In the month of Ramadan there are two special times when duas are readily accepted by Allah :
At the time of Iftaar (breaking the fast) and at the time of Suhoor (beginning the fast).
1. Dua at the time of Iftaar
Verse 186, quoted above, has been mentioned in the middle of two verses to do with fasting and Ramadan, verse 185 and verse 187. Ibn Kathir (Ra), the great commentator of the Quran, has mentioned that this verse encouraging dua in the middle of the verses of Sawm indicates that dua is readily accepted at the end of the fast.
Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) also mentioned : “The dua of a fasting person at the time of Iftaar is accepted.” (Abu Dawood)
If is for this reason that Abdullah Ibn Umar (R) used to gather his family members at the time of Iftaar and make dua.
2. Dua at the time of Suhoor
Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) mentioned : "Our Rabb (Sustainer) descends every night to the lowest heaven, when one third of the night remains and says : Is there anyone who will make dua to me so that I may accept it? Is there anyone who will ask of me so that I may fulfill the request? Is there anyone who will ask My forgiveness so that I may forgive?" (Bukhari)
This hadith shows that the time of Suhoor is a blessed time for dua. In Ramadan, Muslims are awake at this time and are in an ideal position to perform Tahajjud Salaah, recite Quran and make dua.
What to make dua for?
One should make plenty of taubah and istighfaar (repentance) for ones sins. A hadith states that a person who witnesses the month of Ramadan, but is not forgiven is indeed unfortunate.
Regarding those sins which man has committed against Allah, there are three conditions for the acceptance of taubah:
1. Separation from the sin immediately and completely.
2. To be remorseful and sad regarding the sin committed.
3. To make a firm resolution never to return to the sin.
If any of these conditions are absent the taubah is incomplete. Regarding those sins which are to do with the rights of human beings, there is a fourth condition as well: one has to rectify the wrong. If one has usurped the rights of another person one has to restore those rights according to the directives of Shariah. Stolen money, for example, has to be returned.
In addition to taubah, the Ahaadith teach us that during Ramadan one should beg Allah for Jannah and emancipation from the fire of Jahannam.
May Allah grant us the ability of drawing close to Him during this sacred month and may He accept our duas. Aameen!
Taken from Muslims at Work Newsletter