Here’s a nice lecture that I came across today. It talks about seeking Allah’s Forgiveness outside of Ramadan.
Doing Istighfar Outside Ramadan by Abu Saifillaah Abdul Qaadir
You know, it’s amazing. We bawl like babies on Laylatul Qadr asking Allah to forgive our sins. Then a few days after that, we return back to our sorry states. And then we return the next year all ready to bawl like babies on Laylatul Qadr.
Is this really sincerity? Or do we just keep deluding ourselves?
You know, if we were really sincere (and I have no idea about your sincerity so I’m not judging you), we wouldn’t need to be standing in prayer, listening to the Imam’s dua in the last ten nights of Ramadan, in order to desperately ask for Allah’s Forgiveness. We’d do it every time we transgressed against the rights of Allah, regardless of whether we were on top of Burj Khalifah or in Masjid An-Nabawi. For the sincere person, the place doesn’t really matter because they know that Allah is watching them all the time and that He is the All-Hearer and All-Seer.
“And march forth in the way (which leads to) forgiveness from your Lord, and for Paradise as wide as are the heavens and the earth, prepared for Al-Muttaqoon (the pious). Those who spend [in Allah’s Cause – deeds of charity, alms, etc.] in prosperity and in adversity, who repress anger, and who pardon men; verily, Allah loves Al-Muhsinoon (the gooddoers). And those who, when they have committed Fahishah (illegal sexual intercourse etc.) 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. For such, the reward is Forgiveness from their Lord, and Gardens with rivers flowing underneath (Paradise), wherein they shall abide forever. How excellent is this reward for the doers (who do righteous deeds according to Allah’s Orders).” [Surah Aal-Imran (3) :133-136]
And no, being from amongst the above mentioned people is not a dream. If it was not possible to do it, then Allah would not have mentioned it. So, ask Allah to make you from amongst them and then do the best that you can.
As long as you are still alive, it’s never too late for a fresh start.
Well, as the Month of Seeking Forgiveness is here, what is the best way to seek forgiveness?
Well, the best dua for that is the one called “Sayyidul Istighfar” (the best way of seeking forgiveness):
‘O Allaah, You are my Lord, none has the right to be worshipped except You, You created me and I am You servant and I abide to Your covenant and promise as best I can, I take refuge in You from the evil of which I committed. I acknowledge Your favour upon me and I acknowledge my sin, so forgive me, for verily none can forgive sin except You.’
Here’s an excellent explanation of this dua: The Most Excellent Manner of Seeking Forgiveness by Shaikh Abdur Razzaq Al-Abbad.
He starts off with a nice introduction about repentance and its conditions., and then goes onto to explain the wording of the dua. Excellent stuff.
(All his books and his father’s books are excellent, by the way. It must be something in those genes.)
Allah has granted us a month like Ramadan out of His Mercy and his Wisdom. Everyone knows how much easier it is to worship Him during this month.
However, were we given this month for us to worship Allah only for its duration? Or were we given this month so that we could train our bodies and souls to be constantly obedient to Allah?
You know what the answer is.
The first thing that we need to do is to intend for this month to be a new start for us. If we don’t intend to continue being obedient to Allah after the month is over, then why exactly are we being obedient to Him in this month to begin with???
So, how do we make a fresh start? The first way is to close the doors.
Close the doors? Yes, the doors of sins. Our sins.
How do we do that? By seeking Allah’s Forgiveness and repenting to Him, of course.
How do we do that?
Well, there’s a hadeeth which tells three ways to seek His Forgiveness. It’s quite beautiful. Also, Imam Ibn Rajab (rahimahullah) has explained it in a magnificent way.
You can the read hadeeth and its explanation here.
Let’s all read it, ponder over it and aim to apply it, insha-Allah.
Want some motivational stories of people who made a fresh start?
Well, here’s the story of the man who killed 99 people and here are the stories of a whole bunch of people who tried to seek the truth. (The link is to another blog of mine.)
In case you’re wondering what sin the latter group was guilty of (before they sought the truth) – it was shirk (ascribing partners to Allah) and that is the worst sin in the sight of Allah.
So, here’s to a new beginning.
PS. Yes, I’m going to have teensie-weensie reminders every day, (which will include motivational stories), insha-Allah, along with some other stuff.