is one of Gibran Khalil Gibran’s most renowned masterpieces. It follows Almustafa, a prophet in the city of Orphalese, who is about to return home. He stopped by a group of people and told them about life. The book contains 26 short poems about subjects such as freedom and religion. The Prophet was initially written in English and has been translated into more than forty languages. In 2014, the American-Mexican actress of Lebanese descent Salma Hayek co-produced “Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet” which was an international success. If you haven’t read the book, we hope that these quotes will motivate you to put
on your must-read list!
Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself, Love possesses not nor would it be possessed: For love is sufficient unto love.
And stand together yet not too near together: For the pillars of a temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.
Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
You give little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.
Eating and Drinking
And when you crush an apple with your teeth, say to it in your heart, “Your seeds shall live in my body, And the buds of your tomorrow shall blossom in my heart, And your fragrance shall be my breath, And together we shall rejoice through all the seasons.”
But I say to you that when you work you fulfill a part of earth’s furthest dream, assigned to you when that dream was born, And in keeping yourself with labour you are in truth loving life, And to love life through labour is to be intimate with life’s inmost secret.
Joy and Sorrow
Some of you say, “Joy is greater than sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater. But I say unto you, they are inseparable. Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.
Your house shall be not an anchor but a mast.
Your clothes conceal much of your beauty, yet they hide not the unbeautiful. And though you seek in garments the freedom of privacy you may find in them a harness and a chain.
Buying and selling
For the master spirit of the earth shall not sleep peacefully upon the wind till the needs of the least of you are satisfied.
Crime and Punishment
The erect and the fallen are but one man standing in twilight between the night of his pigmy-self and the day of his god-self.
You can muffle the drum, and you can loosen the strings of the lyre, but who shall command the skylark not to sing?
You shall be free indeed when your days are not without a care nor your nights without a want and a grief, But rather when these things girdle your life and yet you rise above them naked and unbound.
Reason and Passion
Let your soul exalt your reason to the height of passion, that it may sing; And let it direct your passion with reason, that your passion may live through its own daily resurrection, and like the phoenix rise above its own ashes.
Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.
Say not, “I have found the truth,” but rather, “I have found a truth.” Say not, “I have found the path of the soul.” Say rather, “I have met the soul walking upon my path.” For the soul walks upon all paths. The soul walks not upon a line, neither does it grow like a reed. The soul unfolds itself, like a lotus of countless petals.
If he is indeed wise he does not bid you enter the house of his wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind.
When you part from your friend, you grieve not; For that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence, as the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain.
You talk when you cease to be at peace with your thoughts; And when you can no longer dwell in the solitude of your heart you live in your lips, and sound is a diversion and a pastime.
But if in your thought you must measure time into seasons, let each season encircle all the other seasons, And let today embrace the past with remembrance and the future with longing.
Good and Evil
Of the good in you I can speak, but not of the evil. For what is evil but good tortured by its own hunger and thirst? Verily when good is hungry it seeks food even in dark caves, and when it thirsts it drinks even of dead waters.
You pray in your distress and in your need; would that you might pray also in the fullness of your joy and in your days of abundance.
For to the bee a flower is a fountain of life, And to the flower a bee is a messenger of love, And to both, bee and flower, the giving and the receiving of pleasure is a need and an ecstasy. People of Orphalese, be in your pleasures like the flowers and the bees.
… beauty is life when life unveils her holy face. But you are life and you are the veil. Beauty is eternity gazing at itself in a mirror. But you are eternity and your are the mirror.
And he to whom worshiping is a window, to open but also to shut, has not yet visited the house of his soul whose windows are from dawn to dawn.
You would know the secret of death. But how shall you find it unless you seek it in the heart of life?