The hijab of ignorance is the veil that drapes the heart, and separates the seekers from attaining submission to and union with God, and prevents cognition of the inner reality. Our negative attributes and behaviors such as selfishness, greed, materialism, egoism, envy, our desires and using our senses in limitations, like a heavy drape, block the light of God from shining in our hearts. Therefore, we do not cognize our reality, our true “I”, and instead remain confined to only an image of reality.
Our limited perceptions create a veil. We listen to the teachings we receive from our religion, yet as “words do not convey the meanings”, instead of uncovering the reality behind words, we only see our wants and desires. For example, when we perform prayers, many of us pray not for His remembrance and to seek union with the beloved, but we do so wanting material prosperity and other desires, and that desirous image is the veil. In the Holy Qur’an is stated that the veils are on the eyes, hearing, and heart of the nonbelievers. Eliminating the veil of ignorance is the goal of the seeker of the truth. 1
God has sealed their hearts and their hearing, and over their eyes is a veil; and awesome suffering awaits them. Holy Qur’an- 2:7
Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said: there are more than 70,000 veils of light and darkness separating the seeker from the beloved. The veils of darkness refer to the veils of ignorance created by our limitations. The veils of light refer to the stages (horizons) in the journey of Self-knowledge or Seyr va Solouk, which the seeker witnesses and must pass through them to reach the destination. Any distraction or stoppage in the path is by itself a veil which creates a delay.
In time We shall make them fully understand Our messages in the utmost horizon and within themselves, so that it will become clear unto them that this [revelation] is indeed the truth. [Still,] is it not enough [for them to know] that thy Sustainer is witness unto everything?
Holy Qur’an – 41:53
- “Words do not convey the meanings”: From Molana Shah Maghsoud Sadegh Angha, Dawn (Verdugo City Ca: M.T.O. Shahmaghsoudi Publications®, 1991).