(Arab. Widschdan, Turk. Vicdan)
In contemporary Islamic thought, the conscience is understood as a power of the heart and of reason with which the individual can judge his or her own thoughts, statements, and deeds and that helps one to arrive at a clear distinction between good and evil. Accordingly, the conscience is one of the key sources of morals (akhlaq). The word ‘conscience’ as such does not occur in the Qur’an, but it is closely related to the expressions found there, such as natural disposition (fitra) and heart (reason). In Islamic moral philosophy, the meaning of the word ‘conscience’ is discussed on the basis of related terms found in the Qur’an and in the hadiths. Many Muslim scholars have pointed out that Qur’anic designations such as those of understanding (ulu l-albab), soul (nafs) or astuteness (basira) are direct or indirect indications of the conscience. Examples of this include statements in the Qur’an to the effect that many occurrences in the world also conceal signs for those of understanding (3:190), that polytheists lie to themselves against their own better judgment (6:24), and that Muslims’ awareness of having failed, for no reason, to fulfil an important societal obligation is a source of great burden to them (9:118). Likewise, the fact is addressed that, out of pure arrogance, some people have wantonly rejected verses that God revealed to the prophets even though they were inwardly convinced of their correctness (27:14). Qur’anic verses such as these identify the conscience as a part of human nature and the associated inclination to do good.