Review: Subtleties of the Incredible Mulla Nasrudin

Subtleties of the Incredible Mullah Nasrudin by Idries Shah
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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.”

Nasruddin answered:

“I am so objective that I can look at myself as if I were another person; so I can afford to think of myself.”

View all my reviews

Published by Beth @ Beth's Bookish Thoughts

This blog is for my thoughts on reading. A couple of my friends on GoodReads have blogs, so eventually I decided to start one myself. I hope to get involved in the book blogging community and become a better reader and writer! I am not accepting copies of new books for review, but I would be interested in new editions or new translations of classic authors. Find me on Upwork (as an editor) in the profile link. From September 2018 to October 2020 I blogged at Blogger.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

There's always room for one more...

Classics Considered

with Marian H

Zezee with Books

...random as my thoughts go...

Classical Carousel

~ a classic book conversation ~


A daily selection of the best content published on WordPress, collected for you by humans who love to read.


The best longform stories on the web

The Blog

The latest news on and the WordPress community.

Create your website with
Get started
%d bloggers like this: