culpable ignorant or al-jāhil al-muqaṣṣir (Arabic: الجاهِل المُقَصِّر) is a person who does not know the rulings and obligations of the shari'a as a result of his own negligence and fault. According to Shiite scholars, a culpable ignorant will be punished in the hereafter. The jurists believe that worships performed by a culpable ignorant are acceptable if they happen to match the fatwas of their marja' or the de facto obligations.
In usul al-fiqh, an ignorant (Jahil) is said to be of two types: inculpable (al-jahil al-qasir) and culpable. A culpable ignorant is a person who does not know the rulings and obligations in the shari'a, although he had the power to learn them.
Worships by a Culpable Ignorant
Shiite jurists hold that worships done by a culpable ignorant are acceptable if they match the views of his or her marja' or the de facto obligation and are done with the intention of approaching God (qasd al-qurba). Jurists have appealed to certain hadiths to show that in two specific cases, the worships done by a culpable ignorant are acceptable even if they do not match his or her de facto obligations. The two specific cases are as follows:
- The case in which he or she should perform a Qasr Prayer but performs it fully.
- The case in which he or she should say the prayer quietly but says it loudly, or vice versa (he or she should say the prayer loudly but says it quietly).
Punishment of the Culpable Ignorant
Shiite scholars hold that a culpable ignorant deserves punishments in the hereafter.
There are different theories about the ground of his or her punishment:
- The majority of jurists maintain that a culpable ignorant will be punished because of failing to do his or her de facto obligations.
- According to al-Muhaqqiq al-Ardabili and Sahib al-Madarik, God will punish the culpable ignorant because he or she failed to learn the obligations, rather than failing to do his or her de facto obligations.
- The material for this article is mainly taken from جاهل مقصر in Farsi WikiShia.