The story begins with a boy named Qays ibn al-Mulawwah, who fell in love with the beautiful and innocent young girl, Laila Aamiriya, at school.
He soon began writing love poems about Laila (her name meaning night in Arabic and as dark as night was the colour of her hair). He began reciting his poems, displaying the passion and love he felt to anybody who would listen, leading him to be referred to as ‘Majnu’ meaning madman.
One day, Majnu approached Laila’s father and asked for his daughter’s hand in marriage. Her father refused the proposal to protect his daughter’s honour. He could not let his Laila marry someone referred to as a madman.
Laila was soon married to another man in the neighbouring village. Both Laila and Majnu were overcome with grief and lived miserable lives longing for each other.
Laila continued to be a de
voted and faithful housewife, whilst Majnu disappeared into the wilderness living a life of solitude where he spent most of his days composing and reciting poems about his love, Laila.
He was truly a broken-hearted man.
Years later, Majnu’s parents passed away and Laila sent a message via an old man that often saw Majnu in the desert, in the hope that he would finally return.
Majnu received the news of his parent’
s death and overcome with sadness and regret, he vowed he would live in the wilderness until his own death.
Laila’s husband passed away some years later, and she hoped that she and Majnu could finally be together. However traditions prevented this reunion, with Laila having to remain home alone for two years to grieve her husband.
Laila was distraught; her heart pined for her beloved and eventually gave out. Laila died from a
Majnu heard of her death and immediately went to the place she was buried and wept until he too surrendered his life for the one he loved. He had carved out three verses of poetry on a rock near the grave…
‘I pass by these walls, the walls of Laila,
And kiss this wall and that wall.
It’s not love of the houses that has taken my heart
but of the One who dwells in those houses’
The moral of the story:
Follow your heart and love Laila.