Please visit my earlier blogs: "The inimitable Mullah Naseeruddin." "The Tales of Mullah Naseeruddin continues.....this time a score!" "As you sow, so you reap." and "Return to Mullah Naseeruddin....." to read more stories involving this legendary satirical Sufi figure from the Middle Ages (around the 13th century). Mullah Naseeruddin was well known as the saviour of the poor and needy from the clutches of greedy rulers and money lenders. He was a great traveller and travelled all over Asia. A lot of West Asian countries claim him as their own "Hero;" but, above all he is renowned for his wit and wisdom. Enjoy the Mullah Naseeruddin stories:
1) One evening, Mullah Nasrudin and his wife were sitting on a bench in the park. Without knowing that they were close by, a young man and his girlfriend sat down at a bench on the other side of a hedge. Almost immediately, the young man began to talk to her in the most loving manner imaginable.
- "He does not know we are sitting here," Nasrudin's wife whispered to her husband. "It sounds like he is going to propose to her. I think you should cough or something and warn him."
- "Why should I warn him?" asked Nasrudin, "Nobody warned me."
2) "Mullah, you look sad," said a friend. "What is the matter?"
- "I had an argument with my wife," said the Mullah, "and she swore she would not speak to me for 30 days."
- "Well, you should be very happy," said the first.
- "Happy?" exclaimed Mullah Nasrudin. "Today is the 30th day!"
3) One day, Mullah Nasiruddin decided to tie a knot for each of the reminders he needed. One fine day he manged to do all except one last task. He stayed up till 2 a.m. (in the morning) thinking as to what task did he tie the knot for. He kept on thinking.....all of a sudden, he remembered.....he had tied the knot as a reminder for him to sleep early (by 10:30 pm).....!
4) A tiny, fastidious woman came at rush-hour and upturned the whole grocery store. For hours she bothered and bored Nasruddin. Only after hours of struggle could he satisfy her; she finally purchased what she wanted and was satisfied. And then the woman said, "Mullah, you may not be knowing, but when I came to your shop I had a very terrible headache - and now it is absolutely gone!"
Nasruddin replied, "Dear Madam, don't be worried! Don't be worried! It has not gone. It has come to me!"
5) Once, Mullah Nasrudin was trying to buy a 'Health Insurance Policy'. The Insurance Agent was going through the list of standard questions.
- "Ever had an accident?" he asked.
- "Nope, nary a one," replied the Mullah.
- "None? You've never had any accidents."
- "Nope. Never had one. Never."
- "Well, you have mentioned in this form that you were once bitten by a snake. Wouldn't you consider that as an accident?" persisted the Insurance Agent.
- "Heck, no. That snake bit me on purpose," responded Nasrudin.
6) One day, Mullah Nasruddin was strolling on the Chowpatty Beach with his wife. Suddenly he asked his wife, "Would you like to have bhelpuri once more?" The surprised wife replied, "Once more? But we did not eat bhelpuri at all." The Mullah said, "Beloved, it seems you are losing your memory. Just fifty years ago when we got married and had come here for the first time, we had had bhelpuri. That's why I am asking, "Would you like it once more?"
7) Good News, Bad News: Here is the story of the venerable Mullah who one day got up after the Friday prayers and announced to the people, "I have good news and bad news. The good news is, we have enough money to pay for our new building. The bad news is, it's still out there in your pockets!"
8) A group of philosophers travelled far and wide, and contemplated for many years, the end of the world but could not state a time for its coming. Finally they turned to Mullah Nasruddin and asked him, "Do you know when the end of the world will be?"
- "Of course," said Mullah Nasruddin, "when I die, that will be the end of the world."
- "When you die? Are you sure?"
- "It will be for me at least," said Mullah Nasruddin.
9) A pesky neighbour: Mullah Naseeruddin was sick and tired of a pesky neighbour who borrowed incessantly from him. Now he wanted to be rid of this guy. So, the next time the neighbour came to borrow a clothesline, the Mullah said that he was sorry but could not lend it because he was drying his flour on it! The surprised neighbour asked him as to what sort of a reply was that. To which the Mullah retorted that it was the right sort of response to get rid of a pesky neighbour!
10) One night, Nasruddin was returning home along with one of his students, when he saw a gang of thieves standing in front of a house, trying to break the lock. Nasruddin perceived that he would probably get hurt if he spoke up, so he decided to stay silent and pass by quickly. However, his student did not understand what was happening and asked, "What are all those men standing there doing?"
- "Shhh!" said Nasruddin. "They're playing music!"
- "But, I can't hear anything!"
- "Well, we shall hear the noise tomorrow!" replied Nasruddin.
11) State of the Onion: The Mullah proceeded to the teahouse at the corner of the Town Square (civic center, city square, market square) and sat at his usual table, where he was served with his usual cup of tea. One of the ne'er-do-wells ran up behind him and knocked off his turban (a kind of headdress; a cloth headgear, usually wrapped around the head).
Another day at the teahouse: Mullah Nasiruddin was whiling away the afternoon with his friends, smoking from the hubble-bubble. A young boy was serving little cakes. Not a female was to be seen or heard.
-"Oh Mullah, why is it that people laugh at you?" asked someone.
- "Well," said Nasiruddin, "think of me as a turban. It is the nature of laughter to expose the false. If people laughed at themselves they would feel naked. Therefore, I provide them with a 'head covering'."
- "But Mullah, they are still naked!"
- "Shhhhh," said Nasiruddin, smiling...
12) Whom do you believe: Once, Mullah Nasiruddin borrowed a neighbour's donkey and failed to return it. Eventually the neighbour came over to inquire and, if necessary, to complain. The Mullah responded with a 'Farsi' (Persian language) phrase that translated as "Huh? What donkey?" The neighbour then described at length the previous transaction. Nasiruddin continued to exhibit a positive and cheerful failure to recall. However, near the end of the story (as narrated to him by his neighbour) came a distinctive noise from the back yard, sounding very much like the bray of a donkey.
- "That's my donkey," yelled the neighbour. "You've had it all along."
- "Who are you going to believe," retorted Nasiruddin, "Me or the donkey?"
13) A man was walking along the street when he passed by another man (Mullah Naseeruddin) with a lot of stubble on his face standing outside a shop. The first man asked, "How often do you shave?"
- "Twenty or thirty times a day," answered the man with the stubble (Mullah Naseeruddin).
- "What?! You must be a freak!" exclaimed the first man.
- "No, I'm only a barber," replied the man with the stubble (Naseeruddin).
14) Nasruddin meets 'Death': One day, Nasruddin was walking to the market.....when he saw a strange, dark shape appear and block his path.
- "I am 'Death'," it said, "I have come for you."
- "Death?" said Nasruddin. "But I'm not even old! And I have so much to do. Are you sure you aren't mistaking me for someone else?"
- "I only kill people who are not yet ready to die," said 'Death'.
- "I think you're wrong," replied the Hoja. "Let's make a bet."
- "A bet? Perhaps. But, what shall the stakes be?"
- "My life against a hundred pieces of silver," replied Nasruddin.
- "Done," said 'Death', a bag of silver instantly appearing in his hand.
- "What a stupid bet you made. After all, what's to stop me from just killing you now, and thus winning automatically?" asked 'Death'.
- "Because, I knew you were going to kill me," said Nasruddin, "that's why I made the bet."
- "Hmmm....." mused 'Death'. "I see. But . . . but, didn't you also know, then, that I would not be able to kill you, because of the terms of our agreement?"
- "Not at all," said Nasruddin, and continued walking down the road, clutching the bag of money...
15) Our Hero (the Mullah) was seen running through the streets of the town - right in the middle of the night. And he was shouting! "Thieves! Help! There are thieves in my house!" When he had calmed down the people started asking, "Did you actually see the thieves?"
- "Then, how come you know, there are thieves in your home?" asked everyone.
- "Well, I am not as silly as you are, you dorks! I woke up and found myself thinking about a dream, when all of a sudden I realized, that thieves are quite capable of entering a house and moving around without making any noise at all. As I could not hear the slightest sound, I concluded precisely that there must be thieves in my house!"
16) It works, doesn't it! - The Mullah was beating a drum as hard as he could. The neighbours were fed up with the noise and asked him what he was doing.
- He replied, "Keeping wild tigers at bay."
- A neighbor shouted, "But Mullah, there are no wild tigers within a thousand miles from here."
- The Mullah smiled and replied, "It works, doesn't it!"
17) Mullah Naseeruddin found himself responsible for giving the largest sweets to a group of children. The problem was that the sweets were all about the same size, and the children knew that those sweets could be made in bigger sizes. Therefore, Naseeruddin decided to combine the sweets into a big dough and divide them in variously-sized balls. Then he called the children one by one and they were able to pick the largest sweets...
18) Mullah's English: Once the Mullah reached the Heathrow Airport. At the Customs counter the Officer asked, "What is your name?"
- "Peeeee kuiiiii chiiiiii Mullah Naseeruddin!" replied the Mullah.
- "Where have you come from?" asked the Officer.
- "Siiii jhuuuu kat kat cairo!" said Naseeruddin.
- "What have you came here for?" asked the Officer.
- "For cruuuuur tan tan visiting chiii suiiii places!" said Naseeruddin.
- "Why are you talking like that?"
- "I learnt English suuuuu jhrrrrr from brrr brrr BBC!!" retorted Naseeruddin.
19) Mullah Nasrudin was looking at some greeting cards. The Salesman said, "Here's a nice one - "To the only girl I ever loved."
- "Wonderful!" exclaimed Nasrudin. "I will take six of them."
20) Mullah Nasrudin had just asked his newest girlfriend to marry him. But she seemed undecided.
- "If I say 'No' to you," she asked, "would you commit suicide?"
- "That," said Nasrudin gallantly, "has been my usual procedure."
21) Mullah Nasrudin's wife was always after him to stop drinking. This time, she waved a newspaper in his face and said, "Here is another powerful temperance moral, 'Young Wilson got into a boat and sailed out into the river, and as he was intoxicated, he upset the boat, fell into the river and was drowned.' See, that's the way it is, if he had not drunk 'Whisky,' he would not have lost his life."
- "Let me see," said the Mullah. "He fell into the river, didn't he?"
- "That's right," said his wife.
- "He didn't die until he fell in, is that right?" he asked.
- "That's true," his wife agreed.
- "Then it was the water that killed him," said Nasrudin, "Not 'Whisky'."
22) One day, Mullah Nasrudin went to see the Psychiatrist and asked if the good doctor could split his personality.
- "Split your personality?" asked the doctor. "Why in heaven's name do you want me to do a thing like that?"
- "Because," said Nasrudin, "I am so lonely!"
23) Mullah Nasiruddin, an incorrigible drunkard had a wife who was always telling him to mend his ways. One fine day, she decided to go to the 'Pub' which he frequented. He was sitting and sipping his 'Beer' in style.....when suddenly he saw his wife entering the 'Pub'. Nasiruddin was wondering whether she would create a scene and embarass him with her verbal volleys, when his wife came over and sat next to him and said, "Mullah, enough is enough! Now that you are not going to change, I will. I will also drink with you." Now, the Mullah did not like what she said, but nevertheless, poured a glass of 'Beer' for her. She took a sip, cringed and said, "This is so bitter! You go on drinking this bitter thing everyday?!" The Mullah retorted, "And all these days you thought I enjoy drinks?!!"
24) Once, Mullah Nasrudin was hard of hearing and went to the doctor to cure himself. Here is their conversation:
- "Do you smoke?"
- "Sure, all the time."
- "Yes, just about anything. Any time, too."
- "What about late hours? And girls, do you chase them?"
- "Sure thing; I live it up whenever I get the chance."
- "Well, you will have to cut out all that."
- "Just to hear better? No, Thanks!" said Nasrudin, as he walked out of the doctor's office...
25) Mullah Nasruddin went to a Psychiatrist. He said, "I don't have much money, I don't have any time to waste on that couch stuff. All I want to do is ask you just two questions." The Psychiatrist said that it was not the way he usually conducted his business, but in the Mullah's case he would make an exception: "What are your questions?"
- The Mulla asked, "My first question is this, is it possible for a man to be in love with an elephant?" The Psychiatrist pondered over the query...seriously...for a few moments. Finally he said, "No, it is not possible for a man to be in love with an elephant."
The Mulla looked disappointed and asked whether the doctor was sure. At this, the doctor replied that he had no doubt about it.
- "Well, then," said the Mullah, "my second question is this, do you know anybody who could use an oversized engagement ring?"
26) "Well, Nasrudin, my boy!" said his Uncle, "My Congratulations! I hear you are engaged to one of the pretty Noyes twins."
- "Rather!" replied Mullah Nasrudin, heartily.
- "But," said his Uncle, "how on earth do you manage to tell them apart?"
- "Oh," said Nasrudin. "I don't try!"
27) "My grandfather," bragged one fellow in the teahouse, "lived to be ninety-nine and never used glasses."
- "Well," responded Mullah Nasrudin, "Lots of people would rather drink from the bottle."
28) Once, Nasrudin and his wife were in the house, eating their supper. Suddenly, they heard a noise in their compound. Nasrudin took his gun and rushed outside. He saw something white moving near his garden. He raised his gun and shot. When he went closer to see what he had shot, he discovered that it was his best shirt (his wife had washed and hung it on a tree to dry). Just then, his wife came running from the house.
- "Oh, you unlucky man!" she cried. "You have ruined your best shirt."
- "No," said Nasrudin. "I am the luckiest man on earth. I almost put that shirt on this morning. If I had been wearing the shirt, then surely I would have been killed."
29) The only way of doing it: Nasrudin was visited by some students, who asked whether they might hear his lessons. He agreed, and they set out to the lecture hall, walking behind the venerable Mullah, who sat backwards on his donkey. People began to stare. They thought that the Mullah must be a fool, and the students who followed him were even greater fools. Who after all, walks behind a man who rides a donkey backwards? After a while the students began to feel uncomfortable, and said to the Mullah, "O Mullah! People are staring at us, Why do you ride in this manner?" Nasrudin frowned, "You are bothered about what people are thinking, rather than what we are doing?" he said. "I shall explain it to you. If you walk in front of me, it would be showing disrespect to me, because you would have your backs to me. If I walked behind, the same would be true. If I ride ahead with my back towards you, it would be showing disrespect for you. This is the only way of doing it."
Photographs: (in clockwise order)
1) At the Ankara Amusement Park: The ever smiling Hodja Nasreddin - riding on his 'bronze' donkey - backwards, no less.....! (Wikipedia)
2) A picture of the 'Hodja-park' in Akşehir (a town and district of the Konya Province in the Central Anatolia region of Turkey) -- (Wikipedia)