Saturday, May 05, 2007

Meaning of Astaghfirullah

The word 'Astaghfirullah' is understood and realized in a significant manner by seekers of Truth. Litreally it means "I seek forgiveness from God" or "I ask God's forgivness". People of submission to God recite this term as its instructed in the Holy Book.

"And seek the forgiveness of God. Certainly, God is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.'' (The Quran 4:106)

Although the outward meaning is seeking forgiveness, but the inward meaning is much much powerful than it can be perceived initially. In The Meaning of Astaghfirullah and Using it to Get Closer to Allah, Ibrahim Hakim says:

“The root word of astaghfirullah is ‘ghafara,’ which carries the same meaning of the Arabic root ‘satara,’ meaning: ‘to cover over.’ Therefore, the meaning of the phrase Astaghfirullah is: “I seek the covering of God’s Attributes.””

the phrase can be understood in its inner meaning to be about God’s mercy cleaning us inwardly in the same way that ablutions (daily baptism performed by muslims) are used to cleanse us outwardly. it is not only asking forgiveness, but to be conscious of the potential to cover our imperfection by God's perfect attributes. asking forgivenss is only the passive part of it, but to strive to do away with our imperfection with God's perfect and pure attributes is the active part of Astaghfirullah.

Prophet Muhammad, the pinnacle of conscious human-being used to repeat this word many times everyday to realign his consciousness. Although being a person of great enlightenment who was free from error, it was this active part which he intended.

Al-Agharr Al-Muzani said: The Messenger of God said, "Sometimes I perceive a veil over my heart, and I supplicate God for forgiveness a hundred times in a day.'' (narrated in Muslim collection of tradition)

The Quran also hints on this: "Indeed those who are in awe of God (taqwa), when a passing insinuation (taif) from Maya (illusion, false, shaytan) veils them, they bring to remembrance (tadhakkaru), and behold, they see clearly" (The Quran 7:201).

"And declare the freedom of your Lord from imperfection beginning with His praise, and ask His forgiveness. Verily, He is the One Who accepts the repentance and Who forgives.'' (The Quran 110:3)

Astaghfirullah is a very dear mantra for the sufis, the seekers of path. many remembrace circle of God begins or ends with this powerful word.

Reference: Gurdjieff Dominican Group / Seeking forgiveness

"Your attaining to (proximity with) God really means attaining to direct knowledge of Him. Otherwise, far exalted is He above being united with anything or anything being united with Him!" -Imam Ibn 'Ata'Illah, from the Hikam
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