The 40 Rules of Love: Rule 2

The Idea behind this series of “The 40 rules of Love :Rule #” is to explore the idea of Love which has been given in this book of Elif Safak. I will be taking up one rule at a time, as I continue to read the books and then explore from my own perspective. It is for me an experiment in Love, Belief, Spirituality and Faith. Lets see where it lands me! 

The path to the Truth is a labour 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 self will lead you to the knowledge of God.

“The path to the Truth is the labour of the heart”…… How is that possible was my first remark! I mean if you want to understand the truth then you need to think with your brain so that you can conclude the right from the wrong, right?

But then I noticed the capital ‘T’ in the word ‘Truth’ which more or less implies God, in the Islamic tradition. And then it seemed to make sense the statement…. If I need to find God, which one can hardly understand from their rationale thoughts (How can you believe in something when you can’t see, hear, feel or touch something), I need to think and listen to my emotional side. And it is that love for the Truth (I think) that will make me get over my nafs or my desires. But how does “Knowing your self will lead you to the knowledge of God”? Has it got to do with the first rule? Maybe so, for this is how it seems to me!

The thing for me is that I am a person who believes in morality, although that is independent of religion! I think one needs to do what is good in regards to other human beings no matter whether you believe in a religion or a God or not! But do I really use my brain for it or my heart?

I don’t know what I am saying here. This is just something that I can’t understand!


The 40 Rules of Love: Rule 1

The Idea behind this series of “The 40 rules of Love :Rule #” is to explore the idea of Love which has been given in this book of Elif Safak. I will be taking up one rule at a time, as I continue to read the books and then explore from my own perspective. It is for me an experiment in Love, Belief, Spirituality and Faith. Lets see where it lands me! 

Only recently, did I started reading the book which already seems to have become a big sensation in the world over. The book ofcourse is as you would have guessed if you are at all interested in books is “The 40 Rules of Love” by Elif Shafak.

The book from the main description of the topic explores nothing new. It appears – SO FAR – to be a cliche love story about Rumi and Tabriz. Now, this is where I always get stuck!

Have we become so cynical about love that we refuse to see it as anything other than the physical pleasure of two bodies?

The love story of Tabriz and Rumi has always raised enough suspicion in me to take their love as so much more than the spiritual crap that is thrown in at us. How is it that one can talk about someone with so much intensity and not cross certain boundaries? How is it that the height of your passion is a man who is with you and you don’t get close enough!

Anyways, the book begins, a story about Ella and her life which seems to have taken toll on the more important aspects that should be the part of one’s life, , like Love, Romance, etc. She has taken up this job as a Manuscript analyst or whatever, and she is posed with the first rule of Love, which is,

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.

How do I see God? Do I see God? I have never been a person who has had a strong belief,my belief seems to come and go! My faith has been explained by different people in different people, a few have claimed that I am a Closet Believer, others have said that I  am upset with God for hurting me and that is why I refuse to accept him. The second statement has seem to hit home, it has at moments seemed to knock the wind out of me.

So does that really mean that I am upset with Him? I can never really be sure about this. I remember a time when I used to have so much faith in Him, but then came a time, when I started feeling that it is all too easy! Having someone up above looking down at you and at your actions and just like that one day, there will be a good and bad, and heaven and hell! It all seemed so easy! So am I really upset with Him? My question has always been where was He, when I was going through all of the shit I was going through, where was He? What was He so busy with that he didn’t come to my help?

Forget the question about whether I believe in him or not for a minute, but if this is how I see God, then does that mean that I think of him as a being who sits back and let things happen to others? He lets us go through the hurt and the pain and let us make our own mistakes and learn and let go and learn to depend on ourselves?

Lets take this question the other way round! How do I see myself? I see myself as family oriented, Independent, Love my career, passionate, Want to prove myself, I think I have a bigger purpose in life, I am curious, stubborn, wandering spirit, and more than that, I am a human, who has limits. I like to find my own way, I like getting lost, because I think you can find so much more about something when you are lost, I want to know everything about everything, I want to touch and feel and see everything! Is that how God is? Family Oriented, Independent, Loving his work, passionate, With a bigger purpose, Curious, Stubborn?

If He is like that, then we might get along pretty well!

” Atheist huh? God Bless you! “

Based on my observation, I am today possessed to write this brief experience of mine that I seem to encounter every single time I have displayed my beliefs on a public forum (Read FB Profile, FB/MSN Chat) . It so happens that every single time, I have made this fact known to someone, I am then constantly surrounded by religious salutations. All of a sudden the religious smses would increase prompting ever so subtly for the non-believer to mend their ways, or simply about the wreath of God. The religious blessings and greetings would have a fervor of their own incomparable to anything that I would have experienced ever before between me and the subject that I am dissing here at the moment.

All of a sudden, because of me, life for the people around me seems to have a new meaning. They now have a purpose in life, and that purpose in life seems to be to compel within me the spirit that would make me turn on the righteous path! The naivety of this situation has always amazed me! But I guess with people like us on the loose, they probably don’t have a choice! Anyways so here are some comics that I found that I think are hilarious.. I guess other ‘s have also gone through the same agony.

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Go ahead ..label me!

For most of my adult life, I have been labeled as non-religious, agnostic, in-denial, closet Muslim, atheist, and for a large part of my life I have let people believe in whatever they want to believe, because honestly speaking I have never thought of it to be my concern about how they choose to think about me. But it is hurtful when a person who does know you can be so rude and hurts you badly because of your believe, or because how people who don’t even know you perceive you, or simply because it is easy to raise fingers on others than on yourself.

So this is a sort of an attempt to clear that. Here goes nothing!

My religious believes are something that I myself have to find. As a child yes, I did believe in God, not because I chose to, but simply because I inherited it. But as I grew up, the question needed to be answered, whether I truly in my heart believed in Him. I know that most of us go on believing in whatever believes, religious or contrary, have been given to us when we still are in our mothers laps. But I believe that with age and maturity we should ask ourselves this question about why is it that we believe and in what! Otherwise our believes can never have any substantial foundations.

So do I believe in God? I don’t know. Have I seen God in the millions of faces that surround us? Maybe. Have I seen Godly acts? yes!

This is my believe. I am not sure if God exists, although I am open to the idea  that maybe on day I will find him, but so far what I have seen is Godly strength and courage among people. And that in itself needs to be appreciated.

You can find it in the face of a mother who is tired but can still find time for all the people in her life, in a parent who can learn to forgive you for everything wrong that you have done, you can find it in a friend who despite being tired and having his owns problems would listen to you and be there for you, you can find it in a stranger who offers to give his seat and stand for hour or more in a bus in a city like Karachi, in the eyes of a father who is looking at his new born, God like is when a person decided to forget the wrong of a person and learns to trust him again, its when a person knows the good and the bad about some one and still can see beyond that.

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