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Arabic Proverbs About Cats And Their History With Arabs

Cats have a long history in both Middle Eastern and Islamic cultures, so is it any wonder that they’d be included in their proverbs, too?

Cats have a long history in both Middle Eastern and Islamic cultures, so is it any wonder that they’d be included in their proverbs, too?

Cats have been an important part of Middle Eastern culture since the days of Ancient Egypt. Indeed, back then, they were praised for protecting the pharaohs by killing venomous snakes. What’s more this duty to protect got our feline friends turned into gods, and they are even used as symbols of protection in the infamous Book of the Dead.

Now, flash forward a couple of thousand years to Islam when cats are again venerated. In fact, the Prophet Muhammad himself loved cats and many hadiths forbid anyone to harm them. What’s more, many Muslim scholars believe that the Prophet had a favorite cat by the name of Muezza. While getting up to pray one morning, Muhammad was getting ready to go to the mosque to pray when he found Muezza sleeping on the sleeve of his prayer robe. Not wanting to disturb the sleeping cat, he cut the robe with a pair of scissors. Upon his return from the mosques, they say Muezza to the Prophet. The Prophet replied with a smile and gently pet the cat three times.

Cats Proverbs

With all cats being such a big part of Middle Eastern history, is it no wonder that cats are included in Arabic proverbs? Today we are going to look at a few proverbs on cats’ behavior and character.  More specifically, we’re going to give you proverbs on cats with meaning and sentences in both Arabic and English.

English  TransliterationArabic
I remember (remember) the cat comes and jumps.  Izkor  il-‘iT   y-iji   ynuT  اذكر (ازكُر) القط يجي ينط  
Meaning: This is the Arab equivalent to the American English version of “Speak of the Devil!” where someone you don’t like (or someone you happen to be talking about at the time) suddenly shows up.  
Like a cat with seven souls  Mitl   il-‘iT   B-sabʕ  irwAAHمتل القط بسبع رواح
Meaning: Much like “a cat has nine lives” proverb meaning in English, this Arabic equivalent means that someone has made it through a difficult time or near death experience and has survived. Unfortunately, in the Arabic version, cats only have seven lives compared to a cat has nine lives proverb in English.  
The cat only loves to be strangledil-‘iT   maa   b-yhib  ‘illa   xanna’-uh  القط ما بحب إلا خناقه  
Meaning: The meaning of this proverb can be used two ways. The first way is for the person who continues doing something they know is bad for them. The second is for a person who keeps hanging around people they know will only get them into trouble.  
Curiosity killed the cat.Al-fudhool   qatal-a  al-hirra / al-qTTa  الفضول قتل الهرّة/ القطة  
Meaning: Being curious about the affairs of others may get you into trouble.

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