You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.

— Naguib Mahfouz

The most impressive Naguib Mahfouz quotes that will add value to your life

It's a most distressing affliction to have a sentimental heart and a skeptical mind.


As for life's tragedies, our love will defeat them.

Love is the most effective cure. In the crevices of disasters, happiness lies like a diamond in a mind, so let us instill in ourselves the wisdom of love.


I found myself in a sea in which the waves of joy and sorrow were clashing against each other.


Nothing records the effects of a sad life so graphically as the human body.


The real malady is fear of life, not of death


The Arab world also won the Nobel with me.

I believe that international doors have opened, and that from now on, literate people will consider Arab literature also. We deserve that recognition.


There are no heroes in most of my stories.

I look at our society with a critical eye and find nothing extraordinary in the people I see.


If life has no meaning, why don't we create a meaning for it?


Writing is for men who can think and feel, not mindless sensation seekers out of nightclubs and bars. But these are bad times. We are condemned to work with upstarts, clowns who no doubt got their training in a circus and then turned to journalism as the appropriate place to display their tricks.


Art is a criticism of society and life, and I believe that if life became perfect, art would be meaningless and cease to exist.


At my age it is unseemly to be pessimistic.


An allegory is not meant to be taken literally.

There is a great lack of comprehension on the part of some readers.


About Naguib Mahfouz

Quotes 58 sayings
Nationality Egyptian
Profession Novelist
Birthday October 16

For the first time in my life, I felt that a wave, a justice was sweeping away a deep-seated decay without any indulgence. I dearly wished that it would keep going without hesitation or deviation, in a spirit of purity forever.


Only the poor are handicapped by honor.


When will the state of the country be sound?.

.. When its people believe that the end result of cowardice is more disastrous than that of behaving with integrity.


Freedom of expression must be considered sacred and thought can only be corrected by counter thought.


I was suffering from a peculiar and persistent sense that I was being pursued, and also the conviction that under the political order of the times, our lives had no meaning.


paraphrasing.."Science is the language of the intellect of society. Art is language of the entire human personality.


I was afraid of marriage. I had the impression married life would take up all my time. I saw myself drowning in visits and parties. No freedom.


The Koran and the laws of all civilized nations legislate against the vilification of religions.


We used the Western style to express our own themes and stories.

But don't forget that our heritage includes The Thousand and One Nights.


Hosni Mubarak... his constitution is not democratic, but he is democratic. We can voice our opinions now. The press is free.


I thought they would never select an Eastern writer for the Nobel. I was surprised.


My countrymen have the right to shake my hand and talk to me if they so wish.

Don't forget that their support and their reading of my works is what brought me the Nobel prize.


The Nobel Prize has given me, for the first time in my life, the feeling that my literature could be appreciated on an international level.


We are passing through a very sensitive time, and on the whole, this country is facing very big problems.


Without literature my life would be miserable.


I am practically in the employ of Mr. Nobel. I have to meet everyone he sends my way.


Winning Nobel imposed on me a lifestyle to which I am not used and which I would not have preferred.


A priest's life is spent between question and answer-- or between a question and the attempt to answer it. The question is the summary of the spiritual life.


I believe society has a right to defend itself, just as the individual has the right to attack that with which he disagrees.


Happy is he who can give himself up.


We wont develop until we accept that reading is a vital necessity.


Literature should be more revolutionary than revolutions themselves;

writers must find the means to continue to be critical of the negative elements in the sociopolitical reality.


It's not surprising that truly humanitarian manifestos originate frequently in minority circles or with people whose consciences are troubled by the problems of minorities.


He seemed to be waiting for a miracle to save him from the depths his life had reached and take him to a land of dreams.


In the calculus of good deeds you have the most to gain.


Fear does not prevent death. It prevents life.


I wake up early in the morning and walk for an hour.

If I have something to write, I prefer to write in the morning until midday, and in the afternoon, I eat.


Visit me once each year, for it's wrong to abandon people forever.


The heart is a place of secrets.


I have condemned Khomeini's fatwa to kill Salman Rushdie as a breach of international relations and as an assault on Islam as we know it in the era of apostasy. I believe that the wrong done by Khomeini towards Islam and the Muslims is no less than that done by the author himself. As regards freedom of expression, I have said that it must be considered sacred and that thought can only be corrected by counter-thought. During the debate, I supported the boycott of the book as a means of maintaining social peace, granted that such a decision would not be used as a pretext to constrain thought.


I consider Khomeini's position dangerous.

He does not have the right to pass judgment-that is not the Islamic way.


Madness is the acme of intelligence.


I believe in life and in people. I feel obliged to advocate their highest ideals as long as I believe them to be true. I also see myself compelled to revolt against ideals I believe to be false, since recoiling from rebellion would be a form of treason


Today's interpretations of religion are often backward and contradict the needs of civilization.


I started writing while I was a little boy.

Maybe it's because I was reading a lot of books I admired, and thought that I would like to write something like that someday. Also, my love for good writing pushed me.


The criminal is trying to solve his immediate problems.


You know what I'm afraid of? That God is sick of us.

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