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Nasreddin was a lower Muslim cleric....




Nasreddin was a lower Muslim cleric who lived during the Middle Ages.

Nasreddin was a populist philosopher and wise man, remembered for his funny stories and anecdotes. He often appears as a whimsical character of a large Persian, Arab, Pashto, Urdu, Hindi, Bosnian and Turkish folk tradition of vignettes, not entirely different from zen koans.

Where and when he was born, and where and when he died, are not known with certainty, but he is usually assumed to have lived in Anatolia. He was born in 1208 in Hortu, a village near the of town Sivrihisar in what is now Central Turkey. He moved in 1237 to Aksehir a local town, to study under the scholors Seyid Mahmud Hayrani and Seyid Haci Ibrahim. He has long been known among various Islamic peoples. Possibly due to the fact that his stories are shared among pilgrims to Mecca, his humor is familiar, under different names, to people from China, Central Asia, India, and Morocco. There is a modern tomb dedicated to him in the city of Akşehir in Turkey. He is also the symbol of Akşehir, which hosts several statues of Nasreddin Hoca and an international festival dedicated to him. The city of Bukhara in Uzbekistan also has a statue of him riding his donkey backwards and grasping its tail (as he is traditionally depicted), and journals bear his name in Baku (Azerbaijan) and Tabriz (Iran).

The year 1996 was proclaimed "Nasreddin Hoca year" by UNESCO.

  Nasreddin's tales

The anecdotes attributed to him reveal a satirical personality with a biting tongue that he was not afraid to use even against the most tyrannical sultans of his time. He is the symbol of both the Central Asian style satirical comedy and the rebellious feelings of people against the dynasties that once ruled this geography.

Some mystic traditions use jokes, stories and poetry to express certain ideas, allowing the bypassing of the normal discriminative thought patterns. The rationality that confines and objectifies the thinking process is the opposite to the intuitive, gestalt mentality that the mystic is attempting to engage, enter and retain.

By developing a series of impacts that reinforce certain key ideas, the rational mind is occupied with a surface meaning whilst other concepts are introduced. Thus paradox, unexpectedness, and alternatives to convention are all expressed. Although there are several books that attempt to put together the many jokes attributed to him, most people encounter his jokes in the context of their daily lives. Often, a Nasreddin joke is told by one party when the other party makes the kind of mistake that Nasreddin had parodied.

Some tales of Nasreddin are also adapted and used as teaching stories by followers of Sufism. This is such a common practice that, given the nature of many of Nasreddin's jokes, multiple interpretations (or several 'layers' of meaning) are to be expected. Idries Shah, a well-known Sufi and writer, published a number of collections of Nasrudin stories (see list below), and suggested that the stories' various layers of meaning have a teaching-effect.

In some Bulgarian folklore tales originated during the Ottoman rule, the name appears as an antagonist to a local wise man, named Hitar Petar (Хитър Петър, meaning "cunning Peter"). In Sicily the same tales involve a man named Giufà.

While Nasreddin is mostly known as a character from anecdotes, later whole novels and stories have been written.

ExamplesTwo sides of a riverNasrudin sat on a river bank when someone shouted to him from the opposite side: – "Hey! how do I get across?" – "You are across!" Nasrudin shouted back. Whom do you trustA neighbour comes to the gate of Nasreddin Hoja's yard. The Hoja goes out to meet him outside. "Would you mind, Hoja," the neighbour asks, "to lend me your donkey today? I have some goods to transport to the next town." The Hoja doesn't feel inclined to lend out the animal to that particular man, however; so, not to seem rude, he answers: "I'm sorry, but I've already lent him to somebody else." Suddenly the donkey can be heard braying loudly behind the wall of the yard. "You lied to me, Hoja!" the neighbour exclaims. "There it is behind that wall!" "What do you mean?" the Hoja replies indignantly. "Whom would you rather believe, a donkey or your Hoja?" The End of The WorldOn a certain day, some of Nasreddin's disciple asked him "Master, tell us about the end of the world." Nesreddin asked "Which end of the world, the greater or the lesser?" This perplexed his followers and they debated among themselves. Finally they asked, "Master, what is the lesser end of the world?" Nesreddin replied "The lesser end of the world will be when my wife dies." His followers then asked "And the later end of the world?" "Oh," said the master, "that will be when I die." A Perfect Woman"Why aren't you married, Master?" a disciple once asked Nasreddin. Nasreddin replied "All my life I was looking for a perfect woman." The young man shook his head and sighed with sympathy, "I guess you haven't found one yet." "No, a few years ago I met a woman who was perfect in every way," said Nasreddin. "She was kind, beautiful and intelligent. Unfortunately, she was looking for a perfect man."

08:27 AM Aug 01 2006 |

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I liked these short stories very much , there are many things to think about and at the same time is very enjoyable reading them .

My favourite is " The perfect woman "  It would be very nice to use these texts  to do some reading comprehensionwith students.


Thank you Makifakat for sharing your culture with us .

There's so much much we have to learn from each other . The more we know about cultures the better we can undesrtand them .




12:02 PM Aug 07 2006 |




i want to learn about your culture.

example, how are cultures of China, Spain, Iraq, France?

Cultures are beatiful if they share with everyone.


01:10 PM Aug 07 2006 |




makifakat @ hotmail . com

01:11 PM Aug 07 2006 |




Makifakat:,  I've just read tonight what you've written here.  It was a very good story of Nasreddin tale.  I love to joke. I have sense of humor.  As my name suggest, I'm a happy person.  (Felice means happy). 

I'm sure you're a voracious reader.  And you enjoy folklore tales.  Sharing something like that here at the Forum, readers or visitors will already learn something.  Had I not read your posting above, I wouldn't know about Nasreddin tales. 

Folklore tells something about the people of a country.  You can already have a glimpse of the culture and history the country, and the wisdom of its people.

  I hope to read some more of the same.

01:37 PM Aug 18 2006 |




thank you for sharing

07:21 PM Sep 22 2006 |




Hi makifakat,

These short stories are very very interesting. I like it very much.

btw, why all your friends are women,.... 

01:43 AM Sep 24 2006 |


United States

Mahashallah – wonderful story./Wasalaam

03:56 PM Oct 24 2006 |



United States

This is cool. I like the stories, is there a collection?

07:54 PM Apr 21 2008 |



Saudi Arabia


this man's arabic name is JOHA  a very famus man in the Arabian culture ,


glad to see a topic a bout him here .


thanks alot MAKIFAKAT . even your choice for jokes is very good Smile



10:08 PM Apr 21 2008 |




I want to add a tale about Nasreddin Hodja;

One day a rich man of the town was giving a rich dinner to all the important (rich) people around. When Nasreddin Hodja saw that he wanted to join the dinner to eat and talk with people. But his clothes was not so rich to be seem a rich person. The waiters on the door didn't let him to go inside. Then he turned back and wear a nice and silk fur and come back. That time when the waiters saw him they react very different that they show him the best place in the table and let him sit there. They brought him too many meal and then he started like that : Eat my fur, eat ! 

05:49 AM Apr 22 2008 |