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Prayers for Forgiveness

Du'a to seek forgiveness from Allah

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Middle eastern man praying to Allah
Jonathan Kitchen
Muslims believe that Allah is Merciful and Forgiving, and that only Allah can forgive sins. All human beings make mistakes, and all that is needed is to recognize the error, rectify it, and seek forgiveness for it. Muslims may ask forgiveness using any words in any language, but these personal prayers (du'a) from Islamic tradition are most common.

When reciting du'a with several repetitions, Muslims often use prayer beads (sobha) to keep track of the number of repetitions. Many simple phrases can be repeated to seek Allah's forgiveness in this way.

Du'a From the Quran

Waqur rabbighfir warham wa'anta khayrur rahimeen.
So say, "Our Lord! Grant us forgiveness and mercy! For You are the Best of those who show mercy."
Quran 23:118

Rabbi inni zalamto nafsi faghfirli.
Oh my Lord, I have indeed wronged my soul!
Quran 28:16

Rabbana innana amanna faghfir lana zonoobana waqina 'athaban nar.
Our Lord! We have indeed believed. Forgive us our sins and save us from the agony of the Fire.
Quran 3:16

Rabbana latu akhitna in nasina akhta'na rabbana wala tahmil 'alayna isran kama hamaltaho 'alal lathina min qablina. Rabbana wala tohammilna mala taqata lana beh wa'fo'anna waghfir lana warhamna anta maolana fansorna 'alal qawmil kafireen.
Our Lord! Condemn us not if we forget or fall into error. Our Lord! Lay not on us a burden like that which You did lay on those before us. Our Lord! Lay not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear. Blot out our sins, and grant us forgiveness. Have mercy on us. You are our Protector. Help us against those who stand against faith."
Quran 2:286

Du'a From the Sunnah

Astagh firol lahal-lathi la ilaha illa howal hayyal qayyoma w'atooba ilayh.
I seek forgiveness from Allah. There is no deity but Him, the Living, the Eternal. And I repent unto Him. (Recommended to repeat three times.)

Subhanakal lahomma wabihamdik. Ash-hado alla-ilaha-illa ant. Astaghfiroka w'atoobo-ilayk.
Glory be to You, Oh Allah, and all praise! I testify that there is no deity but You. I seek Your forgiveness and to You I do repent. (Recommended to repeat three times.)

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