Seeking forgiveness from Allāh the Almighty
Can I say: “I seek forgiveness from Allāh the Almighty, besides Whom there is no other god, the Ever Living the Eternal, and I repent to Him, as much as the number of His creation, as much as pleases Him, as much as the weight of His Throne and as much as the ink of His words”? And can I say other dzikirs with the same wording?
In the Name of Allāh, Most Gracious, Most Merciful;
All praise and thanks are due to Allāh, May Allāh blessings and peace be upon His Messenger.
Firstly: Dzikir may be divided into two types: Firstly, Those that are restricted to a particular time, place or situation, such as those which are prescribed following the prayers, the dzikirs prescribed for morning and evening, and so on. Secondly, Those which are not restricted to certain circumstances, such as prayers for forgiveness which should be on the Muslim's lips morning and evening, and general tasbīh, and so on.
The restricted dzikirs to a certain circumstances, it is not permissible to add to their wording that is mentioned in the Qur’ān and Sunnah, or to subtract from it. While those that are not restricted to certain circumstances, there is nothing wrong with adding to or subtracting from them, although it is better to limit it to what is narrated, as it is more than sufficient.
Al-Hāfiz Ibn Hajar al-Haytami (rahimullah) said: “The wording of adhkār … mentioned in the reports… have special characteristics and there is wisdom behind its format, so it is not open to analogy, so we must adhere to the wording in which they were narrated. This is the view favoured by Al-Mazari who said: ‘we should stick to the wording that is narrated verbatim, and the reward may be dependent upon that wording’” [Fath al-Bāri (11/112)]
He said there is a Dzikir that is limited to certain circumstances, and is not general. Such as the dzikir to be recited when going to sleep: “Allāhumma aslamtu wajhi ilayk wa fawwadtu amri ilayk” (O Allāh, I have submitted my face to You and I have delegated my affairs to You).
Secondly: This wording of, “the number of his Creation, as much as He is pleased, the weight of His Throne and the extent of His words” is mentioned in another report along with tasbīh:
Juwairiyah bint Al-Harith (radiallāhu`anha) the Mother of the Believers reported: The Prophet (Sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam) came out from my apartment in the morning as I was busy in performing the Solat Fajar. He came back in the forenoon and found me sitting there. The Prophet (Sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam) said, "Are you still in the same position as I left you.'' I replied in the affirmative. Thereupon the Prophet (Sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam) said, "I recited four words three times after I had left you. If these are to be weighed against all you have recited since morning, these will be heavier. These are:
“Subhān-Allāhi ‘Adada khalqihi, Subhān-Allāhi Rida nafsihi, Subhān-Allāhi Zinata `arshihi, Subhān-Allāhi Midada kalimatihi”
(Glory be to Allāh as much as the number of His creation, Glory be to Allāh as much as pleases Him, Glory be to Allāh as much as the weight of His Throne and Glory be to Allāh as much as the ink of His words.)
[Narrated by Muslim (2726); At-Tirmidzi (3555)].
The recitation of the words quoted in the above Hadith is highly meritorious and rewarding because they are full of Praise and Glorification of Allāh. This wording has been narrated with regard to tasbih also, and there is an addition which mentions Tahmid, Takbir, Tahlil and Al-Hawqalah:
‘Aa’ishah Bint Sa’ad (radiallāhu`anha) narrated from her father, Sa’ad Ibn Abi Waqqas (radiallāhu`anhu) that he entered with the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam) upon a woman in front of whom were some date pits or pebbles with which she was counting tasbih. He (Sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam) said: “Shall I tell you of something that is easier for you than this and better?” He (Sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam) said:
“Subhānallāhi ‘Adada Ma Khalaqa Fis-Sama’, Wa Subhān allāhi ‘Adada Ma Khalaqa Fil-Ard, Wa Subhān Allāhi ‘Adada Ma Bana Dhalik, Wa Subhān Allāhi ‘Adada Ma Huwa Khaliq, Wa Allāhu Akbaru Mithala Dhalik, Wal-Hamdulillāhi Mithla Dhalik, Wa Lā Hawla wa lā Quwwata Illā Billlāhi Mithla Dhalik”
“Glory be to Allāh as much as the number of what He has created in heaven, glory be to Allāh as much as the number of what He has created on earth, glory be to Allāh as much as the number of what He has created between that, glory to be Allāh as much as He as going to create, and Allāh is great likewise, and praise be to Allāh likewise, and there is no god but Allāh likewise, and there is no power and no strength except in Allāh likewise”
[Narrated by Abu Dawud (no. 1500) and At-Tirmidzi (3568); he said it is hasan gharib]
Imam Ibn Khuzaimah (Rahimullah) entitled the chapter in his Sahih in which he narrated this hadith (1/370): Chapter on the virtue of tahmid, tasbih and takbir by referring to the great number of the creation of Allāh or anything else.
Hence ‘Ata’ (Rahimullah) said: I say at the end of every takbīr, tasbīh, tahmīd and Tahlil: ‘Lā ilāha illallāhu, wahdahu lā sharika lahu, lahul-mulku wa lahul-hamdu, wa Huwa `ala kulli shai'in Qadīr (There is no true god except Allāh. He is One and He has no partner with Him. His is the sovereignty and His is the praise, and He is Omnipotent),’, and then I ask for my need.” [Musannaf ‘Abd al-Razzaq (1/82)]
Thirdly: Asking for forgiveness comes under the heading of the general type of dzikir which a person should be saying all the time, and it does not matter what the person chooses for himself of what he thinks is appropriate for praying for forgiveness and hoping for forgiveness from his Lord, even if it is not narrated in particular. That includes the wording that is mentioned in this question.
If we say that there is nothing wrong with it, what we mean is that it is permissible and is not harām, and we do not see any reason to object to it. But the Prophet (Sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam) did not teach his Companions this wording for praying for forgiveness as narrated by Juwairiyah bint Al-Harith (radiallāhu`anha). Rather he chose for himself a different wording for us in asking Allah’s forgiveness to follow his example in it.
The Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam) said: “O people repent to Allāh and ask Him for forgiveness, for I repent to Allāh and ask Him for forgiveness one hundred times a day” [Ahmad (17829)]
Thawban (radiallāhu’anhu) reported: Whenever the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu `Alaihi wa sallam) concluded his solat; he would beg forgiveness from Allāh [i.e Astaghfirullāh! (I beseech Allāh for forgiveness,] thrice [Muslim]
Hilal bin Yasir bin Zaid, the freed slave of the Prophet that his grandfather told him that The Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu `Alayhi Wa Sallam) said, “He who says: “Astaghfir ullāh-[al adzīm], alladzi Lā ilāha illā, huwal-hayyul-qayyum, wa atūbu ilaih” (I seek the forgiveness of Allāh –[devoid of imperfection], with whose Name there is no true god except Allāh, the Ever-Living, the Ever Living the Eternal, and I turn to Him in repentance), (three times); His sins will be forgiven even if he should have run away from the battlefield (while he was engaged in fighting for the Cause of Allāh).''
[Abu Dawud: Hasan, At-Tirmidzi: Hasan Gharib and Al-Hakim].
Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar (radiallāhu`anhu) said: We would count for the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam) in one sitting 100 times: ‘Rabb ighfir li wa tubb ‘alayya innaka anta al-tawwābul-rahīm’ (O Allāh, forgive me and accept my repentance, for You are the Accepter of Repentance, Most Merciful). According to another report: ‘Rabb ighfir li wa tubb ‘alayya Innaka anta al-tawābul-ghafūr” (O Allāh, forgive me and accept my repentance, for You are the Acceptor of Repentance, Oft-Forgiving).
[Narrated by Abu Dawud (1516) and At-Tirmidzi (3434) and others: sahih].
The Prophet (Sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam) taught the ummah the best wording of all for praying for forgiveness:
Shaddad Ibn Aws (radiallāhu`anhu) narrated from the Prophet (Sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam): “The best of prayers for forgiveness is: Allāhumma anta rabbi lā ilāha illa anta, khalaqtani wa ana ‘abduka wa ana ‘ala ‘ahdika wa wa’dika mastata’tu. A’udzu bika min sharri ma sana’tu, abu’u laka bi ni’matika ‘alayya wa abu’u laka bi dhanbi, faghfir li fa innahu laa yaghfir al-dzunuba illa anta” (O Allāh, You are my Lord, there is no god but You. You have created me and I am Your slave and I am keeping my promise and covenant to You as much as I can. I seek refuge with You from the evil of what I do. I acknowledge Your blessing and I acknowledge my sin, so forgive me, for there is none who can forgive sin except You).”
He (Sallallāhu 'alaihi wa sallam) said: “Whoever says this during the day, believing in it firmly, and dies on that day before evening comes, he will be one of the people of Paradise, and whoever says it at night, believing firmly in it, and dies before morning comes, he will be one of the people of Paradise.”
[Narrated by al-Bukhari (6306)]
Anas bin Mālik (radiallāhu`anhu) said: The Prophet (Sallallāhu `alayhi wa Sallam) said: “Whoever asks Allāh for Paradise, “Allāhumma inni as’aluka al-jannah”, (O Allāh, I ask You for Paradise) - Three times, Paradise will say, ‘O Allāh, admit him to Paradise. ’Whoever seeks protection from the Fire, “Allāhumma ajirni minan-nār” (O Allāh, protect me from the Fire) three times, Hell will say, ‘O Allāh, protect him from the Fire.’”
[Narrated by al-Tirmidzi, 2572; Ibn Majah, 4340: sahih].
Thawban (radiallāhu’anhu) reported: Whenever the Messenger of Allāh (Sallallāhu `Alaihi wa sallam) concluded his prayer; he would beg forgiveness from Allāh [i.e Astaghfirullāh! (I beseech Allāh for forgiveness,] thrice and then would recite: "Allāhumma Antas-Salāmu, wa minkas-salāmu, tabārakta ya Dzal-Jalali wal-Ikram (O Allāh, You are the Grantor of security, and security comes from You. You are Blessing, O You Who have majesty and nobility)!''
And Allāh knows best.
[Excerpted from Islam Q&A (Fatwa No: 126934)].