Great Expectations: Istighfar

(A/N:Istighfar=Asking for forgiveness from Allah)

When I started my daily Istighfar challenge in November with 2 other friends, Alhamdulillah I did see things happen in life. As usual they start with little miracles and progressively increase, of course by will of Allah. HOWEVER, as months passed, I felt that my Istighfars were not really working as well, in terms of manifestations, or at least as I would expect. I have heard stories of so many people having mountains moved in days or weeks just by doing Istighfar, so my expectations were similar to that level. So at the end of 3 months I actually sat down and reflected over the Istighfars that I was doing.

I realised that when I started doing Istighfar, I took it up as one of the many things I was already doing as a challenge, for eg Gratitude Journal ( G Journal), Tahajjud (Night Vigil Prayer) etc. If I can be honest with myself, my hidden mentality was ” I am already doing so many things,  might as well add Istighfar to it. Doesn’t harm to try it out.”  I was doing my Istighfars half-heartedly, and as a result I felt my life was also moving half-heartedly.

Now, ‘half- heartedly’ doesnt mean I wasn’t focussed. I was paying complete attention to my Istighfars as much as I could, I would think of the mistakes I would make throughout the day and ask forgiveness for those. “Asking for forgiveness” isn’t what I was making the mistake in. My mistake was in my “half-hearted intention”. I wasn’t putting the absolute intention, having absolute conviction, absolute expectations of things changing from my Istighfars. I was not putting as much care in my intentions as I was putting in the physical efforts of counting the beads to do Istighfars. It was more like a chore. I was doing it as one of the “many things” that help with answering of dua. In fact, I wasn’t really putting as much expectations from my Istighfars as I was perhaps putting from Baqarah or G Journal. (That’s what happens when we take too many things in our plate and then crash with them altogether, net final result being zilch. That’s why the Prophet Muhammad, may peace be upon him said Allah loves deeds which are regular, albeit small.)

So my take away from all of this is that, for getting solid results from Istighfar, we need to be mindful of the intention behind doing them, and the results that we are expecting, along with being genuine in our repentance. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that, because Allah Himself has “bribed” us with so many incentives to do Istighfars (you can read up here for details prescribed in the Quran as Istighfar benefits). If He didn’t want us to have them, why would He promise?

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I personally felt that we need to realise that sometimes years of  delay wash away our motivation and strength to “get up one more time and try this one more time, when all else has failed”, and that’s why we often miss the results. Its incredibly easier said than done, I know! But that’s also why I usually try to give myself shorter deadlines. For eg, set a certain number of days to focus on Istighfar, and then write down all the changes that happen. (Writing is always more powerful that keeping tabs in mind, the latter is what most of us do unfortunately, including myself.) That helps establish the faith in extending that challenge to more number of days ( I have done that with G Journal, Baqarah and currently on Istighfar).

Read the verse above. Allah will not change out condition until WE change whats inside of us. So not only is the pre-requisite for external change is a shift in our inner mindset, but also that inner change has to be brought about by us. YOU need to change your insides for Allah to change whats on your outside. Its simple but not always easy, and thats why we take baby steps. Allah appreciates those baby steps and rewards us, giving us the strength and courage to take the bigger, “adult” steps. You become happy, give Him thanks, and He gives you more.

And the cycle continues.

A/N: Nothing mentioned here are a scholarly opinion and are intended to be taken only as reflections to strengthen faith. As always, take any good you get and leave the rest to collect dust❤️

And please do remember me in your duas, that Allah opens my doors that I am asking Him to open. Thank you for reading ❤️❤️

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Day 7: Ramadan Muses-Change Begins With Their Whispers For You

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. 

Lazy Folk’s Ramadan


If you could pick ONE deed you will do regularly this Ramadan (instead of overwhelming yourself with a plate full and then giving up midway), what would that be?
Mine is DUA. Because the prophet (peace be upon him) said dua is the essence of worship. So no matter what you do, if the underlying intention is not tied to acceptance of dua, its basically losing the prime factor. So if faced with a choice, pick dua. After all your duas especially the last ten nights will determine the chain of events in the next one year. So if possible, make a list so you dont forget.

Dont forget, the most honorable thing to Allah is dua. He loves that you ask and gets upset if you dont. So dua away like nobody’s business.

And believe that He will give like nobody’s business. Because it really isnt. He promises to give whoever He wills without limits.

Foundation of Faith

Often times we portray Islam as only a set of rules and regulations. This is highly dangerous. Not only is this wrong but also a deterrent to anyone wishing to embrace Islam or know about it. I myself am guilty of this ignorance as well in the past.
Our foundation of faith lies on One Ilah.

An Ilah is Someone who is not only a deity of worship, but He is also the One to love unconditionally. Someone Who we run to in times of danger and difficulty, because we only trust His infinite capability to give us safety and security, fulfill our wishes. Allah is our Ilah. We do not use any medium ( idols, statues or people) to seek closeness to Him. There is no one between us and Allah. And Prophet Muhammad SAW is His messenger who taught us about Him.

This is the fundamental principle of Islam. Once we know Allah and believe in His Oneness, then we can truly obey His commands and rules. Not the other way round.