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Al-Maʿarri

Medieval Arab philosopher
The world holds two classes of men; intelligent men without religion, and religious men without intelligence.

Abul ʿAla Al-Maʿarri (December 973May 1057) was a blind Arab philosopher, poet, and writer.

QuotesEdit

  • If you will do some deed before you die,
    Remember not this caravan of death,
    But have belief that every little breath
    Will stay with you for an eternity.
    • The Diwan of Abu'l-Ala (1909) by Henry Baerlein, XLVII
  • They recite their sacred books, although the fact informs me that these are a fiction from first to last. O Reason, thou (alone) speakest the truth. Then perish the fools who forged the (religious) traditions or interpreted them!
    • "The Meditations of Al-Ma'arri", in R. A. Nicholson's Studies in Islamic Poetry (1921)
  • The inhabitants of the earth are of two sorts:
    Those with brains, but no religion,
    And those with religion, but no brains.
    • As quoted in The Crusades Through Arab Eyes (1984) by Amin Maalouf, p. 37
    • Variant translations:
    • The world holds two classes of men; intelligent men without religion, and religious men without intelligence.
      • A Short History of Freethought Ancient and Modern (1906) by John Mackinnon Robertson, Vol. I, Ch. VIII: Freethought under Islam, p. 269
    • The world is divided into men who have wit and no religion and men who have religion and no wit.
      • This form of the statement has been most commonly misatributted — to Avicenna, in A Rationalist Encyclopaedia: A Book of Reference on Religion, Philosophy, Ethics, and Science (1950) by Joseph McCabe, p. 43, and later to Averroes, in The Atheist World‎ (1991) by Madalyn Murray O'Hair, p. 46.

External linksEdit