The exploits of the Incomparable Mulla Nasrudin is a compilation of very short tales not much longer than Aesop’s fables of a legendry figure Mulla Nasrudin. Demonstrating human fallibility and strength on a number of different levels. This book inspires great thought. Mulla Nasrudin entertains and keeps the spirits light through what he does or does not do what he says and what he leaves unsaid these anecdotes will work on your mind and your views
Idries Abutahir Shah was a controversial figure whose life straddled the east and west. Raised in his father’s Sunni Muslim faith and claiming a family lineage stretching back to Mohammad Shah was born in 1924 in Simla India to a Scottish mother. The family moved to England when Shah was still young and he attended high school in Oxford. Shah did not actually come into contact with Sufi Dervishes until the age of thirty after which he wrote the books Oriental Magic and Destination Mecca. A polymath he was active in a range of social and cultural issues and founded the institute of cultural research. He lectured in many countries popular in society circles for his wit and wisdom the author attracted literary figures such as Doris Leasing and Robert Graves.
Many countries claim Mulla Nasrudin as a native though few have gone so far as Turkey in exhibiting his grave and holding an annual Nasrudin Festival when people dress up and enact the famous jokes at Eskishehir the reputed place of his birth.
The Greeks who adopted few things from the Turks regard Nasrudin quips as part of their own folklore. In the Middle Ages Nasrudin tales were widely used to deride odious authority. In more recent times the Mulla became a people’s Hero of the Soviet Union when a film depicted him as scoring again off the wicked capitalist rulers of the country.
Nasrudin shades off into the Arab figure of Joha and reappears in the folklore of Sicily. Stories attributed in Central Asia to the corpus are found applied to Baldakiev in Russia in Don Quixote even in the oldest French book the fables of Marie de France.
The Mulla is variously referred to as very stupid improbably clever the possessor of mystical secrets. The dervishes use him as a figure to illustrate in their teachings the antics characteristics of the human mind. Such is the resilience of Nasrudin that republican Turkey where the Dervish orders were suppressed forty years ago publishes booklets about him as part of their tourist activity.
Scholars have used that deep of ink on Nasrudin though traditionally he had little time for them. Because the Mulla is reported to have said I am unsaid down in this life some have gone so far as to invert the reputed date of his death trying to find the truth about the matter.
The Sufis who believe that deep intuition is the real guide to knowledge use these stories almost like exercise. They ask people to choose a few especially appeal to them and to turn them over in the mind making them their own. Teaching masters of dervishes say that in this way a breakthrough into a higher wisdom can be effected.
But the Sufis concur with those who are not following a mystic way that everyone can do with the Nasrudin tales what people have done through the centuries enjoy them.
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