ca. 601–661. Muslim caliph and son-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.
At a Glance
The Blue Castle (1)
Sentences of Ali
101. Despair is a freeman, Hope is a slave.
Simon Ockley, who compiled ʿAlī’s sayings in his book The History of the Saracens, offers the following explanation of this proverb in a footnote: “So long as a man is in expectation, his thoughts are in suspense, and he is in a slavish condition; but as soon as he gives over his pursuit, he is free and at liberty.”
The Blue Castle, chapter 8 (“Despair is a free man—hope is a slave”).
Simon Ockley, The History of the Saracens (6th edition; London: Henry G. Bohn, 1857), p. 343. Online at https://archive.org/details/historysaracens01ocklgoog/.