[4:17] The repentance that God accepts is only of those who do evil in ignorance; then repent shortly thereafter; God will relent to those. And God is ever Knowing, Wise.
There is no asking for forgiveness while one is persisting [in doing evil], for surely repentance without desisting is the trait of liars.
Evil in ignorance means doing what the ignorant do.
The sin of each person is in accordance with his state. The sins of the elite are their thoughts that they are entitled to a certain position or special gift by their acts of obedience. This is a weak position since there is no way to Him except through Him.
Then repent shortly thereafter: According to the scholars, this means before death. According to the people of right conduct, it means before your lower self becomes habituated to that so that it becomes its habit. Their speaker said:
I said to the lower self,
' If you want to return,
the way is blocked'.