.بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Everyone knows that one can supplicate to his Lord anytime he wishes, but there are specific periods of time when supplications are more likely to be answered. One such time is during Ramadan, especially while fasting. This is because:
ONE: Allah the Almighty has mention the obligation of fasting and its rulings in the verses (183-187) of Surat-ul-Baqarah. Interspersed between those verses is the verse:
«وَإِذَا سَأَلَكَ عِبَادِي عَنِّي فَإِنِّي قَرِيبٌ أُجِيبُ دَعْوَةَ الدَّاعِ إِذَا دَعَانِ»
“And when My slaves question thee concerning Me, then surely I am near; I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he cries unto Me.” [Al-Baqarah: 186].
In the placement of this verse between the verses pertaining to Ramadan and fasting, there is a hint that Allah is very close to those who are fasting, and that He answers their supplications.
TWO: Narrated Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah said:
ثلاثة لا تُرد دعوتهم: الصائم حتى يفطر، والإمام العادل، ودعوة المظلوم يرفعها الله فوق الغمام ويَفتح لها أبواب السماء ويقول الرب: وعزّتي لأنصرنَّك ولو بعد حين.
“There are three whose supplications are not rejected: A just ruler, and a fasting person UNTIL he breaks his fast, and the supplication of one who has been wronged; it is raised by Allah above the clouds and the doors of the skies are opened for it, and Allah says (to it): ‘By My Might I will surely grant you victory (over the oppressor) even if it is after a while.’”
[Reported by Ahmed: 8043, 9743, Tirmidhi: 3598, Ibn Khuzaimah: 1901, Ibn Hibban: 3428, and others].
It should be noted that the correct wording in this Hadith is “until he breaks his fast”. This is how it has been narrated in the above-mentioned books of Hadith. Tirmidhi reported it in his book twice: In the first narration (no. 2526) its words are: “when he breaks his fast”, while in the second one (no. 3598) it reads: “until he breaks his fast”. The chain of the first narration is weak and interrupted as Tirmidhi has himself mentioned, while the second one is uninterrupted and Tirmidhi has graded it as “Hasan” (fair).
So one should not limit himself to supplicating just before sunset as some people do, rather he should supplicate as much as possible throughout his fast – from dawn to dusk.
THREE: As a general principle, it is better to supplicate while in the state of worship than supplicating afterwards. For example concerning Salat, the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) has urged us to make Du’a during the Sujood and in the final Tashahhud before Salaam.
Narrated Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah said:
«أقرب ما يكون العبد من ربه، وهو ساجد، فأكثروا الدعاء»
“The closest one gets to his Lord is during prostration, therefore make plenty of Du’a (in it)”
[Sahih Muslim: 428]
Narrated Abdullah ibn Mas’ud that the Messnger of Allah taught him the Tashahhud and then said:
«ثم يتخيّر من المسألة ما شاء»
“Then he may choose any supplication which he wants.”
[Sahih Muslim: 402]
And if we look at the practice of the Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam), we find that he used to make most of his supplications in Salat, while limiting himself after Salat to mostly doing Istighfar, Tahleel, Takbeer and Tasbeeh.
Similarly, when one is fasting, he is in a state of worship, i.e. he is closer to Allah, so it is more likely that his supplication will be answered in that state as compared to after it.
One another time when supplications are more likely to be answered is the last one-third part of the night when Allah the Almighty descends to the nearest heaven and says: Who will invoke Me so that I may answer him? Who will ask Me so that I may give to him? Who will ask Me forgiveness so that I may forgive him?
Despite all these incentives and opportunities for supplicating plentifully in Ramadan, it is sad to see that many people miss out on them; during the fast they are sleeping or busy working; in the streamlined night prayers (Taraweeh) there is hardly anytime to make Du’a, neither in Sujood nor in Tashahhud; and in the last third part they are busy preparing and eating Suhoor.
May Allah rectify our state of affairs and give us the strength to worship Him in a way that pleases Him.
وصلى الله وسلم على نبينا محمد وعلى آله وأزواجه
.والحمد لله رب العالمين
Written by: Nabeel Nisar Sheikh on the night of 6th Ramadan, 1434, Makkah Al-Mukarramah.