The Prime Minister of our beloved country, Imran Khan, always surprised us with his recommendations of Historic Dramas and some Classic Books. Recently, in a post on Instagram, Prime Minister Imran Khan recommended our youth to read Elif Shafak’s “The Forty Rules of Love.” In the past, Imran Khan has advocated the promotion of a Historic Turkish Drama “Drilis Ertugrul.” This Turkish drama has sparked a new spirit of Islam in the young generation of our country. People have given so much love and appreciation to this drama that their actors have become brand ambassadors to some of our leading brands. This drama has initiated new friendly ties with Turkey.
Later in an interview, Imran Khan also said, “Dramas like Ertugrul needs to be promoted.” In a tweet, Prime Minister Imran Khan mentioned his next recommendation. The book “Lost Islamic History” brings our youth closer to Islam in lockdown situations due to COVID-19.
On 5th October 2020, Imran Khan posted a picture of his next recommendation with a caption;
This October, I suggest our youth to read “The Forty Rules of Love” by Elif Shafak. An inspirational book about divine love, Sufism, Rumi & his Murshid Shams Tabriz. I read it a few years back and was deeply inspired.Imran Khan
A Review to Elif Shafak’s: The Forty Rules of Love
The Forty Rules of Love is written by Elif Shafak, a French-born renowned Turkish writer. Elif Shafak is the most acknowledged and the bravest of the authors as well as a vigilant feminist in Turkey. This masterpiece of writing is one of her best sellers. In this book, the author beautifully unfolds two tantalizing parallel narratives—one contemporary, that is about a woman, Ella Rubenstein who is forty and is an unhappily married Jewish housewife living in Northampton, Massachusetts. She takes a job as a reader for a literary agent.
A Second Narrative
Her first assignment is to read and report Sweet Blasphemy, a novel written by Aziz Zahara. It is actually a second narrative to ‘The Forty Rules of Love.’ 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, 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. At the same time, the other set is in the thirteenth century, where Rumi encountered his spiritual mentor, the whirling dervish known as Shams of Tabriz—that together incarnate the poet’s timeless message of love. Shams travels to Konya, where Rumi lives, and on the other hand, Ella gets attached to Aziz over the email. Over the course, she realizes that she is ready to give up her life, her children, her monotonous routine to be with Zahara.
I really like the novel, and most of it is because of Shams of Tabriz. From his rues of the religion of love to his enchanting and strong personality to his strong belief in God and Oneness and his affection for all, everything was stunning. This book somehow awakened an urge to find God in the most unlikely places. Also, it intensified my dislike of hypocritic religious people. Moreover, it was charming to learn how Rumi emerged as a great poet after his beloved companion’s separation. Last but not least, as a reader, I really appreciated Ella’s courage for being satisfied with leaving behind her old life and going onto an uncertain path of love.
The novel’s style is narrative, and although Sweet blasphemy is really captivating, the narrative of Ella somehow adds some weak points to the script. The writer nailed it in comparing and adding up the two narratives together. Such as sweet blasphemy is written with sometimes Rumi’s family members’ perspectives or some harlot or Shams, etc. That clearly presents the reader with an idea of what is happening around. But at the same time, the lack of Ella’s multiple perspectives made it a bit vague to understand her side of the story.
All in all, I would advise anyone passionate about good books must go for this. Right now, our youth is busy in so many worldly things that they are far away from the true essence of our religion. This is a high time to take them back to our roots. And to make them closer in their actions and characters to the real men of history. Moreover, the past recommendations of Ertugrul and Lost Islamic History by our sensible Prime Minister have made us believe that this book is worth a read.