Thou Shalt Love!: The Contemporary Relevance of Rumi in Elif Shafak’s The Forty Rules of Love- a Character Based Study Establishing Love as the Central Theme of the Novel and Humanity (Published)
This paper aims to analyse Love and its dearth in today’s world that forms the crux of Elif Shafak’s novel The Forty Rules of Love. The novel connects human predicament of the thirteenth century of Rumi- a poet, and his Sufi friend Shams, with the twenty-first century of Ella and her mystic friend cum lover Aziz. The novel presents several Sufi tenets, but it is Elif’s conviction of love that firmly holds the Sufi theme in the novel, according it with magnitude and potency. Achieving oneness with the creator is the goal of mankind, and it is only possible through spirituality which, in turn, is indispensable to love. Therefore, Love forms the substratum of the novel in question. This paper scrutinizes Elif’s portrayal of characters and their predicaments illustrating how the Oneness can be achieved despite differences through the path of love and love alone.