Allah has given every human being a conscience with which to distinguish between right and wrong and understand what is proper:
…And inspired it with depravity or fear of Allah, he who purifies it has succeeded. (Surat ash-Shams, 8)
Everyone can easily understand what is right and what is wrong in everything that happens to them by heeding the voice of their conscience. As revealed in the verse, the conscience that is instrumental in people avoiding evil and all that is ugly is the voice of Allah’s inspiration. In other words, a person knows what is right when he encounters any situation at all by Allah causing him to feel it in his conscience.
This is an important piece of information that the great majority of people ignore. Because in the same way as they have a responsibility to follow the Qur’an, so people also have a responsibility to heed their consciences. Everyone will be called to account in the Hereafter over whether or not they heeded the voice of their consciences. For example, if a person knows that what he says or does, or that a decision he takes or the way he reacts are incompatible with good conscience but persists in them nonetheless, if he still does them in the knowledge he is acting in bad conscience, then he is committing a sin. Or if a person knowingly does something that is not actually a sin but that he imagines to be one, then he is again committing a sin. Similarly, someone who always speaks pleasantly and behaves well under all circumstances, who is always warm, forgiving, loving and kind to the person opposite him and always spreads peace and security around exhibits these moral virtues by fully complying with Allah’s inspiration, by constantly heeding the voice of his conscience. By Allah’s leave, wisdom, reason and foresight manifests in someone who follows his conscience at every moment in the finest manner.
Since Allah inspires what is right in people by means of their consciences, everyone who does wrong, act immorally, tends to wickedness and turns away from Allah’s approval does so in the knowledge that this is wrong. For example, when a hypocrite talks against believers and foolishly plans to harm Muslims, at least in his own eyes, he does so in the full knowledge of how wrong and treacherous this is. The fact he does so while appearing to give the impression of desiring what is good does not change the facts.
The recognition in the End Times of Hazrat Mahdi (as) will also take place thanks to people’s evaluating the events they see and the signs they witness according to their consciences. In saying that the Prophet Jesus (as) and Hazrat Mahdi (as), the figures of the End Times, will be known by the light of faith, Bediüzzaman is saying that those who heed their consciences and genuinely abide by Allah’s inspiration in those consciences will be able to recognize and appreciate these holy individuals:
... THOSE PEOPLE OF THE END TIMES may perhaps be known through the light of faith.
(Bediuzzaman Said Nursi, Words, pp. 343-344)
In the same way that true Muslims, believers who followed the voice of their consciences, living at the same time as Bediuzzaman, Mawlana Khalid al-Baghdadi, Imam Rabbani or other great Islamic scholars understood the worth and value of these holy people and fully submitted to them, so every honest person who heeds the voice of his conscience in the End Times will realize who Hazrat Mahdi (as) is. In the same way that, by Allah’s leave whenever we see someone who works for Allah’s approval, who uses all his means to disseminate the moral values of Islam, who wages a serious intellectual struggle against irreligion, who suffers hardships on Allah’s path, whose work Allah makes very effective, who strives for the unity of the Muslim world, whose joyous love of Allah can be seen in everything he says and does and who possesses wisdom and foresight, we realize that this person is a holy individual of great value in the Sight of Allah, so we will be able to recognize Hazrat Mahdi (as) by heeding our consciences.
The fact that people who immediately realized when something benefitted their own interests and took wide-ranging precautions to avoid even the possibility of any harm befalling their earthly desires still failed to see the effect of the works of Bediüzzaman, Mawlana Khalid al-Baghdadi or Imam Rabbani, despite listening to them and reading their books, or rather that they refused to heed their consciences, is one of the most important signs that such people did not act in good conscience.
It is therefore clear that people who maintain that we are not living in the End Times, even though hundreds of portents listed by our Prophet (saas) have all come about, who say the coming of Hazrat Mahdi (as) is still hundreds of years away, who say that the Prophet Jesus and Hazrat Mahdi (as) will not come as individuals, who make no efforts to bring about the Turkish-Islamic Union, who do not work for Islamic Union and who behave as if there were no such issue at stake, despite our Prophet (saas) having described Hazrat Mahdi (as) in such detail, are also not acting in good conscience. Of course it is possible that such people are well intentioned but fall into these errors out of ignorance or a lack of sufficient reflection. But the important thing is the situation of those who refuse to heed their consciences, to eliminate that ignorance, to allow a climate for thought to arise even though the truth is right before their eyes. Because these people are following a path that violates their consciences, as well as behaving in a manner incompatible with the Qur’an and the Sunna.