Despite God’s infinite Grace and Mercy, His supreme justice has set certain times when repentance will not be accepted, in the same way that it set the circumstance of insincerity and seeking forgiveness from other than God as reasons for its rejection. The times of non-acceptance are those when a person has no other choice; when repentance is no longer a voluntary act of faith, but a vain attempt to escape the inevitable consequences of sin.
The first of these times is that of an individual’s death. Tawbah may be made and absolution granted throughout a person’s life up until the instant when he realizes that death is upon him. At that point regret and sorrow will be to no avail and all attempts at repentance will be denied. Allah addressed this issue in crystal clear terms as follows: “There is no repentance for those who continue to do evil until death comes upon one of them and he says ‘Indeed I have now repented’, nor for those who die in disbelief. We have prepared for them a most grievous punishment” (Surah an-Nisaa 4:18).
The Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) was reported by Abdullah ibn Umar to have said “Allah, most Great and Glorious, will accept His servant’s repentance until his death rattle begins” (Collected by at-Tirmidhee, Ibn Maajah, Ahmad and Maalik and authenticated (Hasan) by al-Albaanee in Saheeh Sunan Ibn Maajah vol.2 p.418 no.3430. See also Riyadh-us-Saleheen vol.1 p.12 no.18).
The Last Day:
The second time when repentance will be to no avail is at the end of the world when the major signs of the Last Day appear beginning with the rising of the sun in the West. At that time declarations of faith by disbelievers will be futile. The souls of all the believers will be taken just prior to the western sunrise and only the faithless will remain alive in the world.
The Prophet’s (Peace be upon him) wife Aaeshah related the following: “I heard Allah's Messenger (Peace be upon him) say ‘The night and day will not cease until people have begun to worship Laat and Uzzaa’. I said ‘O Messenger of Allah! I think that when Allah revealed this verse “He it is Who has sent His Messenger with right guidance and true religion to make it prevail over all religions, though the idolaters dislike it” (Surah at-Tawbah 9:33), this means that it will take place’. He (Peace be upon him) replied, ‘It will happen as Allah wishes. Then Allah will send a sweet fragrant breeze which will take the life of everyone with even a mustard grain’s weight of faith, and only those who have no goodness in them will survive. Then they will revert to the religion of their forefathers’.” (Reported by Sahih Muslim vol.4 p.1506 no.6945).
Abu Hurayrah reported that on another occasion Allah's Messenger (Peace be upon him) said “When three things appear faith will not benefit one who has not previously believed or has not derived any good from his faith; the rising of the sun from its place of setting, the Antichrist, and the beast of the earth ” (Reported by Sahih Muslim vol.1 pp.94-5 no.296).
Abu Hurayrah also reported Allah's Messenger (Peace be upon him) as saying “Allah will accept the repentance of anyone who seeks it before the sun rises in the west” (Reported by Sahih Muslim vol.4 p.1418 no.6525. See also Riyadhus-Saleheen vol.1 pp.11-12 no.17).
 Al-Laatt (or al-Laat) the idol in the form of a rock worshipped by the Thaqeef tribe in Taif or by the Quraysh tribe at Nakhlah and al-Uzza is the name of a gum-acacia tree idol worshipped by the Ghatafaan tribe in Batn Nakhlah (Arabic-English Lexicon vol.2 pp.2649 & 2032).
 That is rising in the West, which probably refers to a time when the earth will begin to rotate in the opposite direction causing the sun to appear to rise in the West instead of the East. This is one of the major signs of the arrival of the Last Hour.
 The Arabic term used is Dajjal (the arch deceiver) from the verb Dajala which means “to smear (a camel) with tar (in order to cover its faults)” or “to lie” (Arabic-English Lexicon vol.1 p.853). Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) prophesied the coming of one who would deceive much of the world through magical feats and the great powers he would possess.
 The Daabbatul-Ard (Beast of the Earth) is another of the major signs of the approach of the Last Day. It is referred to in the Qur'an as follows: “When the decree is fulfilled against them, We will produce from the earth for them a beast which will speak to them…” (Surah an-Naml 27:82).
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