Reviewed by: Yousaf Alamgirian
Books are books. They are not always good and always bad. A good book takes the reader on a pleasure drive to travel with it, whereas bad books make readers stuck-up and takes them to the negative zone. The real book gives life and positivity to the thoughts. Words are powerful. Written words are more powerful than that of the spoken ones. Someone may speak out something without considering its consequences whereas writings always carry along deep thought process and sometimes sheer evaluation of the words and phrases.
Great books are always knitted well and conveyed well. Elif Shafak’s “The Forty Rules of Love” is one of those. The book is well received due to its subject and content. It revolves around the love and spirituality. It defines different meanings of life to its readers. The moment readers’ start reading it out they try to finish it in one go. Its writer Eliff Shafak is an award winning novelist and most widely read woman author in Turkey. She was born in 1971 in Starsburg and is the author of more than ten books, which have received applause from the world over. ‘The Forty Rules of Love’ revolves around the spirituality of Shams of Tabraiz and Rumi. This relationship introduced carries all together a different meaning of love and affection with it. It is said that love never follows rules but the rules given by the
Shams inculcate a unique essence of love and affection and that makes the flavor of the book.
The book narrates that how love can inculcate while being for away from each other and how it changes someone’s life, priorities and everything. Ella Rubinsteins’s erupting love for Aziz Z. Zahra, a novelist who himself is influenced with the charisma of Shams and Rumi makes the content powerful enough to engage readers to passionately reading out about the relations and relationships. It depicts that love can always intrigue into someone’s life as priority number one. That’s how it shows chances to love and to be loved are not always bleak. Ella thought she had lived her life. Most of its part was tasteless and loveless one. But out of the blue she met an experience how to re-live the life. On the other Rumi was a different man before meeting with Shams of Tabraiz. This is how Rumi was transformed into a great Sufi poet and thinker. The Sofis’ are energetic yet selfless. Their life is for others. Their love is for others. They are the super humans who live for humanity. They live even after their death. Elif Shafak has introduced the readers with true love through the rules of love defined by Shams of Tabraiz. One of the rules mentioned in the book narrates “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. In this life stay away from all kinds of extremities, for they will destroy your inner balance. Sufis do not go to extremes. A Sufi always remains mild and moderate”.
The book is knitted in a style that grabs reader’s full attention. In one of the letters Ella wrote to Aziz asked him were you shams? Or is the other way round? Is Shams you? Azizi replied, “Dear Ella Shams is the person who was responsible for the transformation of Rumi from a local cleric to world famous poet and mystic. Master Sameed used to say to me “If there might be a Shams equivalent in some people, what matters is, where are Rumis to see it”. So it tells there may be many Rumis who could find Shams and many shams that were not honored with the followers like Rumi. It seems it was a one-time happening only.
In short Eliff Shafak’s ‘The forty rules of love’ has the tendency to transform many readers from simple readers to objective and affectionate readers. Hence she has contributed in terms of producing good literature by authoring a book which has been well received and well applauded indeed.
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