أَفَلَا يَتُوبُونَ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَيَسْتَغْفِرُونَهُ ۚ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ
Will they not then turn to Allah and ask His forgiveness? And Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
Sura Maidah, verse 74
The door of repentance and forgiveness that Allah has kept open for the believers is a sign of His great love for them. He has told us not to sin, but when we do, He tells us not to despair. We just have to be sincerely remorseful, and He will wipe away the sin. He has encouraged us to turn back to Him, and achieve closeness again. In the verse above He asks us why we don’t turn to Him when He is so Forgiving and Merciful.
The practice of constantly seeking forgiveness is a great habit to cultivate. The Holy Prophet (s) used to seek forgiveness every day, after every gathering, at the end of every Salaat, and generally showed how important it was to turn to Allah constantly. Our sins and mistakes, wrong thoughts, heedlessness, forgetting God and our purpose of life even for short amounts of time – all these place a layer of dust and dirt on the human heart. To cleanse it and avoid a gradual covering of the heart, we must constantly seek forgiveness.
Hadith tells us that that person is fortunate who on the Day of Judgement opens his book of deeds and finds under every sin he committed, a stamp of forgiveness. Of course he has to ask for it, go through the door Allah has kept open for him, and be sincere about it. Two people can have the same deeds but will have different ranks on the Day of Judgement due to one of them seeking forgiveness constantly in life.
Recite this verse to encourage yourself to seek forgiveness regularly. Recite it daily, and answer it by reciting the Istighfar. God says why don’t they seek forgiveness. You answer Him by saying, I do seek forgiveness O my Lord. You don’t want to be from among those who don’t ask for forgiveness for their sins. Tell God that you have great hopes in His forgiveness as He Himself says He is Forgiving, Merciful. God always keeps His word.
Just as you clean your body, your home, your possessions, clean your heart too through daily Istighfar. A sparkling heart is the best gift you can take back to God.
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This is the last in the Verse a Day plan for the holy month of Ramadan. We hope you have enjoyed learning about these verses, and will continue discovering more treasures from the Book of Allah through regular recitation and study of the Quran. May the Almighty make us among those who keep His Word alive in our hearts and minds.