HELPER OF THE RELIGION
suppose you are able to make an interview with
Mulla Nasreddin. What would you ask him? Perhaps
some of your questions are similar to the ones
as given below:
Many countries claim you to be their citizen.
In different countries like Iran and Turkey the
local people say that your grave can be found.
Are you a world citizen avant la lettre?
A: Moi? After quitting Bokhara I have repaired
first to Istanbul. Then I have disturbed the peace
successively in Baghdad, Medina, Beirut and Basra,
I caused pandemonium in Damascus, then dropped
in at Cairo, where I held the office of chief
judge of the city. I will not tell you whom I
judged and how I judged, but you may know that
I was sought for and hunted all over Egypt for
a space of two years. Of course I was far away
at the time, travelling in other lands and upon
Have these travels taken you to the former Soviet
A: It is not called for nothing the FORMER Soviet
Can you prove it that you have been in the former
Soviet Union, by telling a tale situated over
A: The secretary of the communist party was giving
a speech about “Das Kapital” written by Karl Marx.
I then stepped forward in order to record this
speech. My wife, Guljan, was sitting next to me
and was astonished that I liked the speech so
very much that I wanted to record it. I told her
that I did so, because of a request of someone
working in a kindergarten. She needed some lullabies
in order to calm the children. I’m sure that this
recording will have a similar effect.
But you have never been in China?
A: I have used a different name in China. I am
known as Afanti in China. And, yes, here is a
tale, which happened in China. One day I urgently
needed money but could find no one who could help
me. Not knowing what I could do anymore, I began
to implore the All-Merciful to give me ten dinars.
I added: “If You cannot give them to me outright,
I would be satisfied even with a loan”. I had
not finished my prayer when I heard somebody knocking
loudly at the door. I signalled my wife, Guljan,
to go to the door. The visitor was the local official
governing one hundred families. “Nasreddin”, he
began, “it is necessary again to repair the Niujie
mosque of Beijing. Allah, who protects you in
every hour of the day, said that your part for
the work is five dinars”. I then had to sigh and
said: “Alas, what would the imam of the mosque
say that Allah asks such a very high interest!
He has not loaned me anything yet, and already
he wants to be paid back!”
You are a Mulla. There is a religious saying advising
us not to complain about time, as it is God. What
does it mean?
A: I remember that on a cold winter day people
were complaining about the weather. One man said
to me: “Many people are never satisfied! They
are always complaining about something. In winter
they complain and say it is too cold and in summer
they say it is too hot!” “Yes,” I told him, but
have you not noticed that hardly anyone complains
about the spring?”
Anything else you want to say to us?
A: Safar-e mubarak! May your journey be blessed!