The Torn Veil
18 August 2010
The Torn Veil by Gulshan Esther is a book that has a lot of similarities to another book I reviewed recently, I Dared to Call Him Father. Each story begins in 1966. Each author is an unmarried, wealthy, upper-class Pakistani woman — and both have supernatural encounters with Yeshua (Jesus, Isa) which cause them to take radical public stands for Him in the midst of their hostile Islamic culture. The main difference between them is forty years: in 1966 Gulshan was 14 years old, while Bilquis was 54. The other main difference is that Gulshan had been crippled almost since birth, but was miraculously healed by Yeshua after the best doctors in the world and years of prayer to Allah failed to bring results. Each book unfolds an amazing story, and both are well worth reading.
Following are some of the highlights from The Torn Veil:
Why was Allah so far away, and so silent? Perhaps my forefathers had sinned terribly. Perhaps Allah wanted to see more patience in me ... yes, but I had had patience, and I was still sick. Perhaps, then, I would never be healed. My heart felt as if it were being squeezed, and the tears flowed unchecked. It was, then, out of sheer helplessness, that I began to talk to God, really talk to Him, not as a Muslim does, using set prayers, approaching Him across a great gulf. Driven by a vast emptiness inside I prayed as if talking to One who knew my circumstances and my need.
The silence was so deep and still that I could hear the beating of my heart. "I won't let you die. I will keep you alive." It was a low, gentle voice, like a breath of wind passing over me. I know there was a voice, and that it spoke in my language, and that with it came a new freedom to approach God the Supreme Being, who until then had not given me any indication that He even knew of my existence. The voice came again, vibrant and low. "Who gave eyes to the blind, and who made the sick whole, and who healed the lepers and who raised the dead? I am Jesus, son of Mary. Read about Me in the Quran, in the Sura Maryam."
I wanted so much to hear that voice again, with its assurance that my prayers were heard and that there was a way of healing and hope. The way to hear it again, I knew instinctively, was to obey its instructions and read. And so, full of curiosity, with not the least idea of how momentous an act it was, I opened the book and began to read.
For years I had read the Holy Quran devotedly and prayed regularly, but I had gradually lost all hope that my condition would change. Now, however, I began to believe that what was written about Jesus was true — that he did miracles, was alive — and that he could heal me.
"O Jesus, son of Mary, it says in the Holy Quran that you have raised the dead and healed the lepers and done miracles. So heal me too." As I prayed this prayer my hopes grew stronger. It was strange, because in years of Muslim praying I had never felt certain that I could be healed. "Oh Jesus, Son of Maryam, heal me." The more I prayed, the more I was drawn to this shadowy, secondary figure in the Holy Quran, who had power that Mohammed himself never claimed. Where was it written that Muhammed healed the sick and raised the dead?
I've been doing this for so long and I'm still a cripple. Why hadn't I been healed, though I'd prayed for three years? "Look, you are alive in heaven, and it says in the Holy Quran about you that you have healed people. You can heal me, and yet I'm still a cripple." Why was there no answer, only this stony silence in the room, that mocked my prayers? I said his name again, and pleaded my case, in despair. Still there was no answer. Then I cried out in a fever of pain, "If you are able to, heal me — otherwise tell me." I could go no further along this road.
What happened next is something that I find hard to put into words. I know that the whole room filled with light.... I then became aware of figures in long robes, standing in the midst of the light, some feet from my bed. There were 12 figures in a row and the figure in the middle, the thirteenth, was larger and brighter than the others. "Oh God," I cried, and the perspiration broke out on my forehead. I bowed my head and I prayed, "Oh God, who are these people, and how have they come here when all the windows and doors are shut?"
Suddenly a voice said, "Get up. This is the path you have been seeking. I am Jesus Son of Mary, to whom you have been praying, and now I am standing in front of you. You get up and come to me." I started to weep. "Oh Jesus, I'm crippled. I can't get up." He said, "Stand up and come to me. I am Jesus." When I hesitated he said it a second time. Then as I still doubted he said for the third time, "Stand up."
And I, who had been crippled on my bed for nineteen years, felt new strength flowing into my wasted limbs. I put my foot on the ground and stood up. Then I ran a few paces and fell at the feet of the vision. I was bathing in the purest light and it was burning as bright as the sun and moon together. The light shone into my heart and into my mind and many things became clear to me at that moment. Jesus put his hand on the top of my head and I saw a hole in his hand from which a ray of light struck down upon my garments, so that the green dress looked white.
He said: "I am Jesus. I am Immanuel. I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. I am alive, and I am soon coming. See, from today you are my witness. What you have seen now with your eyes you must take to my people. My people are your people, and you must remain faithful to take that to my people. Now you have to keep this robe and your body spotless. Wherever you go I will be with you...."
I wanted to remain there at the feet of Jesus, praying this new name of God — "Our Father" ... but the Jesus vision had more to say to me. "Read in the Quran, I am alive and coming soon." This I had been taught and it gave me faith in what I was hearing. Jesus said much more. I was so full of joy. It could not be described.
I looked at my arm and leg. There was flesh on them. My hand was not perfect, nevertheless it had strength, and was no longer withered and wasted. "Why don't You make it all whole?" I asked. The answer came lovingly: "I want you to be my witness."
The figures were going up out of my sight and fading. I wanted Jesus to stay a little longer, and I cried out with sorrow. Then the light went and I found myself alone, standing in the middle of the room, wearing a white garment, and with my eyes heavy from the dazzling light.... I had not imagined the scene, however, for I had the evidence in my body. My limbs were unmistakenly healthy on the side that had been paralyzed. Oh, the joy I felt. "Father," I cried. "Our Father which art in heaven." It was a new and wonderful prayer....
I achieved instant fame as a walking miracle.... I felt as if I had woken from nineteen years of sleep.... I told everyone how Jesus had healed me.... it can be very difficult to argue with a walking miracle — it has a moral force of its own.
I had been given a new vocabulary for speaking to God. "Our Father" — oh, these were words that made me see God in a new light. He was Supreme Being, yes, but He was also the father I had lost. "How good of you to be my Father," I wept in the night, and felt the inexpressible comfort of love reaching down to me. The old black fear that God was somehow angry with me, departed.... I now saw that Jesus was not just a poor, secondary prophet, he was an eternal king, and would be coming again to bring in a heavenly kingdom on earth, as in heaven.... Only Jesus could save me from the strong pull back to the safety of Islam, which was coming increasingly from my family.
To call Him "Father" was to make Him responsible for my life and happiness, just as my earthly father had been. So I reasoned, and so I prayed, as happy as a child can be when it has been lost in a crowed bazaar, and then found by its father. I longed to know more, perhaps to get a copy of the Christians' book.... I felt the distance between myself and my family growing with every second. How could religion breed such hatred that they would rather see me dead, than telling a truth they didn't agree with? So I told them, "I am waiting for the answer of Jesus to me. He will tell me what to do next. When I hear the order I'll obey Him, and even if you kill me I'll do it."
There is a lot more exciting action in the book, like how Jesus led her to find her own copy of the Bible, how Jesus led her to be baptized, how Jesus used her to raise her sister from the dead, how she was betrayed by a family friend and sent to prison, how Jesus led her into an international speaking ministry, and more! You won't want to miss "the rest of the story" — be sure to get your copy today! And then pray that the veil will be torn for a multitude of Muslims around the world in our own day.