Al-I'tiraf, courtesy of Anak Alam, who advises that ' for the first star *, the correct lyrics is: wa dhanbi zaa-idun kaifah timaali; for the second star *, change it to: fa in taghfir fa anta lidhaaka ahlun'
One famous prayer of repentance, or dua taubat, could be roughly transliterated as follow:

Ilahi lestu lil-firdawsi a’la

wa la akhwa ala nar il-jaheemi

Allah fa habli tawbata wa-ghfir dhunubi

fa innaka ghaafiru dhanb il-adzimi

This doa has been put to song, together with a lovely malay translation, by Junied, a nasheed group from Singapore associated with the Madrasah Aljunied Al-Islamiah. Madrasah Aljunied is a famous madrasah, having produced many notable scholars over the course of its nearly one hundred years, including the present Mufti of Sarawak, if I’m not wrong. It is now absorbed into the national education system, so the national curriculum is taught together with the religious sciences. You can learn more about how Singapore has absorbed the madrasah schools into their national model here at MUIS.

You can download the Doa Taubat from their website, along with several other songs. There are video recordings available on YouTube as well. According to their site, they have a new album called “Hijrah” available in stores. Unfortunately, googling around did not readily turn up a merchant site. Anyone who knows where to get a copy of the album can let me know in the comments.

The group’s recording of the Doa Taubat can be found all over, but the website of the group itself I couldn’t find after half an hour of searching. It’s puzzling too, because I found it once before a few months ago. A recording of the Doa Taubat is available to download on the site, but since I can’t locate it, I’m putting my copy here for download. It’s very nice; you should listen. I’ll take it down and link to theirs as soon as I locate their site again or some kind soul sends me the link.

The song is in Arabic and Malay, so I decided to do a rough English translation which you can find below. It’s not an exact translation: I tried to keep to the flow of the original so it could conceivably be sung in the same tune, but that meant I had to play loose with the meaning. Here it is; comments welcome as always.

Ilahi lestu lil-firdawsi a’la

wa la akhwa ala nar il-jaheemi

Allah fa habli tawbata wa-ghfir dhunubi

fa innaka ghaafiru dhanb il-adzimi


tuhanku aku tidak layak / untuk syurga mu

tetapi aku tidak pula sanggup menanggung / siksa neraka mu

dari itu kurnia kan lah / ampunan kepada ku / ampun kan lah dosa ku

sesungguhnya / engkaulah penggampun / dosa dosa besar


Oh my Lord I know I don’t deserve / your heaven

And yet your blazing wrath / I could never defend

So Lord rain down upon / this lowly soul / your forgiveness

Lord you and you alone / forgive and wash away / the most greivous sins


Anak Alam has graciously provided the full dua, which includes two more stanzas, in Arabic and Malay. A translation of the second two stanzas would be something like:

My sins are countless as the sands on the shore /
Accept my repentance, O Lord of Majesty/
For my life grows shorter with each day/
While my sins increase with each passing moment

O my Lord, Your sinful servant approaches You/
Continuously sinning while steadfastly beseeching You/
If You forgive, You are most capable of doing so/
And if You forsake me, then to whom else can I turn…

Published by bingregory

Official organ of an American Muslim in Malaysian Borneo, featuring plants, pantuns and pictures from the Malay archipelago. Oversharing since 2002.

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  1. This style of music – nasheed – is religious music and plugs into life here in a way not unlike Gospel in the States. It is often performed at religious functions, like this one at my local mosque after the month of Ramadan, or at religious conferences or assemblies. Nasheed does get a bit of play on the radio, on the Islamic channel, where it may come off a bit incongruous I suppose, if you tuned it in when you weren’t feeling particularly prayerful at the time. But even then, if it brings somebody back to a God-conscious frame of mind in the middle of their work day, I’d say that’s a good thing.

  2. A sample of the song, at least, can be found here. Not that I really went out looking for it, ya know? 😉 I just happened to see that the school had a choir website and I thought it’d be interesting to see it.

  3. Note to self: listen first, then write. What I linked to above is a sample of the song you linked to in your post, but it’s substantially different from your version. This one runs for only two minutes, has an instrumental introduction, and is sung at a slower pace. So keep your version up a little bit longer, OK? 🙂

  4. Yeesh, why could I not locate that yesterday? – you’d think that would come up on a search for madrasah aljunied… Thanks, JD. I’m going to add that in up above; maybe that’ll help drum up a bit of publicity for their site.

  5. Totally unrelated, but I just read Other Malaysia’s post that you linked to here. Certainly what he complaint about is shared by many!!

  6. Do you have any idea where i can get original version like those in mosque, like it better as a bit less of romantisism

  7. Assalamualaikum,
    Does anyone know the sufi master that wrote the dua taubat. I have seen it somewhere, but as usual when I needed it I couldn’t find it. Can anyone help me please!

  8. Assalamualaikum

    Does any1 know where to get this dua….in arabic script online? Thank You.


  9. Haniffa: for the first star *, the correct lyrics is: wa dhanbi zaa-idun kaifah timaali

    for the second star *, change it to: fa in taghfir fa anta lidhaaka ahlun

  10. I must digress – but I can’t resist – with my favourite story about seeking Allah ‘s forgiveness and the value of istighfar. It is said that this constant seeking of forgiveness opens doors. One night the ageing Ahmad bin Hanbal, exhausted from a day of travel, sought shelter for the night in a mosque but the caretaker turned him away. He could’ve dropped his own name to gain the favour, as he was by then at the height of his fame, but humility prevented him from doing so. And so persistent was the caretaker man in discharging his duty that not only did he shoo him out but also dragged the old Imam from inside the mosque to the door.

    A baker who was watching all that felt sorry for the old man so he took him home as guest for the night. As the baker was doing his work, Ahmad bin Hanbal was watching him. He saw that the baker kept repeating his istighfar, now and again and for ever more. “Oh baker, why do you do so? What benefits from it has He bestowed?” asked the Imam Ahmad.

    “By my asking His forgiveness constantly, alhamdulillah, He the Almighty has granted my every wish,” said the baker. “Except one.

    “And what could that one be that you still so desire?” asked the old Imam.

    “It has always been my wish,” said the baker, “to meet the great scholar Ahmad bin Hanbal.”

    “SubhanAllah,” replied the astonished Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal. “Not only has He answered your prayer, but He has also dragged me to your door!”

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