2013 Reading: The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak

40rulesThe Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi by Elif Shafak

I read this for one of the book clubs I participate in, and I was keen to read it because several years ago I had read Shafak’s The Bastard of Istanbul, which I liked very much and commented on here.

I liked this book, although probably not as much as the previous one. This is two books in one: the frame story is about Ella, a Massachusetts housewife (and, suddenly, a reader for a literary agency) and Aziz, and also the inner story which is the book Aziz has written about Rumi and his companion Shams.

The frame story is a bit shallow. Ella is unhappy in her marriage and she finds herself attracted to Aziz. The inner story, on the other hand, is worth the price of admission. It tells of how Shams, a Sufi dervish, came to be Rumi’s companion and helped Rumi become the great poet he is known to be today, which happened in the mid-13th Century. That part of the story was compelling, although it’s told from too many points of view: Rumi, Shams, Rumi’s 2 sons, Rumi’s wife, a harlot, a killer, a drunk, a beggar, etc.

Still, I’m very glad I read the book and would recommend it.

About the author


  1. DIVAN SHAMS, Rumi’ s masterpiece was decoded by Mr Hich during 30 years of scientific, Cultural and artistic presence of his hard life, always was at service of his society and through these years he was capable of composing lots of rare books of which we will mention a few:
    A) Interpretation of Masnavi -Manavi (by Rumi) in 9 volumes titled as :
    Spiritual society
    Beyond Journey
    Voice of silence
    Living in fourth dimension
    The Lord of love
    Dream therapy
    Salvation in here
    The God’s sight
    Recreate! your future
    B) Interpreting, heading & decoding the entire DIVAN SHAMS (by Rumi) in 50 volumes that we will mention some of them:
    A ray of king’s love
    Look at that royal king
    Oh pure & purifier lord!
    Seeking world lord out
    The unseen lord
    Our majesty ,The king of goodness
    Towards the king
    The charitable lord
    He is my majesty
    The king of love
    The uplifting king
    How is that king beyond veil
    The love former king
    The Great appear from high majesty God
    Oh mere traceless You are the endless sea
    Moon in solitude
    You are the king of union
    Oh the mercy sun of mystery
    Divine genius
    A cup of pure light
    Sight without thou
    Chelipa of Saba
    Dance of Breeze
    Gift of Breeze
    Breeze in my mind
    I can’t move without breeze
    The amorous of breeze
    The rise of breeze
    C) Mr Hich also engaged in artistic activities we will mention some of them:
    1) Writing the scenarios of King of hearts or divine king
    2) Manavi’s story Chosen from Masnavi’s tales ( by Rumi )
    3) House of balance (Family feature animation)
    4) Covers(inspired from concepts of Divan Shams)
    D) Mr Hich illustrated a new horizon and directs some works in Sun of Art by designing heart cards which resulted in coming up lots of priceless artistic works in that field, and his co-workers are already busy completing this job.
    E) Taking action to open workshops to find out Art bases from persian literary texts is one of Mr Hich’s other unique activities in order to spread about pure hidden culture in ancestors works. After 5 years of opening these workshops in Sun of Art House it was inspiring to create lots of artistic works, such as: Script_writing, Play writing, Graphic Movie making ,Animating, Story-witting ,Toreutics, Imaginary arts ,Calligraphy, Music, Formed designing, Poetry and etc
    But his most unique activity is Decoding of “DIVAN SHAMS” after 725 years.
    It is for the first time in the world that such investigation is going to be published (in 50 volumes) and set him among the rare (Shams researchers) all around the world, 5000 codes from DIVAN SHAMS.
    This action can make divine genius known to all human-beings… It has to be mentioned we can’t introduce Master Hich through this.
    Hamid Goodarzi started to illustrate it by his works and exposure them in different exhibitions with the names Real Identity, True life, Virtual life and …

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