Michael Clarke and “The Pain of Discipline…” Tattoo Fiasco

It was a wonderful century by Michael Clarke yesterday to save his country from potential 3-day embarrassment against England in the Ashes, but what caught my eye (amazingly for the first time) was the Arabic tattoo that became apparent on his arm as he celebrated.

Here’s a picture which shows the second line quite clearly:


After looking at a few pictures it is clear that both lines say:

ألم الإنضباط هو شيء مثل الألم من خيبة الأمل

This can be translated as:

The pain of discipline is something similar to the pain of disappointment

Now it’s pretty obvious that this is a poor statement because as we all know there is simply no comparison between the two with disappointment being far worse; a quick google search shows that quite a few people have been trying to work this out over the last year or two and all of them have been puzzled over its exact meaning, with the majority of them actually translating it as:

“The pain of discipline is nothing like the pain of disappointment.”

Now this makes sense, fits the sport, fits his profile, fits the Aussie maxim in cricket. The only problem is that the Arabic doesn’t translate to this i.e. the Arab who wrote it has clearly completely messed it up and left out the negating word “laysa“!

This is absolutely hilarious, especially considering that Clarke is a big tattoo fan, thinks it was really stylish of him to stick his motto in an exotic language, and thinks that he’s got a good job done.

Well Pup, I’ve got news for ya buddy: tattoo-ing is haram, Arab tattooists are rubbish and you’ve been made to look like a tillah. But hey, no-one else knows right? Well, until this post eventually climbs the google rankings that is…


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38 thoughts on “Michael Clarke and “The Pain of Discipline…” Tattoo Fiasco

  1. Lol that is brilliant AE…..i’m intrigued as to how popular this post might become….who knows, Clarke might hire you as his ‘exotic language consultant’ in the future :-)

  2. Salams AE if you want pup to know the real meaning why not ‘tweet’ it on phil Hughes twitter! After all the Aussies use it to announce they have be put on the bench because freddie and the boys destroying them! Why not use it to put pup out if misery never know he might even get a refund ;)

  3. Salams all

    Just so that no-one misunderstands me, Pup is actually one of my more favoured cricketeers but then it’s not too difficult to get into my good books when it comes to professional cricket.

    @He has a twitter account – you might like to add to the pain by telling him.

    I don’t understand all that facebook and twitter bakwas but if someone does have an account then they should put it on his page or whatever. Miskeen at least deserves a chance to try and get a refund. Actually, have you tried to get money back from an Egyptian taxi driver? Nah, it’s not happening…

    @i’m intrigued as to how popular this post might become….

    Well, so far, type in Michael Clarke Tattoo into google and we’re on the first page :-)

    And they said this blog was dead? Tell the hordes who keep coming back every day – you see PC Robinson, I told you it was popular didn’t I? By the way, he’s the officer who questioned me for 90 minutes last week upon entry in to the UK – be warned anyone who stops me again for you will be named mate ;-)

    @who knows, Clarke might hire you as his ‘exotic language consultant’ in the future

    Hey Tariq, what’s with the small-time mentality? You mean perhaps if I get the time, I might hire him as my exotic language consultant. :-)


  4. As’salamu’alaykum – Ustadh should the word ‘shay’un’ be there with laysa?

    Also – should there be a ‘ka’ there? As in, laysa ka mithli…? I’m just interested to know what the exact statement should read. :)

  5. Wa ‘alaykum salam wa rahmatullah

    Talibah, no, laysa by itself is sufficient although it is quite possible to also add the “ka” as well.


  6. In fear of turning this into the official Micheal Clarke appreciation thread, the funniest thing I heard this week was:

    “We have another five weeks in England. Here in Scotland is a good place to start.”
    Australia vice-captain Michael Clarke in an interview on BBC World Service.

  7. Abu Esa: try translating this phrase using google translator, and it translates to as “The pain of discipline is nothing like the pain of disappointment.”

    الم at the beginning changes the meaning to negative. try translating the phrase first with الم and then without it, and you will realize that google translator is right.

  8. lol at tatoo is haram?? ok what is acceptable then? marrying four women? killing or disowning your daughter when she is raped?? and on that note where is a womans place in paradise?? does she even make it? there is absolutely no sound or rational reasoning for your belief… just seems like an arrogant man made these beliefs to suit a man’s life..and not a woman.. such a shame because your discipline is unbeatable.. only if ur religion made more sense!

  9. Logan, perhaps learning to distinguish between what is from Islam’s tenets and what is from people’s cultural practices or customs might help make things make a bit more sense to you.

    A Muslim man marrying four women is acceptable in Islam, killing or disowning your daughter when she is raped is not. You won’t find any religious text saying that you should–or even that you can. If a woman dies believing in Allah’s monotheism not having committed any sort of polytheism, she will be granted Paradise. Where she ends up in Paradise depends on the deeds she did throughout her life; the more good deeds she did, the higher up in Paradise she’ll be.

  10. Imran, while it’s true that لم is a negating particle, it is only used with a verb (imperfect) and there is no verb in this sentence, so that interpretation doesn’t work, sadly!

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  12. if you dont know what a tattoo says in another language dont get it! i spent 12 to 18 months finding out the ins and outs of the language i have on my back. At least i know the time was well spent, because i know what mine actually means.

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  14. The writer of this post is a fool judge not or lest be judged first.Go hard clarkey every real lebo loves yr tatt. Bridgin da gap! Peace. Ps haram is a lot deeper than ink on an arm my friend take sum time and and learn this for our great prophet commited more haram than we are led to believe time will reveal this.

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  17. I thought this was a Arabic saying. I tried putting this in Bing translator and it came out “… something like the pain of disappointment.” But the funny thing is if you gave the correct saying or “… nothing like the pain of disapointment” and take the result and translate it back to English it woudl say ” … something liket he pain of disappointment”.

    So how would you translate “The pain of discipline is nothing like the pain of disappointment” correctly in Arabic?

  18. oh god ! He directly put the comment on goggles translator and and they showed this exactly this result ‘ ﻞﻣﻷﺍ ﺔﺒﻴﺧ ﻦﻣ ﻢﻟﻷﺍ ﻞﺜﻣ ﺀﻲﺷ ﻮﻫ ﻁﺎﺒﻀﻧﻻﺍ ﻢﻟﺃ ‎’ ! Funny , he didn’t even seem to bother any arabian for correction ! Direct googling .. LOL :v

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