The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak




What is the first name that pops in your head when you read these three words?


That’s what comes to me, and I’m pretty sure that’s the name which strikes most of you as well.

But Rumi as we know him, was not always the same. He was a scholar, a preacher who led a secure life, admired and loved by all.

He was not a poet.

He was not a Sufi.


“Glory be to God, an ocean is walking behind a lake.”

And then he met Shams of Tabriz. The wandering dervish became not just his companion but a mirror to his soul. Their relationship became a victim of slander, malicious gossip and Rumi’s once unimpeachable reputation was destroyed. Familial strife, enmity and innumerable hardships later, as Rumi unlearned everything he knew, he became the one he was meant to be.

A Poet. A Sufi. A Lover.

Elif Shafak describes this wild beauty of love, the meaning of life, the tests to find true love, the way to peace and a lot, lot more through her magnificent work.

All of this however remains as a part of a manuscript called Sweet Blasphemy by Aziz Zahara which Ella Rubenstein is reviewing. As her personal life runs parallel to Rumi and Shams, the reader enjoys the stark contrast and sweet similarities between Zahara and Ella which brings about texture and twists to the novel.

The Forty Rules of Love shows how the Sufi way established 800 years ago is still relevant, perhaps more so in this age of chaos.  Perhaps if we could learn a little from the Religion of Love, the enlightened Shams and Rumi our souls could heal a little.


Zoya 😘

P.s. If you want me to write a post on the 40 rules which Shams laid down, let me know in the comment section. You can also email me at :

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24 thoughts on “The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak

  1. This post was too overwhelming and heartbreaking for me. Wonderfully written and I cried when I read this for the first time. Keep on writing and you have captured the true essence of love very beautifully and the pain that one goes through while experiencing the madness which is love.

    P.S.- Please do post the forty rules of love. πŸ˜‡

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Zoya….
    You have described the love in a quite different mode and manner…..Love ia a very beautyful word but one can enhance the bauty of this word on the basis of his or her perception level……The reason behind beautiful narration is your positive perception of life….Keep it up….I expect something unparalleled from you….

    Liked by 1 person

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