I have heard of this du'a when I was 16 during an Islamic conference at the then Balai Islam which was opposite to the main mosque, Masjid Negara in Kuala Lumpur. It was an unforgettable experience. I had my first wakeup call .... more of an Islamic calling. I had never heard of hadith Bukhari or Muslim then.... and aurat was never ever mentioned in my life. So, everything I learnt there and then was totally new, like being a new Muslim convert.
However an incident that happened there still lingers in my mind and I always tell my kids about this.
One early morning ... we were awaken for subuh and I was a bit late and had to rush with a quick shower and dashed across the road to Masjid Negara because we were supposed to pray in the congregation. I had forgotten to take my wudu'.... so, I quickly walked to the women's ablution area. The Muezzin had started the azan and I practically pulled up my prayer clothes and frantically ran.... to the hall. I think they had switched off the lights around the inner courtyard .... and I could not .... for the life of me .... see anything .... it was still very dark. As I was running hastily ... suddenly, I felt like I was in the air for maybe a split second and ......SPLASH....! .... I ended in the big pool ... the water pool with the fountain...! I was soaked to the skin... totally drenched...! Still, I crawled up ...lucky no one was around to see this hysterical incident .... to continue to proceed towards the praying hall. Later after the Subuh prayers, as I was relating this to my friends and ustaz.... he asked whether I was alright...so, I lifted my skirt and showed him the bruise on my upper legs...! He quickly raised his hands across his eyes and shouted ...HARAM...HARAM.... and I was thinking... what? Everyone burst out laughing ...That was the first time I was informed about aurat....! That began my covering of my Aurat @ 16 yrs of age...!
Anyway, back to that du'a ... I remembered after breakfast that day, this Kiai .... I remember ...he looked like an angel... had an aura I had never seen before... forgot his name though. He was always referred to as the Kiai. He taught the du'a and made us promise to memorize. Didn't know why but we memorized it anyways. After almost 35 years .... here it is ....
Ibn ‘Abbas reports that he once stayed the night as a guest of Maymuna, who was his aunt, and the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam). They slept on their blanket lengthways, and he slept at the end, crossways. After they had all slept for a while, the Prophet rose in the middle of the night to pray the tahajjud prayer, and Ibn ‘Abbas joined him.