Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam
Question: Assalamu alaikum
Can a person who has repented from shirk during his lifetime but never prayed and died in that state be forgiven?
Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray that you are in the best of health and faith, insha’Allah.
If he committed a major sin without deeming it permitted, and died before repenting, his matter is consigned to Allah: He may punish him, or He may forgive him.
Imam Laqani penned in his poem The Precious Pearl in Divine Oneness (jawharat al-tawhid), “Whoever dies and did not repent for his sin, his affair is consigned to his Lord. It is necessary that some of those who committed major sins be punished, yet they will not remain in Hell forever.”
Bajuri comments, “The upshot is that people are of two categories: believers and non-believers. The non-believer [who rejected the message of guidance when it reached them] will remain in Hell forever, by consensus. However, believers are of two types: obedient and sinful. The obedient believer will be in Paradise, by consensus. As for the disobedient believer, he is of two types: the one who repented and the one who did not. The one who repented is in Paradise, by consensus, and the one who did not repent is left to the decree of Allah– even if we assume he is to be punished, he will not remain in Hell.” [Bajuri, Tuhfat al-Murid `ala Jawharat al-Tawhid]
And Allah alone gives success.
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.