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All perfect praise is due to Allah The Almighty. May prayers and peace of Allah be upon His truthful Messenger; Muhammad, his family, his companions and those who followed him until the Day of Resurrection.
These are brief words about Istighfar "seeking forgiveness", its virtues, its proper times, and its wordings. Furthermore, we will touch upon fruits of Dhikr "remembrance of Allah The Almighty" and the best of it. We ask Allah The Almighty to render it beneficial for all.
Seeking Forgiveness
Its virtues:
1. It is an act of obedience to Allah The Almighty.
2. It is a reason for forgiving and erasing sins, for Allah The Almighty Says: {I said "to them": Ask forgiveness from your Lord; Verily, He is Oft-Forgiving}. [Nuh 71:10]

{فَقُلْتُ اسْتَغْفِرُوا رَبَّكُمْ إِنَّهُ كَانَ غَفَّاراً} نوح: 10

Transliteration: Faqultu istaghfiroo rabbakum innahu kana ghaffara.
3. Sending rain, for Allah The Almighty Says: {He will send rain to you in abundance}. [Nuh 71:11]

{يُرْسِلِ السَّمَاء عَلَيْكُم مِّدْرَاراً} نوح: 11

Transliteration: Yursili assamaa 'alaykum midrara
4. Increasing wealth and children, for Allah The Almighty Says: {And give you increase in wealth and children}. [Nuh 71:12]

{وَيُمْدِدْكُمْ بِأَمْوَالٍ وَبَنِينَ} نوح: 12

Transliteration: Wayumdidkum bi-amwalin wabaneena
5. Entering Paradise, for Allah The Almighty Says: {And bestow on you gardens}. [Nuh 71:12]

{وَيَجْعَل لَّكُمْ جَنَّاتٍ} نوح: 12

Transliteration: wayaj'al lakum jannatin
6. Increasing power in its different forms, for Allah The Almighty Says: {And add strength to your strength}. [Hud 11:52]

{وَيَزِدْكُمْ قُوَّةً إِلَى قُوَّتِكُمْ} هود: 52

Transliteration: Wayazidkum quwwatan ila quwwatikum
7. Getting good enjoyment, Allah The Almighty Says: {That He may grant you good enjoyment}. [Hud 11: 3]

{يُمَتِّعْكُم مَّتَاعاً حَسَناً} هود: 3

Transliteration: yumatti'kum mata'an hasanan
8. Warding off calamities for Allah The Almighty: {Nor will He punish them while they seek "Allah's" Forgiveness}. [Al-Anfaal 8:33]

{وَمَا كَانَ اللّهُ مُعَذِّبَهُمْ وَهُمْ يَسْتَغْفِرُونَ} الأنفال: 33

Transliteration: wama kanaAllahu mu'aththibahum wahum yastaghfiroon
9. It is a reason for bestowing abounding grace to every owner of grace, for Allah The Almighty Says: {And bestow His abounding Grace to every owner of grace "i.e. the one who helps and serves needy and deserving, physically and with his wealth, and even with good words"}. [Hud 11:3]

{وَيُؤْتِ كُلَّ ذِي فَضْلٍ فَضْلَهُ} هود:3

Transliteration: Wa yu'ti kulla thee fadlin fadlahu
10. Worshipers are really in dire need for asking forgiveness for they usually commit sins day and night. So whenever they ask Allah The Almighty to forgive them, Allah The Almighty will forgive them.
11. It is a reason for sending down mercy for Allah The Almighty Says: {Why seek you not the Forgiveness of Allah, that you may receive mercy?}. [An-Naml 27: 46]

{لَوْلَا تَسْتَغْفِرُونَ اللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ} النمل:46

Transliteration: lawla tastaghfiroona Allaha la'allakum turhamoon.
12. It acts as the expiation of sins committed at a sitting or gathering.
13. It is a kind of treading the same path of the Prophet, prayers and peace of Allah be upon him, for he used to ask forgiveness from Allah The Almighty for more than seventy times in a single gathering and in another narration: one hundred times.
Quotes about Asking Forgiveness
1. It was narrated that Luqman, may Allah exalt his status, said to his son: "Accustom your tongue to seeking Allah's forgiveness, for surely Allah The Almighty has moments when He does not reject any supplicant."
2. 'Ai'shah; Mother of the Believers, may Allah be pleased with her, said: "It is a fortunate person who "on the Day of Judgement" finds in his record many Du'aas "supplications" for forgiveness."
3. Qatadah, may Allah have mercy upon him, said: "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."
4. Abu Al-Minhaal, may Allah have mercy upon him, said: "No neighbor of any servant in his grave is better than "more beloved to him than" Istighfar."
5. Al-Hasan, may Allah have mercy upon him, said: "Ask for Allah's forgiveness frequently in your homes, at your tables, on your roads, in your markets, at your meetings, and wherever you are. You never know when you will be granted Allah's forgiveness."
6. Once, a Bedouin said: "Whoever wants to live among us has to seek Allah's forgiveness great deal, for rain sent down by seeking forgiveness."
Favorable times of Seeking Forgiveness
It is permissible to seek forgiveness at all times; however, it will be obligatory at the times of committing sins. Moreover, it is recommendable at the end of all righteous actions such as seeking forgiveness thrice after every prayer, seeking forgiveness after performing Hajj and the like.
In addition, it is desirable to seek forgiveness in the last hours before dawn for Allah The Almighty praised those who seek His forgiveness in the last hours before dawn.
Different Wordings of Istighfar
1. Sayyid Al-Istighfaar is the best way of seeking forgiveness. It is that the servant says: "O Allah, You are my Lord, there is no God except You. You have created me and I am Your slave and I am keeping my promise and covenant to You as much as I can. I seek refuge with You from the evil of what I do. I acknowledge Your blessing and I acknowledge my sin, so forgive me, for there is none who can forgive sin except You". [Al-Bukhari]

«اللهم أنت ربي لا إله الا أنت، خلقتني وأنا عبدك وأنا على عهدك ووعدك ما استطعت، أعوذ بك من شر ما صنعت، أبوء لك بنعمتك عليّ وأبوء بذنبي، فاغفر لي، فإنه لا يغفر الذنوب إلا أنت»

Transliteration: Allahumma anta rabbiy laa ilaaha illa anta, khalaqtani wa ana 'abduka wa ana 'ala 'ahdika wa wa'dika ma astata'tu. A'oodhu bika min sharri ma sana'tu, aboo'u laka bi ni'matika 'alayya wa aboo'u laka bi dhanbi, faghfir li fa innahu laa yaghfir al-dhunooba illa anta
2. "I seek forgiveness from Allah" [Al-Bukhari]

«أستغفر الله»

Transliteration: Astaghfirullah
3. "O my Lord! Forgive me" [Al-Bukhari]

«ربِ اغفر لي»

Transliteration: Rabb iIghfir lee
4. "O Allah, I have done great injustice to myself, so grant me forgiveness for no one forgives sin except You". [Al-Albani, authentic]

«اللهم إني ظلمت نفسي فاغفر لي، فإنه لا يغفر الذنوب إلا أنت»

Transliteration: Allahumma inni thalamtu nafsi faghfir li, Fa'innahu laa yaghfir al-dhunooba illa anta.
5. "O my Lord, forgive me and accept my repentance, for You are the Accepter of Repentance, Most Merciful". [Al-Albani, authentic]

«رب اغفر لي وتب عليّ إنك أنت التواب الغفور، أو التواب الرحيم»

Transliteration: Rabbi ighfir li wa tubb 'alayya innaka anta At-Tawwaab Ar-raheem
6. "O Allah, I have done great injustice to myself and no one forgives sin except You. So grant me forgiveness from You and have mercy on me, for You are the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful". [Agreed upon]

«اللهم إني ظلمت نفسي ظلماً كثيراً ولا يغفر الذنوب إلا الله، فاغفر لي مغفرةً من عندك، وارحمني إنك أنت الغفور الرحيم»

Transliteration: Allahumma inni Thalamtu nafsi Thulman katheeran wa laa yaghfir al-dhunooba illa anta, faghfir li maghfiratan min 'indika warhamni innaka anta Algh-Ghafoor Ar-Raheem
7. "I ask forgiveness of Allah the Almighty, besides Whom there is no god, the Ever-Living, the Eternal, and I repent to Him". [Al-Albani, authentic]

«أستغفر الله الذي لا إله إلا هو الحي القيوم وأتوب إليه»

Transliteration: AstaghfiruAllah Al-'Atheem alladhi laa ilaaha illa huwa Al-hayyu Al-qayyoom wa atoobu ilayhi
Fruits of Dhikr "Remembrance of Allah The Almighty"
There are many benefits and fruits of Dhikr, amongst them are:
1. Drive Satan away.
2. Pleases Ar-Rahmaan "the Most Gracious" i.e. Allah The Almighty.
3. Relieve from worry and distress.
4. Bring happiness and cheerfulness.
5. Brighten the face.
6. Increase one's provision.
7. Makes Allah The Almighty loves His worshiper.
8. Makes the worshiper love Allah The Almighty, observe Him, knows Him, return to Him and bring him near to Him.
9. Makes the person in remembrance get accustomed to the remembrance of Allah The Almighty.
10. Revive the heart.
11. Erase sins.
12. Benefits one at the times of hardships and difficulties.
13. Eliminates feelings of alienation between the worshiper and his Lord.
14. It is a reason for sending down tranquility, mercy and angels.
15. Keeps one busy from Gheebah "Backbiting", Namimah "tale-bearing" and obscene speech.
16. Protect one from regret on the Day of Resurrection.
17. It, along with crying in seclusion "i.e. crying when one is alone from the fear of Allah The Almighty" include one among those whom Allah will shade on the Day of Resurrection with the shade of His Throne.
18. Guards one against forgetting Allah The Almighty.
19. Guards one from Nifaaq "hypocrisy".
20. It is the easiest and less difficult act of worship. In spite of this fact, it equals freeing a slave and rewarded by great rewards that are better than that of any other act of worship.
21. It is the tree of Paradise.
22. Satisfies the heart and fulfills its needs.
23. Strengthens the wills and determinations of the heart.
24. Disperses the worries, distresses and sadness of the heart.
25. Strengthen and fortify one against the soldiers of Satan.
26. Makes one pay much attention to the affairs of the Hereafter and forget about that of the worldly life.
27. It acts as the essence and essential part of gratefulness and the whoever does not remember Allah The Almighty is not grateful.
28. The most honorable person in status before Allah The Almighty is the one who keeps his tongue moist with the remembrance of Allah The Almighty.
29. Eases the hardness of the heart.
30. Entails the mercy of Allah The Almighty and supplications of His angels.
31. All the acts of worship are imposed only for establishing the remembrance of Allah The Almighty.
32. Allah The Almighty expresses His pride to His angels about those who remember Him most.
33. Eases difficulties, lessens hardships and eases matters.
34. Bring bless to time.
35. Has a magnificent effect in achieving safety. In fact, there is nothing more beneficial for the one who has serious fears than the remembrance of Allah The Almighty.
36. Enables one to defeat his enemies.
37. Strengthens the power of the heart.
38. Mountains and desert express their pride and be pleased with those who remember Allah The Almighty on their grounds.
39. Constant remembrance in roads, homes, while traveling and staying and in all places strengthens the belief of the worshiper in the Day of Resurrection.
40. Has a different distinguishing taste other than any act of worship.
The Best Wording of Dhikr
"Glory be to Allah, Praise be to Allah, There is no God except Allah, and Allah is the Most Great".

«سبحان الله، والحمد لله، ولا إله إلا الله، والله أكبر»

Transliteration: Subhaan Allah, Alhamduli-llaah, Wa Laa Ilaha Ilaa Allah, wa Allahu Akbar
Such words are the best words of remembering Allah The Almighty after the Noble Qur`an and they are also from the Noble Qur`an. [Based on an authentic hadith reported by Muslim]
The Great words of Dhikr include:
• "there is no strength and power except with Allah".

«لا حول ولا قوة إلا بالله»

Transliteration: Laa hawla wa laa quwwata illa Billaah
It is one of treasures of Paradise [Based on an authentic hadith reported by Al-Bukhari]. In fact, it has an amazing effect in easing difficulties, alleviating burdens and elevating one to sublime degrees.
• "Glory and praise be to Allah",

«سبحان الله وبحمده»

Transliteration: Subhaan Allahi wa bi hamdihi
Whoever says it one hundred times a day all his sins even if they were as much as the foam of the sea. [Reported by Al-Bukhari]

«من قال: سبحان الله وبحمده، في يوم مائة مرة، حطت خطاياه وإن كانت مثل زبد البحر» رواه البخاري

• "Glory and praise be to Allah, glory be to Allah the Almighty".

«سبحان الله وبحمده، سبحان الله العظيم»

Transliteration: Subhaana Allah wa bihamdih, subhaan Allah il-'Atheem
They are two words which are light on the tongue and heavy in the scale, and beloved to the Most Merciful. [Agreed upon]

«كلمتان حبيبتان إلى الرحمن، خفيفتان على اللسان، ثقيلتان في الميزان: سبحان الله وبحمده، سبحان الله العظيم» متفق عليه

• "There is no God except Allah Alone, with no partner or associate His is the sovereignty and to Him be praise".

«لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له، له الملك، وله الحمد، وهو على كل شيء قدير»

Transliteration: Laa ilaaha ill-Allah wahdahu la shareeka lah, lahu'l-mulk wa lahu'l-hamd
Whoever says it ten times in a day, will have "a reward" equivalent to freeing four slaves of the children of Isma'eel "Ishmael" and whoever says it one hundred times in a day one hundred Hasanaat "good deeds" will be recorded for him, one hundred Sayi'aat "bad deeds" will be erased from him, will have "a reward" equivalent to freeing ten slaves, and he will be protected from Satan for that day. [Reported by Al-Bukhari]

«من قال: لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له، له الملك وله الحمد، وهو على كل شيء قدير. في يوم مائة مرة، كانت له عدل عشر رقاب، وكتبت له مائة حسنة، ومحيت عنه مائة سيئة، وكانت له حرزا من الشيطان يومه ذلك حتى يمسي...» رواه البخاري

Conclusion
The fruits of Dhikr "remembrance" can be perfectly attained by doing great deal of it, concentrating on saying them, adhering firmly to the Adhkar of the two ends of the day "Morning and evening remembrance", sticking to the restricted Adhkar and that are not restricted to a particular time, and keeping away from innovations and transgressing the limits of the rulings of religion.
May peace and blessing of Allah be upon our Prophet; Muhammad, his family and his companions.


 

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