1001 Arabian Nights Stories

A Summary of the 1001 Arabian Nights-Stories In English: 

In Arabia, the king, Shariar found out that his wife was not loyal to him and he got her beheaded. 

Then he proclaimed that all women are unfaithful.

He decided to punish all the women in his country.

So he started marrying “a virgin- a day” and after spending a night with her he got her beheaded before sunrise in the next morning.

Because of continuous killing, the number of virgins in the country was drastically reducing day by day.

The minister was worried how to tackle the situation, because he was the person responsible for selecting the next virgin to be married to the king.

Also if the same condition continues no virgin will be available in the country and the entire community will perish in the near future.

Ms. Sherzade, daughter of the minister, who was a wise and clever girl offered herself as the next bride to the King and her father reluctantly agreed, without having an alternate bride.

On the night of their marriage, the King ordered the Queen Sherzade to tell him a story, as he had heard that she was good at telling stories.

He planned to hear a story from her and kill her before sunrise in the next morning. Queen Sherzade, started telling the king a story, as ordered by him, but could not end the story and the king was anxious to know the end of the story and was forced to keep her alive, in order to know the end of the story.

The next night, the Queen continued the previous day’s story and after finishing it, the king ordered her to tell another story and she started telling another story, and she could not complete the story before next day morning sunrise.

Again in the anxiety to know the end of the story, the king was forced to spare her life, that day also. In this way the Queen went on telling numerous stories to the King and thus “1001 nights” passed by.

The stories told by the Queen varied widely ,including historical stories, love stories, tragedies, comedies, poems, and Muslim religious legends.

Some of the famous stories told by her include “Alladin and the Wonderful Lamp”, “Sindbad, the Sailor” and “Ali Baba and Forty Thieves”. Many stories are of Magicians, and Legendary places, intermingled with real persons and History& Geography. Caliph Harun-Al-Rasheed would tell some stories.

And there will be short stories inside the main stories and the various characters in stories will tell different stories to others in the stories, making the whole “Arabian Night” stories a web of tales.

In different versions of the story of “1001 Arabian Nights”, the end of the story differs from one another.

But in all versions the king changes his mind and abandons the idea of killing the Queen.

The stories told by the Queen were probably in circulation before they were collected and codified into a single collection.

The original text was believed to be have been written in Arabic by Caliph Harun-Al-Rasheed and a well known English translation is by Sir Richard Francis Burton the book was entitled “The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night.”

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