Algerian Proverb: The Incomparable

واش جاب الشوك لحب لملوك 

Transliteration: Wash jab chouk lhab lemlouk

Literally translated this means: You can’t compare thorns to raspberries.

The meaning of this proverb is that you can’t compare the incomparable. I love this saying in Algerian Arabic because it rhymes – it rolls off the tongue so easily when you’ve learnt it and it sounds great. I also love this saying in the way it is worded. Rather than just putting it in its simple form: ‘you can’t compare the incomparable’; I love how this proverb uses the completely contrasting examples to express the meaning.

Theodore Roosevelt said “comparison is the thief of joy.”

Comparing is something we all do; even when it only causes us heartache. We compare our status to others. We compare our progress in our careers to people who have been working in their jobs for years and have been promoted. This is the incomparable. We compare people who have been married for years and have children to people who are not yet married or are newlyweds. This is the incomparable. We compare the clothes we buy to those who are rich and famous. This is the incomparable. We compare the lives and choices of Muslims to non-Muslims. This is the incomparable.

Comparison in any shape or form is only going to bring negativity. There is nothing good or beneficial that can come from comparison unless it is a form of motivation to better oneself in meaningful ways. Trying to compare the incomparable is even worse and is only damaging to the mentality and self-esteem of yourself or whoever you are comparing.

You can’t compare thorns and raspberries. So don’t do it.




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