Seeking Allah’s Forgiveness
by Ahmad Farid
Forgiveness is being shielded from the harmful consequences of wrong actions, and the veiling of them. Seeking forgiveness is mentioned again and again in the Qur’an, and in some places it is a command, as in His saying, Glorious and Exalted is He:
"And seek forgiveness of Allah; surely Allah is Forgiving, Compassionate."
In other places, Allah praises those who seek his forgiveness, as in the ayat:
"And those who pray for forgiveness in the early hours of the morning."
In other places, Allah tells us that he forgives those who ask for His forgiveness, as in ayat:
"And whoever does evil, or wrongs his own soul, but afterwards seeks Allah’s forgiveness, will find Allah is Forgiving, Compassionate."
Seeking forgiveness is frequently associated with repentance, in which case it takes the form of asking for forgiveness with the tongue. Repentance is turning away from wrong action with both heart and body. Seeking forgiveness is similar to supplication in that Allah, if He so wishes, responds to it and forgives the person who seeks His forgiveness. This is especially true if the du’a (supplication) came directly from a heart troubled by wrong actions, or if it was made during the times most favorable for His response, such as in the early hours of the morning or immediately following the prayer.
It has been transmitted that Luqman once told his son, "O my son, make it a habit for your tongue to utter the words, ‘Forgive me, o Allah’ for there are certain times during which Allah will not disappoint a servant who calls on him."
Al-Hasan said "Ask for Allah’s forgiveness frequently- in your homes, at your tables, on your roads, in your markets, at your meetings, wherever you are. You never know when you will be granted His forgiveness.
Abu Huraira reported that the Prophet (saws) said:
"I swear by Allah that I supplicate for Allah’s forgiveness and turn to Him in repentance more than seventy times a day."
Al-Bukhari,kitab ad-Da’awat 11/101
Abu Huraira said, "I heard the Messenger of Allah (saws) say, ‘A servant committed a sin and he said, "O Allah, I have committed a sin, so forgive me." Allah said, "Does my servant know that he has a Lord who forgives sins and helps him? I forgive my servant." After some time, the man committed another sin so he said, "O my Lord, I have committed another sin, so forgive me." His Lord said "Does my servant know that he has a Lord who forgives sins and helps him? I forgive my servant." After some time the man committed yet another sin so he said. "O my Lord, I have committed another sin, so forgive me." His Lord said, "Does my servant know that he has a Lord who forgives sins and helps him? O servant do what you like, I have granted you forgiveness."
Al-Bukhari, kitab at-Tawhid, 13/488; Muslim
Allah Exalted is He, said this three times.
This means that the man was granted forgiveness because he continued to seek Allah’s forgiveness each time he committed a sin. It appears that this is applied so long as his seeking forgiveness was not accompanied by the intention to repeat the sin again afterwards.
Aisha, May Allah be pleased with her, said:
"It is a fortunate person who (on the Day of Judgement) finds in his record many du’as (supplications) for forgiveness."
In other words, seeking Allah’s forgiveness is a cure for all wrong actions.
"This Qur’an guides you to the recognition of your illnesses and to their remedies. Your illnesses are your sins and your medicine is seeking Allah’s forgiveness."
Ali ibn Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with him, said:
"Allah does not inspire seeking forgiveness in any servant whom he wishes to punish."
Reference: The Purification of the Soul