“Journey Through Ten Thousand Veils, Alchemy of Transformation on the Sufi Path” by Sheikha Maryam Kabeer Faye

[Philadelphia, PA – January 11, 2010] – Maryam Kabeer Faye, author of the recently released “Journey Through Ten Thousand Veils: The Alchemy of Transformation on the Sufi Path” [Tughra Books, 305 pp], writes the spiritual seeker’s story, in this case her story, of the quest for truth, illumination and nearness to God.

When she was twelve years old, Maryam was given a painted scroll picturing an ancient wanderer, upon which were inscribed the words:" Seek and The Truth Shall Make You Free."  This message galvanized her soul and determined the course of her life. Following the call, she set out on a journey, internally and then externally, and was guided around the world many times, from one remarkable being to the next, everywhere collecting messages and clues.

The recipient of USA Book News’ National Best Book 2009 Award for Spirituality, Journey Through Ten Thousand Veils charts the story of this journey through the physical and spiritual world, and of the trials and joys the author experiences on her spiritual quest. It is a traveler’s tale hailed by reviewers as “inspirational” – “a spiritual door opener for people of many religions and cultures” - “exaltedly symphonic.” While the book is one person’s story, it has been extolled as a roadmap with which many seekers from different faiths can universally identify.

Ms. Kabeer Faye, a Muslim in the Sufi mystical tradition, affirms that Islam is a religion of light, love and peace that is founded upon justice. “The divine revelation given to the Prophet Muhammad is the fulfilment of the sacred revelations brought by the earlier prophets, to complete and not to deny them,” she says.

“As the Qur’an states,” she says, “Muhammad was sent as mercy for all people. Therefore, actions of ruthless violence, which invoke the Holy Qur’an as their justification, are deviations from the true intent of these scriptures. They are heinous aberrations and not reflections of true Islam,” says the author.

“Every chapter of the Holy Qur’an (except one) begins with the words, ‘In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate.’ Just like the chapters of the Qur’an, as Muslims our actions and intentions must be guided by God’s Mercy and Compassion," says the author.

“Another of the attributes of the Creator, which is written in the name, Islam, is Salam --- - Peace. Certainly this is what we all, as His creations, need – to turn toward the One who is Eternal Peace. This Peace is linked to another divine attribute, and that is Justice. To attain real peace in the world, this peace must be based upon true justice. We must want for all our fellow beings what we want for ourselves. We must want God’s Mercy, Love, Help, and Provision to be bestowed upon all His creations, just as we wish it to be bestowed upon ourselves, and our own children. In following the guidance of the Merciful Lord, in manifesting love, mercy and compassion, we seek peace for all that is based upon justice,” she says.

“What we have seen in terrorist attacks are merciless, violent acts that do not in any way represent the true teaching of Islam,”says Ms. Kabeer Faye. “On the contrary, suicide and the killing of innocents are strictly forbidden in Islam, whereas tolerance, kindness and charity are commanded by God, the Merciful. 

Whoever instigated such activities in the name of the Qur’an has hijacked Islam with an agenda that has nothing to do with the purity and sacredness of this Holy Book, and the way of life guiding humanity to the Divine Goal. "

In Journey Through Ten Thousand Veils, the author paints a picture of a glorious, golden chain of individuals of all faiths and types who welcome her on her journey, contribute to her progress, and accompany her along her way. Descriptions of the many cities and towns where she stayed and the regions she traversed are intense, vivid and colorful.

Among the life passages she recounts are her childhood and early youth in Sixties California as a girl born to Jewish parents; her experience of the warmth and hospitality shown her in Afghanistan and Pakistan before the region became wracked by war; and a moving description of her pilgrimage to Mecca that mystically reveals its inner meaning to believers of deep faith.

On her journey, Maryam was led to live in India and Nepal, as well as in monasteries in Europe, and then guided to embrace Islam at the hands of an ancient Sufi Master a few minutes away from the tomb of the Prophet Abraham. She then was guided to study intensively with Sufi Masters around the world.

“It is on this journey throughout the world that I met such wise people and learned to appreciate their beautiful qualities and knowledge, discovering in this way, the light of Islam, which was guiding them,” says Ms. Kabeer Faye. “What these educators of the soul taught was the very opposite of terrorism, and this is the teaching that I am now transmitting through my book and my life,” the author says.

Ms. Kabeer Faye’s journey to the holy places and people of the earth, led her finally to Africa and the deep truth that all lives are totally interconnected and united with our own. “This profound realization dispelled the great myth that the creations of the One Most Loving Creator can be separated by any racial, national, or cultural distinctions,” she says.

Journey Through Ten Thousand Veils is social commentary dispelling many other myths and stereotypes such as the proposition, often fostered by the media, that women are inevitably oppressed in Islam. On the contrary, it is by entering into the heart of Islam, the author says, that she was liberated, elevated, empowered, and guided to realize the true purpose of her existence.

“It is my deep hope and prayer that we, human beings, all creations of one loving Creator, can learn to understand, respect, and communicate with our fellow beings as our Creator would wish us to,’ says Sheikha MaryamKabeer Faye. “May this book, and the information it contains, help to usher in an epoch of brotherly and sisterly love, so needed in this time of war and destruction.”

Ms. Kabeer Faye says that the essence of Islam is reflected in a passage related from Prophet Muhammad himself:
“What actions are most excellent?
To gladden the heart of a human being,
To feed the hungry,
To help the afflicted,
To lighten the sorrow of the sorrowful,
To remove the wrongs of the injured,
That person is the most beloved of God who does the most good to God’s creatures.”

* * * * *

Sheikha Maryam Kabeer Faye is a speaker and writer on Islam, Sufism, and spirituality. She lives in Philadelphia, and travels extensively throughout the world on the mission of building bridges of light, knowledge, and understanding.

Click Here to read an in-depth interview with Sheikha Maryam Kabeer Faye