I have nothing against the veil. And I think that, wrongly, many in the West look at the veil as a symbol of oppression. Now, as long as a woman chooses to wear the veil, because that's her belief and because of her own - that's a personal relationship with God, so she should be free to dress in whichever way she wants.
Queen Rania of Jordan
Women in America read 'lifestyle' pages which are really glorifications of shopping. They teach us we must veil ourselves in make-up to be loved. And we willingly take the veil, thinking ourselves freed by it. Make-up is no more optional for us than the veil is for Arab women: it is our Western version of the chador.
The veil deliberately marks women as private and restricted property, nonpersons. The veil sets women apart from men and apart from the world; it restrains them, confines them, grooms them for docility. A mind can be cramped just as a body may be, and a Muslim veil blinkers both your vision and your destiny. It is the mark of a kind of apartheid, not the domination of a race but of a sex.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
It's like everybody's sitting there and they have some kind of veil over their face, and they look at each other through this veil that makes them see each other through some stereotypical kind of viewpoint. If we're ever gonna collectively begin to grapple with the problems that we have collectively, we're gonna have to move back the veil and deal with each other on a more human level.
The Quran says nothing about the veil, except for an injunction to veil the bosom, which is obvious. As for the face, Muhammad's wife Khadijeh never wore the veil, nor did the other wives of the Prophet after Khadijeh died. [...] The ulema have twisted the Quran with their hadith, always twisting it toward those in power, until the message Muhammad laid out so clearly, straight from God, has been reversed, and good Muslim women are made like slaves again, or worse.
Kim Stanley Robinson
The wonderful thing is that the soul already knows to some extent that there is something behind the veil, the veil of perplexity, that there is something to be sought for in the highest spheres of life, that there is some beauty to be seen, that there is Someone to be known who is knowable.
Hazrat Inayat Khan
I am afraid that old women are more skeptical in their most secret heart of hearts than any man: they believe in the superficiality of existence as in its essence, and all virtue and profundity is to them merely a veil over this "truth," a most welcome veil over a pudendum--and so a matter of decency and modesty, and nothing else.
Heart beats are marching like thousands of drums, Birds find their flight, thrown out of nest, We win some battles, then we lose some, Truth is no more than illusion at best. What has been said under veil of the night, Under the veil it will ever remain, But may it ever be in my right, I know i have never said it in vain.
It is not an arbitrary "decree of God," but in the nature of man, that a veil shuts down on the facts of to-morrow; for the soul will not have us read any other cipher than that of cause and effect. By this veil, which curtains events, it instructs the children of men to live in to-day.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
A veil hangs between the two opposites, a mere slip of a thing that is transparent to warn us or comfort us. You hate now but look through this veil and see the possibility of love; you're sad now but look through to the other side and see happiness. Absolute composure to a complete mess - it happens so quickly, all in the blink of an eye.
...Nature-the word that stands for the baffling mysteries of the Universe. Steadily, unflinchingly, we strive to pierce the inmost heart of Nature, from what she is to reconstruct what she has been, and to prophesy what she yet shall be. Veil after veil we have lifted, and her face grows more beautiful, august, and wonderful, with every barrier that is withdrawn.
[she used to say that] each of us has a veil between ourselves and the rest of the world - like a bride wears on her wedding day-except this kind of veil is invisible. we walk around happily with these invisible veils hanging down over our faces. the world is kind of blurry. we like it that way. but sometimes our veils are pushed away for a few moments - like there's a wind blowing it from our faces - and when the veil lifts, we can see the world as it really is, just for those few seconds before it settles down again. we see all the beauty and cruelty and sadness and love, but mostly we are happy not to. some people learn to lift the veils themselves. then they don't have to depend on the wind anymore... it's just her way of saying that most of the time people get distracted by little stuff, and ignore the big stuff.
With the veil removed by the rending of Jesus' flesh, with nothing on God's side to prevent us from entering, why do we tarry without? Why do we consent to abide all our days just outside the Holy of Holies and never enter at all to look upon God? We hear the Bridegroom say, `Let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice and thy countenance is comely.' (Song of Sol 2:14) We sense that the call is for us, but still we fail to draw near, and the years pass and we grow old and tired in the outer courts of the tabernacle. What doth hinder us? The answer usually given, simply that we are `cold,' will not explain all the facts. There is something more serious than coldness of heart, something that may be back of that coldness and be the cause of its existence. What is it? What but the presence of a veil in out hearts? A veil not taken away as the first veil was, but which remains there still shutting out the light and hiding the face of God from us. It is the veil of our fleshly fallen nature living on, unjudged within us, uncrucified and unrepudiated. It is the close- woven veil of the self-life which we have never truly acknowledged, of which we have been secretly ashamed, and which for these reasons we have never brought to the judgment of the cross. It is not too mysterious, this opaque veil, nor is it hard to identify. We have but to look in our own hearts and we shall see it there, sewn and patched and repaired it may be, but there nevertheless, an enemy to our lives and an effective block to our spiritual progress. This veil is not a beautiful thing and it is not a thing about which we commonly care to talk, but I am addressing the thirsting souls who are determined to follow God, and I know they will not turn back because the way leads temporarily through the blackened hills. The urge of God within them will assure their continuing the pursuit. They will face the facts however unpleasant and endure the cross for the joy set before them. So I am bold to mane the threads out of which this inner veil is woven. It is woven of the fine threads of the self-life, the hyphenated sins of the human spirit. They are not something we do, they are something we are, and therein lies both their subtlety and their power.
Some labor this side of the veil, others on the other side of the veil. If we tarry here we expect to labor in the cause of salvation and if we go hence we expect to continue our work until the coming of the Son of Man. The only difference is, while we are here we are subject to pain and sorrow, while they on the other side are free from affliction of every kind.
She felt her future close upon her but unseen, like the sea behind the blowing veil of snow... She would follow Llyr's advice and face it a little every day... Day by day, step by step life would go forward. Eventually, the veil would lift, the cold would yield to the sun's warmth, and the world would be reborn. This dark time would pass.
It was clear to me by now that studying Islam was one thing - and absolutely worthwhile, because it helped me grasp the meaning of the religion and how it all fitted together. However, I felt as though I was standing in front of a shop window full of lovely things, and all I could do was admire them from afar. I was still separated from them by the window, or, as Muslims might say, a veil. In order to lift this veil, there was only one way forward: to get down onto the prayer mat and start living according to Islamic principles.
I'd always thought that my awkwardness was a thin veil disguising the real me. The me that was funny and could write songs that touched people. The me that would one day find some beautiful, intelligent boy who'd recognize me as his soul mate. The me who was secretly pretty and stylish if only someone would lift the veil and see. But I was beginning to suspect that underneath the awkwardness there was just more awkwardness and not much else. And that would explain why I stood in a room full of people and felt like the loneliest girl in the world.
There is a secret earth gyrm, a place where the unbelievable, the unthinkable, the terrible, takes place every day. A place hidden by the veils of ignorance and cowardice and fear. On occasions we glimpse it, when its hidden terrors fall through that veil into plain sight, but mostly we just dismiss it as something else, somewhere else, to be dealt with by someone else. Long ago I found the veil and lifted it. And knowing as I do what is behind, what those behind it get away with, with impunity... I cannot grow old basking on the bank of some safe-haven, no.
Lord, how excellent are Thy ways, and how devious and dark are the ways of man. Show us how to die, that we may rise again to newness of life. Rend the veil of our self-life from the top down as Thou didst rend the veil of the Temple. We would draw near in full assurance of faith. We would dwell with Thee in daily experience here on this earth so that we may be accustomed to the glory when we enter Thy heaven to dwell with Thee there. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Remember that in ascending to the Father You could not leave us orphans; And in making yourself a prisoner on earth You knew to veil all your divine rays. But the shadow of your veil is luminous and pure. Living Bread of faith, Celestial Food, O mystery of love! My daily Bread, Jesus, is You!... Jesus, it is you who, despite the blasphemies Of the enemies of the Sacrament of love, It is you who want to show how much you love me, Since you make your dwelling in my heart. O Bread of the exiled! Holy and Divine Host, It is no longer I who live, but I live on your life
Therese of Lisieux
Lift Not The Painted Veil Lift not the painted veil which those who live Call Life: though unreal shapes be pictured there, And it but mimic all we would believe With colours idly spread, -behind, lurk Fear And Hope, twin Destinies; who ever weave Their shadows, o'er the chasm, sightless and drear. I knew one who had lifted it-he sought, For his lost heart was tender, things to love, But found them not, alas! nor was there aught The world contains, the which he could approve. Through the unheeding many he did move, A splendour among shadows, a bright blot Upon this gloomy scene, a Spirit that strove For truth, and like the Preacher found it not.
Percy Bysshe Shelley
Let us remember: when we talk of the rending of the veil we are speaking in a figure, and the thought of it is poetical, almost pleasant; but in actuality there is nothing pleasant about it. In human experience that veil is made of living spiritual tissue; it is composed of the sentient, quivering stuff of which our whole beings consist, and to touch it is to touch us where we feel pain. To tear it away is to injure us, to hurt us and make us bleed. To say otherwise is to make the cross no cross and death no death at all. It is never fun to die. To rip through the dear and tender stuff of which life is made can never be anything but deeply painful. Yet that is what the cross did to Jesus and it is what the cross would do to every man to set him free.
I got an image in my head that never got out. We see a great many things and can remember a great many things, but that is different. We get very few of the true images in our heads of the kind I am talking about, the kind that become more and more vivid for us as if the passage of the years did not obscure their reality but, year by year, drew off another veil to expose a meaning which we had only dimly surmised at first. Very probably the last veil will not be removed, for there are not enough years, but the brightness of the image increases and our conviction increases that the brightness is meaning, or the legend of meaning, and without the image our lives would be nothing except an old piece of film rolled on a spool and thrown into a desk drawer among the unanswered letters.
Robert Penn Warren
I was set free! I dissolved in the sea, became white sails and flying spray, became beauty and rhythm, became moonlight and the ship and the high dim-starred sky! I belonged, without past or future, within peace and unity and a wild joy, within something greater than my own life, or the life of Man, to Life itself!.. And several other times in my life, when I was swimming far out, or lying alone on a beach, I have had the same experience, became the sun, the hot sand, green seaweed anchored to a rock, swaying in the tide. Like a saint's vision of beatitude. Like the veil of things as they seem drawn back by an unseen hand. For a second you see, and seeing the secret, you are the secret. For a second there is meaning! Then the hand lets the veil fall and you are alone, lost in the fog again, and you stumble on towards nowhere for no good reason.
Let us beware of tinkering with our inner life in hope ourselves to rend the veil. God must do everything for us. Our part is to yield and trust. We must confess, forsake, repudiate the self-life, and then reckon it crucified. But we must be careful to distinguish lazy `acceptance' from the real work of God. We must insist upon the work being done. We dare not rest content with a neat doctrine of self-crucifixion. That is to imitate Saul and spare the best of the sheep and the oxen. Insist that the work be done in very truth and it will be done. The cross is rough, and it is deadly, but it is effective. It does not keep its victim hanging there forever. There comes a moment when its work is finished and the suffering victim dies. After that is resurrection glory and power, and the pain is forgotten for joy that the veil is taken away and we have entered in actual spiritual experience the Presence of the living God.