Supplication for Forgiveness of Sins and Shortcomings: Quranic Supplications 22

During Ramadan 2023, Sheikh Faraz Rabbani gave a series of daily video talks on supplications in the Quran. This series of articles are drawn from those talks and the related eBook. This article is about forgiveness of sins and shortcomings. The video series can be viewed here.

رَبَّنَا ظَلَمْنَآ أَنفُسَنَا وَإِن لَّمْ تَغْفِرْ لَنَا وَتَرْحَمْنَا لَنَكُونَنَّ مِنَ ٱلْخَـٰسِرِينَ

“Our Lord, we have wronged ourselves, and if You do not forgive us and show us mercy, we shall be of the wholly ruined?” [Quran, 7:23]

We often feel that we’ve failed, that we’ve fallen short, that we’ve messed up. But none of those feelings should ever cause us to despair. Why? We are people whose hope is in Allah. Our hope and fear are not in our good deeds or in our sins. Our hope and fear is in Allah alone.

So when we mess up, what do we do? We raise our sense of shame, of guilt, of worry, of concern, of feeling like I messed up to our Lord. رَبَّنا ظَلَمنا أَنفُسَنا – “O Lord, we have wronged ourselves.” This and similar supplications were made by the Prophets, peace be upon them. They do not sin. They don’t fall short in fulfilling their duties.

Ultimately, this feeling should arise in every believer at every level in their spiritual relationship with God. Why? Because whatever good that you do, God deserves even better. So even the Prophets, peace be upon them, said: رَبَّنا ظَلَمنا أَنفُسَنا – “O Lord we have wronged ourselves.”

Own Shortcomings

The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, taught the best of creation after the Prophets, Abu Bakr, may Allah be well pleased with him, to say a similar supplication. “O Lord, I have wronged myself.” What is that wrong? You feel that Allah deserves better.

When we admit our falling short, we do so with the neediness of our care for God. We do it also out of gratitude that given the great gift of God, God deserves better from me. But how do you rectify your state? “If You don’t forgive us, and if You don’t show mercy to us, truly we will be of those wholly at loss.” Left to my own devices, I’m a loser. But by You, I have strength, I have ability, I have facilitation, and ultimately I have eternal grace.

Appeal to Allah

So we make this supplication and like all supplications, we don’t limit that supplication to ourselves. We encompass everyone in our concern. Pray for everybody and mean the encompassing potential of these supplications.

Ask Allah for His complete forgiveness. Ask Allah for His complete mercy. And then have the joy of being a servant of the All-merciful.

Praise be to Allah, Lord of all the worlds.