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Learn from Rumi and Shams of Tabriz with The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak - Get Your Free Epub Copy Here


The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak: A Review




If you are looking for a book that will inspire you, challenge you and touch your soul, then you might want to read The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak. This novel is a beautiful blend of historical fiction and contemporary romance, exploring the lives and loves of two pairs of characters: a modern-day woman and a novelist, and a thirteenth-century poet and a mystic. In this article, I will give you a summary and an analysis of the book, as well as some reasons why you should read it.




40 rules of love elif shafak epub



Introduction




What is the book about?




The Forty Rules of Love is a novel that tells two parallel stories: one set in the present day, and one set in the thirteenth century. The contemporary story follows Ella Rubenstein, a forty-year-old housewife who is unhappy with her marriage and her life. She takes a job as a reader for a literary agent, and her first assignment is to review a manuscript called Sweet Blasphemy, written by a man named Aziz Zahara. As she reads the novel, she becomes fascinated by its story and its author. Sweet Blasphemy is a historical fiction that narrates the encounter between Rumi, a famous Persian poet and scholar, and Shams of Tabriz, a wandering dervish and spiritual teacher. Their friendship and their love transform Rumi from a conventional cleric into a passionate poet and mystic. Along the way, they also face opposition, jealousy and violence from those who do not understand their unconventional relationship. As Ella reads on, she realizes that Rumi's story mirrors her own, and that Aziz has come to set her free.


Who is the author?




Elif Shafak is a Turkish-British writer who has published 18 books, including 11 novels, in both Turkish and English. She is one of the most widely read female authors in Turkey, and her books have been translated into more than 50 languages. She is also an activist and a public speaker who advocates for women's rights, minority rights, freedom of expression and cultural diversity. She has been awarded several literary prizes, such as the Women Writers' Prize in Turkey, the Bastian Prize in Germany, the Prix Relay des Voyageurs in France, and the International Dublin Literary Award in Ireland. She has also been nominated for prestigious awards such as the Orange Prize, the IMPAC Award, the Baileys Prize and the Booker Prize.


Why should you read it?




You should read The Forty Rules of Love because it is a novel that will enrich your mind and your heart. It will introduce you to a fascinating period of history and culture, where poetry, philosophy and spirituality flourished. It will also make you reflect on your own life and your own relationships, and inspire you to seek more love, more joy and more meaning. It will also teach you some valuable lessons about love, such as the forty rules that Shams of Tabriz shares with Rumi and his followers. These rules are not only about romantic love, but also about universal love, divine love and self-love. They are wisdom that can help you live a more fulfilling and authentic life.


Summary of the book




The contemporary story: Ella and Aziz




Ella Rubenstein is a woman who has everything that society expects from her: a husband, three children, a nice house, a car, a dog. But she is not happy. She feels empty, bored and lonely. She has lost her passion and her purpose. She has also lost her connection with her husband, who is having an affair with a younger woman. She decides to take a job as a reader for a literary agent, hoping to find some excitement and escape in books. Her first assignment is to read and report on Sweet Blasphemy, a novel written by Aziz Zahara, a mysterious and charismatic man who lives in Amsterdam. As she reads the novel, she becomes captivated by its story and its characters. She also starts to communicate with Aziz via email, and they develop a friendship that soon turns into something more. Ella feels a strong attraction and a deep connection with Aziz, who seems to understand her better than anyone else. He also challenges her to question her beliefs, her values and her choices. He encourages her to follow her heart and to discover her true self. He invites her to meet him in person, and she agrees to go to Amsterdam to see him.


The historical story: Rumi and Shams




Sweet Blasphemy is a novel that tells the story of Rumi and Shams of Tabriz, two men who changed the course of history with their love and their poetry. Rumi was a respected scholar and preacher who lived in Konya, Turkey, in the thirteenth century. He had a large family, a loyal community and a prestigious position. He was also a devout Muslim who followed the rules of his religion and his society. But he was not satisfied. He felt that there was something missing in his life, something that he could not name or find. He prayed to God to send him someone who could guide him to the truth and the light. His prayer was answered when he met Shams of Tabriz, a wandering dervish who had traveled across the world in search of spiritual knowledge and experience. Shams was a rebel and a renegade who did not care about the norms or the opinions of others. He was also a master of Sufism, the mystical branch of Islam that emphasizes love, tolerance and union with God. When Rumi and Shams met, they felt an instant recognition and an intense attraction. They became friends, companions and soulmates. They spent hours talking, laughing, debating, praying and learning from each other. They also wrote poems to express their feelings and their insights. Their friendship and their love transformed Rumi from a conventional cleric into a passionate poet and mystic. He became more open, more joyful and more alive. He also became more popular, as his poems touched the hearts of many people who were looking for inspiration and guidance.


The forty rules of love




The core of Sweet Blasphemy is the forty rules of love that Shams of Tabriz teaches to Rumi and his followers. These rules are not only about romantic love, but also about universal love, divine love and self-love. They are wisdom that can help anyone live a more fulfilling and authentic life. Here are some examples of the rules:



  • The first rule is: The quest for love changes us. There is no seeker among those who search for love who has not matured on the way.



  • The second rule is: The path to the truth is a labor of the heart, not of the head.



  • The third rule is: You can study God through everything and everyone in the universe.



  • The fourth rule is: Intellect and love are made of different materials.



  • The fifth rule is: Each reader creates his own book.



  • The sixth rule is: Most problems of the world stem from linguistic mistakes.



  • The seventh rule is: Whatever happens in your life, no matter how troubling things might seem, do not enter the neighborhood of despair.



  • The eighth rule is: The universe is one being.



  • The ninth rule is: The past is an interpretation.



  • The tenth rule is: East, west, south or north makes little difference.



And so on until the fortieth rule:



And so on until the fortieth rule:



  • The fortieth rule is: A life without love is of no account.



These rules are not only expressed in words, but also in actions. Shams of Tabriz demonstrates his love for God, for Rumi and for humanity by living according to his principles and by challenging the status quo. He does not shy away from controversy or conflict, but rather embraces them as opportunities to grow and to learn. He also does not cling to his ego or his possessions, but rather gives them up willingly and joyfully. He is ready to sacrifice everything for the sake of love, even his own life.


Analysis of the book




The themes of love, spirituality and tolerance




The main theme of The Forty Rules of Love is love in its various forms and manifestations. The book explores how love can transform a person, a relationship and a society. It also shows how love can transcend time, space and boundaries. The book celebrates love as the ultimate source of meaning and happiness in life. It also challenges the reader to question their own understanding and experience of love, and to seek a deeper and more authentic connection with themselves, with others and with God.


Another theme of the book is spirituality and its relation to religion. The book portrays Sufism as a mystical path that emphasizes love, tolerance and union with God. It also contrasts Sufism with the more orthodox and rigid forms of Islam that prevailed in Rumi's time and that still exist today. The book criticizes the hypocrisy, corruption and violence that often result from dogmatism and fanaticism. It also advocates for a more inclusive and compassionate approach to faith and spirituality, one that respects diversity and embraces humanity.


A third theme of the book is tolerance and its relation to culture. The book depicts the thirteenth century as a period of turmoil and change, where different civilizations, religions and cultures clashed and interacted. The book shows how Rumi and Shams were influenced by various traditions, such as Persian, Turkish, Arabic, Greek and Mongolian. It also shows how they contributed to the enrichment and synthesis of these cultures through their poetry and their teachings. The book suggests that cultural diversity is not a threat, but a blessing, and that dialogue and exchange are essential for mutual understanding and harmony.


The style of storytelling and writing




The style of The Forty Rules of Love is characterized by its dual narrative structure, its multiple perspectives and its poetic language. The book alternates between two stories: the contemporary story of Ella and Aziz, and the historical story of Rumi and Shams. The book also switches between different points of view: Ella's, Aziz's, Rumi's, Shams's and several other minor characters'. The book uses this technique to create suspense, contrast and parallelism between the two stories and the various characters. The book also uses this technique to show the complexity and diversity of human experiences and opinions.


The language of The Forty Rules of Love is rich, lyrical and expressive. The book uses metaphors, similes, imagery and symbolism to convey the emotions and the messages of the characters. The book also incorporates poems by Rumi, Shams and other poets into the text, adding beauty and depth to the narrative. The book uses simple words but powerful sentences to create an engaging and captivating style.


The strengths and weaknesses of the book




One of the strengths of The Forty Rules of Love is its originality and creativity. The book offers a fresh and unique perspective on a historical figure who is widely known but rarely understood: Rumi. The book also introduces a lesser-known but equally fascinating character: Shams of Tabriz. The book reveals their personalities, their motivations and their struggles in a realistic and human way. The book also creates an interesting link between the past and the present, showing how their story can inspire and influence modern-day people.


Another strength of The Forty Rules of Love is its relevance and timeliness. The book addresses some of the most pressing issues of our time, such as religious extremism, cultural conflict and spiritual emptiness. The book offers some solutions and alternatives to these problems, such as love, tolerance and spirituality. The book also invites the reader to reflect on their own life and their own relationships, encouraging them to seek more love, more joy and more meaning. A possible weakness of The Forty Rules of Love is its idealization and simplification of some aspects of the story and the characters. The book sometimes portrays Rumi and Shams as flawless and heroic figures, who can do no wrong and who can overcome any obstacle. The book also sometimes ignores or glosses over some of the historical and cultural complexities and controversies that surrounded their lives and their teachings. The book may also be too optimistic and romantic about the power and the possibility of love, ignoring some of the challenges and the risks that it entails.


Conclusion




What did I learn from the book?




I learned a lot from The Forty Rules of Love. I learned about Rumi and Shams, their lives, their poetry and their philosophy. I learned about Sufism, its history, its principles and its practices. I learned about the thirteenth century, its events, its culture and its people. I also learned about myself, my beliefs, my values and my choices. I learned to appreciate love in all its forms and manifestations. I learned to be more open, more joyful and more alive.


Who would I recommend the book to?




I would recommend The Forty Rules of Love to anyone who is interested in history, literature and spirituality. I would also recommend it to anyone who is looking for inspiration, guidance and hope. I would especially recommend it to anyone who is searching for love, whether it is romantic love, divine love or self-love.


Where can you get the book in epub format?




If you want to read The Forty Rules of Love in epub format, you can download it from various websites that offer free ebooks. For example, you can find it on OceanofPDF, Internet Archive , or other similar sites. However, you should be careful about the quality and the legality of these downloads, as they may not be authorized by the author or the publisher. If you want to support the author and the publisher, you should buy the book from a reputable online store or a local bookstore.


FAQs





  • Q: Who is Rumi?



  • A: Rumi is a thirteenth-century Persian poet, scholar and mystic who is widely regarded as one of the greatest poets of all time. He is also the founder of the Mevlevi order of Sufism, also known as the whirling dervishes.



  • Q: Who is Shams of Tabriz?



  • A: Shams of Tabriz is a twelfth-century wandering dervish and spiritual teacher who was Rumi's best friend and soulmate. He is credited with transforming Rumi from a conventional cleric into a passionate poet and mystic.



  • Q: What are the forty rules of love?



  • A: The forty rules of love are a set of principles that Shams of Tabriz teaches to Rumi and his followers. They are not only about romantic love, but also about universal love, divine love and self-love. They are wisdom that can help anyone live a more fulfilling and authentic life.



  • Q: What is Sufism?



  • A: Sufism is a mystical branch of Islam that emphasizes love, tolerance and union with God. It also involves various practices such as meditation, prayer, music, poetry and dance.



  • Q: What is epub format?



  • A: Epub format is a digital file format that allows you to read ebooks on various devices such as computers, tablets, smartphones and e-readers. It is compatible with most ebook readers except Kindle.



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