The Forty Rules of Love

The Forty Rules of LoveIn This Lyrical, Exuberant Follow Up To Her Novel, The Bastard Of Istanbul, Acclaimed Turkish Author Elif Shafak Unfolds Two Tantalizing Parallel Narratives One Contemporary And The Other Set In The Thirteenth Century, When Rumi Encountered His Spiritual Mentor, The Whirling Dervish Known As Shams Of Tabriz That Together Incarnate The Poet S Timeless Message Of Love Ella Rubenstein Is Forty Years Old And Unhappily Married When She Takes A Job As A Reader For A Literary Agent Her First Assignment Is To Read And Report On Sweet Blasphemy, A Novel Written By A Man Named Aziz Zahara Ella Is Mesmerized By His Tale Of Shams S Search For Rumi And The Dervish S Role In Transforming The Successful But Unhappy Cleric Into A Committed Mystic, Passionate Poet, And Advocate Of Love She Is Also Taken With Shams S Lessons, Or Rules, That Offer Insight Into An Ancient Philosophy Based On The Unity Of All People And Religions, And The Presence Of Love In Each And Every One Of Us As She Reads On, She Realizes That Rumi S Story Mir Rors Her Own And That Zahara Like Shams Has Come To Set Her Free I heard the author of this book, Elif Shafak, interviewed on NPR on my way to work and had to rush out and buy the book in hardback, no less based on her interview It s rare to hear someone on the radio and think, That is an amazingly interesting person I would love her writing Kudos to Books Inc in Alameda one of the few independent bookstores around I walked in and said I was looking for a book by a Turkish author and there was something about love in the title and they found it I heard the author of this book, Elif Shafak, interviewed on NPR on my way to work and had to rush out and buy the book in hardback, no less based on her interview It s rare to hear someone on the radio and think, That is an amazingly interesting person I would love her writing Kudos to Books Inc in Alameda one of the few independent bookstores around I walked in and said I was looking for a book by a Turkish author and there was something about love in the title and they found it The Forty Rules of Love follows the parallel life paths of Rumi and Shams of Tabriz in the 13th century a rather famous pair , the unfolding story of Ella, a Massachusetts housewife with her first editing job, and Aziz Z Zahara, the globe trotting author of the book she is reading I was particularly impressed with the way Shafak told the story of Rumi and Shams through the eyes of the people around them the historical chapters are alternately written in the voices of Rumis very different sons, the leper who begs outside the mosque, the prostitute trying to leave her brothel, Rumi s wife, Shams main enemy, a leading scholar, and many others Not surprisingly I found the female characters particularly compelling, as they took Shams forty rules and attempted to apply them to their own lives, often finding they were not always a perfect fit The forty rules themselves are worth returning to after finishing the book for further contemplation I feel I would be able to understand the book on a much deeper level if I knew Arabic and had a basic grounding in the Koran while reading I had the sense there was a great dealbeing alluded to But even as an English speaking westerner with little knowledge of Islam, I now have a much greater sense of respect for Sufism and the place it occupies opposite thetraditional interpretation of Islam This book is a study in opposites discipline vs spontaneity, reason vs love, perspective vs acceptance, wisdom vs youth, and foundation vs risk Although the book argues strongly in favor of love, spontaneity and acceptance, it is actually the balance created between the two extremes that is most important this balance is often represented as the friendship of two people who represent opposite attributes Parts of the novel reminded me of The Feminine Face of God which actually may have no relation to Shafak s writing and there were bits of aura interpretation that slipped in here and there what I liked best, however, was its frank treatment of the dangers of the spiritual path When one pushes beyond the boundaries society draws around spirituality, when one starts to say no to things one has said yes to before and one says yes to things one has said no to before, when one challenges accepted notions of respect, holiness, and spiritual authority this is Pema Chodron s when the rug is pulled out from under you a much celebrated place in spiritual development What I particularly appreciate about this book is its honest and direct treatment of that place and the deep confusion and pain it can bring to the seeker and those close to them And, of course, the beauty and wisdom that come from that difficult experience Had Shams not challenged every aspect of social order Rumi held dear, Rumi would not have learned Had Rumi not lost Shams, he would not have become a poet And we would not have his poetry This book is a celebration of the radical transformation of Rumi from scholar to poet, from devoted spiritual man to visionary and a deeply honest historical, I can t vouch for, but truthful, yes portrayal of every difficult step of that evolution.Goodness I think it s time to read some Rumi Fourteenth Rule Try not to resist the changes that come your way Instead let life live through you And do not worry that your life is turning upside down How do you know that the side you are used to is better than the one to come Finally The book I wanted to read for such a long time.Glad I managed to finish my ARC pile Now its time for some pleasure reading Finally The book I wanted to read for such a long time.Glad I managed to finish my ARC pile Now its time for some pleasure reading Actual rating 3.5stars Every true love and friendship is a story of unexpected transformation If we are the same person before and after we loved, that means we haven t loved enough I started this book some time ago But after a few pages I put it down For it raised a very conflicting situation in my mind And I was not sure whether to read it further As a reader I am very much affected by books I have seen a good book touch my heart and change my way of thinking I was not sure if it woul Actual rating 3.5stars Every true love and friendship is a story of unexpected transformation If we are the same person before and after we loved, that means we haven t loved enough I started this book some time ago But after a few pages I put it down For it raised a very conflicting situation in my mind And I was not sure whether to read it further As a reader I am very much affected by books I have seen a good book touch my heart and change my way of thinking I was not sure if it would be that kind of book and I did not want to raise an exception to my mind in that particular time So I decided to read it some time later A few days ago I was depressed and out of the blue started to read it again If you want to change the ways others treat you, you should first change the way you treat yourself, fully and sincerely, there is no way you can be loved Once you achieve that stage, however, be thankful for every thorn that others might throw at you It is a sign that you will soon be showered in roses It was a very nice choice for me at that particular time I must say This book has a soothing sense as it speaks of love Love for God, for mankind and all other kinds of love As I was going deeper into the book I liked the book evenI can read in a moderate pace but I read the book slowly taking in everything it says I found the forty rules beautiful Somewhere in our heart we know the rules We have read it in different books at different times It all came in front of me at once in this book Patience does not mean to passively endure It means to look at the end of a process What does patience mean It means to look at the thorn and see the rose, to look at the night and see the dawn Impatience means to be shortsighted as to not be able to see the outcome The lovers of God never run out of patience, for they know that time is needed for the crescent moon to become full In this story I understood Shams of Tabriz but I did not understood Rumi very well nor did I understood their connection well Shams was a very intimidating character and he could intimidate people in good or bad ways But what he was trying to bring out of Rumi was very unclear to me I felt if I could know Rumi s transition in detail I would understand it better It is the only thing I felt lacking in this book The whole universe is contained within a single human being you Everything that you see around, including the things that you might not be fond of and even the people you despise or abhor, is present within you in varying degrees Therefore, do not look for Sheitan outside yourself either The devil is not an extraordinary force that attacks from without It is an ordinary voice within If you set to know yourself fully, facing with honesty and hardness both your dark and bright sides, you will arrive at a supreme form of consciousness When a person knows himself or herself, he or she knows God I loved the emails between Ella and Aziz They were deep and meaningful I like these kind of conversations where you can find the depth of mind of others As I am a very closed of person and don t talk to people how I feel very often, I always long for this kind of friendship The past is an interpretation The future is on illusion The world does notthrough time as if it were a straight line, proceeding from the past to the future Instead time moves through and within us, in endless spirals Eternity does not mean infinite time, but simply timelessness If you want to experience eternal illumination, put the past and the future out of your mind and remain within the present moment Lastly, I am very glad that I have read this book This is not one of my most favorite books but yet it will stay with me for a long time The words that come out of our mouths do not vanish but are perpetually stored in infinite space, and they will come back to us in due time Before I write my review of this book, I need to clarify a few points that I believe are misleading in the book.Islam in itself is a unity and oneness, all devoted to Allah, some people in later years fell in love with Allah, and called themselves Sufis Sufism in itself isn t Islam, it s actually quite extreme and Islam is a religion of moderation.The love that s repeated throughout the book should have been clarified as the love of Allah Sufi people aren t all dervishes And the word D Before I write my review of this book, I need to clarify a few points that I believe are misleading in the book.Islam in itself is a unity and oneness, all devoted to Allah, some people in later years fell in love with Allah, and called themselves Sufis Sufism in itself isn t Islam, it s actually quite extreme and Islam is a religion of moderation.The love that s repeated throughout the book should have been clarified as the love of Allah Sufi people aren t all dervishes And the word Dervish is used in Arabic as which means going to a high state of Tarab which means going into a high state of rapture, mirth, and glee for Allah, so they either twirl which is common or sing, or write But mostly twirl.With that said, I feel better about starting my review.I ve always been fascinated with Sufism as a kid, the twirling dervishes with their skirts and dishdashas flying around in circles for such along time while they sang to Allah with tambours players repeating God is alive gave me a thrill in the bit of my stomach and heart until this day, they mostly come out in Ramadan or events and visit local malls and such bringing with them a hint of the past with their customs.Since 2010 I wanted to read this book, but many things stood in my way until I got married and moved to another country, now I m reading it with a pounding heart, I already know Rumi and Shams s story and end but I want to read it still, I want to see how the story would unfold I might even change like Ella by the end.I know many people loved this book, but I found it to be misleading, giving people some of the truth with a spoon of deceptive opinions The author insists that being extremely religious is bad and leads to wars and acts of violence, while being spiritual is the right way to live She shows Sufism and Islam as dueling sides While Islam is the core of any religious doctrines such as Sufism and Shi a ideologies One of the reasons I love Islam so much is it s simplicity that speaks to my heart and mind in equal measures The ideas the author imagined and gleaned from her research is deep yet not fully truthful Some parts were so deep and accurate, other parts made me think what is she talking about This is not Islam God didn t not create humans in His image check surat Noor, Ayah 35 , you can t be one with God check surat Al Ekhlas , every religion isn t the same as Islam Check surat Al Imran, Ayah 19 , the main three and lasting religions shouldn t be compared with human created ones The ideas that Sufis can do whatever they wanted because they love God is heresy and God says about such people which means they choose what to follow and what to believe God s favorite servants are which means the ones who fear him most in everything they do and think God wants us to think about Heaven, hell and Earth, it s not about forgetting the purpose of this life but to enhance the work inside and out, or God wouldn t have mentioned them so frequently in Quran As for the beautiful names of God in Islam, the author makes her argument as Shams, stating God s Merciful names only, as if God hasn t called Himself The Avenger , The Afflictor , The Giver of Dishonor To believe in Allah fully we need to believe that God is capable of doing us harm as He is able of doing us good, to fear His wrath is smart, and doesn t make you less of a believer He Himself has said 12 54 God did swear His mercy but only for those who fear and obey Him and do good deeds.Reading this book deepened this idea in my mind, what if Shams wasn t actually a good thing to happen to Rumi, what if meeting him was a test Same goes to Ella and Aziz This was my first Elif Safak and I can only hope that not all of her novels are like this I simply found this novel weak, even forced It reads like any other Western American novelist writing about the Eastern culture But wait Elif Safak is Turkish, right Precisely. I think what the author tries to do with this novel and unfortunately fails is to show a treasure of Eastern spiritualism to the American reader What happens as a result is that it becomes another form of exoticism Ther This was my first Elif Safak and I can only hope that not all of her novels are like this I simply found this novel weak, even forced It reads like any other Western American novelist writing about the Eastern culture But wait Elif Safak is Turkish, right Precisely. I think what the author tries to do with this novel and unfortunately fails is to show a treasure of Eastern spiritualism to the American reader What happens as a result is that it becomes another form of exoticism There s something that doesn t quite fit with the language Shams and Rumi speak American, and Aziz is definitely not Scottish Has Safak s language become too American She has written this work originally in English, so is she writing for a primarily American readership Is she stuck between the liminality of the American and the Turkish Whatever the source of the problem is, I m afraid I found the story superficial, weak and cliched It almost reads like fictionalised dummies guide to Rumi She tries to create an original narrative structure with book within book, parallel narratives and multiple narrative voices, but it s all to simplistic and lacks literary finesse.I m aware that this is a rather scathing review, but I m highly disappointed with the novel Still, before I give up on Safak, I ll make sure I ll read something else of her This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here Unlike many other readers I did not like this book I felt like the story narrative was a half baked excuse to string together the Forty Rules of Love It would have bern better to just have listed the forty rules of love with the list of source materials given in the back Spoiler alert i mention what happens in the book in the next sentence That Ella, the main character in our present time, leaves her husband and children to engage in a romantic relationship with her Sufi teacher dishono Unlike many other readers I did not like this book I felt like the story narrative was a half baked excuse to string together the Forty Rules of Love It would have bern better to just have listed the forty rules of love with the list of source materials given in the back Spoiler alert i mention what happens in the book in the next sentence That Ella, the main character in our present time, leaves her husband and children to engage in a romantic relationship with her Sufi teacher dishonors her and I feel, Sufism It dishonors her, because she spends too much time thinking the answers and the presence she seeks is to be found in another person, rather than deep within herself It dishonors Sufism by showing a Sufi teacher becoming romantically engaged with a married woman, and taking off with her to another country Rather than becoming a bridge as a teacher, who does not have sex with his student, to help her realize her own potential, the gifts that are within her, he takes off with her to Turkey This may seem romantic, but is also emotionally and spiritually cheap This book was sitting on my shelf forthan over a year, and I had no plans to rush and read it I mistakenly thought it is just another novel about love , so I withheld reading it I was wrong.But I guess back then it was not the right time for me to read it.A while ago, I became obsessed with Rumi s poetry, and so, one of my friends recommended that I should read this novel ASAP.So I did.What can I say I m still quite shaken by this masterpiece.The novel consists of two parallel narrativ This book was sitting on my shelf forthan over a year, and I had no plans to rush and read it I mistakenly thought it is just another novel about love , so I withheld reading it I was wrong.But I guess back then it was not the right time for me to read it.A while ago, I became obsessed with Rumi s poetry, and so, one of my friends recommended that I should read this novel ASAP.So I did.What can I say I m still quite shaken by this masterpiece.The novel consists of two parallel narratives a one by which tells the story of a woman named Ella Ella had to learn to live her life while shutting her heart to love, that is until a book titled Sweet Blasphemy fell under her hands, and ended up to shake her entire world and change everything she had known.The second narrative, tells the story of a wandering dervish called Shams of Tabriz who was on the lookout for a companion that he can deliver his knowledge to, and it was none other than Rumi.I loved this novel so much, mostly because of Shams and his rules These rules are ones to go by for life.I highly recommend it I will definitely mesmerize you 4.5 Wonderful Stars Love came to Ella as suddenly and brusquely as if a stone had been hurled from out of nowhere into the tranquil pond of her life.I wanted to read something soft and sweet when I started this, but it was anything but The prologue was very capturing, and I decided to readPart one interested me and I was curious to readbut not desperate until I reached the middle of Part two.I love the fact that each chapter starts with B and I love that we get to read the novel 4.5 Wonderful Stars Love came to Ella as suddenly and brusquely as if a stone had been hurled from out of nowhere into the tranquil pond of her life.I wanted to read something soft and sweet when I started this, but it was anything but The prologue was very capturing, and I decided to readPart one interested me and I was curious to readbut not desperate until I reached the middle of Part two.I love the fact that each chapter starts with B and I love that we get to read the novel that changes Ella s life I enjoyed itthan Ella s story I liked that four of the parts were named after the four elements Earth, Water, Wind, and Fire with the fifth named Void The chapters were very small and that always motivates me The writing was good and smooth and I loved so many perspectives, so many POVs, that was very good work The best thing was that every character had his her views on a single subject and the different views which represent the different groups of our society were very close to the reality of what s going on in people s minds.I didn t really like Ella since she was so confused and so uncertain about herself I m sure most of us feel that we don t even know ourselves and have missed the opportunities to be someone else, but I guess I wasn t interested in Ella because she knew and still thought that she had no idea I think it was a sudden realization for her in 2008 rather than a gradual understanding and that s what made it somewhat indigestible for me And to the honest, I wasinterested in Sweet Blasphemy as the author wanted, but Ella s story did become gripping in time Once in our lives, we should all embark upon this journey and research and try to really find some answers about who we are, where we come from and where we ll go Only an extensive research and quest can be relied upon to help us make an informed decision and help us believe We all think about religion one way or another but only a few know them.Highly Recommended for fellow Muslims since they ll understand it better It made me ask so many questions about myself I don t agree with everything in it and I have my own views and opinions but it brought it all out If you have read this, I d ask you to read my thoughts below and I d love to discuss with you P.S Not a 5 Star since I needed a littleabout Kimya in the end.My Thoughts as I Read Part 1 view spoiler I didn t get it why Ella decided to live like that for twenty dull years Hi husband s disloyalty alone should ve provoked her to get a divorce or at the very least confront him about it He didn t waste a second in asking her about her feelings of him, why should she Being the silent victim is not brave and doesn t make you better, it makes you foolish and it makes the other think you deserve it I hate such characters One ought to speak up As for the novel within this book, it has been so interesting reading it I feel like going and reading all the history, andabout it Not that I have usually agreed with Sufism Also, I don t claim to know much but shaving his whole face was really weird And Ella s tory is going too slowly in comparison to Sham s hide spoiler Part 2 view spoiler Hassan the Beggar None of these people seem to realize that as keen as they are to avoid me, I am far keener to avoid them and their pitiful stares.People can be so cruel at times, showing sympathy and disgust at the same time So profound is their need to show off how generous and charitable they are, not only do they race to give us alms, but for that single day they almost love us.Amazing I love how Elif Shafak explained everything in such simple words It s true what he wrote here It s a shame we don t truly care.Desert Rose, the Harlot Why is it that although people say they hate seeing women prostitute themselves, the same people make life hard for a prostitute who wants to repent and start life anew It is as if they are telling us they are sorry that we have fallen so low, but now that we are where we are, we should stay there forever I don t know why this is All I know is, some people feed on the miseries of others and they don t like it when there is one less miserable person on the face of the earth.So on point And it s not true just for prostitutes but for almost all of us When we fall, everyone tells us to get the hell up and accuses us for falling so low and they tell you to try and leave it And then, when you finally convince yourself to get up, to rise above that, the same people taunt you and discourage you Look who s trying to be good , they say They don t really believe you can do that Just because one s past wasn t so free of sins, doesn t mean their now and future have to be the same Just because one once did wrong, doesn t mean he can t stop someone from doing the same I didn t even want to think what could happen if they found out there was a woman amid them, let alone a harlot Chasing off all dark thoughts, I gave my full attention to the sermon.This I ll never understand Why is it wrong for a woman to come to a mosque to listen to a sermon It really isn t But it s a pity that most religious men think it wrong and punishable for a woman to be seen there Shams asked them the right questions when he did and it couldn t be better written This chapter was simply beautiful and this is where my interest intensified But how did you notice her in the first place You go to a mosque but payattention to the people around you than to God If you were the good believers you claim to be, you would not have noticed this woman even if she were naked Now, go back to the sermon and do a better job this time Beautiful Suleiman the Drunk Religious people are so confident of having God by their side that they think they are superior to everyone elseHow can we judge someone else s beliefs and purity and connection to Allah Almighty The way they called her whore and the way they were disgusted to find such a woman among them, how can they be sure that they are better than her Just because we think we are following our religion and abstaining from the bigger sins, we think ourselves destined for heaven and the others for hell Who are we to judge others when we don t even know our own fate We are all sinners Intentionally and purposely or unintentionally and by mistake, we all sin We can t fathom who is better and who is worse But doesn t mean drinking or whoring is right Allah is Merciful, he forgives if you truly ask for his forgiveness.Ella She was either too intrusive and pushy with regard to Jeannette s marriage plans or too passive and docile with regard to her husband s flings There was an Ellathe control freak and an Ella the hopelessly meek She could never tell which one was about to emerge, or when.And then there was a third Ella, observing everything quietly, waiting for her time to come It was this Ella who told her she was calm to the point of numbness but that underneath there was a strangled self, harboring a fast freshet of anger and rebellion If she kept going like this, the third Ella warned, she was bound to explode someday It was just a matter of time.I agree with this one Ella s personality does seem to be switching among these 3 Ellas I have this third personality in me and I feel like I m gonna break right now Sorry hide spoiler Part 3 view spoiler Sufis argue that ever since then the ego is the only adversary a Muslim should be warring against Sounds nice, but how is that going to help to fight the enemies of Islam I wonder.Yes, I agree that one should have control over one s nafs and that it has been regarded as Jihad e Akbar but doesn t mean that one should forget all the other Jihads We are continuously in war with our nafs and should not give in to it, but other Jihad s are equally important.What good could come out of a man who cannot settle down If a man has no sense of belonging, he can drift in every direction, like a dry leaf in the wind.I don t know much about Sufis but I don t think that one has to let go of everything to find Him He, who is closer to us than ourselves But I don t object to going around the world and seeing His people and trying to find oneself I get it As Shams said, some people can find it all just staying in one place, others need to go and see for themselves But we ought to live a life of simplicity which we often ignore So the Sufi thinks he sees , and the philosopher thinks he knows. In my opinion they see nothing and know nothing Don t they realize that as simple, limited, and ultimately mortal human beings, we are not expected to knowthan we should The most a human being is capable of attaining is a mere smattering of information about the Almighty That s all Our task is not to interpret God s teachings but to obey them.I don t doubt that people don t see and know, but one cannot possibly see and know everything How can even they be sure that they see everything Andimportantly, that they see right I find myself agreeing with the zealot, not that I even like Baybars.Aziz believed that all religious wars were in essence a linguistic problem Language, he said, did to hide than reveal the Truth, and as a result people constantly misunderstood and misjudged one another In a world beset with mistranslations, there was no use in being resolute about any topic, because it might as well be that even our strongest convictions were caused by a simple misunderstanding In general, one shouldn t be too rigid about anything because to live meant to constantly shift colors I don t really agree If all religious wars are just linguistic problems, then it feels like he means that every religion is right I respectfully disagree Rumi responded, I understand, but please do not touch my books again In fact, I d rather you did not enter this room at all What Oh Allah I don t get it He knows so much and still won t teach her Won t tell her when she really wants to know Who said that a man hasright to books and knowledge than a woman This is absurd Or was it because she was a Christian Still, this ain t right The knowledge of Islam is open to all Your late wife is here She is holding my hand and encouraging me to speak.I don t know about this I do believe in djinns, but not in souls being seen I believe they return to Allah and don t roam the world But I ll have to researchBut if you ask me, when it comes to the basics, ordinary Christians and ordinary Muslims havein common with each other than with their own scholars.Not always and not necessarily Yes, there is a closeness, and basic rules and habits that both, Muslims and Christians, follow Islam and Christianity are closer to each other than other religions but a lot different too.Rumi used to be everything to me Now he is a stranger I never knew it was possible to live with someone under the same roof, sleep in the same bed, and still feel that he was not really there.Every man is responsible for giving reasonable time to his wife and children One understand another s thirst for knowledge and leaving others behind for acquiring it, but it doesn t mean separating yourself completely from them One should take religion and the world together There ought to be a balance Don t forget the world and only pursue religion You ought to live, but don t get too dissolved in this temporary world ad its charms that you forget your religion and your final destination Wherever there is an earthquake, drought, or any other calamity, they take it as a sign of Divine Wrath as if God does not openly say,My compassion outweighs My wrath.And Why worry so much about the aftermath, an imaginary future, when this very moment is the only time we can truly and fully experience both the presence and the absence of God in our lives I disagree Allah has punished people in the past He has brought all these disasters on them I agree that it doesn t always has to be a punishment, sometimes it can be His test This world is a test Hell and Heaven are promised They aren t imaginary We should worry about the afterworld and must remember our graves everyday as it remembers us It s good not to dwell on the past or the future too much and try to live in the moment, but it doesn t mean that you ought to forget your final destination There was something else that occupied her mind the very first, almost imperceptible signs of desire It had been such a long time since she d last felt it that it took her a few extra seconds to recognize the feeling But it was there Strong, prodding, and disobedient She realized that she desired the man in the picture and wondered what it would be like to kiss him Ughh As much as I wanted to fall I love with a love story in this book, I can t Not in this book with all this debate going on inside my head I understand Ella right now, but I am at the same time disgusted At a time when the enemiesof Islam are looming large, what does Rumi preach Peace Passivity Submission Yes, one needs to have patience and submit at the right times, but Islam allows us to fight To fight for Islam To fight for our fellow Muslims and for humanity Mind you, it doesn t tell us to murder someone or hurt someone in any way, whether it be with our tongues or our hands but it also tells us not to sit dumb and let injustice happen If Shams was talking about zealots prioritizing the rules of Islam, this is similar Sure, one should conquer one s nafs first but not always Ali explained, When you spit in my face, I got very angry My ego was provoked, yearning for revenge If I kill you now, I ll be following my ego And that would be a huge mistake So Ali set the man free The infidel was so touched that he became Ali s friend and follower, and in time he converted to Islam of his own free will.This, apparently, is the kind of story Shams of Tabriz likes to tell And what is his message Let the infidels spit in your face I say, over my dead body Hazrat Ali R.A said that he wanted to kill that man for revenge, for his pride, for his nafs when he spit on his face rather than for Jihad So, he spared him because he was fighting against his nafs first It doesn t mean you ought to let others spit on you It signifies the importance of Jihad e nafs But Hazrat Ali R.A was about to kill him in Jihad Shams overlooked that point After a momentary silence, he broke into a soft smile and out of memory recited the verseMen are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded and as to those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping places and beat them then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them surely Allah is High, Great When he finished, Shams closed his eyes and recited the same verse, this time in a different translationMen are the support of women as God gives somemeans than others, and because they spend of their wealth to provide for them So women who are virtuous are obedient to God and guard the hidden as God has guarded it As for women you feel are averse, talk to them suasively then leave them alone in bed without molesting them and go to bed with them when they are willing If they open out to you, do not seek an excuse for blaming them Surely God is sublime and great. Al Nisa I m stunned I could never have thought this I am truly happy and truly pained right now Happy to know this deeper meaning, and pained to realize yet again that I am not even close to the river I need to know I need to venture on this quest I have wanted to for years now, but I m scared Scared to leave the world behind Scared to start and not be able to change Scared to know how deep in sins I truly am Still on top of me, he looked at my face with pure hatred, as if the body that had aroused him a moment ago now disgusted him I hate that kind of people Didn t he, himself, walk to the brothel Was it not him to force himself on her Did he not take part in it How can he then think himself superior to her hide spoiler Part 4 view spoiler We have no right to impose our ways on others There is no compulsion in religion.I get it that we can t force religion on anyone but aren t parents encouraged to force their child to pray and to remember Him I get it that one s religion is between one s self and Allah, but I wish this wasexplained here The man has a Christian wife, for starters I don t care if she has converted to Islam It is in her blood and in the blood of her child.And he calls himself a scholar Does he know not even the basics about Islam I shouldn t judge but he is a fictional character for me We want to introduce the dance of the whirling dervishes It is called the sema. Whoever yearns for Divine Love isthan welcome to join us.Dance is not allowed This whole thing was something I didn t get And why done publicly Rumi sure trusted and loved Shams but he didn t question much Why not Shouldn t we question for better understanding And what Shams did with the ruler was right The ruler should ve known better than to toss money And I think Alladin will be one of the boys and maybe his friend Irshad too, who hire Jackal Head for Shams hide spoiler Part 5 view spoiler Feeling buoyant, almost protected, she snapped into a state of bliss And just like that, she realized she could love this man She could love him so much.Just to clarify, Muslims are not allowed to have relations like that Physical or mental Yes, love but nothing intimate as if anything could beintimate than love, but still we saw Baybars and others visiting brothels and everything and then this, even if Aziz didn t go further Just to clarify I wouldn t have pointed this out if this were another book without so much debate on Islam There I swam to my heart s content, finally sensing that this must be what the deepest reading of the Qur an feels like a drop in infinity And it was flowing waters that carried me from life to death.He ruined her Did she die And I am so sorry for Aziz But no matter what happens in this life or what doesn t happen, we can always count on the afterlife That s the one hope we can truly have I am glad Ella decided to abandon a sham life I feel like I wantedof Kimya but her end was abrupt without Shams view on it hide spoiler Thank God, this review fit in the 20,000 limit I thought it won t Still close though Ella is in her late 30s and has a routine of a typical housewife of that age Her husband is cheating on her, and the daughter is not listening to her and wants to marry a man who is not from the same faith Depressed by all these events, she gets into a relationship with an author, Aziz, also a Sufi, whose novel is being reviewed by her for a publisher And the story goes on to tell what happened to their relationship.Ella s story, which is nothingthan a story of a below par soap, makes u Ella is in her late 30s and has a routine of a typical housewife of that age Her husband is cheating on her, and the daughter is not listening to her and wants to marry a man who is not from the same faith Depressed by all these events, she gets into a relationship with an author, Aziz, also a Sufi, whose novel is being reviewed by her for a publisher And the story goes on to tell what happened to their relationship.Ella s story, which is nothingthan a story of a below par soap, makes up about 100 pages of the novel As there is no spice in it, author has filled another 250 pages with the story of Shams Tabriz and Rumi where she has included forty rules developed by Shams in a haphazard manner, and tried to connect Shams Rumi relationship with Ella s and Aziz s The forty rules of love of Shams, the relationship between Shams and Rumi and their characters are not the outcome of creative brilliance of the author It is history With a simple google search you can read all forty rules in one go I admire Elif Shafak for her knowledge of politics, culture, and her brilliant eloquence Never expected such a shallow work from a powerful personality