The “Court” of Conscience
By Mohammad Rafique Etesame
Almighty Allah Says in the Holy Qur’an, “And a soul and Him Who perfected it. And inspired it (with conscience of) what is wrong for it and (what is) right for it. He is indeed successful who causes it to grow, and he is indeed a failure who exploits it.” (As-Shams: 10)
According to the commentators, these verses reveal the two ways for man i.e. the evil and the good. Now in the light of this inspiration, mankind has sufficient knowledge about them.
For example, if someone is questioned about hypocrisy, theft, injustice, murder or adultery, whether they are good or bad actions? Then he/she will reply at once without any hesitation that all these actions are bad.
Similarly, if he is questioned about offering worship, to help the poor, to serve the parents and to participate in others pain and trouble, then he will reply in the same way that all these actions are good.
This Divine inspiration has four categories as:-
(1) What is ‘Haqq’ (The Truth?)
(2) What is “Batil” (The Evil?)
(3) To test them whether they are really ‘Haqq or Batil?
(4) Having power to act upon one of them or both.
This Devine inspiration is usually known as “heart” or “conscience.” The Holy Prophet (PBUH) said that when a Muslim commits a sin, it leaves a black point on his heart, if he stops himself and repents to Allah Almighty, and then this point is removed, and if he does not do so, then this point increases by and by till it covers the full heart, and this is the rust of hearts. (Bokhare,Muslim).
The Holy Prophet (PBUH) when asked about the sign of the sin? He (PBUH) replied,” it is the sin that causes aversion or dislike in the heart; it is that thing which wavers in the breast, and the individual hates that people should come to know of it. (Al-Mishkwat)
This aversion in the heart means that his/her conscience is living. It teaches him to discriminate between evil and good that when he commits a sin or a crime it becomes angry and pricks up his body, and if he does good, then it becomes satisfy and pleasant.
As it is a “court” working into his inner body. This court has a powerful system of investigation, check and balance and also has an ‘authority’ to enforce its judgments. For example, if a man is a guilty of the criminal law and he does not want to handover himself to the court, then this inner court makes him disturbed and forced so much that he handover himself to the Court of law in some cases.
When the Book will be given to a sinful man at the Day of resurrection, then Allah Almighty will Ordain to him,” And every man’s augury have We fastened to his own neck, and We shell bring forth for him on the Day of resurrection a book he will find wide open. (And it will be said unto him) Read the book. Thy soul suffices as recker against thee this day.
Whosoever goes right, it is only for (the good of) his own soul that he goes right, and whosoever erres only to its hurt. No laden soul can bear another’s load. We never punish until We have sent a messenger.” (Al-Isra:15).
It means that he had been given a light of righteousness in this world, to recognise the evil and the good that was inspired in his conscience, but he ignored it. Now this is the Day of Judgment, so that the man may decide about himself that what should be the reward for him, Paradise or Hell?
Unfortunately, sometime this court stops working. It means that the conscience of a man has become dead. The result is that there will be no light of the good and no pricking in his heart.
The question is: what is the sign of a dead conscience? So, the following hadith throws light over it.
On the authority of Abu Sa'eed al-Khudree (R.A.) who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah PBUH says, “Whoso- ever of you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then [let him change it] with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart — and that is the weakest of faith.” (40hadithnawawi)
It means that if a man does not see an evil act as a sin, then he cannot change it and his conscience is dead.