The Wise Fool

This article seeks to shed some light on the wisdom portrayed by the Sufi mystic Mullah Hodja Nasrudin, through the humor in the stories about him. He lived somewhere around Persia (Iran) around 13th century. After every story we shall a brief explanation that his actions erudite. He is a rare phenomenon that hits the softest spot of mankind where no dogma can possibly reach. He is a man that had a deep understanding that life as we live it is far from perfect and all his devices (for teaching) elicit this element.

Different mystics, over the recorded history, have used disparate methods to pass their message. This often depends on the type of civilization of the times, and the disposition of the mystic himself. Nasrudin’s method is one his most efficient because he has the rare ability of concealing advanced concepts in simple jokes involving ordinary activities of a people.

Mullah was an enlightened mystic despite the sick jokes he made at a practical level. He reminds me of a time when the Middle East was occasioned by mystics from time to time most of whose teaching was not captured by the recorded history as effectively as it should have been.

It is no surprise that the earliest sources of civilization were found to be I Mesopotamia, several thousands of years ago. The same pattern of transmission of wisdom from one generation to another must have existed at some point especially considering that Zarathustra is an ancestor of these land. Rumi, too, existed in the same region.

By Philip Kamau