What is the best supplication in this month? So he (the Imam) replied: ‘doing istighfār; surely whoever does istighfār seventy times in Sha‘bān, is like one who does istighfār seventy thousand times in other months.’ I asked him: How should I say it? He said, ‘(simply) say: astaghfirullāh wa as’aluhut tawbah -I plead Allah for forgiveness and I beseech repentance from Him.’ (Majlisī, Bihār, 94:91; Hurr al-‘Āmilī, Wasā’il, H 13982)
Another version of doing istighfār is:
Muhammad b Abū Hamza reports that Abū ‘Abdillāh (Imam al-Sādiq) ‘alayhis-salām said: Whoever says everyday in Sha‘bān 70 times: Astaghfirullāhalladhī lā ilāha illā huwar-rahmānur-rahīm al-hayyul qayyūm, wa-atūbu ilayhi (I seek forgiveness from Allah, besides Whom there is no god, the All-beneficent, the All-merciful, the Living One, the All-sustainer, and I turn to him penitently!), [his name] is inscribed in the Manifest Horizon (al-ufūq al-mubīn). I asked, ‘what is al-ufūq al-mubīn? He (a) said: it is a place in front of the Throne (of Allah) in which rivers flow [and] in which there will be as many of the two [types of] goblets [made of gold and silver] as the number of stars in the sky. (Al-Sadūq, Thawāb 165; al-Tūsī, Misbāh 2:829; Hurr al-‘Āmilī, Wasā’il, H 13980)
وَتَمَّتْ كَلِمَتُ رَبِّكَ صِدْقًا وَعَدْلًا
Watammat kalimatu rabbika sidqan wa-‘adlā
The word of your Lord has been fulfilled in truth and justice.
(Sūrat al-An‘ām , No 6, Āyat 115)
This verse talks about the word of Allah being accomplished and completed. The word ‘kalima’ linguistically refers to something that has a meaning. It has been used in the Quran to signify different things:
a) A promise –We made the people who were abased the heirs to the east and west of the land which We had blessed, and your Lord’s best word [of promise] was fulfilled for the Children of Israel because of their patience, and We destroyed what Pharaoh and his people had built and what they used to erect.(Q 7:137)
b) The religion of Allah – and He made the word of the faithless the lowest; and the word of Allah is the highest. (Q 9:40)
c) A word from Allah or a command for a certain occurrence to take – When He decides on a matter, He just says to it ‘Be’ and it is.(Q 3:47). Prophet ‘Īsā (a) is known as kalimatullāh as he came into existence through the word of Allah, not by the normal process through which a human being is born. The Quran says: When the angels said: O Maryam, surely Allah gives you good news with a Word from Him, whose name is the ‘. Messiah, ‘Īāa son of Maryam, worthy of regard in this world and the hereafter and of those who are made near to Allah(Q 3:45).
d) The message of Islam or the Quran, as in the verse above
In this verse the word Kalima refers to the call of Islam and what is part of it – the Prophethood of Prophet Muhammad sallal-lāhu ‘alayhi wa-ālihi wasallam and the revelation of the Quran. The message of the Quran is a comprehensive and complete message that includes that of the previous holy scriptures. It encompasses the rulings and teachings of the past Divine messages and is thus the final word of Allah. His word was fulfilled through a gradual process of revelation. Prophets came at different times to different people and brought messages from Allah. Eventually, revelation reached completion and the word of Allah was realized. The last Prophet brought the final message from Allah, a culmination of all previous messages. This singularity of the Divine word is mentioned in the Quran: He has prescribed for you the religion which He had enjoined upon Nūh and which We have [also] revealed to you, and which We had enjoined upon Ibrāhīm, Mūsā and Isa. Fulfillment in this verse is thus indicative of a process of completion (Q 42:13).
Fulfillment of the word could also mean sufficiency of God’s word. It is complete, not only in meaning but also in scope and reach. It is enough for the needs of human beings to grow and progress towards perfection. It realized it aims, one of them being the verification of the Prophethood of Prophet Muhammad (s). Fulfillment of the word is also through fulfilling the need of the human being to be guided and advised. It is a comprehensive agenda that does not need any external additions. Through its fulfillment and completion, Islam is a manifestation of the Almighty. His word reflects Him.
Truth and Justice are the standards and foundation of the word of Allah, as described in this verse. These two qualities can be seen in the creation of Allah, in the system He has put in place, and in the guidance, He sent for humanity. The word is not just true and just but is the highest level of truth and justice that can be reached. The word is true because that was the initial aim, to send messages that would gradually reach completion. The mission was actualized by the coming down of the final message to mankind. The word is also just as there is harmony in the different parts within it. There is no clash or contradiction in it. The word being just can also mean that the message will be implemented justly, and the good doers and evil doers will not be treated equally.
Let this verse help us appreciate the final message of Allah through the Quran, a book that is the fulfillment of God’s word to humanity. We are blessed to be the Ummah of the final Prophet, following His final word.
Sources: Allāmah Muhammad Husayn Tabātabā’ī, Tafsīr al-Mīzān; Āyatullāh Nāsir Makārim Shirāzī (Ed.), Tafsīr-e Namūneh; Agha Muhsin Qarā’atī, Tafsīr Nūr