ISLAM 101: Muslim Culture and Character: Dynamics of Spiritual Life: Part 6
Conscience, which has a central position in a person’s being and feeling that he or she is a human being, is a spiritual mechanism which wills, feels, perceives and is always open to eternity.
The will-power, feeling, mind and heart which are the “senses” or faculties of the perceptiveness of the spirit, is also the most important dynamics of conscience, by which a person is able to attain human perfection in this world and eternal happiness and vision of the Almighty in the next.
Conscience is a pure, bright mirror to the existence of God and is matchless in recognizing Him and making Him known to others, provided it has eyes to look with insight. Since collective conscience serves as an unerring and undeceiving judge, everyone should resign themselves to its verdicts and affirm it as a referee in their disputes. Duty is what God commands and Prophets carry out and communicate with others. Everyone must accept it and set themselves to do it. God, the Truth, is the Absolute Judge and conscience is the purest mirror to Him. It reflects whatever it reflects with such clarity and power that only the dread of inability to live up to its truth can cloud it, and even that most rarely. The more intellectually and spiritually disciplined one is, the more consistent and harmonious one’s thoughts and actions are. The more open to the realms beyond one’s conscience is, the more Divinely inspired and guided one’s manners are. Since conscience is the feeling and perceptive faculty of the spirit, it has always been regarded as open to the realms beyond, uncontained by space, having sound criteria and as pure as angels.
There are many judges and almost all of them issue verdicts based on the same sources, and yet their verdicts may differ. But the conscience is a judge with such penetrating insight that it can issue verdicts based on truths and its verdicts will deceive no one.
Collective conscience means the perception, discernment, and insight of the great majority of people and therefore rarely errs, especially when its knowledge is corroborated by a Divinely inspired source.