I read a really interesting story yesterday in a book for my Intro to Islam class. The book was explaining Sufism, so I wasn’t sure if this story was a Sufist story or just an Arabic legend, but it was quite entertaining.
It was called Layla and Majnun, or “Layla and the Madman.” Two little kids fell in love, but they weren’t allowed to be together, so the boy went crazy and lived in the mountains and told people stories of his love. Layla was forced to marry someone she didn’t love.
After several years, Layla wanted to see her true love again. They stood several feet back from each other, but since they knew they could never be together, they didn’t touch or do anything. Then Majnun shouted in pain and ran off into the forest.
Later, Layla died. Majnun went to her grave and laid on top of it, and no one touched his body. Eventually, it became dust, so they were together in death.
I thought that was really sad. I’m not sure what point or what kind of lesson to draw from it. I guess just that love is sad sometimes. It’s not all weddings and roses and happily-ever-after. People get their hearts broken, and people can’t be together – maybe not in something of this magnitude, but something along those lines.
What’s the remedy for heartbreak? I have no idea.
I do know that if we could talk to Layla or Majnun, they would say they were just glad to have loved each other at all, even if they couldn’t be together until death. You have to put yourself out there, even if it means getting your heart broken, because you might get lucky.
I feel like I should be taking my own advice. It’s easier to do something in theory than in real life…