Nasreddin is a fictional legendary satirical Sufi figure who is believed by some to have existed during the Middle Ages (around 13th century), in Akşehir, and later in Konya, under the Seljuq rule. Nasreddin was a populist philosopher and wise man, remembered for his funny stories and anecdotes.
The Nasreddin stories are known throughout the Middle East and have touched cultures around the world. Superficially, most of the Nasreddin stories may be told as jokes or humorous anecdotes. They are told and retold endlessly in the teahouses and caravanserais of Asia and can be heard in homes and on the radio. But it is inherent in a Nasreddin story that it may be understood at many levels. There is the joke, followed by a moral — and usually the little extra which brings the consciousness of the potential mystic a little further on the way to realization.Examples
Delivering a sermon
Once Nasreddin was invited to deliver a sermon. When he got on the pulpit, he asked, "Do you know what I am going to say?" The audience replied "no", so he announced, "I have no desire to speak to people who don't even know what I will be talking about!" and left.
The people felt embarrassed and called him back again the next day. This time, when he asked the same question, the people replied "yes". So Nasreddin said, "Well, since you already know what I am going to say, I won't waste any more of your time!" and left.
Now the people were really perplexed. They decided to try one more time and once again invited the Mullah to speak the following week. Once again he asked the same question - "Do you know what I am going to say?" Now the people were prepared and so half of them answered "yes" while the other half replied "no". So Nasreddin said "Let the half who know what I am going to say, tell it to the half who don't," and left.Who do you trust
A neighbour came to the gate of Mulla Nasreddin's yard. The Mulla went to meet him outside.
"Would you mind, Mulla," the neighbour asked, "lending me your donkey today? I have some goods to transport to the next town."
The Mulla didn't feel inclined to lend out the animal to that particular man, however. So, not to seem rude, he answered:
"I'm sorry, but I've already lent him to somebody else."
All of a sudden the donkey could be heard braying loudly behind the wall of the yard.
"But Mulla," the neighbour exclaimed. "I can hear it behind that wall!"
"Who do you believe," the Mulla replied indignantly. "The donkey or your Mulla?"Taste the same
Some children saw Nasreddin coming from the vineyard with two basketfuls of grapes loaded on his donkey. They gathered around him and asked him to give them a taste.
Nasreddin picked up a bunch of grapes and gave each child a grape.
"You have so much, but you gave us so little," the children whined.
"There is no difference whether you have a basketful or a small piece. They all taste the same," Nasreddin answered, and continued on his way.
My favourite Hodscha Nassredin story
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The hodscha sits at the Aksehir lake and throws jogurt into it. A man comes by and asks surprised: "What are you doing there, hodscha?"
"I make-up jogurt.", answered the hodscha.
"How shall jogurt be made-up in a lake?"
"I know", the hodscha said, "it is impossible, it can't be." But what, if it is working?"