Alf Layla wa-Layla
(6,940 words)

, “Thousand nights and one night” is the title of the most famous Arabian collection of fairy-tales and other stories. One often reads or hears nowadays “like a fairy-tale from the thousand-and-one nights”, and, indeed, the fairy-tales are the most striking part of the collection. Like all Orientals the Arabs from the earliest times enjoyed imaginative stories; but since the intellectual horizon of the true Arabs in ancient times before the rise of Islam was rather narrow the material for these …

Cite this page
Littmann, E., “Alf Layla wa-Layla”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Consulted online on 21 November 2018 <>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007

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