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The Forty Rules Of Love

A Novel of Rumi
Paperback Book
April, 2011
In stock now: 
$23.00 CAD$18.40 CAD20%
Banyen's Description: 

What I needed truly was the light inside of me. The light that exists inside all of us.

In this lyrical follow-up to her 2007 novel, The Bastard of Istanbul, Turkish author Elif Shafak unfolds two tantalizing parallel narratives—one contemporary and the other set in the 13th century, when Rumi encountered his spiritual mentor, the 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—sprinkled throughout the book—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 mir­rors her own and that Zahara—like Shams—has come to set her free.

Shafak has based the novel on her discussions with Sufi teachers in Turkey, so she is drawing upon the authentic inner traditions of what transpired between Shams and Rumi and within the community in Konya at the time.

Here are a couple of “the forty rules”:

You can study God through everything and everyone in the universe, because God is not confined in a mosque, synagogue or church.  But if you are still in need of knowing exactly where His abode is, there is only one place to look for Him, in the heart of the true lover.


Intellect and love are made of different materials.  Intellect ties people in knots and risks nothing, but love dissolves all tangles and risks everything.  Intellect is always cautious and advises, “Beware too much ecstasy,” whereas love says, “Oh never mind, take the plunge!”  Intellect does not easily breakdown, whereas love can effortlessly reduce itself to rubble.  But treasures are hidden among the ruins.  A broken heart hides treasures.

Publisher’s Description: 

The bestselling author of "The Bastard of Instanbul" returns with a lyrical, imaginative new novel about the famous Sufi mystic Rumi.

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