#278: Recitation During Sitting Between the Two Prostrations


Assalamualaikum ustaz. Is it true that there is no wa’afini and wa’fu ‘anni in the recitation between the two prostrations? Hope for an explanation.


Waalaikumussalam wrt. wbt.,

Alhamdulillah, praise and gratitude to Allah SWT for His countless blessings for us all. Praise and salutations to our beloved Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his family, companions, and all those who follow his footsteps until the Final day.

The Status of the Recitation During Sitting Between the Two Prostrations

Imam Ibn Hajar al-Haitami when commenting the words of Imam al-Nawawi said:

قَائِلًا رَبِّ اغْفِرْ لِي وَارْحَمْنِي وَاجْبُرْنِي وَارْفَعْنِي وَارْزُقْنِي وَاهْدِنِي وَعَافَنِي لِلِاتِّبَاعِ فِي الْكُلِّ وَسَنَدُهُ صَحِيحٌ زَادَ فِي الْإِحْيَاءِ وَاعْفُ عَنِّي

“It is sunnah for a person to recite: ‘’ (O Allah forgive me, have mercy on me, elevate me, provide for me, guide me and protect me) because ittiba’ (following the sunnah of the Prophet) for every supplication and the sanad is sahih and un the book al-Ihya’ it is added: Forgive my sins.” [1]

The hadiths that narrate the recitation in between the two prostrations are numerous. Scholars arranged them for a better fadhilat and being careful. This matter is explained by Imam al-Nawawi saying: “As for the hadith from Ibn ‘Abbas, it is narrated by Abu Daud, al-Tirmizi and others with a good sanad and al-Hakim narrated it in al-Mustadrak and said the isnad is sahih. The recitation from Abu Daud states:

اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِي وَارْحَمْنِي وَعَافِنِي وَاهْدِنِي وَارْزُقْنِي

As for the recitation from al-Tirmizi it is similar but he states “help me to elevate myself”, in the narration from Ibn Majah ‘وَارْفَعْنِي’ replaces ‘وَاهْدِنِي’. And in the narration of al-Baihaqi:

رَبِّ اغْفِرْ لِي وَارْحَمْنِي وَاجْبُرْنِي وَارْفَعْنِي‏ وَاهْدِنِي

Thus, the chosen and cautious opinion is to gather all these narrations and recite the seven important points:

اللَّهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِي وَارْحَمْنِي وَعَافِنِي وَأَجِرْنِي وَارْفَعْنِي وَاهْدِنِي وَارْزُقْنِي

Imam al-Nawawi stated: “The author of the book al-Tatimmah (Imam Abu Sa’d al-Mutawalli) said it isn’t ta’yin (set/determined) to be just this supplication but any supplication will fulfil the sunnah but it is prioritized to recite what is stated in the hadith.” [2]

Hence, it is clear the addition wa’afani (وَعَافِنِي) is sabit in the sunnah of Rasullullah PBUH and not just a rejected addition.

What about the addition of wa’fu‘anni (وَاعْفُ عَنِّي)?

As explained above, the addition of wa`fu`anni (وَاعْفُ عَنِّي) is mentioned by Imam al-Ghazali in Ihya’ Ulum al-Din (1/155). Furthermore, this is also not a rejected addition because any supplication can be recited during the sit in between the two prostrations by Imam al-Mutawalli. Moreover, this addition doesn’t precede the sunnah until it is said to be less prioritized because it is recited after the ma’thur recitations during sit in between the two prostrations. The meaning wa’fu‘anni (وَاعْفُ عَنِّي) also doesn’t have a bad meaning, but rather asking Allah to delete our mistakes.

The Difference Between “العفو” and “المغفرة

Scholars have differing opinions regarding this issue in determining which is the more ablagh word (with a deeper meaning). Some of them stated that the word “العفو” is more ablagh over “المغفرة”. Among them is Imam al-Ghazali in his book, relating to the differences between the two words “العغو” is asking Allah to delete his past sins and free himself from transgressions. It is similar to “الغفور”, but this word is more ablagh compared to “الغفور” because “الغفور” is asking Allah SWT to cover (not delete).

Moreover, Syeikh Muhammad Munir al-Dimasyqi said in his book, “العفو” within the rights of Allah is like deleting any and all effects of sins from his book and will not be judge on the Day of Judgement. Moreover, it is deleted from their hearts so that they aren’t ashamed when they are mentioned and replaced with good. Hence, “العفو” is more ablagh compared to “المغفرة” because “المغفرة” is covering (the sins). Whereas, “العفو” is deleting or erasing. [4]

The second opinion states the opposite, where “المغفرة” is more ablagh compared to “العفو” because “المغفرة” is cover and abrogate the punishment and to also be rewarded. While “العفو” doesn’t cover (the sin committed) and it doesn’t necessarily mean to be rewarded. Among the scholars who are inclined towards this opinion is Imam Ibn Rejab al-Hanbali. He stated “المغفرة” will not be except when the punishment is abrogated and it will no longer be judged. The reason is “المغفرة” is the protector from sins in general and forgiveness usually happens after punishment. Thus, all the calamities in this world are the expunger of sins and are known as punishments. As for “العفو” it can happen with or without punishment.

From the hadith angle, the phrase wa`fu`anni (وَاعْفُ عَنِّي) as a ma’thur supplication originates from hadiths that are from Rasullullah PBUH and can be practised. From Ibn Abi ‘Aufa RA, a man came to meet Rasullullah PBUH to learn the recitations in prayer when he is a person who cannot recite the Quran properly, then the Prophet PBUH taught him the following supplication:

اللهُمَّ اغْفِرْ لِي وَارْحَمْنِي وَاهْدِنِي وَارْزُقْنِي وَعَافِنِي وَاعْفُ عَنِّي

“O Allah forgive me, have mercy on me, guide me, support me, protect me, provide for me, and elevate me.” [6]


According to the above explanation and facts, we are inclined towards the opinion that it is permissible to recite the supplication wa`afini (وَعَافِنِي) and wa`fu `anni (وَاعْفُ عَنِّي) in the supplication during the sit in between the two prostrations, for first it is a sabit recitation in the sunnah of Rasullullah PBUH and the general permissibility of supplicating with any supplication during the sit in between the two prostrations as long as one doesn’t leave the sabit sunnah. If not, the fadhilat is less. May this explanation give us the strength to always be istiqamah in learning knowledge and practising them.

Wallahu a’lam.


[1] See Tuhfah al-Muhtaj, 2/77

[2] See al-Majmu` Syarh al-Muhazzab, 3/436-438

[3] See al-Maqsad al-Asna, pg.140

[4] See al-Nafahat al-Salafiyyah, pg. 87

[5] See Jami’ al-‘Ulum wa al-Hikam, 2/526

[6] Narrated by al-Baihaqi in al-Sunan al-Kubra (2/532)