if the mountain won't come to Muhammad

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Alternative forms[edit]


An ellipsis (anapodoton) of “if the mountain won't come to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go to the mountain”, perhaps from an Ottoman Turkish proverb, retold by Francis Bacon.


if the mountain won't come to Muhammad

  1. If one cannot get one's own way, one must bow to the inevitable.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bacon, Francis (1625), chapter 12, in Essays[1]
  2. ^ Ray, John (1670) A collection of English proverbs digested into a convenient method for the speedy finding any one upon occasion: with short annotations: whereunto are added local proverbs with their explications, old proverbial rhythmes, less known or exotick proverbial sentences, and Scottish proverbs.
  3. ^ Gregory Y. Titelman (1996) Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings, New York: Random House.