Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sunday story: Nasrudin

Oh, but I love Nasrudin! And really, who doesn't love a wise fool? Nasrudin is a figure in stories across the Sufi world. He may be a fool, he may be quite wise, he may be a trickster, but he will always make you think.

When I was a child I learned several Nasrudin stories from a neighbor. I don't think the family was Persian, but I so clearly remember the mom telling some of these tales, over and over again, as we all laughed ourselves to bits. It was only later that I realized she told us these stories at appropriate times, to help us learn.

Wearing Hats

"Nasrudin, why dp people laugh at you?"
"Well," said Nasrudin, "Think of me as a turban. Laughter exposes the cruel and untrue. If people laughed at themselves they would feel naked and revealed, so I give them with a fool in a turban to laugh at instead."
"But Nasrudin, they are still naked!"
"Shhhhh," said Nasrudin smiling . . .

Last wishes

Nasrudin is drinking coffee with friends. They are discussing death.

"When you are in your casket and friends and family are mourning you, what would you like to hear them say?" asks one man, his whiskers in his cup.

The first says, "I would like to hear them say that I was a great doctor of my time, and a great family man."

The second says, " I would like to hear that I was a wonderful husband and school teacher which made a huge difference to our children of tomorrow."

Nasrudin says, "I would like to hear them say... Look! He is moving!!!"

Riding backwards

Nasrudin will sit on the donkey in his own way, facing backwards.

"Hey! That's the wrong way!! You look like a fool!" called out a man nearby.

"Enough of it! The donkey says it wants to go that way! I said I want to go this way. Why pick up a fight with it? I let it go in its way. And I am sitting in my own way. Truce. Any objection?" asked Nasrudin.

(c)2014 Laura S. Packer Creative Commons License


  1. I needed those wise smiles. Thanks!

  2. I like them! (Especially Wearing Hats.)
    Here's a couple more:


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