Abu Hurayrah (r.a.) Used to Ask Forgiveness 12,000 times a Day

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

Imam Abu Nu’aym (r.a.) reported in his Hilyat al-Awliya’ through Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (r.a.), from ‘Ikrimah (r.a.) that Abu Hurayrah (r.a.) said, “Verily, I turn to Allah (s.w.t.) asking Forgiveness and repenting to Him 12,000 times every day.”

This atsar is reported by Imam Abu Nu’aym (r.a.) this way in his Hilyat al-Awliya’ and mentioned by Imam ibn Hajr al-’Asqalani (r.a.) in his Iswabah as being reported by Imam ibn Sa’ad (r.a.).  Imam al-Hafizh (r.a.) declared this atsar swahih.  A review of the chain will attest to such a grading.

Shaykh Ibrahim ibn Ziyad (r.a.) was declared tsiqah, impeccably trustworthy, by Imam ibn Ma’in (r.a.), Imam Abu Zura’ah (r.a.) and others.  Imam Ahmad (r.a.) said, “There is nothing wrong with him.”  Next in the chain is Imam Isma’il ibn ‘Ulayyah (r.a.).  He was a hafizh of his time.  Imam Shu’bah (r.a.) called him, “the master of the muhadditsin.”  Imam ibn Hajr (r.a.) said of him, “Tsiqah, a specialist of ahadits.”

The next in the chain is Shaykh Khalid al-Hatstsa’ (r.a.).  He is Shaykh Khalid ibn Mihran Abu al Manazil al-Hatstsa’.  Imam ibn Ma’in (r.a.), Imam an-Nasa’i (r.a.) and Imam al-‘Ijli (r.a.) all deemed him tsiqah.  Imam Ahmad (r.a.) said of him, “Established!”  However, Imam Abu Hatim (r.a.) said of him, “Record his ahadits although there is no support with him.”  The majority deem him tsiqah.  Imam adz-Dzahabi (r.a.) says in his Mizan, “And he was tsiqah, awe-inspiring, with many ahadits.  He reported this from ‘Ikrimah (r.a.).  He is the well known Barbari mufassir, student of the swahabah, and former servant of ibn ‘Abbas (r.a.).  There is agreement of all Muslim scholars regarding his impeccable trustworthiness, righteousness, and fiqh.  This chain is swahih as you can see.”

On another note, it is not recorded that the Prophet (s.a.w.) sought istighfar this many times a day.  In fact, he said he only did this seventy, and in another report, a hundred times in a day.  Furthermore, Abu Hurayrah (r.a.) is specifying a number to do it, a definite bid’ah but a bid’ah al-hasanah.


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