kitāb ʾalf layla wa-layla) is a collection of Middle Eastern and South Asian stories and folk tales compiled in Arabic during the Islamic Golden Age.It is often known in English as the Arabian Nights, from the first English language edition (1706), which rendered the title as The Arabian Nights' Entertainment.The work was collected over many centuries by various authors, translators, and scholars across West, Central, and South Asia and North Africa.
In particular, many tales were originally folk stories from the Caliphate era, while others, especially the frame story, are most probably drawn from the Pahlavi Persian work Hazār Afsān (Persian: and the framing device incorporated throughout the tales themselves.
The stories proceed from this original tale; some are framed within other tales, while others begin and end of their own accord.
Some editions contain only a few hundred nights, while others include 1,001 or more.
The bulk of the text is in prose, although verse is occasionally used for songs and riddles and to express heightened emotion.
Eventually the vizier, whose duty it is to provide them, cannot find any more virgins.
Scheherazade, the vizier's daughter, offers herself as the next bride and her father reluctantly agrees.On the night of their marriage, Scheherazade begins to tell the king a tale, but does not end it.Most of the poems are single couplets or quatrains, although some are longer.Some of the stories very widely associated with The Nights, in particular "Aladdin's Wonderful Lamp", "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves", and "The Seven Voyages of Sinbad the Sailor", while almost certainly genuine Middle Eastern folk tales, were not part of The Nights in its original Arabic versions, but were added to the collection by Antoine Galland and other European translators.He is shocked to discover that his brother's wife is unfaithful; discovering his own wife's infidelity has been even more flagrant, he has her executed: but in his bitterness and grief decides that all women are the same.Shahryar begins to marry a succession of virgins only to execute each one the next morning, before she has a chance to dishonour him.