Actually Love is a bigger aspect than you. You cannot control when, where and how it comes. Love truly does strike like a bolt of lightening to the chest when you aren’t prepared for it. Love is a sweet pain. Love is an eternal intense feeling which makes you do things beyond imagination for others. A person in love can become crazy enough to do anything for their loved ones. Once a true love comes into someone it can never diminish at any point. Love will not disappear even if the lovers are separated from one another by destiny. We have said the following line to many of our friends who are in love: “Don’t do too much as if you are Layla Majnu, Romeo Juliet etc”. Romeo Juliet we all know who they are. But who is Layla Majnu. Many of us just know their names but not their story. Am I right?
No worries. I am here. I will narrate you the beautiful and also eternal but a tragic love story of Layla Majnu. This may not be accurate. But this is my understanding from what I came to know from various sources.
Layla Majnu is the story of two lovers who never stopped loving each other even when they were separated from each other by the destiny of life. This Real Story was composed as a poem by the Persian Poet Nizami Ganjavi. It was called the “Romeo Juliet of the East” by people around the world. Even today, people know them as “Layla Majnu” and the “and” in between the two names is missing always. They were two in flesh, but one in spirit. Some people also call it “MajnunLayla”.
Qays ibn al-Mulawwah was a young man who lived in the northern Arabian Peninsula, in the Umayyad era during the 7th century. Layla Al-Aamiriya was a beautiful young women born in a very rich family. Her family was so rich that she was actually compared to no less than a princess. Qays and Layla belonged to the same tribe. Qays fell in love with Layla at the very first sight when both were studying in same school. His love for her increased day by day which made him compose splendid love poems. The poems were all about Layla and the love he had on her. He used to mention her name in most of the poems he wrote. He also used to read the poems out loud on the street corners to any one who cared to listen. He was deeply in love with Layla and it was always her thoughts that would be running through his mind all the time. People used to call him “Majnun” because of that. “Majnun” means madman. He was mad for love. He was mad on his love with Layla. Eventually Layla also fell in love with him too. They both loved each other for some long time.
One day, Qays gained confidence, He went and asked Layla’s father for her hand in Marriage. Although he was from same tribe, her father refused it because he was poor and also as people called him “Majnun” (The mad man). Her father thought that marrying his daughter to Qays would only cause a scandal to their Arab traditions. He banished his daughter from seeing Qays after that. Soon after this incident, Layla was forced to marry a handsome wealthy noble merchant from a nearby village who belonged to a different tribe. People used to call him ‘Ward’ which means “Rose” in Arabic. He was called that because it seems he was in a color resembling that. Layla went on to live in a big mansion with her husband. She did not love him because her heart still belonged to Qays. But even though Layla did not love her husband, she was a loyal daughter and so she remained a faithful wife. But She made sure her husband never touched her and she remained a virgin throughout her life with her husband.
Qays on hearing the news about the marriage of his beloved Layla, fell into a deep sorrow. He abandoned his home and his family and fled into the surrounding desert. There he lived in Solitude without speaking to a single soul and continuing to write love poems for his beloved Layla. It was said that he was given Shelter by the wild animals in the desert and they protected him day and night. But he never ate and became weaker and weaker. His Father and Mother missed him so much and longed for him to safely return. They would keep food for him, thinking that he would feel hungry each and every day at the edge of their garden which leads to the desert in the hope that one day he will come back to them. He was often seen then and there by travelers who would pass him on their way towards the city. The travelers said that Qays spent his days reciting poetry to himself and writing in the sand with a long stick. They said that he truly was driven to madness by a broken heart. It was also said that Qays would send some of his poems to Layla through some people who cross by him in the deserts towards the city and Layla would read that and she also started writing replies back to him with poems in return to it.
Many years later, His Mother and Father passed away. An Old man passed on this message to Qays when he met him one day. The Old man said later to people he met in the village that, “It was a terrible blow to young Qays and he did not have the heart to witness the mental pain Qays experienced. So he walked away without standing there”. Qays after hearing the news of his parents death was filled with regret and loss. He realized what he had done to his family and so he made a vow to himself to live in the desert until his own death.
Layla also lived all her life thinking about Qays. But She never showed it outside to anyone and lived in depression. Some years later, Layla’s husband died. After her husband’s death Layla longed to be united back with her beloved Qays. But according to Arab traditions, widowed women should not go outside their home and mourn for their dead husband for like two years without meeting any other soul. Layla reached her breaking point. Although She was separated from Qays for such a long time. This two years of solitude made her think of him, all he has done for her and that broke her heart. She fell ill and died alone in her home without seeing her Majnun ever again.
On hearing the news of Layla death, Qays rushed immediately to the place where Layla was buried and there he cried and cried until he died at the grave side of his only true love. People who found his body near Layla’s grave found that he had carved three verses of poetry on a rock near the grave, which were the last three verses ascribed to him.
Qays went mad for his love. And For this reason he was called “Majnun”, or “Majnun Layla” which means “Driven mad by Layla”.
Many other minor incidents happened between his madness and his death. Most of his recorded poetry was composed before his descent into madness.
One of the best lines of his poetry was:
“I pass by these walls, the walls of Layla
And I kiss this wall and that wall
It’s not Love of the walls that has enraptured my heart
But of the One who dwells within them“
This type of love is known as “virgin love” because the lovers never marry or consummate their passion. They just live by thinking of each other till the very last day of their life. Majnun Layla is the story which explains that.