Varqa o Golšāh

A summary of the story
An extract from Encyclopaedia Iranica, by Dj. Khaleghi-Motlagh.

‛Ayyūqī’s theme is the love between a youth named Varqa and a maiden named Golšāh. Their fathers are two Arab brothers named Homām and Helāl, who are the chiefs of a tribe, the Banū Šabīh. On the day fixed for Golšāh’s marriage to Varqa, she is abducted by enemies under the leadership of Rabī‛ b. ‛Adnān. Numerous fights, in which Varqa’s father and Rabī‛ and his two sons are killed, take place before Golšāh is rescued. Golšāh’s father, however, now withholds consent for her marriage to Varqa because Varqa is too poor. Varqa therefore goes to the court of his maternal uncle, Monḏer king of the Yemen, in the hope of making money. During his absence, the king of Syria induces Golšāh’s mother to give him her daughter in marriage. When Varqa comes home with much wealth, he is told that Golšāh is dead. He discovers this to be a lie, and goes to Syria in search of Golšāh, but receives so much hospitality and kindness from the Syrian king that he cannot honorably break the bond of gratitude and is therefore obliged to part from Golšāh. Soon afterward he dies of grief. When Golšāh learns of his death, she goes to his grave and, while lamenting there, also passes away. Their tomb becomes a place of pilgrimage to which both Jews and Muslims resort. One year after the tragedy, the Prophet Moḥammad passes by the place. After requiring the Jews [of Damascus] to become Muslims, he resurrects Varqa and Golšāh, who then at last are united. [The King of Damascus gives them each 20 years of his own life.]



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