We have all pretty much heard about the above saying of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). A lot of us engage in daily dhikr (counting beads) through istighfar to have our duas answered. Even the Quran has numerous verses which talk about the benefits of asking for forgiveness- both worldly and for the hereafter.Benefits of istighfar are widespread all over the internet, alhamdulillah, in case you want to know more about it.
The idea is basically to have our sins forgiven. Most definitely the first way to do so is to do istighfar, verbally asking Allah to overlook our shortcomings. But thats not the only way. There are plenty of other deeds which forgive our sins as well. For eg, dua after eating, doing wudu, dua after leaving washroom, saying subhanAllah, alhamdulillah and allahu akbar 33 times each followed by la ilala illallahu…shayin qadeer once. ( I am skipping details because this post is really not about knowledge, please refer to more scholarly platforms for in depth knowledge of duas and dhikrs with their virtues.)
So when we are tying our intention to do as much istighfar as possible so to have our doors opened, we should focus on all those things which forgive our sins, along with doing the istighfar per se. We will notice so many mundane things we do already contain the virtue of having sins forgiven, we just need to have the intention and presence of mind. Every good that we do, we can make the intention to have some of our sins forgiven for that.
Therefore, if you are looking to do lots of istighfar, look out for all the deeds which have the reward of having sins forgiven. You should get them in the books of hadith or other scholarly resources, inshaAllah.
This post is actually inspired from a lecture of Mufti Menk.
Take the good that you get, and leave the rest to collect dust.
Perhaps it is all the same. Perhaps nothing has changed- it is the same you praying the same way for the same thing in the same set of circumstances in the same month- Ramadan.
But thats where the similarity ends.
The Prophet of Allah, may peace and blessings be upon him, said ,” For whoever the doors of dua has opened, the doors of mercy has opened.”
When a person says they are praying for you, what does it mean really? It means has Allah decided that this year more pleas will reach Him on your behalf. That even when you are too tired and broken to voice out your own desires, someone somewhere will be voicing them to Allah, with just as much sincerity and yearning as they would for themselves. That even when you are sleeping, due to the differences in time, they will be awake that time making dua for you. Even when you are sleeping, Allah made sure His doors are being knocked for you tirelessly, even in your absence, your deepest wishes and desires are reaching to Him.
Why would Allah, The Most Loving and The Most Kind do that for you, had He not intended to change your situation? You did not ask for those people, they volunteered to make dua for you.
Read this verse again. Allah created a want in these people to make dua for you. These people of the earth, who you dont know, who go out of their way to make dua for you, were sent to you for a reason. Be among the people of understanding, and think about your Lord, and realise that “Your Lord did NOT create this gift for you without purpose. He is far above that to do anything randomly, without a plan.”
Among all the things that hasnt changed, something most certainly has.
That moment when you are fervently making dua for something, but instead Allah puts you in service of others. Those who perhaps didn’t even ask Allah, but Allah still answered their unsaid prayers through you. Feel the honor.
As for yourself, perhaps you helping them will be your gateway to His Divine Mercy- opening the doors you have been knocking for so long. After all the Allah’s messenger, Muhammad (peace be upon him) promised that Allah will come to our aid as long as we aid our brothers.