The Seventeenth Rule of Love

“Don’t you see this place is a brothel? Don’t you dervishes take an oath to stay away from lust? People think I wallow in sin here, but I give my alms and close my doors in the month of Ramadan. And now I’m saving you. Stay away from us. This is the filthiest corner in town.”

“Filth is inside, not outside,” Shams objected. Thus says the rule:

“Real filth is the one inside. The rest simply washes off. There is only one type of dirt that cannot be cleansed with pure waters, and that is the strain of hatred and bigotry contaminating the soul. You can purify your body through abstinence and fasting, but only love will purify your heart.”



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