- 13 Jan 2010 ... The story of Layla and Majnun was well-known in Persia and often retold. In the 12th century A.D., a famous Persian poet, Nizami Ganjavi, ...
Laila e Majnun - o homem que amava demais - é, antes de mais nada, um antigo conto folclórico da Arábia, e seu protagonista está associado a um homem que, de fato, teria existido: Qays Ibn al-Mulawwah. Vivera, provavelmente, na segunda metade do século VII d.C., no deserto de Najd, na Península Árabe. Nas mãos de Nizami, o prodigioso poeta épico, teria escrito a sua versão definitiva, dedicada ao soberano Shirvanshah e com cerca de 8.000 versos, em 1188, tornando-se, a partir daí, tema de populares canções, sonetos e odes de amor entre os beduínos árabes ao longo dos séculos que viriam.
Star-Crossed Lovers in Middle East LiteratureJan 13, 2010 Paula I. Nielson
Like Romeo and Juliet, the story of Layla and Majnun tells a sad story of romantic love in the 7th century deserts of the Middle East.
From the Bedouin Arabian desert this well-known tale of romance and loss unfolds. Based on true events in the 7th century A.D., a young poet falls in love with a girl from his own tribe and is told that he will not be permitted to marry her. His mind turns from unrequited love to madness and he wanders the wilderness the rest of his days. The names of the characters are a significant part of the story. The name “Layla” means “night” in Arabic, which some have suggested may refer to the secrecy of their concealed relationship. “Layla” is also pronounced “Layli” in the Persian language. The name “Majnun” or “Majnoon” as Qays becomes known, means “a crazy person.”
The Arab Tale
This is a true story of a young Bedouin poet, Qays ibn al-Mulawwah, who falls in love with a beautiful young girl with large dark eyes, Layla. Together as children they tended to the sheep together in the oasis of the Arabian desert. Qays is entranced by Layla from the beginning and looks forward to the day that he can marry her and they can be together. As he matures, he writes poetry, naming her in the lines of his charming poems. Finally, he is old enough to ask Layla’s father for permission to marry her. He is told in an unkindly way that he will not be allowed to marry the girl of his dreams, that he is not a satisfactory candidate. Although they had grown up together, Layla’s father had never considered Qays as a possible husband for his daughter. After all, Qays was a dreamer and not a wealthy man.
As the story continues, her father said a final “no” to the proposals of Qays, and Layla is given to another man in marriage. The young married couple then moved away from the northern Arabian Peninsula to the area of Iraq, and Qays left the tribe of his youth. Qays was left to wander the wilderness in torment as a wild man. He became known as Layla’s madman, “Majnun.” Then, still a young woman, Layla grew ill and died in Iraq. Qays was eventually also found dead at the grave of an unknown woman where he carved poetry on a nearby rock. Qays’ descent into madness from his unrequited love was profound and complete.
The Poem in the 7th Century A.D.
Desire, loss and romantic love are common themes since ancient days in the literature of the Middle East. In the 7th century, poets also portrayed their tribes, heroic deeds, and disputes with other tribes and individuals. This poem is an example of exploring the problems inherent from the strict behavior codes of the tribe, arranged marriages, and obsession in love.
Throughout the years in the Middle East, literature has shown that it is considered more romantic to sadly ponder unanswered romantic love than to tell a tale of marriage and a “happily-ever-after” ending as is found so often in western folklore.