Qays (Qays ibn al-Mulawwah of the Banu 'Amir tribe) fell in love with Layla bint Mahdi ibn Sa’d (better known as Layla Aamiriya) from the same tribe which lived ( in fact, still lives in central Saudi Arabia) . He soon began composing poems about his love for her, mentioning her name often. His unself-conscious efforts to woo the girl caused some locals to call him Majnun (madman). When he asked for her hand in marriage, her father refused as it would be a scandal for Layla to marry someone considered mentally unbalanced. Soon after, Layla was married to another man.
When Majnun heard of her marriage, he fled the tribe camp and began wandering the surrounding desert. His family eventually gave up hope for his return and left food for him in the wilderness. He could sometimes be seen reciting poetry to himself or writing in the sand with a stick.
Layla believed to have moved to present-day Iraq or a place northern Arabia with her husband, where she became ill and eventually died. In some versions, Layla dies of heartbreak from not being able to see her would-be lover. Majnun was later found dead in the wilderness in 688 AD, near an unknown woman’s grave. He had carved three verses of poetry on a rock near the grave, which are the last three verses attributed to him.
Many other minor incidents happened between his madness and his death. Most of his recorded poetry was composed before his descent into madness.
I pass by these walls, the walls of Layla
And I kiss this wall and that wall
It’s not Love of the houses that has taken my heart
But of the One who dwells in those houses