What is the prayer of performance?
An atonement for sins committed as result of heedlessness and obeying one’s desires is to turn to Allah with penitence; because immediately after committing a sin and before letting the sin stain the heart, turning to Allah and repenting for it will be redemption for it. Allah the Almighty states in the Qur’an:
“And if a whisper from the devil reaches you (O Muhammad) then seek refuge in Allah. Lo! He is the Hearer, the Knower.” (Fussilat, 41; 36)
“And establish regular prayers at the two ends of the day and at the approaches of the night: for those things that are good remove those that are evil: be that the word of remembrance to those who remember (their Lord)” (Hud 11; 114)
When David (pbuh) ruled hastily without listening to the two parties and made a mistake, he asked his Lord’s forgiveness, turned to Allah by bowing down and prostrating. (Sad 38; 24)
The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said that:
“Where ever you are, fear Allah and be a pious servant of Allah. When you commit a sin, do a good deed immediately after it, because goodness clears off the sin. And treat people with good manners.” (Tirmidhi, Birr, 55)
In similar verses and prophetic sayings, a person who does a mistake is asked to do something good immediately after the mistake. Ali (r.a.) says that:
“I was a man; when I heard a tradition from the Apostle of Allah (pbuh), Allah benefited me with it as much as He willed. But when someone of his companions narrated a tradition to me I adjured him. When he took an oath, I testified him.
Abu Bakr narrated a tradition to me, and Abu Bakr narrated truthfully. He said: I heard the apostle of Allah (pbuh) saying:
“When a servant (of Allah) commits a sin, and he performs ablution well, and then stands and prays two rak’ahs, and asks pardon of Allah, Allah pardons him.”
He then recited this verse:
“And those who, having done something to be ashamed of, or wronged their own souls, and ask for forgiveness for their sins, and who can forgive sins except Allah? And are never obstinate in persisting knowingly in (the wrong) they have done.” (Al-i Imran 3; 135)” (Abu dawud, Witr, 26/1521; Tirmidhi, Salat, 181/406; Tafsir, 3/3006; Ahmad, I, 2)
Source: An Excellent Exemplar, Osman Nuri Topbaş, Erkam Publications