Mulla/Hodja/Hoca Nasrudin is the starring character in a vast number of amusing tales told in regions all over the world, particularly in countries in or near the Middle East. Each tale depicts Nasrudin in a different situation, and through his viewpoint they humorously reveal commentary and lessons on various life themes. The great allure of the Mulla Nasrudin tales is that they are funny as well as lesson filled, philosophical, and thought provoking.
The Mulla Nasrudin Character
Mulla, Hodja, and Hoca are titles from various areas of the world that in early times were used to signify a learned man.
The character Mulla/Hodja/Hoca Nasrudin is sometimes wise, sometimes foolish, and sometimes both. He is a unique spin on a wise sage or philosopher character.
Much of Nasrudinís actions and can be described as illogical yet logical, rational yet irrational, bizarre yet normal, and simple yet profound. What adds even further to his uniqueness is the way he gets across his messages in unconventional yet very effective methods.
Origins and History
Mulla Nasrudin tales have been passed down for many centuries. It is thought that the Mulla Nasrudin character is based on a real man who lived in the 1300s. However, many countries claim to be the origin of the actual Mulla Nasrudin character and his tales, and it remains uncertain where the man lived and the stories started.
But whatever the origins of Mulla Nasrudin are, pinpointing them has become a trivial point. As generations went by, new stories were added, others were modified, and the character and his tales spread to broader regions. The types of themes and wisdom in his tales have become legendary products of a variety of peopleís observations and imaginations. And although most of them depict Nasrudin in an early small village setting, the tales deal with concepts that have relevance to todayís universe and people.
Today, Mulla Nasrudin stories are told in a wide variety of regions, and have been translated into many languages. (It can only be assumed that some regions independently developed a character similar to Mulla Nasrudin, and the stories have become assimilated together.)
In many regions, Mulla Nasrudin is a major part of the culture, and is quoted or alluded to frequently in daily life. Since there are thousands of different Nasrudin stories, one can be found to fit almost any occasion.
Also Known As
In different regions, the character goes by such aliases as:
Hodja / Hoca Nasreddin
Nasreddin Hodja / Hoca
Variations of Mulla: Molla, Mullah, Mollah, Maualana
Variations of Nasrudin: Nasreddin, Nasruddin, Nasiruddin, Nastradin, Nasreddine, Nasredin, Nastradhin, Nasrettin, Nastratin, Nasr Eddin, Nasr Ud Din, Nasr Id Deen, Nasirud Din, Nasr Ed Dine, Stradin
Variations of Hodja / Hoca: Hocca, Hodscha, Khoja, Hoja, Hogia, Hodza, Hogea, Hodza, Khodja, Chotza, Chotzas, Joha, Juha
Variations of Effendi: Ependi, Afandi, Efendi
Nasrudin struck up a conversation with a stranger.
Ar one point, he asked, “So how’s business?”
“Great,” the other replied.
“Then can I borrow ten dollars?”
“No. I don’t know you well enough to lend you money,”.
“That’s strange,” replied Nasrudin. “Where I used to live, people wouldn’t lend me money because they knew me; and now that I’ve moved here, people won’t lend me money because they don’t know me!“
“Nasrudin,” a friend said one day, “I’m moving to another village. Can I have your ring? That way, I will remember you every time I look at it?”
“Well,” replied Nasrudin, “you might lose the ring and then forget about me. How about I don’t give you a ring in the first place—that way, every time that you look at your finger and don’t see a ring, you’ll definitely remember me.”
A Fakir claimed that he could teach any illiterate person to read through an “instant technique.”
“OK,” Nasrudin said. “Teach me.”
The Fakir then touched Nasrudin’s head and said, “Now go read something.”
Nasrudin left, and returned to the village square an hour later with an angry look on his face.
“What happened?” asked the villagers. “Can you read now?”
“Indeed I can,” replied Nasrudin, “but that’s not why I came back? Now where is that scoundrel Fakir?”
“Mulla,” the people said, “he taught you to read in no more than a minute. So what makes you think he’s a scoundrel?”
“Well,” Nasrudin explained, “I was just reading a book that asserted, ‘All Fakirs are frauds.’“
Nasrudin and two other travelers stopped to eat the lunches each of them had packed for their journey.
One of the travelers bragged, “I only eat roasted salted pistachios, cashews, and dates.”
The other said, “Well, I only eat dried salmon.”
Then both men looked at Nasrudin, waiting to hear what he would say.
Seconds later, Nasrudin held up a piece of bread and confidently announced, “Well, I only eat wheat, ground up and carefully mixed with water, yeast, and salt, and then baked at the proper temperature for the proper time.”
One day, a man ran into Judge Nasrudin’s room and said, “I was just robbed at the border of this village! It must have been someone from here, and I demand justice! The robber took everything from me—my shoes, my pants, my shirt, my coat, my necklace, and even my socks…he took everything, I tell you! I demand justice.”
“Well now,” Nasrudin replied, “I see that you are still wearing you underwear—so the robber didn’t take that, did he?”
“No,” replied the man.
Nasrudin responded, “Then I am sure he was not from here, and thus I cannot investigate your case.”
“How can you be so sure?” the man asked.
“Because if he were from here, he would have taken your underwear as well. After all, we do things thoroughly around here!“
A woman and man came into Judge Nasrudin’s room one day.
The woman complained, “I was just walking on the street the other day, when this man, whom I never met before, came up to me and kissed me! I demand justice!“
“I agree that you deserve justice,” Nasrudin said. “Therefore, I order that you kiss him and take your revenge.”
Monk: “I have achieved an incredible level of disattachment from myself—so much so that I only think of others, and never of myself.”
Nasrudin: “Well, I have reached a more advanced state than that.”
Monk: “How so?”
Nasrudin: “I am so objective that I can actually look at another person as if he were me, and by doing so, I can think of myself!“
Nasrudin snuck into someone’s garden and began putting vegetable in his sack. The owner saw him and shouted, “What are you doing in my garden?”
“The wind blew me here,” Nasrudin confidently responded.
“That sounds like bull to me,” was the reply, “but let’s assume that the wind did blow you here. Now then, how can you explain how those vegetables were pulled out from my garden?”
“Oh, that’s simple,” Nasrudin explained. “I had to grab them to stop myself from being thrown any further by the wind.”
“Well,” the man continued, “then tell me this—how did the vegetables get in your sack?”
“You know what,” Nasrudin said, “I was just standing here and wondering that same thing myself!“
Nasrudin decided to wear elaborate Arabic clothing one day. When he came home, his wife noticed that the clothing had been torn up to shreds.
“What happened to you?” his she asked. “Did you get beaten up?”
“Yes,” Nasrudin replied.
“But why?” she inquired. “It’s not like people beat up others for wearing an outfit like that.”
“Well,” Nasrudin said, “tell that to a group of Kurds who are looking for an Arab to beat up.”
It was a cold winter day, and a heavily dressed man noticed Nasrudin outside wearing very little clothing.
“Mulla,” the man said, “tell me, how is it that I am wearing all these clothes and still feel a little cold, whereas you are barely wearing anything yet seem unaffected by the weather?”
“Well,” replied Nasrudin, “I don’t have any more clothes, so I can’t afford to feel cold, whereas you have plenty of clothes, and thus have the liberty to feel cold.”
The local religious leader invited Nasrudin over for dinner one night.
Nasrudin, not having eaten much that day, was famished when he got there, and eger to eat as soon as possible.
After two hours, however, the religious leader had yet to offer Nasrudin any food, and instead spoke nonstop about a variety of religious topics.
As Nasrudin grew more annoyed with each passing minute, he finally interrupted the man and said, “May I ask you something?”
“What?” the religious leader answered, eager to hear some religious question that would prompt him to continue talking.
“I was just wondering,” Nasrudin said, “did any of the people in your stories ever eat?”
Nasrudin was lying on his couch with his eyes closed.
His brother-in-law went up to him and asked, “Are you asleep?”
“Why do you ask?” Nasrudin replied.
“I was wondering if you could lend me three hundred dollars,” said the other.
“Well,” answered Nasrudin, “let’s return to your fist question—‘Am I asleep.’ The answer is yes I am—so leave me alone!“
Nasrudin, knowing his son was looking for a wife, asked him what type of wife he wanted.
“One who is intelligent and expressive“ the latter replied.
“OK,” replied Nasrudin, “I’ll help you find such a woman.”
So as part of his plan, Nasrudin led his son to the town square. He then slapped his son in front of all the people and exclaimed, “This is what you get for doing exactly what I told you to do!“
One young lady saw this and remarked, “Stop hitting him. How can you punish him for obeying what you said?”
When the son heard this, he turned to his father and said, “She seems like the right woman for me—don’t you think so?”
“Well,” replied Nasrudin, “she is certainly expressive and intelligent, but perhaps ther’e a woman out there who isan even better fit for you.”
So Nasrudin led his son the neighboring area’s town square and repeated the same scene. This time, a young lady saw this and said, “Go ahead and hit him. Only a fool would follow orders so blindly.”
When Nasrudin heard this, he said to his son, “The first woman, she was intelligent and expressive—but this woman is on an entirely higher level altogether. I think we’ve found your future wife.”
Nasrudin was at the town square one day, and a group of people asked him if he knew how to play the guitar.
Nasrudin didn’t know how, but he replied, “Yes, I do. I am a masterful guitar player—in fact, I am one of the best in the world!“
The people, expecting him to make such a boast, immediately produced a guitar and asked him to play it.
Nasrudin took the guitar and started playing only one string, and continued to play only on that one string. After a minute of this, someone finally interrupted him and asked, “Mulla! Guitar players move their fingers and play a variety of strings. Why are you only playing one of them?”
“Well,” Nasrudin replied, “those players keep on changing strings because they are searching for a specific one. I found it on my first try—so why should I switch to another one?”
One day, Nasrudin’s wife told him, “Let’s buy a cow so that we can have milk every day.
Nasrudin replied, “We don’t have enough space in our yard for my donkey and a new cow.”
But despite Nasrudin’s objection, his wife persisted until he finally gave in.
So he bought the cow—and just he predicted, it crowded his beloved donkey in the barn. This prompted Nasrudin to start praying one night, saying, “Dear God, please kill the cow, so my wife can’t bother me about it anymore, and so my donkey can live in peace.”
The next day, Nasrudin went into the barn and was dismayed to discover that his donkey was dead! He looked up and said, “God, I don’t mean to offend you or anything, but let me ask you this—after all these years, do you mean to tell me that you still can’t tell the difference between a cow and a donkey?”
A group of robbers broke into Nasrudin’s house one night and demanded Nasrudin’s money.
“Sirs—” Nasrudin said “—if I could, I would gladly give you a million dollars; but unfortunately I am rather low on funds right now, and only have this twenty dollar bill in my pocket.”
And with saying so, Nasrudin took out the bill and handed it to the robbers.
They, however, were greatly angered, and decided to spend the night at Nasrudin’s house and punish him. “Stand on one foot for the rest of the night!” they demanded.
Nasrudin did as he was told, and the robbers went to sleep while one stayed on guard. After an hour, the guard said to Nasrudin, “Listen, I’ll let you switch to the other leg.”
“Oh, thank you,” Nasrudin replied. “You’re a much better person than the rest of your group. My money is actually in my shoes in the closet. You can go take it—but don’t give any to them.”
One day, a local man climbed up a rather tall tree.
Shortly thereafter, however, as he tried to make his way back down, he soon discovered that the trip down might not be as easy as the trip up. In fact, try as he might, he simply could not figure out a way to get down the tree without putting his body at great risk of falling to the ground.
He asked a few passers-by for help, but no one knew what to do.
A few local people gathered near him and tried to help, but he remained stuck.
Then Nasrudin walked by and devised a plan. He threw a rope up to the man and said, “Tie this around your waist.”
The people nearby wondered about what Nasrudin was doing. They asked him his plan, but he calmly replied, “Just trust me—this works.”
When the man had the rope tied around his waist, Nasrudin pulled on the rope. Upon his doing this, the man fell from the tree and hurt himself. The bystanders, horrified to see this happen, remarked, “What kind of a plan was that?”
“Well,” Nasrudin replied, “I once saved someone’s life doing the exact same thing.”
“Are you sure,” one man asked.
“Yes,” Nasrudin replied. “The only thing I’m not sure about is whether I saved him from a well or from a tree.”
The tax collector in Nasrudin’s town was corrupt and accepted many bribes. One day, the mayor asked the tax collector to present his records for examination.
Upon studying them and realizing that they were falsified, the mayor, infuriated with rage, shouted to the tax collector, “Not only are you fired, I also order you to eat these papers you have presented me while we all watch!”
So he did as he was ordered, while the court attendants watched in amazement as he ate all the paper. Soon the news of what had happened spread throughout the town.
About a week later, the mayor appointed Nasrudin as the town’s new tax collector. When the mayor asked him to present his records the next week, Nasrudin handed him noon-eh-lavash (flat bread) with the records written on them.
The mayor asked, “Why did you write your records on noon-eh-lavash?
“Well,” Nasrudin replied, “I saw what happened to the other guy, so I wrote these on bread just in case you would make me eat them as well.”
One day at the King’s court, the King turned to Nasrudin and said, “Mulla. Since you are constantly reminding us of how clever and wise you are, tell me this: can you teach your donkey to read?”
“Absolutely,” replied Nasrudin. “A task like that would present me with no problems whatsoever.”
“Don’t mess with me,” said the King. “Seriously, can you do it?”
“Yes, I mean it,” Nasrudin replied, “and I’ll tell you what: just give me fifty thousand dollars right now, and I’ll guarantee I’ll have this donkey reading within eight years.”
“OK,” said the King. “But that donkey isn’t reading by then, I’ll put you in prison and have you tortured daily.”
So they agreed, and Nasrudin left the court.
The next day, Nasrudin’s friend asked about what happened.
“Are you out of your mind?” he said. “You can barely teach your donkey to stand still, and now you’ve guaranteed that he’ll be reading within eight years. Nasrudin-I don’t see how you’ll be able to escape a long prison sentence for this.”
“Listen,” the Mulla calmly replied, “several years from now, our King will probably be dead or out of power. And even if he manages to last as our King for that long, odds are my donkey will have passed on by then. And in the unlikely event that neither he nor my donkey is gone by seven years time, I’ll still have an entire year to plan my way out of getting punished.”
Nasrudin went to the village judge and asked to be granted a divorce from his wife.
But when the judge asked what her name was, Nasrudin replied, “I don’t know.”
Greatly surprised to hear this, the latter asked, “Well how long have you been married to her?’
“Five years,” said Nasrudin.
The judge, now in a state of disbelief, had to ask once again.
“Do you mean to tell me that after five year of marriage, you do not know your wife’s name?”
“That is correct,” Nasrudin replied.
“Why not?” asked the judge.
“Because,” Nasrudin explained, “I did not have social relations with her.”
Nasrudin’s wife was pregnant and due to give birth any day.
One night, as they both slept, she turned to him and said, “Husband, the baby is coming.”
And on her saying so, Nasrudin lit a candle and watched his newborn baby come out.
But minutes later, he watched as yet another baby come out. And just minutes after that, he watched his wife give birth to a third child.
Finally, after seeing three babies ___ , Nasrudin blew out the candle.
“Why did you do that?” asked his wife.
“Well,” said Nasrudin, “while the light was on, one child was born, and then another, and then another. If I had kept it on, who knows how many more there would be!“
Late one night, Nasrudin’s baby started crying.
Nasrudin’s wife turned to him and said, “Husband, go take care of the baby. After all, he is not only mine—he is also half yours.”
Nasrudin sleepily remarked, “You can go stop your half from crying if you want—but as for me, I will let my half continue to cry.”
One day, Nasrudin began talking to a man from another town. The man lamented, “I am rich, but I am also sad and miserable. I have taken my money and gone traveling in search of joy-but alas, I have yet to find it.”
As the man continued speaking, Nasrudin grabbed the man’s bag and ran off with it. The man chased him, and Nasrudin soon ran out of the man’s sight. He hid behind a tree, and put the bag in the open road for the man to see.
When the man caught up, he located the bag, and his facial expression immediately turned from distress to joy. As the man danced in celebration of finding his bag, Nasrudin thought to himself, “That’s one way to bring joy to a sad man.”
About a year after Nasrudin’s first wife died, he married a widow.
As they lay in bed one evening, she said, “You know, my first husband was a really exemplary person.”
Nasrudin, annoyed to hear about her first husband, responded, “Well, my first wife was incredibly lovely and charming.”
“Well,” she replied, “my first husband was a fabulous dresser.”
“My first wife was a tremendous cook,” countered Nasrudin.
“My first husband was a brilliant mathematician,” replied the other.
“My first wife was a masterful organizer.”
“My first husband was remarkably strong.”
And as they both continued trading praise of their deceased spouses, Nasrudin became so annoyed that he pushed his new wife off the bed, causing her to injure her hand.
Infuriated and wanting justice, she took him to the local judge and told him what happened.
After the judge heard her account of what happened, he turned to Nasrudin and said, “OK—now let’s hear your side of the story.”
“Your honor,” Nasrudin said, “we have a bed that fits only two people. But last night, when my first wife and my new wife’s first husband were added, my new wife was pushed off the bed, fell, and hurt her hand.”
One day, a cow drinking water from a container got its head stuck in the container’s narrow passage.
The cow’s owner and various passersby noticed what had happened, and some tried to prod the cow’s head out—but alas, the cow remained stuck, much to the
Then Nasrudin walked by.
“What happened,” Nasrudin asked.
“My cow’s head is stuck in that container,” replied the animal’s owner, “and we don’t know what we should do. Mulla, do you have any ideas?”
Nasrudin examined the cow and container, and then said, “Cut off the cow’s head.”
So the man followed Nasrudin’s advice, causing the cow’s head to drop into the container.
“What should I do now?” the man asked.
“Break the container,” replied Nasrudin, “and take out the cow’s head.”
As Nasrudin and his wife lay in bed one night, the latter woke Nasrudin up and, full of distress, said, “Nasrudin-I hear a burglar in our house! Go get him!“
Nasrudin calmly replied to her, “I think we’d be better of just letting him do what he wants. After all, we don’t have anything good for him to steal; and if we’re lucky, he might leave something for us.”
“Don’t be absurd, replied his wife, “That won’t happen.”
“Well then,” said Nasrudin, “perhaps he’ll find something good to steal, and then I can steal it from him.”
One day, Nasrudin slipped and nearly fell into a lake, but was caught by a friend walking next to him.
From then on, every time Nasrudin encountered the friend, the latter was sure to bring up the incident and make a big deal about it.
After months passed and Nasrudin could take no more of this, he led the friend to the same lake, and, with clothes and shoes still on, deliberately jumped right into the water! As he lay in the water, he remarked to the friend, “Now I’m as wet as I would have been if you didn’t save me that day…so for goodness sake, please stop reminding me about it!“
Nasrudin walked into a store one day, and the owner greeted him.
“Wait a second,” said Nasrudin. “Have you ever seen me before?”
“Never,” said the man.
“Then how do you know it was me?” replied Nasrudin.
As Nasrudin rested under a tall walnut tree one day, he looked a few yards to his side and noticed a big watermelon growing on a thin vine near the ground.
Nasrudin looked up and said, “Great God, please permit me to ask you this: why is it that walnuts grow on big strong trees, while watermelons grow on think weak vines. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?”
But at that very moment, a walnut fell from high on up in the tree and hit Nasrudin square on the head.
“Ah!“ remarked Nasrudin. “I suppose Nature’s ways might not be as backward as I thought. After all, if a big watermelon fell out of the tree and onto my head, it might have killed me!“
Friend: “Nasrudin, do you know where the center of the earth is?”
Nasrudin: “As a matter of fact, I know exactly where it is.”
“Directly under the right hoof of my donkey.”
“What! How can you be so sure?”
“Well—if you don’t believe me, you can measure it for yourself.”
Nasrudin was invited to the royal palace for dinner one night. During the meal, the King asked Nasrudin if he enjoyed the stew.
“Yes,” replied Nasrudin, “it was fantastic.”
“Really?” said the King. “I thought it was pretty bad.”
“Yes,” said Nasrudin, “you’re right—it was quite awful.”
“Wait a minute,” remarked the King. “You just said it was fantastic a few seconds ago.”
“That’s correct,” explained Nasrudin, “but I live in and serve the town of the King, not the stew.”
Nasrudin was talking to his neighbor one day, and the neighbor lamented, “I’m really having trouble fitting my family in our small house. It’s me, my wife, my three kids, and my mother-in-law-all sharing the same cottage. Mulla Nasrudin, you are a wise man. Do you have any advice for me?”
“Yes,” replied Nasrudin. “Do you have any chickens in your yard?
“I have ten,” the man replied.
“Put them in the house,” said Nasrudin.
“But Mulla,” the man remarked, “our house is already cramped as it is.”
“Just try it,” replied Nasrudin.
The man, desperate to find a solution to his spacing woes, followed Nasrudin’s advice, and paid him another visit the next day.
“Mulla,” he said, “things are even worse now. With the chickens in the house, we are even more pressed for space.”
“Now take that donkey of yours,” replied Nasrudin, “and bring it in the house.”
The man bemoaned and objected, but Nasrudin convinced him to do it.
The next day, the man, now looking more distressed than ever, came up to Nasrudin and said, “Now my home is even more crowded! Between my family, the chickens, and that donkey of mine, there is barely any room to move.”
“Well then,” said Nasrudin, “do you have any other animals in your yard?”
“Yes,” the man replied, “we have a goat.”
“OK,” said the other. “Take the goat in your house too.”
The man once again raised a fuss and seemed anything but eager to follow Nasrudin’s advice, but Nasrudin once again convinced him to put yet another animal in the house.
The next day, the man, now full of _ and _ , came up to Nasrudin and exclaimed, “My family is really upset now. Everyone is at my throat complaining about the lack of space. Your plan is making us miserable.”
“OK,” Nasrudin replied, “now take all of the animals back outside.”
So the man followed his advice, and the next day, he dropped by Nasrudin and remarked, “Mulla-your plan has worked like a charm. With all the animals out, my house is so spacious that none of us can help but being pleased and uncomplaining.”
Nasrudin went to a wealthy man’s home one day for a business appointment. As he walked towards the front door, he looked through a side window and saw the man eating soup.
Nasrudin continued to the front, and knocked on the door.
The man’s son opened it.
“Hi,” said Nasrudin. “I am here to see your father.
“Well,” other replied, “my father went out and won’t be back for many hours.”
“OK,” said Nasrudin, “but tell your father that the next time he leaves the house, he should remember not to leave his head near his home’s window!“
As Nasrudin and his wife sat in their yard one day, a strong sudden gust of win blew a shirt from their roof clothesline right next to the wife’s foot.
After seeing this happen, Nasrudin began offering thanks to God.
“Husband,” his wife asked, “why are you thanking God after having seen your shirt fall from the roof?”
The other explained, “I am thanking God that I was not in the shirt at the time.”
Nasrudin was scheduled to give a religious speech one day to an all-male audience, but had no particular topic in mind.
He thought of one, and began preaching:
“Gentleman,” he said. “We must stop allowing our wives to wear make-up. It is inappropriate, indecent, impure, wicked, and by all means sinful. Any man who let’s his wife wear make-up should be ashamed of himself!“
“But Mullah,” said one of the men, “your wife always wears make-up!“
“Yes, that’s true,” Nasrudin remarked. “And it looks great on her, doesn’t it?”
One day, the town’s new conqueror asked Nasrudin, “If I were a slave, how much would I cost?”
“Five hundred dollars,” Nasrudin responded.
“What!“ the conqueror shouted in great anger. “Just the clothes I’m wearing right now are worth five hundred dollars!“
“Yes,” replied Nasrudin, “I factored the clothes into my price.”
A group of local men spotted Nasrudin riding on his donkey, but facing the wrong way.
“Nasrudin,” they said, “you are sitting on your donkey the wrong way around.”
“Hey,” Nasrudin replied, “don’t blame me-it’s actually the donkey who is facing backwards.”
The next day, the local men once again spotted Nasrudin riding his donkey backwards. This time, they asked, “So you couldn’t figure out how to make the donkey face forwards?”
“Actually,” Nasrudin responded, “this time he is forwards, and I am forwards as well. It you guys who are facing backwards!“
One day, the local people complained to Nasrudin, “Your wife is always walking here and there, going to all sorts of different places. ‘Tis improper for a woman. For God’s sake, Mulla, tell her that she should stop moving around so much.”
“OK,” reaplied Nasrudin. “If she ever comes to our house, I’ll be sure to tell her.”
A guest of Nasrudin rubbed his shoe on the floor while farting in order to ___ .
“’Twas clever of you to cover the sound with your shoe, “said Nasrudin, “but you also should have figured out a way to hide the smell.”
A man noticed Nasrudin eating dates with their seeds.
“Why are you eating the seeds“ the man asked.
“Because,” explained Nasrudin, “the merchant who sold them to me included the weight of the seeds.”
In the days following the death of Nasrudin’s wife, Nasrudin’s friends noticed that he didn’t seem to be very shaken up. However, after his donkey died the following week, he appeared visibly upset and quite unconsolable.
His friends, puzzled by his reactions, asked him why the death of his donkey seemed to upset him so much more than the death of his wife.
“Well,” Nasrudin explained, “when my wife died, everyone consoled me and assured me they would find me another wife in no time at all. But when my donkey died, nobody seemed to care the least bit, and nobody offered to get me a new donkey!“
Nasrudin was ferrying a traveler across a lake. As they spoke on various subjects, Nasrudin made a minor grammatical error.
The traveler remarked, “You who wears a turban and calls himself a Mulla-have you ever studied grammar?”
“No,” Nasrudin admitted, “I have not covered that subject in depth.”
“Well then,” the traveler replied,” you have wasted half of your life!“
Several minutes later, Nasrudin turned to the traveler and asked, “Have you ever learned how to swim?”
“No,” the traveler responded.
“Well then,” Nasrudin replied, “you have wasted all your life-for there is a hole in the boat, and we are sinking!“
Nasrudin got lost in the jungle one day, and as the hours passed and nighttime approached, he still hadn’t managed to find his way out.
Tired, hungry, and alarmed, Nasrudin knelt to the ground and began praying: “Dear God. Please help me find my way out here. If you do, I promise to pray regularly and be more religious. I give you my word.”
As he prayed, a bird passed over him and dropped some shit right on his head.
“God,” said Nasrudin, “please don’t give me any of that right now-I am seriously lost!“
Nasrudin was standing near a river. A man on the other side shouted to him, “Hey! How can I get across the river?”
“You are across!“ Nasrudin shouted back.
Nasrudin, suffering from some eye irritation, went to see a doctor.
The doctor took a look at him and said, “Your eyes are very red.”
“Do they also ache?” asked Nasrudin.
While Nasrudin was staying in another town, a local man asked him what three times two was.
“Four,” Nasrudin replied.
“You are wrong,” the man said. “The answer is six.”
“Actually,” explained Nasrudin, “I am not wrong. We use different type of math where I am from.”
Nasrudin, having just got engaged to a new woman in town, went to his fiancée’s home to meet his future mother-in-law.
“Tell me,” she said, “are you sure that this is the first time you are getting married?”
“Yes,” Nasrudin replied, “I swear on my four kids that I have never been married before.”
Nasrudin had a friend over at his house.
“Have some of these strawberries,” Nasrudin said.
“Thank you,” replied the friend, “but I have already eaten five of them.”
“I usually don’t count,” Nasrudin replied, “but you actually ate ten.”
One day, Nasrudin went to the local doctor and told him, “Every night for the past month and a half, I have dreamt I *dreams in which I have wrestling matches with donkeys.”
The doctor gave Nasrudin an herb and said, “Eat this, and your dreams will go away.”
“Can I start taking them tomorrow?” Nasrudin asked.
“Why?” the doctor inquired.
“Because I’m scheduled to wrestle in the championship match tonight,” Nasrudin replied.
A man at the village center began asking the locals a variety of questions—but they, being unable to answer most of them, referred the man to Nasrudin.
“Can you help me out and answer a few questions?” the man asked Nasrudin.
Nasrudin eyed a sack of apples the man was carrying and replied, “I’ll answer each question for one apple.”
The man agreed, asked the questions one by one, and paid an apple each time—each of which Nasrudin immediately ate while he answered the question. Finally, the man ran out of apples.
“OK,” the man said. “I’m going to go now. But before I do, I just want to know one thing.”
“What?” Nasrudin asked.
“How did you eat so many apples?”.
“Since you have no more apples,” Nasrudin responded, “I can’t answer you.”
Friend: “Congratulations, Nasrudin. I heard you had a new child.”
“Is it a boy?”
“Is it a girl?”
“Yes. How did you know?”
Nasrudin was very old and on the verge of dying.
He turned to his wife and said, “After I die and am buried, don’t put a stone plaque over my body.”
“Why?” his wife asked.
“Because,” Nasrudin explained, “I don’t want to hit my head on it when I am ascending to heaven.”
One of Nasrudin’s enemies noticed Nasrudin’s donkey parked outside a store, and began urinating on its harness.
Seconds later, Nasrudin caught the man in the act.
“You scoundrel! By the grace of God, I put a curse on you“and in one week, you will badly injure your leg.”
The man, quite distressed to hear the curse, began to worry that it might come true; and as he walked away from Nasrudin, he was so full of anxiety and fear that he accidentally tripped on a rock.
After falling, he grabbed his leg and exclaimed, “Oh, my leg! The pain is excruciating. Nasrudi—you said it would be injured in seven days, and yet, here I am with a broken leg, just seconds after your curse.”
“Then that was the result of someone else’s curse,” Nasrudin replied. “When my curse comes to fruition, you’ll have to crawl on your hands and knees.”
Philosopher: “I have been traveling, researching, and contemplating for years, trying to determine when the end of the world will be-yet I still have not found out the answer. Mulla, do you know when the end of the world will be?”
Nasrudin: “Yes-I have known that information for a long time.”
“Well, will you share this knowledge with me?”
“Of course. When I die, that will be the end of the world.”
“Are you certain it will?”
“It will be for me.”
Man: “Mulla, when do you think the end of the world will come?”
Nasrudin: “Which end of the world do you mean?”
“How many ends of the world are there?”
“When my wife dies, that will be the first. When I die, that will be the second.”
One night, a thief broke into Nasrudin’s house and began putting items in a sack. Nasrudin then joined him and added a few items.
The thief was so bewildered that he turned to Nasrudin and asked, “What in the world are you doing?”
“Well,” Nasrudin replied, “I thought we were moving, so I began helping you pack.”
One day, a man came up Nasrudin, and they began to discuss a variety of matters, including local gossip, personal issues, their families, businesses, and philosophy topics.
After about twenty minutes, the man said, “I must be going now.”
“Excuse me friend,” replied Nasrudin, “but who are you?”
“Do you mean to tell me that you don’t know who I am?”
“Then why have you been talking to me for twenty minutes on all sorts of personal matters?”
“Well, I saw your clothes, beard, and turban, and I mistook you for someone else.”
One night, Nasrudin awoke and exclaimed to his wife, “Wife! Please get up! I have just been divinely inspired! Get me a pencil and piece of paper at once!“
His wife lit a candle, fetched the pencil and paper, and handed it to Nasrudin.
Nasrudin wrote rapidly, and was about to put out the candle and go back to sleep when his wife exclaimed, “Wait. Please read me what you wrote.
Nasrudin picked up the paper and read, “Wherever you go, there you are.”
Nasrudin heard a knock at his door one night. He opened the door, and the man standing there said, “Mullah, can you help a brother out and provided me with some shelter for the night. I am God’s nephew.”
“Oh, is that so?” asked Nasrudin.
“It surely is,” the man replied.
“Well then,” remarked Nasrudin, “for an exalted guest such as yourself, I must offer only the most exalted place to spend the night.”
Nasrudin stepped outside and closed his door, and then turned to the man and said, “Follow me.”
The man curiously followed Nasrudin.
Hundreds of meters later, they reached the local Mosque.
Nasrudin turned to the man and said, “And what better place could I offer you to stay the night than here at your own uncle’s house!“
Nasrudin borrowed a pot from his friend. The next day, he gave the friend back the pot, plus another smaller pot.
The friend looked at the small pot, and said, “What’s that?”
“Your pot gave birth while I had it,” said Nasrudin, “so I am giving you its child.”
The friend, happy to receive the bonus, did not ask another question.
A week later, Nasrudin once again borrowed the original pot from the friend. After a week passed, the friend asked Nasrudin to return it.
“I can’t,” said Nasrudin.
“Why not?” the friend asked.
“Well,” Nasrudin answered, “I hate to be the bearer of bad news…but your pot has died.”
“What?” the friend asked with skepticism. “A pot can’t die!“
“Well, you believed it gave birth,” said Nasrudin, “so is why is it that you can’t believe it died?
Nasrudin and his wife were sleeping late one night, and were awoken by the sound of two men arguing intensely in the street.
“I’m going to go find out what they’re fighting about.” Nasrudin told his wife.
“Just go back to sleep,” his wife remarked. “This has nothing to do with you.”
“Fine,” Nasrudin said.
But as the two men outside continued arguing, Nasrudin took picked up his lamp and decided to go out and see what the commotion was about. As soon as he got outside, one of the men grabbed his lamp and ran off with it.
Nasrudin returned to his bed. His wife asked him, “What were they fighting about.”
“My lamp,” Nasrudin replied, “As soon as they got it, they stopped fighting.”
Nasrudin was digging outside, and his neighbor asked him, “What are you working on?”
“Well,” Nasrudin replied, “There’s a lot of excess dirt on the road, so I’m digging a hole to bury it in.”
“But what are you going to do with the dirt that you ’re digging out of this new hole?” said the neighbor.
“Hey,” Nasrudin replied, “I can’t attend to every single detail.”
One day, as Nasrudin and sonme other locals chatted at the town square, a bragging contest soon developed among the group.
One by one they spoke of amazing feats they accomplished, each tale seeming more outlandish than the last.
Finally, after hearing everyone else, Nasrudin stood up and took his turn. “A long time ago, all the strong men in town wanted to decide who was the strongest. There was this massive tipped-over pillar near the grocery store, and they decided to see if anyone could lift it. One by one, each of them tried, and one by one, each of them failed. Keep in mind that these were massive, muscular guys. Then I stepped up. I rubbed my hands together, and gripped the pillar as all the others watched.”
“Yes, go on!“ the others remarked. “And then what happened?”
“And then I found out I couldn’t pick it up, either!“ replied Nasrudin.
Nasrudin and some others were in the town square one day, and the topic of conversation turned to how they changed since they were younger. Some of them talked about how they were wiser, and some talked about how they were weaker. Nasrudin spoke up and said, “Not only am I wiser than I used to be, I’m as strong as I was in my youth.”
“Are you sure?” One of them asked.
“Yes. I’ve tested it,” Nasrudin replied.
“How did you test it?” they asked.
“Well there is this big rock outside my house. I couldn’t lift it when I was young, and I still can’t lift it now.”
A local man was proclaiming that no one could trick him. Nasrudin heard this, and said to him one day, “Just wait here for a while, and I’ll figure out how to trick you.”
The man waited and waited and waited. A merchant from a cross the street noticed him, and asked, “What are you waiting here for?”
The man replied, “I’ve been waiting here for an hour, just to see if Nasrudin can trick me. He still hasn’t come back yet.”
“Well then,” the merchant said, “it appears that you needn’t wait here any longer, for you’ve already been tricked.”
Nasrudin was hanging a painting in his room. As he hammered the nail, he accidentally hit too hard, and made a big hole in his wall. He looked through it and saw goats on the other side, but did not realize that he was looking into his neighbor’s yard.
Nasrudin immediately ran to his wife and exclaimed, “Wife! You are not going to believe this! Guess what!“
“What?” she replied.
“I was hanging a painting in my room, and…you’re not going to believe this!“ Nasrudin exclaimed.
“What!“ his wife asked curiously.
“My hammer went through the wall, and…this is really incredible,” Nasrudin said.
“What?” his wife replied, now totally full of anticipation.
“I accidentally discovered another universe right in my room—a universe of goats!“.
Nasrudin loaded a barrel of cherries on his donkey, and went off to the bazaar to sell them. On his way, a group of about a dozen children noticed him, and were elated to see all the cherries he was carrying. They began dancing and singing in anticipation of eating cherries.
“Mulla,” they said, “please give us some.”
Now, Nasrudin was in a dilemma. On one hand, he adored children and did not want to disappoint them; but on the other hand, he loved profits and did not want to sacrifice them either.
After thinking the matter over, he took six cherries out of the barrel and gave them to the children.
“Can we have more?” the children asked.
“Listen,” Nasrudin replied, “these cherries all taste the same. What difference does it make if each of you eats half a cherry, or each of you eats fifty?”
One day, Nasrudin was standing in the street, and a donkey came behind him and kicked him in the rear, sending him flying in the air and hitting the ground.
Several days later, Nasrudin spotted the same donkey secured to a tree by its owner, and he immediately picked up a stick and began beating it.
The donkey’s owner noticed this, and yelled out, “Hey! What do you think you are doing to my donkey? Stop that immediately“
“This has nothing to do with you,” Nasrudin answered. “It is between me and the donkey. He knows exactly why I am beating him.”
Friend: “Nasrudin, how does one become wise?”
Nasrudin: “Listen attentively to wise people when they speak. And when someone is listening to you, listen attentively to what you are saying!“
Nasrudin’s wife felt sick one morning, and asked Nasrudin to go get a doctor. As he got dressed and rushed out the house, his wife yelled out to him, “I suddenly feel better. I don’t need a doctor anymore.”
Nasrudin continued running out the house until he got to the doctor’s house. The doctor opened the door, and Nasrudin began explaining, “Doctor, my wife was sick this morning, and told me to go get a doctor. As I left the house, she suddenly recovered, and told me that she didn’t need a doctor anymore. So now I have come here to tell you that you don’t need to bother coming to our house.”
Nasrudin was riding a donkey, and at the same time was supporting a sack of oranges over his shoulder. His friends saw him and asked, “Why are you going to the trouble of carrying that sack over your shoulder. Why don’t you just attach it to the donkey?”
Nasrudin replied, “I am not an abusive man. My donkey already has to carry me-do you think it would be fair to add the weight of these oranges?”
The Town Gossip: “Nasrudin, I just saw some men delivering a huge tub of stew.”
Nasrudin: “What’s it to me?”
The Town Gossip: “They were taking it to your house.”
Nasrudin: “What’s it to you?”
Friend: “Nasrudin, I heard that you have a barrel of thirty year old vinegar. Is it true?”
Friend: “Can I have some?”
Friend: “Why not?”
Nasrudin: “Well, it’s just the principal of the matter.”
Friend: “What do you mean? What principle?”
Nasrudin: “The principle that if I had given some vinegar to everyone who asked me for some, I would not have any thirty year old vinegar.”
Man: “Nasrudin, how come every morning, some people are traveling in one direction, and some in others?”
Nasrudin: “Because if everyone traveled in the same direction, the Earth would tip over!“
A man noticed Nasrudin intently inspecting the ground outside his door.
“Mulla,” he said, “what are you looking for?”
“I’m looking for a ring I dropped,” Nasrudin replied.
“Oh,” the man replied as he also began searching. “Well where exactly were you standing when you dropped it?”
“In my bedroom,” Nasrudin replied, “not more than a foot in front of my bed.”
“Your bedroom?!“ the man aasked. “Then why are you searching for it out here near your doorway.
“Because,” Nasrudin explained, “there is much more light out here.”
Nasrudin and a friend were watching Nasrudin’s children.
.The friend asked Nasrudin’s young son, “What is a dilettante?”
The son replied, “That is an herb used for seasoning.”
A delighted Nasrudin turned to his friend and said, “Did you hear that? What a fine boy I have. Just like his father. He made up an answer all by himself!“
Friend: “Nasrudin, you should get up early in the mornings.”
“Well, as they say, ‘the early bird gets the worm.’“
“Well, I still don’t know if getting up early has any merit to me. After all, I am not hunting for worms.”
“I thought you might say that. But listen to this. A few days ago, I woke up at sunrise and went for a walk, and on my way, I came across a gold ring lying right on the ground!“
“Well how do you know it wasn’t lost the night before that?
“I’m sure it wasn’t. I was on the same road the night before and did not see it.”
“Well, then, that shows that it isn’t always so great to get up early.”
“Why is that?”
“Because the person who lost that gold must have gotten up earlier than you did!“
One day, Nasrudin was repairing his roof, and was interrupted by a stranger knocking on his door.
“What do you want?” Nasrudin shouted down to him from the roof.
“Come down so I can tell you,” the stranger replied.
Nasrudin angrily climbed down the ladder.
“Well!“ Nasrudin snapped at the stranger, “What’s so important?”
“Can you spare some money for this poor old man?” asked the stranger.
Nasrudin started climbing up the ladder. He turned to the old man and, “Follow me up to the roof.”
The latter did, and when they both reached the roof, Nasrudin turned to him again and said, “No, you can’t have any money. Now get off my roof!“
Nasrudin the smuggler was leading a donkey that had bundles of straw on its back. An experienced border inspector spotted Nasrudin coming to his border.
“Halt,” the inspector said. “What is your business here?”
“I am an honest smuggler!“ replied Nasrudin.
“Oh, really?” said the inspector. “Well, let me search those straw bundles. If I find something in them, you are required to pay a border fee!“
“Do as you wish,” Nasrudin replied, “but you will not find anything in those bundles.”
The inspector intensively searched and took apart the bundles, but could not find a single thing in them. He turned to Nasrudin and said, “I suppose you have managed to get one by me today. You may pass the border.”
Nasrudin crossed the border with his donkey while the annoyed inspector looked on. And then the very next day, Nasrudin once again came to the border with a straw-carrying donkey. The inspector saw Nasrudin coming and thought, “I’ll get him for sure this time.”
He checked the bundles of straw again, and then searched through the Nasrudin’s clothing, and even went through the donkey’s harness. But once again he came up empty handed and had to let Nasrudin pass.
This same pattern continued every day for several years, and every day Nasrudin wore more and more extravagant clothing and jewelry that indicated he was getting wealthier. Eventually, the inspector retired from his longtime job, but even in retirement he still wondered about the man with the straw-carrying donkey.
“I should have checked that donkey’s mouth more extensively,” he thought to himself. “Or maybe he hid something in the donkey’s rectum.”
Then one day he spotted Nasrudin’s face in a crowd. “Hey,” the inspector said, “I know you! You are that man who came to my border everyday for all those years with a donkey carrying straw. Please, sir, I must talk to you.”
Nasrudin came towards him and the inspector continued talking. “My friend, I always wondered what you were smuggling past my border everyday. Just between you and me, you must tell me. I must know. What in the world were you smuggling for all those years? I must know!“
Nasrudin simply replied, “donkeys.”
Friend: “How old are you, Mulla?”
Friend: “But that’s what you said when I asked you ten years ago!“
Mulla: “That’s right-I always stand by what I have said!“
Nasrudin went hunting with the village mayor. They found a turkey, and the mayor shot and missed it.
“Bravo!“ Nasrudin shouted.
The mayor angrily turned to him and said, “How dare you make fun of me!“
“I wasn’t making fun of you,” Nasrudin replied. “I was saying bravo to the turkey!“
A philosopher made an appointment with Nasrudin to have a scholarly discussion. When the day came, the philosopher dropped by Nasrudin’s house as planned. However, Nasrudin wasn’t home. The philosopher angrily took his pencil out of his pocket and wrote Asshole on Nasrudin’s door, and then left
Nasrudin finally came home later and saw this. He quickly realized that he had missed his appointment, and he darted off to the philosopher’s house.
“Forgive my error,” Nasrudin told the philosopher when he got there. “I totally forgot about our appointment today. But when I got home and saw that you had written your name on my door, I immediately remembered and I came here as fast as I could.”
The village mayor wrote a poem and read it to Nasrudin.
“Did you like the poem?” he asked.
“No, not really,” Nasrudin replied, “it wasn’t very good.”
The mayor was enraged, and he sentenced Nasrudin to three days in jail. The next week, the mayor called Nasrudin in his office to read him another poem he had written. When the mayor finished reading, he turned to Nasrudin and asked, “Well, what do you think of this one?”
Nasrudin did not say anything, and immediately began walking away. The mayor inquired, “Just where do you think you’re going?’
“To jail!“ Nasrudin replied.
___ “I really need to borrow a thousand dollars for three months. Can you help me out?”
“Well,” Nasrudin replied, “I can fulfill half of your loan request.”
“OK; that’s fine,” the friend said, “I’m sure I can get the other five hundred dollars somewhere else.”
“You misunderstood me,” Nasrudin explained. “The half of your loan request I agreed to was the time: the three months. As for the 1000 toman, I cannot give it to you.”
Nasrudin and his wife got in a dispute over who would have to plant the wheat crop. They decided to have a bet. Whoever spoke first would have to plant the wheat.
His wife then went out to go buy the wheat. As Nasrudin waited at home, a thief broke in, and stole everything. All the while, Nasrudin remained speechless, intent on not losing the bet with his wife.
When his wife got home, she saw the robber leaving with the possessions. She entered the near empty house and yelled at Nasrudin, “You foolish son of a...”
Nasrudin interrupted her and said, “You lose the bet. Now go plant the wheat, and use that time to realize what has happened to you because of your stubborn attitude!“
Nasrudin was teaching his son life lessons. “Never give anybody anything immediately,” he said. “Wait until at least a couple of days have gone by.”
“But why?” his son inquired.
“Because,” Nasrudin responded, “people appreciate receiving something much more if they first have to doubt whether or not they will actually get it!“
A man, noticing Nasrudin’s light beard, remarked, “You don’t shave very often, do you?”
“Quite the contrary,” Nasrudin replied, “I shave about forty five times a day!“
“You must be a psycho, or perhaps a werewolf!“ the man asked.
“No,” replied Nasrudin. “I am a barber.”
Nasrudin was listening to a group of people in the midst of a scholarly discussion. One sage remarked, “People are so unreasonable-they complain of cold in the winter, and of heat in the summer. Is there nothing that can satisfy people?”
“Well,” replied Nasrudin, what about fall and spring?”
“Can I borrow your donkey?” a neighbor asked Nasrudin at his door.
“I’d love to help you,” was the reply, “but I’ve already lent it to someone else.”
Just then, a loud “hee-haw” came from Nasrudin’s yard.
“Hey,” the man said, “I just heard the donkey make a noise from your yard!“
Nasrudin quickly retorted, “Do you mean to tell me that you’re going to take the word of a donkey over mine?”
Judge Nasrudin was presiding over a case.
The plaintiff went first and exclaimed, “The defendant refuses to pay his restaurant bill!“
“I would have,” the defendant countered, “but he charged me two hundred dollars for three hardboiled eggs!“
“Is this true?” Nasrudin asked the plaintiff.
“Well,” the other replied, “as I explained to him earlier, those eggs could have been hatched into chickens, which in turn would have produced more eggs, which in turn would have hatched into more chickens, and so on, and so forth. The way I see it, his three eggs would have yielded me hundreds of dollars worth of chickens and eggs.”
“OK,” Nasrudin replied. “Wait here while I go plant some boiled peas in my garden.”
“But Judge,” the plaintiff said, “boiled peas will not grow into anything.”
“In that case,” Nasrudin replied, “this case is dismissed!“
A man noticed Nasrudin digging a hole, and asked him about it.
The reply was, “I buried something in this field last month, and I’ve been trying to find it all morning.”
“Well,” said the other, “did you have some kind of marking system for it.”
Nasrudin said, “Of course I did! When I was burying it, there was a cloud directly over it that cast a shadow—but now I can’t find that cloud, either!“
Nasrudin brought his donkey to sell at the bazaar.
The donkey, however, would not cooperate, and bit every single person who tried to inspect it.
A nearby seller noticed all of this, and said, “Do you really expect to sell a donkey that behaves like that?”
“No,” Nasrudin replied, “not really. I just brought him here so other people would experience what I have to put up with every day!“
Nasrudin lost his donkey, and began praying to God, saying, “If you help me find my lost donkey, I will donate a thousand dollars to charity.”
An hour later, he found the donkey, and then prayed again, this time saying, “Oh, thank you God, I am grateful for your help. In fact, I promise to donate the original thousand dollars I pledged, plus an addition thousand dollars, if you help me find ten thousand dollars.”
Nasrudin was running and singing at the same time.
As he passed by several people, one of them, greatly curious about Nasrudin’s rather bizarre behavior, decided to run after him and ask him about it.
Nasrudin, however, did not seem to notice, and continued his singing jog as the other man followed.
As they passed through another section of town, another man noticed the pair, and he too became so curious that he decided to chase along after them.
A minute later, Nasrudin finally came to a stop, and his two followers also followed suit and stopped right next to him.
After a few seconds of silence, the original follower finally
stopped, giving his follower a chance to pose his question to the Mulla.
“Mulla Nasrudin,” the man said. “Why on earth were you running and singing?”
Nasrudin replied, “Well, people always tell me that I have a beautiful voice when it is heard from a distance, so I now I want to hear it, too!“
Nasrudin was shopping for clothes. He tried on a coat, and then took it off, and said to the storeowner, “Well, I don’t really want this. Take it and give me a pair of pants instead.”
The storeowner did, and then Nasrudin put the pants on and began walking out of the store. The storeowner stopped him and said, “Sir, you forgot to pay me for those pants.”
Nasrudin replied, “I exchanged the coat for these pants.”
The storeowner said, “But you did not pay for that coat, either.”
Nasrudin responded, “Of course I didn’t. Why would I pay for something I chose not to take!“
As Nasrudin walked through the bazaar one day, he noticed a few merchants selling small parrots for two hundred dollars a piece.
He thought to himself, “If each of these small birds are worth two hundred dollars, then the big hen I have at home is surely worth far more.”
So the next day he brought his hen to the bazaar and was eager to cash in. But to his surprise, the most anyone offered for it was five dollars. He shouted out, “This does not make sense. Only yesterday, there were much smaller birds here that were selling for many times what I am being offered for this bird.”
One man heard him and responded, “Sir, those birds were parrots, and they are worth more than your bird because they talk, just like people.”
“Nonsense,” said Nasrudin. “You value those birds because they talk, yet the one I have here is far better.”
“How so?” inquired the man.
“Because,” Nasrudin replied, “this one has many wonderful thoughts, just like people-and not only that, it doesn’t constantly bother others with annoying chatter!“
Late one night, a local security watchman spotted Nasrudin standing outside of his house prying open the window to his own bedroom.
“Nasrudin,” the watchman said, “what are you doing? Did you get locked out?”
Nasrudin replied, “Please stay quiet. I have been told that I walk in my sleep, so I am trying to sneak up on myself and find out what I talk about.”
Scientist: “According to our calculations, this tree is four thousand years old.”
Nasrudin: “No—it’s four thousand and two years old.”
“Oh come now; what makes you say that?”
“Because you told me that this tree was four thousand years old when I was here with you two years ago!“
Some of Nasrudin’s acquaintances wanted to get Nasrudin to kill his biggest goat and invite them for a meal.
One day they told him, “Did you hear the news?”
“No, what is it?” Nasrudin replied.
“The world is coming to an end tomorrow!“ the friend said.
Upon hearing this, Nasrudin invited all of them to dinner that night to eat the goat. They came to his house and ate it—but upon finishing it, they discovered that Nasrudin had taken all of their coats and used them to kindle his fire.
They began protesting with anger, but Nasrudin interrupted them and remarked, “Don’t you remember that the world is coming to an end tomorrow? What difference does it make if you have your coats or not?”
A traveling scholar treated Nasrudin to a meal at a local restaurant.
The scholar ordered two lamb steaks—and several minutes later, after the waiter brought back a platter containing one medium sized steak and one larger one, Nasrudin immediately took the larger steak and put in on his plate.
The scholar looked at him with total disbelief. “What you did violates virtually every moral, ethical, etiquette, and religious principle there is,” the scholar began explaining. He continued with a long lecture.
When he finally finished talking, Nasrudin asked, “Well, may I ask what you would have done if you were in my situation?”
“Yes,” the scholar replied. “I would have taken the smaller steak for myself.”
Nasrudin placed the smaller steak on the scholar’s plate and said, “OK, fine—here you go!“
Nasrudin and his son were traveling with their donkey. Nasrudin preferred to walk while his son rode the donkey. But then they passed a group of bystanders, and one scoffed, “Look—that selfish boy is riding on a donkey while his poor old father is forced to walk alongside. That is so disrespectful. What a horrible and spoiled child!“
Nasrudin and his son felt embarrassed, so they switched spots—this time Nasrudin rode the donkey while his son walked. Soon they passed another group of people. “Oh, that’s detestable!“ one of them exclaimed. “That poor young boy has to walk while his abusive father rides the donkey! That horrible man should be ashamed of himself for the way he’s treating his son. What a heartless parent!“
Nasrudin was upset to hear this. He wanted to avoid anybody else’s scorn, so he decided to have both himself and his son ride the donkey at the same time. As they both rode, they passed another group of people. “That man and his son are so cruel,” one bystander said. “Just look at how they are forcing that poor donkey to bear the weight if two people. They should be put in jail for their despicable act. What scoundrels!“
Nasrudin heard this and told his son, “I guess the only way we can avoid the derisive comments of others is to both walk.”
“I suppose you are right,” the son replied.
So they got off the donkey and continued on foot. But as they passed another group of people, they heard them laughing. “Ha, ha, ha,” the group jeered. “Look at those two fools. They are so stupid that both of them are walking under this scorching hot sun and neither of them is riding the donkey! What morons!“
Nasrudin’s wife heard a loud noise in the next room. She went to inspect it, and saw her husband sitting on the floor.
“What was that?” she cried.
“It was just my clothes,” replied Nasrudin. “They fell down.”
“But how could your clothes make such a loud noise?” she asked.
“Because I was in them,” replied Nasrudin.
Friend: “Mulla, why are you always carrying a door with you?”
Mulla: “Oh, its just a security measure: since the only way to enter my house is through the door, I always carry the door with me!“
Man: “Nasrudin, when is a good time to eat?”
Nasrudin: “Well, for the rich, anytime, and for the poor, anytime they find food.”
Nasrudin was inspecting a house he wanted to buy. The home’s next-door neighbor noticed, walked over, and began telling him how great of a house it was.
When he finished talking, Nasrudin remarked, “Well, what you’re saying might be true, but there is one drawback to living here that you neglected to tell me about.”
“A nosey neighbor!“
Nasrudin was busy sprinkling crumbs on the ground around his house. A neighbor saw him and asked, “Nasrudin, what are you doing?”
“I want to keep tigers away,” he replied.
’But there aren’t any tigers within a fifty kilometer radius from here,” the neighbor retorted.
“Yes,” said Nasrudin, “thanks to my powder.”
Man: “Mulla, why do you always answer a question with another question?”
Nasrudin: “Why shouldn’t I?”
Nasrudin dreamt that a man was giving him nine coins, but that he demanded ten. Suddenly, Nasrudin woke up, and looked at his hands and saw that they had no coins in them. He closed his eyes, opened his hand, and said, “OK—you win. I’ll settle for nine.”
One day, Nasrudin was boasting to a group of others about how tremendously hospitable he was. One of them, eager to make Nasrudin make due on his claim, said, “Well then, will you take us all to your home and treat us to a meal?”
Nasrudin agreed and led the group towards his house. Upon arriving there, he told them, “Wait out here so I can let my wife know what’s going on.”
He went in and told her—but she replied by saying, “We don’t have any food. You must turn them away.”
“I surely cannot do that!“ Nasrudin replied with great alarm. “My reputation for hospitality is at stake here!“
“Fine,” his wife said, “go hide upstairs, and if they start calling for you, I’ll tell them you’re not here.”
So Nasrudin did as she said, and left his guests waiting outside.
After some time had passed, they grew impatient and began pounding on the door and calling for their host.
“Nasrudin! Nasrudin!“ they shouted.
Nasrudin’s wife opened the door and told them, “Nasrudin isn’t here.”
“That doesn’t make any sense,” one of them replied. “After all, we saw him go in, and we’ve been waiting here watching this door this whole time.”
As Nasrudin listened to this from upstairs, he couldn’t help but open his window and retort, “You don’t know what you are talking about. I could have gone out the back door!“
One day, Nasrudin was in the village square, and invited a group of people to his house for dinner that evening. He went home to tell his wife beforehand about the guests, and asked her to make rice and kabob.
She remarked, “Ah—but we don’t have any rice or kabob. You forgot to buy it!“
“Fine,” replied Nasrudin, “but can you at least bring me some plates?”
She did, and when the guests arrived an hour later, Nasrudin presented the plates to them, and proudly remarked, “My beloved guests! If I had remembered to buy rice and kabob earlier today, there would be a fabulous meal in these plates right now!“
Nasrudin was going around town saying that, “The wise men of this town put together don’t know shit.”
One day, a group of them took Nasrudin to court, and demanded that he back up his statement or else face punishment.
“OK,” said Nasrudin.
He presented each of them with a piece of paper and pencil, and remarked, “Now each of you should write an answer to this question: ‘What is shit?’“
They all wrote a response and handed it to the judge, who read them out loud.
“The scientist wrote that shit it is a composition of water and foodwastes.
“The philosopher wrote that it is a living being’s manifestation of the universe’s prevalent themes of cycles and changes.
“The doctor wrote that it is the matter that must be passed through the body as part of regularity of bowels and good health.
“The religious leader wrote that it is a symbol of our sins passing through our body.
“The fortuneteller wrote that it is material that can be used to tell our future.
After hearing these answers, Nasrudin remarked, “You see what I mean—all of these wise men put together don’t know shit.”
Nasrudin wagered his friends that he could endure an ice-cold winter night near the mountains, wearing only slippers, shorts, and a shirt.
After making good on the bet, he went to collect his money the next day.
His friends, wanting to hear some details to verify his feat, asked him if he remained outside the entire night without according to the rules of the bet.
“I sure did,” replied Nasrudin. “I had nothing. In fact, the closest thing near me that was a fire some people lit a few hundred meters away from me.
“A fire!“ the others said. “That wasn’t part of our agreement-and thus, we won the bet.”
And so, for losing the bet, Nasrudin hosted his friends to dinner at his house one night.
When that night came, however, his friends arrived and waited a few hours without being fed anything.
Finally, they said, “We’re hungry—when is dinner going to be ready?’
“I’m not sure“ said Nasrudin. “Let’s go see.”
And with that, he led them to the kitchen and showed them a huge uncooked pot of stew on a table, and a lit candle several inches away form it.”
“Interesting,” Nasrudin remarked, “I’ve been cooking it like this since last night, and it still isn’t ready yet!“
Nasrudin went to the palace for a feast-day—but when the servants noticed his ragged clothes, they paid him no attention and offered him no food.
And so, Nasrudin went back to his house, put on his most extravagant clothing, and returned to the palace, where this time he was treated like royalty, and had numerous dishes placed in front of him.
Nasrudin then proceeded to take handfuls of food and pour and rubbing them into his clothing—causing another guest to ask, “What in the world are you doing?”
“Oh, I am just feeding my clothing first,” was the reply. “After all, they are what got me this food!“
As part of his duties as a Mulla, Nasrudin had to give speeches to his community. Greatly bored of the routine, he looked for a way out of this task; and one day, after going up to the pulpit and beginning his speech, he asked his audience, “Do you know what I am about to teach you?”
“No,” they responded.
“Well then, “Nasrudin said, “Since you don’t have enough background information, there’s no point in me trying to teach it to you.”
And with that statement, Nasrudin left.
The next day, he went up to the pulpit and asked his audience, “OK—do you know or don’t you know?”
Thinking that they were on to his trick, they responded, “Yes, we know.”
Nasrudin replied, “Well, then, if you already know, there is no point in me telling you!“
And with that, Nasrudin left.
The next day, he went up to the pulpit and once again asked, “Do you know or don’t you know?”
The people, once again thinking that they were on to his trick, replied, “Half of us do, and half of us don’t.”
Nasrudin replied, “OK, fantastic—now the half of you that do know can tell the other half that you that don’t!“
And with that, Nasrudin left.
Nasrudin’s old friend Eynolla came to visit him one day from a far away village.
“I want to introduce you to a few people,” Nasrudin told Eynolla.
“OK,” replied Eynolla, “but please lend me a turban, for I am not properly dressed.”
So Nasrudin lent him the turban, and they went and visited one of Nasrudin’s friends. “This is my friend Eynolla,” Nasrudin said, “but the turban he’s wearing is mine.”
Deeply annoyed by the remark, Eynolla waited until they left the friend’s house, and then said to Nasrudin, “Why did you comment about turban I am wearing being yours?! Don’t do that during our next visit.”
So they made their next visit, and this time Nasrudin said, “This is my friend Eynolla—and the turban he’s wearing is his, not mine.
As they left, Eynolla once again expressed his annoyance, exclaiming, “Why did you go to such lengths to say that the turban was mine and not yours. Don’t do it on our next visit.”
So as they made the next visit, Nasrudin said, “This is my friend Eynolla…and I have nothing to say about whether the turban he is wearing is his or mine.”
A neighbor ran into Judge Nasrudin’s room and asked, “If one man’s cow kills another’s, is the owner of the first cow responsible?”
“It depends,” Nasrudin cautiously answered.
“Well,” said the man, “your cow has killed mine!“
“Oh,” answered Nasrudin. “Well, everyone knows that a cow can’t think like a human. So obviously, a cow isn’t responsible-and therefore, its owner isn’t responsible either.”
“Excuse me, Judge,” the man interrupted, “I made a mistake. What I meant to say is that my cow has killed yours!“
Judge Nasrudin sat in contemplation for a few moments. “Now that I think about it more carefully,” he announced, “this case is much more complex then I initially thought.”
He turned to his assistant and said, “Please bring me that big blue book on the shelf behind you…“
Judge Nasrudin was listening to a case. After hearing the plaintiff present his side, Nasrudin remarked, “You’re right.”
Then, after the defendant had presented his case, Nasrudin again remarked, “Yes, you’re right.”
Nasrudin’s wife had been listening to the case, and remarked, “that doesn’t make any sense—how can both the defendant and palintiff be right?”
“You know what?” Nasrudin responded. “You’re right, too!”
Nasrudin was walking through the desert, and spotted a foreign holy man. Nasrudin went and introduced himself, and the holy man said, “I am a mystic devoted to the appreciation of all life forms—especially birds.”
“Oh, wonderful,” Nasrudin replied. “I am a Mulla, and I would like to stay with you for a while so we can share teachings. And guess what-a bird saved my life once!“
Delighted to hear this, the mystic agreed to share company with Nasrudin. As they shared their teachings, the mystic constantly asked to hear about how a bird saved Nasrudin’s life—but each time Nasrudin refused to tell the story.
One day, after the mystic pleaded and pleaded to hear the story, Nasrudin finally agreed.
“OK, here is how the bird saved my life,” Nasrudin began explaining while the myystic intently listened. “One day about six years ago, I had not eaten for a long time and was about to starve to death. Then I caught a bird and ate it.”
Nasrudin began gradually reducing the amount of food he fed to his donkey each day, hoping to get it accustomed to less and less food. By day thirty, however, the much-emaciated donkey dropped dead.
“Darn it,” Nasrudin lamented. “I was just a few days away from getting this donkey used to living on no food at all!“
A farmer said to Nasrudin, “This town really hooks you up. I planted barley crops last year, and when they were destroyed by rain and flood, the government compensated me for the loss.”
“Oh, that sounds really generous,” Nasrudin replied.
And then after thinking for a few moments, he continued the conversation by asking, “Do you know a way that one can cause a flood?”
Nasrudin went to the mayor’s palace one day wearing a fancy turban.
“Wow!“ said the mayor, “What a magnificent turban! I’ve never seen anything like it. How much will you sell it for?”
“A thousand dollars,” Nasrudin calmly replied.
A local merchant turned to the mayor and remarked, “That price definitely exceeds the market value of comparable items.”
“Your price sounds very expensive,” the mayor remarked to Nasrudin.
“Well,” he replied, “the price is based on how much I bought it for—and I paid a lot for it because I knew that there is only one mayor in the entire universe with taste exquisite enough to buy such a turban.”
Upon hearing this compliment, the mayor immediately demanded that Nasrudin be paid full price for the turban.
Nasrudin then walked over to the merchant and said, “You might know the market values of turbans, but I know the market value of complimenting the mayor.”
Nasrudin was working for an employer who complained to him one day.
“You’re doing everything to slowly,” he said. “There’s no reason for you to go to the bazaar three separate times to buy material—you surely can do it all at once.”
Then several days later, the employer said to Nasrudin, “I’m sick—get a doctor.”
Nasrudin came back with a doctor and two other people, causing his boss to ask, “Who are the other two people?
“Well,” explained Nasrudin, “in order to save myself from making extra trips, I also brought the imam, in case we need to pray for your recovery; and the undertaker, in case you die!“
An illiterate man asked Nasrudin to write a letter for him.
Nasrudin, however, refused, saying, “Unfortunately, I can’t do it right now—my foot hurts too much.”
“Your foot?” the man said. “What does that have to do with writing a letter?”
“Well,” explained Nasrudin, “since nobody besides me can read my handwriting, I have to go wherever the letter goes so that I can read it to the recipient.”
Nasrudin’s friend had an egg in his pocket. He went up to Nasrudin and said, “If you can guess what I have in my pocket, I’ll treat you to breakfast. I’ll give you three clues.”
“OK,” Nasrudin replied, “give me the clues.”
The friend said, “It’s yellow in the middle. The rest of it is white. And it’s shaped like an egg.”
Nasrudin replied, “Is it some kind of pastry?”
Neighbor: “Nasrudin, can I borrow your clothesline?”
Nasrudin: “I need it right now. I’m hanging flour on it.”
“What? That is ridiculous. Whoever heard of someone hanging flour on a clothesline?”
“Only those who others don’t want to lend it to!“
Nasrudin spotted some ripe oranges in his neighbor’s garden, and wanted to steal one.
He took his ladder up to the dividing wall, climbed to the top of it, and pulled the ladder over.
As he began climbing down to his neighbor’s side, he suddenly heard the voice of his neighbor exclaiming, “What are you doing here!“
Nasrudin calmly replied, “ I’m selling ladders.”
The neighbor countered, “Does this look like the place for selling ladders?”
“Well now,” Nasrudin said, “do you think that there’s only one place to sell ladders?”
One day, Nasrudin sang in a bathhouse, and was very pleased with the sound that was boosted tremendously by the bathhouse acoustics.
When Nasrudin left, he went to the village center and began singing—but the people looked at him in wonder, and one shouted out, “What are you doing? You’re not the one to be singing; your voice is no good!“
“Oh yeah,” Nasrudin, replied. “Just build a bathhouse here, and then you’ll find out how great my voice is!“
Nasrudin was on his way to the palace carrying a sack of potatoes.
As he ___ A local man asked him, “Where are you going?”
“I’m taking this gift of potatoes to the new ruler,” Nasrudin replied.
“What?” the man said. “That’s not a suitable gift for a ruler. You should give him something better, like strawberries.”
So Nasrudin went home to get strawberries, and took them to the palace instead.
The ruler, however, was used to receiving much nicer gifts, and ordered his men to throw the strawberries at Nasrudin as punishment for giving such a meager gift.
As the strawberries hit him, Nasrudin began shouting, “Praise be to God!“
Hearing Nasrudin make such a comment so out of its ordinary context, the ruler ordered his men to stop, and curiously asked, “We’re hitting you with the gifts you brought, and now you’re praising God? Explain your behavior, Mulla.”
Nasrudin replied, “I’m thanking God that I didn’t bring you potatoes.”
Several of the town’s warriors were boasting about a recent battle. On of them exclaimed, “In the midst of the battle, several knives had daggered me in my legs and arms, but I continued fighting, and took out five of their men!“
“Well,” another warrior chimed in, “I had an axe go right into my leg, and several blades in my arms, yet I still continued fighting, and was able to overcome an ambush of over a dozen men. In fact, I ended up killing them all!“
“That’s really not that impressive,” replied Nasrudin. “Back in the day when I was in battle, a ten foot tall warrior sliced my head right off, but I picked it up, put it back on my shoulders, and kept on fighting as if nothing had happened!“
An Indian man was in Nasrudin’s town, and was bragging about the architecture in India:
“In India, we have immense palaces with hundreds of rooms and lavished with gold.”
“I’m not impressed,” Nasrudin remarked. “Why, in our country’s capital, we have palaces that are over 5000 meters long and…“
And as he spoke, another Indian man came by and began listening.
“…And 200 meters wide.” Nasrudin finished.
“That’s quite strange,” the first Indian man replied. “I’ve never heard of a building with proportions like that.”
“Well,” explained Nasrudin, “It would have been much wider if your friend I was talking to earlier hadn’t come back in the middle of my description!“
Nasrudin: “How’s your new house?”
Friend: “It’s great, except it lacks sunlight.”
Nasrudin: “Well, how much sunlight is in your garden?”
Friend: “A lot.”
Nasrudin: “Then put your house in your garden.”
Cherries were selling very cheaply at the village bazaar.
Since Nasrudin was known for his good negotiating, his friend asked him to purchase some cherries at below the already low market price.
Nasrudin took the money and went to the bazaar. He haggled with the merchant for over fifteen minutes, and was able to buy them at a ridiculously low price.
He then went back to the friend’s house, and was asked how everything had gone.
“Great,” Nasrudin replied. “ I really gave the merchant a performance. I flattered him. I pleaded with him. I gave him all kinds of reasoning based on supply and demand, and the comparative value of goods. I appealed to his emotions. I really did a masterful job. And believe it or not, I convinced him to sell me thirty pounds of cherries for the money you gave me.”
“Wow,” the friend replied, “that’s amazing.”
“I know,” Nasrudin said, “and I did it just like you asked me. Now then, would you agree that I am also entitled to some reward for my work?”
“Of course,” the friend replied.
“OK then,” Nasrudin said, “since I did all of the work, I should get to keep all of the cherries.”
Man: “Nasrudin, what is more valuable to us—the sun or the moon?”
Nasrudin: “Well, the sun is out during the daytime when there is light. The moon, on the other hand, provides light during the night when it’s dark. Thus, the moon is obviously much more valuable.”
Nasrudin was looking for his lost donkey, and at the same time, he was graciously thanking God. A man saw him doing this, and inquired, “Why are you so grateful and happy—after all, you just lost your donkey.”
Nasrudin replied, “I’m glad that I was not riding the donkey when he got lost. Otherwise, I’d be lost, too!“
Nasrudin’s wife woke him up in the middle of the night and said, “I have to go outside to urinate. Can you give me the candle that I left near your left side?”
Nasrudin, quite annoyed* that he was woken up, and replied, “How do you expect me to me to distinguish my left from my right in the dark!“
Nasrudin was visiting another town, and a man asked him, “What’s the word for ‘baby cow’ in your village?”
Nasrudin couldn’t remember the word, so he replied, “Where I’m from, we don’t call a baby cow anything. We just wait until it grows up, and then we call it a cow!“
A man showed a compass to Nasrudin and asked him what it was. Nasrudin immediately began laughing. But just seconds later, he began crying.
The man noticed his bizarre behavior, and asked, “What was that? Why did you start laughing few seconds ago, and then all of a sudden start crying?”
“At first,” Nasrudin responded, "“I laughed at you because you didn’t know what that object was; but then I realized that I didn’t know what it was either, so I cried.”
Nasrudin turned to his wife one day and said, “Dear wife of mine, please bring me some yogurt to eat. It’s very delicious and nutritious, it keeps you lean, and gives lots of energy.”
His wife replied, “We don’t have any yogurt.”
“Oh,” Nasrudin said. “Well it’s good that we don’t, because yogurt tastes bland, it lacks food value, and it makes you fat and sluggish.”
“Wait a second,” she replied, “Your statements are in direct contradiction with each other. Which one am I to believe?”
“Well,” Nasrudin said. “if we had yogurt in our house, then you should have believed my first statement, but since we don’t, you should believe my second one.”
The village mayor was very superstitious. One day, he was on a hunt and caught a glimpse of Nasrudin. He immediately shouted to his men, “Mullas are bad luck on a Tuesday. Tackle him and throw him out of here!“
They followed his request, and ended up having a successful hunt. The next day, the Mayor saw Nasrudin and said, “Sorry about yesterday. It’s just that I thought you were bad luck.”
“I’m bad luck!” Nasrudin replied. “You saw me yesterday, and ended up having a great hunt. I saw you, and ended up getting an ass-kicking!”
One day, Nasrudin entered a village and viciously declared, “My bag is lost—and if you people don’t find it, you’ll find out what happened the last time my bag got lost!“
The villagers, quite terrified, frantically began searching for the bag. Minutes later, a man found it and and presented it to Nasrudin.
Out of curiosity, one of the searchers asked Nasrudin, “I was just wondering, what would you have done if we didn’t find the bag?”
Nasrudin responded, “I would have bought a new bag!“
Nasrudin brought a small container to the milkman and said, “Give me one liter of cow’s milk.”
The milkman looked at Nasrudin’s container and said, “A liter of cow’s milk won’t fit into your container.”
“OK—give me one liter of goat’s milk.”
Man: “Nasrudin, tell me: who is your best friend.”
Nasrudin: “My best friend is the person who will feed me the best.”
“OK. I’ll feed you the best. Are you my best friend now?”
“Friendship cannot be granted on credit!“
Nasrudin told his son to go get some water from the well. Before the son left, he slapped him and shouted, “And make sure you don’t break the jug!“
The boy began crying, and a bystander noticed this and said, “Why did you hit him? He hasn’t done anything wrong.”
“Well,” Nasrudin replied, “better to hit him now than to hit him afterwards if he does end up breaking it. That would be too late.”
Nasrudin bought a heavy item from the bazaar. He turned to a porter and said, “Take this to my house.”
The porter inquired, “OK-where is it?”
“Are you crazy?” Nasrudin replied. “I don’t know you; you might be a criminal for all I know-I would be foolish to tell you where my house is!“
A visiting Emperor was in Restaurateur Nasrudin’s town, and ate a meal of sheep meat in his restaurant. When the Emperor finished the meal, he asked Nasrudin how much to pay.
“Fifty dollars,” Nasrudin confidently responded.
Surprised to hear such a high figure, the Emperor said, “Wow, that is very expensive. Are sheep rare in this part of town?”
“No, not really,” Nasrudin replied. “What’s really rare around here is visits of Emperors!“
Nasrudin and a friend went to a restaurant to share a meal, but couldn’t decide on whether to order fish or goat. After much argument, the friend won the debate-they agreed to order fish, and informed the waiter of their choice.
Just moments later, the friend noticed a man outside stealing his donkey, and ran out to try and catch him. Nasrudin immediately got up with a very concerned look on his face. Another man saw this, and asked him, “Are you going to go file a theft report?”
“No!“ Nasrudin shouted back, “I am going to see if I can change our order before it is too late!“
Nasrudin traveled to India on a business trip, and was very hungry. He found a man selling what appeared to be fruit, and bought a huge basketful.
As he bit into one and began munching, it he began sweating profusely, tearing, and turning bright red; but still he kept on eating.
As he continued to eat, he spotted an Iranian and said to him, “Friend, these are some very unusual fruits they have here in India.”
The Iranian replied, “What! Those are not fruits at all-those are spicy Indian chilies, and if you continue eating them like, your ass is going to be on fire tomorrow! Those chilies are used in tiny amounts for Indian dishes; they are not eaten like fruit. Stop eating them and throw them away!“
“Impossible. I surely cannot stop eating them!“ Nasrudin replied.
“For goodness sake, why in the world not?” the Iranian asked.
“I have no choice-I already paid for them,” said Nasrudin. “I am not eating food anymore; I am eating my money.”
Nasrudin had a bizarre habit of wearing a necklace made out of a ring of pumpkin. One day, he went on a journey and was sleeping among a group of other travelers. One man decided to play a trick on Nasrudin, so he took the necklace off of Nasrudin and put it on his own neck.
When Nasrudin woke up, he saw the pumpkin necklace on the man’s neck and thought to himself, “OK, I know that the man with the pumpkin necklace is me…so then-who am I?”
Nasrudin was at the village study center. He said to his friend, “I am going to go get a drink of water.”
The friend replied, “OK, add one for me, too.”
Nasrudin came back a few minutes later, and remarked, “After I had my drink, I tried to have a drink for you too, but we were already full!“
Nasrudin was seated near a grave at the cemetery, grieving and lamenting, “Oh, why, why did he have to leave me so soon!“
A man noticed Nasrudin crying and wanted to comfort him. He said, “Is this your son’s grave that you are crying over?”
Nasrudin replied, “No; this is the grave of my wife’s first husband. He is the one who died, and left me the woman who has made my life so miserable!“
A man was caught in a river current and hanging on to some rocks in order to avoid being carried away.
Nasrudin and a friend noticed him, and the friend went up to him, extended his arm, and said, “Give me your hand so I can help you out.”
The man, however, did not cooperate.
Nasrudin then asked the man what he did for a living.
“I collect taxes,” the other replied.
“Then take my hand,” Nasrudin said, upon which the man finally cooperated.
Nasrudin then turned to his friend and remarked, “Tax collectors speak the language of take, not the language of give.”
Nasrudin was in court for stealing a watermelon. The Judge exclaimed, “Nasrudin, I must give you a fine for what you have done.”
“There is no need to do that,” Nasrudin said. “You can just use this against all the credits I have accumulated for the times I didn’t steal anything.”
Nasrudin: “Doctor, I can’t seem to remember things.”
Doctor: “When did that begin?”
Nasrudin: “When did what begin?”
(THE NEXT WEEK)
Doctor: Is your memory getting any better?”
Nasrudin: Yes-now I can usually manage to remember that I have forgotten something!“
As Nasrudin entered a foreign town, a border guard stopped him and said, “You must have some way of identifying yourself before we can let you in.”
Nasrudin took out a pocket mirror, looked into it, and remarked, “Yes-that is Nasrudin.”
Nasrudin was working for Nike, but did not show up to his job for a week.
When he came back, his boss asked him, “Where were you during the last week?”
Nasrudin replied, “Oh, I was just doing as I was instructed.”
“What?” the boss replied.
“Well,” Nasrudin explained, “I was going to ask you for a vacation last week, but then I remembered that our company motto was Just Do It.”
“So?” the boss remarked.
“So I just did it.”
A new ruler just conquered Nasrudin’s town. He saw Nasrudin and asked him, “Hey Mulla, come here and help me with something. I am trying to think up an honorary title for myself. I want it to have the word God in it, just like other conquerors such as ‘From-God,’ ‘God’s Warrior,’ ’God’s Soul,’ and ‘One-With-God.’ Do you have any suggestions for me?”
“How about ‘God-Forbid,’“ Nasrudin replied.
Nasrudin, famished from a day’s work, came home and began stuffing food into his mouth using both of his hands simultaneously.
“Why are you eating with two hands?” his wife asked.
“Because I don’t have three hands,” he replied.
The village mayor went up to Nasrudin and said, “I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you must leave this village. The people have had enough of your bullshitting, and have all unanimously demanded that you leave immediately!“
“Ah,” replied Nasrudin, “but they are wrong for asking me to leave. In fact, I would be far more justified in telling them to leave.”
“And why is that?” the mayor asked.
“Well,” replied the Mulla, “’tis simply a matter of fairness. It would be unreasonable to expect me-one man-to live somewhere alone in the middle of nowhere, build a house, and start a farm. The townspeople, on the other hand, can all leave together and easily form another village!“
Nasrudin was about to have a meal with the chief of a foreign land.
The only person who spoke Nasrudin’s language warned him, “Make sure you don’t fart in our chief’s presence, for our people consider it a huge insult.”
Nasrudin agreed and entered the dining hall.
Minutes into the meal, however, he let out a loud fart, causing the bilingual man to immediately blush and turn to Nasrudin.
Nasrudin, however, calmly explained to him, “Don’t worry-I farted in my own language, and your chief surely did not know what it was!“
Nasrudin was hired to deliver seven donkeys to a neighboring town.
As he went on his way, however, his mind began to wander. Minutes later, he checked to see if all the donkeys were still there.
“One, two, three, four, five, six,” he counted.
Somewhat worried, he counted again.
“One, two, three, four, five, six.”
Now even more worried, he got off the donkey he was riding and counted once again.
“One, two three, four, five, six-seven!“
Greatly confused, Nasrudin got back onto the donkey and began counting yet another time.
“One, two, three, four, five, six!“
Finally, he got back off of the donkey and counted once more.
“One, two three, four, five, six-seven!“
Nasrudin thought for a moment,
“Ah!“ he said, thinking he finally realized what was going on. “These donkeys are playing a trick on me so I won’t ride any of them. When I sit on one of them, they create some sort of illusion, and one of them seems to be missing. But when I stand behind them, they stop messing with me.”
A group of mystics began bragging about their incredible powers.
“Every night,” one of them said, “I levitate my body and sleep on air.”
“Well,” another chimed in, “
After hearing them ____, Nasrudin added one of his own.
“I can see in the dark,” he declared.
“Oh yeah,” one of them retorted, “then why are you always walking around at night with a torch in your hand?”
“Simple,” Nasrudin replied. “That way, nobody else will bump into me!“
A group of soldiers were at the village square bragging about their accomplishments in a recent battle.
“We obliterated them,” said one of the men. “We were invincible. I myself killed about a dozen of their best men.”
“And I,” added another, “caught an arrow that was headed towards me, threw it back at the shooter, and nailed him right in the heart!“
A third man chimed in, “I We are surely the greatest warriors this town has ever known!“
As they bragged and the villagers oowed and awed, Nasrudin stood up and proclaimed, “Well, back in my day, when I was in battle, I once took my sword and chopped off my enemy’s arm!“
One of the warriors said, “If I were you, I would have cut off his head instead!“
Nasrudin replied, “Yes, I agree, but it would not have been possible at that time.”
“Why not?” the warrior asked.
“Because someone had already chopped off his head before me!“ Nasrudin replied.
Nasrudin and his wife were both very competitive, and one time, they decided to play the “Remember“ game.
(each person has to say the word remember whenever the other participant hands him/her an object. )
After several months of playing, Nasrudin decided to go on a long trip and return with a gift, in hopes that his wife would forget to say Remember when she accepted the gift.
A year later, he came home with the gift, sure that his amazing patience and planning would pay off.
When his wife answered the door, she, holding a small baby in her hands, said, “Here is your new son!“
Nasrudin was caught so off guard that he immediately embraced the baby-prompting his wife to immediately exclaim “You Forgot.”
Nasrudin brought home two kilos of beef one day and told his wife, “Please use this to make kabob tonight.”
While Nasrudin was out, however, his wife used the meat to make a lunch for herself and her friends.
Hours later, Nasrudin returned, and asked whether the kabob was ready.
“I’m sorry,” she replied, but the cat ate it all while I was doing chores.”
Nasrudin grabbed the cat and put it on the scale.
“This cat weighs two kilos,” he remarked. “So if this is the cat, then where is the beef? And if this is the beef, then where is the cat?”
Nasrudin went into a bathhouse dressed in worn out clothing.
The bath attendant, taking him to be poor, didn’t give him much care, only throwing him a towel. When Nasrudin was done bathing, however, he gave the attendant a big tip.
The next week, Nasrudin came to the bathhouse again-and this time, the attendant gave him the royal treatment, hoping for yet another jackpot tip.
This time, however, Nasrudin flung a mere dime his way, and gave him a nasty look to boot.
As the attendant stood there with a disappointed look on his face, Nasrudin turned and said to him, “This tip is for the services you gave me last week; the tip I gave you last week was for today’s services.”
One day, Nasrudin was walking down the street to work, when out of nowhere, a man came up to him and slapped him right in the face!
A surprised Nasrudin looked at the man.
The man looked back and, quickly realizing that he had mistakenly slapped the wrong man, turned red with embarrassment and immediately offered an apology.
Nasrudin, however, took the man to court.
After explaining his case to the Judge, the Judge made his ruling:
“I hereby order the plaintiff to slap the defendant in the face.”
Nasrudin, however, did not accept; and the Judge, about to lose his patience with Nasrudin, changed the verdict:
“I hereby order the defendant to pay the plaintiff twenty dollars.”
Nasrudin accepted, but the man said that he had to go home to get the money and bring it back.
Half an hour later, however, the man had yet to return; and Nasrudin couldn’t wait any longer.
He went up to the Judge, slapped him in the face, and said, “I am running late and must go, so please accept the twenty dollars on my behalf.”
The town’s religious leader was preaching to the townspeople one day.
“Religious men have beards!“ he exclaimed. “A thick beard is the outward manifestation of holiness!“
“My goat has thicker beard than anyone in this town,” replied Nasrudin. “Do you mean to tell me that he is more religious than all of us?”
Nasrudin had moved to a new town and was badly in need of money. After _____ , he agreed to pick peaches off of a local man’s orchard for fifty dollars a day.
However, after he completed a full day’s work and went to collect his pay, the orchard owner told him he didn’t have any money.
“But listen,” he added. “Come back here tomorrow afternoon, and I’ll let you eat as many peaches as you want.”
Nasrudin, quite disappointed, reluctantly agreed; and the very next day, he arrived at the orchard precisely at noon.
Seconds later, he climbed a ladder to the top of a tree, grabbed a peach, and began eating it rapidly.
The orchard owner, quite puzzled by Nasrudin’s behavior, couldn’t help but ask him about it.
“Mulla, he said, “Why in the world did you choose to eat from the top of that tree? Wouldn’t it be easier to just each the peaches on branches closer to the ground?”
“That will not do,” Nasrudin replied.
“And why not,” the man curiously asked.
“Well,” replied Nasrudin, “haven’t you ever heard the saying, ‘If you are sweeping stairs, start from the top.’“
“What does that have to do with this?” the man asked.
“Simple,” said Nasrudin. “Unless I am systematic and start from the top of each tree, how else will I be able to eat every peach in this orchard by the day’s end?”
One day Nasrudin bumped into another man, sending them both to the ground.
“Oh, excuse me,” Nasrudin said. “Are you me, or am I you?”
“I am me,” the man said, “and as for you, you must be some kind of psycho, asking me such a question.”
“Oh, I am no psycho,” replied Nasrudin. “It’s just that we look similar, and when we bumped into each other and fell, I thought we might have gotten mixed up in the fall.”
Nasrudin’s friend was continuously worried and distressed over everything.
One day he went up to Nasrudin and said, “What should I do if I get up early in the morning, and it is so dark that I bump into something and injure myself?”
Nasrudin replied, “Get up later in the morning.”
In the middle of a chit-chat session with her friends, Nasrudin’s wife remarked, “My husband always acts like he knows everything.”
Then as she and her friends discussed the matter, Nasrudin walked in asked the ladies what they were talking about.
“Oh,” his wife said, “we were just talking about bread baking.”
“Well,” Nasrudin replied, “then it is fitting that I entered the discussion. After all, I am one of the world’s greatest bread bakers.”
“Oh really?” she replied as she rolled her eyes to her friends. “Well, I’m sure you are. But let me ask you one thing-and please don’t take this to mean I am doubting you in any way.”
“What is it?” Nasrudin asked.
“In all the years we’ve been married, how come I’ve never seen you bake so much as a single loaf of bread?” his wife said.
“That’s easy to explain,” Nasrudin responded. “It’s just that the proper ingredients have never been together at the same time. When there is flour, there is no yeast. When there is yeast, there is no flour. And when there is both flour and yeast, I myself am not there.”
One night, Nasrudin’s wife woke Nasrudin up and said, “Husband, there are burglars in the house.”
“Are you certain?” Nasrudin replied.
“Yes,” she replied. “They left bundles of other people’s stolen possessions outside our door, and they are in our house right now taking our stuff.”
“OK, I will handle this,” Nasrudin said, as he got out of bed and began climbing out the window.
“Are you going to go contact the police?” his wife asked.
“No“ Nasrudin said. “While the robbers are in our house stealing our junk, I am going to steal the bundles they left outside.”
Nasrudin and a few of his buddies went to one of their friend’s homes one night for a dinner of chicken and rice.
As they ate, the friend, wanting to play a little joke at Nasrudin’s expense, snuck the chicken bones from his meal into Nasrudin’s plate. Then, when everyone finished eating, he remarked, “Nasrudin, you’re a real pig! Look at all the bones in your plate-you must have eaten enough for two people!“
“If I am an overeater,” Nasrudin quickly responded, “then what about you? Not only have you been eating like a starved man this entire time, you’ve apparently eaten every bone in your plate as well!“
Friend: “Nasrudin, which is wiser: camel or man?”
“Because a camel carries loads but does not ask for more, whereas man, even if he is overwhelmed by responsibility, often chooses to add more.”
After hours of labor, Nasrudin’s pregnant wife had still not given birth.
The midwife, full of anxiety, turned to Nasrudin and said, “Mulla, I really don’t know what to do. Do you have any ideas?”
After thinking for a while, Nasrudin ran to his neighbor’s house and came back with a toy in his hand.
Then, as both his wife and the midwife watched in curiosity, he began playing with the toy in front of his wife.
“What in the world are you doing?” asked the midwife.
“Relax-“ Nasrudin replied, “-I’ve got this all under control.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Well, from what I know of kids, once the child sees this toy, he will jump out and play with it.”
A conqueror headquartered in Nasrudin’s city was looking for ways to put an end to a rebellion that had started in one of the nearby towns he ruled.
“The people have risen against the governor,” one of his officials explained. “They say they have had enough of his oppressive rule.”
“We should send troops and weapons to quell the disorder,” added a military general. “Once we make your Highness’s presence felt, the revolt will surely come to an end.”
Nasrudin, who was in court at the time, then remarked to the conqueror, “Actually, all of that is not necessary. In fact, I know a way you can end the revolt with just one special weapon.”
“What?” asked the conqueror with great curiosity.
Nasrudin replied, “One person who will be attentive to the people and replace the oppressive governor.”
One day, a barber was trimming the mayor’s beard at the village palace.
After he finished up, he remarked, “Your beard is starting to turn gray.”
The mayor, enraged to hear this, ordered that the barber be put in jail for one year.
He then turned to a court attendant and asked, “Do you see any gray in my beard?”
“Almost none at all,” the man replied.
“What do you mean ‘almost’!“ the mayor yelled. “Guards, take this man to jail-and keep him there for two years!“
He then turned to another attendant and asked the same question.
“Sir, your beard is exquisite, and is completely black,” the man replied.
“You liar!“ the mayor shouted. “Guards-give this man ten lashes on the back, and put him in jail for three years.”
Finally, he turned to Nasrudin and said, “Mulla, what color is my beard?”
“You Excellency,” Nasrudin replied, “I am color blind, and cannot answer that question.”
One day, the conqueror of Nasrudin’s town was hunting with several attendants. He fired his arrow at a duck and missed.
“An unlucky shot!“ one attendant remarked.
“Your bowstring must be worn out,” said another.
“Your horse didn’t stay steady,” added a third.
They all looked at Nasrudin.
“Your highness,” he said, “although you missed that shot, you can console yourself with the fact that you have succeeded so many times throughout the years in killing all of those innocent people.”
Nasrudin owed his cousin money, but avoided him for weeks. Finally, their paths crossed one day.
“I know you’ve been avoiding me,” said the cousin, “but alas-we have finally run into each other. So how about the two hundred dollars you owe me?
Nasrudin, knowing his cousin to be extraordinarily lazy, replied, “Sure, just follow me back to my house two kilometers that way, and then I’ll be happy to give it to you.”
“Well,” the cousin replied-“actually, I have to get going. Just leave me alone.”
One day, as Nasrudin rode his donkey, he spotted a ripe peach hanging over the wall of someone’s orchard.
He then positioned his donkey underneath it, stood up and grabbed a branch, and reached for the peach with his other hand.
As he did this, however, a noise startled his donkey and caused it to run off, leaving Nasrudin hanging from the tree.
Seconds later, the orchard spotted Nasrudin and yelled, “Thief!“
“What are you talking about? replied Nasrudin. “I am not stealing anything. Can’t you tell by the way I’m hanging here that I have simply fallen off of my donkey?”
Nasrudin took his tools to a repair shop one day. When he went to pick them up the following day, the repairman said, “Unfortunately, they were stolen.”
The next day he told his friend about this, and the friend said, “I bet the repairman stole your tools. Go back there and demand that he return them.”
“I cannot do that,” Nasrudin said. “I am avoiding him.”
“Why?” the friend asked.
“Because I still owe him money for my tool repairs,” replied Nasrudin.
One day, the King called over Nasrudin and said to him, “Mulla, you claim to have mystical powers. Use your powers to catch fish for the starving people in our town.”
“Your Highness,” replied Nasrudin, “you’ve got me confused. I said I have powers. I never said I was a fisherman.”
Nasrudin was in a rush one day, and quickly went to the Mosque for an evening prayer session. The religious leader saw his rushed prayer, and angrily said to him, “This is not right-you offering such hurried prayers. Start over again.”
So Nasrudin complied, and when he finished, the religious leader said, “Now, don’t you think that God appreciated this second round of prayers more than the hurried ones you did.”
“Not really,” Nasrudin replied. “Although the first ones were hurried, they were done for God. But the ones that you made me do were done for you.”
One morning, Nasrudin’s wife said, “Husband, hurry up and get dressed. We are running late for the mayor’s funeral.”
“Why should I hurry to get to his funeral?” replied Nasrudin. “After all, he is definitely not going to go to the trouble of attending mine.”
The local government demanded that Nasrudin pay the five thousand dollars worth of back taxes. But after selling off his possessions and applying the proceeds towards his debt, he was still short two thousand dollars.
The mayor called for him and told him to pay the remaining money.
“I don’t have any more money,” said Nasrudin. “All my wife and I have left is three thousand dollars-but that is hers.”
“Well,” replied the mayor, “under our law, a husband and wife share both property and debts-and thus, you must use her three thousand dollars to pay of your debt.”
“But I still cannot do that,” replied Nasrudin.
“Why not?” asked the mayor.
“Because,” Nasrudin explained, “the three thousand dollars is actually the dowry that I owe her and have not yet paid her.”
Nasrudin’s friend noticed him bewailing over his sick donkey.
“Why are you weeping?” he asked. “Your donkey is still alive.”
“Yes,” replied Nasrudin, “but if he does die, then I will have to bury him, and then go purchase a new donkey, and then train it-and with all of those tasks to do, I will have no time for crying.”
Nasrudin was selling fruit one hot summer day.
“How much for a cantaloupe?” asked one man.
“Four dollars,” replied Nasrudin.
“That’s outrageous,” said the man. “How can you charge so much? Don’t you have any morals?”
“No,” Nasrudin replied, “I don’t have any of that in stock.”
The town’s new conqueror said to Nasrudin one day, “Hey Mulla, I have a challenge for you. Offend me in a way that your explanation will be a thousand times worse than the original offense.”
The next day, Nasrudin came to the palace and kissed the conqueror right on the lips.
“What was that!“ exclaimed the conqueror with great surprise.
“Oh,” Nasrudin replied, “excuse me. I got you confused with your wife.”
Three months after Nasrudin married his new wife, she gave birth to a baby girl.
“Now, I’m no expert or anything,” said Nasrudin, “and please don’t take this the wrong way-but tell me this: Doesn’t it take nine months for a woman to go from child conception to childbirth?”
“You men are all alike,” she replied, “so ignorant of womanly matters. Tell me something: how long have I been married to you?”
“Three months,” replied Nasrudin.
“And how long have you been married to me?” she asked.
“Three months,” replied Nasrudin.
“And how long have I been pregnant?” she inquired.
“Three months,” replied Nasrudin.
“So,” she explained, “three plus three plus three equals nine. Are you satisfied now?”
“Yes,” replied Nasrudin, “please forgive me for bringing up the matter.”
After tripping on a rock while walking, Nasrudin angrily yelled out, “Son of a bitch!“
Unfortunately, a man who happened to be standing nearby thought the comment was directed towards him, and was so offended that he took Nasrudin to court, much to Nasrudin’s annoyance.
When the judge heard the case, he ruled that Nasrudin should pay the man five dollars.
Nasrudin then handed the judge a ten dollar bill, and as the judge searched for change, Nasrudin asked, “So I take it the fine for cursing at someone is five dollars, right?”
“OK then-keep the change you son of a bitch.”
Nasrudin was in need of some money, and decided to bag sand as sell it as rat poison.
After selling quite a bit of it, he was approached the next day by a few angry customers demanding a refund.
“We put the rat poison in our houses,” they said, “and it didn’t kill a single rat.”
“Well,” replied Nasrudin, “are you saying that you just sprinkled the powder in your house?”
“Yes,” they said.
“Well then,” countered Nasrudin, “you didn’t follow the directions properly-and I am not responsible for that.”
“Well how should we have used the powder?” they inquired.
“You were supposed to hit the rat hard in the head, and then put the powder in its mouth.”
Nasrudin and a friend bought some ingredients to make a meal of meat, rice, and vegetables.
“Nasrudin,” said the friend, “you make the rice, and I’ll cook the vegetables.
“Actually,” said the other, “I have no clue how to make rice.”
“Fine-just slice the vegetables, and I’ll take care of the rice.”
“Well, to be honest, I really don’t know how to slice vegetables.”
“Then go prepare the meat for the stove.”
“I would really like to-but I have an aversion to raw meat.”
“Then go light the stove.”
“Unfortunately, I can’t do that. I’m afraid of fire.”
Tired of hearing all of Nasrudin’s excuses, the friend made the meal all by himself.
When it was ready, he put the food on the table and said to Nasrudin, “Well, I’ll bet that you are also unable to eat meat, vegetables, and stew, right?”
“Indeed I am,” Nasrudin replied, “but since I know you went to so much trouble to make this meal, I will do my best to eat it.”
The local religious leader was not too fond of Nasrudin.
However, one night, he, being uneager to walk home alone, decided to join Nasrudin as they headed back to their neighborhood.
As they reached a steep passage, the religious leader looked up and said, “Great God-surely you have made this path steeper in order to punish my companion for his not-so-exemplary behavior.”
“My friend,” Nasrudin replied, “you’ve got it all wrong. When I took this very road this morning on my way to work it was downhill and a very easy walk. But now that you are accompanying me, it is sloping upwards like this!“
One day, the King asked Nasrudin, “Mulla, when I die, am I going to heaven or hell?”
“Hell,” replied Nasrudin.
“And why is that?” the King angrily demanded to know.
“Well,” replied Nasrudin, “it’s just that heaven is already full of all those innocent people you have slain and executed over the years. But don’t worry-they’ve reserved a place of honor for you in hell.”
Nasrudin ate a meal of stew at a restaurant, and then left without paying his bill.
The owner ran up to him and said, “Hey-you haven’t paid for your meal yet.”
“Well,” replied Nasrudin, “let me ask you this: did you pay for all of my meal’s ingredients at the bazaar.”
“Yes, of course I did,” the man replied.
“Then this food has already been paid for,” explained Nasrudin, “so why pay twice?”
Nasrudin was at the local mill along with many others. As they waited for their turn, Nasrudin scooped wheat from other people’s sacks into his own.
The miller noticed this and confronted Nasrudin.
“What are you doing?” he said.
“Don’t mind me,” replied Nasrudin, “I am just a half-wit. I do whatever comes to my head.”
“Well then,” the miller replied, “Then why hasn’t it come to you head to put your wheat into other people sacks.”
“Hey, I said I was a half-wit,” replied Nasrudin. “I never said I was a complete idiot.”
Nasrudin was very old and lying on his bed, about to die at any moment. He said to his wife, “Why are you dressed in black and looking so sorrowful? Go put on your finest clothes, fix up your hair, and smile!“
“Nasrudin,” she tearfully responded, “how can you ask me to do such a thing? You are ill, and I am dressed like this out of respect for you.”
“Yes,” Nasrudin said, “and that’s why I made my request. The Angel of Death will be here soon, and if he sees you all dressed up and beautiful, maybe he’ll leave me and take you instead.”
And after giving a little laugh, Nasrudin died.
Nasrudin and some friends were at the town square. The friends, looking for any subject to discuss, began debating over the sex of the dove that brought the olive twig to Noah’s Ark.
After listening to the debate, Nasrudin spoke up and said, “This is actually a very easy question to answer. The dove was male-I am sure about it.”
“How can you be so sure?” the friends asked.
“Because,” explained Nasrudin, “no female would be able to keep her mouth shut for such a long length of time!“
Nasrudin was about to board a train, and the conductor asked him for his ticket.
Nasrudin began looking through his pants pockets, but he couldn’t find it.
“One moment,” he said. “I know I brought it.”
He searched his bag, and still couldn’t find it. He then searched the floor around him, and the missing ticket still eluded him. He even began looking in his socks, but alas, the money was not found.
As the conductor watched this, he asked, “Why don’t you check that pocket on your shirt? That’s usually where most people put their ticket.”
“Oh, I can’t look there,” Nasrudin replied.
“Why not?” the conductor asked.
Nasrudin explained, “Because if I do and I find out it is not there, then I would have no hope at all of finding it!“
Nasrudin was building an oven in his yard. When he finished, he showed it to the neighbors.
“The oven is good,” said one of them, “however, it faces North. When it gets windy in the winter, the wind will blow out the fire.”
Nasrudin then rebuilt the oven, this time making it face south. When he showed it to his friends, however, one of them said, “It’s strong and solid-but it faces south. When wind blows from a certain direction, you won’t be able to cook properly.”
So Nasrudin rebuilt the oven facing east, and invited his friends back. They examined it, and one said, “Surely you must realize that during certain times of the year, wind will blow the smoke right towards your house!“
Frustrated, Nasrudin decided to build the oven again, but this time put wheels underneath it.
He invited his neighbors over and proudly showed it to them. They looked it over and seemed to approve. Then one of them said, “Nasrudin, congratulations on your new oven.”
“Thank you,” replied Nasrudin.
Then his friend said, “Might I ask you a favor and borrow that oven tonight. I just would like to use it to make a fine meal for my acquaintance that is coming over. I will return it to you tomorrow.”
Nasrudin agreed, and the friend wheeled off the oven. That day, Nasrudin bought lots of meat preparing for a barbecue of his own.
His friend brought back the barbecue the next morning, and Nasrudin went off to work.
When he got, however, his wife told him, “That stupid idea of your-that
“What do you mean?” Nasrudin said.
She replied, “First your friend borrowed it, and we could not use it. And today, while I was buying the meat for our barbecue, some thieves came here and stole it from our yard!“
Nasrudin and a local man were in the midst of a philosophical discussion, and the latter posed the following question to the Mulla:
“Tell me this,” he said. “How come whenever a buttered piece of bread is flipped in the air, it always falls on the buttered side.”
Nasrudin heard this and then decided to test it out. He got a piece of bread and buttered one side, and then tossed it in the air, and it landed on the unbuttered side. He immediately said, “Well there goes your theory. The bread has fallen on the unbuttered side.”
Undeterred, the other man replied, “No, you are mistaken. You buttered it on the wrong side.”
One day, Nasrudin’s beloved donkey dropped dead.
Greatly saddened, Nasrudin decided to make a grave for it and give it a formal burial and ceremony.
As he cried at the gravesite over the loss of his beloved donkey, someone noticed him and asked, “Who is buried there?”
Embarrassed to admit it was his donkey, he replied, “A great sheik. He appeared to me in a dream and told me that no one was visiting his grave-so I came here in order to honor and remember him.”
Soon, word spread of the sheik, and many people began visiting the grave. A few weeks later, Nasrudin was traveling by on his new donkey, and noticed a large gathering of people, and an altar built on the gravesite.
“What’s going on here?” he asked someone.
“A great sheik was buried here, and we are all honoring him.”
“What!“ said Nasrudin.” This is my donkey’s grave. I buried him here myself!“
Greatly outraged, the people took Nasrudin to the religious official.
After explaining his story to him, the religious official, very offended, ordered his assistants to give Nasrudin several lashes to the back.
As he walked home with welts on his back, Nasrudin thought to himself, “Wow, my donkey was really something. He was so great that the people made him a sheik.”
Nasrudin was madly in love with his wife. He lavished her with affection, and constantly referred to her as “Soul.”
Then one night the Angel of Death came to him and said, “I am here to take your soul.”
Immediately, Nasrudin turned to his wife and said, “Wake up! Someone is here for you!“
Mayor: “Nasrudin. You are known to be a liar and exaggerator. Tell me a lie without thinking, and I will reward you with fifty dollars.”
Nasrudin: “Fifty dollars? You just promised me a hundred dollars!“
Nasrudin was in the marketplace listening to a horse dealer’s sales pitch.
“This is the most exquisite horse in this village,” the seller exclaimed. “It is lighting fast and never gets tired. In fact, if you left this village right now, you would get to Samarkand at five AM.”
Hearing this, Nasrudin spoke up and said, “Why on earth would I want to be in Samarkand so early in the morning?”
As Nasrudin and a friend walked, it suddenly began raining hard.
The friend noticed that Nasrudin was carrying an umbrella, and said, “Open your umbrella to prevent us from getting soaked.”
“No,” said Nasrudin, “that won’t do us much good. This umbrella is full of holes.”
“So then why did you bring it?” the friend curiously asked.
“Well,” explained Nasrudin, “I didn’t really think it would rain today.”
“Nasrudin,” said the mayor, “Mrs. Shahrzad Rahman’s husband died today. Go tell her, but try to break the news gently. She is a very frail lady.”
Nasrudin went to her house and knocked on the door.
A frail lady answered.
“Does Miss Shahrzad the widow live here?” asked Nasrudin.
“My name is Shahrzad and I do live here,” the lady replied. “But I am not a widow.”
“Well,” Nasrudin replied, “I’m willing to bet a hundred dollars that you are!“
Nasrudin talking to a cobbler who told the following riddle: “There is a person who is my father’s son, but he is not my brother. Who is he?”
After a while, Nasrudin said, “I don’t know. Who?”
“Me,” the cobbler replied.
Greatly amused, Nasrudin went to a group of people the next day and told them the riddle.
He said to them, “There is a person who is my father’s son, but he is not my brother. Who is he?”
After thinking for a while, they said, “Who?”
Nasrudin replied, “Believe it or not, he is the cobbler that works on Kalak Drive.”
Nasrudin had a cousin who went to live far away, and left some of his possessions with Nasrudin.
One day, the cousin’s cat died, and Nasrudin sent him a message that bluntly said: “Your cat is dead.”
The cousin, very upset, sent a message back that said, “Where I live, we give people bad news more tactfully. Instead of just telling me flat out that my cat was dead, you should have let me know me little by little. You should have started off by saying, first told me, ‘Your cat is acting strange,’ then later said, ‘your cat is jumping all over the place,’ then still later told me, ‘Your cat is missing,’ and then finally broken the news and said, ‘Your cat is dead.’
A month later, Nasrudin’s cousin received a new letter from Nasrudin, which said: “Your mother is acting strange.”
The Loan Request
The Moving Friend
Mad at the Fakir
Man Demands Justice
Woman Demands Justice
I Only Think of Others
Sack of Vegetables
Nasrudin is Beaten Up
Meal or Preaching?
Are You Asleep?
Son Searching For a Wife
Nasrudin Plays Guitar
Nasrudin Gets a Cow
“Stand On One Leg”
Man is Stuck in Tree
Nasrudin Wants a Divorce
The Baby is Crying
Man Searches for Joy
Nasrudin is Taken to Court by His New Wife
Cow Gets Stuck
A Burglar in the House
Nasrudin Almost Falls into a Lake
Have You Ever Seen Me Before?
Walnuts and Watermelons
Center of the Earth
Did You Enjoy the Stew?
The Crowded Home
Nasrudin’s Shirt Falls
Pricing the Conqueror
Complaints About Nasrudin’s Wife
The Cover Up
Nasrudin Eats Dates
Nasrudin is Lost
Across the River
Your Eyes Are Very Red
Three Times Two
Nasrudin Gets Engaged
Nasrudin Offers Friend Strawberries
One Apple Per Answer
Nasrudin’s New Child
When Will the World End?
Which End of the World?
Get Me a Pencil and Piece of Paper
The Weight Lifting Contest
The Strength Test
Man Waits for an Hour
Nasrudin’s Cherry Logic
Feud With the Donkey
How to Become Wise
Carrying the Oranges
The Town Gossip
Nasrudin’s Vinegar Principle
Balancing the Earth
The Lost Ring
Nasrudin the Proud Parent
Early Bird Gets the Worm?
The Stranger’s Request
What in the World Were You Smuggling?
How Old Are You?
The Missed Appointment
The Mayor’s Poems
The Loan Request
Too Hot, Too Cold
Can I Borrow Your Donkey?
The Restaurant Bill
The Donkey Seller
Running and Singing
Nasrudin the Hen Salesman
Late One Night
This Tree is Four Thousand Years Old
Did You Hear the News?
It Was Just My Clothes
A Good Time to Eat
A Great Home?
Question with a Question
Nasrudin Treats Guests to Dinner
Nasrudin Gets Sued
Nasrudin the Gambler
The Palace Feast-Day
Do You Know or Don’t You Know?
The Turban is Mine
A Bird Saved My Life
The Donkey Experiment
Selling a Turban
My Foot Hurts
Guess What I Have in My Pocket?
Can I Borrow Your Clothesline?
The Neighbor’s Garden
Nasrudin the Singer
How’s Your New House?
Nasrudin the Expert Negotiator
The Sun Versus the Moon
It’s to Your Left
What’s the Word For Baby Cow?
Laughing Turns to Crying
My Bag is Lost
A Liter of Milk
Who is Your Best Friend?
Take This to My House
Sharing a Meal
Adventure in India
Drink for Me, Drink for You
Nasrudin Visits the Cemetery
The Right Language
Nasrudin is Convicted
Nasrudin Loses His Memory
The Conqueror Needs a Title
Leave this Village
The Donkey Deliverer
I Can See in the Dark
The Beef and the Cat
Are You Me, or Am I You?
What Should I Do?
Meal Reverse Trickeration
Camel or Man?
Hours Into Labor
What Color is my Beard?
Nasrudin’s Loan Repayment
Nasrudin Tries to Steal a Peach
The Mayor’s Request
Nasrudin’s Hurried Prayer
The Mayor’s Funeral
Nasrudin Owes the Government Money
Nasrudin’s Donkey is Sick
Nasrudin Sells Fruit
The Conqueror’s Challenge
Customers Want Refund
Nasrudin “Helps” Prepare a Meal
The Walk Home
Am I Going to Heaven or Hell?
Nasrudin Steals Wheat]
Nasrudin Buries His Donkey
Nasrudin the Liar and Exaggerator
The Horse Seller
Who is He?
Your Cat is Dead