Role of Sufism and Spirituality in Psychological Well Being: A Study of Elif Shafak's 'The Forty Rules of Love' From a Cognitive and Existential Perspective

Muntazar Mehdi, Asma Mehmood, Dr. Arshad Ali

  • Muntazar Mehdi National University of Modern Languages, Islamabad
Keywords: Sufism, Spirituality, Existential Crisis, Mental Health


Every individual faces existential crises at some point in life, especially when he or she is going through hard times. The human mind, human body, human health, and disease can be seen as directly or indirectly linked to spirituality. Past research has shown that spirituality is one of the most important determinants of physical and mental health. Spirituality has proved to be quite effective in the field of neuroscience. However, little work has been done on how it plays a role in the development of a healthy mind. Sufism is considered to be a prominent spiritual phenomenon in Islam, Buddhism, and Christianity. It is believed that Sufism plays a positive role in bringing harmony to people and their existence.ElifShafak is one of those writers who are deeply moved by the Sufi phenomenon and how it plays its part in the positive transformation of the individual. This research analyses Sufism and spirituality and tries to explain how Sufism and Spirituality can help with existential crises and the healing of mental health problems, as illustrated in ElifShafak's novel The Forty Rules of Love. This study employs a qualitative method of analysis and helps to understand the religious experiences and the love that affects the actions of the individual and how this brings about a positive change in one's life by providing a new perspective.