Thursday, 27 December 2012

Laila and Majnu

Shri Nathji was fond of narrating the story of Laila and Majnu.  Shri Nathji spoke of the lovers of God and compared them to Majnu, the lover of Laila, for whom nothing existed except Laila. Shri Nathji often related the legendary story about Majnu:
“After the passing away of Prophet Muhammad, his wearing apparel was to be distributed amongst his devotees. Majnu was asked to arbitrate, and he said: ‘Let all of them be given to Laila!’”
Shri Nathji also said that those who were granted this inner recognition by God were especially selected souls, whom the world could not understand. Shri Nathji often recounted the state of mind of Majnun, the lover of Laila, who appeared to the world as having gone mad in his love for Laila. Shri Nathji would sometimes quote with emotion:
“Laila ne munaadi kar di shaihar ke raihne vaalon ko,
Koyi pathhar se na maare mere deevaane ko
“Laila has spread the news to the people of her town,
Let no one cast a stone at this lover of mine!
The love story of Laila Majnu originating from classic Arabic Literature, later adopted and popularized by the Persian poet Nizami Ganjavi.  It is based on life of a semi-historical character,  Qays ibn al-Mulawwah of the Banu 'Amir tribe. Majnu, whose real name was Qays falls in love with Laila during their childhood but after reaching adulthood Leyla’s father forbids any contact. Majnun becomes obsessed with her, sees and evaluates everything in terms of Laila; hence his sobriquet Majnun (when means –“possessed”) Majnun fell in love with Laila whose full name was Laila bint Mahdi ibn Sa’d from the same tribe which lived ( in fact, still lives in central Saudi Arabia) . He soon began composing poems about his love for her, mentioning her name often. His unself-conscious efforts to woo the girl caused some locals to call him Majnun (madman). When he asked for her hand in marriage, her father refused as it would be a scandal for Layla to marry someone considered mentally unbalanced. Soon after, Laila was married to another man. When Majnun heard of her marriage, he fled the tribe camp and began wandering the surrounding desert. His family eventually gave up hope for his return and left food for him in the wilderness. He could sometimes be seen reciting poetry to himself or writing in the sand with a stick. Laila believed to have moved to present-day Iraq or a place northern Arabia with her husband, where she became ill and eventually died. In some versions, Laila dies of heartbreak from not being able to see her would-be lover. Majnun was later found dead in the wilderness in 688 AD, near an unknown woman’s grave. He had carved three verses of poetry on a rock near the grave, which are the last three verses attributed to him. Many other minor incidents happened between his madness and his death. Most of his recorded poetry was composed before his descent into madness.
Also it is stated that Laila and Majnun meeting in school. Majnun fell in love with Layla and was captivated by her. The school master would beat Majnun for paying attention to Layla instead of his school work. However, upon some sort of magic, whenever Majnun was beaten, Layla would bleed for his wounds. Word reached their households and their families feuded. Separated at childhood, Layla and Majnun met again in their youth. Laila's brother, Tabrez, would not let Laila shame the family name by marrying Majnun. According to one version of the story, Tabrez and Majnun quarreled; stricken with madness over Layla, Majnun murdered Tabrez. Word reached the village and Majnun was arrested. He was sentenced to be stoned to death by the villagers. Laila could not bear it and agreed to marry another man if Majnun would be kept safe from harm in exile. Layla got married but her heart longed for Majnun. Hearing this, Laila's husband rode with his men to the desert towards Majnun. He challenged Majnun to the death. It is said that the instant Layla's husband's sword pierced Majnun's heart, Laila collapsed in her home. Laila and Majnun were said to be buried next to each other as her husband and their fathers prayed to their afterlife. Myth has it, Laila and Majnun met again in heaven, where they loved forever.
It is a tragic story of undying love. This type of love is known as "Virgin Love", because the lovers never married or made love. Other famous Virgin Love stories that also took place in Arabia are the stories of "Qays and Lubna", "Kuthair and Azza", "Marwa and Al Majnoun Al Faransi". "Antara and Abla", and "Irfan and Zoobi".

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