This is part of the series presented in Ramadan 2018: “The Foremost Way of Seeking Forgiveness: Sayyid al Istighfar Explained, by Shaykh Muhammad Abu Bakr Ba-Dhib.
In this segment, the Shaykh speaks about the prayer called Sayyid al-Istighfar, or “The Foremost Way of Seeking Forgiveness.” It is an established tradition, taught by the Prophet Muhammad, Allah bless him and give him peace.
The author of this text, Ahmad al-Habshi, was a student of the great Iman al-Haddad for forty years, This teaches us that a true scholar is the one who keep the company of their teachers, even after becoming a scholar. He was known as the “Father of the Mosques,” because he would look out for mosques that were old or damaged, and would repair them with his own hands.
The author begins the text with an introduction to repentance. He mentions that repentance is a door to Allah, through which a person becomes closer to Allah and a righteous state. It is the first station of religion. When someone commits a sin, they are far away from Allah. and when they repent, they are returning to Allah. Of course, true repentance is not just a statement made by the tongue, it’s a resolution of the heart.
About the Series
In this five-part series, Shaykh Muhammad Abu Bakr Ba-Dhib covers a short treatise on explaining the foremost way of seeking forgiveness as has come to us from Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him. The work, Tiryaq al Qulub wa al Absar fi Bayan al Ulum allati Tadamanha Sayyid alIstighfar (The Healing of Hearts and Eyesight in Exposition of the Knowledges Contained in The Foremost Way of Seeking Forgiveness) is by Imam Ahmed bin Zain al-Habshi (d. 1145 AH).
Text, transliteration and translation of Sayyid al Istighfar can be found below.
اللَّهُمَّ أَنْتَ رَبِّي لا إِلَهَ إِلا أَنْتَ خَلَقْتَنِي وَأَنَا عَبْدُكَ وَأَنَا عَلَى عَهْدِكَ وَوَعْدِكَ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُ أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّ مَا صَنَعْتُ أَبُوءُ لَكَ بِنِعْمَتِكَ عَلَيَّ وَأَبُوءُ لَكَ بِذَنْبِي فَاغْفِرْ لِي فَإِنَّهُ لا يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إِلا أَنْتَ
Allahumma anta Rabbi la ilaha illa anta khalaqtani wa ana ʿabduka, wa ana ʿala ʿahdika wa waʿdika ma astataʿtu, aʿudhu bika min sharri ma sanaʿtu, abu’u laka bi niʿmatika ‘alayya, wa abu’u laka bi dhanbi faghfir li fa’innahu la yaghfiru ‘dh-dhunuba illa anta.
O Allah, you are my Lord. There is no god but You. You created me and I am Your servant. I am upon Your covenant and promise to the best of my ability. I seek refuge in You from any evil I have wrought. I confess to You Your blessings upon me and I confess to You my sins. So forgive me, for no one forgives sins but You.