The original Nasrudin is said to have lived in the 13th century. Stories about him have been told across the Muslim world. Most of the stories depict him in an ancient small village, but some stories transplant him to the modern world. This collection is one of several edited by Idries Shah, an author and teacher in the Sufi tradition. Some of the stories have a moral while others are just silly.
I have picked a few of them. I will let these speak for themselves:
Problems of Loneliness
Something frightened Mulla Nasrudin as he was walking down a road. He threw himself into a ditch and then began to think that he had been frightened to death.
After a time he became very cold and hungry. He walked home and told his wife the sad news, and went back to the ditch.
“His wife, sobbing bitterly, went to the neighbors for comfort. My husband is dead, lying in a ditch.
“How do you know?”
“There was nobody to see him, so he had to come and tell me himself, poor dear.”
Tried to Fool Him
Nasruddin was at a football game. He had been shouting until half-time, and felt thirsty.
“I’m going to get a drink of water,” he told his friend.
“And one for me,” said the friend.
In a few minutes Nasruddin came back.
“I tried to have a drink of water for you,” but I found, after I had had my own drink, that you were not thirsty after all.
Moral: If you really want a drink of water, drink it yourself.
A monk said to Nasruddin:
“I am so detached that I never think of myself, only of others.”
“I am so objective that I can look at myself as if I were another person; so I can afford to think of myself.”