I want to know about what does Islam say about punishment to someone who was not fully or was not made fully aware of the extent of his limits but has done something wrong (which is not considered wrong by the accused due to his unawareness of the matter).
A sin becomes punishable when it is committed with the intent of the heart as well as the knowledge of it being a sin. However, this is only true for sins that are purely religious in nature. In cases of basic morality, we may have the excuse of getting carried away in an uncontrolled stroke of emotional outburst, but the excuse of ignorance shall not be acceptable. For instance, in the case of all those basic ethical or moral values the knowledge of which is a priori1 to man, the excuse of ignorance shall not be acceptable. For instance, if I have deprived anyone of his/her right or have killed an innocent soul or have stolen something or have intentionally decided a matter, which was presented before me for a decision, unjustly or have intentionally given a false witness etc., my excuse of ignorance in such matters shall not be acceptable, as the knowledge of the wrongfulness of all such matters is a priori to man. No man is ignorant of their being a grave sin.
23rd February 2000
- This includes all such actions about which man is inherently and naturally aware that they are wrong. [↩]