One of the most important discussions in the civil and criminal laws and also in jurisprudential rulings is the role of ignorance. In the present research, it is tried to investigate this subject i.e. ignorance according to the verses of Quran, traditions, jurisprudential and Usuli books, works of jurists and the related laws and to present its most outstanding achievements.
The aim of choosing this subject is firstly to determine the essence of ignorance and the required amount of it which leads to the civil and criminal responsibility and secondly to solve the apparent conflict between the role of ignorance in the laws and Islamic jurisprudence in the form of solving the conflict between the three important criteria:
- Ignorance of the law excuses no one or dose not remove responsibility criterion.
- To punish without declaring the law is unjust criterion.
- No penalty on suspicion criterion.
The approach is to see ignorance as a relative concept which is not to be expressed under a general rule. As a matter of fact, recognizing ignorance as a defense is a precise judicial work up to the judges and in every crime it varies based on the facts such as the crime is a violation of the rights of God or of those of people, the suspicion of the judge or the accused person and the conditions of the case.
As a result, ignorance is one of those subjects about which and especially in details, it is not possible to issue a general decree.
The findings of the research show that the element of ignorance is not completely effective in removing the civil responsibility and the ignorant person is not excused since a financial loss is involved and he or she has to compensate the loss.
However, regarding the role of ignorance in removing the criminal responsibility i.e. where breaking the law leads to one of the penalties such as Had, Ghasas or Ta’zir and is a precise judicial work, there must be attempted, when there is no threat to other’s rights, to remove the responsibility from the ignorant person with the goodwill and therefore in accepting it, we should suffice with the certain amount or al-Gadr al-Motayaghen.
Regarding the conflict between the three aforementioned principles, we must say that there is no conflict between them in civil laws since the second principle i.e. To punish without declaring the law is unjust and the third principle i.e. there is no penalty on suspicion are applied in the criminal issues and the first principle i.e. Ignorance of the law excuses no one is related to the civil issues since the ignorance to the law does not remove civil responsibility. Therefore ignorance in no way removes the civil responsibility.
About the conflict of these three principles in criminal issues, we must say that if the accused person proves to be certainly unaware of the law, the judicial official, referring to the second principle i.e. To punish without declaring the law is unjust and the third principle i.e. there is no penalty on suspicion, can recognize him innocent or decrease his penalty.
To achieve these results, the present research consists of four chapters: Chapter 1 includes the general issues, Chapter 2 clarifies the concept of ignorance, Chapter 3 investigates the role of ignorance in judicial rulings and Chapter 4 investigates the role of ignorance in criminal and judicial laws.