All Things Arabic Islam

Five Arabic Quotes: On Speaking Ill of Others

Five Arabic Quotes: On Speaking Ill of Others

The world’s cultures offer a wealth of wisdom in dealing with social interactions, and the Arabic language is no different. Many Arabic quotes provide guidance on etiquette and ethical behavior, especially when it comes to how we treat others. 

This article delves into the concept of gossiping and speaking ill of others and explores five influential Arabic quotes on the subject.

Speaking Ill Of Others Quotes

لسانك لا تذكر به عورة امرئ * فكلّـك عورات وللناس ألسـن

وعينك إن أبدت إليك معايباً * فدعها وقل : يا عين للناس أعينُ

“Do not use your tongue to mention the faults of others,
for you are full of faults and other people have tongues, too.
And if your eye reveals to you others’ defects, tell it,
‘O eye of mine, they have eyes too.’”
-Imam Shafi’i

من نمّ لك نمّ عليك

ومن نقل اليك نقل عنك

Whoever shares slander with you will slander about you;
And whoever reports to you will soon report about you.
-Imam Shafi’i

من قال لك قال علىك

“Man Qala Laka Qala Alayka”

(This is a similar version to the quote above it, that means basically, “Whoever gossips with you gossips about you!”)

طعن اللسان أنفذ من طعن السنان وجرح الكلام أصعب من وقع السهام

“The stab of the tongue penetrates more than the stab of the spear, and the wounds from words are more difficult than those from the arrow.”

من اغتاب خرق

ومن استغفر رقع

“He who slanders tears and rips away,
and he who asks forgiveness patches.”

يــابنيَّ أتقوا الجواب، وزلة اللســان، فإني وجدت الرجل تعثر قدمه فيقوم من زلَّته وينتعش منها سوياً، ويزل لسانه فيوبقه، ويكون فيه هلكته

“My son, be wary of one’s reply and the slip of one’s tongue.  For I have found that a man’s foot may slip, but he can stand up and recover from it, while a slip of his tongue will lead to his destruction. “
-Abdullah b. Saddad

(PS: Please note that I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the quotes’ attributions, since they’ve been found on various websites, discussion boards or have been quoted by others, but hopefully we can benefit from the wisdom they impart! Some of these quotes were found in Riad A. Kassis’ The Book of Proverbs and Arabic Proverbial Quotes.)

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