Misjudgment

Q: There are issues concerning a person who does not know certain religious rulings. They may commit constant errors due to their ignorance. However, after a lapse of some time, they get to know the abiding religious rulings concerning some of these issues. Is a person to be held accountable for some of their previous deeds for which they did not know the religious rulings concerning them. Is there a specific repentance from sins which are committed out of ignorance, after knowing the religious ruling?


A: All praise is due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger, his family and Companions. To commence: There is no harm in doing so, if the matter in question is one of those needing Ijtihad; about which scholars hold different views, and the error committed is not due to whims and caprices, as well as the said person not deviating from the different opinions of scholars. They should not repent from doing so. However, this person should follow the truth if he or she is one of those who are well versed in religious knowledge, otherwise he or she should ask people of knowledge before embarking upon an issue of which the religious ruling is vague or unknown to him or her. Allah (Glorified be He) says: So ask the people of the Scripture, if you do not know. May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.


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