Imam Al-Nawawi’s Riyad-us-Saliheen
Allah, the Exalted, says:
“And ask forgiveness for your sin…” (47:19)
“And seek the forgiveness of Allah. Certainly, Allah is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (4:106)
“And declare the freedom of your Rubb from imperfection beginning with His praise, and ask His forgiveness. Verily, He is the One Who accepts the repentance and Who forgives.” (110:3)
“For Al-Muttaqun (the pious) there are Gardens (Jannah) with their Rubb, underneath which rivers flow. Therein (is their) eternal (home) and Azwajun Mutahharatun (purified mates or wives). And Allah will be pleased with them. And Allah is All-Seer of the (His) slaves. Those who say: `Our Rubb! We have indeed believed, so forgive us our sins and save us from the punishment of the Fire. (They are) those who are patient, those who are true (in Faith, words, and deeds), and obedient with sincere devotion in worship to Allah. Those who spend (give the Zakat and alms in the way of Allah) and those who pray and beg Allah’s Pardon in the last hours of the night.” (3:15-17)
“And whoever does evil or wrongs himself but afterwards seeks Allah’s forgiveness, he will find Allah Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (4:110)
“And Allah would not punish them while you (Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam)) are amongst them, nor will He punish them while they seek (Allah’s) forgiveness.” (8:33)
“And those who, when they have committed Fahishah (illegal sexual intercourse) or wronged themselves with evil, remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their sins; – and none can forgive sins but Allah – and do not persist in what (wrong) they have done, while they know.” (3:135)
The Qur’anic Ayat on the subject are many and well-known.
1869. Al-Agharr Al-Muzani (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “Sometimes I perceive a veil over my heart, and I supplicate Allah for forgiveness a hundred times in a day.”
1870. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) saying, “I swear by Allah that I seek Allah’s Pardon and turn to Him in repentance more than seventy times a day.”
1871. Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “By the One in Whose Hand my soul is! If you do not commit sins, Allah would replace you with a people who would commit sins and seek forgiveness from Allah; and Allah will certainly forgive them.”
1872. Ibn `Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) said: We counted Messenger’s saying a hundred times during one single sitting: Rabb-ighfir li, wa tubb `alayya, innaka Antat-Tawwabur-Rahim. (My Rubb! Forgive me and pardon me. Indeed, You are the Oft-Returning with compassion and Ever Merciful.”
[Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi].
1873. Ibn `Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them) said: The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) 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.”
1874. Ibn Mas`ud (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “He who says: `Astaghfir ullah-alladhi la ilaha illa Huwal-Haiyul-Qayyumu, wa atubu ilaihi (I seek the forgiveness of Allah, there is no true god except Allah, the Ever-Living, the Self-Subsisting, and I turn to Him in repentance),’ his sins will be forgiven even if he should have run away from the battlefield (while he was engaged in fighting for the Cause of Allah).”
[Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi and Al-Hakim (on conditions of Al-Bukhari and Muslim for accepting Hadith)].
1875. Shaddad bin Aus (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “The best supplication for seeking forgiveness (Syed-ul-Istighfar) is to say: `Allahumma Anta Rabbi, la ilaha illa Anta, khalaqtani wa ana `abduka, wa ana `ala `ahdika wa wa`dika mastata`tu, a`udhu bika min sharri ma sana`tu, abu‘u laka bini`matika `alayya, wa abu‘u bidhanbi faghfir li, fa innahu la yaghfirudh-dhunuba illa Anta. (O Allah! You are my Rubb. 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 favours 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.”
1876. Thauban (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Whenever the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) finished his Salat (prayer), he would beg forgiveness three times [by saying, `Astaghfirullah’ (3 times)] and then he would say: “Allahumma Antas-Salamu, wa minkas-Salamu, tabarakta ya Dhal-Jalali wal-Ikram. (O Allah! You are the Bestower of security and security comes from You; Blessed are You. O Possessor of glory and honour).” Imam Al-Auza`i (one of the subnarrators) of this Hadith was asked: “How forgiveness should be sought?” He replied: “I say: Astaghfirullah, Astaghfirullah (I seek forgiveness from Allah. I seek forgiveness from Allah).”
1877. `Aishah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: Prior to his demise, the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) used to supplicate frequently: Subhan Allahi wa bihamdihi; Astaghfirullaha wa atubu ilaihi (Allah is free from imperfection, and I begin with praising Him. I beg forgiveness from Allah and I turn to Him in repentance.”
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
1878. Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) saying, “Allah, the Exalted, has said: `O son of Adam! I shall go on forgiving you so long as you pray to Me and aspire for My forgiveness whatever may be your sins. O son of Adam! I do not care even if your sins should pile up to the sky and should you beg pardon of Me, I would forgive you. O son of Adam! If you come to Me with an earthful of sins and meet Me, not associating anything with Me in worship, I will certainly grant you as much pardon as will fill the earth.”’
1879. Ibn `Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) said: The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “O women folk! You should give charity and be diligent in seeking Allah’s forgiveness because I have seen (i.e., on the Night of the Ascension to the highest heavens) that dwellers of the Hell are women.” A woman amongst them said: “Why is it that the majority of the dwellers of Hell are women?” The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) replied, “You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. In spite of your lacking in wisdom and failing in religion, you are depriving the wisest of men of their intelligence.” Upon this the woman asked: “What is the deficiency in our wisdom and in our religion?” He (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) replied, “Your lack of wisdom can be well judged from the fact that the evidence of two women is equal to that one man. You do not offer Salat (prayer) for some days and you do not fast (the whole of) Ramadan sometimes, it is a deficiency in religion.”