رَبَّنَا ظَلَمْنَا أَنفُسَنَا وَإِن لَّمْ تَغْفِرْ لَنَا وَتَرْحَمْنَا لَنَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ
“Our Lord, we have wronged ourselves, and if You do not forgive us and have mercy upon us, we will surely be among the losers” (Quran 7:23)
Allah the Glorious told our father Prophet Adam, peace be upon him, to enter Paradise with our mother Eve and eat and drink whatever they wish and live happily. They lived there for a long time. Our Creator, Allah the Glorious, instructed Prophet Adam, peace be upon him, not to eat from this one particular tree. Then Satan whispered to Prophet Adam and tempted Prophet Adam to eat. Prophet Adam slipped-up and ate from the tree. After that, Allah asked Prophet Adam to come down to Earth with our mother Eve after being in Paradise for a long time.
Prophet Adam, peace be upon him, immediately regretted his action of eating from the tree and disobeying Allah. He felt bad, and he felt lonely. So, Prophet Adam, peace be upon him, made a dua to Allah, which Allah taught him.
Prophet Adam, peace be upon him, acknowledged and admitted that he’d made a mistake, without blaming anyone or anything else. Prophet Adam acknowledged that if Allah does not forgive and have mercy upon him and our mother Eve, that they would surely be amongst the losers. Then Allah accepted their repentance, and Prophet Adam returned to the folds of Allah’s path and Mercy.
We are humans, so we will never be perfect, and we will continue to make mistakes and commit sins from time to time — which would only harm ourselves. From this dua, we learn that whenever we slip and make a mistake, we need to ask Allah for forgiveness, and we can use these words that Allah taught Prophet Adam to recite.
When we sin, if we feel regret, that is a sign of iman (faith) that we believe in Allah. We should immediately take ownership of our wrongdoing and not make excuses or blame others and ask Allah for forgiveness. We should realize that Allah Loves to forgive and be Merciful to us, so when we repent sincerely, we should always assume that Allah will forgive us.