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A collection of quotes and sayings by Ibn Khaldun on education, thought, evolution, sociology, Arabic, economics, social-change, black-death, theory and psychology.

24 Interesting Quotes By Ibn Khaldun That You Must Not Miss

Quick Facts

Famous As: Historiographer

Born On: May 27, 1332

Died On: March 19, 1406

Born In: Tunis

Died At Age: 73

Ibn Khaldun was a prominent Arab historian and historiographer considered to be the predecessor of modern disciplines of demography and sociology. He is renowned for his book ‘the Muqaddimah or Prolegomena’ that influenced Ottoman historians, such as Mustafa Naima, and Katip Celebi, who utilized his theories to examine the progress and failure of the Ottoman Empire. Khaldun is also considered to be one of the greatest philosophers of the Middle Ages by 19th-century European scholars who have also acknowledged the significance and relevance of the book. Following is a collection of some famous, popular, and motivating quotes and sayings by Ibn Khaldun. Read through the quotes and thoughts by Ibn Khaldun which have been excerpted from his writings, books, theories, works and life.

Geometry enlightlens the intellect and sets one's mind right

Ibn Khaldun

The Berbers belong to a powerful, formidable, and numerous people; a true people like so many others, the world has seen - like the Arabs, the Persians, the Greeks and the Romans.

Ibn Khaldun

All the sciences came to exist in Arabic. The systematic works on them were written in Arabic writing.

Ibn Khaldun

People are largely ignorant of the interests of the human species.

Ibn Khaldun

Therefore, the Negro nation are, as a rule, submissive to slavery, because [Negroes] have little [that is essentially] human and have attributes that are quite similar to those of dumb animals, as we have stated.

Ibn Khaldun

Businesses owned by responsible and organized merchants shall eventually surpass those owned by wealthy rulers.

Ibn Khaldun

At the beginning of a dynasty, taxation yields a large revenue from small assessments. At the end of the dynasty, taxation yields a small revenue from large assessments.

Ibn Khaldun

Habits are qualities of the soul.

Ibn Khaldun

Sedentary culture is the goal of civilization. It means the end of its lifespan and brings about its corruption.

Ibn Khaldun

He who finds a new path is a pathfinder, even if the trail has to be found again by others; and he who walks far ahead of his contemporaries is a leader, even though centuries pass before he is recognized as such.

Ibn Khaldun

Man is essentially ignorant, and becomes learned through acquiring knowledge.

Ibn Khaldun

Islam is under obligation to gain power over all nations.

Ibn Khaldun

Man is the child of customs, not the child of his ancestors.

Ibn Khaldun

The term of life of a dynasty does not normally exceed three generations. For in the first generation are still preserved the characteristic features of rough, uncivilized rural life, such as hard conditions of life, courage, ferocity, and partnership in authority. Therefore the strength of the 'Asabiya is maintained ...

Ibn Khaldun

Government is an institution which prevents injustice other than such as it commits itself.

Ibn Khaldun

The past resembles the future more than one drop of water resembles another.

Ibn Khaldun

Throughout history many nations have suffered a physical defeat, but that has never marked the end of a nation. But when a nation has become the victim of a psychological defeat, then that marks the end of a nation.

Ibn Khaldun

If the soul is impartial in receiving information, it devotes to that information the share of critical investigation the information deserves, and its truth or untruth thus becomes clear. However, if the soul is infected with partisanship for a particular opinion or sect, it accepts without a moment's hesitation the information that is agreeable to it. Prejudice and partisanship obscure the critical faculty and preclude critical investigation. The results is that falsehoods are accepted and transmitted.

Ibn Khaldun

The easiest method of acquiring the habit of scholarship is through acquiring the ability to express oneself clearly in discussing and disputing scholarly problems. This is what clarifies their import and makes them understandable. Some students spend most of their lives attending scholarly sessions. Still, one finds them silent. They do not talk and do not discuss matters. More than is necessary, they are concerned with memorizing. Thus, they do not obtain much of a habit in the practice of scholarship and scholarly instruction.

Ibn Khaldun

Geometry enlightens the intellect and sets one's mind right. All of its proofs are very clear and orderly. It is hardly possible for errors to enter into geometrical reasoning, because it is well arranged and orderly. Thus, the mind that constantly applies itself to geometry is not likely to fall into error. In this convenient way, the person who knows geometry acquires intelligence.

Ibn Khaldun

When incentive to acquire and obtain property is gone, people no longer make efforts to acquire any... Those who infringe upon property rights commit an injustice... If this occurs repeatedly, all incentives to cultural enterprise are destroyed and they cease utterly to make an effort. This leads to destruction and ruin of civilization.

Ibn Khaldun

Beyond [known peoples of black West Africa] to the south there is no civilization in the proper sense. There are only humans who are closer to dumb animals than to rational beings. They live in thickets and caves, and eat herbs and unprepared grain. They frequently eat each other. They cannot be considered human beings.

Ibn Khaldun

The sciences of only one nation, the Greeks, have come down to us, because they were translated through Al-Ma'mun's efforts. He was successful in this direction because he had many translators at his disposal and spent much money in this connection.

Ibn Khaldun

Eventually, Aristotle appeared among the Greeks. He improved the methods of logic and systematized its problems and details. He assigned to logic its proper place as the first philosophical discipline and the introduction to philosophy. Therefore he is called the First Teacher.

Ibn Khaldun