A Fox is Not Taken Twice…

I was contacted a few weeks ago by a gentleman interested in having a tattoo designed in Arabic calligraphy of an proverb he was familiar with. It seems his family had lived in Saudi Arabia and while he was there he had collected some Arabic proverbs that he considered special to him, and wanted one designed as a tattoo. Naturally, I was only happy to oblige.

The saying he chose was this, a variation on a Hadith (saying of the Prophet):

لا يلدغ المؤمن من جحره مرتين

In English we would translate that as “A fox is not taken twice in the same snare.” Literally, it reads “A believer is not stung from his hole twice.” The original Hadith, which can be found in Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Book 73, Number 154, and is narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira, reads: لا يُلدغ مؤمنٌ من جحر [واحد] مرتين, “The believer is not stung from [one] hole twice”. Thank you Sulaiman for the clarification and info!

This is the design I gave him:

And this is the final result:

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~ by Josh on March 21, 2010.

2 Responses to “A Fox is Not Taken Twice…”

  1. Very nice. I have just started on Arabic calligraphy and do not know any of the basic techniques. I am just out to use the patterns that exist until I am familiar enough to do something of my own. I love this one as well as some of the others you had posted last year. Best. Geetha

  2. That, my friend, isn’t an Arabic proverb. It is in fact a distortion of a saying of the Prophet Muhammed -salla Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam-. The correct [authentic] saying of the Prophet Muhammed is: “لا يُلدغ مؤمنٌ من جحر [واحد] مرتين” which translates: “The believer is not stung from [one] hole twice”. Which obviously means that the believer should learn from his first mistake so that he does not repeat it.

    The literal translation of the one on this page (and now, unfortunately, on this guy’s arm) is: “The believer is not stung from his hole twice”.

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