How Can I Seek Forgiveness from Allah?

06 August, 2020
Q I was at sports practice one day and a discussion came up regarding a certain clothing which I wore due to skin problems.

My friends questioned me about it and I wanted to avoid embarrassment so I said my parents forced me to wear it. Of course, this lie didn't really have any effect on my friends or my parents.

This was a few years ago, and I have started to research more on Islam now, and feel it was wrong to lie like that even if the lie didn't really affect anyone.

I would like to know how I should ask for forgiveness for this sin. Thank you

Answer


In this counseling answer:

Ask for forgiveness sincerely from your heart.

Make the intention to not repeat any acts you are seeking forgiveness for.

Consider using some of the listed duaas , don’t forget you do not have to do this formally.

Continue to make duaa.


Assalamu  alaikum,

 Thank you for taking the time to write in and speak with us. It is my understanding you told a lie a few years ago during a sporting event and are now worried about this act and how to seek forgiveness.

My dear Brother, mashallah, it is a sign of iman and your character of heart that you are so worried about a lie from years past. 

This is a moment to remember the mercy of Allah (most honored and revered). While we cannot determine what is forgiven and not forgiven, we can look to verses such as this and smile at this mercy. 

“…My mercy encompasses all things.” So I will decree it [especially] for those who fear Me and give zakah and those who believe in Our verses”

[Quran 7:156]

How to Ask for Forgiveness

Please take comfort in knowing you do not have to do this in a very formal or difficult manner. The simple act of asking for forgiveness, making tawba, can be accomplished by meaning it from your heart and asking for that forgiveness. 

“Ask forgiveness from your Lord; for He is Oft-Forgiving”

[Quran 71:10]

Here are some examples you can take from the sunnah of the Prophet Mohamed (peace be upon him) regarding asking for forgiveness. You can utilize these as much as you like and know it is an act of worship to be emulating the sunnah so this is goodness for seeking forgiveness and goodness in your action. 

“Narrated Abdullah ibn Umar:

We counted that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) would say a hundred times during a meeting: “My Lord, forgive me and pardon me; Thou art the Pardoning and forgiving One”

[Sunan Abi Dawud]

During your five obligatory prayers, you can also ask for forgiveness during duaas at the end of your prayer. Take your time in prayer, do not rush yourself, concentrate and allow your heart to embrace all of it.

Here is a list of duaas you may find helpful and comforting that come from Quran and hadith, however, please remember you can ask for forgiveness using whatever words you like. You can simply say, Astagfurallah, mean it and importantly make the intention to not do it again.

Alhamdulillah, Islam is easy on us Brother, it is full of mercy. Here is a list that inshallah may inspire and help you.

How Can I Seek Forgiveness from Allah? - About Islam

Duaas for Forgiveness

Rabbi Inneee A-o’od’u Bika An As-alaka Maa Laysa Lee Bihee I’lm Wa Illaa Taghfirlee Wa Tarh’amneee Akum Minal Khaasireen

O my Lord! I seek refuge with You from asking You that of which I have no knowledge. And unless You forgive me and have Mercy on me, I would indeed be one of the losers.”

[Quran 11:47]

Rabbighfir lee, Rabbighfir lee

Lord, forgive me. My Lord, forgive me.”

[Abu Dawud]

Allaahum-maghfir lee, warhamnee, wahdinee, wajburnee, wa ‘aafinee, warzuqnee, warfa’nee

O Allah forgive me, have mercy on me, guide me, support me, protect me, provide for me and elevate me.”

[Tirmidhi]

Astaghfirullaah, Astaghfirullaah, Astaghfirullaaha wa ‘atoobu ‘ilayhi

I seek the forgiveness of Allah and repent to him.”

[Muslim]

Last but not least, I want to highlight a narration you may be familiar with already of beautiful words that you can say as often as able whenever you like. 

“Two words are light on the tongue, weigh

heavily in the balance, and are loved by the Most Merciful One:

Subhaanal-laahi wa bihamdihi, Subhaanal-laahil-‘Adheem.

Glorified is Allah and praised is He , Glorified is Allah the Most Great “

[Muslim & Bukhari]


Check out this counseling video:


Conditions of Forgiveness

Islam stresses the importance of intention. If someone just says the words over and over but has no heart in it, they lack true intention. The fact you wrote in and shared this with us shows you have a heart with sincerity in seeking forgiveness, alhamdulillah. Please bear in mind I am not a jurist, but here are some conditions to think about with forgiveness. 

Firstly there should be a level of sincerity, they should truly mean it and it is coming from their heart. For example if someone forced them to say it and they just repeated the words, this is not sincerity. 

The person asking for forgiveness should have a level of regret and guilt. For example, if someone stole from someone else and is asking forgiveness for stealing but they don’t feel any remorse for what they did to that person then they don’t actually regret it. You demonstrate guilt over the previous lie, this is a sign of you sincerely wanting to repent and move forward. 

We should also have the intention to not repeat that act. Using your situation as the example, it is best if you have the intention to avoid lying and deceiving anyone. While it was a small lie that as you put it did not affect anyone, it is a good idea to try and avoid lies as much as able. Muslims should not deceive others. 

Final Thoughts

Moving forward dear Brother, please continue to make duaa and increase your acts of worship. Take your time in duaa and dhikr and reflect on the mercy of Allah (swt). Here is a summary of your next steps. 

  • Ask for forgiveness sincerely from your heart
  • Make the intention to not repeat any acts you are seeking forgiveness for
  • Consider using some of the listed duaas , don’t forget you do not have to do this formally
  • Continue to make duaa 

May Allah (swt) forgive you of all sins, accept all of your good and continue to guide you down a good path, ameen.

Salam,

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees are liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

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About Monique Hassan
Monique Hassan graduated with honors in 2012 with her BSc in Psychology and a minor in Biology and is certified in Crisis Prevention and Intervention. She has years of professional as well as personal experience with trauma, relationship struggles, substance abuse, identifying coping skills, conflict resolution, community outreach, and overall mental health concerns. She is a professional writer specialized in Islamic Psychology and Behavioral Health. She is also a revert who took her shahada in 2015, Alhamdulillah. You can contact Sister Monique Hassan via her website "MoniqueHassan.com"