On the authority of Abu Hurairah, may God be pleased with him, he said: I heard the Messenger of God, may God’s blessings and peace be upon him, say: “By God, I seek forgiveness from God and repent to Him more than seventy times a day.” (Narrated by Al-Bukhari).

This hadith is narrated by Abu Hurairah, may God be pleased with him, and Abu Hurairah embraced Islam at the end of the sixth year at the conquest of Khaybar and the story of his Islam is well known and “WE have given you a splendent victory.” [Al-Fath: 1] was way after that, as for the verse and the Hadith, there is no issue about them, because even if it is assumed that the hadith is after reporting it, the scholars have mentioned that the hadiths in which the seeking for forgiveness was mentioned, that the Prophet, may God’s blessings and peace be upon him, intended to teach the ummah, and some of them say: It is an extra rank for him, because if he asks for forgiveness, his Lord has forgiven him, and he has no sins, the forgiveness were exchanged for ranks.

Asking forgiveness in every case is rewarded for it, so there is no problem at all, whether it was before forgiveness or after forgiveness, this is not effective because the purpose of education is present, and increasing the rank is present, and whatever it is, the Prophet, may God’s blessings and peace be upon him, was the most perfect of creation in fear of God and turning to God and clinging onto God Almighty.

And if something like that occurred after God forgave him, then it is a teaching for every righteous servant not to be deceived by his righteousness, and to be confident in God, the Almighty, with great humiliation to God Almighty.

If the most honorable of people to God Almighty asks for forgiveness, and he chooses for the Siddiq of this ummah when he asks him a supplication with which he invokes in his prayer for forgiveness, then how about us? This is because if God forgives the servant his sin, he will stop the evil of this world and the Hereafter, all the calamity is from sin {and whatever evil befell you is from your soul} [An-Nisa: 79]. All evils are from the sins, and that was the reason the prophet, may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him, said in his prayer as reported in this Hadith, O Allah! separate me from my sins); Because he faces the greatest, most honorable, and most beloved situation to God Almighty, which is the position of prayer.

So the he taught the ummah to pray with this supplication; Because perhaps the servant stood in his prayer, but a sin may prevent him from solemnity, or prevented his prayers from being accepted, or stood between him and the hour of response and the hour of acceptance to prayer a, so he asks God to separate him from the causes of failure, and asks God to separate between him and the causes of deprivation, and he asks God to separate him from the cause of humiliation, lack and poverty, destruction of the religion, world and hereafter, and all of that is a sin.

So sin is a great evil with great affliction, and when the Siddiq of the ummah asked the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, to teach him a supplication for him in his prayer, he said: (Say: O God, I wronged my soul a lot). If Siddiq of the ummah said that, how much more we that are the lords of errors and sins, God have mercy on us.

And when a person looks at such hadiths, he finds that they need contemplation and pause, and the opening supplication is a great supplication, and for this reason, may God’s blessings and peace be upon him used to say in his opening, even in the sermon of need (khutbatul haajah) he used to say: (And we seek refuge with God from the evils of ourselves), so seek refuge in God from the cause of deprivation, disappointment and affliction, and that is the sin.

And we seek refuge in God: that is, we seek refuge and protection from God Almighty, who has neither infallibility nor recourse except to Him, glory be to Him.

From the evils of ourselves: sin is all evil and affliction, so his supplication, peace and blessings be upon him for forgiveness of sin, and his asking God Almighty is to teach the ummah, as if he warns of the danger of sin and that the ummah should always be seeking forgiveness. And whoever sticks to istigfaar (seeking forgiveness) Allah will relieve him from all hardship, and from all afflictions, he will Grant him wellness.

And hardly would you find a person who abounds in forgiveness unless you find him in mercy, and if his forgiveness is complete, the mercy of his Lord is perfected for him, so the one asking forgiveness in his tongue is not like the one asking forgiveness with his tongue and heart, and the one asking forgiveness with his tongue and heart sensing the greatness of his Lord is not like the one who senses the greatness of God while feeling the greatness of neglecting God Almighty and the Exalted. He seeks forgiveness with the feeling that he is guilty, and he feels that he would not have disobeyed his Lord, and that he should return to God Almighty from the sins and disobedience, and he asks God Almighty to forgive and forgo.

 These are all conditions of those who are lucky to be righteous in his religion, worldly life and the hereafter, this supplication is a great supplication (Oh God separate me from my sins as you have separated the East from the West), and the East and the West will not meet. The Messenger, may God bless him and grant him peace, made an example with them.

This hadith, as we mentioned, is either an instruction to the ummah, or it is a real forgiveness seeking, or it combines the two things: between he, upon him be blessings and peace, being given the rank of forgiveness seeking and will, by that, be a lesson for his ummah, may God’s blessings and peace be upon him.