The Middle of Ramadan is Full of Opportunities for Forgiveness

An image of two hands raised to make Muslim supplication and prayer

As we reach the middle of Ramadan, in many communities, things are a little quieter. The early crowds have subsided and the crowds of the last 10 nights haven’t started yet.

But this isn’t the time to get lax: We’ve entered the days of forgiveness.

The Days of Forgiveness

The blessed month of Ramadan is traditionally divided into three phases, each lasting 10 days. After the days focused on Allah’s mercy, come the 10 days known as the days of forgiveness.

During these days, Muslims may devote extra attention to sincere repentance and seeking forgiveness from Allah for all their mistakes and previous sins.

How to Seek Forgiveness in Islam

Islam provides guidance on how exactly to seek Allah’s forgiveness.

Make Amends

An important component of seeking forgiveness in Islam is to atone for the matter if possible. For example, if you have taken something, return it. If you have hurt someone’s feelings, apologize. Try to make right any wrong you have done.

Performing Good Deeds

Secondly, Allah tells us that good deeds wipe away bad deeds and sins.

Allah says in the Quran,

” … Indeed, good deeds do away with misdeeds. That is a reminder for those who remember” (11:114).

This holy month of Ramadan offers even greater opportunities than usual for performing good deeds, as each good act receives extra reward in Ramadan, and people can earn more blessings for their efforts.

So one way to seek forgiveness is to begin by preforming additional good deeds, starting with those closest to us — our family members.

Extra Prayers

Performing additional worship, especially in the last part of the night, is a great way to seek Allah’s forgiveness.

Abu Huraira reported that the Messenger of Allah said,

“Our Lord, the Blessed and the Exalted, descends every night to the lowest heaven when one-third of the latter part of the night is left, and says: Who supplicates Me so that I may answer him? Who asks Me so that I may give to him? Who asks Me forgiveness so that I may forgive him?” (Sahih Muslim and Bukhari)

Recommended Duas

Another way to seek forgiveness is through duas.

Shaddad ibn Aws said that the prophet Muhammad said the following dua is the best way to ask for forgiveness:

“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.” (Bukhari)

Here’s another beautiful and comprehensive – though short – dua for forgiveness:

“Allahummaghfir lee thanbee kullahu, diqqahu wa jillahu, wa ‘awwalahu wa ‘aakhirahu wa ‘alaaniyata hu wa sirrahu.”
“O Allah, forgive me all my sins, great and small, the first and the last, those that are apparent and those that are hidden.” (Muslim)

And one more:

“O Allah, you are forgiving, and you love forgiveness, so forgive me.” (Recorded by Ahmad, Ibn Majah and at-Tirmidhi)

What’s Next?

After taking action to perform good deeds and praying to be forgiven, it’s important to try not to repeat the same mistakes. However, if we do backslide again, we need to continue turning back to Allah.

‘Was My Prayer for Forgiveness Accepted?’

As humans, we cannot know if our prayers for Allah’s mercy and forgiveness are answered. However, we can find some peace and hope in the fact that we are assured many times that Allah the Almighty is most generous in His forgiveness.

Allah says in the Quran:

“If any one does evil or wrongs his own soul but afterwards seeks God’s forgiveness, he will find God Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful”. (4:110)

He also said in a Hadith Qudsi that His mercy is greater than His wrath (Sahih al-Bukhari ).

The Messenger of Allah, Prophet Muhammad, also brought good news about Allah’s mercy.

He said,

“No Muslim commits a sin and then performs ablution, prays two rak’ahs and begs Allah for forgiveness for that sin, but He forgives him.”

May all of your prayers be accepted!

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Originally published in May 2019, updated March 2024.