Surah An-Nisa Ayat 18 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 18
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,” or of those who die while they are disbelievers. For them We have prepared a painful punishment.
Of no effect is the repentance of those who continue to do evil, until death faces one of them, and he says, “Now have I repented indeed;” nor of those who die rejecting Faith: for them have We prepared a punishment most grievous.
But of no avail is repentance of those who do evil until death approaches any one of them and then he says: ‘Now I repent.’ Nor is the repentance of those who die in the state of unbelief of any avail to them. For them We have kept in readiness a painful chastisement.
And of no effect is the repentance of those who continue to do evil deeds until death faces one of them and he says: “Now I repent;” nor of those who die while they are disbelievers. For them We have prepared a painful torment.
The forgiveness is not for those who do ill-deeds until, when death attendeth upon one of them, he saith: Lo! I repent now; nor yet for those who die while they are disbelievers. For such We have prepared a painful doom.
And relenting is not for the ones who do odious deeds until, when death is present to one of them, he says, “Surely now I repent, ” neither (for) the ones who die (while) they are steadfast disbelievers; for those We have readied a painful torment.
It is not true repentance when people continue to do evil until death confronts them and then say, ‘Now I repent,’ nor when they die defiant: We have prepared a painful torment for these.
Quran 4 Verse 18 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah An-Nisa ayat 18, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(4:18) But of no avail is repentance of those who do evil until death approaches any one of them and then he says: ‘Now I repent.’ Nor is the repentance of those who die in the state of unbelief of any avail to them. For them We have kept in readiness a painful chastisement.
27. The Arabic word tawbah means ‘to return, to come back’. A man’s tawbah after he has sinned means that God’s servant, who had turned away from his Master in disobedience, has repented, and has returned to obedience and service. On the other hand, tawbah on the part of God means that the attention of the Master, which had turned away from His erring servant, has once again turned towards him. In this verse, however, God makes it clear to His servants that tawbah is acceptable only from those who commit errors inadvertently and out of ignorance. Such persons will always find the door of God open for them whenever they turn to Him in repentance.
But this tawbah is not for those who pile sin upon sin throughout their lives in sheer indifference to God and who cry for pardon as soon as they see the angel of death approaching. The Prophet (peace be on him) has warned against this attitude in the following words: ‘God accepts the repentance of a slave until the gurgling (of death) begins.’ (Tirmidhi, ‘Da’wat’, 98; Ibn Majah, ‘Zuhd’, 30; Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, vol. 2, pp. 132 and 153, and vol. 3, pp. 425 – Ed.) For when the last leaf of a man’s book of life has been turned, what opportunity remains for a man to return to righteous conduct? Likewise, if a person spends even the very last moment of his life in a state of disbelief and then on the threshold of the Next Life he comes to discover that the facts are quite contrary to what he had imagined, what sense is there for him to seek forgiveness?
The tafsir of Surah Nisa verse 18 by Ibn Kathir is unavailable here.
Please refer to Surah Nisa ayat 17 which provides the complete commentary from verse 17 through 18.
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