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Question: What is the time and condition of non acceptance of repentance? Why is closed at this point? Can you explain this with reasons?

Allah says in the Qur'an, "Tell My servants, O Prophet, that indeed, I am the All-Forgiving, the Mercy-Giving and that My torment is, indeed, the most painful torment, prepared for the unrepentant." (Qur'an: 15: 49-50). "Say, O Prophet: God declares to humanity: O My servants! Those of you who have committed sins in great excess against their own souls, never despair of the mercy of God! For, indeed, God forgives sins, one and all. Indeed, it is He alone who the All-Forgiving, the Mercy-Giving. So turn in repentance to your Lord. And submit yourselves willingly - before there comes to you the torment of God's Judgment. For, then, you shall not be helped." (Qur'an: 39: 53-54).

In these and numerous other verses Allah calls His servants to repentance. Coming now to the issue as to when the repentance is of no avail, it is such time when a person is in the throes of death: The Prophet, peace be upon him, is reported to have said, "Allah accepts the repentance of His servant as long as his soul has not reached the collar bone!". In other words, death-bed repentance is not acceptable.

The reasons for this are clear: Islam teaches us that we are being tested in this world. The best way to picture this is to compare it to an examination hall, where everyone has a chance to write the test and gain good marks or correct what we have written until the bell rings, whence all of us must hand over our papers, for the time is up. The same is true of our life in this world; which as Allah reminds us is a test; as Allah says, "He it is who created death and life in order to test you, to reveal which of you is best in deeds." (Qur'an: 67: 2). So, we have been given the opportunity to repent and make amends until we come face to face with death. This is why Allah and His Messenger remind us not to postpone repentance until the last minute: Allah says, "O you who believe... spend charitably from whatever We have provided you before death comes to anyone of you, such that one would say: My Lord! If You would but defer me from death to a near term, then I will give charity and become of the righteous. But never will God defer the death of a soul when its due term comes. And God is all-aware of all that you do." (Qur'an: 63: 10-11)

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