The Sagaciousness of Nasreddin Hoja

April 22, 2008 § 5 Comments

Nasreddin Hoca is a a well known figure all throughout the Muslim World. He may be the most widely loved sufi master that has ever existed. He lived during the Seljuk rule which spanned from China across Central Asia and the Middle East. Nasreddin Hoca is legendary and has been loved by Afghans, Persians, Turks and Uzbeks for centuries.

Nasreddin Hoja’s name varies, as many Sahabi’s, saint’s, and dervishes’ names did as they traveled over long distances. In Afghanistan he is known as Mullah Nasruddin; in Albania, Nasredin Hoxha; in China Afanti and Macedonia he is known as Stradin Hoca. But what ever you call him, the feeling and attachment to him is the same, he is loved and this is why,

A local busybody, wanting to be rewarded for bringing good tidings, ran to Nasreddin Hoja’s house one day.
‘Nasreddin Hoja! Good news!’
‘What is it?’
‘They are baking cakes next door!’
‘What is that to me?’
‘But they are going to give you some!’
‘What is that to you?’

Nasreddin Hoja was a sufi master known mostly for his funny stories and anecdotes. The wisdom of his stories are typical of those who traveled the path of sufism explaining to the nations of the Oneness of our Creator, teaching the Qur’an al-kerim and showing them how to live the Tradition (sunnat) of the most honored one in Divine Presence Sayyidina Muhammad (may Peace and Blessings be upon him).

In the stories of Nasreddin Hoja, his behavior, like many of the saints, seems absurd. But within the tale is a profound wisdom that reaches the heart and draws a smile as much as it does an understanding of reality. One story accounts for how Nasreddin Hoja received the ability to warm the hearts of listeners when he was a child.

As a boy Nasreddin Hoja had the mysterious ability to fascinate his school mates keeping their attention and distracting them from the day’s lessons. As a result the academic interest declined and their attention was directed toward Nasreddin Hoja. Their teacher, a sufi master and master, who himself was keeper of some divine secrets, worked to redirect the attention of the students and at the same time guide the young Nasreddin Hoja so that his stories would benefit others for the sake of Allah. The teacher made supplication to Allah, asking for this and that, then he approached young Nasreddin Hoja saying,

“From now on, the more wise you become, the more people will laugh at your wisdom. And whenever someone tells one of your stories, they will want to continue telling more until at least seven have been told.”

This is exactly the case, as you will see on this blog, inshaAllah. I will be posting a series of stories from the famous Nasreddin Hoja and they will be posted in the categories called Nasreddin Hoja and Humor. I pray you will find them interesting and develop love for this most memorable sufi master.

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