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The Exploits of The Incomparable Mulla Nasrudin

The Exploits of The Incomparable Mulla Nasrudin
Item Code: IHF028
Author: Idries Shah
Publisher: Rupa Publication Pvt. Ltd.
Language: English
Edition: 2007
ISBN: 8129110482
Pages: 117
Cover: Paperback
Other Details: 8.0” X 5.0”
weight of the book: 146 gms
Back of the Book

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.


Introduction ix
The Alternative 1
Why we are here 2
Never Know when it might come in useful 3
See what I mean?4
If a Pot can multiply 5
The Smuggler 6
How Nasrudin created Truth 7
The Cat and the Meat 8
There is more Light here 9
The fool 10
Cooking by candle 11
Danger has no favorites 12
Salt is not Wool 13
Can Good Turns be accidental? 14
The Unsuspected Element 15
The Burglars 16
eating matter and Reading matter 17
Adventures in the desert 18
Circumstances alter cases 19
The Food of the Cloak 20
The Sermon of Nasrudin 21
His Excellency 22
Nasrudin and the Wise Men 27
Judgment 28
First Things first 29
Whose Shot was that? 31
The magic Bag33
Fear 35
The Robe 37
Saved his life 38
Four legged 39
Quiz 40
The Sign 41
All her Fault 41
The Ways of Foreigners 42
Burnt Foot 43
Old Moons 44
Letter of the law 45
The Cat is Wet 46
Sleep is an activity 47
The child is father to the man 48
every little helps 49
Hidden Depths 50
Back to front 51
Principles of Life saving 52
Unsuited 53
Creeping up on himself 54
His need is greater then mine 55
Caught 56
But for the grace 57
Takes after his father 58
Light the candle 59
Learning the hard way60
Something fell 61
The last day 62
I’ll take the Nine 63
He knows the Answer 64
What a Bird should look like 65
the veil66
your poor old mother 67
I know her best 68
The secret 69
Do not Disturb the camels 70
happiness is not where you seek it 71
Early to rise 72
The majesty of the sea 73
Moment in time 74
Division of labor 75
You can’t be too careful 76
All I needed was time 77
Cut down on your harness intake 78
At court 79
Theoretical instances 80
The Pace of life 81
The Sample 82
other people’s mail 83
Why did not you tell me before? 84
Supply and Demand 85
The value of the past 86
Aplomb 87
Kinds of day 88
Alone in the Desert 89
Maiden in Distress 90
What has gone before 92
All you need 93
Why are we waiting 94
The Flood 95
The Omen 96
Turnips are harder 97
How Nasrudin spoke up 98
In the midst of life 99
Awake or Asleep? 100
The Short Cut 101
Change the subject 102
The rope and the Sky 103
Who am I? 104
I’d have shown you 105
only one thing wrong with it 106
Duck Soup 107

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