Bismillahi rahmani raheem
People often forget the importance of the simple yet powerful Dua Istighfar i.e., saying “Astaghfirullah”. It is the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet (SAW) to seek Istighfar 100 times daily. In the Holy Quran, Istighfar is seen as portraying the strength and support of Allah which leads to attaining closeness to Allah and redemption. The Holy Quran states: “But surely the righteous will be in the midst of gardens and springs, receiving what the Lord will give them; for they used to do good before that. They used to sleep but a little of the night; and at the dawn of the day they sought forgiveness…” (Quran, 51:16-19) From the above verse, we can conclude that we should always seek forgiveness and try to do best for getting the pleasure of Almighty Allah because Istighfar is one of the righteous deeds and is the recipient of countless blessings. In another verse, Allah Almighty says: “Truly, Allah loves those who repent, and He loves those who cleanse themselves.” (Quran, 2:222).
We do Istighfar not necessarily after committing a sin or an act of disobedience to Almighty Allah but is also includes our shortcomings. Allah loves those who seek forgiveness and repent and make them clean from sins by seeking Allah’s forgiveness. Istighfar is also a means of building up that awareness of Allah and strengthening our relationship with Him. We turn to no one except Allah in repentance. We confess our deepest errors, shortcomings, failures, and sins to Him and we ask forgiveness from Him alone by doing Istighfar.
Benefits of Istighfar from Quran
As we know the importance of Istighfar, now let’s discuss some virtues and benefits of reciting the simple and beautiful supplication that is “Astaghfirullah”.
- Get Dignity (Grace) from Almighty Allah : Grace is the most important thing that we need to do something or for doing some activities. Without Allah’s grace, all of our doings will be not accepted by Allah Almighty and they will be useless. In Holy Quran, Allah Almighty stated: “And that Seek forgiveness (of) your Lord and turn in repentance to Him, He will let you enjoy a good for a term appointed. And give (to) every owner (of) grace His Grace. But if you turn away then indeed, I fear for you (the) punishment (of) a Great Day.”(Qur’an, 11:3). From this verse we conclude that if we seek Allah’s forgiveness and do good deeds then we get His grace otherwise we will get punished on the Day of Judgment.
- Give Joy and Rizq to the Prayer: Muslim who always does Istighfar will be happy in his life because there are pleasures and rizq that will come to him. The life will become easier and he will welcome every day with happiness. Istighfar opens the door of sustenance. Prophet (SAW) said, “Whoever is always in the state of affairs, then Allah will give the joy of sadness, and the spaciousness of its narrowness and give it the rizq from an unexpected direction.” (Ibn Majah).
- Avoid Punishment: A person who constantly and regularly does Istighfar will be forgiven by Allah Almighty. Allah will not punish the people who always do Istighfar. The Istighfar that we rejoin with a great deal of appreciation and guilty will also be able to withstand the coming of suffering and failure. Allah says in Holy Quran: “But not is (for) Allah that He punishes them while you (are) among them, and not is Allah the One Who punishes them while they seek forgiveness.” (Quran, 8:33). So we can say that Istighfar opens the door of mercy.
- From Istighfar one can improve himself: We as a human often make mistakes, are often tempted, often neglectful of established rules. Human should be punished for the misdeeds, but Allah delayed the punishment to the Hereafter. Before the deadline that is the Day of Judgment, humans are given the opportunity to improve themselves by repenting. In the first step of self- improvement, he emphasized the need for self-approach which is called Istighfar.
- Astaghfirullah also helps us to refrain from all forms of sins. Regularly saying this reminds us that Allah is everywhere (with His knowledge) and in this way, there are very small chances of doing wrongful actions. So from Istighfar, we can improve ourselves by staying away from bad deeds and doing righteous deeds.
- Increase in Wealth, Children and Pleasure: In Holy Quran, Allah Almighty says: “ Ask forgiveness (from) your Lord. Indeed, He is Oft-Forgiving. He will send down (rain from) the sky upon you (in) abundance, And provide you with wealth and children, and make for you gardens and make for you rivers.” (Quran, 71:10-12). In this verse, Allah Almighty is promising us that wealth comes with Istighfar, as does children. Istighfar will open the doors that have been closed until today. Wealth and children come from Allah and it is in turning to Him that we will get them, not in turning away from Him. So it means Istghifar is the gateway to productivity.
- A ticket to the Heaven (Paradise): Allah has promised and guaranteed a place in the heaven (paradise) for His servants who always do Istighfar. This shows the most important of Istighfar because every Muslim’s dream is to go to the heaven after the death.
- Gives strength to the prayer: Allah promises those who do Istighfar regularly to give a good life continuously throughout the life of the world until it comes to an end and gives various advantages and benefits to those who always Istighfar and begs from Him. We will get more spirit and strength by saying Istighfar every day. We need Istighfar to constantly purify and cleanse our heart. We are not born in sin, but we are born in weakness. We are prostrate to fall prey to the many fascination that are part of our test in this life. And when we fall in these provocations and commit sins it takes us far away from our Lord. But there is a hope for those who want to seek forgiveness from Almighty Allah and the best is by doing Istighfar. The one who does Istighfar and admits his weakness to Allah becomes nearer to Him. In the life of a Muslim, all that matters is earning the pleasure of Allah. Among the things that stop us from earning the pleasure of Allah are sins. And that’s where istighfar comes in. Istighfar is what removes our sins from us and helps us attain the goal of Paradise. But what other benefits does istighfar bring? Allah always gives more than we ask. We ask for forgiveness, and these are the eight things that Allah gives us!
- Ask forgiveness of your Lord. Indeed, He is ever a Perpetual Forgiver. [Qur’an 71:10]We sin by the day and by the night, and Allah forgives by the day and the night. Allah’s forgiveness is vast. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said, Allah extends His hand by the day so the sinner of the night can repent and He extends His hand by the night so the sinner of the day can repent. [Narrated by Muslim]. He also said, peace be upon him, The companion (Angel) on the left lifts his pen for six hours for the Muslim slave that errs or sins. If this slave repents and seeks Allah’s forgiveness for that error or sin, the Angel doesn’t record it. And if the slave doesn’t ask Allah for forgiveness, the Angel records it once. [Muslim]So whenever we sin, let’s rush to His forgiveness.
- He will send [rain from] the sky upon you in [continuing] showers. [Qur’an, 71:11]Rain is a sign of Allah’s mercy as has been mentioned in the Quran and in the Sunnah. It is a time when Allah answers dua. Forgiveness is one of the causes for Allah to send rain down. It is symbolic as well for Allah to increase us in our provision and mercy. Even the guidance of the Quran has been compared to the effect that rain has on the dead earth. Perhaps istighfar is our door to opening our hearts to even more guidance and provision. Who doesn’t want more and more in this world and the next?
- And give you increase in wealth and children. [Quran, 71:12]Isn’t wealth one of the big things that we are running after today? Isn’t wealth one of the main aims of our capitalist society? Allah is promising us that wealth comes with istighfar, as does children. It is for us who are struggling financially, and also those who are struggling to conceive, that they do more and more istighfar. Istighfar will open the doors that have been closed till today. Wealth and children come from Allah and it is in turning to Him that we will get them, not in turning away from Him.
- . . . . and provide for you gardens and provide for you rivers. [Quran, 71:12]Allah will not only give us what we want, He will give us more. Gardens and rivers are luxuries that very few of us can afford in life. And yet for istighfar, Allah promises us that. He promises us that we will be given gardens and rivers. It could be in this world and in the hereafter or only in the hereafter (as gardens and rivers are the most common description of paradise.) Isn’t this a cause worth struggling for? The paradise of Allah awaits those who make constant istighfar.
- . . . ask forgiveness of your Lord and then repent to Him. He will send [rain from] the sky upon you in showers and increase you in strength [added] to your strength. [Quran 11:52]Again this verse mentions the sending of rain from the sky. But also adds that Allah will add strength. For those of us who want strength added to our lives- whether mental, psychological, physical or otherwise, this is the deed we need to do! We are struggling with doing a good deed- make istighfar, Allah will provide strength. We are struggling with a sin, make istighfar, Allah will give strength. We are struggling with heartbreak, let us make istighfar, He will provide strength to get over it.
- Seek forgiveness of your Lord and repent to Him, [and] He will let you enjoy a good provision for a specified term and give every doer of favour his favour [Qur’an, 11:3]This verse promises again a good provision for a specified term for those who make istighfar. However, the specified term is important. It shows that life is not permanent and that the good provision will also come to an end one day. And that naturally makes us fearful. And that is where Allah gives His biggest promises to the people of astaghfirullah. He says He will grant us His good favour. What else in life do we want other than to know that we have earned His favour? Every blessing is a curse if His favour is not upon us, and everything can be endured if His favour is the answer. And yet, He asks for so little. All He asks is that we seek His forgiveness.
- And Allah would not punish them while they seek forgiveness [Quran, 8:33] One of the scariest things in human life is disaster— when something horrible happens out of the blue and without us expecting it. There are very few things that terrify people more than something like that. Islamically, they can be both tests and punishments. As Muslims, we don’t want to be punished by Allah. We don’t want to experience any of it. And istighfar is the promise from Allah that it’s not going to happen. He has our back as long as we seek His forgiveness.
- My Lord, forgive me and grant me a kingdom such as will not belong to anyone after me. Indeed, You are the Bestower. [Quran 38:35]This was the dua of Sulaiman, alayhi salam. The beauty of the dua is that he starts it by seeking forgiveness from Allah. And He makes a request. That request was granted and will stand until the day of judgement. The Prophet Sulaiman was given a kingdom that no one will ever be given after him. And he started his dua while making istighfar to Allah. Scholars say that one of the ways of having our duas answered is by making istighfar first and then seeking from Allah. May Allah give us the strength to seek forgiveness of our sins that we did and also give us the strength to do righteous deeds, Ameen!
Written by: Student of Knowledge, As’salato, Hafidhahullah.