لَّآ إِلَٰهَ إِلَّآ أَنتَ سُبْحَٰنَكَ إِنِّى كُنتُ مِنَ ٱلظَّٰلِمِينَ
Transliteration: la ilaha illa anta subhanaka inni kuntu minaz-zalimin
English Meaning: There is no deity except You; exalted are You. Indeed, I have been of the wrongdoers.
This ayat (commonly referred to as Ayat E Kareema or just Ayat Karima) is mentioned in Surah Anbiya Verse 87.
The full ayah goes as follows:
“And [mention] the man of the fish, when he went off in anger and thought that We would not decree [anything] upon him. And he called out within the darknesses, “There is no deity except You; exalted are You. Indeed, I have been of the wrongdoers.” it continues on, “So We responded to him and saved him from the distress. And thus do We save the believers.”
If you’re familiar with the story of Prophet Yunus you’ll know that Prophet Yunus gave up on his people. Without the permission of Allah, he decided to leave the city of Nineveh in hopes to find a city that would more readily accept him and the message of Islam. This is why the Quran mentions “the man of the fish, when he went off in anger and thought that We would not decree [anything] upon him”.
As punishment he was kicked off and abandoned by his ship members, swallowed by a whale and left in darkness. In this moment he cried out remembering Allah, praising Allah, admitting his faults in the matter by saying “Indeed, I have been of the wrongdoers.”
Allah seeing the genuine and sincere apology had then relieve him.
SIGNIFICANCE OF LA ILAHA ILLA ANTA SUBHANAKA
This short dua also encompasses the concept of tawheed, one of the most basic tenets of Islam. By saying this dua, you are consciously and deliberately declaring that Allah (swt) is the only deity, the exalted. You then show your humility by admitting your faults and weakness.
I forget who had said this, I believe it was hazrat ali, but the message is still valid, the worst sin is that which a sinner takes lightly. We should be constantly repenting to Allah (swt) in any moment we are free. We are all guilty of not making best use of our time, some are better than others but we can all improve. We should all strive to have as little idle time as possible.
This is why we should mix this heavy ayah into our diverse toolbox of duas and azkar.
The best forms of dhikr is to recite Quran with the understanding of its meanings.