Mulla Nasrudin and his son were riding the donkey to the town market. A group of people passed. Mulla heard them whisper: “What times are these? Look at those two, have they no mercy on the poor animal?”
Nasrudin, hearing this, tells his son to get off and continue the journey on foot. Another group of people passing by and seeing this comment: “What times are these? Look at this man. His poor son with his frail body has to walk while he at his best age is riding the donkey!”
Hearing this, Nasrudin tells his son to ride the donkey and he himself gets off to walk the rest of the way. A third group of people seeing this remark: “What times are these? This young man is riding the donkey while his sickly old father has to walk!”
Hearing this, Nasrudin tells his son to get off the animal and they both walk with the donkey trailing behind. Another group passing by point to them, laughing: “Look at these idiots. They have a donkey and they are walking all the way to the market!”
Return of the Camel
“Thief, thief! Someone has stolen my camel!” cried Nasrudin.
Finally after the commotion was quietened someone observed, “But Nasrudin, you have no camel.”
“Shhh…” said Nasrudin, “I am hoping the thief is unaware of this and the camel will be returned.”
- Not all who claim to have been wronged, truly have been.
- Beware those who play on your sympathies, sometimes they do so for the wrong reasons.
- Sometimes, the true thief is the one claiming to have been stolen from.
Nasrudin heard that the king sent out a committee incognito, seeking suitable candidates for qazis (judges). Nasrudin took to walking around carrying an old fishing net on his shoulder. When the members of the committee reached his village, it drew their attention and they questioned him about it.
“Oh, I carry this net with me to remind me of my humble past as a poor fisherman,” explained Nasrudin. The committee was impressed, and in due time Nasrudin was nominated as a qazi.
Shortly afterwards those king’s representatives met Nasrudin again and noticed the net was gone.
“Where is the net, Nasrudin?” they asked.
“Well, you don’t need the net after the fish is caught, do you?” replied Nasrudin.
- Fools remain fools although power is with them.
- Only Intelligence can win over power.
- Power is founded on lies.
- There is no reason to carry on with a deception after it has served its purpose.
- Don’t set in authority over you those who will lie to achieve such positions.
- People tend to elect officials for foolish reasons. Image over substance.
- Wisdom given may not mean what you expect it to mean, and the truth may be unflattering.
A traveler was passing through town when he came upon a huge funeral procession. Nasrudin was on a corner watching the people pass by.
“Who died?” the traveler asked Nasrudin.
“I’m not sure,” replied Nasrudin, “but I think it’s the one in the coffin.”
- Language is imprecise and we can sometimes miss the context of a question.
- Speak only the truth you know.
- Once somebody is dead, it matters little who they were in life.
- Being a traveler, he wouldn’t have recognized the person who died anyway. Ask a stupid question, get a stupid answer.
The Nature of the Unseen
It seems that the Master of Mirth and Chief of the Dervishes, Nasrudin, was once called to pontificate on the ‘Nature of Allah’ in the local mosque. Present were the many Imams and Doctors of the Islamic Law. Out of courtesy and because Nasrudin could not be counted on saying anything worthwhile, these illustrious guests explained and inspired the audience with their eloquence and wisdom.
Finally it was Nasrudin’s turn to explain ‘the Nature of Allah’.
“Allah …”, started Nasrudin impressively “is …”
Nasrudin removed and held up an ovoid mauve vegetable from the folds of his turban, ” … an aubergine.”
There was uproar at this blasphemy. When order was finally established, Nasrudin was reluctantly asked to explain his words.
“I conclude that everyone has spoken of what they do not know or have not seen. We can all see this aubergine. Is there anyone who can deny that Allah is manifest in all things?”
“Very well,” said Nasrudin, “Allah is an aubergine.”
- Don’t talk about things you don’t know about.
- If you can’t see god in all, you can’t see god at all.
- A fool can make a fool of learned men.
- The wisdom of the lord is the folly of men, and the folly of men is the wisdom of the lord.
- People know as much about god as a chick that is still inside the egg.
- Wise men can be trumped by a vegetable.
- Religious people do not really believe the things they say and think they believe.
- No description is equivalent to the thing it describes. To do so it would have to be the thing itself. Therefore, one can demonstrate but not describe the nature of Allah.
- If we truly want to believe in and appreciate God, we should cherish him in all things, thus making our belief in him real.
- Just because someone is making noise does not mean that they are communicating