Alhamdulillah… Thanks and praises are due to the Almighty Allah, Lord of the Heavens. Complete blessings and salutations be upon the best of creations, for whom the gates of the heavens once opened, Sayyidina Muhammad, his household, his companions and all those follow his guided path till the end of time.
Among the abundant bestowals of Allah upon His slaves is that He has made easy for them plentiful of opportunities that keep them closer to Him. One of these opportunities is that the gates of the Heaves open several times every day, for those who choose to reach out to Him to do so.
This article presents some five times the gates are opened for us to connect closely with Him.
The Relationship Between Answering Du‘ā’ and Opening of the Gates of the Heavens
We know that Du‘ās are constantly raised to Allah, subhḥanahū wa ta‘ālā. However, there are times when every sincere and pure du‘ā’ is guaranteed to be answered. Most of these times fall during the times the gates of the Heavens are opened.
Supplications can be answered even when the gates of the heavens are not opened (as we will discuss below). But whenever the gates of the heavens are open, all supplications and good deeds raised to Him.
Perhaps, we are ought to know some of the times the gates of the heavens are opened. So that we can combine between fulfilling the conditions of answered du‘ās and the times when the gates open.
Before that, one may ask, about what it means for the gates of the Heavens to open.
What Does It Mean for the Gate of the Heavens to Be Opened?
When the gates of the heavens open, it means we have more chances of getting our sins forgiven. It also means we have more chances of getting our wishes fulfilled.
When the gates of the heavens open, it means the mercy of Allah has been descended upon His righteous servants.
Most importantly, when the gates of the heavens open, it means, we are closer to more bestowals and bounties from Allah the Almighty. And attaining His Pleasure becomes a matter of a step away.
In Sūrah al-A‘rāf, 7:40, Allah says:
“The gates of Heaven shall not be opened for those who belied Our signs and arrogantly snubbed them; nor shall they enter Paradise until a camel shall pass through the eye of a needle. That is how We repay the evil-doers.”
This is with regards to events that shall occur after the day of resurrection. To enable us to be among those whom the gates shall be opened for on that day, the gates are made to open, every day, in this temporary life. This means, on the day of judgement, those in the face of whom the gates will be shut, and who will be denied entry into Paradise will have no excuse for any disgrace they may befall them. May Allah see us through.
So, what are the times when the gates of the Heaven open?
#1: Before Ẓuhr Prayers
The first time the gates of the heavens open is the time before Ẓuhr prayers, until the end of Ẓuhr prayers. This time is estimated to be an hour before Ẓuhr prayers. I refer to it here as ‘noon’ (from noon until after Ẓuhr).
This is understood from a ḥadīth authenticated by Shaikh al-Bānī in his Ṣaḥīh al-Jāmi‘ from the narration of Sayyidinā Abī Ayyūb al-Anṣārī, raḍiya Allāhu ‘anhu, that Prophet ṣallā Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to him:
“The gates of the heavens open from zawāl (noon) until Ẓuhr prayer is performed. I desire that a good deed of mine reaches the skies at that time.”
You can observe, that the period between noon and Ẓuhr prayers is when many people are really immersed into worldly affairs. Those who are not, will be busy preparing for their lunchtime.
#2: During Adhān
One of the times when the gates of the heavens open also is during the call for the prescribed prayer (Adhān). This means, any time the adhān is said in a call for a prescribed prayer, we have the chance to get our du‘ā’ answered and get closer to our Lord.
In a ḥadīth narrated by Sayyidinā Anas ibn Mālik raḍiya Allāhu ‘anhu, the Prophet ṣallā Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:
“When a call for prayer is made, the gates of the heavens are opened and supplications are answered.”
Here, in addition to the gates been opened, supplications are guaranteed to be answered. We can observe, that usually, during adhān, we are either busy preparing for the prayers itself that we fail to respond to the adhān and attain its virtues, or we’re made to be sleepy and lazy about the prayer itself. May Allah safeguard us.
3: When One Remains in the Mosque Between Two Prescribed Prayers
One of the times the gates of the heavens open is when you choose to remain in the mosque or at your prayer corner after a prescribed prayer until the arrival of the next prayer.
In a ḥadīth reported by Imām ibn Mājah from the narration of Sayyidinā Abdillāh ibn ‘Amr ibn al-‘Āṣ raḍiya Allāhu ‘anhumā, he said:
“We performed the Maghrib (prayer) with the Messenger of Allah, then those who went back went back, and those who stayed, stayed. Then the Messenger of Allah came back in a hurry, out of breath, with his garment pulled up to his knees, and said: “Be of good cheer, for your Lord has opened one of the gates of heaven and is boasting of you before the angels, saying: “Look at My slaves; they have fulfilled one obligatory duty and are awaiting another.”
It’s understood that, although this happened between Maghrib and ‘Ishā’, it is also applicable to the time between any two prescribed prayers. Thus, if you choose to remain in the mosque between Maghrib and ‘Ishā’ (as per the ḥadīth), one of the gates of Paradise will be opened for you. If you do so between Ẓuhr and ‘Aṣr, between Fajr and Ẓuhr or between ‘Ishā’ and Fajr, you get the same privilege, all by yourself. In addition to that, you get Allah Himself to boast of you to His Angels.
4: At Midnight
One of the times in the 24 hours when the gates of the heavens are open is from midnight.
In a ḥadīth from the al-Ṭabarānī, authenticated by Shaykh al-Albānī from the narration of Sayyidinā ‘Uthmān ibn Abī al-‘Āṣ al-Thaqafī raḍiya Allāhu ‘anhu, the Prophet ṣallā Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:
“The gates of the heaven are opened halfway through the night and a caller cries out: Is anyone supplicating so that he may be answered? Is anyone asking so that he might be given? Is anyone in distress, so that he might be granted relief? And there will be no Muslim left who is supplicating but Allah will answer him, except for a prostitute who earns a living from committing zina or an extortionist.”
We can observe that midnight is a crucial time for mankind and jinkind alike. That’s the time most of us dwell in deeper dreams. That’s also when criminals, prostitutes and all sorts of criminals, oppressors, wrongdoers and conspirers plan or execute their evil deeds.
This time, likewise during the call for a prescribed prayer, in addition to the gates of heavens been opened, every sincere and pure du‘ā’ made is granted. Every need presented before Allah the Almighty is fulfilled.
5: When the Following Dhikr is Said
Among the instances when the gates of the heavens open is when someone (or you yourself) says:
“Allāhu Akbar kabīran, wa al-hamdu li Allāh kathīran, wa subḥānAllahi bukratan wa aṣīlan”
In a ḥadīth reported by Imām Muslim from the narration of Sayyidinā ‘Abdillāh ibn ‘Umar raḍiya Allāhu ‘anhumā. He said:
While we said prayer with the Messenger of Allah ṣallā Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam, one among the people said:
“Allāhu Akbar kabīran, wa al-hamdu li Allāh kathīran, wa subḥānAllahi bukratan wa aṣīlan”
(Allah is truly Great, praise be to Allah in abundance. Glory be to Allah in the morning and the evening.)
The Messenger of Allah (ṣallā Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: Who uttered such and such a word? A person among the people said: It is me, (who have recited these words) O Messenger of Allah. He (the Holy Prophet) said: It (its utterance) surprised me, for the gates of heaven were opened for It.
Note that, this utterance consisting only three phrases, as easy as it can be, opens the gates of the heavens. Yet, we mostly undermine its importance.
What Do We Do When the Gates of the Heavens Open?
Anything righteousness is recommended during these times. It will be good if you can offer two raka‘ahs of supererogatory prayer, for His sake. It will also be good if you can make remembrance of Him (Dhikr). You can read the Qur’an. You also send salutations upon the Prophet ṣallā Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam. You can give in charity. You can make someone’s day; with a kind word, a free smile, or a free ride.
Unless we intend not for it, good deeds are abundant. Most of them requires nothing but a kind gesture. Notice what The Prophet Muhammad ṣallā Allāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam said in the ḥadīth of Abī Ayyūb al-Anṣārī, raḍiya Allāhu ‘anhu, (above):
“I desire that a good deed of mine reaches the skies at that time.”
We can see that, even when we may not be able to observe all them, no matter what we do and how the condition of our workplace is, there’s one or two that will definitely work for us.
The gates of the heavens are opened, several times a day, in this life. It shall open once in the life to come. When the next life comes, only those who seek access to it in this life will get access to it there.
It’s worth emphasizing that Allah created us, not for anything, but to worship Him alone. The reward for this is to live in His Paradise eternally. Considering the number of times the gates of heaven open here, every day, and considering the number of times du‘ās are answered, we are left with no more excuses before Allah.
May we be given conscious hearts to observe these special times and optimize them in our favour, so to attain His Ultimate Pleasure and gain access to the eternal abode. Amin.
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Allah knows best.
Allāhu Hafiz 🙂