What Compels Man to Commit Evil

Morality: a system of values and principles of conduct; the distinction between right and wrong. But what determines the morality that has been governing us since humans started to evolve? What would ever keep one from committing a sin? Is it the norms of society, the fear of being caught and punished, the fear of God, or the simple fear of the little guardian angel sealed inside our souls which we call the conscience. It is basic human instinct that establishes the concept of morality — of vice and virtue. We all come engraved with a certain propensity towards love, kindness, care, and all that is moral. The sense of distinguishing right from wrong is not what we infer from our worldly existence, or are taught by others in some way, but is something what you could probably call a built-in function of our systems. In addition to this, we come with a soul — one encapsulated within us by the Almighty which leads to the self awareness that marks us as the elect. 

However, where the essence and insight of morality run so languidly in our blood, the strong impulses of evil and immorality too are deeply-rooted within us. Morality and immorality are two rivers falling into the same sea, but either of them outlasts the other and prevails. Humans’ psyche or their emotional inner self is inherently restless. It strives to respond to every impulse, give action to every desire, and live itself fully; beyond the scales of morality. It is filled with dreams and passions that can overwhelm one’s senses and make him indifferent between right and wrong; a slave of his own ambitions. Lost in the love of individuality, it accumulates the mind with ego, pride, greed, lust, envy, and love of all material worldly commodities. Such temptations threaten to supersede the conscience, making evil and disgraceful acts appear so seductive and undeniable, and morality so far-fetched. It is like the little red devil lurking behind every human soul, intriguing it to give in to its ego, and which results in the latent maring of the soul. Hence, the question arises, “what prevents this little red devil from taking over?”

If it is conscience which feeds the soul with enough courage to resist these evil impulses, it is faith which feeds the conscience. Outright faith in the One Supreme Creator, Allah, and knowledge of the true conceptions behind the entitlement of every false deed as ‘unlawful’ or unscrupulous would eventually hold one from yielding to his immoral side. The extent of one’s belief and knowledge determines how strong his conscience is  and then it leads him to the point where he is in accord with himself, and all those acts of self-denial cease to trouble him as foregone pleasures. He becomes naturally disposed to avoid falsehood and is inclined to all what his soul was initially made for: to distinguish right from wrong and hence prove the supremacy of faith and morality over all forces of evil. Our Lord provides us with all the knowledge, wisdom, and courage to counter anything that may compel us to descend the standard of virtues which are exclusively characteristic of us as His beings. Our soul comes pure, devoid of all evil and sin, but it is then left on us to maintain their sanctity and persevere. The soul aspires to be free, but setting it free by caging one’s immediate inner self becomes the ultimate act of purification. The soul reaches us from God’s abode, hence we must preserve it so it ascends back to Him as something even more sanctified and sinless.

Hadia Shehzad
TLC Writer

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