The dua Rabbi Inni Zalamtu Nafsi Faghfirli is a popular dua that mentioned in the Quran, specifically in Surah Qasas ayah 16. This was one of the dua’s recited by Prophet Musa (AS) asking for Allah’s forgiveness.

Before Prophet Musa revelation on the mount, he was adopted by the Pharoah. One day when he was travelling the city he came across two men in a scuffle. The Quran mentions this in ayah 15,

And he entered the city at a time of inattention by its people and found therein two men fighting: one from his faction and one from among his enemy. And the one from his faction called for help to him against the one from his enemy, so Moses struck him and [unintentionally] killed him. [Moses] said, “This is from the work of Satan. Indeed, he is a manifest, misleading enemy.”

Musa (AS) was unaware of his strength when he struck the man and had accidentally killed him. Immediately afterwards he realized that shaitan had a hold on him and he became aware of the mistake he just committed. It is here where he sought the repentance of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and recited the rabbi inni zalamtu dua.

Rabbi Inni Zalamtu Nafsi in Arabic Text

Here’s is how the dua is written in Arabic text,

 رَبِّ إِنِّى ظَلَمْتُ نَفْسِى فَٱغْفِرْ لِى فَغَفَرَ لَهُۥٓ

Transliteration: Rabbi inni zalamtu nafsi faghfirli faghafaralah

Rabbi Inni Zalamtu Nafsi Faghfirli Translation

The translation of this dua is “My Lord, indeed I have wronged myself, so forgive me”. The ayah continues with saying Allah forgave him. Indeed, He is the Forgiving, the Merciful.

In Islam and from a spiritual perspective whatever the sin, if done by accident can be forgiven. This is the case for Musa (AS) who killed a person which by the standards of the judicial system is one of the most outrageous acts with the most severe punishments.

Here Prophet Musa (AS) acknowledges the sin he committed and is fully accountable, in essence he says “forgive this sin of mine” even though he did not commit it willfully.

How many times in our lives have we witnessed people that deflect accepting full responsibility even after having hours to reflect. The more time passes the more they make excuses and rationalize stories to explain why they are innocent. It’s tough job to admit your shortcomings, it hurts and is painful and some people don’t have enough fortitude to do this.

Prophet Musa did, he immediately after committing the sin acknowledges that he messed up. The past is the past, it can’t be changed only what can be done is to do the right thing moving forward, which is why he asks for Allah’s forgiveness.

The Lesson of this Dua 

What I believe this story and what this dua reveals is that whatever wrong doings we have committed in the past, it’s alright. We must not beat ourselves up too hard. We need to realize there is hope for us. We just have to change our ways and this begins by accepting responsibility, working towards getting better and to ask for Allah’s mercy.

Please share your thoughts about this story, interested to see what other’s have to say.