اللَّهُمَّ أَنْتَ رَبِّي لّا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ، خَلَقْتَنِي وَأَنَا عَبْدُكَ، وَأَنَا عَلَى عَهْدِكَ وَوَعْدِكَ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُ، أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرٍّ مَا صَنَعْتُ، أَبُوءُ لَكَ بِنِعْمَتِكَ عَلَيَّ، وَأَبُوءُ بِذَنْبِي فَاغْفِر لِي فَإِنَّهُ لَا يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ
“O God, You are my Rabb [Sustainer], none deserves to be worshipped but You. You have created me and I am your servant and I am faithful to your covenant and promise as best as I can. I seek refuge in You from all the evil I have done. I acknowledge Your favor upon me and I acknowledge my sin, so forgive me, for verily no one can forgive sins except You.”
This powerful prayer is known as sayyidul istighfar [Chief of asking for forgiveness.] It has been taught to us by the beloved messenger Muhammad (peace be upon) who explained its significance as follows:
“If a believer says this with complete faith and sincerity in the morning and dies before that evening, he will enter paradise. And if he says it during the night and dies before the sun rises, he will enter paradise.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 75, Number 318]
This prayer reveals a truthful understanding of who we are. We are creatures, completely dependent on our Sustainer. The blessings we are gifted reflect our Sustainer’s majesty and mercy. Our shortcomings and yearning for perfection is a means for recognizing His perfection…May we all have a beautiful Friday soaked in the secret of asking for forgiveness (istighfar). Amen.