The Importance of Istighfar

As-salāmu ʿalaykum ladies, we need to reflect on why Prophet Muhammad ﷺ needed to make isitighfar. A Prophet doesn’t sin. That would be against the nature of the Divine message. The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ taught us that we should do istighfar and that this practice of his was for us. Had he not mentioned to do istighfar or said just do istighfar… we wouldn’t see it as something of extreme importance or even necessary. It’s up to us to decide what our tawbah looks like and how we are planning it out.

For Rajab, I always make one great big grand tawbah with ghusl and two rakaah tawbah. I feel like that sets the tone for me as to the importance of making sincere tawbah and turning to Allah subḥānahu wataʿālā knowing that He is All Merciful and loves to forgive, so it is up to us to seek, plead, and beg for His forgiveness. We know from the Qur’an that there is a special reward waiting for the one who sins and then seeks sincere forgiveness with the intention to not return to sin:
وَٱلَّذِينَ إِذَا فَعَلُوا۟ فَـٰحِشَةً أَوْ ظَلَمُوٓا۟ أَنفُسَهُمْ ذَكَرُوا۟ ٱللَّهَ فَٱسْتَغْفَرُوا۟ لِذُنُوبِهِمْ وَمَن يَغْفِرُ ٱلذُّنُوبَ إِلَّا ٱللَّهُ وَلَمْ يُصِرُّوا۟ عَلَىٰ مَا فَعَلُوا۟ وَهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ ١٣٥
Surah Ali ‘Imran 135. ˹They are˺ those who, upon committing an evil deed or wronging themselves, remember Allah and seek forgiveness and do not knowingly persist in sin—and who forgives sins except Allah?

أُو۟لَـٰٓئِكَ جَزَآؤُهُم مَّغْفِرَةٌۭ مِّن رَّبِّهِمْ وَجَنَّـٰتٌۭ تَجْرِى مِن تَحْتِهَا ٱلْأَنْهَـٰرُ خَـٰلِدِينَ فِيهَا ۚ وَنِعْمَ أَجْرُ ٱلْعَـٰمِلِينَ ١٣٦
Surah Ali ‘Imran 136. Their reward is forgiveness from their Lord and Gardens under which rivers flow, staying there forever. How excellent is the reward for those who work ˹righteousness˺!

Then, to challenge myself and to express my mission to be forgiven, I have set really high goals for istighfar for this month; 70,000 is my minimum goal but I’m not stopping at that. I’ve done larger numbers like 340,000 because I just keep on going. For me, it’s like I don’t want to leave any rock unturned. I want to make sure I reach all corners inside myself and that I do not leave any nook or cranny still dusty with cobwebs.

My best Ramadans are the ones where I have prepared and done a deep cleanse in Rajab of my heart and my home. Decluttering inside and out. Then, connecting to the Prophet ﷺ in the month of Shaban. With that, I am able to jump right into Ramadan and not feel any heaviness. Instead, I start receiving and absorbing (light and barakah) from the very first minute Ramadan arrives. This is a part of setting yourself up for a successful Ramadan. May we all be sincere in our repentance and leave this month forgiven and may we be blessed with the opportunity to witness another Ramadan. Ameen!

Imam Fadiyah, Ribaat Teacher Certificate Graduate, Ijazah in the Forty Hadith of Imam Nawawi Graduate

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