Soon after his death, the reputed Persian King of Sassanidae left his prosperous kingdom to his two sons, Shahriyar and Shah Zaman. Sultan Shahriyar ordered the grand wazir to put his wife Sultana to death realizing she had deceived him, and eventually affirmed all women to be wicked. As retribution, the Sultan would marry a new wife every evening and had her strangled by the grand wazir the following morning.
The grand wazir himself had two daughters, Shenerazade and Dinarzade. The elder daughter Shenerazade was exceptionally beautiful with a sense of wisdom. One fine day, she requested her father to allow her to become Sultan’s wife and bring this barbaric practice to an end. After much resentment, he accepted her request. Shenerazade asked Dinarzade to stay with her the first night and do as she said.
When the Sultan enquired why she was weeping on her wedding night, Shenerazade expressed her desire to stay with her younger sister on her last night, to which Sultan consented. On her sister’s request, Shenerazade turned to seek the Sultan’s permission. He answered, “Willingly”, and Shenerazade began thus.