After reading Elif Shafak’s masterpiece, The Forty Rules of Love, I was mesmerized by one character and that was of Kimya khatun, Rumi’s daughter. I so desperately wanted to read more narrative on this mystical woman who travelled from her rural Village to live in Rumi’s home, so the book Rumi’s Daughter by Muriel Maufroy caught my eye. What intrigued me the most was, that apart from the much talked about bond that Rumi and Shams shared there is another angle to it.
The novel is based on true events and revolves around three main characters and the events that take place to change their lives, especially of the protagonist, a young girl named Kimya. The novel is a chronicle of Kimya. She is a smart child, who descends into a realm of surrealism, at a period when conventional Christian families, and the invading Muslims were managing to live in harmony in Anatolia.
Her father Farokh is an apprentice and mother Evodokia is a Christian. Growing up in the cobbled streets and amidst mountains in a tiny village, people notice how Kimya is not like everyone. She is different from her peers and knows a lot more than the other children of her age. As a consequence, her father takes her to the nearby city of Konya to receive education from the conformist nuns. When they reach Konya, Kimya’s divergence is identified by the philosopher Jalal ud din Rumi. Rumi not only adopts her as his daughter but as a student too. Rumi is a renowned, reputed and respected leader, teacher and a philosopher in Konya until the emergence of a wandering dervish Shams Tabraiz. With a slandering influence on Rumi and his daughter, Shams is the Saint who transforms their lives forever.
Further the novel narrates how Kimya grows closer to Shams, how they are wedded and how Kimya being so young sets her soul ablaze at the hands of love.
In my opinion, The most remarkable thing about this read is how it portrays emotions, whether it’s the extramundane relation between Shams and Rumi or Kimya’s un requited love for Shams , the correlation of the feelings of joy, agony, pain and skepticism is so precisely discribed in the novel that it leaves you spellbounded in the most inexplicable way.
Don’t miss out on this one if you want to experience spirituality and want to know more about Jalal ud din Rumi, his daughter and Shams.