Aal-Imran · Juz 3 · Qur'an Tafseer

The One Who Dies As A Disbeliever His Repentance will not Accepted

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Surah Aal-Imran Ayaat 90-91



Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala threatens and warns those who revert to disbelief after they believed and who thereafter insist on disbelief until death. If they die in this state, then no repentance shall be accepted from them upon their death. This is similar to what Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala said in another ayah,

وَلَيْسَتِ التَّوْبَةُ لِلَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ السَّيِّئَاتِ حَتَّىٰ إِذَا حَضَرَ أَحَدَهُمُ الْمَوْتُ

“But acceptance is not [accepted] of those who [continue to] do evil deeds up until, when death comes to one of them.” (Qur’an 4:18)

This is why Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala said, “Never will their [claimed] repentance be accepted, and they are the ones astray,” to those who abandon the path of truth for the path of disbelief and wickedness.

Al-Hafiz Abu Bakr Al-Bazzar recorded that Ibn ‘Abbas radhiAllahu ‘anhu said that some people embraced Islam, reverted to disbelief, became Muslims again, then reverted from Islam. They sent their people inquiring about this matter and they asked the Messenger of Allah salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. So Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala revealed this ayah (3:90).

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says, “Indeed, those who disbelieve and die while they are disbelievers – never would the [whole] capacity of the earth in gold be accepted from one of them if he would [seek to] ransom himself with it.” Ibn Katheer comments those who die while being disbelievers, none of their good deeds will be accepted. And if they shall bring an earth’s fill of gold to give in the way of Allah and ransom themselves, it will be rejected.

We find similar discussion in other places in the Qur’an, for example, in Surah Al-Baqarah we read, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala said,

وَلاَ يُقْبَلُ مِنْهَا عَدْلٌ وَلاَ تَنفَعُهَا شَفَـعَةٌ

“…nor shall compensation be accepted from him, nor shall intercession be of use to him,” (Qur’an 2:123), and

[Surah Al-Baqarah Ayah 123: Fear a Day when no Soul will help Another; No Ransom will be accepted]

لاَّ بَيْعٌ فِيهِ وَلاَ خِلَـلٌ

“…on which there will be neither mutual bargaining nor befriending.” (Qur’an 14:31), and,

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ لَوْ أَنَّ لَهُمْ مَّا فِى الاٌّرْضِ جَمِيعاً وَمِثْلَهُ مَعَهُ لِيَفْتَدُواْ بِهِ مِنْ عَذَابِ يَوْمِ الْقِيَـمَةِ مَا تُقُبِّلَ مِنْهُمْ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ

“Verily, those who disbelieve, if they had all that is in the earth, and as much again therewith to ransom themselves thereby from the torment on the Day of Resurrection, it would never be accepted of them, and theirs would be a painful torment.” (Qur’an 5:36)

The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was asked about ‘Abdullah ibn Jud’an, who used to be generous to the guests, helpful to the indebted and who gave food (to the poor); will all that benefit him. The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said,   

لَا، إِنَّهُ لَمْ يَقُلْ يَوْمًا مِنَ الدَّهْرِ: رَبِّ اغْفِر لِي خَطِيئَتِي يَوْمَ الدِّين

“No, for not even one day during his life did he pronounce, ‘O my Lord! Forgive my sins on the Day of Judgment.’” It tells us how important it is to have emaan and seek forgiveness from Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala constantly.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Anas (RA) said that the Messenger of Allah salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said,

يُؤْتَى بِالرَّجُلِ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْجَنَّةِ فَيَقُولُ لَهُ: يَا ابْنَ آدَمَ، كَيْفَ وَجَدْتَ مَنْزِلَكَ؟ فَيَقُولُ: أَيْ رَبِّ خَيْرَ مَنْزِلٍ، فَيَقُولُ: سَلْ وَتَمَنَّ، فَيَقُولُ: مَا أَسْأَلُ وَلَا أَتَمَنَّى إِلَّا أَنْ تَرُدَّنِي إِلَى الدُّنْيَا فَأُقْتَلَ فِي سَبِيلِكَ عَشْرَ مِرَارٍ، لِمَا يَرَى مِنْ فَضْلِ الشَّهَادَةِ، وَيُؤْتَى بِالرَّجُلِ مِنْ أَهْلِ النَّارِ فَيَقُولُ لَهُ: يَا ابْنَ آدَمَ، كَيْفَ وَجَدْتَ مَنْزِلَكَ؟ فَيَقُولُ: يَا رَبِّ شَرَّ مَنْزِلٍ، فَيَقُولُ لَهُ: تَفْتَدِي مِنِّي بِطِلَاعِ الْأَرْضِ ذَهَبًا؟ فَيَقُولُ: أَيْ رَبِّ نَعَمْ، فَيَقُولُ: كَذَبْتَ، قَدْ سَأَلْتُكَ أَقَلَّ مِنْ ذَلِكَ وَأَيْسَرَ فَلَمْ تَفْعَلْ، فَيُرَدُّ إِلَى النَّار

“A man from among the people of Paradise will be brought and Allah will ask him, ‘O son of Adam! How did you find your dwelling?’ He will say, ‘O Lord, it is the best dwelling.’ Allah will say, ‘Ask and wish.’ The man will say, ‘I only ask and wish that You send me back to the world so that I am killed ten times in Your cause,’ because of the honor of martyrdom he would experience. A man from among the people of the Fire will be brought, and Allah will say to him, ‘O son of Adam! How do you find your dwelling?’ He will say, ‘It is the worst dwelling, O Lord.’ Allah will ask him, ‘Would you ransom yourself from Me with the earth’s fill of gold?’ He will say, ‘Yes, O Lord.’ Allah will say, ‘You have lied. I asked you to do what is less and easier than that, but you did not do it,’ and he will be sent back to the Fire.”

Allahumma ajirna minnan naar

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala ends the address by saying, “For those, there will be a painful punishment, and they will have no helpers,” for they shall not have anyone who will save them from the torment of Allah or rescue them from His painful punishment.


  • A person who disbelieves and keeps increasing in his disbelief, when will he repent? People recognize the truth at the time of their death but recognition or repentance at that time will not be accepted. The condition of the repentance is that it is done at the right time.

  • We learn that there are three types of people, those who repent and reform themselves. As Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says in Surah An-Nisa Ayah 17, “The repentance accepted by Allah is only for those who do wrong in ignorance [or carelessness] and then repent soon after. It is those to whom Allah will turn in forgiveness, and Allah is ever Knowing and Wise,” (4:17). The second type is those who keep doing the wrong until their time of death approaches they say, “We repent.” About such people Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says, “But repentance is not [accepted] of those who [continue to] do evil deeds up until, when death comes to one of them, he says, ‘Indeed, I have repented now,’” (4:18). The third type is those who die without repentance. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says no matter what promises they make on the Day of Judgment to free themselves from the punishment, it will not be accepted.

  • When should a person repent and reform himself? Right now!

  • Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala asks much less from right now, to believe in Him, follow the Messenger salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, take out some portion from our 24 hours in a day and dedicate them for the worship of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. If we were to calculate how much time the five obligatory prayers take in a day we will notice that it is less than 2 hours. Can’t we give 2/24 of our day to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala? We’re not instructed a lot in His way but a portion from what we own and love whether that’s time, skills or wealth. If we can’t spend now then no matter with how much wealth or degrees we die, it is not going to help us in the Hereafter.

  • This earth and all it holds is meaningless while your emaan is priceless. Good deeds are not accepted if someone doesn’t believe in Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala.

  • We were created to worship Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. If we are not fulfilling our purpose then what are we doing?

  • We must learn the Qur’an and Sunnah and share the message with others, for how can we let our loved ones, friends and neighbors die without knowing Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala? The Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam suffered a lot in his life not for the sake of dunya but in trying to save others’ Hereafter. How concerned are we?

  • Emaan requires believing in Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and all that He has informed us, to accept that this is the truth and to submit to His commands. A person who says I believe there is a god but does not accept His commands is not a believer.

Alhumdulillah, we have completed Juz 3. May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala accept this from us, forgive our shortcomings and allow us to continue on this path and serve His Deen at the level of excellence, ameen.

DOWNLOAD PDF: Surah Aal-Imran Ayaat 90-91

رَبَّنَا تَقَبَّلْ مِنَّا ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيم                
“Our Lord, accept [this] from us. Indeed You are the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing.”
[Al-Baqarah 2: 127]

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