Praise is due to Allah the Almighty, peace and blessings of Allah be upon the Prophet Muhammad, his Family, his Companions and whosoever follows him.
Seeking forgiveness from Allah the Almighty is the greatest goal to every Muslim. This act of worship has to be continuously implemented to follow the path of the Prophet Muhammad Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him. In Noble Sunna, the Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings of Allah be upon him urged us for seeking forgiveness a lot of times every day. In essence, the Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings of Allah be upon him taught us the best way for seeking forgiveness from Allah the Almighty.
Shaddad bin Aus (May Allah be pleased with him) said:
the Prophet Muhammad Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him said
سيِّدُ الاستِغفارِ أن تقولَ : اللَّهمَّ أنتَ ربِّي لا إلَهَ إلَّا أنتَ ، خَلقتَني وأَنا عبدُكَ ، وأَنا على عَهْدِكَ ووعدِكَ ما استطعتُ ، أعوذُ بِكَ من شرِّ ما صنعتُ ، أبوءُ لَكَ بنعمتِكَ عليَّ ، وأبوءُ لَكَ بذنبي فاغفِر لي ، فإنَّهُ لا يغفرُ الذُّنوبَ إلَّا أنتَ قالَ : ومَن قالَها منَ النَّهارِ موقنًا بِها ، فماتَ من يومِهِ قبلَ أن يُمْسيَ ، فَهوَ من أَهْلِ الجنَّةِ ، ومن قالَها منَ اللَّيلِ وَهوَ موقنٌ بِها ، فماتَ قبلَ أن يُصْبِحَ ، فَهوَ من أَهْلِ الجنَّةِ
(Interpretation of Hadith)
"The best supplication for seeking forgiveness (Syed-ul- Istighfar) is to say: 'Allahumma Anta Rabbi, la ilaha illa Anta, khalaqtani wa ana 'abduka, wa ana 'ala 'ahdika wa wa'dika mastata'tu, a'udhu bika min sharri ma sana'tu, abu'u laka bini'matika 'alayya, wa abu'u bidhanbi faghfir li, fa innahu la yaghfirudh-dhunuba illa Anta. (O Allah! You are my Rubb. There is no true god except You. You have created me, and I am Your slave, and I hold to Your Covenant as far as I can. I seek refuge in You from the evil of what I have done. I acknowledge the favours that You have bestowed upon me, and I confess my sins. Pardon me, for none but You has the power to pardon).' He who supplicates in these terms during the day with firm belief in it and dies on the same day (before the evening), he will be one of the dwellers of Jannah; and if anyone supplicates in these terms during the night with firm belief in it and dies before the morning, he will be one of the dwellers of Jannah (Al-Bukari)
This manner of seeking forgiveness depicts the Glory of Allah the Almighty and shows a great humility to Allah the Almighty. It refers to our weakness and emphasizes our Tawheed of Allah the Almighty. We have to understand the meaning of this great manner of Istighfar and recognize the consequence of saying it. Saying this supplication with great belief will be a cause to enter paradise. Consequently, we have to motivate ourselves to frequently say it on a regular basis, encourage our family members, our friends, and all Muslims to utter this Istighfar for seeking forgiveness from Allah the Almighty. Allah the Almighty is the most Generous, accepts Istighfar from those who repent and return to their Creator
Hussin Ahmed Abdul-Kader