Book Review: Prayers for Forgiveness

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Title: Prayers for Forgiveness
Compiled by: Allama Qutb al-Din al-Hanafi from Imam Hasan al-Basri
Translation: Shaykh Abdur-Rahman ibn Yusuf
Forward: Shaykh Husain Abdul Sattar, M.D.
Publisher: White Thread Press (2004, reprints in 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009)

This is small sized book that easily fits into a large coat pocket and is a great resource for every sinner. The book starts with the hadith: The best of sinners are those who repent. This book has 70 prayers for forgiveness which are attributed to Imam Hasan al-Basri. It contains the Arabic text, the English translation and the transliteration for each prayer.

The nature of these prayers or supplications is that they ask for forgiveness from all sorts of sins from all sorts of angles. Sins that were only possible due to the sustenance and health that was granted by Allah, sins that were done in the open and secret, sins of the day and night, sins that diminish abundant wealth, sins that we looked forward to committing, sins that rob of us of our honour, sins in which we spent the night in sleeplessness, sins that we repented for yet return to them, sins that hold back rain from the skies, sins that bring about illness and emaciating diseases. Each supplication is uniquely worded and asks for forgiveness in a manner that we may not naturally think of.

One may wonder if using a book of prayers will bring about the sincerity needed when asking for forgiveness or is one better to let our own minds and tongues express our hearts content. Perhaps a way to look at it, is that by reading this book it will bring about a better realization of the impact of our sins, it will remind us of what we should have asked for, but did not know how to word it or simply did not know to ask. These duas set up a nice template and basis for asking forgiveness, and offers encouragement to the sinner in the hope of the mercy of Allah. Surely there is no harm in utilizing the book as its very wording touches the depth of the soul, and adding to it supplications that reflect our own specific condition. This book is a great facilitation towards making daily repentance and gives us a great resource when we feel helpless and do not know how to even begin our repentance.

More information on this book can be found here: http://www.whitethreadpress.com/?p=135

A few of the prayers have been included below:

(4) O Allah, I seek Your forgiveness for every sin that calls towards deviance; for every sin that leads from the path of guidance; for every sin that diminishes abundant wealth; for every sin that obliterates long-possessed property and inherited family wealth; for every sin that deprives me of honourable repute; and for every sin that drives away my family and friends.

(26) O Allah, I seek your forgiveness for every sin that leaves grief on its heel, that causes remorse, that holds back sustenance, and that prevents the acceptance of my prayers.

(40) O Allah, I seek Your forgiveness for every sin to which my search for excuses and my craving (for the world) invited me, and thus I sought to commit it and so made lawful for myself what You had decreed unlawful.

(68) O Allah, I seek Your forgiveness for every sin that my soul made seem to me trivial and small, and continued to make seem insignificant, until it finally entangled me in it.

May Allah bless those who assisted in bring this book to our benefit, and I pray that you are able to obtain it and derive its benefits. Ameen.

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