Layla (Layla and Majnun) While the story of Layla and Quys is true, and one of the most popular in the Islamic world, its endurance was bolstered by the many legends spun from it in poems, epics and song over the centuries. The most famously rendered story comes to us from the 12th century Persian poet Nizami Ganiavi during the Seljuq Empire and was called “The Story of Layla and Majnun” (Majnun meaning The Madman). Quys and Layla meet as young schoolmates and fatefully fall in love. In the poem, he declares "Does not 'Layl' mean 'night' in Arabic? And dark as the night was the color of her hair." So strong (yet innocent) is this attraction that it eventually brings scandal within their community. Layla’s tribe seeks to protect her honor and keep Quys away. This sends the boy into a melancholy state, thus becoming Majnun: “A madman he became – but at the same time, a poet – the harp of his love and of his pain.” He eventually flees into the wilderness despite his father’s attempt at a pilgrimage to Mecca in hopes that God will free his poor son. Majnun cries: “none of my days shall I ever be free of this pain. Let me love, oh my God, for love’s sake, and make my love a hundred times as great as it was and is!” He continues to wander and chant his love poems to Layla, and people come to listen. These lovely words find their way back to Layla who was still living “between the water of her tears and the fire of her love.” Soon, after rejecting many suitors, Layla’s father forces her to marry another but she continues to carry a torch for Majnun. An old man helps the two fateful lovers exchange letters and finally meet, but they must go their separate ways at dawn. The poet asks: “How long then do you want to deceive yourself? You yourself are your own prisoner. Break your cage, break free from yourself, free from humanity; learn what you thought was real is not so in reality…Burn but your own treasure, like a candle – then the world…will become your slave.” Upon the death of Layla’s husband, she openly mourns her love for Majnun before dying herself. Grief-stricken, Majnun repeatedly visits Layla’s tomb and finally succumbs to death, too. He is buried beside his only true love. Quite the love story, indeed!
Layla - a song by Eric Clapton
Layla Deen and the Popularity Contest (Yahiya Emerick) - What does it take to be popular? This is what we find out in this story of an American Muslim girl negotiating the perils and pitfalls of junior high school. When someone mysteriously enters her name in the school-wide popularity contest, her world is thrown into turmoil even as she learns things about herself - and others - that she never would have guessed possible. Recommended for ages 9-12.
Layla The Ladybug (Darlington Johnson) - The author was inspired to write this book upon noticing that many kids did not feeling good about themselves due to negative peer pressure. Sometimes, kids can be mean to other kids. The focus should be on loving ourselves, ignoring the negative, and challenging situations that may come our way. Layla the ladybug is another example on how we should handle the negative remarks from our peers. Just "smile", and let it go one ear out the other. Recommended for ages 9-12.
Layla the Ridgeless Rhodesian Ridgeback (Bobby Brewster) - This is a story about being different. Layla shows how perseverance can overcome any self-doubt and rejection. Her faith, hope and love overcome all obstacles. Layla teaches us that love suffers long, endures all things, and never fails. Recommended for ages 9-12.
Layla's Head Scarf (We Love First Grade!) (Miriam Cohen) - This timely story highlights a challenge that many children face in todays multicultural environment. Layla, a new girl in first grade, wears a headscarf but it does not take long for the others to welcome her. Ronald Himler s watercolor illustrations give the first graders distinct characteristics and provide a realistic portrayal of a first grade classroom. Recommended for ages 4-8.
Layla, Queen of Hearts (Glenda Millard) - Senior Citizen's Day is right around the corner for the third graders at Saint Benedict's, and Layla Elliott has a problem. Her nana died last year, and she has no one special to take to the festivities. No one, that is, until she meets Miss Amelie, who is coping with memory loss. The elderly woman's condition doesn't stop Layla from pursuing a friendship with her, though. They have a wonderful time together, but then the child must learn how to cope as she watches her friend's memory worsen. Though the subject matter is heavy, Millard maintains an upbeat mood throughout and her poetic descriptions of Layla's environment show readers that there is beauty and joy to be found in everyday life. Recommended for ages 9-12
Famous People Named Layla - Layla Baalbaki (writer); Leyla Gencer (opera singer); Leyla Milani (model/TV host)
Famous People who Named their Daughter Layla - Jellybean Benitez (musician); Tanya Tucker (country singer); Tracy McGrady (basketball player)
Layla - We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Layla.