Istighfār (Seeking Forgiveness from Allāh, The Glorified and The Exalted)
Maghfira: Forgiveness of Allāh, The Glorified and The Exalted
Allāh the Almighty said: O Son of Ādam, so long as you call upon Me and ask of Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done, and I shall not mind. O son of Ādam, were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky and were you then to ask for forgiveness of Me, I would forgive you; O son of Ādam, were you to come to Me with sins nearly as great as the earth and were you then to face Me, ascribing no partner to Me, I would bring you forgiveness nearly as great as it. (Tirmidhī) (Hadīth Qudsī)
Hadrat Abū Sa'īd al-Khudrī (may Allāh be pleased with him) relates that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (may Allāh's blessings and peace be upon him) said: A person from amongst a nation of the past, having slain ninety-nine persons, inquired as to who was the most learned person in the world. He was directed to a monk (who had given up the world). He went to the hermit and said: ?I have killed ninety-nine persons. Is there any chance of repentance left for me?" The hermit answered: "No". The man killed the hermit also and completed his century of victims.
The killer asked again, ?Who is the most learned person in this world?? He was directed to a learned man. Accordingly he went to him and said. ?I have killed one hundred persons. Is there any hope of repentance left for me?? The learned man said, "Yes, nothing can stand between you and repentance: Proceed to such and such a land. In this land are (pious) people who worship Allāh. Join them in their worship of Allāh and do not return to your home country because it is an evil place?.
The man started for this land. He had covered only half the distance when he met with his death. A dispute arose between the angel of mercy and the angel of torment as to who should take charge of his soul. The former pleaded that he had come as a penitent turning towards Allāh, and the latter contended that the deceased had never done a good deed.
Then there arrived an angel disguised as a human and the contending angels agreed that he should be the arbiter between them. He directed them to measure the distance between the two lands. To whichever he is nearer, to that one he belongs. So they carried out the measurement and found the land of pious persons to be closer. The angel of mercy thus took charge of him. (Bukhārī and Muslim)