Three stories of Iranian mysticism

By Paulo Coelho

Nasrudin’s turban

Nasrudin appeared at court wearing a magnificent turban and asking for money for charity.

– you come here asking for money, but wear such an expensive ornament upon your head. How much was that extraordinary piece? – asked the sovereign.

– Five hundred gold coins – replied the wise Sufi.

The minister whispered: “That is a lie. No turban costs such a fortune.”

Nasrudin insisted:

– I have not come here only to ask for money, I am also here to negotiate. I paid that much money for the turban, for I knew that in the whole world only one king would be capable of buying it for six hundred coins, so that I can give the profit to the poor.

This sultan was flattered and paid the sum Nasrudin ask. On his way out, the wise man said to the minister:

– You may know the value of turbans, but I know how far vanity can lead a man.

Accepting compassion

– How do we purify the world?- asked a disciple.

Ibn al-Husayn replied:

– There was once a sheik in Damascus called Abu Musa al-Qumasi. Everyone honored him for his great wisdom, but no one knew whether he was a good man.

“One afternoon, a construction fault caused the house where the sheik lived with his wife, to collapse. The desperate neighbors began to dig the ruins; eventually, they managed to locate the sheik’s wife.

“She said: “Don’t worry about me. First save my husband, who was sitting somewhere over there.”

“The neighbors removed the rubble from the area she indicated, and found the sheik. He said: “Don’t worry about me. First save my wife, who was lying somewhere over there.”

“When someone acts as this couple did, he is purifying the whole world.”

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