Proverbs are a wonderful way to gain insight into the lives of other cultures. Through proverbs, we can see how much common philosophy is shared across cultures. Meanwhile, proverbs demonstrate the uniqueness of a particular culture.
Arabic proverbs and aphorisms have absorbed the wisdom accumulated over centuries with the experience of dozens of generations. We propose to learn about Arabic proverbs and sayings. Sayings that differ in imagery and laconicity have firmly entered the Arabic language and have become “winged” expressions that Arabs have used for many centuries.
Here is a selection of the 15 greatest Arabic proverbs that express wisdom and teach us how to live:
“Lack of intelligence is the greatest poverty.”
This proverb states a great truth that is valid in all times.
“Get together like brothers, but work together like strangers.”
This proverb states the importance of behaving with your friends and neighbors as if you were real brothers, but keeping in mind that at work, you must remain professional no matter who you are working with.
“The wisest is the one who can forgive.”
Forgiveness is a great virtue, and one of the great Divine attributes.
“Avoid things that will require an apology.”
If you intend to do something that you already know you will have to apologize to someone, it is definitely better and wiser to avoid doing it.
“Few know how much we must know in order to know how little we know.”
The wise man knows that he does not know and that knowledge is never enough.
“Laugh and the world laughs with you; weep, and you weep alone.”
You are your thoughts, and your Spirit follows your mind and heart. Being positive attracts like-minded people; people don’t like to share others’ sadness, because everyone has to deal with their own troubles. If you fear loneliness, don’t show yourself as a sad person.
“We have one language, and two ears for a reason: we need to listen more than we speak.”
This is a saying that is well imprinted in the minds of the wise.
“Victory over the weak is like defeat”
A true victory is only against your equals or the strongest, but against the weak it is only cowardice, the better to abandon that battle.
“I curse my own child but I hate whoever says ”amen”!”
“Amen” which in semitic languages attests to a truthful thing, and thus also an indisputable judgment about someone, certifies a certain judgment given. A good parent criticizes their children, but protects them from anyone else who will pronounce judgment against them.
“Whoever gets burned by soup, blows on yogurt.”
Once you get burned, you become more cautious.
“The World is like a belly-dancer: it dances a little while for everyone.”
Sooner or later, good times and good opportunities happen to each of us.
“Were it not for differences of opinion, goods would go unsold.”
Different perspectives are what give things value, and diversity is the spice of life.
“Discipline your son when he’s young, and be his friend when he grows up.”
This is a wise way to raise your children.
“The shoemaker is barefoot and the weaver is naked.”
People tend to neglect the things closest to them, often failing to apply the advice and expertise they have for others to their own lives.
“Movement is a blessing.”
Action is always better than inaction, to be successful at anything you do, you must first start by doing something.