On the authority of Shaddad ibn Aws, may Allah be pleased with him, the Prophet, Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Aalihi Wa Sallam, said, “The chief of prayers for forgiveness is:-
Allahumma anta Rabbi la ilaha illa Anta Khalaqtani wa ana abduka, wa ana ‘ala ahdika wa wa’dika mastata’tu, A’udhu bika min Sharri ma sana’tu, abu’u Laka bini’matika ‘alaiya, wa Abu’u Laka bidhanbi faghfirli fainnahu la yaghfiru adhdhunuba illa anta
O Allah! You are my Lord! None has the right to be worshipped but You. You created me and I am Your slave, and I am faithful to my covenant and my promise as much as I can. I seek refuge with You from all the evil I have done. I acknowledge before You all the blessings You have bestowed upon me, and I confess to You all my sins. So I entreat You to forgive my sins, for nobody can forgive sins except You.[sahih al-Bukhari; 8,75,318, at-Tirmidhi; 3393, an-Nasa’i; 5522, Ahmad; 16662]
O Allah! You are my Cherisher. There is no deity except You. You have created me and I am Your servant and as far as possible, I abide by my solemn promise and covenant (which I made to You). I seek Your protection against the consequences of my wrongdoings. I fully acknowledge the grace You have bestowed upon me and I confess my faults. So pardon me my sins as none besides You can pardon sins.
The Prophet, Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Aalihi Wa Sallam, added, “If somebody recites it during the day with firm faith in it and dies on the same day before the evening, he will be from the people of Paradise and if somebody recites it at night with firm faith in it and dies before the morning he will be from the people of Paradise.”
Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 75, Number 318
Benefit: According to the Hadeeth anyone who recites Sayyidul lstighfaar with conviction and devotion once during the day or night, and if he happens to die on that day or night he will surely enter Jannah.
It is for this reason that it has been named Sayyidul Istighfaar meaning The Chief Form of Repentance.