In the tongue of learning, one must repent before death, even if it be one moment. In the tongue of practice, one must repent before the soul has the habit of seeing itself and worshiping itself. When someone is pleased with himself and gazes upon himself habitually, the door to repentance has been shut to him and the water of deliverance taken away from him.
4:18 This turning will not belong to those who keep on doing ugly deeds until death is present for one of them, and then he says: “Surely now I have turned.”
Not everyone who has repented in the road of the Shariah, thereby reaching pardon and forgiveness, has reached truthfulness in love in respect of the Haqiqah. For a long time, David the prophet wept and pleaded. At last, it was said to him, “O David! Why do you weep when I have forgiven you, made your adversaries content, and accepted your repentance?”
He said, “Lord God, I know, but give me back those sweet moments I had in Your companionship and those breaths I had with You in seclusion!” He said, “David, take heed! That is a love that has passed.”