In this section we will study in depth the Name of Allah AL-GHAFOOR and all things related to ISTIGFAAR. We will gather many verses and ahadeeth relating to the topic.
Allah’s name Al-Ghafoor— The Forgiving, The Exceedingly and Perfectly Forgiver — occurs 91 times in the Quran, making it one of the most common names mentioned there. Usually translated as The Forgiver and Pardoner, the One Who Covers and Protects. He is the One Who forgives, regardless of how large the sin is, and He forgives over and over again!
Linguistic Meaning: The root verb of Al-Ghaffoor and Al-Ghaffaar is gha-fa-ra (غَفَرَ), which does NOT mean “to forgive”; rather, it means to shield, protect and cover. Like a helmet, which, in Arabic, is called a “Mighfaar.”
The root verb gha-fa-ra points to three main meanings.
- The first meaning is to cover, veil, conceal, and hide.
- The second meaning is to pardon, to forgive, and to set aright.
- And the third meaning is to cover a thing to protect it (from dirt).
Allah’s name Al-Ghafoor does not JUST mean that He forgives us; He also protects and shields us from the evil consequences of our own evil actions. He does maghfirah— He covers our sins while being fully aware of what they are. His perfect forgiveness is truly a sign of His ultimate mercy for us!
Difference between AL-Ghafoor and Al-Gaffaar
From the same root comes the beautiful name Al-Ghaffaar, which refers to the fact that Allah forgives repeatedly (the quantity). Al-Ghaffaar is only mentioned about four times in the Qur’an. Al-Ghaffaar is the one who CONTINUES to forgive, again and again and again and again and again. Whereas the name Al-Ghafoor points to the extent of His forgiveness (the quality) i.e He forgives the big and the small, the first and the last and the apparent and hidden.
The conditions for your sins to be forgiven?
This point confuses some people. Is there a difference between Tawbah and Istighfaar? In the Quran it is clear that when Allah mentions separately (not together) these words TAWBAH or ISTIGFAAR they essentially do the SAME thing – they both have the SAME conditions, they both achieve that sin being forgiven.
They are obviously different words. Tawbah comes from the word meaning to ‘RETURN TO’ And Istigfaar comes from the word meaning to cover/protect. But the one who has made Tawbah (repented) has sort forgiveness and the one who seeks forgiveness has repented. So the conditions are the same 1.To stop the sin 2.Regret 3.Not to return to the sin. (We have explained these conditions in detail HERE) If you read the Quran this is point is CLEAR.
So you raise your hands to Allah and you think of a sin; you have remorse in your heart for doing it and you intend never to go back to that; whether you make Tawbah for that sin or Istigfaar, the sin is forgiven there is NO difference.
However SOMETIMES it is understood that Tawbah is done for specif sins that you are aware of and Istigfaar can be done for sins that you may not be aware of. The evidence? Our Nabi [PBUH] taught the Dua. O Allah I seek refuge with you that I ascribe a partner to you while I KNOW and I SEEK YOUR FORGIVENESS (Istigfaar) of that which I do UNKNOWINGLY.
In this light we can see that after the salah (or ebaadah in general) we say Istigfaar 3 times and NOT Tawbah. Have you ever wonderd why after the salah the 1st thing we do is make Istigfaar? What sin have you just committed? Rather its as if we are saying… O Allah forgive me/cover me from the errors I made in this ebaadah (that which I am not even aware of). O Allah forgive me for this lowly/deficient ebaadah that I have just offered. etc.
A Beautiful Combination: Al-Ghafoor and Ar-Raheem
Just as many of the names of Allah, when He mentions His name Al-Ghafoor He mentions it along side His name Ar-Raheem. This combination is repeated 72 times in the Quran. This demonstrating that He covers these sins because He is so RAHEEM Merciful to us! We have explained the name of Allaah Ar-Raheem HERE
Other names Al-Ghafoor is combined with are
- Ar-Raheem: 72 times, Allah mentions Al-Ghafoor with Ar-Raheem, one of the most common sets of pairs of Allah’s names—signifying that he COVERS these sins because he’s merciful to us.
- Al-Haleem: 6 times, Allah pairs Al-Ghafoor with Al-Haleem—and Al-Haleem means the one who is able to restrain his anger after being justifiably angry. He is capable of being angry with us, but he restrains and forgives us.
- Al-’Afuww: 4 times, Allah pairs Al-Ghaffoor with Al-’Affuw, meaning he is the one who covers our sins, and also wipes them out, utterly obliterates them, with his forgiveness.
- Ash-Shakuwr: 3 times, he pairs this with As-Shakuwr (الشكور), the one who appreciates what you’ve done and rewards you with more then you deserve. Pairing this with Al-Ghafoor, you get the one who forgives you, and gives you more then you deserve for your good deeds. And Surah-Shuraa, the people of Jannah say: “we made it because Allah is Ghafoor and Shakuwr—He forgave us, and gave us more then we deserve.”
- Al-Aziz: 2 times, Allah pairs Al-Ghafoor with Al-Aziz (العزيز), and Al-Aziz is, the one who has honour and power, and the one who has power in himself so he cannot be harmed, and the all-powerful. These are the meanings of Aziz. By combining with Al-Ghafoor, Allah is saying, “I’m forgiving you DESPITE the fact that I’m all-powerful.” Because if a bully comes and hits you, you might forgive him, because there’s nothing you can do—you’re weak and incapable—but Allah says “no, I forgive even though I am Al-Aziz.” And that is the HEIGHT of forgiveness.
- Al-Waduwd: 1 time, Allah pairs Al-Ghafoor with Al-Waduwd (الوَدُود)–the one who shows extra love, the caring type of love (Arabic has over 10 verbs to describe different types of love). And Al-Waduwd has connotations of caring and loving and protecting. Allah is saying “I forgive you because I love you with that type of love”–best described as a parent’s love (wudd) for her child.
A major sin requires Tawbah/Istigfaar
When one commits a major sin. This requires a specific Tawbah/Istigfaar. So Allah says And seek forgiveness of Allah . Indeed, Allah is ever Forgiving and Merciful [4:106]
Such is the urgency of this Istigfaar when we sin that not only has Allah commanded us to seek His forgiveness but He told us rush towards it. Allah says And hasten to forgiveness from your Lord and a garden as wide as the heavens and earth, prepared for the righteous [3:133]
The vastness of Allah’s forgiveness
- And whoever does a wrong or wrongs himself but then seeks forgiveness of Allah will find Allah Forgiving and Merciful [4:110]
- Then Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Allah, the Exalted, has said: ‘O son of adam, I forgive you as long as you pray to Me and hope for My forgiveness, whatever sins you have committed. O son of ‘Adam, I do not care if your sins reach the height of the heaven, then you ask for my forgiveness, I would forgive you. O son of ‘Adam, if you come to Me with an earth load of sins, and meet Me associating nothing to Me, I would match it with an earth load of forgiveness.” [At-Tirmidhi].
- The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Allah, the Exalted, and Glorious said: ‘A slave committed a sin and he said: O Allah, forgive my sin,’ and Allah said: ‘My slave committed a sin and then he realized that he has a Rubb Who forgives the sins and punishes for the sin.’ He then again committed a sin and said: ‘My Rubb, forgive my sin,’ and Allah (SWT) said: ‘My slave committed a sin and then realized that he has a Rubb Who forgives his sin and punishes for the sin.’ He again committed a sin and said: ‘My Rubb, forgive my sin,’ and Allah (SWT) said: ‘My slave has committed a sin and then realized that he has a Rubb Who forgives the sin or takes (him) to account for sin. I have granted forgiveness to my slave. Let him do whatever he likes”. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Forgiveness + Punishment
When man becomes aware of Allah’s forgiveness he becomes blinded by it and forgets that definitely Allah can forgive so we shouldn’t lose hope in Him but He also has the full right to punish man for each and every sin so we become balanced in our hope and fear of Him.
Know that Allah is severe in penalty and that Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. [5: 98]. The forgiver of sin, acceptor of repentance, severe in punishment, owner of abundance. There is no deity except Him; to Him is the destination. [40:3]. [O Muhammad], inform My servants that it is I who am the Forgiving, the Merciful And that it is My punishment which is the painful punishment. [15:49]
The end result of a true forgiveness from Allah is Jannah
And those who, when they commit an immorality or wrong themselves [by transgression], remember Allah and seek forgiveness for their sins – and who can forgive sins except Allah? and [who] do not persist in what they have done while they know. Those – their reward is forgiveness from their Lord and gardens beneath which rivers flow [in Paradise], wherein they will abide eternally; and excellent is the reward of the [righteous] workers. [3:13-136]
The nature of Man
One must realize that man in his nature is extremely sinful. His worship to his creator is extremely deficient. He is quick to forget Allah and even quicker to give thanks to His blessings let alone remember them. How ungrateful man is where do we start and where do we end. In this respect we can never be perfect. Allah knows this but what he wants from us is to seek His forgiveness.
- Abu Hurairah (RA) reported: Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “By the One in Whose Hand my soul is, were you not to commit sins, Allah would replace you with a people who would commit sins and then seek forgiveness from Allah; and Allah would forgive them”. [Muslim]
- Abu Ayyub Khalid bin Zaid (RA) reported: Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Were you not to commit sins, Allah would create people who would commit sins and ask for forgiveness and He would forgive them”. [Muslim]
The most blessed time to seek this forgiveness
Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying:
يَنْزِلُ رَبُّنَا تَبَارَكَ وَتَعَالَى كُلَّ لَيْلَةٍ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ الدُّنْيَا حِينَ يَبْقَى ثُلُثُ اللَّيْلِ الآخِرُ فَيَقُولُ مَنْ يَدْعُونِي فَأَسْتَجِيبَ لَهُ وَمَنْ يَسْأَلُنِي فَأُعْطِيَهُ وَمَنْ يَسْتَغْفِرُنِي فَأَغْفِرَ لَهُ
Our Lord, the Blessed and the Exalted, descends every night to the lowest heaven when one-third of the latter part of the night is left, and says: Who supplicates Me so that I may answer him? Who asks Me so that I may give to him? Who asks Me forgiveness so that I may forgive him? [Muslim]
Supplication for forgiveness
- Shaddad bin Aus (RAA) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “The best manner of asking for forgiveness is to say:
“O Allah! You are my Lord. None has the right to be worshiped except You. You created me and I am your servant and I abide by your covenant and promise as best I can. I seek refuge in you from the evil, which I have committed. I acknowledge your favor upon me and I knowledge my sins, so forgive me, for verily none can forgive sin except you.” [Al-Bukhari]
- Bilal bin Yasar bin Zaid [the freed slave of the Prophet] narrated: “My father narrated to me, from my grandfather, that he heard the Prophet say: ‘Whoever says:
“I seek forgiveness from Allah, the Magnificent, whom there is none worthy of worship but Him, the Living, Al-Qayyum, and I repent to him,” (Astaghfirullahal-Azimalladhi La Ilaha Illa Huwal-Hayyul-Qayyumu Wa Atubu Ilaih) then Allah will forgive him, even if he fled from battle.’” [Hasan]
- Narrated Anas ibn Malik: The Prophet (ﷺ) said: If anyone says in the morning:
“O Allah! in the morning we call Thee, the bearers of Thy Throne, Thy angels, and all Thy creatures to witness that Thou art Allah than Whom there is no god, Thou being alone and without a partner, and that Muhammad is Thy servant and Thy Apostle,” Allah will forgive him any sins that he commits that day; and if he repeats them in the evening. Allah will forgive him any sins he commits that night. [Daif]
An important point
Allah has put the means for forgiveness in many different types of ebaadah but this forgiveness (generally) is for SMALL sins. As for MAJOR sins require specific repentance/forgiveness.
When we come to know how many hadith there are in relation to Allah’s forgiveness it really does highlight two things 1) how much we are drowning in our sins such that Allah has to place forgiveness in so many different worships so that we would be saved from His punishment and 2) to demonstrate the great and immanence mercy & forgiveness of Allah upon us.
Examples of Allah’s MAGFIRAH (Forgiving/covering/protecting)
There are certain statements, actions and qualities which result in ones sins being expiated. The 1st and most important is the statement of Allah;
If you avoid the (major) sins which ye are forbidden, We will remove from you your (lesser) sins and admit you to a noble entrance [into Paradise]. [4:31]
- Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah said: “When a man was walking on the road, he found a thorny branch and removed it. Allah appreciated his action by forgiving him.” [Saheeh]
- It was narrated that Abu Dharr said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah say: ‘Everyone in the universe, in the heavens and on earth, prays for forgiveness for the scholar, even the fish in the sea.” [Daif]
- Abu Hurayra said, “The dead person can be raised a degree after his death. He said, ‘My Lord, how is this?’ He was told, ‘Your child can ask for forgiveness for you.'” [Hasan]
- Narrated ‘Ali: If a man visits a patient in the evening, seventy thousand angels come along with him seeking forgiveness from Allah for him till the morning, and he will have a garden in the Paradise. [Saheeh Mawqoof]
- Abu Hurairah [may Allah be pleased with him] narrated that : the Prophet said: “No group gather in a sitting in which they do not remember Allah, nor sent Salat upon their Prophet, except it will be a source of remorse for them. If He wills, He will punish the, and if He wills, He will forgive them.” [Saheeh]
- It was narrated that Sa’sa’ah bin Mu’awiyah said: “I met Abu Dharr and said: ‘Tell me a Hadith.’ He said: the Messenger of Allah said: There are no two Muslims, three of whose children die before reaching puberty, but Allah will forgive them by virtue of His mercy towards them.”‘ [Saheeh]
- Yusuf bin Abi Burdah narrated: “I heard my father say: ‘I entered upon ‘Aishah, and I heard her say: “When the Messenger of Allah exited the toilet, he would say: غُفْرَانَكَ Ghufranaka (I seek Your forgiveness).’ [Saheeh]
- And he said: “Charity extinguishes sin as water extinguishes fire, but hasad (malicious envy) consumes good deeds as fire consumes wood.” [Saheeh]
Prayer – Jummah – Ramadan
- Abu Hurairah (RA) reported: Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “The five (daily) Salat (prayers), and from one Jumu’ah prayer to the (next) Jumu’ah prayer, and from Ramadan to Ramadan are expiations for the (sins) committed in between (their intervals); provided the major sins are not committed”. [Muslim]
- It was narrated from Abu Qatadah that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “Fasting the day of ‘Ashura’, I hope, will expiate for the sins of the previous year.” sahih
- Abu Qatadah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) was asked about observing As-Saum (the fast) on the tenth day of Muharram, and he replied, “It is an expiation for the sins of the preceding year.” [Muslim]
- It was narrated that Salman said: “The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said to me: ‘There is no man who purifies himself on Friday as he is commanded, then comes out of his house to the Friday prayer, and listens attentively until he finishes his prayer, but it will be an expiation for what came before it the week before.” [Saheeh]
- It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “From one Friday to the next is an expiation for whatever was committed in between, so long as one does not commit any major sin.” [Saheeh]
- Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: Five prayers and from one Friday prayer to (the next) Friday prayer is an expiation (of the sins committed in between their intervals) if major sins are not committed. [Muslim]
- The messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Whoever fasts Ramadaan out of faith and the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 37; Muslim, 1268).
- And he said: “Whoever spends the night of Laylat al-Qadr in prayer out of faith and the hope of reward, his previous sins will be forgiven.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1768).
Umrah & Hajj
- Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “(The performance of) `Umra is an expiation for the sins committed (between it and the previous one). And the reward of Hajj Mabrur (the one accepted by Allah) is nothing except Paradise.” [Bukhari]
- Abu Sa’id and Abu Hurairah (RA) reported that the Prophet (ﷺ) said:”Never a believer is stricken with a discomfort, an illness, an anxiety, a grief or mental worry or even the pricking of a thorn but Allah will expiate his sins on account of his patience”. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
- Narrated Aisha: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “No calamity befalls a Muslim but that Allah expiates some of his sins because of it, even though it were the prick he receives from a thorn.” [Bukhari]
- Abu Sa’id and abu Huraira reported that they heard Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying: Never a believer is stricken with discomfort, hardship or illness, grief or even with mental worry that his sins are not expiated for him. [Muslim]
- Narrated Ibn `Abbas: The Prophet (ﷺ) went to visit a sick bedouin. Whenever the Prophet (ﷺ) went to a patient, he used to say to him,
“Don’t worry, if Allah will, it will be expiation (for your sins):” [Bukhari]
Forgiveness that relates to the Salah
- Narrated `Aisha: The Noble Prophet (peace be upon him) has said:“ When a Muslim or a Believer washes his face (in the course of Wudu) every sin that he contemplated with his eyes is washed away from his face along with water, or with the last drop of water; when he washes his hands, every sin they wrought is effaced from his hands with the water, or with the last drop of water; and when he washes his feet, every sin toward which his feet have walked is washed away with the water, or with the last drop of water until he comes out pure from all sins. [Muslim]
- The Prophet (ﷺ) said:“ Whoever purified (made Wudu) himself in his house, and then walked to one of the Houses of Allah (Masjid) to perform an obligatory Salat, his footsteps act as one lowering a sin and the other raising a reward” [Muslim].
- Narrated Abu Hurayrah: The Prophet (ﷺ) said: The mu’adhdhin will receive forgiveness to the extent to which his voice reaches, and every moist and dry place will testify on his behalf; and he who attends (the congregation of) prayer will have twenty-five prayers recorded for him and will have expiation for sins committed between every two times of prayer. [Saheeh]
- Narrated Abu Huraira: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “As long as any-one of you is waiting for the prayer, he is considered to be praying actually, and the angels say, ‘O Allah! Be merciful to him and forgive him’, (and go on saying so) unless he leaves his place of praying or passes wind (i.e. breaks his ablution). [Bukhari]
- It was narrated from ‘Irbad bin Sariyah that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) used to ask for forgiveness for the first row three times and for the second row twice. [Saheeh]
- Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said:“ When Imam says Ameen, you also say Ameen. So whose Ameen coincides with that of the angels, all his preceding sins are forgiven” [Bukhari, Muslim]
- The prophet (ﷺ) said :“When a slave stands and prays, all his sins are brought and placed on his head and shoulders. Every time he bows or prostrates, some of them fall from him.” [al-Bayhaqi in al-Sunan al-Kubraa, Saheeh al-Jaami’]
- A’isha reported: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) often said while bowing and prostrating himself:” سُبْحَانَكَ اللَّهُمَّ رَبَّنَا وَبِحَمْدِكَ اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِي Glory be to You, O Allah, our Lord, and praise be to You, O Allah, forgive me,” thus complying with the (command in) the Qur’an (40:55). [Muslim]
- The prophet (ﷺ) used to say when prostrating himself:
“O Allah. Forgive me all my sins, small and great, first and last open and secret.” [Saheeh]
- It was narrated from Hudhaifah that the Prophet (ﷺ) used to say between the two prostrations: “Rabbighfir li, Rabbighfir li (O Lord forgive me, O Lord forgive me).” [Saheeh]
- Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “The angels keep on asking for Allah’s Blessing and Forgiveness for anyone of you as long as he is at his Musalla (praying place) and does not do Hadath (passes wind). The angels say, ‘O Allah! Forgive him and be Merciful to him.’ Each one of you is in the prayer as long as he is waiting for the prayer and nothing but the prayer detains him from going to his family.” [Bukhari]
- Narrated Abdullah bin Amr: Abu Bakr As-Siddiq said to the Prophet ﷺ “O Allah’s Apostle! Teach me an invocation with which I may invoke Allah in my prayers.” The Prophet said, “Say:
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي ظَلَمْتُ نَفْسِي ظُلْمًا كَثِيرًا وَلاَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إِلاَّ أَنْتَ فَاغْفِرْ لِي مَغْفِرَةً مِنْ عِنْدِكَ وَارْحَمْنِي إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ
O Allah! I have wronged my soul very much (oppressed myself), and none forgives the sins but You; so please bestow Your forgiveness upon me. No doubt, You are the Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Saheeh]
- Narrated Mihjan ibn al-Adra’: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) entered the mosque and saw a man who had finished his prayer, and was reciting the tashahhud saying:
اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ يَا اللَّهُ الأَحَدُ الصَّمَدُ الَّذِي لَمْ يَلِدْ وَلَمْ يُولَدْ وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ كُفُوًا أَحَدٌ أَنْ تَغْفِرَ لِي ذُنُوبِي إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ
O Allah, I ask you, O Allah, the One, the eternally besought of all, He begetteth not, nor was He begotten, and there is none comparable unto Him, that you may forgive me my sins, you are Most Forgiving, Merciful.
He (the Prophet) said: He was forgiven (repeating three times.) [Saheeh]
- Thauban reported: When the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) finsihed his prayer. He begged forgiveness (Astagfirullah) three times and said: O Allah! You are Salaam, and Salaam comes from You; Blessed are You, O Possessor of Glory and Honour. [Muslim]
- Ibn Umar narrated that one say, : The Messenger of Allah said to his Companions: “Say; ‘Glory is to Allah and with His Praise (Subhan Allah, Wa Bihamdih)’ a hundred times. Whoever says [it] one time, it is written for him ten, and whoever says it ten (times), it is written for him a hundred, and whoever says it a hundred (times), it is written for him a thousand, and whoever increases, Allah will increased for him, and whoever seeks Allah’s forgiveness, [Allah] will forgive him.” [Hasan]
- It was narrated that ‘Uthman bin ‘Affan said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) say: ‘Whoever does wudu’ properly, then walks to (attend) the prescribed prayer, and prays with the people or with the congregation or in the Masjid, Allah will forgive him his sins.” [Saheeh]
Reward for seeking forgiveness for others
- From Ubadah bin as-Samit (RA) who said: I heard the Messenger of Allaah (ﷺ) saying: “Whoever sought forgiveness for believing men and believing women, Allaah writes a good deed for him for every believing man and woman.” [at-Tabrani and Shaykh al-Albaani declared it to be Hasan in Saheeh al-Jamia no. 6026]
This is an amazing Hadith. It teaches us that when you say for example, ‘O Allah forgive Us’ intending by that to include every single Muslim on this earth you will get a reward for every single Muslim on this earth.
The Covering on the Day of Resurrection
- Abu Hurairah (RA) reported: The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “Allah will cover up on the Day of Resurrection the defects (faults) of the one who covers up the faults of the others in this world.” [Muslim].
What is the reward from Allah Al-Ghafoor for you covering up the faults and shortcomings of others in this world? He loves this quality so much that He’ll forgive your sins and not call you to account for your sins.
- The messenger of Allahﷺ said: “A believer will be brought close to his Rubb on the Day of Resurrection and enveloping him in His Mercy, He (SWT) will make him confess his sins by saying: `Do you remember (doing) this sin and this sin?’ He will reply: `My Rubb, I remember.’ Then He (SWT) will say: `I covered it up for you in the life of world, and I forgive it for you today.’ Then the record of his good deeds will be handed to him.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Aishah said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah saying at his death:
‘O Allah, forgive me and have mercy on me, and join me with the Highest Company.’”
Don’t leave istighfar:
A man once came to al-Hasan al-Basri and complained to him: “The sky does not shower us with rain.” He replied: “Seek Allah’s forgiveness (i.e. say أستغفر ألله).”
Then another person came to him and said, “I complain of poverty.” He replied: “Seek Allah’s forgiveness.”
Then another person came to him and complained, “My wife is barren; she cannot bear children.” He replied: “Seek Allah’s forgiveness.”
The people who were present, said to al-Hasan: “Everytime a person came to you complaining, you instructed them to seek Allah’s forgiveness?”
Al-Hasan al-Basri said, “Have you not read the statement of Allah? ‘I said “Ask forgiveness of your Lord. Truly He is Oft-Forgiving. He will send rain to you in abundance; increase you in wealth and children; grant you gardens and bestow on you rivers.”‘” [Nuh (71):10-12]
There are two things in the earth that give a person safety and security from the punishment of Allah. The first has been removed, whilst the second still remains. As for the first, it was the Messenger of Allah (صلي ألله عليه و سلم).
“Allah would not punish them while you were among them.” [al-Anfal (8):33]
As for the second, it is istighfar. “Allah would not punish them as long as they sought forgiveness.” [al-Anfal (8):33]
أستغفر ألله… أستغفر ألله… أستغفر ألله…
Do not ever leave istighfar!