WEST OWES MANY THINGS TO ISLAM – THE STORY OF RAPUNZEL IS ONE OF THEM

WEST OWES MANY THINGS TO ISLAM
THE STORY OF RAPUNZEL IS ONE OF THEM

Amazing story of Rudabha and Zaal

Raphunzel
Raphunzel

The world of fairy tales is not a new world. Today Walt Disney’s world gives global child access to modernized versions of fairy tales. Good and well done! Once upon a time the same was done by Qissas of Alif Laila or the Tales of one thousand and one nights. Without going into the details, those short stories are still a part of our daily lore. Even today we recognize characters like Ali Baba, Alladdin, and Sinbad as coming from these Islamic sources of Alif Laila. However many are still unknown to us.

Raphunzel lowers her hair
Raphunzel lowers her hair

Take the much loved story of RAPUNZEL, the trapped Princess in a tower with long tresses which she lowers for her lover Prince to get up to her. We seen Walt Disney’s version as well as many others. Fairy tale books are full of the same stories. And we do realize that the famous German Grimm brothers twisted these fairy stories. The Rapunzel story they first wrote in 1812 and revised it till 1857. Where did they get the story? Bards who sung these stories on the street. We are told of the story of PETROSINELLA that was written by Giambattista Basille in 1634, and later revised by Charllote Caumont in 1697-98.

Rudabha 1580 (Modern Raphunzel)
Rudabha 1580 (Modern Raphunzel)

Okay but what was the origin of these stories even way back. A loose story plot is traced to the history of SAINT BARBARA in Izmir Turkey, but that is just a loose story. Rapunzel the fairy tale has much in common with the story of RUDABHA AND ZAAL , narrated in poem by the great poet Firdausi at the request and at the court of Sulran Mahmud Ghaznavi, a thousand years ago. It was also illustrated at Akbar’s court in Lahore and we present a miniature of the climbing of Zaal to Rudabha through the use of her long hair. Yes, enjoy Rapunzel, and be more proud, that it belongs to Islamic sources and the great epic of all times the SHANAMA OF FIRDAUSI. And in some ways Lahore is also part of it.

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