Supplication to Seek Forgiveness for Your Parents and All Believers: Quranic Supplications 24

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 seeking forgiveness for parents and believers. The video series can be viewed here.

رَبَّنَا ٱغْفِرْ لِى وَلِوَٰلِدَىَّ وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ يَوْمَ يَقُومُ ٱلْحِسَابُ

“O our Lord, forgive me, and forgive both my parents, and forgive the believers on the Day we stand before reckoning.” [Quran, 14:41]

This is an intriguing supplication because we turn to Allah as our caring Master and sustaining Lord: رَبَّنَا – “O, our Lord,” intending everybody, but we begin with ourselves – “Forgive me.”

Now when we put this text before a grammar editor it will say, “Forgive my parents and me.” But no, we begin with ourselves. Why? Because though we have concern for everybody, there’s great wisdom that God has taught the Prophets, peace be upon them. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, taught us that when we supplicate out of concern we begin with ourselves. 

The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “Begin with yourself, then those you are responsible for.” That’s why, for example, when we attend a funeral and we think about the deceased, we should first think about ourselves. We say, “Oh, the poor guy died. He left his family behind. This happened.” But what about us? We are dying, too. Life comes with a warning. You will die. So we begin with ourselves.

Ask for Forgiveness

One of the greatest things you can ask for is forgiveness, because forgiveness is to cover over and wipe away all sins and to manifest all good. You ask that for yourself and you ask that for your parents, out of gratitude for them. 

How do I express my gratitude to my parents? You can’t. The worldly debt you owe them is unpayable. So pray to the One who recognizes the good they’ve done you. Even if they fell short as parents, you owe your existence and life to them. That is a fundamental debt. So you ask Allah to forgive your parents. And all their shortcomings, the mistakes we remember and latch onto, intend to let go of them for the sake of God, out of gratitude.

“And for the believers,” – وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ – past, present, future. All of them. This includes both those who have believed and those who have the potential. Those who have that goodness that, if they are touched with light, it becomes light upon light.

“On the Day that we stand before reckoning.” We say this out of consciousness of responsibility before God, that we want to stand with a clean slate beautified with the good. And then, of course, we strive to live accordingly.

Praise be to Allah, Lord of all the worlds.