I am trying to find the proper word for a verse of the Quran.

Background info: The 12th chapter of the Quran tells the story of prophet Joseph. The third verse says:

We relate to you, the best of narratives in what We have revealed to you of this Quran although you were, before it, among the unaware.

To me, “unaware” sounds like “ignorant” (in fact, some translated the verse as “you were among those who knew nothing about it”). The original Arabic word which is translated as “unaware” actually means, “something that one had some surface knowledge; or he thought he knew; or what he thought he knew was not the complete account (some of it was falsehood).” In short, it is not something one is completely ignorant of it.

Is there a single word in English that would relate the same sense?


2 Answers 2


If a hyphenated word is acceptable, a term commonly used in this sense is ill-informed.
The example sentence below uses both ill-informed and ignorant, so you can see the difference.


ill-informed ADJECTIVE
Having or showing an inadequate awareness of the facts.

‘ill-informed opinions’

‘All the parties of the Scottish parliament should be fighting against the rantings of the ill-informed and ignorant.’

  • Is ill-informed different than misguided?
    – blackened
    Commented Jan 4, 2021 at 18:03
  • I guess it depends on the context. Misguided can mean (totally) having the wrong information whereas ill-informed usually means having incomplete information. Commented Jan 4, 2021 at 18:11

nescient may be a candidate.

Some definitions simply equate it with not knowing. Here is one example:

nescient = not having knowledge about something

Cambridge Dictionary

But others seem to admit to some - but imperfect - knowledge. Here is another example:

Nescient = uneducated in general; lacking knowledge or sophistication


In this example, a lack of general education implies a little knowledge; a lack of sophistication implies some crude but unpolished understanding.

Nescient may therefore fit your specification.

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