Sensing Insincerity: The Sixth Sense
People who harbor immorality in their hearts make every effort to conceal it from the faithful. Their apparent way of life, speech, behavior, the things they do and the way they lead their lives all resemble those of the pious. Indeed, they do not seem very different, for they conceal their immorality and secretly experience the suffering that it entails. Despite this, however, some of their attitudes reveal the different spiritual state they experience. Strikingly, it is not only the believers who notice this situation. Though lacking concrete evidence, within a short while, even a person who has adopted the ignorant society's beliefs can form an idea of whether someone is sincere or not. This is a truth known in every society. For instance, as well as using evidence, a judge bases his verdict about an accused on his behavior and his words, the way he speaks, his eyes and the opinion others form about him. In the same way, even if there exists no evidence against him, a guilty person's eyes, speech and behavior cause an ineffable discomfort in other people and make them believe he may be guilty.
While hiring employees, as well as considering applicants' backgrounds, companies also interview the candidates. During the course of these interviews, the answers they receive and their observations about an applicant's behavior provide the authorities with enough information to form an impression of the candidate's appetite for work, his discipline and reliability. Thus the impression formed during the interview becomes influential in accepting or rejecting the candidate.
This is also the case with believers, who recognize a person who may display insincere attitudes in some particular situations. In fact, because they think according to the Qur'an, with the wisdom and perception granted to them by Allah, believers can form more accurate opinions. Trying to explain these judgments to others, they may fail to provide concrete evidence to prove their point, for these are matters that cannot be clearly expressed. This talent for discernment can be referred to as a "sixth sense." With it, people feel whether a person is sincere, merely by the inspiration of Allah.
Even if an insincere person is no different from believers in how he eats, drinks, laughs and talks, and exhibits no irritating behavior, still the faithful can sense the difference in him. Here, indeed, the term "negative vibes" widely used in society, finds its full impact. The faithful realize the negative spiritual state distanced from the morality of the Qur'an of these people from the negative impressions they give off—since unlike believers, they do not enjoy a tranquil, sincere, relaxed and comfortable spiritual state.
The difference in their speech is another sign that the sixth sense can detect. In insincere people's speech, there may be nothing out of the ordinary. They may say almost exactly the same things as believers, but in their manner of speaking, a difference still becomes discernible. There is a tension in their tone of voice, the way the words come out, their flow and modulation that creates serious discomfort in the hearts of the sincere. In addition, such behavior as trying to push themselves to the fore among speakers, using expressions that pander to their ego and speaking according to a negative plan in their heads give them away.
These people's negative aspects are felt by everyone in the room. When asked their opinions, these others seem to share the same opinion as everybody else. Common opinions about a person can be important in detecting insincerity.
People usually take the phrase "sixth sense" to mean seeing into the future, knowing about events before they happen, giving information about the unseen, and similar other things which are impossible without the will of Allah. As we are told in the verse, "The keys of the Unseen are in His possession. No one knows them but Him..." (Surat al-Anam: 59), no one other than Allah can know the unseen. What is meant by "the sixth sense" here is different: Felt by Allah's will, it makes one sense events that are happening at that moment, and not in the future.
For this reason, by Allah's will, it is impossible for a person to conceal his insincerity from the faithful. According to the Qur'an's morality, what befits a person in such a situation is to set forth honestly whatever is defective or mistaken in one's heart. This way, it is much easier to compensate for mistakes and attain sincerity by the support of the faithful. Otherwise, every concealed insincerity will bring yet another and further distance the sufferer from the morality of the Qur'an.
Another point deserves mention here. By their sixth sense, the faithful can sense the immorality and insincerity of others. However, the faithful remain aware that humans can always err and their hearts are in Allah's hands. They make no accusations against these people out of their consciences and sense of justice. A negative impression sensed is only a feeling, not evidence. In such a situation, a believer seized by such an impression takes any necessary measures to avoid possible harm. But he will never arrive at a judgment about someone's heart or accuses him of insincerity. For so long as a person does not openly confess, only Allah knows what is in his heart.