What is the meaning of this du’aa’: “Wa habb al-musee’eena minaa li’l-muhsineen (And forgive the wrongdoers among us for the sake of the righteous) ”?.
What is meant is asking Allaah to forgive the Muslims who do wrong for the sake of those among them who do good. There is nothing wrong with that, because keeping company with righteous people and sitting with them are among the means of forgiveness for the Muslim who does wrong. They are the people whose their companion cannot be doomed. It was narrated in a saheeh hadeeth that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The likeness of a good companion is that of one who carries perfume: either he will give you some, or you will buy some from him, or you will notice a good fragrance coming from him. And the likeness of a bad companion is that of one who works the bellows: either he will burn your garment or you will notice a foul smell coming from him.”
But it is not permissible for a Muslim to rely on such things for expiation for his evil actions. Rather he must repent continually from all his sins, and check himself, and strive to control himself for the sake of Allaah, so that he does what Allaah has commanded and avoids what Allaah has forbidden, and also hopes for the forgiveness of Allaah; so he should beseech Allaah not to leave him to his own devices and not to judge him by his deeds. Hence the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Stand firm, do your best but do not exaggerate, be of good cheer and know that no one of you will enter Paradise by virtue of his deeds alone.” They said, “Not even you, O Messenger of Allaah?” He said, “No, not even me, unless Allaah bestows His Mercy and bounty upon me.”
And Allaah is the Source of strength.