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Tag: Knowledge

4
March 28, 2009 Posted by tahir in Books

The King, the Dog, and the Golden Bowl, II

There was a great concourse of people, young and old, being given food and money by the generous monarch, who sat upon a great golden throne in the middle of the lofty hall.

Suddenly from his hiding place, Hassan saw three great hounds being brought to space a few feet away from him; and an attendant placed to three bowls of finest meat before each of the dogs. The man then went away, and Hassan found his eyes fixed upon the delicious meat which had been given to the dogs. As he was thinking that he could with joy feed from even the leftovers in the animals’ bowls, so great was his hunger, the dog nearest to him raised his eyes. Looking at him in an almost human fashion he pushed his jewelled  golden bowl towards Hassan. The famished man, unable to wait a second longer, helped himself to one of the pieces of succulent meat, and pushed the bowl back to the dog. But, with its paw, the animal again pushed it over to Hassan, until he had eaten to his heart’s content. Then the intelligent creature ate, and after it had licked the bowl clean, it pushed it back to Hassan. The man saw it was offering him the bowl, and so he took it in his hands and then hid the precious object under his tattered cloak. When he had done so, the animal seem to nod his head in agreement.
Hassan realised that if he sold the bowl, and bought himself new clothes, he would at least have a chance to approach a merchant to do some sort of work.
He patted the hound gratefully on the head, and slipped away from the crowd. Next day he sold the bowl, which, being studded with precious jewels, brought him in such a good price, but he was able to set himself up in business once again.


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2
March 27, 2009 Posted by tahir in Books

The King, the Dog, and the Golden Bowl I

Here is one of my favourite stories… I’m giving it here because I have just been to see the carpenter, Mr. Reda, who built the library for me at Dar Khalifa.  I was reminded of the king’s fate in the story, because Mr. Reda  was sitting in his workshop, alone. He said there was no work, and he had let all his carpenters go… but instead of being sad he had resigned himself to fate.


Once upon a time there lived a merchant, called Hassan,  who was wealthy and generous, happy and fortunate.
But one day, disaster stared him in the face. His ships, bearing great loads of treasure from afar, were captured by pirates and his warehouse — containing many valuables — was burned down. Unable to face his friends, he sold his house and his remaining belongings, and set off in search of his fortune.
But good luck deserted Hassan. A thief stole his remaining money while he was asleep in a caravanerai, and this time he found himself without a single coin to his name, in a strange and foreign land.
He went to the mosque and asked if he could stay the night, and was very ashamed at having to ask the charity. How was he ever going to hold up his head again, he wondered? He asked the mosque-keeper what he should do. “My brother,” said the old man, “go three days march from here, and you will arrive at such and such a place. The king there is generous and kind, and you may be able to put your case before him. He would be sure to give you more charity but I can give, because we are so poor.”
  Before leaving the mosque, Hassan gave his last few coins to the imam, and wished him a long and prosperous life.
Hassan set off on a rough road and was soon thirsty and tired, wondering whether the journey was a good idea at all.
  After three days he arrived almost starving at a walled city. The shopkeepers there were richly dressed in contented. Hassan walked wearily towards the palace, where the old mosque-keeper had told him the generous king helped thousands of people each night. But when he finally got there he was so ashamed of his rags, and so fearful of presenting himself in such a state before the king, that he hid behind a pillar, from which vantage point he could look upon the scene of the royal court….


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0
March 20, 2009 Posted by tahir in Travel

Effective

Nasrudin was throwing handfuls of bread crumbs around his house and waving a huge pink flag all about. His neighbour looked out of his window and asked:

   ‘Why are you doing that, Nasrudin?’
   The Mulla replied: ‘I’m keeping the tigers away!’
   ‘But there are no tigers around here.’
   ‘It’s effective, isn’t it?!’


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1
March 19, 2009 Posted by tahir in Travel

Questions

‘Baba, why do you always answer a question with another question?’

‘Do I?’ Nasrudin replied.
3
March 18, 2009 Posted by tahir in Books

The Greatest Fool

The King asked Nasrudin to go and find the most stupid man in the world to come to court and be jester. The Mulla set off and travelled for days, weeks and months. Finally, he returned to the throne room where the King called to him.

‘Have you found the most stupid man in the world to be my jester?’ asked the monarch.
‘Yes, indeed I have, Your Majesty, but alas he is too busy searching for fools to take the job.’


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0
March 17, 2009 Posted by tahir in Books

Creeping Up On Himself

Bedar, the watchman, caught Nasrudin prising open the window of his own bedroom from the outside, in the depths of the night.

‘What are you doing, Mulla?’ he asked. ‘Are you locked out?’
‘Hush!’ snapped Nasrudin. ‘They say that I walk in my sleep and so I’m trying to surprise myself and find out!’


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March 16, 2009 Posted by tahir in Books

Only One Thing Wrong With it

Walking with a disciple one day, Mulla Nasrudin saw for the first time in his life a beautiful lakeland scene.

‘What a delight!’ he exclaimed. ‘But if only…’
‘If only what, Master?’
‘If only they had not put water on it.’


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2
March 15, 2009 Posted by tahir in Books

Light the Candle

Nasrudin was sitting, talking with a friend as dusk fell.

‘Light a candle,’ the man said, ‘because it is dark now. There is one just by your left side.’
How can I tell my left from my right in the dark, you fool?’ as the Mulla.


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2
March 14, 2009 Posted by tahir in Books

The Unsuspected Element

Two men were quarrelling outside Nasrudin’s window at dead of night. Nasrudin got up, wrapped his only blanket around himself, and ran out to try and stop the noise.

When he tried to reason with the drunks, one snatched his blanket and both ran away.
‘What were they arguing about?’ asked his wife when they went in.
‘It must have been the blanket. When they got that, the fight broke up.’


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3
March 13, 2009 Posted by tahir in Books

Nasrudin

A very good way of understanding a culture is through its folklore and the stories people tell. Rather in the same way that language contains clues to the way people of a certain place think, folklore does as well. It’s a kind of treasury of fragments, linked to everyone who has ever lived in the society. An excellent way of understanding how the Oriental world thinks, is by reading — or listening to — the tales. And there is perhaps no collection better than the teaching stories of Mulla Nasrudin. He’s found across the East, from Casablanca to Kabul, and can even be seen in Islamic China. He’s known in Greece as well, and in Albania, Kosovo, Sicily and in Andalucian Spain. In Afghanistan and Iran he’s known as Nasrudin, while in Morocco, Turkey and elsewhere he’s simply ‘Joha’. Whatever the name he goes by is insignificant, for Nasrudin is a towering giant of human folklore. My father wrote four books on the whacky and wonderful episodes of his life. Over the next few days I’m going to present some here. If you have the time, read the story once, and then a second time, and allow it to turn around your mind. You’ll find that, given the chance, it’ll take on a life of its own.



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