There is a lot of wisdom concealed in the saying under reference. God has created man with a free will and blessed him with a tool to discern between good and evil. So, in simple words, conscience is the voice of the soul, implanted in man by God to help him tread the right path. Conscience acts as a reminding tool for man as far as God’s commandments are concerned. It also acts as an admonisher and instrument of reprimand, whenever man goes astray. Finally, it helps man to choose between right and wrong and, evil and good by acting as a judge.
“Conscience is the chamber of justice.” – (Origen)
In other words, the conscience helps and guides man to do whatever God wants him to do, and admonish man when he does not obey his creator. So in a way, conscience is the voice of God in man, and it can be tantamount to God’s very presence in man. Remarked Christopher Reeve, “I think we all have a little voice inside us that will guide us. It may be God, I don’t know. But I think that if we shut out all the noise and clutter from our lives and listen to that voice, it will tell us the right thing to do.”
As conscience tries to keep a man on the right path, it strengthens the relation between the created and the creator. So, the stronger the conscience is the virtuous the man would become. And the virtuous a man is, the stronger is his relation with his Lord. That’s why all the religions stress upon the importance of developing spirituality and inner self. As the poet said;
“Like Rumi, Attar, Ghazzali and Razi, One may be mystic great or wise,
But none can reach his goal and aim without the help of morning sighs.”
To conclude, the conscience is an inbuilt mechanism that helps and guides a man to remain on the path which has been selected for him by his Master. In this sense, conscience is tantamount to God’s presence in man. No wonder the Holy Prophet said that a believer’s (Momin) heart is the best judge (Mufti). And no wonder all the mystics stresses upon the importance and significance of this inner voice (conscience). To quote a Sufi poet, Bulleh Shah;
“You read so many books to know it all, yet fail to ever read thyself at all.
You run to enter temples and mosques But you never entered in the shrine of your heart”