What is the best way to ask forgiveness from Allah?
Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh
Thank you for your question.
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said, “The chief of prayers (Sayyidul Istighfar) for forgiveness is:
للَّهُمَّ أَنْتَ رَبِّي، لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ أَنْتَ، خَلَقْتَنِي وَأَنَا عَبْدُكَ، وَأَنَا عَلَى عَهْدِكَ وَوَعْدِكَ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُ، أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّ مَا صَنَعْتُ، أَبُوءُ لَكَ بِنِعْمَتِكَ عَلَىَّ وَأَبُوءُ لَكَ بِذَنْبِي، فَاغْفِرْ لِي، فَإِنَّهُ لاَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إِلاَّ أَنْتَ
Allahumma anta rabbee la ilaha illa anta, khalaqtanee wa-ana ‘abduka, wa-ana ‘alaa ‘ahdika wawa’dika mas-tata’tu, a’oothu bika min sharri ma sana’tu, aboo-o laka bini’matika ‘alaya, wa-aboo-o bizambee, faghfir lee zunoobi fa-innahu la yaghfiruz-zunooba illa ant.
‘O Allah, You are my Lord, none has the right to be worshiped except You, You created me and I am Your servant and I abide to Your covenant and promise [to honor it] as best I can, I take refuge in You from the evil of which I committed. I acknowledge Your favor upon me and I acknowledge my sin, so forgive me, for verily none can forgive sins except You.’
He then said: “If somebody recites it during the day with firm faith in it and dies on the same day before the evening, he will be from the people of Paradise and if somebody recites it at night with firm faith in it and dies before the morning he will be from the people of Paradise.”
What makes this dua so special and so rewarding? Firstly, pay attention to the sequence.
Many times when people apologize, you respond by saying “Do you even know why you’re saying sorry?” So this dua contains an admission of guilt.
An apology also is at times not accepted because the one who was offended feels like your offense was a symptom of a greater problem which is that you don’t value or appreciate them. But this dua establishes how much the repenter values Allah and that Allah surely isn’t deserving of your evil.
Lastly, the dua ends with desperation but not despair. Meaning if you don’t forgive me I will be ruined because I cant live without it, but at the same time I know You will forgive me because You love to forgive .
In essence, this dua sums up our entire relationship with Ar-Rahman.
And Allah knows best.
Answered by Shaykh Omar Suleiman
Hadith of the Day Imam
Director – Islamic Learning Foundation