The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
If anyone constantly seeks pardon (from Allah), Allah 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. (Abu Dawud)
There is a way out, and it’s called istighfar— seeking forgiveness from Allah, the Most High. The power of istighfar is beyond comprehension, and of all Sunnah supplications the following has been mentioned by the Prophet as the “master of supplications for forgiveness.”
The Prophet said:
The best supplication for seeking forgiveness (sayid-ul-istighfar) is to say:
O Allah! You are my Lord. There is no true god except You. You have created me, and I am Your slave, and I hold to Your Covenant as far as I can. I seek refuge in You from the evil of what I have done. I acknowledge the favors that You have bestowed upon me, and I confess my sins. Pardon me, for none but You has the power to pardon. He who supplicates in these terms during the day with firm belief in it and dies on the same day (before the evening), he will be one of the dwellers of Jannah; and if anyone supplicates in these terms during the night with firm belief in it and dies before the morning, he will be one of the dwellers of Jannah. (Al-Bukhari)
Allahumma anta Rabbee. Laa ilaaha illaa anta. Khalaqtanee wa ana ‘abduka, wa ana ‘alaa ‘ahdika wa wa’dika mastata’tu. A’udhu bika min sharri maa sana’tu. Abu’u laka bini’matika ‘alayya, wa abu’u bidhanbi. Faghfir li, fa innahu laa yaghfirudh-dhunuba illaa anta.
Reflection on the meaning of this dua starts with an acknowledgment of your relationship with Allah, the Glorified. You realize that you’re always in the blessings of Allah and should not just praise Him, but also be in a constant state of praise.
The next step is to acknowledge your sins, shortcomings, and mistakes. After this humble realization, you show that you turn to Him only, realizing that only Allah can forgive you, and even further, that He can pardon you, leaving no trace of your sins in your book of deeds!
This dua shows you that, as a servant of Allah, you should always be in a state of thankfulness as well as in a state of seeking forgiveness.
– Say this dua as part of your morning adhkar or remembrance (after the Fajr prayer) and your evening remembrance (after the ‘Asr prayer).
– Learn the correct pronunciation and the meaning so you can say it from your heart.
– Get rewarded for seeking forgiveness and reviving the Sunnah, and teach others this important habit!