Reading proverbs and literary quotes in other languages is an enriching way to gain insight into cultures different from our own.
Inspirational quotes are far more memorable than the impersonal exchanges you might find in traditional textbook languages. Plus, by reading proverbs and sayings, you can see how much philosophy is shared between the target culture and your own.
Arabic culture in particular has a long, rich history, and the wisdom of its poets and sacred writings can be seen in countless proverbs and inspirational quotes.
If you want to learn Arabic in a meaningful way (or just need a few great Arabic quotes for Instagram!), check out the list below.
Arabic Quotes About Allah
1. Nouman Ali Khan
Nouman Ali Khan is a famous American Islamic speaker, theologian and Arabic instructor. In one of his most memorable speeches, he gave his interpretation of Allah’s view on charity.
"عندما يتحدث الله عن مساعدة المحتاجين للمال أو الطعام أو الكساء ، فإنه لا يقصد" نساعد أو نتصدق على المسكين ". ويشير إلى هذا العمل بأنه منحهم ما هو حقهم وما يستحقون "
“When Allah talks about helping those who are in need of money, food, or clothing, He doesn’t mean we should “help or give charity to the miskeen”. He refers to this act as giving them what is their right and what they deserve”
Ali Khan reminds us that we are all worthy in the eye of Allah and that even those who seem lost have the right to be helped and be happy.
2. Cat Stevens
Yusuf Islam (a.k.a Cat Stevens) is a British singer-songwriter whose musical style consists of folk, rock, and, later in his career, Islamic music. In December 1977, Stevens converted to Islam and left his musical career to devote his time to philanthropic causes in the Muslim community.
In the book Why Muslim?, he comments:
"عندما يذهب العديد من رواد الفضاء إلى الفضاء ، فإنهم يرون الحجم الضئيل للأرض واتساع الفضاء ، ويصبحون متدينين للغاية ، لأنهم رأوا آيات الله"
“When many astronauts go to space, they see the insignificant size of the earth and vastness of space, and they become very religious because they have seen the Signs of Allah.”
With this quote, he hopes to persuade people to see that there is more to life than we can see, as the universe is too vast and unknowable to believe we can explain it without resorting to the idea of a Creator.
Arabic Quotes About Love
1. Nizar Qabbani
Nizar Qabbani is one of the most beloved poets in the Arab world. Romantic by nature, his best work combines beauty and simplicity with deep social issues. He is also known for his progressive position regarding the role of women in society, which has made him one of the most relevant voices in Syria.
If you’re looking for romantic Arabic quotes for Instagram, this poem might be just what you’re looking for.
في أيّام الصيف..
أَتمدّد على رمال الشاطئ
وأمارس هوايةَ التفكير بكِ..
لو أنّني أقول للبحر..
ما أشعر به نحوكِ
“In the summer
I stretch out on the shore
And think of you.
Had I told the sea
What I felt for you,
It would have left its shores,
And followed me.”
Ali Ahmad Said Esber — better known by his pen name Adonis, is one of the Arab’s world most renowned poets. Regularly nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature, he has received many awards such as the prestigious Goethe Prize in 2011.
If you want to learn Arabic through literature, his simple but gorgeous poems might be a great place to start.
َخَرَجَ الوردُ من حَوْضِهِ لمُلاقاتها،
كانتِ الشَّمسُ عُريانةً
في الخريفِ، سِوَى خَيْطِ غيمٍ على خَصْرها.
هكذا يُولَدُ الحبُّ
في القريةِ التي جئتُ مِنها
“The rose leaves its flowerbed to meet her
The sun is naked
nothing except a thread of cloud around her waist
This is how love arrives
in the village where I was born.”
Is he talking about a woman or about the moon? Could this be a poem about the arrival of the spring? The ambiguity of these beautiful verses make them a great choice for those looking for Arabic quotes for Instagram posts.
Arabic Quotes About Hope
1. Yasmin Mogahed
Yasmin Mogahed is a specialist in Spirituality and Personal Development, as well as an international speaker and the best-selling author of Reclaim Your Heart. Her speeches and writings are full of short quotes that feel like ancient proverbs:
"فيه ، الرجاء لا يموت أبدًا. فيه ، المحبة لا تضيع أبدًا ".
“In Him, hope is never dead. In Him, love is never lost.”
This quote is about the importance of religious faith, and how it can help people cling to hope during a dark time.
Rumi was a 13th-century Persian poet, Islamic scholar, and Sufi mystic originally from Greater Khorasan in Greater Iran. Described as "the most popular Islamic poet in the United States”, his works are written mostly in Persian, but he also used Greek, Turkish and Arabic.
He is known for being able to write verses that read like ancient proverbs:
"المعاناة نعمة. فيه رحمة خفية ".
“Suffering is a gift. In it is hidden mercy.”
Rumi encourages us to stay hopeful even if we’re going through a hard time, as divine or human help might be just around the corner.
Arabic Quotes About Strength
1. Fatima Mernissi
Fatema Mernissi was a Moroccan feminist writer and sociologist who has written about the power of Muslim women in relation to the Islam faith.
The following quote is a beautiful example of Mernissi’s empowering style:
الطبيعة أفضل صديق للمرأة، تقول ياسمينة، إذا واجهتي مشاكل، يمكنك السباحة، التمدد في حقل، أو النظر إلى النجوم، هكذا تشفي امرأة مخاوفها
“Nature is woman’s best friend. If you’re having trouble, you just swim in the water, stretch out in a field, or look up at the stars. That’s how a woman cures her fears.”
2. The Quran
The Quran, sometimes written Qur'an or Koran in English, is the most important religious text of Islam, believed by Muslims to be the word of God (Allah) himself. It is also widely considered the finest literary work in the Arabic language.
Whether you are religious or not, it is undeniable that the Quran has some truly inspiring quotes about perseverance and strength.
"لا يثقل الله نفساً إلا ما تستطيع أن تتحمله”
“Allah does not burden a soul beyond what it can bear.” [Quran 2:286]
This quote suggests that every hardship that we face in life is a test of patience, trust, and strength, but reminds us that God will not push us harder than we can bear.
Arabic Quotes About Learning
The Arab world does not only have great poets, thinkers, and spiritual leaders. It also has great anonymous proverbs.
If you want to learn Arabic, start by memorising these amazing quotes about learning.
1. 1 . "اسأل ذوي الخبرة بدلاً من المتعلمين."
“Ask the experienced rather than the learned.”
2. 2 . "ما تعلمه في الشباب محفور في الحجر."
“What is learned in youth is carved in stone.”
These beautiful quotes do not only make great Arabic quotes for your Instagram posts. They also remind us that experience is as valuable as formal learning, and that we should take every learning opportunity we can while we are young.
Which of these Arabic quotes will you share first?
If you want to go beyond beautiful quotes and learn Arabic with a native teacher, explore our Free Trial Arabic Classes and get your first lesson at no cost. Contact us on our website to get started!