What is the original form of the supplication (prayer) to be said on the Night of Power (Laylatul-Qadr)?

The Details of the Question

- The following is written in some books: “Allahumma innaka afuwwun karimun tuhibbul afwa fa’fu anni.”
- The following is written in other books: “Allahumma innaka afuwwun tuhibbul-afwa fa’fu anni.” 
- Are there hadith narrations in both forms? Which one is correct? Will you write their original forms?
- Are there any other supplications that are sunnah to read on the Night of Power? If yes, will you write their original forms and meanings?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

The form of that supplication (dua) in the Sunnah is as follows:

 اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّكَ عُفُوٌّ تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنِّي

“Allahumma innaka afuwwun tuhibbul-afwa fa’fu anni”

According to a narration, Hz. Aisha said, “O Messenger of Allah! If I definitely know what night is the Night of Power, what shall I say?” The Prophet (pbuh) said,

Say, اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّكَ عُفُوٌّ تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عني! (O Allah, You are most Forgiving, and You love forgiveness; so forgive me.)” (Tirmidhi, h.no: 3513; Nasai, h.no: 7665; Ibn Hanbal, h.no: 25384)

The form supplication with the additional word “Karim” said by some Islamic scholars is as follows:

اَللَّهُمَّ اِنَّكَ عَفُوٌّ كَرِيمٌ تُحِبُّ الْعَفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنِّى

“Allahumma innaka afuwwun karimun tuhibbul afwa fa’fu anni“

There is no drawback to using that additional word. It is highly probable that this word existed in some written hadith copies. As a matter of fact, the researchers who studied Ibn Hanbal’s Musnad (Muassastur-Risala) put the following note in the place where they narrated the hadith: “The word “karim” exists in the written copy. (ibid, 42/236).

Some sources that use the word “karim” are as follows:

(Ibnul-Athir, Jami’ul-Usul, 4/324; al-Umrani, al-Bayan fi Madhhabish-Shafii, 3/568; al-Hazin, Tafsir, 4/452; Ibnul-Qayyim, Badaiul-Fawaid, 2/143; Khatib Shirbini, al-Iqna’, 1/247; al-Amirus-San’ani, at-Takhbir, 4/268; Tahtawi, Hashiyatu Maraqil-Falah, p. 401)

Note: As far as we can see, most of those scholars mention the hadith related to Hz. Aisha (without giving any source) and use the word “Karim”.

Some supplications that are thawab to read on the Night of Power and at other times:

 اللَّهُمَّ أَنْتَ رَبِّي لاَ إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ، خَلَقْتَنِي وَأَنَا عَبْدُكَ، وَأَنَا عَلَى عَهْدِكَ وَوَعْدِكَ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُ، أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّ مَا صَنَعْتُ، أَبُوءُ لَكَ بِنِعْمَتِكَ عَلَيَّ، وَأَبُوءُ لَكَ بِذَنْبِي فَاغْفِرْ لِي، فَإِنَّهُ لاَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ 

“O Allah! You are my Lord. There is no true god except You. You have created me, and I am Your slave. I hold to Your covenant as far as I can. I seek refuge in You from the evil of what I have done. I acknowledge the favors that You have bestowed upon me, and I confess my sins. Pardon me because none but You has the power to pardon.” (Bukhari, 6307) 

A supplication that is virtuous to read in the morning and in the evening:

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ الْعَافِيَةَ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ، اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ الْعَفْوَ وَالْعَافِيَةَ فِي دِينِي وَدُنْيَايَ وَأَهْلِي وَمَالِي، اللَّهُمَّ اسْتُرْ عَوْرَاتِي وَآمِنْ رَوْعَاتِي، اللَّهُمَّ احْفَظْنِي مِنْ بَيْنِ يَدَيَّ، وَمِنْ خَلْفِي، وَعَنْ يَمِينِي، وَعَنْ شِمَالِي، وَمِنْ فَوْقِي، وَأَعُوذُ بِعَظَمَتِكَ أَنْ أُغْتَالَ مِنْ تَحْتِي 

“O Allah, I seek Your forgiveness and Your protection in this world and the next. O Allah, I seek Your forgiveness and Your protection in my religion, in my worldly affairs, in my family and in my wealth. O Allah, conceal my secrets and preserve me from anguish. O Allah, guard me from what is in front of me and behind me, from my left, and from my right, and from above me. I seek refuge in Your Greatness from being struck down from beneath me.” (Abu Dawud, 5074)

Finally, it is useful to pay attention to the following reality mentioned in Risale-i Nur Collection:

“One of the many instances of wisdom in the fast of Ramadan with respect to man’s gain and profit, who comes to this world to cultivate and trade for the hereafter, is as follows:

The reward for actions in the month of Ramadan is a thousandfold. According to Hadith, each word of the All-Wise Qur’an has ten merits; each is counted as ten merits and will yield ten fruits in Paradise. While during Ramadan, each word bears not ten fruits but a thousand, and verses like Ayat al-Kursi thousands for each word, and on Fridays in Ramadan it is even more. And on the Night of Power, each word is counted as thirty thousand merits. (see Mektubat, Yirmi Dokuzuncu Mektup, pp. 401-402)

We advise the following without entering into details:

It is a different way of gaining thawabs to read Ayat al-Kursi 17 times on the Night of Power.

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