Bismillahir rahmanir raheem
AstaghfirAllah: What does it mean?
Firstly, let me say “AstaghfirAllah” for any mistakes I have made along they way, they are from me and the Shaytaan, and all the good I’ve put forth is all from Allah swt, Ameen.
Making istighfar (saying astaghfirAllah and asking for forgiveness), is our way as Muslims to seek forgiveness from our Lord swt. It roughly translates into “I seek forgiveness from Allah swt.” The phrase is also closely related to one of Allah’s swt beautiful names – Al Ghaffar. As hard as it is to translate any of the names of Allah swt into English with the full force of their meanings, Al Ghaffar means something along the lines of “The Great Forgiver, The One Who is Perpetually Forgiving.”
“Declare (O Muhammad SAW) unto My slaves, that truly, I am the Oft-Forgiving, the Most-Merciful.” [Al-Hijr 15:49]
HIS FORGIVENESS IS ENDLESS…
No matter what you do, where you are, Allah swt is in a position to forgive you – just by you sincerely saying “astaghfirAllah”. One thing that used to always play on my mind when I first became Muslim was, “what if I’ve said astaghfirAllah and Allah swt hasn’t forgiven me?” On reflection, I came to the realisation that believing in Allah swt and His mercy should leave no doubt in your heart that you have been forgiven. If you make your istighfar with a sincere intention, you should know that Allah swt has heard your request.
“And say (O Muhammad SAW): “My Lord! Forgive and have mercy, for You are the Best of those who show mercy!” [Al-Mumenoon 23:118]
You should always have the best view of Allah swt, think of Him swt in a certain way, and that is how He swt is.
AstaghfirAllah 3 Times
It is part of the sunnah to say “AstaghfirAllah”, 3 times after we have finished our salah – whether that salah is fardh or sunnah. One of the commentaries I’ve read says that we do this to immediately ask Allah swt for forgiveness for any shortcomings in the prayer that we have just performed. Alhamdulillah, how beautiful.
Istighfar can be made anywhere, except for unclean places like the bathroom etc, anytime. The Prophet (saw) used to make istighfar atleast 70 times a day, other narrations say 100. Can you imagine, subhanAllah! The man who knew that all of his sins, past and future had been forgiven by Allah swt, still being humble enough to make istighfar to his Lord! And we have the audacity to limit our istighfar because we think we have nothing to forgive or we are ignorant of it’s importance. May Allah swt forgive our Ummah, Ameen.
Ibn Abbas (ra) said: The Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “If anyone constantly seeks pardon (from Allah), Allah will appoint for him a way out of every distress and a relief from every anxiety, and will provide sustenance for him from where he expects not.” [Abu Dawud].
astaghfirallah for others
Istighfar is something that you should not only seek for yourself but for those that you love.
“The one who seeks forgiveness for Muslim males and females from Allah Ta’aala twenty six or twenty five times every day, Allah Ta’ala will count that person among those whose Du’a is accepted, and through the barakah of whom those on earth gain Rizq (sustenance).”
Remember, when you make a dua for your fellow muslims, the angels will make the same dua for you!
“Seek the forgiveness of your Lord, and turn to Him in repentance, that He may grant you good enjoyment, for a term appointed, and bestow His abounding Grace to every owner of grace (i.e. the one who helps and serves needy and deserving, physically and with his wealth, and even with good words). But if you turn away, then I fear for you the torment of a Great Day (i.e. the Day of Resurrection).” [Hud 11:3]
It’s never too late to make istighfar to Allah swt, He’s always there and always listening, alhamdulillah.