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What is the “Court of Conscience” and how does it work?


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What is the “Court of Conscience” and how does it work?

By Mohammad Rafique Etesame

A court or court of law means a person or body of persons having judicial authority to hear and resolve disputes in civil, criminal or other cases.

But, hear the ‘court of conscience’ means the power of conscience exists in man that has the sense of right or wrong.

 The holy Qur’an makes mention,” 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. (Surah Shams: 7)

It means that man has been given a light of righteousness to recognize evil and good that was inspired in his conscience.

 

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, then this point increases by and by till it covers the full heart, and this is the rust of hearts. (Bokhare,Muslim).

The conscience of man is like a “court” working in his inner body. This court has a powerful system of investigation, check and balance and also has an ‘authority’ to enforce its decision.

 For example, if man is a guilty of the criminal law and he does not want to handover himself to the court, then this inner court holds him responsible for this crime and forces him till he handover himself to the Court of law and this is often witnessed.

But, unfortunately sometimes this court stops working. It means that the conscience of a man has been dead. The result is that this man feels no light of the good and evil and also there is no pricking sensation in his conscience about what he has done.

 

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 and 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.

The question is: what is the sign of a dead conscience?

 So, following hadith throws light on this situation, on the authority of Abu Sa'eed al-Khudree (R.A.) who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah PBUH saying, “Whosoever 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.” (Annawawi)

It means that if a man does not see an evil act as a sin the custom and habit of the time, then he cannot change it and then his conscience is dead.

 

 

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