The Forty Rules of Love

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Yet there is an emptiness at the heart of Ella's life - an emptiness once filled by love. So when Ella reads a manuscript about the thirteenth-century Sufi poet Rumi and Shams of Tabriz, and his forty rules of life and love, she is shocked out of herself. Turning her back on her family she embarks on a journey to meet the mysterious author of this work. It is a quest infused with Sufi mysticism and verse, taking Ella and us into an exotic world where faith and love are heartbreakingly explored.

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Read more Read less. Customers who viewed this item also viewed. Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1. The Bastard of Istanbul. Three Daughters of Eve. Customers who bought this item also bought. A Man Called Ove. An affecting paean to faith and love Metro Colourfully woven and beguilingly intelligent Daily Telegraph The past and present fit together beautifully in a passionate defence of passion itself The Times From the Back Cover 'With its timely, thought-provoking message.

The Forty Rules of Love deserves to be a global publishing phenomenon' Independent Discover the forty rules of love. An affecting paean to faith and love' Metro 'Colourfully woven and beguilingly intelligent' Daily Telegraph 'The past and present fit together beautifully in a passionate defence of passion itself' The Times www. To get the free app, enter mobile phone number. See all free Kindle reading apps.

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Don't have a Kindle? Penguin UK; 1 edition 2 June Language: Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a product review. Read reviews that mention rumi shams elif sufi shafak tabriz ella sufism words human god heart changing journey beautifully deep page poet century spiritual. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. I would love to give it a 4. The first half of the book did nothing for me I found it just like every other book and philosophy on heart-centered philosophy that I had read and studied.

I even wondered what all the hoohaa about the book was. Then all of a sudden, I was past mid-way into the story and I realised I had spent close to a month with the book, which in itself was a first. And just like that, the story became a reflection and an introspection - a pause to consider what these different rules of love meant to me. The story line in itself was lovely and complete in the various facets of observation - looking through the lens and inside the thoughts of the various characters was very liberating - and insightful.

What really drew me in was not the forty rules of love, but the sudden realisation that like Ella, I too had embarked on this year with an intention and instinct that this, my fortieth, was holding the promise and potential of major change. I could relate to Ella and her emotions at many times - and it was quite the coincidence and my son is also named Avi. It was freeing to notice the patriarchy of spiritual pursuits in an ancient age and how the author has allowed both Rumi and Shams to dip into the idea of equal opportunity as well as explore the potential of social limitations of their time.

I found myself empathising with Ella's notion of love and marriage, holding my own relationships as a benchmark, and at the same time wondering if I were as hardened as her - knowing that I was not, yet allowing enough space to question, "Are you holding something back? What is stopping you? The rules explored in this book and the narratives leading to it along with the parables interspersed are a good guide for those who find mystic sufism of interest - more so, if you have a philosophical tangent to spirituality and don't yet realise that it is a sufi trait.

I could sense it and then it fell away as I couldn't always accept them putting their love above and beyond those around them. Or perhaps it is because I still am on the 'spiritual' vibration of a lesser kind of love: Something that is still working on the relational level and hoping to edge towards the madness of divine spiritual love and oneness. Deep - too deep even for me today. I couldn't understand it.

It brought up all those ideals of pain where the woman is left yearning in the throes of unrequited love and I was angry at Shams for even accepting it. What good is his realisation of his mistake in marrying her, if he was going to let her die. He was so intuitive about everyone including the man who was hiding there waiting to kill him, but he couldn't sense the needs of his wife. No, I hated him then - and his chauvinist for lack of a better word focus on his 'oneness' bit.

But yet, I smiled at his explanation to Kimya of the Al-Nisa verse and his sharing of the alternative perspective of male superiority. It was impressive - the context of manhood and womanhood versus men and women - or even masculine and feminine, for that matter. Perhaps it just sheds a little more light on what we consider these gender stereotypes today. Or is it because the author is a woman and she brings a contemporary feminine yearning to the table?

I loved the book - I loved how it made me feel. I loved how I chose to read it in preparation for my fortieth this month. I love how I ended it in my birthday month with a feeling of grounding that this just might be that turning point of age and mystic symbolism, the number 40, that the author has amplified throughout the book. Looking forward to the year ahead. This one was a good spring-board.


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A novel within a novel with the biographies of two Sufi Poets is a beautiful read. Live where you fear to live. Though the novel takes the populist approach than scholarly one it is successful in introducing the easily assimilable thoughts of Sufism to all. She did not give enough focus on seven valleys which actually describe Sufis as the People of Path.

The other point is that the author could not separate herself from the Characters. No matter what your destination, just be sure to make every journey a journey within. 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. Just as clay needs to go through intense heat to become strong, Love can only be perfected in pain. The quest for love changes user. There is no seeker among those who search for love who has not matured on the way.

The moment you start looking for love, you start to change within and without. There are more fake gurus and false teachers in this world than the number of stars in the visible universe. A genuine spiritual master will not direct your attention to himself or herself and will not expect absolute obedience or utter admiration from you, but instead will help you to appreciate and admire your inner self.

True mentors are as transparent as glass. They let the light of God pass through them. Try not to resist the changes, which 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? God is busy with the completion of your work, both outwardly and inwardly. He is fully occupied with you. Every human being is a work in progress that is slowly but inexorably moving toward perfection.

We are each an unfinished work of art both waiting and striving to be completed. God deals with each of us separately because humanity is fine art of skilled penmanship where every single dot is equally important for the entire picture. What is far more difficult is to love fellow human being with all their imperfections and defects. Remember, one can only know what one is capable of loving. There is no wisdom without love. Real faith is the one inside. The rest simply washes off. There is only one type of dirt that cannot be cleansed with pure water, and that is the stain of hatred and bigotry contaminating the soul.

You can purify your body through abstinence and fasting, but only love will purify your heart. 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. 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. Fret not where the road will take you. Instead concentrate on the first step. That is the hardest part and that is what you are responsible for. Once you take that step let everything do what it naturally does and the rest will follow. We were all created in His image, and yet we were each created different and unique.

No two people are alike. No hearts beat to the same rhythm. If God had wanted everyone to be the same, He would have made it so. When a true lover of God goes into a tavern, the tavern becomes his chamber of prayer, but when a wine bibber goes into the same chamber, it becomes his tavern. In everything we do, it is our hearts that make the difference, not our outer appearance. Sufis do not judge other people on how they look or who they are.

When a Sufi stares at someone, he keeps both eyes closed instead opens a third eye — the eye that sees the inner realm. Life is a temporary loan and this world is nothing but a sketchy imitation of Reality. Only children would mistake a toy for the real thing. And yet human beings either become infatuated with the toy or disrespectfully break it and throw it aside.

The Forty Rules of Love

In this life stay away from all kinds of extremities, for they will destroy your inner balance. Sufis do not go to extremes.


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  • A Sufi always remains mild and moderate. Ask yourself, just how often do you behave like a delegate, if you ever do so? Remember, it fells upon each of us to discover the divine spirit inside and live by it. Hell is in the here and now.

    Shams of Tabriz’s 40 Rules of Love | The Vision

    Quit worrying about hell or dreaming about heaven, as they are both present inside this very moment. Every time we fall in love, we ascend to heaven. Every time we hate, envy or fight someone we tumble straight into the fires of hell. There are four levels of insight. The first level is the outer meaning and it is the one that the majority of the people are content with.

    Next is the Batin — the inner level. Third, there is the inner of the inner. And the fourth level is so deep it cannot be put into words and is therefore bound to remain indescribable. The universe is one being. Everything and everyone is interconnected through an invisible web of stories. Whether we are aware of it or not, we are all in a silent conversation. 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.

    Whatever you speak, good or evil, will somehow come back to you. Therefore, if there is someone who harbours ill thoughts about you, saying similarly bad things about him will only make matters worse. You will be locked in a vicious circle of malevolent energy. Instead for forty days and nights say and think nice things about that person.

    Everything will be different at the end of 40 days, because you will be different inside. The past is an interpretation. The future is on illusion. The world does not more through 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. Therefore, to live everything to the fate and to not actively contribute to the music of the universe is a sign of sheer ignorance. The music of the universe is all pervading and it is composed on 40 different levels.

    Your destiny is the level where you play your tune. You might not change your instrument but how well to play is entirely in your hands. The true Sufi is such that even when he is unjustly accused, attacked and condemned from all sides, he patiently endures, uttering not a sing bad word about any of his critics. A Sufi never apportions blame. How can there be anyone to blame when there is only One? If you want to strengthen your faith, you will need to soften inside.

    For your faith to be rock solid, your heart needs to be as soft as a feather. Through an illness, accident, loss or fright, one way or another, we are all faced with incidents that teach us how to become less selfish and judgmental and more compassionate and generous. Yet some of us learn the lesson and manage to become milder, while some others end up becoming even harsher than before….

    Nothing should stand between you and God. No imams, priests, rabbits or any other custodians of moral or religious leadership. Not spiritual masters and not even your faith. Believe in your values and your rules, but never lord them over others. Stay away from all sorts of idolatry, for they will blur your vision.

    40 Rules Of Love

    Let God and only God be your guide. Learn the Truth, my friend, but be careful not to make a fetish out of your truths. 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. Submission does not mean being weak or passive. It leads to neither fatalism nor capitulation. True power resides in submission a power that comes within. Those who submit to the divine essence of life will live in unperturbed tranquillity and peace even the whole wide world goes through turbulence after turbulence. In this world, it is not similarities or regularities that take us a step forward, but blunt opposites. And all the opposites in the universe are present within each and every one of us.

    Therefore the believer needs to meet the unbeliever residing within. And the nonbeliever should get to know the silent faithful in him. Until the day one reaches the stage of Insane-I Kamil, the perfect human being, faith is a gradual process and one that necessitates its seeming opposite: This world is erected upon the principle of reciprocity.

    Neither a drop of kindness nor a speck of evil will remain unreciprocated. For not the plots, deceptions, or tricks of other people. If somebody is setting a trap, remember, so is God. He is the biggest plotter. Simply and fully believe in that. Whatever God does, He does it beautifully. God is a meticulous dock maker. So precise is His order that everything on earth happens in its own time. Neither a minute late nor a minute early. And for everyone without exception, the clock works accurately. For each there is a time to love and a time to die.

    Am I ready to change within? At every moment and with each new breath, one should be renewed and renewed again. There is only one-way to be born into a new life: While the part change, the whole always remains the same.