The Forty Rules of Love


Title: Nation of Love

Author: Elif afak

Translator: Somayeh Badavi

Publisher: Contemporary Voice

Subject: Turkish stories, Rumi, Shams

Age category: Adult

Cover: Paperback

Number of pages: 328

Language: Farsi



The Forty Rules of Love by Elif افafak is a bestseller in Turkey and, of course, Iran. Perhaps before the publication of this book in Iran and its unparalleled reception, few people knew its Turkish author, Elif افafak.

The Nation of Love is a mystical account of all life, not just love.

A narrative that goes back and forth between the present and the past proves to the reader that understanding life is beyond time and space and even age.

Summary of the book Nation of Love
The story of the Nation of Love takes place in two timelines.

The first is followed in the seventh century AH in Konya.

Rumi was known among the people as a great scholar in the city of Konya and was highly respected by the people and the ruling class.

On the other hand, on the eve of his fortieth birthday, Shams feels that he will soon die and wants to tell someone about the forty laws of love that he has understood in his life.

The meeting between the Sufi and the world and the adventures that take place in between engages the reader until the end of the story.

The second story takes place 14 centuries later in Boston, USA.
When Alla Rubinstein is in her forties and has just accepted a book editing.

Alla is involved in a kind of lethargy and daily life and her life is facing problems from different aspects, but this book, which is called “Forty Laws of Love” and is in fact the story of the meeting between Shams and Molana, greatly affects her life.

Elif افafak connects the two narratives with skillful reciprocation. So much so that for a moment even the reader does not notice the change of time.

How love can subvert someone’s life at any time is more or less in the book of the love-centered nation.

In this book, Elif افafak talks about the change that love brings to human life. The meaning that human beings can understand in their lives through the experience of love.

Nation of Love is a name that has become popular in Iran for Elif افafak’s book.
In Turkey, this book is known as “Forty Laws of Love”.

Nation of Love was released simultaneously in 2010 in both English and Turkish.

The book has been reprinted more than 500 times in Turkey and translated into more than 30 living languages, making it the best-selling book in Turkish history.

About the author of the book Nation of Love: Elif Shafak
Elif افafak Per Strasbourg, France was born into a Turkish family. As a child and later her parents returned to Turkey, where she studied women’s studies.

Shafak experienced two different atmospheres in Turkey. On the one hand, her mother, an educated and intellectual woman, was responsible for raising her, and on the other hand, she spent much of her childhood with her grandmother, who is a traditional and somewhat superstitious woman.

Elif افafak is known in Turkey as a women’s rights activist and civil activist.

Shafak is the voice of those whose voices are not heard. Writes about the innocent, minorities, displaced and exiled.

“All writers must protest against Turkish repression,” he said in his latest speech.

Turkey is leading the way in arresting journalists.
Thousands have lost their jobs simply because they signed the peace petition.

In Turkey, the number of domestic violence cases has increased by 1,400 percent.

Turkey ranks 130th out of 149 countries in the gender gap index, according to the World Economic Forum.

Only about 15% of child sexual abuse cases are reported in this country.

The number of children and spouses in this country is a disaster.

“Instead of pretending that there is no problem, we should talk about it.” Such statements are not inferior to Shafak.

He was also summoned to court in 2006 for writing the novel The Bastard of Istanbul.
Shafak’s book is about the relationship between Turkish families and Armenian-American families.

In this book, he refers to the story of the Armenian genocide.

Other books by Elif افafak
There are other books by Elif افafak besides the book The Nation of Love and the Bastard of Istanbul, which have already been discussed.

Alexander, me and my teacher, after love and the three daughters of Eve, are other books of Shafak, all of which have been translated into Persian.

Another book recently written by Alif Shafak and published in Persian is called “10 minutes and 38 seconds”.

This book was nominated for the Man Booker Prize in 2019.

The Forty Rules of Love is the title of a novel by Elif افafak that was published simultaneously in 2010 in both English and Turkish.

The book is, in some cases, based on real history and events, but the author has not been as credible with the facts as a historian, and has added a little imagination to make the story more compelling.

Different sections of the book Nation of Love
The book Nation of Love is organized into five chapters:

Soil: Depth and calm
Water: change and flow
Wind: Going or migrating
Fire: heat and destruction
Vacuum: No effect of things
The first part of the book describes and introduces the characters of Alla and Aziz, and Shams and Rumi and the beginning of their movement towards love.

After reading the book, you may tell yourself that the book is chanting about love and that this is not the place of love in today’s life. But these descriptions and images are part of the beauty of the story.

In the second part of the book, we read the story of Shams going to Rumi.

Previously, the author portrays a little of Rumi before Shams’s visit for the reader, and then continues the story with Shams entering Konya and his encounter with several completely different characters.

These meetings are narrated both from Shams’s point of view and from the point of view of the characters that Shams encounters upon entering Konya.

In the third part of the book, the audience finally sees Shams face Rumi.

The arrival of Shams is as exciting as the rest of the story; An input that makes some people react.
According to them [Sufis], drinking wine, dancing, playing an instrument, reciting poetry, painting, and the like are more important than religious duties.

They keep repeating: As long as there is no rank in Islam, everyone has the right to reach God in the way they know.

The fourth part of the book is the story of going. A departure that occurs for both narratives in this book.

The narration of Allaah and Aziz in which Allaah decides to accept the expression of Aziz’s interest and discusses this issue with him.

Shams also decides to finish the path he started with Rumi by listening and see him complete.

Sentences from the book Nation of Love
If you throw a stone into a river, it will not have much effect. The surface of the water clears a little and picks up a little wave.

There is an imperceptible sound of a “top”, but the same sound is lost in the noise of the water and its waves. that is all.

But if you throw the same stone into ponds, its effect is much more lasting and deeper.

The same rock, the same small rock, shakes the stagnant waters. Where the rock hits the surface of the water, a ring first appears;
The ring germinates, the bud blooms, opens and opens, layer by layer. A small stone in the blink of an eye that does not.

It spreads all over the surface of the water and in an instant you see that it is everywhere. Circles Increase the circles until the last circle hits the shore and disappears.

What are the forty rules of love or the forty rules of Shams Tabrizi?
Along with the main narrative of the story, Elif افafak also introduces forty laws of love.

These forty rules are the knot between the different narratives of the book.

Many believe that forty years is the age of puberty and maturity, and this emphasizes the importance of the number forty in religious and mystical beliefs.

In a way, it was believed that after going through the forty stages, man will reach a kind of salvation.

Alla, the main character of the story, also experiences a flip at the age of forty, which allows him to change and grow throughout the story.

Excerpt from the book Forty Laws of Love (Nation of Love)
Rule 1: “We know our Creator as we see ourselves.”

Maybe when you hear the name of God, if a scary and embarrassing creature comes to your mind, it means that you are scared most of the time.

“But if you think of love and kindness when you hear the name of God, then these qualities are undoubtedly present in you.”

“Don’t be silly,” said the man. Your profession means that God is the product of our imagination. I think you … “

At that moment, a noise arose from one of the tables in the back row, and his words were half-finished.

When we returned to the noises, we saw two large men of drunken stature, shamelessly walking over to other tables, picking up their ashes and nodding their heads. And no one dared to protest.

The owner of the caravanserai gritted his teeth and said, “Look at you, God, these two, as if they were fed up.” “Well, watch the dervishes.”
He jumped across the room like lightning. And he grabbed the neck of one of those drunken customers and put a strong fist on his face. The man, who did not expect such an encounter at all, fell to the ground like an empty sack.

There was nothing but a faint moan from his mouth.

Although the other man looked stronger, he attacked the innkeeper, but it was not long before he too fell to the ground.

The innkeeper kicked the man angrily in the chest, then crushed the man’s fingers under his heavy boots.
I heard the sound of a broken bone in my hand.
I shouted: Enough, do you want to kill him?

As a Sufi, I swore not to harm any creature at the cost of my life.

If I see someone hurting someone, I will do my best to help the oppressed, but I will not resort to force.

The only thing I could do was to separate the two lives.

Related books

1- Introducing the book The Forty Rules of Love on YouTube

2- Introducing the book The Forty Rules of Love in Aparat

Additional information


الیف شافاک



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