- For the Muslims, Allah Almighty Himself is the Owner of the Day of Judgment and He keeps the door of His Mercy and Forgiveness open to His servants until the very end of their life; and Jesus’ return to earth has nothing to do with that.
- As you have mentioned in your question, on the second coming of Jesus he will guide the People of the Book (Christians and Jews) to Islam; and from this it follows that the door of repentance will insha Allah remain open even after Jesus’ return.
Salam (Peace) dear brother,
Thank you for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.
In fact the whole idea of a sinner’s repentance (istighfar) and return (tawbah) to God as envisaged by Islam derives from the concept of God as described in the Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him.
Among “the most beautiful names” of God mentioned in the Quran, the following are significant:
Al-Ghafoor (The Most Forgiving); Al-`Afuw (The One who pardons sinners); At-Tawwab (The Acceptor of Repentance); Al-Haleem (The Clement One); Ar-Rahman and Ar-Rahim (The Most Merciful and the Most Compassionate).
The Quran and the Hadith repeatedly highlight the love, mercy and forgiveness of God.
One important prayer taught by the Prophet is:
“O God, You are the Most Forgiving One, You love to forgive, so forgive me.” (Trimidhi, Ibn Majah).
Indeed we cannot exist even a moment without the Mercy and Forgiveness of God.
All these rites are infused with a spirit of tawbah. And tawbah is the act of spiritually leaving the world of temptations behind, in order to embrace the commandments of Allah Almighty.
Allah says in His Noble Quran:
“O you who have attained to faith! Turn unto God in sincere repentance..” (Quran 66:8)
“O you believers – all of you – turn unto God in repentance, so that you might attain to a happy state!” (Quran 24:31)
“Verily, God loves those who turn unto Him in repentance and He loves those who keep themselves pure.” (Quran 2:222)
“Will they not, then, turn towards God in repentance, and ask His forgiveness? For God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.” (Quran 5:74)
And the Prophet said:
“By Allah, I seek forgiveness from Allah and I repent to him more than seventy times in a day.” (Bukhari)
And he has also said:
“Allah will accept the repentance of His slave so long as the death-rattle has not yet reached his throat.” (Tirmidhi)
Part of a sacred hadith (hadith qudsi) is as follows:
“Allah the Almighty has said: ‘O son of Adam, so long as you call upon Me, and hope in Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done, and I shall not mind…”
The foregoing means that Allah has not set a time-limit for the closure of the door of repentance as it were.
Humans are by nature sinful; and God is ever Forgiving and Merciful.
The overarching Mercy of God is realized in the life of a sinful servant, when Allah accepts their prayer for forgiveness. God loves the sinning servant who repents as much as, if not more than, the sinless one.
If the door of repentance and forgiveness is closed after Jesus returns, a major share of the Quran would become irrelevant thereafter; and humans would be deprived of resorting to the boundless Mercy and Forgiveness of Allah Almighty.
Islam vs. Christianity
The Islamic concept of Allah’s forgiveness differs greatly from the Christian idea of atonement and redemption, where God exacts a ransom from mankind in the form of Jesus’ death on the cross.
For the Christians Jesus is God Himself incarnated in the form of an innocent human sent to suffer and die to save man.
And on his second coming Jesus is not the victim of the judgment of Herod or Pilate; He is the Judge of the Day of Judgment. And when he comes for a second time, the period of probation given to humans is repealed; and hence the door of repentance is closed once for all.
But for the Muslims, Allah Almighty Himself is the Owner of the Day of Judgment and He keeps the door of His Mercy and Forgiveness open to His servants until the very end of their life; and Jesus’ return to earth has nothing to do with that.
As you have mentioned in your question, on the second coming of Jesus he will guide the People of the Book (Christians and Jews) to Islam; and from this it follows that the door of repentance will insha Allah remain open even after Jesus’ return.
And Allah knows best.
I hope this helps answer your question.
Salam and please keep in touch.
(From Ask About Islam archive)
Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links: