One day a fool asked Nasrudin “is God true?”
“Everything is true” replied Nasrudin.
“Even false things?”
“Even false things are true,” said Nasrudin.
“But how can that be?”
“I don’t know. I didn’t do it,” shrugged Nasrudin.
- Truth is found in yourself, not in others.
- Do not look to men for Truth. They may be even more confused than you are.
Nasrudin (during his age, there was no car) has been looking for a parking place for twenty minutes already. He turns around, he waits, he drives a bit further, but finds nothing.
He has an important business meeting and he’s going to be late, but nothing, no parking space. Filled with despair he raises his eyes up to the sky and says:
“My God, if you get me a parking space in five minutes, I promise to you that I’ll eat kosher (halal) food for the rest of my life…”
And suddenly – O miracle! – right next to him a car drives away leaving an ideal parking spot.
So Nasrudin turns his eyes to the sky and says: “God, stop searching, I found one!”
- It is easy to claim credit.
- Don’t try to back out of your promises.
- Everything is from Allah.
- People are self-centered.
- One man’s miracle is another man’s happenstance.
The Great Pumpkin
Nasreddin Hodja was lying in the shade of an ancient walnut tree. His body was at rest, but, befitting his calling as an imam, his mind did not relax. Looking up into the mighty tree he considered the greatness and wisdom of Allah.
“Allah is great and Allah is good,” said the Hodja, “but was it indeed wise that such a great tree as this be created to bear only tiny walnuts as fruit? Behold the stout stem and strong limbs. They could easily carry the great pumpkins that grow from spindly vines in yonder field, vines that cannot begin to bear the weight of their own fruit. Should not walnuts grow on weakly vines and pumpkins on sturdy trees?”
So thinking, the Hodja dozed off, only to be awakened by a walnut that fell from the tree, striking him on his forehead.
“Allah be praised!” he exclaimed, seeing what had happened. “If that had been a pumpkin that fell on my head, it would have killed me for sure! God is merciful! He has rearranged nature only to spare my life.”
- Things are as they should be.
- Man is unable to understand just how complex nature actually is.
- To achieve the fruit (spiritual perfection) one needs to be humble as the big fruit grow on the vines which are on the ground. Tall trees cannot bear the weight of big fruit and hence only produce walnuts.
- What we think should be best, and what really is best, are often very different things.
- To compare what is and what should be is always a fallacy, as it oversimplifies that which we, as mortals, cannot understand.
:Mulla was once boasting about his ageless strength.
“I am as strong as I was when I was a young man.” “How can that be?” asked people.
“There is a big rock outside my house. I couldn’t move it then and I can’t move it now!” said Mulla.
- It’s all relative.
- One must carefully choose the standards one measures oneself by. If the standard is too high it will never be achieved.
- All of life’s woes come from comparison.
- The limitations of the self to effect the physical world remain relatively stable regardless of age or status.
Mulla preached on Fridays at the village mosque. One day, having nothing to preach about, he asked the congregation:
“Do you know the subject I am going to discuss today?” “No” said the people. “Then I refuse to preach to such an ignorant assembly. How could you not know given the events of the past week?” asked Mulla and left hurriedly. Next Friday he went up the minbar and asked: “Do you know the subject of my sermon today?” People fearing a repetition of what had taken place a week before nodded and said: “Yes yes, indeed we know.” “Well, then. There is no point in telling you what you already know”, said Mulla and left. On the third Friday he ascended the minbar and asked: “Do you know what I am going to speak about today?” Not knowing what to say, some said yes and some said no.
“Then those who know can tell those who don’t”, said Mulla and left.
- It is easy to manipulate an audience that trusts you implicitly.
- The correct answer is not always the opposite of the wrong answer.
- It is impossible to teach those who are completely ignorant, and it is impossible to teach those who believe they already know the answers. The real way toward wisdom is for the learned ones to pass on what they know to ones who are willing and able to learn.