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 Ask Forgiveness from Your Lord Part 1

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Ahmed
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Ahmed

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PostSubject: Ask Forgiveness from Your Lord Part 1   Ask Forgiveness from Your Lord Part 1 Icon_minitimeTue Oct 02, 2007 2:17 pm

Ask Forgiveness from Your Lord



Ask Forgiveness from Your
Lord Part 1


From As-Sunnah Bimonthly Islamic
Newsletter



Shaddaad Ibn Aws
(radhi allahu anhu) reported: “The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi
wa-sallam) said: “The (Sayyid al-Istigfar) noblest and the most excellent
manner of seeking forgiveness is that the servant says:


“O Allah, You are
my Lord. None has the right to be worshiped except You.
You created me, and
I am Your slave/worshipper.
And I am faithful to my covenant and my promise,
as far as I am able.
I seek Your refuge from the evil of what I have
done.
I acknowledge before You all the favors that You have bestowed upon
me.
And I confess all my sins to You.
So forgive me, since none can
forgive sins except You.”


The Prophet
(sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “Whoever says it in the day, with firm
conviction in it, and dies in that day before evening then he is from the people
of Paradise. Whoever says it in the night, with firm conviction in it, and he
dies before the morning then he is from the people of Paradise.”
[Saheeh
al-Bukharee]


The scholars count
this hadeeth as a Dhikr (remembrance of Allah) that should be said in the day,
as well as in the night; in the early morning between dawn and sunrise, and at
the start of the evening. Imaam Bukharee (rahimahullah) records this Hadeeth in
two different places, once under the chapter: 'The most excellent manner of
seeking forgiveness' and 'What to say when one gets up (early) in the morning?'
It is also reported in the Sunans, like Nisa'ee and at-Tirmidhee etc. with
wordings which show the importance of learning this manner of seeking
forgiveness, for example in the above mentioned Hadeeth the Messenger of Allah
(sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) entitled it 'Sayyid al-Istigfar', which literally
means, 'the Chief of all Seeking Forgiveness.'


One of the most
important aspects
of a Muslim’s life Is to seek al-Istagfar (ask
forgiveness for one’s sins) from Allah. Various texts of the Qur'aan and the
Sunnah command and encourage al-Istagfar, show its excellence and the excellence
of those who are constant in it, from them is the saying of Allah: “O My
servants who have transgressed greatly against themselves through sins! Do not
despair of the Mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins to those who
repent. Indeed, He is the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful.” [Soorah az-Zumar
(39): 54] Some pious predecessors commented on this verse saying, this verse
gives the most hope to the one who seeks forgiveness.


Allah encouraged
seeking forgiveness and clarified its excellence and rewards in this worldly
life and said: “Ask forgiveness from your Lord. Indeed, He is the
Oft-Forgiving. He will send rain to you in abundance and He will give you
increase in wealth and children, and bestow on you gardens and rivers.”

[(71): 10-12]


Thus, this verse
promises numerous benefits for those who seek forgiveness constantly. In the
Hereafter, the benefits are much greater. Allah's Messenger (sallallahu alaihi
wa-sallam) said: “Allah the Most High says: 'O son of Adam! As long as you
supplicate to Me and hope in Me, I will forgive you what you have done. O son of
Adam! If your sins were to reach the lofty regions of the sky, then you ask Me
for forgiveness, I would forgive you. O son of Adam! If you were to come to Me
with enough sins to fill the earth, but you met Me not associating anything with
Me I would bring you the like of it of forgiveness.”
[Saheeh al-Bukharee,
vol: 8, no: 319]


The great
importance of al-Istagfar
is seen from the practice of Allah's Messenger
(sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) that all his past and future sins were forgiven
even though, he would make al-Istagfar more than 70 times a day. Abu Hurayrah
(radhi allahu anhu) reported: “The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi
wa-sallam) said: “By the One in Whose Hands is my soul, I certainly ask
forgiveness more than a seventy times each day.”
[Saheeh al-Bukharee] Umar
(radhi allahu anhu) said: “We used to count that in a single gathering he
(sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) would say: 'I ask Allah's forgiveness and I repent
to Him', more than seventy times.” [See as-Saheeh, no: 556] The Messenger of
Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “By Allah! If you did not commit
sins, Allah would have taken you away and brought a people who seek Allah's
forgiveness and He would forgive them.”
[Saheeh Muslim vol: 4, no: 6522]
This Hadeeth shows the extent to which Allah loves that His slaves ask
forgiveness from Him and He loves those who ask forgiveness from Him.


Allah loves
that we call upon Him by His Beautiful Names
And worship Him by that
which His Names demand: “And Allah has the most excellent and perfect names,
so worship and invoke Him by them”
[Soorah al-A'raaf (7): 180] The Messenger
of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “Allah has ninety-nine names, a
hundred except one. Whoever memorizes and is mindful of them (ahsaaha) will
enter Paradise.”
[Saheeh al-Bukharee and Saheeh Muslim] Here, the Messenger
of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) uses the word ‘ahsaaha’ coming
from the root-word ‘ihsaa’, which does not only means to recite these
names, as is the practice of some, Scholars have explained that ‘ihsaa’ of the
names comprises of three levels:




  • (A) The first is to
    memorize the Names of Allah.



  • (B) The second is to
    understand their meanings and



  • (C) The third is to
    call upon Allah by these names and act as they demand.



Let us
understand with an example
, At-Tawwaab is from the names of Allah, it
means 'He who guides His servants to repent and accepts their repentance.’ Thus
we understand that Allah accepts His servant’s repentance, guides them to repent
and grants forgiveness to them. We also understand that He Alone is the One to
grant forgiveness. Having understood this, we act as the name demands by
repenting to Allah alone from all our sins. Similarly, the Names 'al-Ghafoor’ -
‘the Oft-Forgiving' and 'al-Afuww’ - ‘The One who pardons’, demand that we
should constantly turn to Allah in repentance. This is how we should understand
and memorize all the Names of Allah, away from the corrupted innovated
ways.



Explanation of
Sayyid al-Istagfar:
The supplication starts with the word:

“Allahumma...” means 'O Allah!',
It is a word whose
meaning is found frequently in both the Qur'aan and the Sunnah.


The scholars have
explained that Tawheed (the Oneness of Allah) falls in two
categories:




  • (a) Tawheed
    al-Ma'rifah wal-Ithbaat - To know and affirm the Oneness of Allah and,




  • (b) Tawheed
    al-Iraadah wat-Talab - Establishing the Oneness of Allah in one's intention and
    acts of worship.




The initial words of
the supplication:
“O Allah,
You are my Lord. None has the right to be worshiped except You. You created me,
and I am Your slave/worshiper”,
comprises
both these meanings. Let us first analyze in brief the meaning of Tawheed
al-Marifah wal-Ithbaat, it comprises of:


(a) Tawheed
ar-Ruboobeyyah:
The Oneness of Allah's Lordship. It is to affirm that Allah
is the Creator, the Provider, the One Who grants all blessings and the One Who
controls all affairs of His Creation.


(b) Tawheed
al-Asma wa-Sifaat:
The Oneness of Allah's Names and Attributes. It is to
affirm all the Names and Attributes of Allah as mentioned in the Qur'aan and the
Sunnah.


Thus, one must know
and affirm that Allah is the Creator, the Provider, One Who grants all
blessings, and the One Who controls all affairs of the creation. One must know
and affirm all the Names and Attributes of Allah mentioned in the Qur'aan and
the Sunnah. This knowledge and affirmation is illustrated in the saying: “O Allaah, You are my Lord…. You created me…”


The second aspect,
Tawheed al-Iraadah wat-Talab, is the Oneness of Allah's Worship, which demands
that all worship is performed sincerely and purely for Allah, the saying:

“…None has the right to be worshipped except You, You
created me, and I am Your slave/worshipper”
proves the Oneness of
Worship.

_________________
There is no worthy of worship exept ALLAH and Mohammed is his messenger
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