A Gathering of Seeking Forgiveness
This collection of remembrances of Allah and supplication called Majmu`’l-Istighfaar (A Gathering of Seeking Forgiveness) was composed by Amir’l-Mu’mineen Sultan Muhammad Bello ibn Shehu Uthman ibn Fuduye` on a Friday the 14th of Safar in the year 1243 (circa August of 1827 C.E.).
It was cited in his renown text on seeking forgiveness and atonement for sins called Buduur’l-Musfira Fee ‘l-Khisaal Allatee Yudriku Bihaa ‘l-Maghfira (The Full Moons of the Traveler Regarding the Traits Required to Achieve Forgiveness). He composed the text at a time when the Sokoto Caliphate was facing many attacks from outside, as well as revolts from inside.
The Europeans sent spies such as Hugh Clapperton and Dr. Henrich Barth to assess to strength of the Sokoto Caliphate and to determine the natural resources of the area. This period also witnessed the infiltration of the scholarly circles by outsiders from Futa and Kumasi with the objective of altering the spiritual allegiance of the Jama`at to the baraka of Shaykh Abd’l-Qaadir’l-Jaylaani and Shehu Uthman ibn Fuduye`.
Some of these foreigners began to insinuate that Sultan Muhammad Bello had renounced his allegiance to the Qaadiriyya Tareeqa and had taken the wird of the Tijaaniyya. Thus, the Majmu`’l-Istighfaar was designed to allay such suspicions while at the same time establish a protective umbrella under which the Jama`at could take refuge for their spiritual, political and social well being.
The Majmu` contains the well known supplications of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace through which atonement and forgiveness is guaranteed. The baraka of the Majmu` is immeasurable because it contains supplications which are atonement for the sins of a day, week, month, a year up to seventy years. With the permission of Allah it guarantees its reciter social stability, financial well being, and protection from enemies, independence and sovereignty.
When it is recited for forty days straight it causes abundant rains to fall in the place in which it is recited and assures wealth for the entire region, if Allah ta`ala wills it. The time designated for its recitation is the time immediately after `asr prayer up until sunset, because this is the time for the descent of spiritual and psychic wealth, while the time immediately after the subh prayer up until sunrise is the time of the descent of material and corporal wealth.
It is for this reason that Shaykh Abdullahi ibn Fuduye` designated his Wird’l-Adhkaar wa’d-Da`awaat to be recited after performing the subh prayer up until sunrise. Because Shehu Uthman ibn Fuduye` was the center or axis of the inward and the outward realities of the Jama`at, his famous al-Munaajaat should be recited ideally during the as’haar (predawn hours), because this time is designated for the descent of both corporal and spiritual wealth together.
Allah ta’ala say’s;
This is clear indication of the veracity of the times of subh until sun rise, `asr until sun set and the predawn light night hours being the most auspicious for making supplication and remembrance of Allah ta`ala.
As we approach the sacred month of fasting in Ramadan it is important that individual Muslims and the jama`ats enter its gate in a state of repentance and seeking forgiveness, so that Allah ta`ala can shower His benevolence upon the entire Umma and thus humanity as a whole.
Success is with Allah
Shaykh Muhammad Shareef
Director of SIIASI