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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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anything else?

07:32 AM Apr 22 2008 |




Nasreddin and the Pot One day Nasreddin borrowed a pot from his neighbour Ali. The next day he brought it back with another little pot inside. "That's not mine," said Ali. "Yes, it is," said Nasreddin. "While your pot was staying with me, it had a baby."

Some time later Nasreddin asked Ali to lend him a pot again. Ali agreed, hoping that he would once again receive two pots in return. However, days passed and Nasreddin had still not returned the pot. Finally Ali lost patience and went to demand his property. "I am sorry," said Nasreddin. "I can't give you back your pot, since it has died." "Died!" screamed Ali, "how can a pot die?" "Well," said Nasreddin, "you believed me when I told you that your pot had had a baby."

09:47 PM May 27 2008 |