Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Keeping it real


It amazes me how the Muslim intellect went from brilliancy to what we have now. I was reading the book "From Babel to Dragomans: Interpreting the Middle East" when I ran into this quote from Andalusian-Arab philosopher, Ibn Hazm. He really describes how anyone should "keep it real" while managing foreign politics.

The measure of prudence and resolution is to know a friend from an enemy; the height of stupidity and weakness is not to know an enemy form a friend.

Do not surrender your enemy to oppression, nor oppress him yourself. In this respect treat enemy and friend alike. But be on your guard against him, and beware lest you befriend and advance him, for this is the act of a fool. He who befriends and advances friend and foe alike will only arouse distaste for his friendship and contempt for his enmity. He will earn the scorn of his enemy, and facilitate his hostile designs;he will lose his friend, who will join the ranks of his enemies.

The height of goodness is that you should neither oppress your enemy nor abandon him to oppression. To treat him as a friend is the mark of a fool whose end is near.

The height of evil is that you should oppress your friend. Even to estrange him is the act of a man who has no sense, for whom misfortune is predestined.

Magnanimity is not to befriend the enemy, but to spare them, and to remain on your guard against them.


From The Book of Morals and Conduct, Ibn Hazm of Cordova (994-1064)

4 Comments:

At Saturday, March 31, 2007 at 6:03:00 PM EDT , Anonymous Loki said...

Are you enjoying this book? I've got a couple of his other ones but haven't seen this one in a bookstore yet... will keep an eye out for it. :)

 
At Sunday, April 1, 2007 at 2:13:00 PM EDT , Blogger The Zoal said...

Yeah, I am enjoying this book a lot. If you have been book shopping at Jarir or Virgin I would be sure you won't find a book with actual knowledge in these places. It is a long story, that I am planning to tell short in my next blog.
I am not advertising here, but check Amazon.com. I am sure the shipping rates to Australia won't be that high... Actually, I am assuming!

 
At Monday, April 2, 2007 at 4:55:00 AM EDT , Anonymous Loki said...

lol... yeah, Amazon shipping can be expensive. But I have no doubt it is available here; I just haven't really looked yet.

BTW... went white-water rafting today.... :D Will see if I can get a photo (I didn't take a camera, but I might be able to get one anyway...) Will post elsewhere. Cheers!

 
At Friday, May 16, 2008 at 2:37:00 AM EDT , Blogger Yasmine said...

that books seems interesting i think I'll give it a try.. I usually buy ALL my books from amazon.

 

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