Simultaneous manifestation of angelic and satanic attributes in human beings differentiates them from angels. It is the incorporation of the two contrasting traits in man which bestows him superiority over the angels because the angels are free from any possible susceptibility and vulnerability to go astray, while as human beings have a tendency to resort to topsy-turvy ways. So, absolute obedience of the angels to almighty Allah (SWT) is not any marvel, rather they are programmed to adhere to complete submission and subordination to God. On the other hand, the assimilation of carnal desires in man though dormant, intensifies his probable chances to fell prey to vices and resort to awry ways.
A restraint applied by man to suppress his unwanted desires which are embodied in him, elevate his ranks above all the creatures in this world. Man would have definitely lost the title of viceroy of the universe to the angels, if there had been no free will integrated in him. In other terms, he would have been only at par with the angels, but in no way superior to them. The superiority over the angels is an award for his prudence to curb his manifested negative desires and emotions which otherwise activate animal in him. Moulana Altaf Hussain Hali (RA) could not have conceived the famous couplet - Farishtay Say Behtar Hai Insaan Ban-na, if there had been no predisposition of frailty in man.
The vivid and predominant prominence of man over the angels is subject to his capacity to choose angelic attributes over devilish ones. Means, he has the discretion to select his priorities. Crown of Ashraful Makhlooqat on the head of the man is subject to his power to subdue his negative emotions. He may slide down the hill to the lowest of low, if he lets his animal instincts to worship his ego. Those who fail to apply reticence, end up as savages and beasts, rather the crown is snatched in such cases. Contemporary era is witness to chaos, turbulence, murder of cherished human values, conflicts etc, because animal in the man has grown corpulent.
Now, a billion dollar question pops up in our minds here. If Allah (SWT) has given free will to His beloved slave, then why is he being blamed for misadventures and violation of set laws? Allah (SWT) has not thrusted hardships on his slave. Almighty Allah (SWT) has enabled man with an ability to choose things for himself. Here, Allah (SWT) has come to the rescue of the man. He (SWT) has blessed the man with an abstract awakener that helps man to exploit his angelic stuff to the best possible extent, and to keep the vile and obnoxious things at dormancy. This awakener is called conscience.
The conscience is the inner voice incorporated in every human being to safeguard and burgeon the ethereal and angelic traits manifested in the noblest creation of Allah (SWT). It is probably that abstract insider which admonishes and reprimands us when we commit a sin or make a mistake. It alarms us at right times from crossing the delicate line. And it is the divinely endowment which lets us to distinguish between right and wrong. The ability to choose good and to reject bad, makes us different from other creatures in this world.
Many mammals though resemble us closely in terms of eating, walking and sleeping; and many higher animals even exhibit certain characteristic features which human beings possess. But, the presence of the conscience inside us makes us taller than other creatures of this universe. The insider helps us to draw the line between the satanic and the angelic traits which run parallel to each other. Many will blame the already manifested demoniac and fiendish human traits for annihilation and destruction of human values and morals. But, it is the assassination of that insider (conscience) that leads to chaotic times in human societies. When the abstract awakener is murdered, then human beings become mere animals.
Now, one may wonder that what kills the conscience? Though the conscience needs no food, water and air to live but its survival is subject to the legitimacy of our food and earnings. Forbidden and illicitly earned food strangulates and suffocates it. Verboten and illegal means of earning poisons it. Virtues like love, integrity, honesty, sincerity, service, sympathy, empathy, charity, patience, kindness, humility, compassion, courage, generosity, forgiveness, gratitude and modesty nutrify and nourish the conscientious faculties in a man. While as the vices like greed, avarice, jealousy, gluttony, lust, arrogance, cowardice, vanity and wrath assassinates the conscience. The vices have deluged human existence on the planet earth. Consequently, our conscience has died. And a man with a dead conscience is no better than quadruped creature. Inert animal instincts embodied in human beings are scratched and ignited in the absence of the conscience. In such a scenario, vicious thinking begins to rule the thought process of ibni-adam. Resultantly, the man becomes a virtual varmint.
In today’s materialistic world, murder of the conscience has blinded our eyes, and man is behaving like a beast. Concept of obedience to omnipresent and omnipotent Allah (SWT) is no longer under our consideration though we are born in Muslim families. Contemporary people look at everything through self centered prism. They thrive hard for the fulfillment of wordly desires, go to any extent to accumulate wealth, descend below the beasts to satiate their hunger. We have become slaves of our own desires. And the lust of this temporal world has removed the enlightenment and fear of Allah (SWT) from our hearts, and we have lost the vision to see things in the right perspective. We have been reduced to the lowest of low and the divine retribution has become inevitable for us.
Nowadays every so-called professional of our society (albeit a few God fearing ones) resort to unfair ways while discharging their professional duties. Statesmen have become too ambitious to care for the world peace and universal brotherhood. They have forgotten their subjects to grind their selfish axes of ambition, anarchism, ego and pride. The world peace is at stake. Any escalation between nuclear giants of the world can perish it in a few minutes. Human blood is probably the cheapest thing in the contemporary era. Treachery and deception is the routine of our times. Good virtues are gone and vices are growing day in, day out. Alas! The conscience of ibni-adam is showing no signs of life.
(The author is a Teacher and Rising Kashmir Columnist. He can be reached at email@example.com)