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The Wisdom of the East Series

EDITED BY

L. CRANMER BYNG Dr. S. A. KAPADIA

ARABIAN WISDOM

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WISDOM OF THE EAST

ARABIAN WISDOM

SELECTIONS AND TRANSLATIONS FROM THE ARABIC

BY JOHN WORTABET, M.D.

THIRD IMPRESSION

LONDON

JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET

1916

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

TO

MY CHILDREN

"What doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God!" MICAH vi. 8.

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION THE FIRST CHAPTER OF THE KORAN REPENTANCE A SINNER'S CRY UNTO GOD FORGIVING OTHERS FORBEARANCE HUMILITY TRUE NOBILITY SELF RESPECT CHARACTER BENEVOLENCE GENEROSITY GRATITUDE RECOMPENSE FLAUNTING KINDNESS KNOWLEDGE SPECULATIVE STUDIES THOUGHTS, DOUBTS WISDOM IGNORANCE, FOLLY CONSULTATION SPEAKING, WRITING, BOOKS SILENCE TRUTHFULNESS TRUTHFULNESS TO PROMISES TRUTHFULNESS TO SECRETS DECEIT EXERTION OPPORTUNITIES ECONOMY VICISSITUDES OF FORTUNE PATIENCE CONTENTMENT CHEERFULNESS WAR ANGER HATRED, MALICE MURDER ENVY RASHNESS LAZINESS AVARICE COMPLAINT, BLAME MARRIAGE CHILDREN FILIAL DUTY BROTHERS FRIENDS NEIGHBOURS SALUTATION LOVE OF COUNTRY AND HOME TRAVELLING HEALTH YOUTH AND OLD AGE DEATH APPENDIX

EDITORIAL NOTE

The object of the editors of this series is a very definite one. They desire above all things that, in their humble way, these books shall be the ambassadors of good will and understanding between East and West, the old world of Thought, and the new of Action. In this endeavour, and in their own sphere, they are but followers of the highest example in the land. They are confident that a deeper knowledge of the great ideals and lofty philosophy of Oriental thought may help to a revival of that true spirit of Charity which neither despises nor fears the nations of another creed and colour.

L. CRANMER BYNG. S. A. KAPADIA.

NORTHBROOK SOCIETY, 21, CROMWELL ROAD, KENSINGTON, S.W.

INTRODUCTION

The wise sayings and proverbs of ancient and modern times, and in all the languages I know or to which I had access in translations, have always had a great attraction for me. Drawn from the experiences and study of human life, they have been reduced by wise men to short, pithy sentences, generally expressed in some quaint or striking form, for conveying sound moral truths. They are intended to be maxims of life, or rules of conduct, chiefly for the young, but may be read with pleasure and profit by both young and old. It was with such an object in view that the Editors of the Wisdom of the East series have lately issued a number of small books on this subject carefully translated by competent specialists, and which have been highly appreciated by the English press and public. Their chief desire, however, appears to be "that these books shall be the ambassadors of good will and understanding between East and West," and also that "the great ideals and lofty philosophy of Oriental thought may help to a revival of that true spirit of Charity which neither despises nor fears the nations of another creed and colour." (See Editorial Note.)

It was also from such motives, but long before I had seen these books, that I have employed a part of my leisure hours in translating into Arabic some of the best sayings of M. Aurelius, Shakespeare, Tennyson, English and other proverbs, and, quite lately, selections from The Instruction of Ptah Hotep and Sadi's Scroll of Wisdom . They were published in the best Arabic magazines, and have been read by many Christians, Moslems, and Jews in Egypt, Syria, and other countries; and I have been told by some of these Oriental readers that they found in them much matter for thought and instruction, while their views of the community and bonds of human nature among all nations, and in all parts of the world, have been broadened and enlarged... Continue reading book >>




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