Nasreddin Hodja is what could be called a sublime idiot. He is a liar, irreverent, a disturber of peace. But he is also ingenious, free, full of wit, a timeless figure whose stories have spread and been adapted the world over. In the Sufi tradition, they were used for study purposes. “There is the joke, the moral — and the little extra which brings the consciousness of the potential mystic a little further on the way to realisation.” writes Idries Shah. These stories are like ‘eternity with a smile’…
The Sultan was unhappy because his subjects were untruthful.
He had a gallows erected in front of the city gates and a herald announced:
– “Whoever would enter the city must first answer the truth to a question which will be put to him by the captain of the guard.”
Nasruddin Hodja who was outside the gates stepped forward.
– “Why have you come?” asked the captain, “tell the truth or you will be hanged.”
– “I have come to be hanged.” said Hodja.
– “I don’t believe you.” said the captain.
– “Then you have to hang me for telling a lie.” said Hodja.
– “But if we hang you it will mean you have told the truth.” said the captain.
– “Yes.” said Hodja.
The captain let him go.
Photo from Pixabay (Sculpture of Nasreddin Hodja)
– ‘The Sufis’, by Idries Shah – (ISF Publishing)
– ‘Nasreddin Hodja: 100 tales in verse’, by Raj Arumugam – (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform)
– Nasreddin Hodja (Wikipedia)