What is the dua that Hz. Abu Bakr recite in prayer?

The Details of the Question

Abu Bakr asked the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) to teach him a dua to recite in prayer. What is that dua? I would like the original version, Latin spelling and translation of the dua. Can we also recite it in our prayers?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

The related narration is as follows:

Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (Radiyallahu ′Anhu) said to The Messenger of Allah (pbuh):

- “Teach me a dua and I will recite it in my prayer.” Thereupon, our Prophet (pbuh) said,

اللَّهمَّ إِنِّي ظَلَمْتُ نَفْسِي ظُلْماً كثِيراً ، وَلا يَغْفِر الذُّنوبَ إِلاَّ أَنْتَ ، فَاغْفِر لي مغْفِرَةً مِن عِنْدِكَ ، وَارحَمْني ، إِنَّكَ أَنْتَ الْغَفور الرَّحِيم

-Allahumma inni zalamtu nafsi zulman kathiran wa la yaghfirudh-dhunuba illa anta, faghfir-li maghfiratan min indik, warhamni innaka antal-ghafuru’r-rahim:

”O Allah! I have done a great wrong to my soul (nafs) and there is none to forgive the sins, except You. Grant me a pardon from Yourself and have mercy on me as You are the Most Forgiving and the Most Compassionate.” (Bukhari, al-Adhan 149, Ad-Daawat 17, at-Tawheed 9; Muslim, adh-Dhikr 48)

Man is a being capable of sinning; he can always make mistakes; and when he is misguided and sins, he wrongs his soul. What is anyone going to do in a situation like that? Our Almighty Lord teaches us that as well and tells us how God-fearing people behave in times like that:

They are those who, upon committing an evil deed or wronging themselves, remember Allah and seek forgiveness (Surah Aal-i Imran, 3/135)

That is to say, what matters is is not to make mistakes, but to remember the unique Lord, to turn to him and ask His forgiveness.

How can one wrong himself?

Man's greatest enemy is his own nafs (soul). The nafs constantly advises people to do things that Allah forbids and not to do what He orders. If the nafs cannot persuade man about those matters in person, it tries make him neglect them by saying that he has more time to fulfill a divine order, for example, to perform a prayer.

So, a person who listens to the demands of his nafs on those issues wrongs himself.

The help and favors that people can do are limited. Unlimited grace exists only in the Supreme sight of Allah Ta'ala. When His immense mercy embraces man, that blessed man will be completely cleansed from the stains of sin and will reach the peak of happiness.

Even if a servant is at the level of "Siddiq" (truthful) like Abu Bakr, he may have unintentional mistakes, faults and deficiencies in the eye of Allah Almighty. For this reason, every individual has to ask for Allah's forgiveness and pardon.

That dua, which the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) taught Abu Bakr (r.a) to recite in prayers, and according to some narrations to read in his house, should be read anywhere, anytime and on every occasion.

Thanks to that concise dua, man confesses his sinfulness very sincerely, mentions his need for the forgiveness of his Lord, and expresses his wholehearted belief that only Allah Almighty can purify him from all sins.

Those who want to read that dua in prayer should recite it after at-Tahiyyat and before saluting.

Abu Bakr's statement ” let me read it in my prayer“ is as follows in some narrations:  ”Let me read it in my house". (Muslim, adh-Dhikr 48)

The phrase "zulman kathiran" in the hadith is mentioned as "zulmen kabiran” in some narrations. (Muslim, adh-Dhikr 48)

It would be appropriate to read it as “zulman kathiran kabiran” considering both narrations.

Accordingly:

- As Abu Bakr (r.a) did, one must ask and learn from scholars what he does not know, especially what is beneficial for the hereafter.

- That concise dua should be recited frequently, both in prayers, at home and elsewhere.

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