The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wa salam) taught us that the most frequent and beloved dua to be said on the last nights is: Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun tuh’ibul ‘afwa fa’ffu ‘Anni (O Allah, You are the Pardoner and You love to pardon, so pardon me).
The word ‘Awfa’ is beyond Maghfira (forgiveness) in the Arabic language. It is an even greater sense of forgiveness. It is complete amnesty and pardon.
But one of the most insincere forms of tawba (repentance) is one that lacks a sense of regret or even acknowledgment of the sin. That’s why Imam Sufyan Al Thawri (ra) taught that you should actually try to sit and remember your sins, cry for them, and then seek forgiveness from Allah for them. This remembrance is not done in a way that brings about self-hatred or despair because you immediately remember that Allah is far greater than your sin! That’s the beauty of the part of the dua “You love to pardon”, it shows how confident you are that Allah will pardon you despite how bad it might be.
This exercise not only ensures that you’ve met the conditions of tawba, it also induces those stubborn tears, deals a blow to your pride, and brings you closer to your compassionate Sustainer.
So try to make this dua sincere and frequent and when you find yourself silent during these last ten nights, say this dua so that you are never idle. But reflect while saying it and you may achieve something even greater than the guaranteed amnesty.