Stories & Reflections
Nasrudin appeared at court wearing a magnificent turban and asking for money for charity.
‘You come here asking for money, yet you are wearing an extremely expensive turban on your head. How much did that extraordinary thing cost?’ asked the sultan.
‘Five hundred gold coins,’ replied the wise Sufi.
The minister muttered: ‘That’s impossible. No turban could cost such a fortune.’
‘I did not come here only to beg, I also came to do business. I paid all that money for the turban because I knew that, in all the world, only a sultan would be capable of buying it for six hundred gold coins, so that I could give the surplus to the poor.’
The sultan was flattered and paid what Nasrudin asked. On the way out, the wise man said to the minister:
‘You may know the value of a turban, but I know how far a man’s vanity can take him.’
Just like marriage
Nadia spent the whole autumn sowing and preparing his garden. In the spring, the flowers opened, and Nadia noticed a few dandelions that he had not planted.
Nadia pulled them up. But the seeds had already spread, and others grew. He tried to find a poison that would kill only dandelions. An expert told him that any poison would end up killing all the other flowers too. In despair, Nadia sought help from a gardener.
‘It’s just like marriage,’ said the gardener. ‘Along with the good things, there are always a few inconveniences.’
‘What should I do, then?
‘Nothing. They may not be the flowers you intended to have, but they are still part of the garden.’
‘How can we purify the world?’ asked a disciple.
Ibn al-Husayn replied:
‘There was once a sheik in Damascus called Abu Musa al-Qumasi. Everyone respected him because of his wisdom, but no one knew for certain that he was a good man.
One evening, the house where the sheik and his wife lived collapsed, apparently because of some fault in the construction. The neighbours began desperately digging amongst the rubble. At one point, they managed to find the sheik’s wife.
She said: “Don’t bother about me. Save my husband first, he was sitting more or less over there.”
The neighbours shifted the rubble in the place she had indicated and found the sheik. He said: “Don’t worry about me. Save my wife first, she was lying more or less over there.”
When people act as that couple did, they are purifying the whole world.