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Imaam al-Shaafi’i Rahimahullaah said: ‘There is nobody except that he has someone who loves him and someone who hates him. So if that’s the case, let a person be with the people who are obedient to Allaah `Azza Wa Jall.’

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 Morning: Time for Istighfar

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Nisaa
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Religion : Islam
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PostSubject: Morning: Time for Istighfar   Fri Apr 23, 2010 11:43 pm

Morning: Time for Istighfar

Bismillah

The Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said that Allah has blessed the morning time for our Ummah, so many of us take advantage of this time by studying, or preparing for work and school or helping our family with things.

In the Qur’an, Allah ta’ala conveys to us what the Believers are doing during their morning. He says in two ayat:

وَالْمُسْتَغْفِرِينَ بِالْأَسْحَارِ

“And those who pray and beg Allah’s Pardon in the early morning.” (3:17)

بِالْأَسْحَارِ هُمْ يَسْتَغْفِرُونَ

“In the early morning they are seeking forgiveness.’ (51:18)

The word used for morning here is as-haar which means the very early morning right before the fajr prayer, the time that we have suhoor. This is why some translations will translate as-haar as the last hours of the night, because according to the islamic time it is still considered night. However, other translations say early morning because according to the current world clock, it is past midnight (i.e., a.m. time). The time of as-haar corresponds to the last third of the night, when Allah - Majestic and Glorified - comes down to the lowest heaven to answer the supplications of His servants.
Imam as-Sa’di rahimahullah says in his tafseer,

The subject matter of this ayah [51:18] is the time of as-haar. These believers lengthened their night prayers until the time of the early morning, and then proceeded by seeking the forgiveness of Allah. This special recognition is only for this time, and not for any other time [of the day].

If we look at the order of these two ayaat, we find that they are opposite - the ayah from surah Dhariyat (51) mentions bil as-haar first then al-mustaghfiroon, while the ayah from surah Al-e-Imran (3) mentions al-mustghafireen first then bil as-haar. This is called taqdeem and ta’kheer in Arabic rhetoric, which means that a word in the sentence is brought earlier or delayed.

What is the difference between these two ayat?

Of the two, the ayah from surah Dhariyat gives a stronger meaning because of the placement of the words. Allah says:

بِالْأَسْحَارِ هُمْ يَسْتَغْفِرُونَ

“In the early morning they are seeking forgiveness.’ (51:18)

Allah mentions bil as-haar first in this ayah to bring attention to the specific time that they make istighfaar. In the ayah before this, Allah says about the believers:

كَانُوا قَلِيلًا مِّنَ اللَّيْلِ مَا يَهْجَعُونَ
They used to sleep but little by night. (51:18)

The scholars of Tafseer say that they spent their night in worship, and then during the last portion of the night before Fajr, they turned to Allah making istighfaar. Allah says that they were not yahja’oon, from haja’a which means to sleep peacefully during the night. It is used to describe someone who sleeps without any worries; as we say now “I slept like a baby.” Sleeping comfortably was not regular for these believers because they had their minds on Allah and the Hereafter.

Here we notice the humility of the true believers; after they spent their night worshiping Allah, they seek His forgiveness.

Shaykh ibn Uthaymeen rahimahullah says regarding this ayah,
This is from the goodness of their deeds and their humbleness; they see themselves as inadequate even though they spent the night in prayer. So, they seek the forgiveness of Allah after obeying Him, as if to repair any defects in it [i.e., their worship].

A person should train themselves in seeking forgiveness after acts of worship because of the defects and mistakes [that a person could have made]. After salah, we seek the forgiveness of Allah three times (astagfirullah) and after Hajj, Allah ta’ala tells us: “Then depart from the place whence all the people depart and ask Allah for
His Forgiveness. Truly, Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most-Merciful.” (2:199)

So these believers seek the forgiveness of Allah after their night prayers, their standing and their vigilance in obeying Allah, due to their fear that their worship was inadequate. This points to the fact that they see themselves as small and meager, which is opposite of what we see now from some people who worship Allah. They worship Allah to raise themselves and to make it as a proof for themselves with Allah, and they think that they are from the righteous slaves of Allah. Indeed, a man must have hope in his Lord and know that Allah has blessed him with the ability to obey Him, but this person sees and believes that he has perfected everything - and he should fear lest his deeds are destroyed while he is unaware.

In the other ayah from surah Al-e-Imran, Allah says:

وَالْمُسْتَغْفِرِينَ بِالْأَسْحَارِ

“And those who pray and beg Allah’s Pardon in the early morning.” (3:17)

This ayah highlights the act of seeking istighfaar, which is why al-mustaghfireen is mentioned before the time. Allah ta’ala is showing the importance of the act of doing istighfaar here, and that this is one of the special characteristics of the Believers.
From both of these ayat we learn that Allah praises the act of the believers as well as the time they are seeking forgiveness, by highlighting the time in one ayah and the act of istighfar in another.

These believers spent their nights in worship, their mornings seeking forgiveness and Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala describes their state in the hereafter:

آخِذِينَ مَا آتَاهُمْ رَبُّهُمْ إِنَّهُمْ كَانُوا قَبْلَ ذَ‌ٰلِكَ مُحْسِنِينَ

“Taking joy in the things which their Lord has given them. Verily, they were before this doers of good.” (51:16)

Allah says they are aakhidheen, ones who take, because before they were muhsineen in the dunya. A muhsin is someone who beautifies their deeds by doing them in the best possible way, as well as willingly and happily, and putting extra effort to make it good to please Allah and follow the sunnah. In Jannah they are taking everything Allah has given them happily because in the dunya, they did whatever Allah ordered them happily. They even gave up things that are permissible for the sake of Allah, such as their sleep, so in Jannah, they will enjoy the fruits of their labor.

May Allah make us from among them. Ameen.

Action Items:

Make it a habit to seek forgiveness after every act of worship.
Take a portion of your morning to make istighfar so that you may be from these believers.
The easiest way to wake up for qiyamul layl is to wake up 15-30 mins before fajr.
Examine how you sleep. Do you sleep like a baby?
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umm uthman
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PostSubject: Re: Morning: Time for Istighfar   Wed Apr 28, 2010 1:18 am

aswrwb

JazakAllahu khair - an interesting read and Aameen!!
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