Once upon a time, there lived a king by the name of Shahryar. He had a wife whom he loved dearly more than anything. But one day, he saw his wife having an affair with another man. This broke his heart and he was at a loss as to what was to be done. But eventually, his sadness was overcome by unfathomable anger.
It was at this time, he decided to kill his wife. So, he took his great sword and killed his wife brutally. After this incident, he decided to marry a new woman daily and make her his wife. After each night, he would kill his wife in the morning and marry another woman later. This went on for a long time and his trusted advisor would help him daily in finding his new wife. Word spread throughout the kingdom and soon women started to fear whether they would face the same fate if they were chosen as the king’s wife.
At the same time, there lived a woman named Scheherazade along with her little sister, who also heard about this. But, unlike others, she was not afraid and she decided that she must find a solution to this. So, she came up with a plan and went to speak to her father.
Scheherazade’s father was none other than the king’s advisor. When she went and told him about this, he was shocked beyond wits and grew angry at her. But, she was adamant and did not back down. Her father grew angry and somehow tried again and again to convince her, but she resisted. FInally, he had no other choice but to give up and accept her request.
Scheherazade then went and told her little sister that she would request the king to bring her in too during the night as her last wish. The king would accept as he does not have any other choice. Then she told her sister to wake her up early in the morning and make a request to her, asking her to narrate a story before she was going to be killed. The little sister listened keenly to this plan and promised to carry it out properly.
That evening, Shahryar was married to Scheherazade and at night, they were sitting together in their room. It was then that Scheherazade made the request to her husband that she wanted her little sister to be along with her as her last wish. The king obliged and soon she was brought into the room. At night, they all slept together peacefully. As planned, her little sister got up early in the morning and asked the king whether Scheherazade would tell her a story. The king accepted and Scheherazade began to tell her story.
Thus began, the great story of the Arabian nights as we shall see in the forthcoming chapters.