Should I Repent for Something If I Didn’t Know It Was Sinful?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad


Sometimes I do something and feel like it might have been a sin; however, I cannot find answers and just do general repentance for it. Is this correct, or should I ignore these doubts?


Thank you for your question. The issue you face is very common, and your repentance is valid. Follow the sunna of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), who used to say this supplication, and see the links below:

O Allah, forgive me what I have sent before me and what I have left behind me (s. future sins and past sins), what I have concealed and what I have done openly, what I have done in excess, and what You are better aware of than I. You are the One Who sends forth, and You are the One Who delays. There is none worthy of worship but You. [Muslim]

اللّهُـمَّ اغْـفِرْ لي ما قَدَّمْـتُ وَما أَخَّرْت

وَما أَسْـرَرْتُ وَما أَعْلَـنْت

وَما أَسْـرَفْت، وَما أَنْتَ أَعْـلَمُ بِهِ مِنِّي، أَنْتَ المُقَـدِّمُ، وَأَنْتَ المُـؤَخِّـرُ

لا إِلهَ إِلاّ أَنْـت


Will I Be Forgiven If I Didn’t Know I Was Sinful?
Sins Committed in Ignorance

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqida, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.