Mullah Nasruddin

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Pure genius or perfect idiot, mystic or scoundrel, disinterested or greedy, fictional or real, the character of Mullah Nasruddin conquered the East, and beyond, with his faceted facets and his double-bottom lessons.

“Nasr Eddin Hodja is a mythical ulema of Muslim culture, ingenuous and false-naive giving absurd or ingenious teachings, who would have lived in Turkey from 1208 to 1284, born in Sivrihisar and died in Aksehir. His fame ranges from the Balkans to Mongolia, and his adventures are celebrated in dozens of languages, from Serbo-Croatian to Persian to Turkish, Arabic, Greek, Russian and others.” (source)

In Aksehir, Turkey, one can visit his tomb and even participate in a Nasruddin Festival.

***

Nasruddin is a schoolmaster. A student asks: “What is the greatest achievement? Conquering an empire, holding back from doing it, or preventing a tyrant from doing it?” Mullah laughs: “All this is nothing. I know an exploit
much bigger.”
– Which one?
“Make yourself see things as they are.”

***

On his minaret, the Mullah Nasruddin launches his call to prayer with all his might, then tumbles down and starts running like a madman. Where are you going?” cried his wife. “I run to see how far the call went.”

***

Nasruddin has good news for the king, but cannot get audience. When he gets there, the king congratulates him: “Your news is excellent, Mullah. Choose your own reward” To the great surprise of the king, Nasruddin chooses fifty lashes. The king bows, makes him whip. On the twenty-fifth blow, the Mullah protested. “Whoa! That’s enough! Give my partner the rest of the blows!” The king is still amazed. “The chamberlain, Your Majesty, did not let me come near you until I swore to him that I would give him half the reward.”

***

“Nasruddin,” said his neighbor, “it seems you have a vinegar of forty years of age. Give me a bit of it.” The Mullah chokes: “You want to laugh! How could he have been forty if I had sown him to all winds?”

***

Nasruddin, seated between the branches of a flowering tree, smells the sweet air and is gilded in the sun. “What are you doing, lazy?” cries his wife. You see, I climb the Great Pyramid”, answers the blissful Mullah. “What pyramid, idiot?! It’s a tree!” Yes, he says. But look at these flowers, these birds, this sun. How can I do better?”

***

Nasruddin meditates at the mosque when someone exclaims: “The fire! I left the fire lit at home!” His neighbor said to him, “You broke the silence, you must start the whole prayer again”
“You too!” adds another.
“Allah be praised, I have said nothing,” said Nasruddin.

***

The King entrusted Nasruddin with a great mission. Investigate mountains and valleys, search libraries, interrogate all the wise old to gather all the wisdom of the Eastern mystical masters. He had carte blanche, his budget was unlimited. Four years later, he appeared before the King. “Carrots” he said only. When the King gets angry, Nasruddin explains:
– The best is hidden. The useless green foliage hides the tasty orange underground. Without constant care, the fruit rots. Many donkeys are circling.”

***

Nasruddin ran out of money and had to give the proceeds of his field to a loan shark. On the deed, the suspicious usurer made clear his share: all that is above the ground. Mullah cultivated turnips.
The next year the usurer changed the act: everything below the ground. The Mullah made wheat.

***

Two men fight outside Nasruddin’s window in the middle of the night. “Go see what it is,” said his wife. “He goes, draped in his blanket. He tries to reason with the drunkards when one of them snatches his blanket from him and runs away with his companion. – Why were they fighting? Ask his wife when he comes back to bed.
“For my cover. As soon as they got it, the fight stopped.”

***

Nasruddin returns home with a nice lamb liver he just bought at the market. He holds in his other hand a liver pate recipe that the merchant gave him. Suddenly a buzzard melts on him and rips out the lamb’s liver. Triple buzzard! shouts Mullah. You may have the meat, but I have the recipe! “

***

A philosopher makes an appointment with Nasruddin to explain his doctrine. But the Mullah forgets. Furious to find door closed, the philosopher writes in chalk: “Poor Con”. Upon his return, Nasruddin rushed to the philosopher: “Sorry to have forgotten our appointment, but as soon as I saw your name on my door, it came back to me immediately.”

***

Nasruddin gave his wife three pounds of beef for the dinner of his guests. Hungry, the poor woman ate all the meat. When evening came:
“The cat ate it,” she said.
The Mullah puts the cat on the scale: it weighs three pounds.
“If it is the cat,” said Nasruddin, “where is the ox? And if it is the ox, where is the cat?”

***

“Nasruddin, complains a neighbor, the pot I lent you is pierced!”
So much bad faith unworthy the Mullah who replies: – First you never lent me a pot. Second, it was already punctured when you lent it to me. And third, I gave it back to you intact.”

It is given to all humans to know themselves and control themselves. (Heraclitus)

 

 

 

Homer deserved to be driven from the contests with a stick, and similarly Archilochus.
Heraclitus