Qays and Layla-A Review


Qays and Layla-A Review

Qays and Layla-A Review

Qays and Layla-A Review


“Qays and Layla” is an iconic tale of unrequited love that emerges from the depths of pre-Islamic Arabian culture. This timeless narrative explores the profound and consuming love between Qays ibn al-Mulawwah and Layla bint Mahdi. Set against the backdrop of the Arabian desert, the story delves into the intense emotions, societal norms, and psychological depths that characterize their ill-fated romance.

Plot Summary:

The narrative commences with the introduction of Qays ibn al-Mulawwah, an eloquent and passionate poet, and Layla bint Mahdi, a woman of unmatched beauty and grace. From their youth, an undeniable attraction blooms between them. However, the deeply rooted societal norms and tribal divisions of the time cast a dark shadow on their love. Despite their profound affection for one another, they are unable to unite due to their respective families’ reservations.

Qays’s love for Layla grows to an extreme, bordering on obsession. His unrequited feelings become his defining trait, leading him to be called “Majnun Layla,” meaning “Crazy for Layla.” Qays’s sanity gradually erodes as he wanders the desert, composing poignant verses of love and longing, often recited with poignant beauty. His verses are imbued with powerful metaphors and eloquent expressions of his consuming emotions.

Layla, too, is shown to reciprocate Qays’s love, but the societal pressures and familial expectations prevent her from expressing her true feelings openly. Her loyalty to her family and the societal conventions of the time come in direct conflict with her heart’s desires.

Themes and Symbolism:

Forbidden Love: The central theme is the portrayal of forbidden love, where societal norms and familial obligations act as formidable barriers against the protagonists’ union. This theme resonates across cultures and times, making the story universally relatable.

Passion and Devotion: Qays’s unwavering devotion and passion for Layla highlight the depths to which love can drive a person. His transformation into Majnun symbolizes the fine line between intense love and madness.

Nature’s Mirror: The vast and arid Arabian desert serves as a symbolic backdrop to the characters’ emotional turmoil. The starkness of the desert mirrors the starkness of their circumstances, where their love stands isolated and unfulfilled.

Power of Poetry: Poetry is a powerful medium through which emotions are expressed. Qays’s verses showcase the cathartic nature of art, allowing him to channel his overwhelming emotions into beautiful and haunting compositions.

Individual vs. Society: The conflict between individual desires and societal expectations is a central conflict. The story reflects the tension between personal happiness and the collective cultural norms that dictate behavior.


Qays’s transformation from a passionate and eloquent poet to Majnun, the embodiment of love’s tragic consequences, is masterfully portrayed. His journey illustrates the fine line between passion and madness. Layla’s portrayal as an object of devotion showcases the struggles of a woman caught between her love and societal responsibilities.


Qays and Layla” is a poignant exploration of love’s ability to transcend time and cultural boundaries. Set against the evocative backdrop of pre-Islamic Arabia, the tale remains an eternal reminder of the power of love, its ability to drive individuals to the brink of sanity, and the profound impact of societal norms on personal happiness. The tragic fate of Qays and Layla immortalizes their love story as a testament to the enduring nature of the human heart’s desires, even in the face of insurmountable odds. 0 0 0.

Qays and Layla-A Review

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N.B. The article originally belongs to the book entitled ‘The Reviews of Epic Literature Around the World‘ by Menonim Menonimus.

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I am Menonim Menonimus, a Philosopher & Writer.


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