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Istighfar (Arabic: ٱسْتِغْفَار, romanizedistighfār) is the act of seeking forgiveness of God in Islam. This is usually done by saying "I seek the forgiveness of God" (Arabic: أَسْتَغْفِرُ ٱللَّٰهَ, romanizedastaghfiru llāha), or the longer version "I seek the forgiveness of God, my Lord, and turn to him (in repentance)" (Arabic: أَسْتَغْفِرُ ٱللَّٰهَ رَبِّي وَأَتُوبُ إِلَيْهِ, romanizedastaghfiru llāha rabbī wa-atūbu ilayhi).[1] It is considered one of the essential parts of worship in Islam.


"Istighfar" is derived from the Arabic root غ-ف-ر, which is related to the covering of a thing with that which will keep it clean.


"Istighfar" means to pray to Allah that he may protect the supplicant from worldly desires, both in this world and the hereafter. Astaghfirullah literally translates to "I seek forgiveness in God".[2] Usually, a Muslim recites it as part of dhikr, that is to say that Allah is the greatest or that goodness comes from Allah.

The phrase can also be used in popular culture when seeing something wrong or shameful.


Islam posits that human beings were created by God, with the ability to choose their own actions; either to do good deeds and obey Allah or to do evil deeds and disobey (Him).[Quran 76:3] However, as a result of human error, God offered humans who might have mistakenly committed sin or submitted to their desires and ignored the dictates of their conscience to perform istighfar. Thus, Muslims use istighfar as they believe it counters Shaytan who tries to lead them into hell by inviting them to sin.

In the Qur'an

Istighfar, and some other words from the same root such as Ghafir, Al-Ghafoor, Ghaffar, occur in the Qur'an more than seventy times.[3]

Quranic verses regarding istighfar

In the Qur'an, there are numerous verses on the issue of istighfar, in which Allah commands the believers to always seek his forgiveness and turn to Him. Some examples of these verses are:

In narrations


Conditions for istighfar

Seeking forgiveness has three conditions, with an additional fourth one if the sin involves the violation of another person's rights:

  1. To discontinue the sin
  2. To regret having committed it
  3. To resolve to never return to the sin
  4. To restore the rights of the person that has been wronged.


Among the etiquette of seeking forgiveness are:

Note: Istighfar can be done at any time, above mentioned are a few Sunnahs followed by Prophet Muhammed's teachings.

Istighfar of prophets

The Istighfar of an ordinary person was not a special case since they are not infallible. However, in the case of the prophets and angels, such an act may be interpreted otherwise, because it contradicts the attributes of infallibility in the prophets. Though, there is some relevant evidence showing the fact that prophets and angels were also engaged in asking for divine forgiveness.

"The heavens nearly burst, one above the other, ˹in awe of Him˺. And the angels glorify the praises of their Lord, and seek forgiveness for those on earth. Surely Allah alone is the All-Forgiving, Most Merciful." (Al Quran 42:5) [11]

Related invocations

رَبَّنَا إِنَّنَا آمَنَّا فَٱغْفِرْ لَنَا ذُنُوبَنَا وَقِنَا عَذَابَ ٱلنَّارِ

Rabba-nā inna-nā Ãman-nā fa-ʾaghfir la-nā ḏunūba-nā wa-qinā ʿaḏāba -n-nār.

Our Lord! We have believed, so forgive our sins and protect us from the torment of the Fire.

— Mustafa Khattab, The Clear Quran[12]

سُبْحَانَكَ تُبْتُ إِلَيْكَ وَأَنَا۠ أَوَّلُ ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ

Subḥāna-ka tub-tu ilay-ka wa-ana awwalu -l-muʾminīn.

Glory be to You! I turn to You in repentance and I am the first of the believers.

— Mustafa Khattab, The Clear Quran[13]

ٱللَّٰهُمَّ إنِّي أسْأَلُكَ يَا ٱللَّٰهُ بِأَنَّكَ ٱلْوَاحِدُ ٱلأَحَدُ ٱلصَّمَدُ ٱلَّذِي لَمْ يَلِدْ وَلَمْ يُولَدْ وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَهُ كُفُوًا أَحَدٌ أَنْ تَغْفِرَ لِي ذُنُوبِي إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ ٱلْغَفُورُ ٱلَّرَحِيمُ

Allahumma inni as'aluka ya Allah! Bi-annakal-Wahidul-Ahad us-Samad, alladhi lam yalid wa lam yowled, wa lam yakun lahu kufuwan ahad, an taghfirali dhunubi, innaka antal-Ghafurur-Rahim.

O Allah! I ask You, O Allah, You are the One, the Only, Self Sufficient Master, who was not begotten and begets not and none is equal to Him. Forgive me my sins, surely you are Forgiving, Merciful.

— Narrated by Hanzalah bin 'Ali (R.A.), Sunan an-Nasa'i: The Book of Forgetfulness (In Prayer) V.2, Book 13, Hadith 123[14]

ٱللَّٰهُمَّ ٱغْفِرْ لِي وَٱرْحَمْنِي وَعَافِنِي وَٱهْدِنِي وَٱرْزُقْنِي

Allahumma-ghfir li, warhamni, wa 'afini, wahdini, warzuqni.

O Allah! Forgive me, have mercy on me, guide me, guard me against harm and provide me with sustenance and salvation.

— Narrated by Tariq bin Ashyam (R.A.), Riyad as-Salihin: The Book of Du'a (Supplications) Book 16, Hadith 5[15]

ٱللَّٰهُمَّ أَنْتَ رَبِّي لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ خَلَقْتَنِي وَأَنَا عَبْدُكَ وَأَنَا عَلَىٰ عَهْدِكَ وَوَعْدِكَ مَا ٱسْتَطَعْتُ أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّ مَا صَنَعْتُ أَبُوءُ لَكَ بِنِعْمَتِكَ عَلَيَّ وَأَبُوءُ لَكَ بِذَنْبِي فَٱغْفِرْ لِي فَإِنَّهُ لَا يَغْفِرُ ٱلذُّنُوبَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ

Allahumma anta Rabbi la ilaha illa anta, Khalaqtani wa ana `Abduka, wa ana `ala `ahdika wa wa`dika mastata`tu, A`udhu bika min Sharri ma sana`tu, abu'u Laka bini`matika `alaiya, wa abu'u laka bidhanbi faghfir lee fa innahu la yaghfiru adhdhunuba illa anta.

O Allah! You are my Lord! None has the right to be worshipped but You. You created me and I am Your slave, and I am faithful to my covenant and my promise as much as I can. I seek refuge with You from all the evil I have done. I acknowledge before You all the blessings You have bestowed upon me, and I confess to You all my sins. So I entreat You to forgive my sins, for nobody can forgive sins except You.

— Narrated by Shaddad bin Aus (R.A.), Sahih al-Bukhari: Invocations, V.8, Book 80, Hadith 3[16]


  1. ^ "Hazrat Ali's (a.s.) Supplications". Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  2. ^ zahed (2017-04-01). "The Power of Istighfar – 'Astaghfirullah' (I seek forgiveness of Allah)". The Siasat Daily. Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  3. ^ "Forgiveness and Repentance in Islam". IslamiCity. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Surah Ali 'Imran - 1-200". Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  5. ^ "Surah An-Nisa – 1–176". Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  6. ^ "Surah Al-Ma'idah – 1–120". Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  7. ^ "Surah Hud – 1-123". Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  8. ^ "The Quranic Arabic Corpus – Translation". Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  9. ^ "Surah At-Tahrim - 1-12". Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  10. ^ "Astaghfirullah Wa Atubu Ilaih" [Learn About This Powerful Dhikr]. 4 September 2019.
  11. ^ "Surah Ash-Shuraa - 1-53". Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  12. ^ "Surah Ali 'Imran – 1-200". Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  13. ^ "Surah Al-A'raf - 1-206". Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  14. ^ "Sunan an-Nasa'i 1301 – The Book of Forgetfulness (In Prayer) – كتاب السهو". – Sayings and Teachings of Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم). Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  15. ^ "Riyad as-Salihin 1469 - The Book of Du'a (Supplications) - كتاب الدعوات - - Sayings and Teachings of Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم)". Retrieved 2021-06-21.
  16. ^ "Sahih al-Bukhari 6306 - Invocations - كتاب الدعوات - - Sayings and Teachings of Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم)". Retrieved 2021-06-21.