Forgive Me

The Salah Series

Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V | Part VI | Part VII | Part VIII | Part IX | Part X | Part XI | Part XII | Part XIII | Part XIV | Part XV | Part XVI | Part XVII | Part XVIII | Part XIX | Part XX | Part XXI | Part XXII | Part XXIII | Part XXIV | Part XXV | Part XXVI | Part XXVII | Part XXVIII


After the first prostration, the Prophet ﷺ would raise his head, lay his left foot along the ground and sit on it relaxed (Ahmad).

He ﷺ said “When you prostrate, prostrate firmly, then when you rise, sit on your left thigh” (Bukhari)

The Prophet ﷺ would lengthen his sitting until it was about almost as long as his sajdah (Bukhari and Muslim). He would say:

رب اغفر لي اغفر لي

“O my Lord! Forgive me, forgive me.” (Ibn Majah)


When we say the above, most of us know the general meaning of ‘maghfira’ or forgiveness.  But since we are learning the intricate meanings of our words and actions during the prayer, we also need to know what the deeper significance of these words is. Ibn Al-Qayyim said that maghfira is erasing the sin, removal of its traces and prevention of its evil. It is taken from the word mighfar, which means the metal helmet that a warrior wears to protect himself. And just as a mighfar protects the one wearing it from the consequences of the attacks, maghfira (forgiveness) protects a person from the consequences of the sin. And just as the mighfar covers the warrior’s head, maghfira veils the person’s faults. Thus when Allah bestows upon you maghfira, He protects you from the consequences of your sin and veils that sin from others. That is what we seek when we say “Rabbi ighfir-ly.

Two Prostrations

In each cycle of prayer, we go into rukoo’ (bowing) once, and into sujood (prostration) twice. Have we ever wondered why? Ibn Al-Qayyim has stated that because the sujood is the most important pillar in the prayer, its significance is shown in its repetition. We desire to taste that sweetness of being the closest we can be to Allah, and thus fall into prostration again.

We begin the prayer with reciting, and we end with prostrating, just like the first surah to be revealed to the Prophet ﷺ. It begins with:

“Recite in the name of your Lord who created.” (Qur’an, 96:1)

and ends with:

“No! Do not obey him [the disbeliever]. But prostrate and draw near [to Allah].” (Qur’an, 96:19)

Another Du`a’

While the most common du`a’ when we are sitting is the one mentioned above, there is another one that we can say which is more comprehensive:

رب اغفر لي وارحمني {واجبرني} {وارفعني} واهدني {وعافني} وارزقني

“O my Lord! Forgive me; have mercy on me; strengthen me; raise my rank; guide me; pardon me; sustain me.” (Tirmidhi)

May Allah enable us to taste the significance of every single action of prayer. Ameen.

Part IPart IIPart IIIPart IVPart VPart VIPart VIIPart VIIIPart IXPart XPart XIPart XIIPart XIIIPart XIV Part XVPart XVI | Part XVIIPart XVIIIPart XIXPart XXPart XXIPart XXIIPart XXIII | Part XXIV | Part XXVPart XXVIPart XXVII

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  1. Son of Adam says:


  2. Ahmed says:

    Once again, Jazak’Allahu Khairan Sr. Jinan for your efforts. I look forward to each and every post in this Series. As I said before, it is really enhancing my salah with each new lesson. I had actually learned the prayer “Rabbi -ighfir-ly” from a YouTube series “Learning to Pray as the Prophet Did” or something similar to that, yet I was really happy to learn more details regarding this part of salah from part of the series.

    Just one question – how many parts will there be in total? At the end, I would love to print them out so I can refer to them when needed. Thanks in advance.

  3. thinkthink says:


    Wonderful post. I have a question regarding the meaning of عافني in the supplication. Sometimes people read the supplication during sujud and recite:

    رب اغفر لي… وعافني واعفو عني

    I am under the impression that عافني means “grant me health,” while اعفو عني means “pardon me from sins.” Of course these have always confused me so I seek your expertise, ya mu’allim.

    Also, here’s a reference from لسان العرب, under عفا

    وفي حديث أَبي بكر، رضي الله عنه: سَلُوا اللهَ العَفْو والعافية والمُعافاة، فأَما العَفْوُ فهو ما وصفْناه من مَحْو الله تعالى ذُنوبَ عبده عنه، وأَما العافية فهو أَن يُعافيَهُ الله تعالى من سُقْمٍ أَو بَلِيَّةٍ وهي الصِّحَّةُ ضدُّ المَرَض. يقال: عافاهُ الله وأَعْفاه أَي وهَب له العافية من العِلَل والبَلايا.
    وأَما المُعافاةُ فأَنْ يُعافِيَكَ اللهُ من الناس ويُعافِيَهم منكَ أَي يُغْنيك عنهم ويغنيهم عنك ويصرف أَذاهم عنك وأَذاك عنهم، وقيل: هي مُفاعَلَة من العفوِ، وهو أَن يَعْفُوَ عن الناس ويَعْفُوا هُمْ عنه.

    Afiiduunii jazaakum Allah.

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