The Story of Layla and Majnun
The story of Layla and Majnun is the classic Islamic story of doomed love. The young Bedouin poet Qays fell in love with Layla, a woman of his own tribe, and wrote her many celebrated love poems. When his father forbade the marriage, Qays went mad and began to wander the desert (Majnun is Arabic for 'madman'). Five centuries later, the Persian author Nezami wrote what is generally regarded as the finest version of their story, presented here in a new English translation.
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afar animals Arabs arrows asked Baghdad Banu Amir beasts beauty became become Bedouin beloved better bird blood blossoms burning calyx companions darkness dead death demon dervish desert desire drunk dust earth enemy eyes face fate feet fell fire flame flower friends garden gazelle ghazals grief hand happened happiness head heard heart hidden hope human Ibn Salam jewel Kaaba king kissed knew lament Layia Layla Layla and Majnun Layla's father Layla's tribe light lips listened live longer look lover madman Majnun Mecca moon mother mountains Najd Nawfal never night Nizami oasis once palm tree pearl Persian Persian Literature poems poet pomegranate Qays remained replied rest rose Salim Sayyid scent secret serpent shadow shame sorrow soul stone stranger suddenly suffered Sufi sword talk tears tell tent treasure unhappy veil verses wild wilderness wind wine words wounded youth Zia Inayat Khan