A Literary “Swiss Army Knife”

Review:  The Exploits of the Incomparable Mulla Nasrudin By Idries Shah  As a child both the Bible and Mad Magazine shook me up. Both moved me to reflect on my life, my world and beyond. When I read Idries Shah’s The Sufis as an adult, I met an outlandish character...

The Secret

A would-be disciple haunted Nasrudin, asking him question after question. The Mulla answered everything, and realized that the man was not completely satisfied: although he was in fact making progress. Eventually the man said: ‘Master, I need more explicit guidance.’...

Raw Material

Everyone in the teahouse was criticizing Wali. He was generally admitted to be useless; and each person had something to say against him. ‘That man’, opined the tailor, whose words were usually considered weighty, ‘is a cabbage.’ Everyone murmured his assent—except...

That’s why they bunged it up

Nasrudin was very thirsty and was happy when he saw by the roadside a water-pipe whose outlet was bunged with a piece of wood. Putting his open mouth near the stopper, he pulled. There was such a rush of water that he was knocked over. ‘Oho!’ roared the Mulla. ‘That’s...

The Smuggler

Time and again Nasrudin passed from Persia to Greece on donkey-back. Each time he had two panniers of straw, and trudged back without them. Every time the guard searched him for contraband. They never found any. ‘What are you carrying, Nasrudin?’ ‘I am a smuggler.’...

Automation

  The management had called a mass-meeting of all employees.    ‘My friends,’ said the managing director, ‘I have to announce that, as from a month hence, this factory is to go over to total automation.’    There was a gasp from the whole audience.    ‘All...