It is a duty to love when we’re alive. This is because everything happens at its own time allotted by God, who is the meticulous and accurate clock-maker. Shams teach the importance of practicing compassion because as he believes, “the Universe is one being.” If one person feels pain, we are all affected. In the same way, love and joy should be shared through the invisible web that holds everything together.
Love, according the book, transcends even time. Time is a concept created by our imagination. Shams explain that we do not move through life in a straight line from the past to the future, but through a tangling spiral between the two. Eternity according to Shams means to be timeless. Consequently, pure love goes beyond time-bound restrictions. “In love,” Shams explains, “boundaries are blurred.” This applies whether it is spiritual love, or romantic love. In rule number thirty of love, Shams downplays the ego. For a Sufi, according to Shams, the ‘self’ does not exist, and because of this, a Sufi has no enemies. Conflict and rivalry are created by the ego (Shafak & Laural 149). The persisting lesson is that our compassion and generosity should expand to encompass everyone. We should not let anything stand between us and the one we love, be it man or God. This concept is summarized in the fortieth rule of love which states that life without love is meaningless. We also cannot limit love with definitions and labeling it (Shafak & Laural 224). Shams believes that love is what connects us to each other and to God.
However, to someone brought up in a fundamentalist view of religion, the concept of different religions being one may feel uncomfortable and confusing. This is because most people are brought up to believe in only one thing, being it Christianity, Islam, Buddhist or any of the other religions. The idea of combining different ...