On asking forgiveness

Riyad as-Salihin (The Meadows of the Righteous)

by Imam Nawawi

371. Chapter: On asking forgiveness

Allah says, "Ask forgiveness for your wrongdoing, and for the men and women who believe," (W47:20; H47:19) and the Almighty says, "Ask Allah's forgiveness. Allah is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful." (W4:105; H4:106) He says, "Then glorify your Lord's praise and ask His forgiveness. He is the Ever-Returning."(W110:3-4; H110:3) and the Almighty says, "Those who are godfearing will have Gardens with their Lord with rivers flowing under them" to His words, "those who seek forgiveness before dawn." (3:15-17) Allah says, "Anyone who does evil or wrongs himself and then asks Allah¹s forgiveness will find Allah Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful." (W4:109; H4:110) and He says, "Allah would not punish them while you were among them. Allah would not punish them as long as they sought forgiveness." (8:33) The Almighty says, "Those who, when they act indecently or wrong themselves, remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their bad actions – and who can forgive bad actions except Allah – and do not knowingly persist in what they were doing." (3:135)

1869. Al-Agharr al-Muzani reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "A cloudiness comes over my heart and I ask for Allah's forgiveness a hundred times a day." [Muslim]

1870. Abu Hurayra said, "I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, 'By Allah, I ask Allah's forgiveness and turn to Him more than seventy times a day.'" [al-Bukhari]

1871. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "By the One in whose hand my soul is, if you did not do wrong, Allah Almighty would remove you and bring a people who do wrong and then ask Allah Almighty for forgiveness and He would forgive them." [Muslim]

1872. Ibn 'Umar said, "We used to count out for the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, in one assembly a hundred times, "Lord forgive me and turn to Me, You are the Returning, the Merciful." [Abu Dawud and at-Tirmidhi]

1873. Ibn 'Abbas reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "If someone clings to asking for forgiveness, Allah will appoint him a way out of every constriction, and relief from every care and will provide for him from where he does not reckon."[Abu Dawud]

1874. Ibn Mas'ud reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Anyone who says, 'I ask forgiveness of Allah, other than whom there is no god, the Living, the All-Sustaining and I turn to him,' will be forgiven his wrong actions, even if he fled from the press of battle." [Abu Dawud and at-Tirmidhi]

1875. Shaddad ibn Aws stated that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "The best way to ask forgiveness is for a slave to say, 'O Allah, You are my Lord. There is no god but You. You created me and I am Your slave. I comply with Your covenant and Your promise as much as I can. I seek refuge with you from the evil of what I have done. I acknowledge my sin, so forgive me. Only You can forgive sins.' Anyone who says this during the day having confidence in it and dies on that day before evening will be among the people of the Garden. Anyone who says it during the night having confidence in it and dies before morning will be among the people of the Garden." [al-Bukhari]

1876. Thawban said, "When the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to finish his prayer, he asked forgiveness three times and said, 'O Allah, You are Peace and peace is from You. You are blessed, O Possessor of majesty and nobility.'" Al-Awza'i, one of the transmitters of the hadith, was asked, "How was the asking forgiveness?" He said, "You say, 'I ask Allah's forgiveness. I ask Allah's forgiveness.'". [Muslim]

1877. 'A'isha said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to often say before his death, 'Glory be to Allah and by His praise. I ask Allah's forgiveness and I turn in repentance to Him." [Agreed upon]

1878. Anas said, "I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say, 'Allah Almighty says, "O son of Adam! I will forgive you as long as you call on Me and have hope in Me, no matter what you do. Son of Adam, I do not care if your wrong actions reach to the clouds of heaven and then you ask Me for forgiveness, I will forgive you. Son of Adam, if you were to come with sins equivalent in weight to the whole earth and then meet Me having not associated anything with Me, I would come to you with the same amount of forgiveness.'" [at-Tirmidhi]

1879. Ibn 'Umar stated that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "O company of women! Give sadaqa and ask forgiveness often. I have seen that you comprise the majority of the people of the Fire." One of the women said, "Why are we are the majority of the people of the Fire?" He said, "You curse a lot and you are ungrateful to your husbands. Despite the fact that I see you are deficient both in intellect and the deen, intelligent men are destroyed by you." She said, "What is our deficiency in intelligence and the deen?" He said, "The testimony of two women is only worth the testimony of one man and there are days when a woman does not pray." [Muslim]