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  • Writer's pictureFolkloristan

Laila Majnu

Updated: Jul 17, 2023

In the deserts of Persia, there lived a young man named Qais, who was known to all as Majnun — the madman. He had fallen hopelessly in love with a young girl named Laila and his love for her had consumed him entirely.

Their love story had begun many years ago when they were just children. Qais had seen Laila for the first time and, from that moment on, he knew that he could never be happy without her by his side. Laila, too, had felt the same deep connection with Qais.

Their bond had only grown stronger as they grew older but their love was not meant to be. Their families were bitter enemies and they had sworn never to let their children marry.

Qais's love for Laila had become so intense that it drove him to madness. He would wander the deserts, talking to himself and composing poetry about his love for her. His family tried everything to cure him of his madness but nothing worked.

Meanwhile, Laila was forced to marry another man, much against her will. Even as she went through the motions of a loveless marriage, her heart belonged to Qais. She could never forget the love they had shared.

Years went by and Qais's love for Laila only grew stronger with time. He became known throughout the land as Majnun — the madman — and people would shake their heads in pity when they saw him wandering the deserts, lost in his thoughts of Laila.

One day, word reached Laila that Qais had been seen wandering in the nearby desert. Despite the danger and the risk to her reputation, she knew that she had to see him again.

She sent word to him and, soon enough, they were reunited. They spent hours talking, lost in their memories of a time when their love had been pure and innocent. But their happiness was short-lived. Laila's husband found out about their meeting and had Qais banished from the land.

Qais was forced to wander even further, his love for Laila driving him deeper into the deserts. He spent even more years living in caves, talking to animals, and composing poetry about his love for Laila. He had become a legend in his own time and people would come from far and wide just to catch a glimpse of the madman who loved so deeply.

One day, Laila's husband died, and she was finally free to be with Qais. She set out to find him and, after a long and arduous journey, she finally came across the cave where he was living.

Their reunion was bittersweet — they were finally together, but they knew that their time was limited. Qais's madness had taken a heavy toll on his body, and he was slowly wasting away. Yet, even as he lay dying, his love for Laila remained as strong as ever. He composed one last poem for her, and as he breathed his last, he whispered her name.

Take me, O wind, to the tavern of love,

Where the wine is pure and the wine cups are true,

And the lovers are lost in the ecstasy of love,

And the hearts are broken by the pain of separation.

Take me, O wind, to the land of my beloved,

Where the rose petals bloom in the gardens of love,

And the nightingale sings its sweet song of love,

And the hearts are united in the fire of love.

Laila was heartbroken but she knew that Qais was finally at peace. She buried him in the deserts he had loved so much and, from that day on, she became known as Laila Majnun — the woman who had loved a madman.

Years went by and their story became a legend — a testament to the power of love that could overcome even the greatest of obstacles. Even today, people come from far and wide to visit their graves and pay their respects to a love that had been both beautiful and tragic.

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