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Is the human conscience enough as a guide?


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Author Topic: Is the human conscience enough as a guide?  (Read 207 times)
Zeynab
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« on: July 19, 2010, 07:03:43 pm »




I had a conversation lately with an acquaintance who rejected the authority of the Glorious Quran as a guide and yet claimed to be a "believer."  The person's argument was that "I use my conscience to lead my life, and conscience evolves from the inner self so it can be relied upon."  But, is the "inner self" infallible enough to be trusted at all times?  Can the free human conscience universally and at all levels be separated from one's lower, superficial and materialistic desires and senses?   To answer "yes" would surely require an enormously conceited mind that sees life through a very narrow prism.
 
God Almighty repeatedly reminds us in the Noble Quran that good deeds can be rendered futile in the Hereafter if they are not supported with the strength of Faith.  A lot of people may disagree and argue against it.  But the ultimate truth of the matter remains that Allah Almighty has a very valid reason for establishing this dictate.  Briefly put, good and compassionate deeds done without the foundation and supervison of Faith can be no less volatile than the changing directions of sea breeze.  Human conscience is largely prone to fluctations and re-adjustments as a response to the countless triggering factors of life.  Thus, incidents of the human mind slipping away after being planted are never unusual.
 
If human conscience is left on its own, that is, conscience without the control of the Divine Guidance, there would likely be little uniformity in that kind of 'conscience.'   Different persons live their lives involving various blatant violations, yet they claim they are living their lives according to the rules of their "conscience" and are thus satisfied with themselves.  An adulterer or an adultress who systematically cheats on their spouse, or a professional swindler who steals others' money to make a living, will confidently justify their stance with their own arguments and claim that their "conscence" is intact.  Even atheists and agnostics are often convinced of the infallibility of their 'conscience.'  All such people will strongly disagree if told they don't have a conscience.  Well, maybe they do have a 'conscience' - a conscience that's moribund and a prisoner of its own soul, in need of being revamped.  But how is one supposed to revamp one's conscience?  By going back to school and acquiring additional diplomas?  Going to prison?  Paying a fine?   Obviously not. 
 
It's impossible for the human conscience to blossom with firmness unless it's tightened with the influence of the principles of the Divine Message.  Then only can the conscience of humankind conform with the values endorsed by Allah Almighty.  Thus, Allah says in His final Message:  "Say: Each one doth according to his rule of conduct, and thy Lord is Best Aware of him whose way is right."  17:84.   These Words of the Divine Power clearly indicate that not all rules of human conduct go aright, unless those rules are have been made compatible with His commandments. 

Don't ask me how or why, but here's the undeniable fact of the matter.  A genuine and undistracted grasp of the Monothesitic Faith has tremendous and inexplicable Might to shake off the impurities that often plague human conscience and begin life afresh.
 
To conclude, human conscience is beneficial only if it's firmly yoked with the dictates of Faith .. a conscience that discards mere ritualism, a conscience that's built upon equity and a conscience that accepts only the final Divine Message as its sole Criterion for assessments and modifications of its spritual and ethical values.



Related post:
Doing good deeds for the love of Allah


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Ruhi_Rose
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« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2010, 03:32:38 am »



Alhumdulilah, a delightful piece.  Conscience or zamir as we call it in Urdu, Persian and Arabic, stays frail on crutches and pretty unpredictible without the foundation of the Quran.  The points discussed above on conscience is the direct cause of elevating conscience with the help of the Quran.  Besides this, a conscience without the support of the Quran is basically without the thought of Allah, and thus that conscience or the person with that conscience falls in the category of a disbeliever. 

Sister Zeynab, for my own information so that I'm able to fend off any attacks on Islam by ignorant miscreants, can u please elucidate a little directly on the importance of belief in Allah along with righteous deeds.  I often hear non-Muslims talk that so many secular people do nice deeds like giving charity, being polite etc. .. so they ask why should they be denied their reward in the Hereafter.   I do understand in my heart the reason why they will fail in the Hereafter, but I just want someone articulate like u or sister cat to please explain so I can handle the attackers.


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Zeynab
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« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2010, 04:05:54 am »



Sister Zeynab, for own information so that I'm able to fend off any attacks on Islam by ignorant miscreants, can u please elucidate a little directly on the importance of belief in Allah along with righteous deeds.  I often hear non-Muslims talk that so many secular people do nice deeds like giving charity, being polite etc. .. so they ask why should they be denied their reward in the Hereafter.   I do understand in my heart the reason why they will fail in the Hereafter, but I just want someone articulate like u or sister cat to please explain so I can handle the attackers.

Yes sister Ruhi, u r right.  Non-Muslims and even half-hearted Muslims who haven't understood the Quran often ask such questions. 

Well, the prime reason why even a so-called elevated conscience and all good deeds become fruitless without belief in Allah is because complete absense of the thought or concept of Allah denotes disbelief in Him.  Disbelieving in Allah either by an atheist, or a polytheist, or an agnostic or a pantheist, and dying in that state of mind amounts to an unforgivable violation.  Indeed such people are the most unfortunate of all.  Also, as long as they are in this earthly world, their disbelief and lack of acceptance of the Ultimate Truth makes their sense of ethics fickle, erratic and unstable compared to the firmness of a genuine believer. 

As ordained by Allah Almighty, earthly life and the Hereafter are interconnected, or should I say, reciprocally connected.  That's because Divine Justice is flawless and perfect in which no one is wronged.  Whatever we do here has its repercussions in the next world.  It's also vital to know which most people ignore, righteousness and transgressions have various gradings.  Disbelief in Allah either by denying Him altogether or associating partners with Him is the biggest or highest of all transgressions, to the extent that those who die in disbelief are barred from seeking the forgivness of Allah.  This is the Law of Allah which none can change. 

In accordance with this Law, those who disbelieve in Allah in this world have made the most serious blunder at the threshold of the tests of earthly life which is grave enough to nullify all of their future good deeds and successes.  Analogically, let's look at it this way.  No matter how 'nice' or 'great' a person I maybe with everyone around me, but if I constantly dismiss, defame and insult you, will you ever welcome me to your home inspite of my 'good behavioour' with others?  The answer is surely no.  Thus, disbelief in Allah destroys the value of all other righteous deeds on the Day of Judgment, denying entry into Paradise .. and this is indeed the ultimate loss.

The Noble Quran makes it clear that a disbeliever will get the fruits of his efforts for earthly success and happiness in this world, but that will be temporary.  In the next world all his/her efforts and earthly popularity will be washed away because of his/her disbelief. 

I hope I've made myself clear and hope this helps.


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Ruhi_Rose
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« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2010, 04:18:39 am »

MaashAllah, thanks a million sister.  It's helped enormously and I'm gonna save this in my backup folder of selected articles.  Br. PT should also read this thread, I think it will be a good topic to choose for his next lecture session ..
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N. Truth Seeker
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« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2010, 07:07:00 am »

Brilliant topic!  It's also a difficult topic to elucidate and sister has handled it very well.  First, good deeds without Faith cannot be accepted because those deeds still amount to disbelief.  Secondly, conscience or good deeds without belief in the Quran would render that conscience weak and subsequently the good deeds evolving from that conscience would not have a high degree of stability.

Yes, you're right sister Rose.  This would be an excellent topic to discuss.  InshAllah I'll suggest to my group to keep it for the session after tomorrow. 

While the friends of my discussion group have to think which topic to select, it's comparatively a lot easier for me.  I simply have to browse thru this website Smiley  Thanks to everyone here .. 
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Heba E. Husseyn
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« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2010, 03:59:34 am »



Fantastic topic.  Very well explained sister Zeynab.  There are many people even among so-called Muslims who think Salvation in the Hereafter can be acquired with good deeds even if the person is an atheist, agnostic or polytheist.  There are 2 reasons why they think this way.

First, most of them have either not read the Noble Quran at all or have read it without understanding it or have read the incorrect translations. 

Secondly, those who talk as such have a tendency of overlooking the aspect of fairness and justice, either because of their shallow perception or because of personal reasons.    Thus, they also forget that Divine Justice is perfect. 

Your analogy, sister Zeynab, was really good.  I would request such people to make another simple comparison for a better understanding. 

E.g.  'X' believes in Allah and is also of good conduct, keeping in mind the dictates of Allah and utilizing the Quran as a Guide to enhance his conscience.   Another person, 'Y,' does not believe in Allah, has never read the Quran and is either secular/atheist/agnostic or a polytheist but he has some righteous deeds in his record such as being charitable, showing kindness to others and likes being fair.   But 'Y' indulges in these good deed by claiming that he uses his conscience to guide himself and that his conscience is independent of Allah. 

Now compare 'X' and 'Y.'  From the viewpoint of Allah Almighty, who do you think is more humble and far-sighted?  The answer is surely 'X' whose approach is much more rational, far-sighted and extensive.  'X' is doing righteous deeds and a lot more.  He has complete belief and faith in Allah, the One and Only.   'Y' on the other hand, is only doing his worldly duty and nothing beyond that.  Therefore, Allah might grant 'Y' the fruits of his earthly efforts in this world.  But after 'Y' leaves this world for the next, his 'party' is over.  He will have nothing to look forward in the next world, unlike 'X' who has reasons to be hopeful in both the worlds.


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« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2021, 09:58:00 pm »




E.g.  'X' believes in Allah and is also of good conduct, keeping in mind the dictates of Allah and utilizing the Quran as a Guide to enhance his conscience.   Another person, 'Y,' does not believe in Allah, has never read the Quran and is either secular/atheist/agnostic or a polytheist but he has some righteous deeds in his record such as being charitable, showing kindness to others and likes being fair.   But 'Y' indulges in these good deed by claiming that he uses his conscience to guide himself and that his conscience is independent of Allah. 

Now compare 'X' and 'Y.'  From the viewpoint of Allah Almighty, who do you think is more humble and far-sighted?  The answer is surely 'X' whose approach is much more rational, far-sighted and extensive.  'X' is doing righteous deeds and a lot more.  He has complete belief and faith in Allah, the One and Only.   'Y' on the other hand, is only doing his worldly duty and nothing beyond that.  Therefore, Allah might grant 'Y' the fruits of his earthly efforts in this world.  But after 'Y' leaves this world for the next, his 'party' is over.  He will have nothing to look forward in the next world, unlike 'X' who has reasons to be hopeful in both the worlds.



Spot on Sister Heba.  Very good comparison.   It's the true Faith and Love for Allah in the hearts of those like 'X' which helps their conscience to grow and remain constant.   

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« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2021, 09:59:51 pm »



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