْدِدْكُمْ بِأَمْوَالٍ وَبَنِينَ وَيَجْعَل لَّكُمْ جَنَّاتٍ وَيَجْعَل لَّكُمْ أَنْهَاراً }نوح10-12

“I said (to them): "Ask forgiveness from your Lord; Verily, He is Oft-Forgiving; (10) He will send rain to you in abundance; (11) And give you increase in wealth and children, and bestow on you gardens and bestow on you rivers (12)" (Nuh: 10 -12)

And Allâh, the Exalted, said:  

وَأَنِ اسْتَغْفِرُواْ رَبَّكُمْ ثُمَّ تُوبُواْ إِلَيْهِ يُمَتِّعْكُم مَّتَاعاً حَسَناً إِلَى أَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى وَيُؤْتِ كُلَّ ذِي فَضْلٍ فَضْلَهُ وَإِن تَوَلَّوْاْ فَإِنِّيَ أَخَافُ عَلَيْكُمْ عَذَابَ يَوْمٍ كَبِيرٍ }هود3

“And (commanding you): "Seek the forgiveness of your Lord, and turn to Him in repentance, that He may grant you good enjoyment, for a term appointed, and bestow His abounding Grace to every owner of grace (i.e. the one who helps and serves needy and deserving, physically and with his wealth, and even with good words). But if you turn away, then I fear for you the torment of a Great Day (i.e. the Day of Resurrection)" (Hud: 3)

12.  Increased strength of the body. Hud said:  

وَيَا قَوْمِ اسْتَغْفِرُواْ رَبَّكُمْ ثُمَّ تُوبُواْ إِلَيْهِ يُرْسِلِ السَّمَاء عَلَيْكُم مِّدْرَاراً وَيَزِدْكُمْ قُوَّةً إِلَى قُوَّتِكُمْ وَلاَ تَتَوَلَّوْاْ مُجْرِمِينَ }هود52

“And O my people! Ask forgiveness of your Lord and then repent to Him, He will send you (from the sky) abundant rain, and add strength to your strength, so do not turn away as Mujrimûn (criminals, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allâh)" (Hud: 52 )

13.  Repelling calamities and removal of misfortunes: calamities usually occur due to committing sins. Allâh, the Exalted, said:  

وَمَا أَصَابَكُم مِّن مُّصِيبَةٍ فَبِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِيكُمْ وَيَعْفُو عَن كَثِيرٍ }الشورى30

“And whatever of misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your hands have earned. And He pardons much" (Ash-Shura: 30)

And Allâh, the Exalted, said:  

وَبَلَوْنَاهُمْ بِالْحَسَنَاتِ وَالسَّيِّئَاتِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ }الأعراف168

“And We tried them with good (blessings) and evil (calamities) in order that they might turn (to Allâh's Obedience)" (Al-A'raf: 168)

And Allâh, the Exalted, said:  

فَأَنزَلْنَا عَلَى الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ رِجْزاً مِّنَ السَّمَاء بِمَا كَانُواْ يَفْسُقُونَ }البقرة59

“… so We sent upon the wrong-doers Rijzan (a punishment) from the heaven because of their rebelling against Allâh's Obedience (Al-Baqarah: 59)

So, if the slave seeks forgiveness and repents sincerely, the calamity will be removed by Allâh's Will. Allâh, the Exalted, said:  

مَّا يَفْعَلُ اللّهُ بِعَذَابِكُمْ إِن شَكَرْتُمْ وَآمَنتُمْ وَكَانَ اللّهُ شَاكِراً عَلِيماً }النساء147

“Why should Allâh punish you if you have thanked (Him) and have believed in Him (An-Nisa': 147)

14.  The whiteness and clearness of the heart: the sins have bad effects on the heart and may cause its blackness. The Prophet (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) said:

إِنَّ الْمُؤْمِنَ إِذَا أَذْنَبَ كَانَتْ نُكْتَةٌ سَوْدَاءُ فِي قَلْبِهِ فَإِنْ تَابَ وَنَزَعَ وَاسْتَغْفَرَ صُقِلَ قَلْبُهُ وَإِنْ زَادَ زَادَتْ حَتَّى يَعْلُوَ قَلْبَهُ ذَاكَ الرَّيْنُ الَّذِي ذَكَرَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ فِي الْقُرْآنِ}:  كَلَّا بَلْ رَانَ عَلَى قُلُوبِهِمْ مَا كَانُوا يَكْسِبُونَ{

“If the believer sins, there will be a black spot in his heart, if he repents and seeks forgiveness, his heart will be refined, and if he insists, it will increase until it covers his heart. That is the rust (Arrhine) which Allâh, the Almighty, mentioned in the Qur'an:" Nay! But on their hearts is the Rân (covering of sins and evil deeds) which they used to earn" (Al-Mutaffifin: 14)" [8]

So, seeking forgiveness is a cause of removing the blackness and the rust which may affect the heart due to committing sins.

15.  Allâh's love: sufficient for a grace is Allâh's love. Allâh, the Exalted, said:  

إِنَّ اللّهَ يُحِبُّ التَّوَّابِينَ وَيُحِبُّ الْمُتَطَهِّرِينَ }البقرة222

“Truly, Allâh loves those who turn unto Him in repentance and loves those who purify themselves (by taking a bath and cleaning and washing thoroughly their private parts, bodies, for their prayers, etc.) (Al-Baqarah: 222)

 Conditions of seeking forgiveness:

                There are some conditions which must be fulfilled, so that Allâh's Forgiveness may occur, such as:

1- Sincere direction of the heart towards Allâh and its consciousness of the words: sincerity is the basis for acceptance of acts of obedience. The heart must have sincere direction towards Allâh with showing submissiveness to Him and full consciousness of the words recited by the tongue. So these words must be an expression of the heart's certainty, direction and reverence.

2- Giving up the sins: the seeker for forgiveness must give up the sins he commits. Allâh, the Exalted, said:    

وَلَمْ يُصِرُّواْ عَلَى مَا فَعَلُواْ وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ }آل عمران135

“And do not persist in what (wrong) they have done, while they know.” (Aal-’Imran: 135)

                Fudail bin Iyad (May Allâh have mercy on him) said: “seeking forgiveness without giving up is the repentance of the liars.”[9]

3- Believing by the heart, hopefullness for the reward, and increasing the good deeds. Allâh, the Exalted, said:     

إِلَّا مَن ظَلَمَ ثُمَّ بَدَّلَ حُسْناً بَعْدَ سُوءٍ فَإِنِّي غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ }النمل11

"Except him who has done wrong and afterwards has changed evil for good, then surely, I am Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (An-Naml: 11)

The manners of seeking forgiveness

1-       Purification: the Prophet (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) said:

مَا مِنْ رَجُلٍ يُذْنِبُ ذَنْبًا ثُمَّ يَقُومُ فَيَتَطَهَّرُ ثُمَّ يُصَلِّي ثُمَّ يَسْتَغْفِرُ اللَّهَ إِلَّا غَفَرَ اللَّهُ لَهُ ثُمَّ قَرَأَ هَذِهِ الْآيَةَوَالَّذِينَ إِذَا فَعَلُواْ فَاحِشَةً أَوْ ظَلَمُواْ أَنْفُسَهُمْ ذَكَرُواْ اللّهَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُواْ لِذُنُوبِهِمْ وَمَن يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إِلاَّ اللّهُ وَلَمْ يُصِرُّواْ عَلَى مَا فَعَلُواْ وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ }آل عمران135

 “There is no man who commits a sin then purifies himself perfectly (performs ablution), then asks Forgiveness of Allah but Allâh will forgive him. Then the prophet recited this verse:

 “And those who, when they have committed Fahishah (illegal sexual intercourse etc.) or wronged themselves with evil, remember Allâh and ask forgiveness for their sins; - and none can forgive sins but Allâh - And do not persist in what (wrong) they have done, while they know.” (Aal-’Imran: 135)

2-       Choosing the best times: the slave should choose the suitable time for consciousness and submission of the heart, and the best time for that is the last hours of the night, and Allâh, the Exalted, has praised those who beg Allâh's Pardon at that time.

Allâh, the Exalted, said: 

وَالْمُسْتَغْفِرِينَ بِالأَسْحَارِ }آل عمران17

“… and those who pray and beg Allâh's Pardon in the last hours of the night.” (Aal-'Imran: 17)

3-       Increasing the frequency of begging Allâh's Pardon: the proof for that is the abundance of the Qur'ânic verses and the Prophetic traditions that encourage us to beg Allâh's Pardon, and praise the beggers of Allâh's Pardon.

4-       begging Allâh's Pardon at the end of matters: Ibn Abbas (May Allâh be pleased with them) deduced, that the life of the Messenger (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) is about to end, from (Surat An-Nasr), as he was ordered in it to honor Allâh from all what (unsuitable things) is ascribed to Him and to beg His Pardon.

 Times and situations of begging Allâh's Pardon

                Begging Allâh's Pardon is praiseworthy at certain times and situations, though the gateways of repentance are open all the time, as the Honest Prophet (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) said:"Surely, there is an open gateway of repentance which will not be shut until the sun rises from the West."

But, there are certain times and situations which are better for begging Allâh's Pardon as the response is commonly expected during them such as:   

1- The last hours of the night: Allâh, the Exalted, said:

وَالْمُسْتَغْفِرِينَ بِالأَسْحَارِ }آل عمران17

“… and those who pray and beg Allâh's Pardon in the last hours of the night.”  (Aal-'Imran: 17)

And, Allâh, the Exalted, said:

                   }الذاريات-18  هم يستغفرون و بِالأَسْحَارِ

                “And in the hours before dawn, they were (found) asking (Allâh) for forgiveness.” (Adh-Dhariyat: 18)

And the Prophet (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) said:

يَنْزِلُ رَبُّنَا تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى كُلَّ لَيْلَةٍ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ الدُّنْيَا حِينَ يَبْقَى ثُلُثُ اللَّيْلِ الْآخِرُ يَقُولُ مَنْ يَدْعُونِي فَأَسْتَجِيبَ لَهُ مَنْ يَسْأَلُنِي فَأُعْطِيَهُ مَنْ يَسْتَغْفِرُنِي فَأَغْفِرَ لَهُ

"Our Lord, the Blessed, the Superior, comes every night down on the nearest Heaven to us when the last third of the night remains, saying: "Is there anyone to invoke Me, so that I may respond to invocation? Is there anyone to ask Me, so that I may grant him his request? Is there anyone seeking My forgiveness, so that I may forgive him.”[10]

                2- During and after prayers: such as the opening supplication between declaring Allâh's Greatness by saying:"Allâh's Greater" and reciting (Surat Al-Fatihah) such as:

اللَّهُمَّ بَاعِدْ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَ خَطَايَايَ كَمَا بَاعَدْتَ بَيْنَ الْمَشْرِقِ وَالْمَغْرِبِ اللَّهُمَّ نَقِّنِي مِنْ الْخَطَايَا كَمَا يُنَقَّى الثَّوْبُ الْأَبْيَضُ مِنْ الدَّنَسِ اللَّهُمَّ اغْسِلْ خَطَايَايَ بِالْمَاءِ وَالثَّلْجِ وَالْبَرَدِ

“O Allâh! Set me apart from my sins (faults) as the East and West are set apart from each other and clean me from the sins as a white garment is cleaned of dirt (after thorough washing). O Allâh! Wash off my sins with water, snow and hail.”[11]

                - And one of the opening supplications which include asking Allâh for forgiveness was narrated by Muslim who reported that Ali (May Allâh be pleased with him) reported that whenever the Messenger of Allâh (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) started his prayers, he would say:

وَجَّهْتُ وَجْهِيَ لِلَّذِي فَطَرَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ حَنِيفًا وَمَا أَنَا مِنْ الْمُشْرِكِينَ إِنَّ صَلَاتِي وَنُسُكِي وَمَحْيَايَ وَمَمَاتِي لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ وَبِذَلِكَ أُمِرْتُ وَأَنَا أول الْمُسْلِمِينَ اللَّهُمَّ أَنْتَ الْمَلِكُ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ أَنْتَ رَبِّي وَأَنَا عَبْدُكَ ظَلَمْتُ نَفْسِي وَاعْتَرَفْتُ بِذَنْبِي فَاغْفِرْ لِي ذُنُوبِي جَمِيعًا إِنَّهُ لَا يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ وَاهْدِنِي لِأَحْسَنِ الْأَخْلَاقِ لَا يَهْدِي لِأَحْسَنِهَا إِلَّا أَنْتَ وَاصْرِفْ عَنِّي سَيِّئَهَا لَا يَصْرِفُ عَنِّي سَيِّئَهَا إِلَّا أَنْتَ لَبَّيْكَ وَسَعْدَيْكَ وَالْخَيْرُ كُلُّهُ فِي يَدَيْكَ وَالشَّرُّ لَيْسَ إِلَيْكَ أَنَا بِكَ وَإِلَيْكَ تَبَارَكْتَ وَتَعَالَيْتَ أَسْتَغْفِرُكَ وَأَتُوبُ إِلَيْكَ ثُمَّ يَكُونُ مِنْ آخِرِ مَا يَقُولُ بَيْنَ التَّشَهُّدِ وَالتَّسْلِيمِ: "اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِي مَا قَدَّمْتُ وَمَا أَخَّرْتُ وَمَا أَسْرَرْتُ وَمَا أَعْلَنْتُ وَمَا أَسْرَفْتُ وَمَا أَنْتَ أَعْلَمُ بِهِ مِنِّي أَنْتَ الْمُقَدِّمُ وَأَنْتَ الْمُؤَخِّرُ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ" وفي رواية عند "مسلم": وَإِذَا سَلَّمَ قَالَ « اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِى مَا قَدَّمْتُ ». إِلَى آخِرِ الْحَدِيثِ وَلَمْ يَقُلْ بَيْنَ التَّشَهُّدِ

وَالتَّسْلِيمِ.

“I have turned my face to Him, Who created the heavens and the earth, upright and I am not of the idolaters. Surely, my prayers, my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allâh, the Lord of the worlds. He has no partner. And I have been commanded to do that, and I am the first Muslim. O Allâh! You are the Owner. There is no true god but You. You are my Lord, and I am Your servant, I have wronged my self, and I acknowledge my sin, so, forgive me all my sins for none forgives the sins except You, and guide me to the best morals, for none guides to the best of them except You, and turn me away from the bad morals, for none turns me away from them but You. Here I am responding to You, and at Your pleasure, and all goodness is in Your hands and the evil is not ascribed to You. I seek refuge in You, and You guide me. Blessed and Exalted are You, I ask You for forgiveness and I repent to You »…Then, he used to say towards the end of his prayer between “Tashahhud” and the concluding salutations: "(O Allâh! Forgive my former and latter sins, which I have done secretly and those which I have done openly, and that I have wronged others, and those defaults of mine about which You have better knowledge than I have. You alone can send whomever You will to Paradise, and You Alone can send whomever You will to Hell-fire. None has the right to be worshipped but You.” [12]

                And in another narration of “Muslim”: He used to say after the concluding salutations, not between “Tashahhud” and the concluding salutations: “O Allâh! Forgive my former and latter sins …..”

- And the Prophet (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) used to recite in his bowing:

سُبْحَانَكَ اللَّهُمَّ رَبَّنَا وَبِحَمْدِكَ اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِي

"O Allah! You are free from imperfection and I begin with praising You. Forgive my sins.”[13]

- And while prostrating, the Prophet (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) said:

أَقْرَبُ مَا يَكُونُ الْعَبْدُ مِنْ رَبِّهِ وَهُوَ سَاجِدٌ فَأَكْثِرُوا الدُّعَاءَ

"A slave becomes nearest to his Lord when he is in prostration. So increase supplications while prostrating.”[14]

                And the Prophet (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) used to recite in his prostrating:

اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِي ذَنْبِي كُلَّهُ دِقَّهُ وَجِلَّهُ وَأَوَّلَهُ وَآخِرَهُ وَعَلَانِيَتَهُ وَسِرَّهُ

“O Allâh! Forgive all my sins, the small and the great, the first and the last, the open and the secret.”[15]

- And between the two prostrations, the Prophet (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) used to say:

رب اغفر لي رب اغفر لي

“O my Lord! Forgive me. O my Lord! Forgive me.”[16]

                Abu Bakr (May Allâh be pleased with him) said to the Prophet (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) “Teach me an invocation so that I may invoke Allâh with it in my prayer.” He said:

قُلْ اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي ظَلَمْتُ نَفْسِي ظُلْمًا كَثِيرًا وَلَا يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ فَاغْفِرْ لِي مَغْفِرَةً مِنْ عِنْدِكَ وَارْحَمْنِي إِنَّك أَنْتَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ

“Say: O Allâh! I have done great injustice to myself and none except You forgives sins, so please forgive me and be Merciful to me as You are the Forgiver, the Merciful.” [17]

Some scholars said that it should be recited after “Tashahhud”.

                And in “Sahih Muslim”, Thauban (May Allâh be pleased with him) reported: Whenever the Messenger of Allâh (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) finished his prayer, he would beg forgiveness three times, and then he would say:

اللَّهُمَّ أَنْتَ السَّلاَمُ وَمِنْكَ السَّلاَمُ تَبَارَكْتَ ذَا الْجَلاَلِ وَالإِكْرَامِ .

"O Allâh! You are the Bestower of security and security comes from You; Blessed are You. O Possessor of glory and honour!).''

Al-Walid said: I asked Al-Auza`i (one of the subnarrators of this Hadith): "How forgiveness should be sought?'' He replied: "Say: I seek Forgiveness from Allâh. I seek Forgiveness from Allâh.''

So, asking Allâh for forgiveness accompanies the Muslim during his prayer from its beginning to its end. Nay, it accompanies him after the end of his prayer.

3- And, asking Allâh for forgiveness is praiseworthy at the end of matters, such as assemblies. Abu Dawud reported that Abu Barzah (May Allâh be pleased with him) reported: Towards the end of his life, the Messenger of Allâh (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) would say before leaving an assembly:

"سُبْحَانَكَ اللَّهُمَّ وَبِحَمْدِكَ أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ أَسْتَغْفِرُكَ وَأَتُوبُ إِلَيْكَ" فَقَالَ رَجُلٌ:" يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ إِنَّكَ لَتَقُولُ قَوْلًا مَا كُنْتَ تَقُولُهُ فِيمَا مَضَى." فَقَالَ:"كَفَّارَةٌ لِمَا يَكُونُ فِي الْمَجْلِسِ"

“O Allâh! You are free from imperfection; and I begin with praising You. I testify that there is no true god except You, I ask Your forgiveness and turn to You in repentance.''

A man once said to him: "O Messenger of Allâh! You have spoken such words as you have never uttered before.'' He said, "It is an expiation of that which goes on in the assembly.''[18]

Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar said in “Al-Fath”: Its chain “Sanad” is good.

                - And, whenever the Messenger of Allâh (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) went out of a lavatory, he would say:

غفرانك

 “I seek Your forgiveness.”[19]

                - And, it was mentioned before that the prayer should be ended by seeking forgiveness, it is the same whether it is before the concluding salutations or after it. As regards its being before the concluding salutations, we mentioned the tradition of Abu Bakr as a proof for it, as some scholars said that it should be recited after “Tashahhud”.

  And as regards its being after the concluding salutations, we mentioned the tradition of Thauban as a proof for it.

- And during pilgrimage, Allâh, the Exalted, said:

ثُمَّ أَفِيضُواْ مِنْ حَيْثُ أَفَاضَ النَّاسُ وَاسْتَغْفِرُواْ اللّهَ إِنَّ اللّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ }البقرة199

“Then depart from the place whence all the people depart and ask Allâh for His Forgiveness. Truly, Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most-Merciful.” (Al-Baqarah: 199)

- Towards the end of his life, after “Surat An-Nasr” was revealed to him, the Prophet (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) used to say in his bowing and prostration:

سُبْحَانَكَ اللَّهُمَّ رَبَّنَا وَبِحَمْدِكَ اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِي

“I honor Allâh from all what (unsuitable things) is ascribed to Him. O Allâh Our Lord! And all the praises are for You. O Allâh! Forgive me.”[20]

- And the Prophet, (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) during his last illness just before his death, said:  

اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِي وَارْحَمْنِي وَأَلْحِقْنِي بِالرَّفِيقِ

“O Allâh! Forgive me, bestow Your Mercy on me, and let me join with the companions.”[21]

- And Allâh has mentioned the story of Nuh (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him), and after He, I honor Him from all what (unsuitable things) is ascribed to Him,      mentioned the destruction of Nuh's people by drowning, He mentioned that Nuh said:   

رَبِّ اغْفِرْ لِي وَلِوَالِدَيَّ وَلِمَن دَخَلَ بَيْتِيَ مُؤْمِناً وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ وَلَا تَزِدِ الظَّالِمِينَ إِلَّا تَبَاراً }نوح28

“O My Lord! Forgive me, and my parents, and him who enters my home as a believer, and all the believing men and women. And to the Zâlimûn (polytheists, wrong-doers, and disbelievers, etc.) grant You no increase but destruction!" (Nuh: 28)

- And seeking Allâh's Forgiveness after committing a sin is praiseworthy. Nay, it is mandatory. Allâh, the Exalted, said:

وَمَن يَعْمَلْ سُوءاً أَوْ يَظْلِمْ نَفْسَهُ ثُمَّ يَسْتَغْفِرِ اللّهَ يَجِدِ اللّهَ غَفُوراً رَّحِيماً }النساء110

“And whoever does evil or wrongs himself but afterwards seeks Allâh's Forgiveness, he will find Allâh Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (An-Nisa': 110)

And Allâh, the Exalted, said:

وَأَقِمِ الصَّلاَةَ طَرَفَيِ النَّهَارِ وَزُلَفاً مِّنَ اللَّيْلِ إِنَّ الْحَسَنَاتِ يُذْهِبْنَ السَّـيِّئَاتِ ذَلِكَ ذِكْرَى لِلذَّاكِرِينَ }هود114

“And perform As-Salât (prayers), at the two ends of the day and in some hours of the night. Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds (i.e. small sins). That is a reminder (an advice) for the mindful (those who accept advice).” (Hud: 114)

And Abd Allâh bin Mas`ud (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

أَنَّ رَجُلًا أَصَابَ مِنْ امْرَأَةٍ قُبْلَةً فَأَتَى رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَذَكَرَ ذَلِكَ لَهُ فَأُنْزِلَتْ عَلَيْهِ "وَأَقِمْ الصَّلَاةَ طَرَفَيْ النَّهَارِ وَزُلَفًا مِنْ اللَّيْلِ إِنَّ الْحَسَنَاتِ يُذْهِبْنَ السَّيِّئَاتِ ذَلِكَ ذِكْرَى لِلذَّاكِرِينَ" قَالَ الرَّجُلُ: أَلِيَ هَذِهِ؟ قَالَ: لِمَنْ عَمِلَ بِهَا مِنْ أُمَّتِي.

“A man kissed a woman and he came to the Prophet (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) and made a mention of that to him. It was (on this occasion) that this verse was revealed:

 “And perform As-Salât (prayers), at the two ends of the day and in some hours of the night. Verily, the good deeds remove the evil deeds (i.e. small sins). That is a reminder (an advice) for the mindful (those who accept advice).” (Hud: 114)

That person said, "O Messenger of Allah! Does it concern me only?"

He said, "It concerns the whole of my nation.”[22]

                And this is Yunus (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him):

وَذَا النُّونِ إِذ ذَّهَبَ مُغَاضِباً فَظَنَّ أَن لَّن نَّقْدِرَ عَلَيْهِ فَنَادَى فِي الظُّلُمَاتِ أَن لَّا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنتَ سُبْحَانَكَ إِنِّي كُنتُ مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ }الأنبياء87

“And (remember) Dhan-Nûn (Jonah), when he went off in anger, and imagined that We shall not punish him (i.e. the calamites which had befallen him)! But he cried through the darkness (saying): “none has the right to be worshipped but You, Glorified (and Exalted) are You [above all that (evil) they associate with You. Truly, I have been of the wrong-doers." (Al-Anbiya': 87)

                And when Allâh commanded the believers to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), He said after that:

وَتُوبُوا إِلَى اللَّهِ جَمِيعاً أَيُّهَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ }النور31

“And all of you beg Allâh to forgive you all, O believers! That you may be successful (An-Nur: 31)

                So, after committing a sin, every slave should hasten to beg Allâh to forgive him this sin specially, and all his sins in general, so that he may meet Him with his sins forgiven.

- And seeking Allâh's Forgiveness during the eclipse of the sun and moon is praiseworthy, as the sun and the moon are two signs amongst the signs of Allâh, the Most High, with which He frightens His devotees. And the Prophet (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) said:

فَإِذَا رَأَيْتُمْ شَيْئًا مِنْ ذَلِكَ فَافْزَعُوا إِلَى ذِكْرِهِ وَدُعَائِهِ وَاسْتِغْفَارِهِ

“So when you see anything thereof, proceed to remember Allâh, invoke Him and ask for His forgiveness.”[23]

- And seeking Allâh's Forgiveness is praiseworthy when the Muslim gets up at night, while he is at bed,  as Al-Bukhari reported that 'Ubada bin As-Samit (May Allâh be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) said:

 مَنْ تَعَارَّ مِنْ اللَّيْلِ فَقَالَ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ لَهُ الْمُلْكُ وَلَهُ الْحَمْدُ وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ وَسُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ وَلَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَاللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ وَلَا حَوْلَ وَلَا قُوَّةَ إِلَّا بِاللَّهِ ثُمَّ قَالَ اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِي أَوْ دَعَا اسْتُجِيبَ لَهُ فَإِنْ تَوَضَّأَ وَصَلَّى قُبِلَتْ صَلَاتُهُ

"Whoever gets up at night and says :( None has the right to be worshipped but Allâh. He is the Only One and has no partners. For Him is the Kingdom and all the praises are due for Him. He is the Omnipotent. All the praises are for Allâh. All the glories are for Allâh. And none has the right to be worshipped but Allâh, And Allâh is Greater, And there is neither Might nor Power Except with Allâh). And then says :( O Allâh! Forgive me). Or invokes (Allâh), he will be responded to and if he performs ablution (and prays), his prayer will be accepted.”[24]

- And seeking Allâh's Forgiveness is praiseworthy when the Muslim gets up at night to pray,  as Al-Bukhari and Muslim reported that Ibn 'Abbas (May Allâh be pleased with them) said that the Prophet (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) used to invoke Allâh at night, saying:

اللَّهُمَّ لَكَ الْحَمْدُ أَنْتَ قَيِّمُ السَّمَوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَمَنْ فِيهِنَّ وَلَكَ الْحَمْدُ لَكَ مُلْكُ السَّمَوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَمَنْ فِيهِنَّ وَلَكَ الْحَمْدُ أَنْتَ نُورُ السَّمَوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَمَنْ فِيهِنَّ وَلَكَ الْحَمْدُ أَنْتَ مَلِكُ السَّمَوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَلَكَ الْحَمْدُ أَنْتَ الْحَقُّ وَوَعْدُكَ الْحَقُّ وَلِقَاؤُكَ حَقٌّ وَقَوْلُكَ حَقٌّ وَالْجَنَّةُ حَقٌّ وَالنَّارُ حَقٌّ وَالنَّبِيُّونَ حَقٌّ وَمُحَمَّدٌ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ حَقٌّ وَالسَّاعَةُ حَقٌّ اللَّهُمَّ لَكَ أَسْلَمْتُ وَبِكَ آمَنْتُ وَعَلَيْكَ تَوَكَّلْتُ وَإِلَيْكَ أَنَبْتُ وَبِكَ خَاصَمْتُ وَإِلَيْكَ حَاكَمْتُ فَاغْفِرْ لِي مَا قَدَّمْتُ وَمَا أَخَّرْتُ وَمَا أَسْرَرْتُ وَمَا أَعْلَنْتُ أَنْتَ الْمُقَدِّمُ وَأَنْتَ الْمُؤَخِّرُ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ أَوْ لَا إِلَهَ غَيْرُك

"O Allâh! All the Praises are for You. You are the Lord of the Heavens and the Earth. All the Praises are for You; You are the Maintainer of the Heavens and the Earth and whatever is in them. All the Praises are for You; You are the Light of the Heavens and the Earth. Your Word is the Truth,  Your Promise is the Truth, the Meeting with You is the Truth, Paradise is the Truth, the (Hell) Fire is the Truth, and the Hour is the Truth. O Allah! I surrender myself to You, I believe in You, I depend upon You, I repent to You, with You (Your evidences) I stand against my opponents, and to You I leave the judgment (for those who refuse my message). O Allah! Forgive my former and latter sins, which I have done secretly and those which I have done openly. You Alone can send whomever You will to Paradise, and You Alone can send whomever You will to Hell-fire. None has the right to be worshipped but You.”[25]

- And seeking Allâh's Forgiveness is praiseworthy at other times at which the supplication is praiseworthy, as seeking Allâh's Forgiveness is a type of supplication, as it is a supplication of seeking Allâh's Forgiveness, even though, as I mentioned before, the gateways of repentance are open all the time, as the Honest Prophet (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) said:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ يَبْسُطُ يَدَهُ بِاللَّيْلِ لِيَتُوبَ مُسِيءُ النَّهَارِ وَيَبْسُطُ يَدَهُ بِالنَّهَارِ لِيَتُوبَ مُسِيءُ اللَّيْلِ حَتَّى تَطْلُعَ الشَّمْسُ مِنْ مَغْرِبِهَا

“Allâh, the Exalted, will continue to stretch out His Hand in the night so that the sinners of the day may repent, and continue to stretch His Hand in the daytime so that the sinners of the night may repent, until the sun rises from the west.”[26]

And one of the bedouins said, "O Messenger of Allâh! Tell me something to which I may hold fast.'' He said:

لا يزال لسانك رطبا بذكر الله

"Keep your tongue wet with the remembrance of Allâh.”[27]

 Some forms of seeking Allâh's Forgiveness from the Holy Qur`an:

سَمِعْنَا وَأَطَعْنَا غُفْرَانَكَ رَبَّنَا وَإِلَيْكَ الْمَصِيرُ }البقرة285

"We hear, and we obey. (We seek) Your Forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the return (of all)." (Al-Baqarah: 285)

رَبَّنَا لاَ تُؤَاخِذْنَا إِن نَّسِينَا أَوْأَخْطَأْنَا رَبَّنَا وَلاَ تَحْمِلْ عَلَيْنَا إِصْراً كَمَا حَمَلْتَهُ عَلَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِنَا رَبَّنَا وَلاَ تُحَمِّلْنَا مَا لاَ طَاقَةَ لَنَا بِهِ وَاعْفُ عَنَّا وَاغْفِرْ لَنَا وَارْحَمْنَا أَنتَ مَوْلاَنَا فَانصُرْنَا عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَافِرِينَ }البقرة286

"Our Lord! Punish us not if we forget or fall into error, our Lord! Lay not on us a burden like that which You did lay on those before us (Jews and Christians); our Lord! Put not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Pardon us and grant us Forgiveness. Have mercy on us. You are our Maulâ (Patron, Suppor-ter and Protector, etc.) and give us victory over the disbelieving people." (Al-Baqarah: 286)

رَبَّنَا إِنَّنَا آمَنَّا فَاغْفِرْ لَنَا ذُنُوبَنَا وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ }آل عمران16

"Our Lord! We have indeed believed, so forgive us our sins and save us from the punishment of the Fire." (Aal-’Imran: 16)

وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا فَعَلُواْ فَاحِشَةً أَوْ ظَلَمُواْ أَنْفُسَهُمْ ذَكَرُواْ اللّهَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُواْ لِذُنُوبِهِمْ وَمَن يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إِلاَّ اللّهُ وَلَمْ يُصِرُّواْ عَلَى مَا فَعَلُواْ وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ }آل عمران135

“And those who, when they have committed Fahishah (illegal sexual intercourse etc.) or wronged themselves with evil, remember Allâh and ask forgiveness for their sins; - and none can forgive sins but Allâh - And do not persist in what they have done, while they know.” (Aal-'Imran: 135)

وَمَا كَانَ قَوْلَهُمْ إِلاَّ أَن قَالُواْ ربَّنَا اغْفِرْ لَنَا ذُنُوبَنَا وَإِسْرَافَنَا فِي أَمْرِنَا وَثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَنَا وانصُرْنَا عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَافِرِينَ }آل عمران147

“And they said nothing but:"Our Lord! Forgive us our sins and our transgressions (in keeping our duties to You), establish our feet firmly, and give us victory over the disbelieving folk." (Aal-’Imran: 147)

رَّبَّنَا إِنَّنَا سَمِعْنَا مُنَادِياً يُنَادِي لِلإِيمَانِ أَنْ آمِنُواْ بِرَبِّكُمْ فَآمَنَّا رَبَّنَا فَاغْفِرْ لَنَا ذُنُوبَنَا وَكَفِّرْ عَنَّا سَيِّئَاتِنَا وَتَوَفَّنَا مَعَ الأبْرَارِ }آل عمران193

"Our Lord! Forgive us our sins and remit from us our evil deeds, and make us die in the state of righteousness along with Al-Abrâr (those who are obedient to Allâh and follow strictly His Orders).” (Aal-’Imran: 193)

وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِن رَّسُولٍ إِلاَّ لِيُطَاعَ بِإِذْنِ اللّهِ وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ إِذ ظَّلَمُواْ أَنفُسَهُمْ جَآؤُوكَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُواْ اللّهَ وَاسْتَغْفَرَ لَهُمُ الرَّسُولُ لَوَجَدُواْ اللّهَ تَوَّاباً رَّحِيماً }النساء64

“We sent no Messenger, but to be obeyed by Allâh's Leave. If they (hypocrites), when they had been unjust to themselves, had come to you (Muhammad) and begged Allâh's Forgiveness, and the Messenger had begged forgiveness for them: indeed, they would have found Allâh All-Forgiving (One Who accepts repentance), Most Merciful (An-Nisa': 64)

وَاسْتَغْفِرِ اللّهَ إِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ غَفُوراً رَّحِيماً }النساء106

“And seek the Forgiveness of Allâh, certainly, Allâh is Ever Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (An-Nisa': 106)

وَمَن يَعْمَلْ سُوءاً أَوْ يَظْلِمْ نَفْسَهُ ثُمَّ يَسْتَغْفِرِ اللّهَ يَجِدِ اللّهَ غَفُوراً رَّحِيماً }النساء110

“And whoever does evil or wrongs himself but afterwards seeks Allâh's Forgiveness, he will find Allâh Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (An-Nisa': 110)

أَفَلاَ يَتُوبُونَ إِلَى اللّهِ وَيَسْتَغْفِرُونَهُ وَاللّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ }المائدة74

“Will they not repent to Allâh and ask His Forgiveness? For Allâh is Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful.”(Al-Ma'idah': 74)

قَالَ رَبِّ اغْفِرْ لِي وَلأَخِي وَأَدْخِلْنَا فِي رَحْمَتِكَ وَأَنتَ أَرْحَمُ الرَّاحِمِينَ }الأعراف151

“Mûsa (Moses) said: "O my Lord! Forgive me and my brother, and make us enter into Your Mercy, for You are the Most Merciful of those who show mercy." (Al-Ma'idah': 151)

 أَنتَ وَلِيُّنَا فَاغْفِرْ لَنَا وَارْحَمْنَا وَأَنتَ خَيْرُ الْغَافِرِينَ }الأعراف155

“You are our Walî (Protector), so forgive us and have Mercy on us, for You are the Best of those who forgive.” (Al-Ma'idah': 155)

رَبَّنَا آمَنَّا فَاغْفِرْ لَنَا وَارْحَمْنَا وَأَنتَ خَيْرُ الرَّاحِمِينَ }المؤمنون109

"Our Lord! We believe, so forgive us, and have mercy on us, for You are the Best of all who show mercy!" (Al-Mu'minun: 109)

وَأَنِ اسْتَغْفِرُواْ رَبَّكُمْ ثُمَّ تُوبُواْ إِلَيْهِ يُمَتِّعْكُم مَّتَاعاً حَسَناً إِلَى أَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى وَيُؤْتِ كُلَّ ذِي فَضْلٍ فَضْلَهُ وَإِن تَوَلَّوْاْ فَإِنِّيَ أَخَافُ عَلَيْكُمْ عَذَابَ يَوْمٍ كَبِيرٍ }هود3

“And (commanding you): "Seek the forgiveness of your Lord, and turn to Him in repentance, that He may grant you good enjoyment, for a term appointed, and bestow His abounding Grace to every owner of grace (i.e. the one who helps and serves needy and deserving, physically and with his wealth, and even with good words). But if you turn away, then I fear for you the torment of a Great Day (i.e. the Day of Resurrection).” (Hud: 3)

وَيَا قَوْمِ اسْتَغْفِرُواْ رَبَّكُمْ ثُمَّ تُوبُواْ إِلَيْهِ يُرْسِلِ السَّمَاء عَلَيْكُم مِّدْرَاراً وَيَزِدْكُمْ قُوَّةً إِلَى قُوَّتِكُمْ وَلاَ تَتَوَلَّوْاْ مُجْرِمِينَ }هود52

"And O my people! Ask forgiveness of your Lord and then repent to Him, He will send you (from the sky) abundant rain, and add strength to your strength, so do not turn away as Mujrimûn (criminals, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allâh)." (Hud: 52)

 وَاسْتَغْفِرُواْ رَبَّكُمْ ثُمَّ تُوبُواْ إِلَيْهِ إِنَّ رَبِّي رَحِيمٌ وَدُودٌ }هود90

"And ask forgiveness of your Lord and turn unto Him in repentance. Verily, my Lord is Most Merciful, Most Loving." (Hud: 90)

قَالَ سَوْفَ أَسْتَغْفِرُ لَكُمْ رَبِّيَ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ }يوسف98

“He said: "I will ask my Lord for forgiveness for you, verily He! Only He is the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful." (Yusuf: 98)

رَبَّنَا آمَنَّا فَاغْفِرْ لَنَا وَارْحَمْنَا وَأَنْتَ خَيْرُ الرَّاحِمِينَ} المؤمنون 109

"Our Lord! We believe, so forgive us, and have mercy on us, for You are the Best of all who show mercy!" (Al-Mu'minun: 109)

وَقُل رَّبِّ اغْفِرْ وَارْحَمْ وَأَنتَ خَيْرُ الرَّاحِمِينَ }المؤمنون118

 “And say (O Muhammad!): "My Lord! Forgive and have mercy, for You are the Best of those who show mercy!" (Al-Mu'minun: 118)

إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَإِذَا كَانُوا مَعَهُ عَلَى أَمْرٍ جَامِعٍ لَمْ يَذْهَبُوا حَتَّى يَسْتَأْذِنُوهُ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَسْتَأْذِنُونَكَ أُوْلَئِكَ الَّذِينَ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ فَإِذَا اسْتَأْذَنُوكَ لِبَعْضِ شَأْنِهِمْ فَأْذَن لِّمَن شِئْتَ مِنْهُمْ وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُمُ اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ }النور62

“The true believers are only those, who believe in (the Oneness of) Allâh and His Messenger (Muhammad), and when they are with him on some common matter, they go not away until they have asked his permission. Verily! Those who ask your permission, those are they who (really) believe in Allâh and His Messenger. So if they ask your permission for some affairs of theirs, give permission to whom you will of them, and ask Allâh for their forgiveness. Truly, Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful." (An-Nur: 62)

قَالَ رَبِّ إِنِّي ظَلَمْتُ نَفْسِي فَاغْفِرْ لِي }القصص16

“He said: "My Lord! Verily, I have wronged myself, so forgive me." (Al-Qasas: 16)

رَبَّنَا اغْفِرْ لَنَا وَلِإِخْوَانِنَا الَّذِينَ سَبَقُونَا بِالْإِيمَانِ وَلَا تَجْعَلْ فِي قُلُوبِنَا غِلّاً لِّلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا رَبَّنَا إِنَّكَ رَؤُوفٌ رَّحِيمٌ }الحشر10

"Our Lord! Forgive us and our brethren who have preceded us in Faith, and put not in our hearts any hatred against those who have believed. Our Lord! You are indeed full of kindness, Most Merciful.” (Al-Hashr: 10)

رَبَّنَا لَا تَجْعَلْنَا فِتْنَةً لِّلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا وَاغْفِرْ لَنَا رَبَّنَا إِنَّكَ أَنتَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ }الممتحنة5

"Our Lord! Make us not a trial for the disbelievers, and forgive us, Our Lord! Verily, You, only You are the All-Mighty, the All-Wise." (Al-Mumtahinah: 5)

رَبَّنَا أَتْمِمْ لَنَا نُورَنَا وَاغْفِرْ لَنَا إِنَّكَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ }التحريم8

"Our Lord! Keep perfect our Light for us [and do not put it off till we cross over the Sirât (a slippery bridge over the Hell) safely] and grant us forgiveness. Verily, You are Able to do all things." (At-Tahrim: 8)

                رَبِّ اغْفِرْ لِي وَلِوَالِدَيَّ وَلِمَن دَخَلَ بَيْتِيَ مُؤْمِناً وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ وَلَا تَزِدِ الظَّالِمِينَ إِلَّا تَبَاراً }نوح28

"My Lord! Forgive me, and my parents, and him who enters my home as a believer, and all the believing men and women. And to the Zâlimûn  (polytheists, wrong-doers, and disbelievers, etc.) grant You no increase but destruction!" (Nuh: 28)

 Some forms of seeking Forgiveness from the Purified Traditions:

                These are some forms of seeking forgiveness which the chosen Prophet (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) said:

At-Tirmidhi narrated on the authority of Bilal bin Yasar bin Zaid, that his Father told him that his Grandfather heard the Prophet (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) saying:

مَنْ قَالَ أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللَّهَ الَّذِي لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الْحَيَّ الْقَيُّومَ وَأَتُوبُ إِلَيْهِ غُفِرَ لَهُ وَإِنْ كَانَ قَدْ فَرَّ مِنْ الزَّحْفِ

"He who says: ` (I seek the forgiveness of Allâh, there is no true god except Allâh, the Ever-Living, the Self-Subsisting, and I turn to Him in repentance),' his sins will be forgiven even if he should have run away from the battlefield (while he was engaged in fighting for the Cause of Allâh).''[28]

And he (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) said:

اللَّهُمَّ أَنْتَ رَبِّي لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ خَلَقْتَنِي وَأَنَا عَبْدُكَ وَأَنَا عَلَى عَهْدِكَ وَوَعْدِكَ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُ أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّ مَا صَنَعْتُ أَبُوءُ لَكَ بِنِعْمَتِكَ عَلَيَّ وَأَبُوءُ لَكَ بِذَنْبِي فَاغْفِرْ لِي فَإِنَّهُ لَا يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ           

“O Allâh! You are my Lord. There is no true god but You. You created me and I am Your servant, and I abide to Your covenant and promise as best as I could. I seek refuge in You from the evil of what I have done. I acknowledge Your Grace You have bestowed on me, and I acknowledge my sin, forgive me for none forgives sins except you.”[29]

And he (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) said:

رَبِّ اغْفِرْ لِي وَتُبْ عَلَيَّ إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ التَّوَّابُ الرَّحِيمُ

“My Lord! Forgive me and pardon me. Indeed, You are the Oft-Returning with compassion and Ever Merciful.”[30]

And he (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) said:

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي ظَلَمْتُ نَفْسِي ظُلْمًا كَثِيرًا وَلَا يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ فَاغْفِرْ لِي مَغْفِرَةً مِنْ عِنْدِكَ وَارْحَمْنِي إِنَّك أَنْتَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ

“O Allah! I have done great injustice to myself and none except You forgives sins, so please forgive me and be Merciful to me as You are the Forgiver, the Merciful.”[31]

And Aishah (May Allâh be pleased with her) reported: Prior to his demise, the Messenger of Allâh (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) used to supplicate frequently:

سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ وَبِحَمْدِهِ أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللَّهَ وَأَتُوبُ إِلَيْهِ

“Allâh is free from imperfection, and I begin with praising Him. I beg forgiveness from Allâh and I turn to Him in repentance.”[32]

And he (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) said:

اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِي خَطِيئَتِي وَجَهْلِي وَإِسْرَافِي فِي أَمْرِي وَمَا أَنْتَ أَعْلَمُ بِهِ مِنِّي اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِي هَزْلِي وَجدي وَخَطَئيَ وَعَمْدِي وَكُلُّ ذَلِكَ عِنْدِي

"O Allâh! Forgive my errors, ignorance and immoderation in my affairs. You are better aware of my faults than myself. O Allâh! Forgive my faults which I committed in seriousness or in fun, deliberately or inadvertently, and all of that has occured.”[33]

And he (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) said:

اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِي ذَنْبِي وَوَسِّعْ لِي فِي دَارِي وَبَارِكْ لِي فِي رزقي

“O Allâh! Forgive my errors, enlarge my home, and bless my provision.”[34]

And he (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) said:

اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّا نَسْأَلُكَ مُوجِبَاتِ رَحْمَتِكَ ، وَعَزَائِمَ مَغْفِرَتِكَ ، وَالسَّلاَمَةَ مِنْ كُلِّ إِثْمٍ ، وَالْغَنِيمَةَ مِنْ كُلِّ بِرٍّ ، وَالْفَوْزَ بِالْجَنَّةِ ، وَالنَّجَاةَ مِنَ النَّارِ

“O Allâh! I beg You for that which incites Your Mercy and the means of Your forgiveness, the safety from every sin, the benefit from every good deed, the success in attaining Paradise and deliverance from Fire).”[35]

And he (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) said:

اللهُمَّ ! اغْفِرْ لِي خَطَايَايَ وَذُنُوبِي كُلَّهَا ؛ اللهُمَّ ! انْعِشْنِي وَاجْبُرْنِي وَاهْدِنِي لِصَالِحِ الْأَعْمَالِ وَالْأَخْلاقِ ، إِنَّهُ لا يَهْدِي لِصَالِحِهَا وَلا يَصْرِفُ سَيِّئَهَا إِلَّا أَنْتَ

“O Allâh! Forgive all my errors and sins. O Allâh! Turn away my poverty, and guide me to the best deeds and morals, for none guides to the best of them, and turns away the worst of them for none turns away the worst of them except You.” [36]

And he (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) said:

اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِي مَا قَدَّمْتُ وَمَا أَخَّرْتُ وَمَا أَسْرَرْتُ وَمَا أَعْلَنْتُ أَنْتَ الْمُقَدِّمُ وَأَنْتَ الْمُؤَخِّرُ وَأَنْتَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

“O Allâh! Forgive my former and latter sins, which I have done secretly and those which I have done openly, and that I have wronged others, and those defaults of mine about which You have better knowledge than I have. You Alone can send whomever You will to Paradise, and You Alone can send whomever You will to Hell-fire. None has the right to be worshipped but You.”[37]

 The ranks of seeking Allâh's Forgiveness

The first rank: seeking Allâh's Forgiveness by the tongue:

                It has many benefits and blessings, one of its blessings is that it leads to seeking Allâh's Forgiveness by the heart, and it may be accompanied by the Response of Allâh, the Most Generous, the Most Forgiving. And one of its minor benefits and blessings is that it is better than silence, and by it, the slave becomes used to saying good things.

And by doing it continuously, he becomes attracted to doing good deeds, gives up evil deeds and its causes, and hates them.

And he who says by the tongue only:(I seek Allâh's Forgiveness), but doesn't repent, if Allâh responds to him, his sins will be forgiven, but this is unknown to us, so his repentance is considered not valid.

So, whoever said :(It is the repentance of liars), means that it isn't repentance as some people think, as repentance is not accomplished with insistence, so, seeking Allâh's Forgiveness by the tongue even though it is good in general, but it is of minor benefit, and it is usually not accepted, as the Prophet (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) said:

اعلموا أن الله لا يستجيب دعاءً من قلب غافل لاه

“Know that Allâh doesnot respond to the supplication of an unconscious heart not reflecting on the words of the supplication.”       

                Imam An-Nawawi reported that Ar-Rabi’ bin Khuthaim said: “None of you should say: (I seek Allâh's Forgiveness and turn to Him in repentance.), for it will be a sin and a lie if he doesnot do. Nay, he should say :(O Allâh! Forgive me, and accept my repentance.)

                Imam An-Nawawi (May Allâh have mercy on him) said: “His (Ar-Rabi’) speech is good as regards (O Allâh! Forgive me, and accept my repentance.), but I donot agree with him as regards his believing that saying :(I seek Allâh's Forgiveness) is blameworthy, and his calling it a lie, as (I seek Allâh's Forgiveness) means:(I need His Forgiveness), and there is no lie in this speech.”

The second rank with the near fruits: seeking Allâh's Forgiveness by the heart: It is very effective in purifying the hearts from its impurities, very beneficial, and highly rewarded from Allâh. By it, Allâh removes the troubles and glooms, sends His Mercies and Blessings, and turns away the evils.  

The third rank with the perfect virtues: seeking Allâh's Forgiveness by the heart and tongue: It reforms the body and the heart, and it is the source of success and good things. Nay, it is the best benefit and the collection of blessings. By it forgiveness and mercies descend, the reward for good deeds is doubled, the bad deeds are expiated, the ranks are raised, and the deeds are blessed. It is the origin of happiness. By it the hearts are refined, complete purification of the sins occur, and calamities are pushed away from all creatures.[38]

The virtue of seeking Allâh's Forgiveness:

Allâh, the Exalted, said:

وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا فَعَلُواْ فَاحِشَةً أَوْ ظَلَمُواْ أَنْفُسَهُمْ ذَكَرُواْ اللّهَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُواْ لِذُنُوبِهِمْ وَمَن يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إِلاَّ اللّهُ وَلَمْ يُصِرُّواْ عَلَى مَا فَعَلُواْ وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ }آل عمران135

“And those who, when they have committed Fahishah (illegal sexual intercourse etc.) or wronged themselves with evil, remember Allâh and ask forgiveness for their sins; - and none can forgive sins but Allâh - And do not persist in what (wrong) they have done, while they know.” (Aal-'Imran: 135)

         Alqamah and Al-Aswad reported: Abd Allâh bin Mas’ud (May Allâh be pleased with him) said : "There is no slave who commits a sin then recites the following two verses, and asks Forgiveness of Allâh but Allâh, the Exalted, will forgive him.

وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا فَعَلُواْ فَاحِشَةً أَوْ ظَلَمُواْ أَنْفُسَهُمْ .....}آل عمران135

"And those who, when they have committed Fahishah (illegal sexual intercourse etc.) or wronged themselves with evil, remember Allâh and ask forgiveness for their sins; - and none can forgive sins but Allâh - And do not persist in what (wrong) they have done, while they know."(Aal-'Imran: 135)

وَمَن يَعْمَلْ سُوءاً أَوْ يَظْلِمْ نَفْسَهُ ثُمَّ يَسْتَغْفِرِ اللّهَ يَجِدِ اللّهَ غَفُوراً رَّحِيماً }النساء110

“And whoever does evil or wrongs himself but afterwards seeks Allâh's Forgiveness, he will find Allâh Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful."(An-Nisa': 110)"

And Allâh, the Exalted, said:

فَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ وَاسْتَغْفِرْهُ إِنَّهُ كَانَ تَوَّاباً }النصر3

“So glorify the Praises of your Lord, and ask for His Forgiveness. Verily, He is the One Who accepts the repentance and forgives." (An-Nasr: 3)

And Allâh, the Exalted, said:

الصَّابِرِينَ وَالصَّادِقِينَ وَالْقَانِتِينَ وَالْمُنفِقِينَ وَالْمُسْتَغْفِرِينَ بِالأَسْحَارِ }آل عمران17

"(They are) those who are patient ones, those who are true (in Faith, words, and deeds), those who are obedient with sincere devotion in worship to Allâh, those who spend [give the Zakât and alms in the Way of Allâh] and those who pray and beg Allâh's Pardon in the last hours of the night."(Aal-'Imran: 17)

And the Prophet (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) used to say:

سُبْحَانَكَ اللَّهُمَّ رَبَّنَا وَبِحَمْدِكَ اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِي       

“I honor Allâh from all what (unsuitable things) is ascribed to Him. O Allâh Our Lord! And all the praises are for You. O Allâh! Forgive me.”[39]

And it was reported that he (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) said:

مَنْ أَكْثَرَ مِنْ الِاسْتِغْفَارِ جَعَلَ اللَّهُ لَهُ مِنْ كُلِّ هَمٍّ فَرَجًا وَمِنْ كُلِّ ضِيقٍ مَخْرَجًا وَرَزَقَهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لَا يَحْتَسِبُ

"If anyone constantly seeks pardon (from Allâh), Allâh will appoint for him a way out of every distress and a relief from every anxiety, and will provide sustenance for him from where he expects not.”[40]

And he (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) said:

إِنِّي لَأَسْتَغْفِرُ اللَّهَ وَأَتُوبُ إِلَيْهِ فِي الْيَوْمِ سَبْعِينَ مَرَّةً

“I supplicate Allâh for forgiveness and turn to Him in repentance a seventy times in a day.”[41]

He said that though his sins of the past and the future have been forgiven, and he (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) said:

إِنَّهُ لَيُغَانُ عَلَى قَلْبِي وَإِنِّي لَأَسْتَغْفِرُ اللَّهَ فِي كُلِّ يَوْمٍ مِائَةَ مَرَّةٍ

“Sometimes I perceive a veil over my heart, and I supplicate Allâh for forgiveness a hundred times in a day.”[42]

And he (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) said:

مَنْ قَالَ أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللَّهَ الَّذِي لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الْحَيَّ الْقَيُّومَ وَأَتُوبُ إِلَيْهِ غُفِرَ لَهُ وَإِنْ كَانَ قَدْ فَرَّ مِنْ الزَّحْفِ

"He who says: ` (I seek the forgiveness of Allâh, there is no true god except Allâh, the Ever-Living, the Self-Subsisting, and I turn to Him in repentance),' his sins will be forgiven even if he should have run away from the battlefield (while he was engaged in fighting for the Cause of Allâh).”[43]

                And Aishah (May Allâh be pleased with her) said: the Prophet (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) said to me: "If you have committed a sin, ask Forgiveness of Allâh, and repent to Him, as the repentace is the remorse and asking Forgiveness of Allâh."

And the Prophet (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) used to say for asking Forgiveness of Allâh:

اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِي خَطِيئَتِي وَجَهْلِي وَإِسْرَافِي فِي أَمْرِي وَمَا أَنْتَ أَعْلَمُ بِهِ مِنِّي اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِي هَزْلِي وَجدي وَخَطَئيَ وَعَمْدِي وَكُلُّ ذَلِكَ عِنْدِي اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِي مَا قَدَّمْتُ وَمَا أَخَّرْتُ وَمَا أَسْرَرْتُ وَمَا أَعْلَنْتُ أَنْتَ وَمَا أَنْتَ أَعْلَمُ بِهِ مِنِّي الْمُقَدِّمُ وَأَنْتَ الْمُؤَخِّرُ وَأَنْتَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

“O Allâh! Forgive my errors, ignorance and immoderation in my affairs. You are better aware of my faults than myself. O Allâh! Forgive my faults which I committed in seriousness or in fun, deliberately or inadvertently, and all of that has occured. O Allâh! Forgive my former and latter sins, which I have done secretly and those which I have done openly, and that I have wronged others, and those defaults of mine about which You have better knowledge than I have. You Alone can send whomever You will to Paradise, and You Alone can send whomever You will to Hell-fire. None has the right to be worshipped but You.”[44]

Ali (May Allâh be pleased with him) said: Abu Bakar (May Allâh be pleased with him) said: the Prophet (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) said:

ما من عبد يذنب ذنبا فيحسن الطهور ثم يقوم فيصلي ركعتين ثم يستغفر الله إلا غفر الله له

"There is no man who commits a sin then purifies himself perfectly (performs ablution), then asks for the Forgiveness of Allâh but Allâh will forgive him." Then the Prophet recited this verse:

وَالَّذِينَ إِذَا فَعَلُواْ فَاحِشَةً أَوْ ظَلَمُواْ أَنْفُسَهُمْ ذَكَرُواْ اللّهَ فَاسْتَغْفَرُواْ لِذُنُوبِهِمْ وَمَن يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إِلاَّ اللّهُ وَلَمْ يُصِرُّواْ عَلَى مَا فَعَلُواْ وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ }آل عمران135

“And those who, when they have committed Fahishah (illegal sexual intercourse etc.) or wronged themselves with evil, remember Allâh and ask forgiveness for their sins; - and none can forgive sins but Allâh - And do not persist in what (wrong) they have done, while they know.” (Aal-'Imran: 135)[45]

                And Abu Hurairah said: the Prophet (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) said:

إِنَّ الْمُؤْمِنَ إِذَا أَذْنَبَ كَانَتْ نُكْتَةٌ سَوْدَاءُ فِي قَلْبِهِ فَإِنْ تَابَ وَنَزَعَ وَاسْتَغْفَرَ صُقِلَ قَلْبُهُ وَإِنْ زَادَ زَادَتْ حَتَّى يَعْلُوَ قَلْبَهُ ذَاكَ الرَّيْنُ الَّذِي ذَكَرَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ فِي الْقُرْآنِ":  كَلَّا بَلْ رَانَ عَلَى قُلُوبِهِمْ مَا كَانُوا يَكْسِبُونَ"

“If the believer sins, there will be a black spot in his heart, if he repents and seeks forgiveness, his heart will be refined, and if he insists, it will increase until it covers his heart. That is the rust (Ar- Rân) which Allâh, the Almighty, mentioned in the Qur'an:

"Nay! But on their hearts is the Rân (covering of sins and evil deeds) which they used to earn."(Al-Mutaffifin: 14)[46]

                And Abu Hurairah said: the Prophet (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) said:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ لَيَرْفَعُ الدَّرَجَةَ لِلْعَبْدِ الصَّالِحِ فِي الْجَنَّةِ فَيَقُولُ يَا رَبِّ أَنَّى لِي هَذِهِ فَيَقُولُ بِاسْتِغْفَارِ وَلَدِكَ لَكَ

“Surely, Allâh, the Exalted, raises the grade of the rightous slave in  Paradise, so he says: O my Lord! How could I reach this grade? Allâh, the Exalted, says: By seeking your child forgiveness for you. "

And the Prophet (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) said:

 “If a slave commits a sin then he says :( O Allâh, forgive my sin), Allâh says :( My slave committed a sin and then he realized that he has a Lord Who forgives the sin and punishes for the sin. O My slave do whatever you like, as I have granted forgiveness to you.”[47]

                And the Prophet (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) said:

يَقُولُ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ يَا عِبَادِي يا عبادي إنكم تخطئون بالليل والنهار وأنا أغفر الذنوب جميعا فاستغفروني أغفر لكم

"Allâh, the Exalted, and Glorious, said: “O My slaves! You commit sins night and day and I forgive all sins, so seek My Forgiveness and I shall forgive you.”[48]

                And Abu Hurairah said: the Prophet (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) said:

وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ لَوْ لَمْ تُذْنِبُوا لَذَهَبَ اللَّهُ بِكُمْ وَلَجَاءَ بِقَوْمٍ يُذْنِبُونَ فَيَسْتَغْفِرُونَ اللَّهَ فَيَغْفِرُ لَهُمْ

“By the One in Whose Hand my soul is! If you do not commit sins, Allâh would replace you with a people who would commit sins and seek forgiveness from Allâh; and Allâh will certainly forgive them.”[49]

Some sayings of Muslim scholars:

                Khalid bin Ma’dan said: Allâh, the Exalted, said:" The dearest among you to Me are those who have mutual love for the sake of Me, those whose hearts are attached to the mosques (i.e. to pray the compulsory prayers in the mosque in congregation), and those who beg Allâh's Pardon in the last hours of the night. Those are the slaves whom I do not punish if I intend to punish other people”

                And Qatadah said: “Al-Qur`an guides you to your disease and your treatment, as regards your disease, it is the sins, and as for your treatment, it is seeking forgiveness.”

                And Ali bin Abi Talib (May Allâh be pleased with him) said:  “What a strange slave who perishes while the cause of salvation is with him. He was asked: What is it? He said: Seeking forgiveness. And he said: Allâh, the Exalted, never inspires a slave to seek His Forgiveness, while He intends to punish him.”

            And Al-Fudail said: “The explanation of the slave's saying:(I seek Allâh's Forgiveness.) is : O Allâh! Save me.”

               And some scholars said: “The slave is fluctuated between a sin and a grace, which are not reformed but by seeking the Forgiveness of Allâh, and ascribing all the praises to Him."

                And Al-Fudhail said: “Seeking the Forgiveness of Allâh without giving up is the repentance of liars.”

                And Rabi’ah Al-‘Adawiyah said: “Our seeking the Forgiveness of Allâh needs a lot of seeking Forgiveness.”

                And some scholars said: “He who seeks the Forgiveness of Allâh without remorse mocks at Allâh while he knows not.”

                And a bedouin said while he was holding the covering of the Ka'ba: "O Allâh! Surely, my seeking Your Forgiveness with my insistence is a plot, and my leaving of seeking Your Forgiveness with my knowledge of Your expanded Pardon is disability. How many times You grant me graces with Your unnecessity for me, and how many times I commit sins with my necessity for You. O He who fulfills His Promise if He promises, and forgives if He threatens! Forgive my great sin by Your Pardon, O the Best of those who show mercy!”

                Abu Abd Allâh Al-Warraq used to supplicate saying: “O Allâh! I seek Your forgiveness for what I repented to You from, then I returned to it.

And I seek Your forgiveness for what I promised You to do, then I didn't fulfill it. And I seek Your forgiveness for what I pretended that I seeked Your Face while doing it, but my heart was affected by what You know. And I seek Your forgiveness for the graces You bestowed on me, but I used them in disobeying You.

O All­Knower of the unseen and the seen! I seek Your forgiveness for every sin I committed secretly or openly[50]

                Hold fast to seeking forgiveness, and remember seeking forgiveness of the Infallible (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him), as no slave is free from sin but the Prophets.

Hold fast to seeking forgiveness, as it is the strongest fortress against the occurrence of faults and calamities.

                If you commit a sin, you must seek forgiveness, as these sins have been bound to your necks before your birth, and persisting in it is the destruction.

I am astonished at him who despairs of Allâh's Mercy, while he has the erazor (seeking forgiveness).

                Do not neglect seeking forgiveness even though you have committed the sin since a long time, as you are sure of the sin, while the forgiveness is suspected.

                He whom Allâh has bestowed a grace on, should ascribe all the praises and thanks to Him. And, he whose provision was delayed, should seek forgiveness.

                The slave must renew the repentance to Allâh and increase seeking His Forgiveness for every sin to which his heart is attached.

                The repentance is not to forget his sin, not to persist in it, and to repent and seek forgiveness every time he sins.

                There are some hearts which seek forgiveness before committing a sin, so, they are rewarded before doing a good deed.

                Checking body parts every morning and evening for thanking for its well being, seeking forgiveness for its sins, and purifying the faith by repentance and eating allowed food.

                Hold fast to seeking forgiveness, if you could not, hold fast to doing good deeds, and I can not find an execuse for you for not holding fast to doing good deeds, as it is the first degree of ascending.  

 Some selections about seeking Forgiveness of Allâh

I seek Allâh's Forgiveness for my knowledge and my deeds

I seek Allâh's Forgiveness for my greed and my hope.

I seek Allâh's Forgiveness for the evil I have committed and my wronging in my early days.

I seek Allâh's Forgiveness for what may have been concealed or revealed

and the (evil) deed which pleases myself 

I seek Allâh's Forgiveness for my envy, inferiority, self-conceit, might , and plots

I seek Allâh's Forgiveness for my sense and myself

I seek Allâh's Forgiveness for my secret and apparent deeds

I seek Allâh's Forgiveness for an unknown idolatry, my disobedience, my criminality and my errors.

I seek Allâh's Forgiveness for my delusion, whisper and a plot of myself I may imagine.

I seek Allâh's Forgiveness for denial of the grace of Allâh who bestowed on me a great grace.

                             A poem of seeking Forgiveness of Allâh

I seek Forgiveness of Allâh, the Lord of pardon, for my faults, a Merciful Lord, giving goodness eternally

I seek Allâh's Forgiveness for hurting the creatures of men, jinns, other animals and Angels.

I seek Allâh's Forgiveness for falling into doubtful things, and eating forbidden or blameworthy foods.

I seek Allâh's Forgiveness for exhibiting my wisdom, while my heart is full of faults.

I seek Allâh's Forgiveness for my farness from Allâh's Way, innovations, evil, oppression, and niggardliness.

I seek Allâh's Forgiveness for my pride and arrogance, which have changed for me the seas of goodness into a small spring.

Some of the treasures of seeking Allâh's Forgiveness:

O Allâh! If I do not deserve Your Mercy, It deserves to embrace me, as it embraces all things, O the Best of those who show mercy!

                O Allah! Forgive my former and latter sins, which I have done secretly and those which I have done openly, and that I have wronged others, and those defaults of mine about which You have better knowledge than I have. You Alone can send whomever You will to Paradise, and You Alone can send whomever You will to Hell-fire. None has the right to be worshipped but You. Forgive me.

O Allâh! Forgive all my sins, the small and the major, the first and the last, the open and the secret. I acknowledge Your Grace You have bestowed on me, and I acknowledge wronging my self. O the Great! Forgive me as no one forgives the major sins but the Great Lord.

                O Allâh! I seek Your forgiveness for what I repented to You from, then I returned to it.

And I seek Your forgiveness for what I promised You to do, then I didn't fulfill it.

And I seek Your forgiveness for what I pretended that I seeked Your Face while doing it, but my heart was affected by what You know.

O All­Knower of the unseen and the seen! I seek Your forgiveness for every sin I committed secretly or openly.

O Allâh! You are my Lord. There is no true god but You. You created me and I am Your servant, and I abide to Your covenant and promise as best as I could. I seek refuge in You from the evil of what I have done. I acknowledge Your Grace You have bestowed on me, and I acknowledge my sin, forgive me for none forgives sins except you.

I seek the Forgiveness of Allâh, the Great, there is no true god except Allâh, the Ever-Living, the Self-Subsisting, neither slumber, nor sleep overtakes Him, and I turn to Him in repentance.

O Allâh! Your Forgiveness embraces my sins, and Your Mercy is better for me than my deeds.

 The great effect of seeking the Forgiveness of Allâh and some of its benefits:

1.      It makes the slave used to continuous feeling of acknowledgement of his sin and omission, and decreasing the frequency of it leads to pride and boasting of the worship, as if he regards it as a favour to his Lord.

And, he who has this feeling, deserves Allâh's Hatred and repelling of his deeds, whatever they are. As regards the slave who seeks the Forgiveness of Allâh frequently, he deserves to be accepted by Him, and to be guided to other good deeds.

2.      It renews the life, removes the effects of the calamities on the heart, and illuminates the mind. Have you not seen how Allâh commanded His Prophet Muhammad (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) after the battle of Uhod, and his companions' disobeying of his orders not to leave their places?

So, when this occurred, Allâh commanded him saying:

فَاعْفُ عَنْهُمْ وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ وَشَاوِرْهُمْ فِي الأَمْرِ }آل عمران159

“so pass over (their faults), and ask (Allâh's) Forgiveness for them; and consult them in the affairs." (Aal-'Imran: 159)

These are three divine orders to the Prophet inspite of what they did.

It is the divine Mercy and the Prophetic kindness, the Messenger asks Allâh's Forgiveness for them for what they did, and this asking for Allâh's Forgiveness made them forget what happened, and removed the effects of this disobedience from them, so their lives were renewed, and they (May Allâh be pleased with them, and please them) were pleased with that. 

3.      It purifies the faults and omission during the worship, such as the internal speech of oneself, or even the speech of the tongue, as what the pilgrim does of sexual relations (with his wife), sin, and disputing unjustly, so seeking the Forgiveness of Allâh frequently removes the effects of that by Allâh's Mercy.  Allâh, the Most High, said: 

ثُمَّ أَفِيضُواْ مِنْ حَيْثُ أَفَاضَ النَّاسُ وَاسْتَغْفِرُواْ اللّهَ إِنَّ اللّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ }البقرة199

"Then depart from the place whence all the people depart and ask Allâh for His Forgiveness. Truly, Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most-Merciful." (Al-Baqarah: 199)

4.      Seeking the Forgiveness of Allâh frequently leads to the forgiveness of the sins by Allâh's Will. Allâh, the Most High, said: 

وَمَن يَعْمَلْ سُوءاً أَوْ يَظْلِمْ نَفْسَهُ ثُمَّ يَسْتَغْفِرِ اللّهَ يَجِدِ اللّهَ غَفُوراً رَّحِيماً }النساء110

“And whoever does evil or wrongs himself but afterwards seeks Allâh's Forgiveness, he will find Allâh Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful."(An-Nisa': 110)

This means that He forgives the great sin for the slave who seeks Allâh's Forgiveness, and repents to Him

5.      Seeking the Forgiveness of Allâh frequently leads to guidance to the good deeds which deserve the reward, and repel the punishment, as seeking the Forgiveness of Allâh is a good deed, and the good deed leads to more good deeds, and this occurs by Allâh's Guidance and Hospitality.

6.      Seeking the Forgiveness of Allâh frequently leads to clearness of the heart, its purification from moral impurities, and its submission to Him, as the Prophet (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) said:

إِنَّهُ لَيُغَانُ عَلَى قَلْبِي وَإِنِّي لَأَسْتَغْفِرُ اللَّهَ فِي كُلِّ يَوْمٍ مِائَةَ مَرَّةٍ

"Sometimes I perceive a veil over my heart, and I supplicate Allâh for forgiveness a hundred times in a day.”[51]

7.      Seeking the Forgiveness of Allâh preserves the health, increases the strength, removes the psychic weakness, relax the conscience, calms the nerves, and strengthen the proof. Hud said:   

وَيَا قَوْمِ اسْتَغْفِرُواْ رَبَّكُمْ ثُمَّ تُوبُواْ إِلَيْهِ يُرْسِلِ السَّمَاء عَلَيْكُم مِّدْرَاراً وَيَزِدْكُمْ قُوَّةً إِلَى قُوَّتِكُمْ وَلاَ تَتَوَلَّوْاْ مُجْرِمِينَ }هود52

"And O my people! Ask forgiveness of your Lord and then repent to Him, He will send you (from the sky) abundant rain, and add strength to your strength, so do not turn away as Mujrimûn (criminals, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allâh)." (Hud: 52)

And the increase in the strength includes every type of strength.

8.      Seeking the Forgiveness of Allâh frequently increases the trust in Allâh and His Mercy, and makes the slave near to his Lord, so He bestows His Forgiveness and Mercy on him. 

9.      Seeking the Forgiveness of Allâh frequently appoints a way out of every distress and a relief from every anxiety, increases the provision, facilitates its ways, and opens the gates of welfare, as it was reported that the Prophet (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) said:

مَنْ أَكْثَرَ مِنْ الِاسْتِغْفَارِ جَعَلَ اللَّهُ لَهُ مِنْ كُلِّ هَمٍّ فَرَجًا وَمِنْ كُلِّ ضِيقٍ مَخْرَجًا وَرَزَقَهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لَا يَحْتَسِبُ

"If anyone constantly seeks pardon (from Allâh), Allâh will appoint for him a way out of every distress and a relief from every anxiety, and will provide sustenance for him from where he expects not.”  

10.  Seeking the Forgiveness of Allâh facilitates all matters, prepare its doers, and preserves the state of the slave.

11.  Seeking the Forgiveness of Allâh frequently leads to succession of the good things, increase of the rainfall, land fertility, and flowing of milk copiously. Hud said:   

وَيَا قَوْمِ اسْتَغْفِرُواْ رَبَّكُمْ ثُمَّ تُوبُواْ إِلَيْهِ يُرْسِلِ السَّمَاء عَلَيْكُم مِّدْرَاراً وَيَزِدْكُمْ قُوَّةً إِلَى قُوَّتِكُمْ وَلاَ تَتَوَلَّوْاْ مُجْرِمِينَ }هود52

"And O my people! Ask forgiveness of your Lord and then repent to Him, He will send you (from the sky) abundant rain, and add strength to your strength, so do not turn away as Mujrimûn (criminals, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allâh)." (Hud: 52)

12.  It prolongs the life and makes it blessed. Allâh, the Most High, said:   

وَأَنِ اسْتَغْفِرُواْ رَبَّكُمْ ثُمَّ تُوبُواْ إِلَيْهِ يُمَتِّعْكُم مَّتَاعاً حَسَناً إِلَى أَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى }هود3

" And (commanding you): "Seek the forgiveness of your Lord, and turn to Him in repentance, that He may grant you good enjoyment, for a term appointed." ( Hud: 3)

13.  It saves the slave from the frightful horrors of the Day of Resurrection. Allâh, the Most High, said:   

وَأَنِ اسْتَغْفِرُواْ رَبَّكُمْ ثُمَّ تُوبُواْ إِلَيْهِ يُمَتِّعْكُم مَّتَاعاً حَسَناً إِلَى أَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى وَيُؤْتِ كُلَّ ذِي فَضْلٍ فَضْلَهُ وَإِن تَوَلَّوْاْ فَإِنِّيَ أَخَافُ عَلَيْكُمْ عَذَابَ يَوْمٍ كَبِيرٍ (3) إِلَى اللّهِ مَرْجِعُكُمْ وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ }هود3-4

"And (commanding you): "Seek the forgiveness of your Lord, and turn to Him in repentance, that He may grant you good enjoyment, for a term appointed, and bestow His abounding Grace to every owner of grace (i.e. the one who helps and serves needy and deserving, physically and with his wealth, and even with good words). But if you turn away, then I fear for you the torment of a Great Day (i.e. the Day of Resurrection) (3) To Allâh is your return, and He is Able to do all things (4) " (Hud: 3 - 4)

14.  It doubles the reward for the good deeds, removes the retribution of the evil deeds, and raises the grades. Allâh, the Most High, said:   

وَأَنِ اسْتَغْفِرُواْ رَبَّكُمْ ثُمَّ تُوبُواْ إِلَيْهِ يُمَتِّعْكُم مَّتَاعاً حَسَناً إِلَى أَجَلٍ مُّسَمًّى وَيُؤْتِ كُلَّ ذِي فَضْلٍ فَضْلَهُ }هود3

"And (commanding you): "Seek the forgiveness of your Lord, and turn to Him in repentance, that He may grant you good enjoyment, for a term appointed, and bestow His abounding Grace to every owner of grace  "(Hud: 3)

Ibn Mas’ud (May Allâh be pleased with him) explained this part of this verse

وَيُؤْتِ كُلَّ ذِي فَضْلٍ فَضْلَهُ

"… and bestow His abounding Grace to every owner of grace … " (Hud: 3)

Saying: "Whoever brings an evil deed shall have only the recompense of the like thereof, and whoever brings a good deed shall have ten times the like thereof to his credit." And seeking the Forgiveness of Allâh is one of the greatest deeds.

15.  It is a cause of good enjoyment during this worldy life, which includes all what the slave enjoys of allowed things as the wife, the children, the house, the means of transport…etc.

16.  Whoever asks the Forgiveness of Allâh and turn to Him in repentance frequently, is near to Him, and deserves the response to his supplication. Saleh said to his people:  

فَاسْتَغْفِرُوهُ ثُمَّ تُوبُواْ إِلَيْهِ إِنَّ رَبِّي قَرِيبٌ مُّجِيبٌ }هود61

"..then ask forgiveness of Him and turn to Him in repentance. Certainly, my Lord is Near (to all by His Knowledge), Responsive." (Hud: 61)

17.  Whoever asks the Forgiveness of Allâh is near to His Mercy, Love, and Courteousness, as He is the Most Merciful, Most Loving for the seekers for His Forgiveness, and the repenting to Him. Shu'aib said:      

وَاسْتَغْفِرُواْ رَبَّكُمْ ثُمَّ تُوبُواْ إِلَيْهِ إِنَّ رَبِّي رَحِيمٌ وَدُودٌ }هود90

"And ask forgiveness of your Lord and turn unto Him in repentance. Verily, my Lord is Most Merciful, Most Loving." (Hud: 90)

18.  It leads to the love of Allâh, and enough is that as a grace. Allâh, the Most High, said:

إِنَّ اللّهَ يُحِبُّ التَّوَّابِينَ وَيُحِبُّ الْمُتَطَهِّرِينَ }البقرة222

“Truly, Allâh loves those who turn unto Him in repentance and loves those who purify themselves (by taking a bath and cleaning and washing thoroughly their private parts, bodies, for their prayers, etc.)" (Al-Baqarah: 222)

And " those who turn unto Him in repentance" means the seekers for His Forgiveness.

19.  It expiates the sins and raises the grades, as the Prophet (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) said:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ لَيَرْفَعُ الدَّرَجَةَ لِلْعَبْدِ الصَّالِحِ فِي الْجَنَّةِ فَيَقُولُ: يَا رَبِّ أَنَّى لِي هَذِهِ؟ فَيَقُولُ: بِاسْتِغْفَارِ وَلَدِكَ لَكَ.

“Surely, Allâh, the Exalted, raises the grade of the rightous slave in  Paradise, so he says: O my Lord! How could I reach this grade? Allâh, the Exalted, says: By seeking your child My forgiveness for you.”[52]

20.  Seeking the Forgiveness of Allâh frequently grows in the psyche perfecting the character of humiliation and submission to Allâh, and this removes the boasting of the deeds, and this is a high grade of complete slavery, while stopping it or decreasing its frequency denotes ascribing righteousness and straightness to oneself, and the slave may become arrogant, and think that he is such and such.

21.  Seeking the Forgiveness of Allâh and repenting to Him frequently teach the slave to accept people's execuses, as Allâh accepts seeking His Forgiveness and repentance to Him, so the slave should do the same, as he should deal with their faults towards him in the same way he wants Allâh to deal with him, as the recompence is of the same kind of the deeds, so he should deals with the sins of the creatures towards him as he wants Allâh to deals with his sins, so his mercy embraces them with fulfilling the commands of Allâh as regards them.

22.  Seeking the Forgiveness of Allâh and repenting to Him frequently increase the fear of Allâh in the heart, so it becomes clear, weeping, fearful, easily affected, and regretful all the time.

23.  Whoever asks the Forgiveness of Allâh frequently belittle his deeds as he knows that the perfect worship of Allâh is to obey Him, to be grateful to Him, to remember Him as much as possible.

24.  Seeking the Forgiveness of Allâh frequently removes the chronic diseases of the heart, grows the sweetness of obedience in it, makes the slave near to Allâh, removes his solitude, and increases his eagerness to meet his Lord. 

25.  It expiates the major sins as running away from the battlefield, as the Prophet (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) said:

مَنْ قَالَ أَسْتَغْفِرُ اللَّهَ الَّذِي لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الْحَيَّ الْقَيُّومَ وَأَتُوبُ إِلَيْهِ غُفِرَ لَهُ وَإِنْ كَانَ قَدْ فَرَّ مِنْ الزَّحْفِ

" He who says: ` (I seek the Forgiveness of Allâh, there is no true god except Allâh, the Ever-Living, the Self-Subsisting, and I turn to Him in repentance),' his sins will be forgiven even if he should have run away from the battlefield (while he was engaged in fighting for the Cause of Allâh).”[53]

26.  It helps the slave to sleep, calms his revolting psyche, and removes anxiety and evil whispers of Satan.

27.  It intercedes for the dead, leads to his steadfastness in the tomb, and alleviate the torment by Allâh's Will, as Uthman bin `Affan (May Allâh be pleased with him) reported: After the burial of a dead man, the Prophet (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) would stand by the grave and say:

استغفروا لأخيكم واسألوا له التثبيت فإن الآن يسأل

"Ask Allâh to forgive your brother and supplicate for him for steadfastness because he is being questioned (about his deeds) now.”[54]

28.  It leads to the Love of Allâh, the Most High, and His slaves, and grows the love between Muslims.

29.  It eases the travelling for the travellers, protects them from its evils, and preserves their families and properties.

30.  If the slave gathers seeking the Forgiveness of Allâh, honoring Him from  imperfection; and glorifying the praises of Him together in the time period after the midnoon till sunset and in the time period from sunrise till before midnoon, the response will be highly expected. And this itself is an education of the psyche and a purification of the heart, and by this overcoming the psyche occurs at first, then the other form of victory in the real life occurs. Allâh, the Most High, said:

فَاصْبِرْ إِنَّ وَعْدَ اللَّهِ حَقٌّ وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لِذَنبِكَ وَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ بِالْعَشِيِّ وَالْإِبْكَارِ }غافر55

“So be patient (O Muhammad!). Verily, the Promise of Allâh is true, and ask forgiveness for your fault, and glorify the praises of your Lord in the Ashi (i.e. the time period after the midnoon till sunset) and in the Ibkâr (i.e. the time period from early morning or sunrise till before midnoon)" (Ghafir: 55)

31.  Seeking the Forgiveness of Allâh frequently makes the slave think that he has no grace or right on any one of  Allâh's slaves, as he knows that there are many slaves who are better than him and doing more good deeds with higher level of sincerity, while he who seeks the Forgiveness of Allâh and repents to Him rarely, is characterized by continuous blaming of people, complaining of their neglecting to give him his rights, and discontentment with them and they are more discontented with him.

32.  Seeking the Forgiveness of Allâh and repentance to Him frequently busy the slave with his defects, so he stops thinking and talking about the defects of other people. And blessed are those who are interested in their defects, not in the defects of other people, and woe unto those who are interested in the defects of other people, not in their defects.

33.  The asker for the Forgiveness of Allâh performs good deeds continuously for the benefit of other people, asks for the Forgiveness of Allâh for his believing brothers frequently, and says usually: "O My Lord! Forgive me, my parents, and all the Muslim men and women.", as he knows that his brothers need asking for the Forgiveness of Allâh and repentance to Him. Allâh, the Most High, said:   

وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لِذَنبِكَ وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ }محمد19

"…and ask forgiveness for your sin, and also for (the sin of) believing men and believing women." (Muhammad: 19)

34.  The asker for the Forgiveness of Allâh remembers Allâh, and this leads to remembering him by Allâh, as Allâh, the Most High, said:    

فَاذْكُرُونِي أَذْكُرْكُمْ }البقرة152

"Therefore remember Me (by praying, glorifying, etc.). I will remember you" (Al-Baqarah: 152)

Ibn Al-Qayyim said: "If there is no advantage in the remembrance of Allâh but this advantage, enough is it as a grace and honor."

35.  Seeking the Forgiveness of Allâh frequently is a type of remembrance of Allâh, the Most High, and this is a safeguard against hypocrisy, as the hypocrites remember Allâh rarely.          

وَلاَ يَذْكُرُونَ اللّهَ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً }النساء142

"…and they do not remember Allâh but little." (An-Nisa': 142)

Ka’ab said: “He who remembers Allâh, the Most High, frequently, is free from hypocrisy.”

36.  Seeking the Forgiveness of Allâh is a companion of knowledge, and by both of them, the slave's grade is raised in this worldy life and in the Hereafter, and the pious scholar seeks the Forgiveness of Allâh and repents to Him continuously. Allâh, the Most High, said:    

فَاعْلَمْ أَنَّهُ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَاسْتَغْفِرْ لِذَنبِكَ وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ وَاللَّهُ يَعْلَمُ مُتَقَلَّبَكُمْ وَمَثْوَاكُمْ }محمد19

"So know (O Muhammad!) that Lâ ilâha ill-Allâh (none has the right to be worshipped but Allâh), and ask forgiveness for your sin, and also for (the sin of) believing men and believing women (Muhammad:19)

37.  It has no benefit at all if conjugated with major hypocrisy. Allâh, the Most High, said about the hypocrites' asking for seeking His Forgiveness while they are liars:

سيقول لك المخلفون من الأعراب: شغلتنا أموالنا وأهلونا فاستغفر لنا يَقُولُونَ بِأَلْسِنَتِهِم مَّا لَيْسَ فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ }الفتح11

"Those of the bedouins who lagged behind will say to you: "Our possessions and our families occupied us, so ask forgiveness for us." They say with their tongues what is not in their hearts" (Al-Fath: 11)

38.  It recompensates for the defects in the worship and every thing the slave did not do,or did in a defective manner, as in the long verse of Surat Al-Muzzammil, . Allâh, the Most High, encouraged us to ask forgiveness after reciting the Qur'ân, fighting the enemies, performing As-Salât (the prayers), giving Zakât (the obligatory charity), and lending to Him a goodly loan. Allâh, the Most High, said:    

وَمَا تُقَدِّمُوا لِأَنفُسِكُم مِّنْ خَيْرٍ تَجِدُوهُ عِندَ اللَّهِ هُوَ خَيْراً وَأَعْظَمَ أَجْراً وَاسْتَغْفِرُوا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ }المزمل20

“…and whatever good you send before you for yourselves, (i.e. Nawâfil non-obligatory acts of worship: prayers, charity, fasting, Hajj and 'Umrah, etc.), you will certainly find it with Allâh, better and greater in reward. And seek Forgiveness of Allâh. Verily, Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most-Merciful.” (Al-Muzzammil: 20)

39.  It is a cause for the victory of this religion and this nation, specially if it is done by the Messenger (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him), the Rightly-Guided Caliphs or the pious scholars and worshippers. As-Sa’di (May Allâh have mercy on him) said in the explanation of Surat An-Nasr: "It denotes that the victory of this religion continues and increases when glorifying the Praises of Allâh, and asking for His Forgiveness is done by the Messenger (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) as it is a form of gratefullness. And this has occurred in the period of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs and after them, as Allâh's Help has been continuous to the extent that Islam has reached what no other religion has reached.

40.  It is a safeguard against the general torment and excision for the nation and the individuals inspite of the occurrence of the causes of torment, and if there is no advantage for it but this advantage, enough is it as a grace. Even the pagans of Quraish inspite of their wrongful repulsive saying, ignorance, obstinacy, and ugly behavior in their saying which they said publicly:                       

وَإِذْ قَالُواْ اللَّهُمَّ إِن كَانَ هَـذَا هُوَ الْحَقَّ مِنْ عِندِكَ فَأَمْطِرْ عَلَيْنَا حِجَارَةً مِّنَ السَّمَاءِ أَوِ ائْتِنَا بِعَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ }الأنفال32

“And (remember) when they said: "O Allâh! If this (the Qur'ân) is indeed the truth (revealed) from You, then rain down stones on us from the sky or bring on us a painful torment." (Al-Anfal: 32)

They were afraid the torment may afflict them, so they were seeking the Forgiveness of Allâh secretly. And Ibn Abbas[55] said: “There were two safeguards against the torment of Allâh on the earth, the Prophet (peace be on him), and seeking Allâh's Forgiveness: the Prophet has gone, and seeking Allâh's Forgiveness is still present." So, what an easy safeguard against the torment of Allâh in this worldy life and in the Hereafter, for whom He has made it easy. And the Islamic nation, on the individual and general levels, should remember this safeguard, increase its frequency, and behave in accordance with its requirements.

All the praises and thanks be to Allâh for His Mercy and Courteousness to His slaves. Allâh, the Most High, said:      

وَإِذْ قَالُواْ اللَّهُمَّ إِن كَانَ هَـذَا هُوَ الْحَقَّ مِنْ عِندِكَ فَأَمْطِرْ عَلَيْنَا حِجَارَةً مِّنَ السَّمَاءِ أَوِ ائْتِنَا بِعَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ }الأنفال32

“And (remember) when they said: "O Allâh! If this (the Qur'ân) is indeed the truth (revealed) from You, then rain down stones on us from the sky or bring on us a painful torment." (Al-Anfal: 32)

This verse is related to the pagans of Quraish who are the leaders of paganism, and inspite of that Allâh, the Most High, was kind to them, and gave them the safeguard against the torment, what about the certain monotheists even if they commit faults, so this is the safeguard against the torment. We ask Allâh to guide us to what pleases Him.      

41.  It leads to receiving Allâh's Mercy, descending of His guidance into the hearts, and steadfastness of the belief in Him, as all His Messengers invited their peoples to seek forgiveness for their disbelief and sins, and this is Sâlih (Saleh) who invited his people to increase the good deeds, to stop the bad deeds, not to hasten the torment, and to seek  forgiveness, as this leads to receiving Allâh's Mercy. Allâh, the Most High, said:        

وَلَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا إِلَى ثَمُودَ أَخَاهُمْ صَالِحاً أَنِ اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ فَإِذَا هُمْ فَرِيقَانِ يَخْتَصِمُونَ  -  قَالَ يَا قَوْمِ لِمَ تَسْتَعْجِلُونَ بِالسَّيِّئَةِ قَبْلَ الْحَسَنَةِ لَوْلَا تَسْتَغْفِرُونَ اللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ }النمل45-46

“And indeed We sent to Thamûd their brother Sâlih (Saleh), saying: "Worship Allâh (Alone and none else). Then look! They became two parties (believers and disbelievers) quarreling with each other (46) He said: "O my people! Why do you seek to hasten the evil (torment) before the good (Allâh's Mercy)? Why seek you not the Forgiveness of Allâh, that you may receive mercy?" (An-Naml: 45-46)

42.  Seeking the Forgiveness of Allâh with returning to Him truthfully leads to forgiveness of the sin whatever it is, raises the grade in the hereafter, makes the slave near to Him on the Day of Resurrection, makes the Paradise his residency by Allâh's Mercy and Will, and reforms his relation with Allâh, as what happened to the Prophet  Dâwûd (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) of Allâh's Courteousness to him, his repentance, and that his grade raised after seeking the forgiveness and repentance so that his state became better than before. Allâh, the Most High, said:        

وَظَنَّ دَاوُودُ أَنَّمَا فَتَنَّاهُ فَاسْتَغْفَرَ رَبَّهُ وَخَرَّ رَاكِعاً وَأَنَابَ - فَغَفَرْنَا لَهُ ذَلِكَ وَإِنَّ لَهُ عِندَنَا لَزُلْفَى وَحُسْنَ مَآبٍ }ص24-25

“And Dâwûd (David) guessed that We have tried him and he sought Forgiveness of his Lord, and he fell down prostrate and turned (to Allâh) in repentance (24) So We forgave him that, and verily, for him is a near access to Us, and a good place of (final) return (25) " (Saad: 24 – 25 )

43.  It is an essential necessity of the slaves of the Most Beneficent in this worldy life and in the Hereafter, as the Bearers of the Throne, who are of the best and largest Angles, seek forgiveness for those who believe continuously. And this shows the importance of seeking forgiveness and the essential necessity of the slaves for it for entering the Paradise, and surely, it is one of the benefits and advantages of faith, and this is a great honor for the believers that Allâh has made those Angels ready to seek forgiveness for them in their absence. Allâh, the Most High, said:         

الَّذِينَ يَحْمِلُونَ الْعَرْشَ وَمَنْ حَوْلَهُ يُسَبِّحُونَ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّهِمْ وَيُؤْمِنُونَ بِهِ وَيَسْتَغْفِرُونَ لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا رَبَّنَا وَسِعْتَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ رَّحْمَةً وَعِلْماً فَاغْفِرْ لِلَّذِينَ تَابُوا وَاتَّبَعُوا سَبِيلَكَ وَقِهِمْ عَذَابَ الْجَحِيمِ }غافر7

"Those (angels) who bear the Throne (of Allâh) and those around it glorify the praises of their Lord, and believe in Him, and ask forgiveness for those who believe (in the Oneness of Allâh) (saying): "Our Lord! You comprehend all things in mercy and knowledge, so forgive those who repent and follow Your Way, and save them from the torment of the blazing Fire!" (Ghafir: 7)

44- The asker for the Forgiveness of Allâh frequently specially after the sin imitate the happy people of the Prophets and the believers such as Adam, while he who insists, accuses the Foreordainment and does not ask for forgiveness, imitates the miserable as Satan and the misguided who followed him.

 The expiators of the sins[56]

 1. Remembrance of Allâh after  Al-Adhan:

                Sa’ad bin Abi Waqqas (May Allâh be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allâh (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) said:

مَنْ قَالَ حِينَ يَسْمَعُ الْمُؤَذِّنَ أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ رَضِيتُ بِاللَّهِ رَبًّا وَبِمُحَمَّدٍ رَسُولًا وَبِالْإِسْلَامِ دِينًا غُفِرَ لَهُ ذَنْبُهُ

"He who says after the Adhan: ` I testify that there is no true god except Allâh Alone; He has no partners and that Muhammad (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) is His slave and Messenger; I am content with Allâh as my Lord, with Muhammad as my Messenger and with Islam as my Deen.' his sins will be forgiven.'' (Narrated by Muslim)

 2. Ablution (Wudu):

                Uthman (May Allâh be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allâh (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) said:

مَنْ تَوَضَّأَ فَأَحْسَنَ الْوُضُوءَ خَرَجَتْ خَطَايَاهُ مِنْ جَسَدِهِ حَتَّى تَخْرُجَ مِنْ تَحْتِ أَظْفَارِهِ

"He who performs the ablution (Wudu) perfectly (i.e., according to Sunnah), his sins will depart from his body, even from under his nails.'' (Narrated  by Muslim)

 3. The prayers (Salat):

                Abu Hurairah (May Allâh be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allâh (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) said:

أَرَأَيْتُمْ لَوْ أَنَّ نَهَرًا بِبَابِ أَحَدِكُمْ يَغْتَسِلُ فِيهِ كُلَّ يَوْمٍ خَمْسًا مَا تَقُولُ ذَلِكَ يُبْقِي مِنْ دَرَنِهِ قَالُوا لَا يُبْقِي مِنْ دَرَنِهِ شَيْئًا قَالَ فَذَلِكَ مِثْلُ الصَّلَوَاتِ الْخَمْسِ يَمْحُو اللَّهُ بِهِ الْخَطَايَا

"Say, if there were a river at the door of one of you in which he takes a bath five times a day, would any soiling remain on him?'' They replied, "No soiling would be left on him.'' He (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) said, '' That is the five (obligatory) Salat (prayers). Allâh obliterates all sins as a result of performing them.'' (Narrated by Al-Bukhari)

                Abu Hurairah (May Allâh be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allâh (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) said:

صَلَاةُ الرَّجُلِ فِي الْجَمَاعَةِ تُضَعَّفُ عَلَى صَلَاتِهِ فِي بَيْتِهِ وَفِي سُوقِهِ خَمْسًا وَعِشْرِينَ ضِعْفًا وَذَلِكَ أَنَّهُ إِذَا تَوَضَّأَ فَأَحْسَنَ الْوُضُوءَ ثُمَّ خَرَجَ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ لَا يُخْرِجُهُ إِلَّا الصَّلَاةُ لَمْ يَخْطُ خَطْوَةً إِلَّا رُفِعَتْ لَهُ بِهَا دَرَجَةٌ وَحُطَّ عَنْهُ بِهَا خَطِيئَةٌ فَإِذَا صَلَّى لَمْ تَزَلْ الْمَلَائِكَةُ تُصَلِّي عَلَيْهِ مَا دَامَ فِي مُصَلَّاهُ اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَيْهِ اللَّهُمَّ ارْحَمْهُ وَلَا يَزَالُ أَحَدُكُمْ فِي صَلَاةٍ مَا انْتَظَرَ الصَّلَاةَ

"A man's Salat in congregation is twenty-five times more rewarding than his Salat at home or in his shop, and that is because when he performs the ablution (Wudu) properly and proceeds towards the mosque with the purpose of performing Salat in congregation, he does not take a step without being raised a degree (in rank) for it and having a sin remitted for it, till he enters the mosque. When he finishes performing Salat, the angels continue to invoke Blessings of Allâh on him as long as he is in his place of worship in a state of Wudu'. They say: `O Allâh! Have mercy on him! O Allâh! Forgive him.' He is deemed to be engaged in Salat as long as he waits for it.'' (Narrated  by Al-Bukhari)

                And Abu Hurairah (May Allâh be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allâh (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) said:

الصَّلَوَاتُ الْخَمْسُ وَالْجُمْعَةُ إِلَى الْجُمْعَةِ وَرَمَضَانُ إِلَى رَمَضَانَ مُكَفِّرَاتٌ مَا بَيْنَهُنَّ إِذَا اجْتَنَبَ الْكَبَائِرَ

"The five (daily) prayers (Salat), and from one Jumu`ah prayer to the (next) Jumu`ah prayer, and from Ramadan to Ramadan are expiations for the (sins) committed in between (their intervals); provided the major sins are not committed" (Narrated by Muslim)

 4. Observing optional prayers at night and seeking forgiveness:

                Hudhaifah (May Allâh be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allâh (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) said:

يَنْزِلُ رَبُّنَا تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى كُلَّ لَيْلَةٍ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ الدُّنْيَا حِينَ يَبْقَى ثُلُثُ اللَّيْلِ الْآخِرُ يَقُولُ مَنْ يَدْعُونِي فَأَسْتَجِيبَ لَهُ مَنْ يَسْأَلُنِي فَأُعْطِيَهُ مَنْ يَسْتَغْفِرُنِي فَأَغْفِرَ لَهُ

"Our Lord, the Blessed, the Superior, comes every night down on the nearest Heaven to us when the last third of the night remains, saying: "Is there anyone to invoke Me, so that I may respond to his invocation? Is there anyone to ask Me, so that I may grant him his request? Is there anyone seeking My Forgiveness, so that I may forgive him.”[57]

 5. Charity:

                Hudhaifah (May Allâh be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allâh (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) said:

فِتْنَةُ الرَّجُلِ فِي أَهْلِهِ وَمَالِهِ وَجَارِهِ تُكَفِّرُهَا الصَّلَاةُ وَالصِّيَامُ وَالصَّدَقَةُ

“The trial of the man in his family, his wealth and his neighbor is expiated by prayers, fasting and charity.” (Narrated by Al-Bukhari)

 6. The manners of Friday (Jumu`ah Day)

                Salman Al-Farisi (May Allâh be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allâh (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) said:

لَا يَغْتَسِلُ رَجُلٌ يَوْمَ الْجُمُعَةِ وَيَتَطَهَّرُ مَا اسْتَطَاعَ مِنْ طُهْرٍ وَيَدَّهِنُ مِنْ دُهْنِهِ أَوْ يَمَسُّ مِنْ طِيبِ بَيْتِهِ ثُمَّ يَخْرُجُ فَلَا يُفَرِّقُ بَيْنَ اثْنَيْنِ ثُمَّ يُصَلِّي مَا كُتِبَ لَهُ ثُمَّ يُنْصِتُ إِذَا تَكَلَّمَ الْإِمَامُ إِلَّا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا بَيْنَهُ وَبَيْنَ الْجُمُعَةِ الْأُخْرَى

"If a man takes a bath on Friday, purifies himself thoroughly, uses the oil and perfume which is available in the house, then sets forth for the mosque, does not (forcibly) sit between two persons, offers the prayer that is prescribed for him then listens to the Imam silently, his sins between this Friday and the previous Friday will be forgiven.'' (Narrated by Al-Bukhari)

 7. Observing fasting during the month of Ramadan:

Abu Hurairah (May Allâh be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allâh (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) said:

مَنْ صَامَ رَمَضَانَ إِيمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهِ

"He who observes fasting during the month of Ramadan with Faith while seeking its reward from Allâh, will have his past sins forgiven.'' (Narrated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

 8. Observing optional prayers at night throughout Ramadhan:

Abu Hurairah (May Allâh be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allâh (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) said:

مَنْ قَامَ رَمَضَانَ إِيمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهِ

"He who observes optional prayers (Tarawih prayers) throughout Ramadan, out of sincerity of Faith and in the hope of earning reward, will have his past sins pardoned.'' (Narrated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

 9. Observing optional prayers at Night of Decree:

Abu Hurairah (May Allâh be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allâh (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) said:

مَنْ قَامَ لَيْلَةَ الْقَدْرِ إِيمَانًا وَاحْتِسَابًا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا تَقَدَّمَ مِنْ ذَنْبِهِ

"He who observes optional prayers (Tarawih prayers) during Lailat-ul-Qadr (Night of Decree), out of sincerity of Faith and in the hope of earning reward will have his past sins pardoned.'' (Narrated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

 10. Observing fasting on the tenth day of Muharram (Ashuraa):

Abu Qatadah (May Allâh be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allâh (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) was asked about observing As-Saum (the fasting) on the tenth day of Muharram, he replied:

 يُكَفِّرَ السَّنَةَ الَّتِي قَبْلَهُ

"It is expiation for the sins of the preceding year.'' (Narrated by Muslim)

 11. Umrah

Abu Hurairah (May Allâh be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allâh (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) said:

الْعُمْرَةُ إِلَى الْعُمْرَةِ كَفَّارَةٌ لِمَا بَيْنَهُمَا وَالْحَجُّ الْمَبْرُورُ لَيْسَ لَهُ جَزَاءٌ إِلَّا الْجَنَّةُ

"(The performance of) `Umrah is an expiation for the sins committed between it and the previous `Umrah; and the reward of Hajj Mabrur (i.e., accepted pilgrimage) is nothing but Paradise.'' (Narrated by Muslim)

 12. Honoring Allâh from imperfection (At-Tasbih):

The Messenger of Allâh (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) said:

مَنْ قَالَ سُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ وَبِحَمْدِهِ مِائَةَ مَرَّةٍ حُطَّتْ خَطَايَاهُ وَإِنْ كَانَتْ مِثْلَ زَبَدِ البحر

"He who utters: ` Allâh is free from imperfection and His is the praise)' one hundred times a day, his sins will be obliterated even if they are equal to the extent of the foam of the ocean.''

 13. Acknowledgement of the grace:

The Messenger of Allâh (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) said:

من أكل طعاما فقال : الحمد لله الذي أطعمني هذا ورزقنيه من غير حول مني ولا قوة غفر له ما تقدم من ذنبه

"He who has taken food and says at the end: ` All praise is due to Allâh who has given me food to eat and provided it without any endeavour on my part or any power,' all his past sins will be forgiven.'' (Narrated by Abu Dawud)

 14. The pilgrimage (Hajj):

Abu Hurairah (May Allâh be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allâh (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) said:

مَنْ حج هَذَا الْبَيْتَ فَلَمْ يَرْفُثْ وَلَمْ يَفْسُقْ رَجَعَ كَمَا وَلَدَتْهُ أُمُّهُ

"Whoever performs Hajj (pilgrimage) and does not have sexual relations (with his wife), nor commits sin, nor disputes unjustly (during Hajj), then he returns from Hajj as pure and free from sins as on the day on which his mother gave birth to him." (Narrated  by Muslim)

 15. Staying at Arafah:

Aishah (May Allâh be pleased with her) reported that the Messenger of Allâh (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) said:

مَا مِنْ يَوْمٍ أَكْثَرَ مِنْ أَنْ يُعْتِقَ اللَّهُ فِيهِ عَبْدًا مِنْ النَّارِ مِنْ يَوْمِ عَرَفَةَ

"There is no day on which Allâh sets free more slaves from Hell than He does on the Day of `Arafah.'' (Narrated by Muslim)

 16. Observing fasting on the day of Arafah for non pilgrims:

Abu Qatadah (May Allâh be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allâh was asked about the observing of fasting on the day of `Arafah, he said,

 يكفر السنة الماضية والباقية

"It is expiation for the sins of the preceding year and the next year.'' (Narrated by Muslim)

 17. Fever:

Jabir bin Abdullah (May Allâh be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allâh (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) visited Umm Sa'ib (or Umm Musaiyyab) and asked her: "What ails you O Umm Sa'ib (or Umm Musaiyyab)? You are shivering.'' She replied: "It is a fever, may Allâh not bless it!'' He said to her,

لَا تَسُبِّي الْحُمَّى فَإِنَّهَا تُذْهِبُ خَطَايَا بَنِي آدَمَ كَمَا يُذْهِبُ الْكِيرُ خَبَثَ الْحَدِيدِ

"Do not revile fever, for it cleanses out the sins of the sons of Adam in the same way that a furnace removes the dirt of iron.'' (Narrated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

 18. Diseases, glooms and distresses:

                Abu Sa’id and Abu Hurairah (May Allâh be pleased with them) reported: The Messenger of Allâh (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) said:  

 مَا يُصِيبُ الْمُسْلِمَ مِنْ نَصَبٍ وَلَا وَصَبٍ وَلَا حُزْنٍ حَتَّى الهم يهمه إِلَّا كَفَّرَ اللَّهُ بِهَ مِنْ سيئاته

"Never a believer is stricken with tiredness, an illness, an anxiety, a grief or even a mental worry but Allah will expiate his sins on account of his patience."(Narrated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

 19. The expiation of the assembly:  

                Abu Hurairah (May Allâh be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allâh (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) said:

مَنْ جَلَسَ فِي مَجْلِسٍ فَكَثُرَ فِيهِ لَغَطُهُ فَقَالَ قَبْلَ أَنْ يَقُومَ مِنْ مَجْلِسِهِ ذَلِكَ سُبْحَانَكَ اللَّهُمَّ وَبِحَمْدِكَ أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ أَسْتَغْفِرُكَ وَأَتُوبُ إِلَيْكَ إِلَّا غُفِرَ لَهُ مَا كَانَ فِي مَجْلِسِهِ ذَلِكَ

"Whoever sits in a gathering and indulges in useless talk and before getting up supplicates: "O Allâh, You are free from imperfection; praise be to You. I testify that there is no true god except You; I ask Your Pardon and turn to You in repentance", he will be forgiven for the sins he may have intentionally or unintentionally committed in that assembly.'' (Narrated by At-Tirmidhi)

 Conclusion

                Thus, we ended, by Allâh's Grace, Guidance and Hospitality, this book which included a summerised note about one of the best types of remembrance which is seeking Allâh's Forgiveness, repentance to Him, the belief that the Creator, the Most High, is the Most Forgiving of sins and He rejoices at His slave's repentance to Him and consciousness of his Creator. Allâh, the Most High, said:   

وَلَا تَكُونُوا كَالَّذِينَ نَسُوا اللَّهَ فَأَنسَاهُمْ أَنفُسَهُمْ أُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ }الحشر19

“And be not like those who forgot Allâh (i.e. became disobedient to Allâh) and He caused them to forget their ownselves, (let them to forget to do righteous deeds). Those are the Fâsiqûn (rebellious, disobedient to Allâh).” (Al-Hashr: 19)

                I hope that Allâh, the Omnipotent, will help us not to forget His Great Grace on us, as He has opened the gates of His Mercy for us, made seeking forgiveness a purification for the sins, and encouraged us to do that in His Exalted Book in tens of verses in which seeking forgiveness and its importance were mentioned, and this was reported in the traditions of His chosen Prophet (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him), who was seeking forgiveness more frequently than any other slave, though his sins of the past and future were forgiven.

And I will conclude this speech, which is the conclusion of this little effort of a slave, his Creator and Sustainer has given him a lot, by an apparent proof for the great state of seeking forgiveness, which is the Prophetic praising of seeking forgiveness directly after the concluding salutations. So I say: If we hold fast to seeking forgiveness directly after the prayers, which is an obligatory worship, it is better for us to do this after every activity in our life, as we are exposed to faults and sins which needs seeking forgiveness frequently.

I hope that Allâh will make us of the seekers for His forgiveness and the repenting to Him, He is All-Hearer, Responsive.   

And May Allâh exalt the mention of our Prophet, teacher, and leader, Muhammad bin Abd Allâh, who was seeking Allâh's forgiveness continuously, all his household and companions, and peace be upon them.

And all the praises and thanks be to Allâh for that by His Grace, the rightous deeds are completed, as many times as the number of writing of the letters, directing and arranging of the rows. 

And the close of our request is: All the praises and thanks are to Allâh, the Lord of the worlds.

DR. Faisal bin Mash’al bin Sa’ud bin Abdul Aziz al Sa’ud

9/9/1422



[1] Sheikh Imam Ibn El-Qayyim (May Allâh have mercy on him) said in his valuable book " Uddat As-Sabirin wa Dhakhirat Ash-Shakirin, P: 163": (Al-Hassan Al-Basry was used to say at the beginning of his speech: All the praises and thanks be to Allâh. O Allâh! All the praises and thanks be to You for……….etc)

[2] Look; Majmu’ Al-Fatawa, 10/317, Lisan Al-‘Arab, 5/25.

[3] Narrated  by  Muslim, 2702, Abu Dawud, 1515, Ahmad, Al-Musnad, 4/211.

[4] Narrated  by  Muslim, 2748, At-Tirmidhi, 3532, Ahmad, 5/414.

[5] Narrated by At-Tirmidhi.

[6] Al-Istibsar fi Fada`il Al-Istighfar, P: 15.

[7] Al-Fatawa, 11/696.

[8] Narrated  by Ahmad, 2/297, At-Tirmidhi, Al-Jami’, 3334, on the authority of  Abu Hurairah.

[9] Fathul Bari, 11/99, Majmu’ Al-Fatawa, 10/319.

[10] HR. Bukhari, 11/128, Muslim, 2/36, dari hadits Abu Hurairah.

[11] Narrated  by Al-Bukhari, 2/727, Muslim, 5/96, on the authority of  Abu Hurairah.

[12] Narrated  by Muslim, 6/76.

[13] Narrated  by  Al - Bukhari, 2/281, Muslim, 4/201, on the authority of  Aishah.

[14]  Narrated  by Muslim, 4/200, on the authority of  Abu Hurairah.

[15] Narrated  by Muslim, 4/201, on the authority of  Abu Hurairah.

[16] Narrated  by Nasa'i, 2/232, Ahmad, 5/398, Ibn Majah, 898, on the authority of  Hudhaifah.

[17] Narrated  by Al - Bukhari, 2/317, Muslim, 17/28, on the authority of  Abdullah bin Amr.

[18] Narrated by Abu Dawud, 5/182.

[19] Narrated by Ahmad, 6/155, on the authority of  Aishah.

[20] Narrated by Al-Bukhari, 4697- Aishah (May Allâh be pleased with her) said: After the revelation of  (Surat) "When the Help of Allâh comes (to you against your enemies) and the Conquest (of Makkah)'' (110:1), the Messenger of Allâh (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) used to recite in every prayer: " Far removed You are from every imperfection, our Lord, and all praise is for You, forgive me, O Allâh!.” . Another narration is: the Messenger of Allâh (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) recited frequently in bowing and prostration: "Far removed You are from every imperfection, our Lord, and all praise is for You, forgive me, O Allâh!" He elucidated that it has been commanded in the Noble Qur'an to recite: "So glorify the Praises of your Lord, and ask for His forgiveness. Verily, He is the One Who accepts the repentance and Who forgives". (V.110:1) And he (the Messenger of Allâh) acted upon it. Al-Bukhari, 4968, Muslim, 4/201.

[21] Narrated by Muslim, 2444. Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: While the Prophet (May Allâh exalt his mention, and peace be upon him) was reclining against me (during his last illness), I heard him saying: "O Allah! Forgive me, bestow Your Mercy on me and let me join with the companions.''. And “the companions” is explained by another narration Muslim reported after this narration denoting that it means: those on whom Allâh has bestowed His Grace, of the Prophets, the Siddiqûn (those followers of the Prophets who were first and foremost to believe in them), the martyrs, and the righteous.

[22] Narrated by Al-Bukhari, 4687, Muslim, 2763.

[23] Narrated  by Al-Bukhari, 2/545, Muslim, 6/214, on the authority of  Abu Musa Al-Ash’ari.

[24] Narrated  by Al-Bukhari, 3/39.

[25] Narrated  by Al Bukhari, 3/3, Muslim, 6/53.

[26] Narrated  by Muslim, 17/76, on the authority of  Abu Musa Al-Ash’ari, but, as it is known, Allâh, the Exalted, has preferred some times to others, some months to others, some days to others, and some hours to others.

[27] Narrated  by At-Tirmidhi, 5/548, Ibn Majah, 2/1246, on the authority of  Abdullah bin Busr (May Allâh be pleased with him).

[28] Narrated  by At-Tirmidhi, 3648, Abu Dawud, 1517, the highly qualified scholar Al-Albani (May Allâh have mercy on him) said that it is authentic in Sahih Abi Dawud, 1/283 and Sahih At-Tirmidhi, 1/182.

[29] Narrated  by Al-Bukhari, 6306, Nasa'i, 464, Imam Ahmad, 4/122.

[30] Narrated  by Abu Dawud, 1516, At-Tirmidhi, 3430, Ibn Majah, 3814.

[31] Narrated  by Al-Bukhari and Muslim.

[32] Narrated  by Al-Bukhari, 1/320, Muslim, 4/2078.

[33] Narrated  by Al-Bukhari, 11/196.

[34] Narrated  by At-Tirmidhi on the authority of Abu Hurairah.

[35] Narrated  by Hakim on the authority of  Ibn Mas’ud.

[36] Narrated  by At-Tabrani on the authority of Abu Umamah.

[37] Narrated  by Al-Bukhari and Muslim on the authority of  Abu Musa (May Allâh be pleased with him).

[38] Look: Jamawi’ Al-Istighfarat Al-Kubra, P: 55.

[39] Narrated  by Ahmad, Al-Musnad, 1/392, Al-Baihaqi, As-Sunan Al-Kubra, 2/109, Ibn Khuzaimah, 847, and mentioned by Ibn Hajar, Fathul Bari, 8/733, Al-Hindi, Kanz Al-‘Ummal, 4728.

[40] Narrated by Ahmad, Al-Musnad, 2234, Al-Hakim, Al-Mustadrak, 4/262, , At-Thabrani, Al-Mu’jam Al-Awsat, 2/77, and mentioned by Az-Zubaidi, Ithaf As-Sadah Al-Muttaqin, 5/56.

[41] Narrated by Ibn Majah, 3816, Ahmad, Al-Musnad, 2/450, and mentioned by Al-Haithami, Majma' Az-Zawa`id, 10/208.

[42] Narrated by Muslim, 2702, the veil in this tradition means what covers the heart.

[43] Narrated  by At-Tirmidhi, 3648, Abu Dawud, 1517, the highly qualified scholar Al-Albani (May Allâh have mercy on him) said that it is authentic in Sahih Abi Dawud, 1/283 and Sahih At-Tirmidhi, 1/182.

[44] HR. Ahmad, Al-Musnad, 4/55, Al-Haithami, Majma' Az-Zawa`id, 10/177, Ibn Abi Syaibah, Al-Musannaf, 10/281, Al-Baihaqi, Al-Asma` wa As-Sifat, 85.

[45] Mentioned by Az-Zubaidi, Ithaf As-Sadah Al-Muttaqin, 8/603, Al-Hindi, Kanz Al-‘Ummal, 10277, Al-‘Iraqi, Al-Mughni ‘an Haml Al-Asfar, 1/314.

[46] Narrated by Ahmad, 2/297, At-Tirmidhi, Al-Jami’, 3334.

[47] Mentioned by Al-‘Iraqi, Al-Mughni ‘an Haml Al-Asfar, 10/315.

[48] Narrated by Muslim.

[49] Narrated by Muslim.

[50] Look: Al-Adhkar wa Ad-Da’awat, Sheikh Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali, P : 74.

[51] Narrated by Muslim.

[52] Musnad Ahmad, 2/509, .

[53] Narrated  by At-Tirmidhi, 3648, Abu Dawud, 1517

[54] Narrated  by Al-Baihaqi with a good "sanad" , and Abu Dawud.

[55] Tafsir Ibn Katheer, 2/280.

[56] Look: Mukaffirat Adh-Dhunub, Abdullah Al-‘Allaf, P: 9 .

[57] Narrated  by Al-Bukhari.