Taken from: The Subtleties of the Inimitable Mulla Nasrudin
By: Idries Shah
Saying of Mulla Nasrudin
If I survive this life without dying, I'll be surprised.
If I know what two and two were - I would say Four!
I might do you a favour
Nasrudin was penniless, but did not want his friend Aslam to know it. Unfortunately Aslam asked him for change for a gold coin.
'It is rather worn,' said Nasrudin.
' How worn, Mulla?'
'So worn that it is worth less than the rate of exchange. Try someone else.'
'No, I trust you. Give me just what you think it is worth.'
'Well,' said the Mulla, 'it seems to me to be worth so little that you would have to pay me something to take it off your hands.'
As the Mulla emerged from the mosque after prayers, a beggar sitting in the street solicited alms. The following conversation ensued:
Mulla: 'Are you extravagant?'
Beggar: ' Yes, Mulla.'
Mulla: ' I suppose you like to go to the baths every day?'
Mulla: '..And maybe amuse yourself, even, by drinking with your friends?'
Beggar: 'Yes, I like all these things.'
'Tut, tut,' said the Mulla, and gave him a gold piece.
A few yards farther on, another beggar who had over heard this conversation begged for alms importunately.
Mulla: ' Are you extravagant?'
Beggar: 'No, Mulla.'
Mulla: "Do you like sitting around drinking coffee and smoking?'
Mulla: 'I suppose you like to go to the baths every day?'
Mulla: '...And maybe amuse yourself, even, by drinking with your friends?'
Beggar: 'No, I am only to live meagerly and to pray.'
Whereupon the Mulla gave him a small copper coin.
'But why', wailed the beggar, 'do you give me, an economical and pious man, a penny, when you give that extravagant fellow a sovereign?'
'Ha,' replied the Mulla, 'his needs are greater then yours.'
The end of the world
'When will the end of the world come, Mulla?'
'Which end of the world?'
Well, how many are there?'
"Two, the Greater and the Lesser. If my wife dies, that is the Lesser End of the World. But if I die - that is the Greater End of the World.'