Name: Salat-at-Tawbah (The Prayer of Repentance)
Abu Bakr al-Siddeeq (may Allah be pleased with him) said, ‘I heard the Messenger of Allah ﷺ say: “There is no one who commits a sin then purifies himself well and stands and prays two rak’ahs, then asks Allah for forgiveness, but Allah will forgive him. Then he recited this verse: ‘And those who, when they have committed Faahishah (illegal sexual intercourse) or wronged themselves with evil, remember Allah and ask forgiveness for their sins; — and none can forgive sins but Allah — and do not persist in what (wrong) they have done, while they know.’ [Aal ‘Imraan 3:135].” (Abu Dawud 1521, Saheeh by Sh Al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood)
Ruling: Recommended, Supererogatory, voluntary, recommended or mustahabb
Number of Units: 2
Method of Prayer:
This prayer is to be prayed individually, and it is two regular units of voluntary prayer. One may recite any Surah or ayaat which they choose. Of course, one whose mind is focusing on repentance may choose to recite ayaats that address such an issue, so as to increase their concentration and humility, and enable them to reflect on the gravity of their error, and the vastness of the Forgiveness of their Lord.
There is no specific duaa for this prayer. However, it is encouraged that one invokes Allah for forgiveness upon completing it. There are many authentic duaas narrated from the Prophet requesting forgiveness, and one may use these as well.
As soon as one decides to repent, be it immediately after sinning or later when one feels the weight of regret.
In the Disallowed times:
This prayer may be prayed in the disallowed times as it is prayed for a reason. Delaying it may cause regret and remorse to pass, and one may miss the opportunity.
As in the aforementioned hadith, if one prays well, after purifying himself, sincerely seeking Allah’s forgiveness, then Allah will forgive him.
Here are some beautiful ayaat regarding the topic of repentance: