Wisdom Behind Istighfaar at The End of Deeds, Especially When One Is coming Close to The End of His Lifespan  

In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.

Allaah [The Most High] said: [إِذَا جَاءَ نَصْرُ اللَّهِ وَالْفَتْحُ وَرَأَيْتَ النَّاسَ يَدْخُلُونَ فِي دِينِ اللَّهِ أَفْوَاجًا فَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ وَاسْتَغْفِرْهُ إِنَّهُ كَانَ تَوَّابًا – When comes the Help of Allah (to you, O Muhammad against your enemies) and the conquest (of Makkah); and you see that the people enter Allah’s religion (Islam) in crowds; so glorify the Praises of your Lord, and ask for His Forgiveness. Verily, He is the One Who accepts the repentance and forgives. [Soorah An-Nasr]

A Brief Reminder from Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [rahimahullaah]

This shows that Allaah has legislated Tawbah and Istighfaar at the end of deeds. Whenever the Prophet [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] finished the prayer [i.e. the obligatory prayers], he would say Astaghfirullaah three times. It is also legislated for the one who performs Wudhu- after completing his (or her) Wudhoo- to say: [اللَّهُمَّ اجْعَلْنِي مِنْ التَّوَّابِينَ ، وَاجْعَلْنِي مِنْ الْمُتَطَهِّرِينَ – O Allah! Make me one of those who repent and make me one of those who purify themselves (Ref A)]. Allaah made it known that Tawbah is legislated at the end of righteous deeds, so Allaah commanded His Messenger [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] to make Istighfaar after fulfilling the propagation of the Message of Islaam and Jihaad in the path of Allaah- after the people entered the religion in crowds. Propagating Islaam is an act of worship and he [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] did it perfectly and fulfilled it, so Istighfaar was legislated for him [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] at the end. [Ref 1]

A Brief Reminder from Imaam Sadi [rahimahullaa]

This shows that the lifespan of Allaah’s Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] was coming close to its end and that virtuous deeds, such as prayer, hajj and other deeds are concluded with Istighfaar. Therefore, Allaah commanded his Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] with glorification and Istighfaar in this situation [i.e. after the conquest of Makkah and after people entered into the religion in crowds] as an indication that his life span was coming to an end, so that he prepares himself to meet his Lord and seal his lifespan with the best of deeds… [Ref 2]

A Brief Reminder from Imaam Muhammad Ibn Saaleh al-Uthaymeen [rahimahullaah]

When one contemplates on the wisdom behind this, it means that after the Help of Allaah came to pass and the conquest of Makkah, then indeed the end of your lifespan [i.e. the Messenger (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam)] is close and there is nothing left for you except glorifying the praises of your Lord and Istighfaar…[Ref 3] [End of quotes]

Shaikh Abdur Razzaaq Al-Badr [hafidhahullaah] said: The wisdom behind [الاستغفار – (i.e. saying: أستغفر الله three times)] after Salaah is to manifest the soul’s wrongdoing – that the slave [i.e. the performer of the prayer] did not fulfil the rights of the prayer, neither completely nor perfectly in the manner it is obligated. It has to be the case that he did fall into some deficiency, shortcoming and negligence; therefore, he seeks forgiveness in the hope that his shortcoming is relinquished and so that his Istighfaar [i.e. seeking forgiveness] can be a means of remedying the deficiency or shortcoming in his prayer. [4]

We ask Allaah (The Most Merciful) to forgive us our shortcomings and show us mercy, for indeed we can never fulfil what He has commanded in the manner it truly deserves to be fulfilled. Aameen

[Ref A: Hadeeth reported by Imaam at-tirmidhee (rahimahullaah). Number 55 & declared authentic by Imaam Albaani (rahimahullaah) in Saheeh At-tirmidhee number 48]

[Ref 1: An Excerpt from ‘Badaa’i At-Tafseer Al-Jaami Limaa Fassarahu Al-Imaam Ibnul Qayyim’ Vol 3 page 381-382. Publisher: Daar Ibn Al-Jawziyyah 2nd  Ed. Year 1431AH. slightly paraphrased]

[Ref 2: An Excerpt from ‘Tayseer Al-Kareem Ar-Rahmaan Fee Tafseer Kalaam Al-Mannaan’ Publisher: Daar Ibn Hazm 1st Ed. 1424AH (Year 2003). slightly paraphrased]

[Ref 3: Tafseer Juz Amma’ pages 336- 337. Publisher: Daar Al-Baseerah. ISBN: 2003/11937]

[Ref 4: An Excerpt from ‘Fiqhul Ad’iyah Wal Adhkaar’ page 171′ parts 3&4]

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