Istighfar after Salat: The benefits and purpose


Due to the natural increase in worship during Ramadan, we’ll be finding ourselves on the prayer mat a lot more than on normal days. A teaching of the Holy Prophetsa was that when a person finishes their Salat, they should repent at least three times by saying:

اَستَغفِرُاللّٰهَ۔‭ ‬اَستَغفِرُاللّٰهَ۔‭ ‬اَستَغفِرُاللّٰهَ

 “I seek forgiveness of Allah, I seek forgiveness of Allah, I seek forgives of Allah.” (Jami‘ al-Tirmidhi, Kitab al-Da‘waat)

Speaking on this topic and the reason Muslims are advised to repent after prayer, Hazrat Hakim Maulvi Nuruddin, Khalifatul Masih Ira said:

“It is a command, that immediately after Namaz [Salat], a person does istighfar at least three times. In a hadith, it has also been said that after Namaz a person should recite “Subhanallah” [Holy is Allah] 33 times, “Alhamdulillah” [All praise belongs to Allah] 33 times and “Allahu Akbar” [Allah is the greatest] 34 times – these are also essential prayers for after Namaz […]

“What is the secret behind reciting اَستَغفِرُاللّٰهَ۔‭ ‬اَستَغفِرُاللّٰهَ۔‭ ‬اَستَغفِرُاللّٰهَ three times immediately after Namaz? And what is its purpose? The truth is, humans are extremely weak, helpless and lazy. They are very far from true [spiritual] knowledge and can only progress slowly. What significance do we even have? […] 

“As humans are weak and their [spiritual] knowledge has not reached its pinnacle, and sometimes due to weakness and negligence, they do not offer Namaz at its appointed time, or at times, offer it without any concentration, or their thoughts wander around [during Salat] and they are lazy to offer Namaz with its due reverence and with their whole heart – an essential requirement of Namaz– or if Namaz is offered without being able to concentrate, or the true enjoyment and pleasure of Namaz is not attained or due to very minute reasons, the Namaz is left defective, for this reason, there is a commandment to do istighfar immediately after finishing Namaz. This is so that one pleads to God to compensate their weaknesses and any defective parts left in their Namaz.” (Khutbat-e-Nur, pp. 325-326)

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Apart from offering these prayers after Salat to cover and compensate for the defective parts of our prayers, Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Ira said that another means of covering the faults we leave in Salat is offering the sunnah prayers after Salat. He said:

“[…] the sunnah prayers, which the Holy Prophetsa instructed to offer, are also essential [for removing defective parts of the Salat]. To complete the compulsory [fardh] prayers, it is extremely important  to offer the sunnah prayers. Those people who are lazy and unmindful in offering sunnah prayers, should pay attention in this regard […] always offering the sunnah prayers is very important – whether someone offers them at home or in the mosque.” (Khutbat-e-Nur, p. 327)

By acting on such spiritual insights that our khulafa have explained, we can take our prayers and worship a notch further and progress on the ladder of spirituality, especially during this blessed month. 

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