When judging whether ignorance is an excuse for exemption from kufr, one must consider the issue of guidance/misguidance from Allah and His qadar (pre-destiny). Allah says:
 
وَالَّذِي قَدَّرَ فَهَدَىٰ
 
And Who destined and [then] guided. 87:3
 
وَكَانَ أَمْرُ اللَّهِ قَدَرًا مَّقْدُورًا
 
And ever is the command of Allah a destiny decreed. 33:38
 
Those who judge ignorance as an excuse, do not take into consideration the guidance/misguidance of Allah and His qadar for a given person. They wrongly assume that everyone has the right to die upon guidance, while Allah may will that such a person dies upon misguidance for reasons we cannot comprehend.
 
قُلْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُضِلُّ مَن يَشَاءُ وَيَهْدِي إِلَيْهِ مَنْ أَنَابَ
 
Say, [O Muhammad], “Indeed, Allah leaves astray whom He wills and guides to Himself whoever turns back [to Him]. 13:27
 
وَمَن يُرِدْ أَن يُضِلَّهُ يَجْعَلْ صَدْرَهُ ضَيِّقًا حَرَجًا كَأَنَّمَا يَصَّعَّدُ فِي السَّمَاءِ
 
and whoever He wants to misguide – He makes his breast tight and constricted as though he were climbing into the sky. 6:125
 
While a person is alive, he may be guided or he may be given a chance to make tawbah (to repent). Allah says:
 
ثُمَّ يَتُوبُ اللَّهُ مِن بَعْدِ ذَٰلِكَ عَلَىٰ مَن يَشَاءُ
 
Then Allah will accept repentance after that for whom He wills. 9:27
 
وَيَتُوبُ اللَّهُ عَلَىٰ مَن يَشَاءُ
 
And Allah turns in forgiveness to whom He wills. 9:15
 
Those who say that an excuse can be made for the one who is ignorant that an action/speech constitutes kufr or shirk are not taking into consideration that there many people who avoid such kufri/shirki action without any knowledge or understanding on their part. They are simply upon the sound fitrah and/or guidance from Allah. Allah says:
 
فِطْرَتَ اللَّهِ الَّتِي فَطَرَ النَّاسَ عَلَيْهَا
 
[Adhere to] the fitrah of Allah upon which He has created [all] people. 30:30
 
وَاللَّهُ يَهْدِي مَن يَشَاءُ إِلَىٰ صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ
 
We have certainly sent down distinct verses. And Allah guides whom He wills to a straight path. 24:46
 
For example, there are many people who know democracy is wrong without having any knowledge that it is wrong from the Quran and Sunnah. How can one justify excusing a kufri/shirki action by way of ignorance while such people exist? This would be like a woman who excuses herself from wearing the hijab on the premise that she will be discriminated against, while there are plenty of women wearing hijab in the workplace all around her.
 
There are too many people making too many excuses. Is it possible that these excusers have loved one who are upon kufr/shirk?
 
Allah says:
 
مَا لَكُمْ كَيْفَ تَحْكُمُونَ
 
What is [the matter] with you? How do you judge? 68:36
 
أَمْ لَكُمْ كِتَابٌ فِيهِ تَدْرُسُونَ
 
Or have you a Book through which you learn. 68:37
 
And Allah knows best…

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