Theme: The Way I See It

The Forty Rules of Love


“How we see God is a direct reflection of how we see ourselves. If God brings to mind mostly fear and blame, it means there is too much fear and blame welled inside us. If we see God as full of love and compassion, so are we.”

– Shams of Tabriz’s rule of love.

I rarely read English novels but “The Forty Rules of Love” is one the most effective novel I have read so far. Here the author, Elif Shafak shows the two types of love, one is spiritual and other is contemporary(actually there is a novel within the novel)

Ella Rubenstein is forty years old, an unhappy married housewife, when she starts job as a literary agent she is assigned to write a report on a book titled “Sweet Blasphemy” written by Aziz .Z. Zahara which is a manuscript about the relationship between 13th century poet Rumi and Sufi mystic Shams. By reading this, it makes her realize that life has many beautiful aspects. She starts exchanging emails with the author Aziz whom she finds like the character Shams and she loves the way how Aziz approaches life optimistically. Soon she falls in love with him and decides to continue her life with this man.

The text also includes the spiritual love between Rumi and Shams. Shams of Tabriz is searching for the spiritual companion and wants to transform into world’s prominent and powerful poet so he chooses Rumi.

In essence, both Rumi and Ella in relationship with Shams and Aziz, are forced to question the main motive of their lives.

Along the way, Shams transmit the forty rules of love which preaches us how “LOVE” works not only in our life but in the whole world and how it plays an important role.


“The path to the Truth is a labor of the heart, not of the head. Make your heart your primary guide! Not your mind. Meet, challenge and ultimately prevail over our nafs(ego) with your heart. Knowing your ego will lead you to the knowledge of God”

One of my favorite rule of love and I think this rule summarizes the whole theme of the novel.

One of the beautiful thing I noted that each chapter starts with letter B. Bismillahirahmanirrahim, what means that everything starts with “ In the name of Allah the most beneficial and the most merciful”

One may feel drown and lost while reading this book, full of imagination and curiosity. I want to mention more exciting events but I am afraid that the charm of the book might be lost.

I want you to comment on my blog after reading the book.

PHOTO CREDITS: Sanabil Javed

Sanabil Javed



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