Harun Yahya - The Importance Of Conscience In The Qur'an
The Importance Of Conscience In The
book introduces the real concept of conscience that is related in the
Qur'an and draws our attention to the kind of understanding, thought,
and wisdom that a truly conscientious person has.
Those Who Question And Those Who Ignore
So far, we have talked about how a conscientious man can build an awareness
of the existence of Allah, even though he has not been taught anything about
it. Someone who realises through his conscience that a creator exists will reach
the conclusion that if Allah created such a flawless universe and provided man
with a consciousness to comprehend it, then He would not have left him idle.
He would definitely have established some sort of communication with these intelligent
beings He created, and presented Himself to them. Furthermore, Allah, Who created
everything, would definitely have created them for a purpose and let this purpose
be known to them.
The person who employs his conscience, will feel a
great desire to know about his Creator Who created himself and the entire universe.
This desire even becomes the sole purpose of his life. He realises that he is
in need of Allah, Who created him out of nothing and gave him life when he was
nothing, and that all power lies with Him.
He also realises that Allah creates everything for
a purpose. Everything has a duty. The sky is like a ceiling that protects theplanet;
cells are there to constitute life; rain brings bounty and the sun is the source
of light and heat for the entire world. It is created for such a significant
purpose that life would not exist without it. In short, man can see that everything
we can and cannot count here is created for a special cause. Man then asks himself,
'If I am created into such a perfect and flawlessly planned world and I will
die in a short while, then what is the purpose of my presence here?' And he
seeks an answer to this question.
He is not satisfied by the pieces of information he
has heard from other people. He wants to know Allah, to learn what He wants
from him and the purpose of his creation. He understands through his conscience
that information provided by people can be insufficient or misleading. Mostly,
the statements of people contradict one another, and are full of inconsistencies.
He naturally thinks that the best guide to reach Allah is the book He revealed.
Consequently, he takes the Qur'an, the last book Allah sent and which He protected,
as his guide.
Those who Ignore the Qur'an do not follow
How many people in the world have neither read the Qur'an nor
even wondered about it?
Allah sends a book to guide people, warning them
that they will be questioned after their death as to whether or not they heeded
what was written in it. The result will send them either to paradise or hell.
Even if people do not grasp this by referring to their conscience, they hear
about it and are aware of it. However, in spite of this, they still do not read
the Qur'an. They do not even barely wonder what is written in the book for which
they will be held responsible on the Day of Judgement.
For example, a man receives a letter from his office
or school in an envelope reading 'most important for your career/education'.
He is asked to read this letter and completely fulfil its requirements by a
certain date. What will he do? Will he hang it up on the wall without even reading
it, just put it in the drawer, or read and disregard what is written in it?
Or will he immediately start reading it with great excitement and attention
as soon as he received it, and immediately act fully upon its contents?
His wisdom and common sense would definitely tell
him to read this message. However, most people, due to the state of heedlessness
they are in, do not lift a finger to read the most vital book in existence:
the message of Allah to His people.
The fact that people have abandoned the book Allah
sent is stated as follows in the Qur'an:
The Messenger says: 'My Lord, my people treat this Qur'an
as something to be ignored.' (Surat al-Furqan: 30)
When a messenger comes to them from Allah confirming
what is with them, a group of those who have been given the Book disdainfully
toss the Book of Allah behind their backs, just as if they did not know. (Surat
In the above verse, the expression 'as if they did
not know' points out that although people know, they ignore the book of Allah.
Everyone, deep in his conscience, knows that he must read and practise the Qur'an,
but the majority ignores it. The reason for this is that people do not follow
Conscience And The Qur'an Show Man The Real
Purpose Of Life
'...Did you suppose that We created you for
amusement and that you would not return to Us?' (Surat al-Mu'minun:115)
Someone who thinks through his conscience will ponder
the purpose of his life and during his search for the answer, will naturally
turn to the Qur'an, Allah's revelation. When someone intends to read the Qur'an,
it is of the utmost importance that his conscience remains open, and that he
reads every verse with great sincerity, with the intention to practise and live
He who reads the Qur'an will find the answer for the
purpose of his creation. In the Qur'an, this purpose is stated asfollows:
I only created jinn and man to worship Me. I do not require
any provision from them and I do not require them to nourish Me. Truly Allah,
He is the Provider, the Possessor of Strength, the Sure. (Surat adh-Dhariyat:
The purpose of man's life on this earth is his being
He Who created death and life to test which of you is
best in action. He is the Almighty, the Ever- Forgiving. (Surat al-Mulk: 62)
We made everything on the earth adornment for it so that
we could test them to see whose actions are the best. (Surat al-Kahf: 7)
We created man from a mingled drop to test him, and
We made him hearing and seeing. We guided him on the Way, whether he is grateful
or ungrateful. (Surat al-Insan: 2-3)
He who reads the above verses will understand that Allah created
life to test man. He will immediately think about his own life, as well as the
life of others. Most of the people around him are constantly rushing and struggling
for the life of this world. They have very detailed plans, all concerning worldly
things: the school they will go to, the job they will get, their marriage, their
children, the house they will live in, the car they will buy, how high their
salary is, where to spend the new year, what presents they will get on their
birthday, their retirement, the holidays they will go on, etc. Everyone has
such plans and goals in mind, though interestingly enough, no one takes the
time to think of the real purpose of their presence in the world. The conscientious
man witnesses this behaviour and understands it for what it is: heedlessness
It is Allah Who created man, gave him life and lets
him live on. Allah made the purpose of creation very clear: 'To be a slave to
Him.' The only thing that will make man happy is to bow in submission to Allah
in accordance with the purpose of his creation, and to dedicate everything he
owns to Him in order to gain His approval. Yet most people, as if they do not
know this fact at all and as if they have come into this world only to enjoy
it, live on heedlessly and greedily. On the other hand, a man thinking with
his conscience sees that the majority of people are falling into a dangerous
state of negligence. Thus he comes to realise that other people cannot be a
reference for him, and that his following other people, saying, 'Most of them
do this,' will prevent him from following the book of Allah and taking the Qur'an
as his only guide.
Believing In The Hereafter With Certainty
The man who comes to realise that he was brought into this world
to be tested by Allah, will then move on to another stage of thought. If we
are tested in this life, then death cannot be the end. There must also be a
result to this test. However, there is no result in the life of this world.
Amongst all the people who have lived in the past, there were tyrants, dissolute
people and murderers, as well as the messengers of Allah and other people of
very high conscience who dedicated their whole lives to Allah. There were also
poor and miserable people who were subjected to oppression. Those in the past
are now all dead and gone; both the good and the bad are buried in their graves.
Today, there is nothing left of them but some skeletal remains. Allah, the Owner
of Eternal Justice, would not let the life of this world be resolved in this
In short, man's conscience will tell him that Allah's
Eternal Conscience will pay every man in full for what he has done. Since the
accounts are not completely settled in this world, then there must be a place
to where this is deferred.
People who think through their conscience will also
find the answer in the Qur'an. Allah states in the Qur'an that He has deferred
the settling of the accounts until after death, when everyone will be fully
paid for the things they have done in this world:
Each and every one of you will return to Him.
Allah's promise is true. He brings creation out of nothing and then regenerates
it so that he can repay with justice those who believe and did right actions.
Those who disbelieve will have a drink of scalding water and a painful punishment
because they disbelieved. (Surah Jonah: 4)
Your Lord will pay each of them in full for his actions.
He is aware of what they do. (Surah Hud: 111)
Those who refer to the Qur'an through their conscience
understand that everything they do is known by Allah, and every good and bad
act will be repaid. No action is overlooked, as many people may wrongly assume.
Allah makes known in the Qur'an the day of account and the real life that awaits
everyone after their account is settled.
The life of this world is a temporary test ground
and the real life is in the hereafter, in paradise or hell. After death, everyone
will be questioned on a day determined by Allah about their actions. Those who
lived according to Allah's wishes, will forever live in Jannah - the most marvellous
abode possible for a human being. As for the others, they will forever live
in hell where the most extreme forms of pain and distress prevail.
It is a fact communicated in the Qur'an and also through
conscience and wisdom that the real life will begin after death, and everyone
will meet different circumstances in the hereafter according to his or her conduct
in this world. It does not suit people's purposes to follow their conscience
in a life which they spend in joking and playing around, and by rote, without
giving a thought to it at all. Everyone pursues plans they will benefit from
in the life of this world, but none of these plans concern death or the hereafter.
Death, however, is a reality far more absolute than all of these planned events.
People, however, never take death into consideration. They try to live their
lives as if they will never die.
What may then be the reason that the majority of people
live by ignoring this important fact?
To answer this question, you must take a moment to
think; how many times in your entire life have you thought about death? Have
you ever thought that one day you will die, all your loved ones who buried you
under the earth will then leave your grave and get on with their daily lives,
and everything you ever had will be gone upon your death? Have you ever visualised
how death takes place? Your flesh will rot under the soil, but what will your
Man has a soul and the soul does not disappear. After
man dies, a new life starts for his soul, but has he ever happened to wonder
what kind of a new life awaits him? Like the majority of people, he, too, may
have never thought about such things. This is because thinking about them makes
people feel horrified. They try to avoid these facts as much as possible. When
this subject is brought up, they try to dismiss its impact on them with jokes
or flippant remarks.
Why, then, do almost all people try so strongly to
escape this reality which is certain to happen one day? Will ignoring prevent
it from happening? Of course it will not. The reason people avoid thinking about
death and the hereafter is that itprods their conscience into action, reminding
them that they are answerable to Allah and that they will give an account of
their actions after death. At the moment the conscience awakes, everything that
has been done until then loses its importance, and man comes to realise the
subjects that are really important. When he thinks that he will die one day,
what importance are the things he has done in the life of this world? Initially,
it may perhaps be difficult for him to grasp this, but thinking of the exact
moment of death in fine detail, will help him understand all the truths.
Death may come to you when you least expect it, and
most likely you will have no chance to make any preparations. It could be now
or in a few moments, or at a similar moment a few years hence.
Real conscience Is felt at the moment the
angels of death and the fire of hell are seen
You may have seen someone die, but what you have seen
is the death of the body. There is also the experience that the soul goes through
during death, which can only be witnessed by the person undergoing it. Onlookers
will only see the dying of the body, which may appear very peaceful in the case
of someone dying naturally in his bed, or indeed agonising in the case of a
victim of a car accident or disease. However, the death of the soul, that is,
what it goes through during death is very different from what it seems to be.
If the person who dies is a believer, then his soul
is taken with ease and he is given the glad tidings by two angels that he will
start his marvellous eternal life. This person is neither frightened nor grievous,
for he possesses the immeasurable joy of knowing that he will be in happiness
and peace for eternity.
This fact is stated in the Qur'an as follows:
Those the angels take in a virtuous state. They say,
'Peace be upon you! Enter the Garden for what you did.' (Surat an-Nahl: 32)
The greatest terror will not upset them and the angels
will welcome them: 'This is your Day, the one that you were promised.' (Surat
In the case of a man who has not lived his life in
accordance with Allah's approval, no matter how his body dies, what his soul
experiences will be the beginning of a life full of torment. Allah warns these
people in the Qur'an:
How will it be when the angels take them in death, beating
their faces and their backs? (Surah Muhammad: 27)
For these reasons, trying to visualise the moment
of death in your mind's eye will cause you to behave with one hundred percent
sincerity and conscientiousness.
Death may come to you while driving, or doing something
that you do routinely. Suddenly the sight in front of you will change and you
will meet two angels of death. Angels of death may assume a horrifying appearance
to those who have not lived their lives in accordance with Allah's good pleasure
and ignored death and the hereafter. In the Qur'an, it is told that they stretch
out their hands to the person whose life they have come to take away, pull him
close to themselves and declare to him a degrading, endless torment, while beating
his face and back. Separation of the soul from the body causes great pain. At
that point, the man realises what is to happen next. This moment is described
in Surat al-Qiyama:
Faces that Day will be glowering, realising thata back-breaking
blow has fallen. No indeed! When it reaches the gullet and he hears the words,
'Who can heal him now?' And he knows it is indeed the final parting, and one
leg is entwined with the other: That Day he will be driven to your Lord. He
neither affirmed the truth nor did pray. But rather denied the truth and turned
away. (Surat al- Qiyama: 24-32)
You too will certainly experience the moment of death.
What will become important, and what will become meaningless to you? What will
you regret having done or not having done? Whose advice will you wish you had
taken? Whom will you wish you had never met? How concerned will you be about
the details of your job? Of what importance is a dress you will wear to a party,
or other people's opinions about your appearance, in comparison to the fact
of the hereafter?
Those who answer these questions in full sincerity
can come to terms with what their conscience tells them. If a person has not
heeded Allah's good pleasure throughout his life and has not done his best to
gain Allah's approval, the greatest feeling he will experience in addition to
the fear he will feel at the moment of death, will be an irrecoverable remorse.
Statements of remorse such as 'I wish I hadn't listened to such and such a person,
I wish I had kept regular prayers, I wish I had lived for Allah,' etc. will
keep crossing his mind.
Meanwhile, the impact of the moment of death will
become more intense, for these two angels will drag man to hell, as they humiliate
him. Before entering hell, everyone is questioned one by one and they see why
they are to enter hell. At this moment, man will feel unspeakable horror because
all the things he has done and thought in his entire life will be displayed
to him one by one. The thoughts he supposed no one knew, and many other events
even he himself had forgotten will be brought in front of him.
That Day people will emerge segregated to see the results
of their actions. Whoever does an atom's weight of good will see it. Whoever
oes an atom's weight of evil will see it. (Surat az-Zilzala: 6-8)
Think what will make you feel regret when your entire life in
this world is brought right in front of you in such a manner. For what kind
of things will you say 'I wish I had not done it' or 'I wish I had done it'?
The irreparable regret on that day is expressed in a verse in the Qur'an:
That is the True Day. So whoever wills should take the way
back to his Lord. We have warned you of an imminent punishment on the Day when
a man will see what he has done and the unbeliever will say: 'Oh, if only I
were dust!' (Surat an-Naba': 39-40)
Furthermore, people will feel great anger and repugnance against
themselves for what they have done in the life of this world. Yet, the anger
and resentment that Allah will feel for them will be even greater:
The unbelievers will be addressed: 'Allah's hatred of
you, when you were called to faith but then chose to refuse, is even greater
than your hatred of yourselves.' (Surah Ghafir: 10)
In the Qur'an, it is said that regret and remembrance
on that day will be of no use. By that time, everything will have ended; no
longer will it be possible to make up for what has been done in the past. The
gates of hell will be locked behind man forever:
That Day Hell is produced, that Day man will remember;
but how will the remembrance help him? He will say, 'Oh! If only I had prepared
in advance for this life of mine!' That Day no one will punish as He punishes
and no one will shackle as He shackles. (Surat al-Fajr: 23-26)
All men, even the most astray ones, will be able to
see very clearly everything that their conscience tells them at the moment of
death and while giving account, but since return is no longer possible, they
will not be able to correct their situation by following their conscience. The
purpose of this book is to reveal to people their conscience while there is
still time, and to invite them to live a life by which they can make up for
their past and feel no regret in the hereafter.
The difference between people who always follow their
conscience and people who do not, is the power of faith the conscientious people
have in Allah and the hereafter. A conscientious man always acts as if he is
being questioned on the brink of hell. By example, Allah tells us about some
of his messengers, who always remembered the hereafter:
And remember Our slaves Ibrahim, Ishaq, and Ya'qub,
men of true strength and inner sight. We purified their sincerity through sincere
remembrance of the Abode. (Surah Sad: 45- 46)