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Alif laila wa Laila, or the Thousand and one Nights, or then the Arabian Nights, is a collection of marvellous stories mostly of Arabic, Persian and Indian origin. These stories have been written in Arabic between the 14th and 16th centuries. But even before the 14th centuries, these stories were told and re-told in many gatherings where they became popular. Most of the Arabs and Persians knew these stories, but it was only in the 14th century that these stories were committed into writing. Antoine Galland introduced the Arabian Nights in Europe through his book, thus transferring the eastern crown on the head of the west.
The frame story that revolves around all the fabulous stories of the Arabian Nighes, urns on the woman-hating King Shahriyar, who after his queen’s blade infidelity. marries a different woman eac night and then slays her the next morning thus ensuring her faithfulness.This continues on for three years.
The king’s vizier has problems getting new virgins to the king. so he tells his plight to his daughter Shahrazad. She offers herself as bride for the night. Shahrazad, however beguiles the king with a series of stories for a thousand and one nights, withholding the ending of each story until the next night In this way she saves her life.
The Arabian nights have a deeply nested structure: consisting of stories within stories. The elaborately plotted stories filled with intrigue, contrasts and virtues fascinate. Besides the famous world-wide stories-Aladdin and the Lamp, Adventures of Sindbad, Ali Baba and Forty thieves, there are also more blossoming stories. The earliest testimony of the existence of the book of the Thousand Nights is mentioned by al-Masudi and in the Fihrist.
Stories of the Arabian Nights have remained to this day unravelled and evergreen. Enraptured yourself by perusing the gorgeous stories of the Arabs, Persians and Indian.
Adam publishers & distributors
Mohammad Yasin Owadally