Today we will explore the simple yet powerful dua which many of you may know, it is allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun tuhibbul-‘afwa, fa’fu ‘anni.
It was prescribed by the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) that during the night of decree or Lailat-ul-Qadr that it would be best for believer to supplicate with this dua.
Rewards of saying allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun during Lailatul Qadr
The night of decree is divine, it is the night the first verses of the Qur’an were revealed to Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ).
It occurs in one of the last ten nights of Ramadan. More likely to be an odd-numbered night of the last 10 days.
To understand how important this night is we refer to the Quran, Surah Al Qadr. It is a short surah with only 5 ayats. From here we can see the importance of this night.
- Indeed, We sent the Qur’an down during the Night of Decree.
- And what can make you know what is the Night of Decree?
- The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months.
- The angels and the Spirit descend therein by permission of their Lord for every matter.
- Peace it is until the emergence of dawn.
The Quran emphasizes the heaviness of this day, this one night is better than one thousands months which is greater than 83 years!
On this night, the instruction of Allah was revealed which is why this is such an important night.
The exact hadith which mentions Prophet Muhammad sharing this message is from Sunan Ibn Majah:
Hadith on night of decree
It was narrated from ‘Aishah that she said: “O Messenger of Allah, what do you think I should say in my supplication, if I come upon Laylatul-Qadr?” He said: “Say: ‘Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun tuhibbul-‘afwa, fa’fu ‘anni (O Allah, You are Forgiving and love forgiveness, so forgive me).’
Grade: Sahih (Darussalam)
Dua in Arabic:
In Arabic this dua is written,
اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنِّي
Transliteration: Allahumma innaka afuwwun tuhibbul afwa fa’fu annee
English Translation of the Dua:
The translation of this dua in english is, “O Allah, You are Forgiving and love forgiveness, so forgive me” or “O Allah, You are Pardoning and love to pardon, so pardon me.”
Learn Four Duas for Parents health.
Only For Ramadan?
There are some which claim that this dua should be recited everyday of Ramadan. However, there is no support for these claims. From the hadith only specific day mentioned to recite this dua is for laylatul qadr.
This does not mean it is restricted to this one day. It is a dua which can be recited whenever one wishes to ask for forgiveness from their Lord.
The addition of Kareem, correct or incorrect?
In Jami At-Tirmidhi 3513 there is some confusion as this hadith adds a variation to the dua with the word Kareem or Karim, which means the most kind or generous.
اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ كَرِيمٌ تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنِّي
Transliteration: allahumma innaka afuwwun kareem tuhibbul afwa fa’fu anni
Meaning: O Allah, indeed You are Pardoning, [Generous] You love pardon, so pardon me.
This slight variation is not the authentic sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ). This does not make this dua wrong, Allah loves any act of worship and the niyyah or intent behind this dua is still pure.
The difference, however, comes in rewards. The dua which adds the variation Kareem which is likely a mistake from a scribe would be rewarded. Again Allah loves the believer who is humble and shows humility to ask for his forgiveness. But on a scale of one to ten, this would be a level one dua.
Reciting a dua in tawaf, before or after sadaqah, in difficulty, or during Ramadan in last ten nights increases the rank of a dua.
Similarly, reading the dua in Arabic or sticking with exact dua from Quran or keeping to authentic Prophet Muhammad narration would be better.
For that reason it is better to stick with the original version “Allahumma innaka afuwwun tuhibbul afwa fa’fu anni”.