80 great Arab Proverbs full of wisdom
In Arab countries, proverbs have been a source of information and wisdom that has been passed down from father to son since time immemorial.
As a way of transmitting knowledge, proverbs have always been widely used in this culture, as it is a simple way for these teachings to reach all strata of society. Without this knowledge, the Arab culture and people would never have come to be one of the most relevant peoples of the 20th and 21st centuries with no doubt they have been and will be.
Arab proverbs you should know
That’s why we thought that making a selection of their 80 most important Arabian proverbs about wisdom was undoubtedly something necessary. You can then enjoy them and discover the knowledge they possess.
- You may be interested in: “15 Russian sayings and Russian proverbs”
1. Advise the ignorant, and he will take you for his enemy.
He who is not able to discern about good and evil may have a wrong idea about us.
2. Praise only God, criticize only yourself.
The problems we have in our lives are largely to blame for our actions.
3. Consult your wife and do the opposite of what she advises.
A proverb that shows us a somewhat controversial image of women that many of us do not share.
4. When someone else suffers, it is wood that suffers.
The suffering of others need not affect us if we stay out of it.
5. From the tree of silence hangs the fruit of security.
Keeping quiet may be the best option if we don’t have something important to say.
6. A man’s love for a woman fades like the moon, but a brother’s love for a brother is permanent like the stars and endures like the word of the prophet.
The love we can feel for our relatives will accompany us throughout our lives.
7. Man cannot jump out of his shadow.
Our shadow, like our thoughts, will always be with us, wherever we go.
8. The man who can’t smile shouldn’t open a shop.
Our attitude will determine the success we achieve in our businesses.
9. He who has health has hope, and he who has hope owns everything.
With health and hope everything in this life is possible, for we still have time to reach it.
10. Treasure that is not spent is not used well.
When we have wealth, the best use we can make of it is to use it for other purposes.
11. It is better to turn on a light than to curse the darkness.
We must stand up for our ideas and thoughts, for they reveal the person we really are.
12. The conjecture of the wise is more solid than the certainty of the ignorant.
To doubt is wise, for the wise are capable of recognizing that they do not possess all the perhaps necessary information, while the ignorant affirm that they do not know.
13. The economy is half food for life.
Knowing how to manage our economy will lead us to its optimal use and maximum benefit.
14. Patience is a tree with a bitter root, but with very sweet fruits.
Being patient will give us the opportunity to achieve our goals, because it is a magnificent virtue.
15. Wisdom is not passed on, it is learned.
To reach wisdom we must first go through a long process of study.
16. The best visits are the shortest.
We must visit our friends but give them their personal space and not harass them. One of those Arab Proverbs that have gone around the world.
17. The accidents in the world are more numerous than the plants on Earth.
Accidents happen everywhere, knowing how to overcome them is what will make us stronger.
18. Those who truly seek God are drowned in the sanctuaries.
To find the true teachings of God, we must look for them even in the most remote places.
19. Don’t say everything you know, don’t do everything you can, don’t believe everything you hear, don’t spend everything you have. For he who says all that he knows, he who does all that he can, he who believes all that he hears, he who spends all that he has… many times he says what is not convenient, does what he should not, judges what he does not see, spends what he does not have.
We must be careful with our actions and act very cautiously, as unforeseen events can always arise.
20. Don’t try to straighten out the shadow of a crooked cane.
To solve a problem we must first find its source, until we find it we will never really tackle it.
21. To strengthen the heart, there is no better exercise than bending down to pick up those who are down.
Helping people in need makes us better, because we learn to value the life we lead much better. One of those Arab proverbs about honor.
22. Whoever insists on hitting the moon with a stone will not succeed, but will end up knowing how to handle the slingshot.
Striving to achieve our goals can help us in many different ways.
23. If someone bites you, it reminds you that you have teeth too.
When we are attacked by someone, besides seeing our fragility we also see our resistance.
24. If you are applauded, never brag until you know who was applauding.
Praise can come from people who do not want us to prosper in our projects.
25. If a man tells you that you look like a camel, pay no attention to him; if two men tell you that, look in a mirror.
When the river sounds it is because it carries water, when several people claim the same fact it may be because this fact is true.
26. Sit at your door and watch the body of your enemy pass by.
He who does evil, sooner or later that evil will take its toll.
27. Only stones are thrown at the tree loaded with fruit.
Only he who has something to lose is attacked by others.
28. A quiet heart is better than a bag of gold.
Knowing that we did the right thing is something that will give us inner peace and with it we will be happier.
29. A quiet medium well-being is preferable to the opulence full of worries.
Having only those things that are absolutely necessary will allow us to lead a more peaceful and orderly life.
30. One hand can’t clap.
To achieve most of our goals we will need the help of friends and collaborators.
31. Stop loving the one you love and let him love what he loves; it is the only way he will not stop loving you.
We must respect the opinions of others, just as we want them to respect ours.
32. Try to make sure that the child you were is never ashamed of the adult you are.
Fighting for our dreams is something we must all do, in order to achieve our best version as individuals.
33. A young girl’s sigh can be heard from further away than a lion’s roar.
Feelings are a very powerful tool if you know how to use them correctly.
34. Things are not worth the time they last, but the footprints they leave.
That which marks us most leaves its mark on us in an imperishable way.
35. He who does not understand a glance will not understand a long explanation either.
To understand a person we must pay attention to what he wants to convey to us.
36. If you like someone because of their physique… It’s not love, it’s desire. If you like him because of his intelligence… It’s not love, it’s admiration. If you like him for his wealth… It’s not love, it’s interest. But if you don’t know why you like him… Then that’s love.
When we really love someone, we don’t even know why we love them so much.
37. A gentleman can’t hit a woman even with a flower.
Using violence against a woman is never justified, we must take care of each woman as we would like our mother to be taken care of.
38. Books and ways and days give man wisdom.
Time will make us the man we should be, as long as we strive to become one.
39. Advice is given, and received by conviction.
We must know how to give advice and in the same way we must know how to be advised by people wiser than us.
40. Be a friend to yourself and you’ll be a friend to others.
To have a positive relationship with others, we must first have one with ourselves.
41. Humanity is divided into three classes, the immovable, the mobile and the moving.
To achieve our goals we must fight for them and do whatever is necessary.
42. The first time you deceive me, the fault will be yours; the second time, the fault will be mine.
If you fool me once it’s your fault, but if you fool me twice it’s my fault for letting you fool me.
43. There are four things that do not return, the arrow that was thrown, the word already said, the opportunity wasted, and the past life.
Time is a precious commodity that once we use it will never return to us.
44. I was complaining because I couldn’t buy shoes, until I met a man who had no feet.
There will always be someone in a worse situation than us, we must be thankful for what we have and fight to overcome it.
45. A clear loss is many times better than a distant and troublesome gain.
Sometimes, risking a possible gain by putting more of us at stake, can be a mistake from which we do not recover. Better a bird in the hand than a hundred in the bush.
46. A book is like a garden in your pocket.
Books are a very rich source of knowledge that we can always carry with us.
47. A friend does more harm than an enemy.
A false friend can cause us many more problems than an enemy, for we are always wary of an enemy… but not of a false friend.
48. Only the mules deny their family.
Our family is one of the pillars on which our life is built, we must never deny it.
49. If a business overwhelms you at the beginning, begin it at the end.
We must always be clear about our objectives, and when we start a company even more so.
50. If you have a friend, visit him often, for weeds and thorns invade the path where no one passes.
We must not neglect our friendships, they may need our help and we must be there to help them.
51. If what you are about to say is not more beautiful than silence: do not say it.
Knowing how to shut up in time is a sign of intelligence, first I think then I exist.
52. Envy points out the virtues of the envied, and the defects of the envious.
Envy is a very bad quality that we must get rid of, the better the others do, the better we do.
53. Whoever wants to do something, finds a way. Whoever does not want to do something, finds an excuse.
When we really want to do something, there will be no storm or tide to stop us.
54. Never give advice in public.
If we want to advise our loved ones we must do so in private.
55. There is no substitute for experience.
The experience will allow us to accumulate the necessary wisdom, to reach the degree of mastery in any field.
56. After you have let go of the word, it dominates you. But as long as thou hast not let go of it, thou art its master.
We must speak out when we have something relevant to say, otherwise it is better to remain silent.
57. The eyes are of no use to a blind brain.
It doesn’t matter what we come to see if we are unable to understand what we have seen for ourselves.
58. The past has fled, what you expect is absent, but the present is yours.
The only thing we can modify in space time is the present, the other moments cannot be altered.
59. You’re not what you get. You’re what you overcome.
Both negative and positive experiences realize us as the person we are today.
60. The first moon after marriage is the honey moon, and those that follow are the bitter ones.
Marital relationships bring us both positive and negative aspects, it is up to us how we want to value them.
61. The hand that gives is above the hand that receives.
The act of donating makes us better people, we must be grateful for what we have and share it with those who have fewer resources.
62. Cruelty is the strength of cowards.
Being cruel only shows our own weakness, the strong man does not need to be cruel to show his power.
63. Even the smallest root finds its woodcutter.
We all have one person in the world who is 100% like-minded, it’s up to us to find them.
64. In the abundance of water, the fool is thirsty.
He who cannot see beyond what is in front of his nose will never be able to achieve his goals.
65. Have a good memory, especially if you’re a liar.
Our qualities should help us to make up for our shortcomings in order to show the best version of ourselves.
66. He who does not know that he does not know is a fool; depart from him. He who knows that he does not know, is simple; instruct him. He who does not know that he knows is asleep; wake him up. He who knows that he knows is wise; follow him.
Many times we are not even aware of the capabilities we possess.
67. Man can pass for wise when he seeks wisdom; but if he thinks he has found it, he is a fool.
We are never possessed of the absolute truth, nor do we have all the information about anything.
68. Man is the enemy of what he does not know.
That which we do not understand or which is alien to us we end up making our enemy out of mere ignorance.
69. God created us with two ears, two eyes and only one mouth, it is because we have to hear and see twice before we speak.
We must think before we act and know how to listen before we speak.
70. There are four things that never come back: a bullet fired, a word said, a time spent and a chance missed.
When we perform an action it is done, we cannot remedy anything once the evil is done.
71. When you speak, try to make your words better than silence.
We must talk properly and when we have something really important to say.
72. Punish those who are jealous by doing them good.
When we do good to others, that good will be returned to us sooner or later.
73. The dog that has money is called Mr. Dog.
Power carries with it a great deal of respect, according to this Arab proverb.
74. The wolf is more silent than the barking dog.
We must beware of those who do not show their intentions, the barking dog is not very biting.
75. He who seeks a friend without fault, is left without friends.
All people have faults, he who is without sin will cast the first stone, Christians would say.
76. Great is he who to shine does not need to extinguish the light of others
We must know how to realize ourselves without harming our fellow men. One of the best known Arab proverbs.
77. A smile is the language of intelligent people.
Our attitude shows passively how we want others to treat us.
78. He who lives on illusions dies on realities.
Living in the moment is something that we should certainly do, because our illusions may never be fulfilled.
79. The wounds on the tongue are more dangerous than those on the sabre.
With the gift of speech and eloquence one can do more damage than with any other weapon.
80. The eye denies itself when it loves, and the ear believes in others when it hates.
When we wish we had not seen something we deceive ourselves, and when we wish to know something we also deceive ourselves, clear symptoms of the fragility of our spirit.