Sunnah 161: The du’a of laylat al-qadr
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Aisha (ra) asked the Prophet (pbuh): “O Messenger of Allah, if I know what night is the night of Qadr, what should I say during it?” He said: ‘Say:
اللهم إنك عفو تحب العفو فاعف عني
Allahumma innaka ‘afuwwun, tuhib al-‘afwa fa’fu ‘anny
O Allah, You the One who pardons, and You love to pardon, so pardon me.’ [Bukhari]
Laylat al-Qadr (the Night of Qadr) is anticipated as being in one of the last 10 nights of Ramadan. It is most likely in the odd nights, and this is according to the saying of the Prophet (pbuh) [found in Bukhari].
This du’a is beautiful and different because we do not simply ask Allah for ‘magfira’ (forgiveness). Maghfira is a covering up of the sin, so Allah covers up your sin and forgives you, inshAllah. This could mean that on the Day of Judgment, you have a mountain of sins, but Allah says to you “I have forgiven you”.
But ‘afw (pardoning) linguistically refers to the erasure of something, such that even the traces of its existence are removed. So what does this mean for us? This night is so great that we ask for ‘afw- our slate is wiped clean. It is as if we never committed the sin, not even the Angels remember it, and you do not see the sin on the Day of Judgment. Allah will not ask you about it. So let’s start on a new page by pleading for ‘afw!