Thought-Provoking Clippings from Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak

Few days ago, my professor gave us brief introduction of “The Forty Rules of Love” by Elif Shafak. Although, I am not fond of reading novels, somehow the brief discussion on ’emptiness in life’, inspired me to read this novel. The thought provoking novel, fabulously narrates the story of Shams Tabraiz,  Rumi and their relationship in connection with lives of common people. While reading, I found myself lost for sometime. The reading changed my perspective about life, religion and human relationships. I’m sharing the clippings in this post from the sections of the text that touched my heart. You may also find it helpful, but I strongly suggest to read and enjoy this  book on mystics of Sufism. I’m sure once you’re done reading you’ll feel same as Ella.

The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 537-42  | Added on Tuesday, January 20, 2015, 09:59 PM

Sufi mystics say the secret of the Qur’an lies in the verse Al-Fatiha, And the secret of Al-Fatiha lies in Bismillahirrahmanirrahim And the quintessence of Bismillah is the letter ba, And there is a dot below that letter.… The dot underneath the B embodies the entire universe.…

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 612-14  | Added on Tuesday, January 20, 2015, 10:21 PM

Even God recognized the need for someone like me in His holy scheme when He appointed Azrael the Archangel of Death to terminate lives. In this way human beings feared, cursed, and hated the angel while His hands remained clean and His name unblemished. It wasn’t fair to the angel. But then again, this world was not known for its justice, was it?

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 644-45  | Added on Tuesday, January 20, 2015, 10:30 PM

Four years have passed since I stabbed him in that courtyard and dumped his body in a well, waiting to hear the splash that never came. Not a sound. It was as if rather than falling down into the water he fell up toward the sky.

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 707  | Added on Tuesday, January 20, 2015, 10:53 PM

there is a thin line between losing yourself in God and losing your mind.

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 731-33  | Added on Tuesday, January 20, 2015, 10:57 PM

“How we see God is a direct reflection of how we see ourselves. If God brings to mind mostly fear and blame, it means there is too much fear and blame welled inside us. If we see God as full of love and compassion, so are we.”

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 905-6  | Added on Wednesday, January 21, 2015, 11:37 PM

The Path to the Truth is a labor of the heart, not of the head. Make your heart your primary guide! Not your mind. Meet, challenge, and ultimately prevail over your nafs with your heart. Knowing your ego will lead you to the knowledge of God.

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 948-49  | Added on Wednesday, January 21, 2015, 11:44 PM

No matter who we are or where we live, deep inside we all feel incomplete. It’s like we have lost something and need to get it back. Just what that something is, most of us never find out. And of those who do, even fewer manage to go out and look for it.

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 1019-21  | Added on Wednesday, January 21, 2015, 11:55 PM

“The Abbasid rule will prevail, and we will prosper. That is, of course, if the status quo is not disrupted by the traitors among us. There are those who call themselves Muslim, but their interpretation of Islam is far more dangerous than threats from infidels.”

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 1051-52  | Added on Thursday, January 22, 2015, 12:03 AM

“Because although it is a fact that He cannot be found by seeking, only those who seek can find Him.”

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 1069-71  | Added on Thursday, January 22, 2015, 12:07 AM

Cities are erected on spiritual columns. Like giant mirrors, they reflect the hearts of their residents. If those hearts darken and lose faith, cities will lose their glamour. It happens, and it happens all the time.”

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 1086-89  | Added on Thursday, January 22, 2015, 12:11 AM

“Each and every reader comprehends the Holy Qur’an on a different level in tandem with the depth of his understanding. There are four levels of insight. The first level is the outer meaning and it is the one that the majority of the people are content with. Next is the Batm—the inner level. Third, there is the inner of the inner. And the fourth level is so deep it cannot be put into words and is therefore bound to remain indescribable.”

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 1089-91  | Added on Thursday, January 22, 2015, 12:12 AM

“Scholars who focus on the sharia know the outer meaning. Sufis know the inner meaning. Saints know the inner of the inner. And as for the fourth level, that is known only by prophets and those closest to God.”

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 1123-24  | Added on Thursday, January 22, 2015, 12:18 AM

God does not take us at our word. He looks deep into our hearts. It is not the ceremonies or rituals that make a difference, but whether our hearts are sufficiently pure or not.”

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 1333-34  | Added on Thursday, January 22, 2015, 12:49 AM

“Nothing reminds a man of home like the smell of freshly baked bread,” she had said. “Never buy your bread. Bake it yourself, honey. It will work wonders.”

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 1388-90  | Added on Thursday, January 22, 2015, 12:58 AM

Most of the problems of the world stem from linguistic mistakes and simple misunderstandings. Don’t ever take words at face value. When you step into the zone of love, language as we know it becomes obsolete. That which cannot be put into words can only be grasped through silence.

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 1496-99  | Added on Thursday, January 22, 2015, 01:13 AM

Loneliness and solitude are two different things. When you are lonely, it is easy to delude yourself into believing that you are on the right path. Solitude is better for us, as it means being alone without feeling lonely. But eventually it is best to find a person, the person who will be your mirror. Remember, only in another person’s heart can you truly see yourself and the presence of God within you.

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 1522-25  | Added on Thursday, January 22, 2015, 01:17 AM

Whatever happens in your life, no matter how troubling things might seem, do not enter the neighborhood of despair. Even when all doors remain closed, God will open up a new path only for you. Be thankful! It is easy to be thankful when all is well. A Sufi is thankful not only for what he has been given but also for all that he has been denied.

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 1540-43  | Added on Thursday, January 22, 2015, 01:20 AM

Patience does not mean to passively endure. It means to be farsighted enough to trust the end result of a process. What does patience mean? It means to look at the thorn and see the rose, to look at the night and see the dawn. Impatience means to be so shortsighted as to not be able to see the outcome. The lovers of God never run out of patience, for they know that time is needed for the crescent moon to become full.

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 1745-47  | Added on Thursday, January 22, 2015, 09:26 PM

East, west, south, or north makes little difference. No matter what your destination, just be sure to make every journey a journey within. If you travel within, you’ll travel the whole wide world and beyond.

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 1749-52  | Added on Thursday, January 22, 2015, 09:27 PM

The midwife knows that when there is no pain, the way for the baby cannot be opened and the mother cannot give birth. Likewise, for a new Self to be born, hardship is necessary. Just as clay needs to go through intense heat to become strong, Love can only be perfected in pain.

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 1759-60  | Added on Thursday, January 22, 2015, 09:29 PM

The quest for Love changes us. There is no seeker among those who search for Love who has not matured on the way. The moment you start looking for Love, you start to change within and without.”

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 1784-88  | Added on Thursday, January 22, 2015, 09:32 PM

There are more fake gurus and false teachers in this world than the number of stars in the visible universe. Don’t confuse power-driven, self-centered people with true mentors. A genuine spiritual master will not direct your attention to himself or herself and will not expect absolute obedience or utter admiration from you, but instead will help you to appreciate and admire your inner self. True mentors are as transparent as glass. They let the Light of God pass through them.”

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 1808-9  | Added on Thursday, January 22, 2015, 09:39 PM

“You say you want to travel the path, but you don’t want to sacrifice anything to that end. Money, fame, power, lavishness, or carnal pleasure—whatever it is that one holds most dear in life, one should dispose of that first.”

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 1837-39  | Added on Thursday, January 22, 2015, 09:42 PM

Each time I say good-bye to a place I like, I feel like I am leaving a part of me behind. I guess whether we choose to travel as much as Marco Polo did or stay in the same spot from cradle to grave, life is a sequence of births and deaths. Moments are born and moments die. For new experiences to come to light, old ones need to wither away. Don’t you think?

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 1924-25  | Added on Thursday, January 22, 2015, 10:19 PM

My life is complete and fulfilled, in that I have been blessed with the three things I hold most dear: knowledge, virtue, and the capability to help others find God.

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 1949-52  | Added on Thursday, January 22, 2015, 10:58 PM

I take a minute to salute its saints—the dead and the living, the known and the hidden. Never in my life have I arrived at a new place without getting the blessing of its saints first. It makes no difference to me whether that place belongs to Muslims, Christians, or Jews. I believe that the saints are beyond such trivial nominal distinctions. A saint belongs to all humanity.

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 1966-67  | Added on Thursday, January 22, 2015, 11:01 PM

Try not to resist the changes that come your way. Instead let life live through you. And do not worry that your life is turning upside down. How do you know that the side you are used to is better than the one to come?

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 1984  | Added on Thursday, January 22, 2015, 11:03 PM

“The Qur’an tells us each and every one of us was made in the best of molds. It’s one of the rules,”

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 1986-89  | Added on Thursday, January 22, 2015, 11:04 PM

“God is busy with the completion of your work, both outwardly and inwardly. He is fully occupied with you. Every human being is a work in progress that is slowly but inexorably moving toward perfection. We are each an unfinished work of art both waiting and striving to be completed. God deals with each of us separately because humanity is a fine art of skilled penmanship where every single dot is equally important for the entire picture.”

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 2076  | Added on Saturday, January 24, 2015, 10:30 AM

What brought us even closer to God, he said, was none other than suffering.

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 2112-15  | Added on Saturday, January 24, 2015, 10:39 AM

It’s easy to love a perfect God, unblemished and infallible that He is. What is far more difficult is to love fellow human beings with all their imperfections and defects. Remember, one can only know what one is capable of loving. There is no wisdom without love. Unless we learn to love God’s creation, we can neither truly love nor truly know God.

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 2136-38  | Added on Saturday, January 24, 2015, 10:47 AM

“Real filth is the one inside. The rest simply washes off. There is only one type of dirt that cannot be cleansed with pure waters, and that is the stain of hatred and bigotry contaminating the soul. You can purify your body through abstinence and fasting, but only love will purify your heart.”

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 2161-62  | Added on Saturday, January 24, 2015, 10:52 AM

“Every man is an open book, each and every one of us a walking Qur’an. The quest for God is ingrained in the hearts of all, be it a prostitute or a saint. Love exists within each of us from the moment we are born and waits to be discovered from then on.

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 2163-67  | Added on Saturday, January 24, 2015, 10:54 AM

The whole universe is contained within a single human being—you. Everything that you see around, including the things you might not be fond of and even the people you despise or abhor, is present within you in varying degrees. Therefore, do not look for Sheitan outside yourself either. The devil is not an extraordinary force that attacks from without. It is an ordinary voice within. If you get to know yourself fully, facing with honesty and hardness both your dark and bright sides, you will arrive at a supreme form of consciousness. When a person knows himself or herself, he or she knows God.”

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 2450-51  | Added on Saturday, January 24, 2015, 11:33 AM

Religious people are so confident of having God by their side that they think they are superior to everyone else,”

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 2581-83  | Added on Saturday, January 24, 2015, 12:03 PM

“Some people start life with a perfectly glowing aura but then lose color and fade. You seem to be one of them. Once your aura was whiter than lilies with specks of yellow and pink, but it faded over time. Now it is a pale brown. Don’t you miss your original colors? Wouldn’t you like to unite with your essence?”

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 2603-5  | Added on Saturday, January 24, 2015, 12:07 PM

If you want to change the way others treat you, you should first change the way you treat yourself. Unless you learn to love yourself, fully and sincerely, there is no way you can be loved. Once you achieve that stage, however, be thankful for every thorn that others might throw at you. It is a sign that you will soon be showered in roses.”

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 2612-14  | Added on Saturday, January 24, 2015, 12:09 PM

“The past is a whirlpool. If you let it dominate your present moment, it will suck you in,” said Shams as if he had read my thoughts. “Time is just an illusion. What you need is to live this very moment. That is all that matters.”

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 2619-21  | Added on Saturday, January 24, 2015, 12:11 PM

“Fret not where the road will take you. Instead concentrate on the first step. That’s the hardest part and that’s what you are responsible for. Once you take that step let everything do what it naturally does and the rest will follow. Do not go with the flow. Be the flow.”

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 2694-97  | Added on Saturday, January 24, 2015, 12:22 PM

We were all created in His image, and yet we were each created different and unique. No two people are alike. No two hearts beat to the same rhythm. If God had wanted everyone to be the same, He would have made it so. Therefore, disrespecting differences and imposing your thoughts on others is tantamount to disrespecting God’s holy scheme.”

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 2701-3  | Added on Saturday, January 24, 2015, 12:23 PM

“Besides, one does not become a believer overnight. He thinks he is a believer; then something happens in his life and he becomes an unbeliever; after that, he becomes a believer again, and then an unbeliever again, and so on. Until we reach a certain stage, we constantly waver. This is the only way forward. At each new step, we come closer to the Truth.”

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 2716-19  | Added on Saturday, January 24, 2015, 12:25 PM

When a true lover of God goes into a tavern, the tavern becomes his chamber of prayer, but when a wine bibber goes into the same chamber, it becomes his tavern. In everything we do, it is our hearts that make the difference, not our outer appearances. Sufis do not judge other people on how they look or who they are. When a Sufi stares at someone, he keeps both eyes closed and instead opens a third eye—the eye that sees the inner realm.”

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 2867-68  | Added on Saturday, January 24, 2015, 04:07 PM

If a man has no sense of belonging, he can drift in every direction, like a dry leaf in the wind. The perfect victim for Sheitan.

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 2861-62  | Added on Saturday, January 24, 2015, 04:08 PM

As far as the Sufis are concerned, the holy Qur’an is replete with obscure symbols and layered allusions, each of which ought to be interpreted in a mystic way.

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 2871-74  | Added on Saturday, January 24, 2015, 04:09 PM

A philosopher met a dervish one day, and they instantly hit it off. The two talked for days on end, completing each other’s sentences. Finally, when they parted company, the philosopher reported of the conversation, “All that I know, he sees.” Next the Sufi gave his account: “All that I see, he knows.”

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 2903-7  | Added on Saturday, January 24, 2015, 04:13 PM

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.

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 3119-20  | Added on Sunday, January 25, 2015, 08:27 PM

The first stage is the Depraved Nafs, the most primitive and common state of being, when the soul is entrapped in worldly pursuits.

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 3123-25  | Added on Sunday, January 25, 2015, 08:29 PM

Instead of blaming other people all the time, the person who has reached this stage blames himself, sometimes to the point of self-effacement. Herein the ego becomes the Accusing Nafs and thus starts the journey toward inner purification.

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 3364-67  | Added on Sunday, January 25, 2015, 09:33 PM

Scholars know a lot, that’s for sure, but is too much knowledge any good when it comes to matters of faith? They always speak such big words that it is hard to follow what they are saying. Muslim scholars criticize Christianity for accepting the Trinity, and Christian scholars criticize Islam for seeing the Qur’an as a perfect book. They make it sound as if the two religions are a world apart. But if you ask me, when it comes to the basics, ordinary Christians and ordinary Muslims have more in common with each other than with their own scholars.

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 3386-88  | Added on Sunday, January 25, 2015, 09:36 PM

Befuddled believer! If every Ramadan one fasts in the name of God and every Eid one sacrifices a sheep or a goat as an atonement for his sins, if all his life one strives to make the pilgrimage to Mecca and five times a day kneels on a prayer rug but at the same time has no room for love in his heart, what is the use of all this trouble?

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 3405-7  | Added on Sunday, January 25, 2015, 09:52 PM

The human being has a unique place among God’s creation. “I breathed into him of My Spirit,” God says. Each and every one of us without exception is designed to be God’s delegate on earth. Ask yourself, just how often do you behave like a delegate, if you ever do so? Remember, it falls upon each of us to discover the divine spirit inside and live by it.

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 3423-24  | Added on Sunday, January 25, 2015, 09:57 PM

Hell is in the here and now. So is heaven. Quit worrying about hell or dreaming about heaven, as they are both present inside this very moment. Every time we fall in love, we ascend to heaven. Every time we hate, envy, or fight someone, we tumble straight into the fires of hell.

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 3429-30  | Added on Sunday, January 25, 2015, 09:58 PM

Why worry so much about the aftermath, an imaginary future, when this very moment is the only time we can truly and fully experience both the presence and the absence of God in our lives?

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 3437-40  | Added on Sunday, January 25, 2015, 10:00 PM

“Not Christian or Jew or Muslim, not Hindu, Buddhist, Sufi or zen. Not any religion or cultural system. I am not of the East, nor of the West.… My place is placeless, a trace of the traceless.”

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 3498-3500  | Added on Sunday, January 25, 2015, 10:10 PM

On land, in sea or air, for every creature without exception, there is only one way to survive: to be shrewder and stronger than your worst enemy. To stay alive you need to fight. It’s as simple as that.

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 3502  | Added on Monday, January 26, 2015, 05:53 PM

Genghis Khan turned into a fireball of fury, declaring war against Islam.

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 3517  | Added on Monday, January 26, 2015, 05:57 PM

At a time when the enemies of Islam are looming large, what does Rumi preach? Peace! Passivity! Submission!

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 3518-22  | Added on Monday, January 26, 2015, 05:57 PM

Brother, stand the pain. Escape the poison Of your impulses. The sky will bow to your beauty If you do.… That way a thorn expands to a rose. A particular glows with the universal.

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 3528-29  | Added on Monday, January 26, 2015, 05:59 PM

“When school and mosque and minaret get torn down, then dervishes can begin their community.”

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 3532-33  | Added on Monday, January 26, 2015, 06:00 PM

Rumi’s family left the bedlam of Afghanistan for the tranquil orchards of Konya. It’s easy to preach tolerance when you have a history like that!

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 3590-91  | Added on Monday, January 26, 2015, 06:04 PM

All the prophets have given the same advice: Find the one who will be your mirror! For me that mirror is Shams of Tabriz.

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 3853-54  | Added on Monday, January 26, 2015, 06:53 PM

“People everywhere are struggling on their own for fulfillment, but without any guidance as to how to achieve it,”

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 3863-64  | Added on Monday, January 26, 2015, 06:55 PM

“If we can embrace the universe as a whole, with all its differences and contradictions, everything will melt into One.”

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 3871-74  | Added on Monday, January 26, 2015, 06:57 PM

“The universe is one being. Everything and everyone is interconnected through an invisible web of stories. Whether we are aware of it or not, we are all in a silent conversation. Do no harm. Practice compassion. And do not gossip behind anyone’s back—not even a seemingly innocent remark! The words that come out of our mouths do not vanish but are perpetually stored in infinite space, and they will come back to us in due time. One man’s pain will hurt us all. One man’s joy will make everyone smile,”

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 3886-87  | Added on Monday, January 26, 2015, 06:59 PM

“As much as I would love to join you, I’m afraid you will have to do it alone.”

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 3915-16  | Added on Monday, January 26, 2015, 07:57 PM

there are friendships in this world that seem incomprehensible to ordinary people but are in fact conduits to deeper wisdom and insight.

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 3932-33  | Added on Monday, January 26, 2015, 08:00 PM

“The lovers of God can have critics and even rivals, but they cannot have enemies.”

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 3936-39  | Added on Monday, January 26, 2015, 08:04 PM

This world is like a snowy mountain that echoes your voice. Whatever you speak, good or evil, will somehow come back to you. Therefore, if there is someone who harbors ill thoughts about you, saying similarly bad things about him will only make matters worse. You will be locked in a vicious circle of malevolent energy. Instead for forty days and nights say and think nice things about that person. Everything will be different at the end of forty days, because you will be different inside.”

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 4039-43  | Added on Monday, January 26, 2015, 08:38 PM

The past is an interpretation. The future is an illusion. The world does not move through time as if it were a straight line, proceeding from the past to the future. Instead time moves through and within us, in endless spirals. Eternity does not mean infinite time, but simply timelessness. If you want to experience eternal illumination, put the past and the future out of your mind and remain within the present moment.

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 4129-34  | Added on Monday, January 26, 2015, 08:51 PM

Destiny doesn’t mean that your life has been strictly predetermined. Therefore, to leave everything to fate and to not actively contribute to the music of the universe is a sign of sheer ignorance. “The music of the universe is all-pervading and it is composed on forty different levels. “Your destiny is the level where you will play your tune. You might not change your instrument but how well to play is entirely in your hands.”

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 4153-55  | Added on Monday, January 26, 2015, 08:56 PM

“I don’t care about haram or halal. I’d rather extinguish the fire in hell and burn heaven, so that people could start loving God for no other reason than love.”

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 4174-76  | Added on Monday, January 26, 2015, 08:59 PM

Although it clearly says in the Qur’an that slandering is one of the gravest sins ever, most people make hardly any effort to avoid it. They always condemn those who drink wine, or are on the lookout for adulterous women to stone, but when it comes to gossiping, which is a far more serious sin in the eyes of God, they take no notice of any wrongdoing.

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 4196-98  | Added on Monday, January 26, 2015, 09:10 PM

“In this world take pity on three kinds of people. The rich man who has lost his fortune, the well-respected man who has lost his respectability, and the wise man who is surrounded by ignorants.”

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 4203-6  | Added on Monday, January 26, 2015, 09:13 PM

The true Sufi is such that even when he is unjustly accused, attacked, and condemned from all sides, he patiently endures, uttering not a single bad word about any of his critics. A Sufi never apportions blame. How can there be opponents or rivals or even “others” when there is no “self” in the first place? How can there be anyone to blame when there is only One?

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 4496-4500  | Added on Tuesday, January 27, 2015, 08:33 PM

“If you want to strengthen your faith, you will need to soften inside. For your faith to be rock solid, your heart needs to be as soft as a feather. Through an illness, accident, loss, or fright, one way or another, we all are faced with incidents that teach us how to become less selfish and judgmental, and more compassionate and generous. Yet some of us learn the lesson and manage to become milder, while some others end up becoming even harsher than before. The only way to get closer to Truth is to expand your heart so that it will encompass all humanity and still have room for more Love.”

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 4542-46  | Added on Tuesday, January 27, 2015, 08:40 PM

Nothing should stand between yourself and God. Not imams, priests, rabbis, or any other custodians of moral or religious leadership. Not spiritual masters, not even your faith. Believe in your values and your rules, but never lord them over others. If you keep breaking other people’s hearts, whatever religious duty you perform is no good. “Stay away from all sorts of idolatry, for they will blur your vision. Let God and only God be your guide. Learn the Truth, my friend, but be careful not to make a fetish out of your truths.”

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 4913-16  | Added on Tuesday, January 27, 2015, 10:05 PM

While everyone in this world strives to get somewhere and become someone, only to leave it all behind after death, you aim for the supreme stage of nothingness. Live this life as light and empty as the number zero. We are no different from a pot. It is not the decorations outside but the emptiness inside that holds us straight. Just like that, it is not what we aspire to achieve but the consciousness of nothingness that keeps us going.”

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 5320-22  | Added on Thursday, January 29, 2015, 06:00 AM

In his belief that all idols that stood between the individual and God had to be demolished, including fame, wealth, rank, and even religion, Shams cut loose all the moorings that tied me to life as I knew it.

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 5327-32  | Added on Thursday, January 29, 2015, 06:03 AM

Whatever you see as profitable, flee from it! Drink poison and pour away the water of life! Abandon security and stay in frightful places! Throw away reputation, become disgraced and shameless!

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 5355-57  | Added on Thursday, January 29, 2015, 06:07 AM

Submission does not mean being weak or passive. It leads to neither fatalism nor capitulation. Just the opposite. True power resides in submission—a power that comes from within. Those who submit to the divine essence of life will live in unperturbed tranquillity and peace even when the whole wide world goes through turbulence after turbulence.

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 5455-56  | Added on Thursday, January 29, 2015, 06:21 AM

Little did I know that I was making the most common and the most painful mistake women have made all throughout the ages: to naïvely think that with their love they can change the men they love.

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 5599  | Added on Thursday, January 29, 2015, 06:40 AM

Beside our bed there was a pomegranate and a knife, so that we could eat the fruit and have as many children as the seeds inside.

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 5665-69  | Added on Thursday, January 29, 2015, 06:49 AM

In this world, it is not similarities or regularities that take us a step forward, but blunt opposites. And all the opposites in the universe are present within each and every one of us. Therefore the believer needs to meet the unbeliever residing within. And the nonbeliever should get to know the silent faithful in him. Until the day one reaches the stage of Insan-i Kâmil, the perfect human being, faith is a gradual process and one that necessitates its seeming opposite: disbelief.

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 6025-28  | Added on Thursday, January 29, 2015, 07:31 AM

This world is erected upon the principle of reciprocity. Neither a drop of kindness nor a speck of evil will remain unreciprocated. Fear not the plots, deceptions, or tricks of other people. If somebody is setting a trap, remember, so is God. He is the biggest plotter. Not even a leaf stirs outside God’s knowledge. Simply and fully believe in that. Whatever God does, He does beautifully.”

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 6078-80  | Added on Thursday, January 29, 2015, 07:39 AM

“God is a meticulous clockmaker. So precise is His order that everything on earth happens in its own time. Neither a minute late nor a minute early. And for everyone without exception, the clock works accurately. For each there is a time to love and a time to die.”

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 6135-38  | Added on Thursday, January 29, 2015, 07:47 AM

“It is never too late to ask yourself, ‘Am I ready to change the life I am living? Am I ready to change within?’ “Even if a single day in your life is the same as the day before, it surely is a pity. At every moment and with each new breath, one should be renewed and renewed again. There is only one way to be born into a new life: to die before death.”

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 6257-60  | Added on Thursday, January 29, 2015, 08:01 AM

While the parts change, the whole always remains the same. For every thief who departs this world, a new one is born. And every decent person who passes away is replaced by a new one. In this way not only does nothing remain the same but also nothing ever really changes. For every Sufi who dies, another is born somewhere.

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The Forty Rules of Love: A Novel of Rumi (Elif Shafak)

– Highlight Loc. 6365-69  | Added on Thursday, January 29, 2015, 09:06 AM

“A life without love is of no account. Don’t ask yourself what kind of love you should seek, spiritual or material, divine or mundane, Eastern or Western.… Divisions only lead to more divisions. Love has no labels, no definitions. It is what it is, pure and simple. “Love is the water of life. And a lover is a soul of fire! “The universe turns differently when fire loves water.”

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