Layla and Majnun  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.


Layla and Majnun, or Leyli and Madjnun, is a classical Middle Eastern love story. It is supposedly based on the real story of a young man called Qays ibn al-Muwallah in the Umayyad era, who upon seeing Layla fell in a most passionate love with her, and went mad when her father prevented him from marrying her; for that reason, he came to be called Majnun Layla, literally "Crazy for Layla". To him were attributed a variety of incredibly passionate romantic Arabic poems, considered among the foremost examples of the Udhari school.

From Arab folklore, it passed into Persian literature, and the Persian poet Nezami wrote a famous account of their love. It is a story of undying love much like a Romeo and Juliet of an early age. In Azerbaijan, the story was made into an opera first staged on January 25, 1908 by Uzeyir Hajibeyov.The myth has been influental to Middle Eastern poets, especially Sufi writers in whose literature the name Leyli/Layla suggests a reference to their concept of Beloved. The name also found its way to the modern occult literature in connection with the archetype called Babylon or Babalon, though these writings use the spelling Laylah which also suggests the Arabic and Hebrew words for night i.e Laylah. It also served as the inspiration for the title of Eric Clapton's famous song, "Layla".

In Turkey, the phrase "To feel like Layla" is used to mean the feeling one gets when one is completely "out-of-it" and dazed. This phrase originates from the above love story.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Layla and Majnun" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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