AIDS patient wishes to repent

Reference: al-Fataawa al-Muta’alliqah bit-Tibb wa Ahkaam al-Mardhaa – Page 451

Question: A person is infected with AIDS and the doctors have determined that his life will be very short. So what is the ruling regarding his repentance at this time?

Response: He is required to hasten in making repentance, even if he is in the final moments of life. This is because the door to repentance is open whatever the state of the person – so long as he is sane; He is required to hasten in making repentance and beware of [further] sin, and if they say to him “You will have a short life”, then life is in the Hands of Allaah. Such is the case that their opinion may be incorrect and so he lives a long life. Whatever the hypothesis, it is obligatory upon him to hasten in truthfully repenting [to Allaah] for what has preceded, so Allaah will forgive him [in shaa.-Allaah]; As Allaah says:

{And all of you beg Allaah to forgive you all, O believers, that you may be successful}, soorah an-Noor, aayah 31

…and He says:

{And verily, I am indeed forgiving to him who repents, believes and does righteous good deeds, and then remains constant in doing them}, soorah TaaHaa, aayah 82

…and the saying of the Prophet ﷺ:

«Allaah accepts the repentance of His slave so long as the death rattle has not yet reached his throat»

And the meaning of this is – so long as he has not breathed his last breath. And Allaah is the One from whom assistance is sought.

He is a graduate of the Islaamic University of Madeenah, having graduated from the Institute of Arabic Language, and later the Faculty of Sharee'ah in 2004. He currently resides in Birmingham, UK.