Book: The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi, by Elif Shafak

The book is really good, it’s about a wandering Sufi dervish named Shams, set in the thirteenth century and another story that run in parallel of a book reviewer housewife who is in a stale and long married relationship with a cheating husband.

I enjoyed reading it, however the story of the wife felt abit stretched and there is gaps in the story. The story of Shams and Rumi is most interesting, at some points in the book, it feels farfetched.

I read this book sometime ago, and now i cant remember everything about it, as many books i read, i wrote a post about them, but never really published it here.

Elif Shafak previous work, The Bastard of Istanbul, is currently on my reading list.

The below are a list of the quotes i liked, some of them might be out of context.

Instead she took a deep breath, turned the page, and started to read.

Shams:
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:
The Path to the Truth is a labor of the heart, not of the head.

Shams:
Make your heart your primary guide! Not your mind. Meet, challenge, and ultimately prevail over your nafs with your heart. Knowing your ego will lead you to the knowledge of God.

Ella:
No matter who we are or where we live, deep inside we all feel incomplete. It’s like we have lost something and need to get it back. Just what that something is, most of us never find out. And of those who do, even fewer manage to go out and look for it.

Shams:
East, west, south, or north makes little difference. No matter what your destination, just be sure to make every journey a journey within. If you travel within, you’ll travel the whole wide world and beyond.

Shams:
The midwife knows that when there is no pain, the way for the baby cannot be opened and the mother cannot give birth. Likewise, for a new Self to be born, hardship is necessary.

Hasan the Beggar:
but in places where death and despair loom large, we are the sultans.

Suleiman the Drunk:
“You know, this is exactly why I abhor religion. All sorts of them! Religious people are so confident of having God by their side that they think they are superior to everyone else”

Suleiman the Drunk:
“Drink! for you know not whence you came, nor why; Drink! for you know not why you go, nor where.”

Shams to Desert Rose the Harlot:
Fret not where the road will take you. Instead concentrate on the first step. That’s the hardest part and that’s what you are responsible for. Once you take that step let everything do what it naturally does and the rest will follow. Do not go with the flow. Be the flow.”

Suleiman the Drunk:
“If God’s paradise is reserved for people of your kind, I’d rather burn in hell anyhow.”

Suleiman the Drunk:
We were all created in His image, and yet we were each created different and unique. No two people are alike. No two hearts beat to the same rhythm. If God had wanted everyone to be the same, He would have made it so. Therefore, disrespecting differences and imposing your thoughts on others is tantamount to disrespecting God’s holy scheme

Shams of Tabriz:
“Not Christian or Jew or Muslim, not Hindu, Buddhist, Sufi or zen. Not any religion or cultural system. I am not of the East, nor of the West.… My place is placeless, a trace of the traceless

Sultan Walad:
The first man responded calmly, “My friend, I carried the woman across the stream, and that is where I left her. It is you who have been carrying her ever since

In love, boundaries are blurred!

While everyone in this world strives to get somewhere and become someone, only to leave it all behind after death, you aim for the supreme stage of nothingness. Live this life as light and empty as the number zero. We are no different from a pot. It is not the decorations outside but the emptiness inside that holds us straight. Just like that, it is not what we aspire to achieve but the consciousness of nothingness that keeps us going.

Doomish:
Brave, Courageous and bold.
Long live his fame,
and long live his glory.
Long may his worthless posts be told.

Related posts

6 Comments

      1. Haitham Al-Sheeshany

        someday.. oneday! *said the father to be* lol

        I just don’t want to begin with it and be forced to put it down for a couple of days (weeks!). I hate to read intermittently

        Reply
  1. NOUB

    Shams Tabriz’s character has remained shrouded in mystery. Without a doubt, he’s one of my favorite characters from history. I loved the way this novel was structured since the story was not new to me. Have to agree on Ella’s part. I wanted to read about Rumi and Shams more. You’ve alreaded quoted some of the parts I had highlighted. Here are some more that gripped me:

    The Killer
    “When you kill someone, something from that person passes to you—a sigh, a smell or a gesture. I call it “the curse of the victim.”

    “in every murderer breathes the man he murdered”

    Shams
    “Loneliness and solitude are two different things. When you are lonely, it is easy to delude yourself into believing that you are on the right path. Solitude is better for us, as it means being alone without feeling lonely.”

    Desert Rose The Harlot
    “Eternity does not mean infinite time, but simply timelessness”

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *