Sheikh Nasreddin and the Miser
Narrated by Hajji Abdu Settar Mohammed Bashir
Once there was Nasreddin’s neighbour who was a miser but very rich, while Nasreddin was very poor. He used to beg Allah to give him £1,000 sterling. One day the miser heard Nasreddin praying and he decided to go on to the roof of the mosque and drop down to him £999 sterling. The miser goes to the mosque and while Nasreddin begs God to give him money, he drops it on the ground. Nasreddin was very happy and picked up the bundle and started to count it. He discovered it was £1 short.
He looks up at the sky and says, “God, you still are short of £1, you still owe me £1.”
The next day his neighbour goes to his house and says, “Listen, I’ve heard all your prayers. In your prayers you said you would not accept the money you were praying for, if it was less than £1,000. But when I gave you £999, you didn’t leave it. You took it.”
Nasreddin said, “I don’t know what you’re talking about. Get out of my house.”
The miser takes him to the judge.
Before starting the journey, the miser brought his mule and put on his coat.
Nasreddin says, “I’m too old. I can’t walk and I’m very cold, so if you want me to come to the court I must put on your coat and ride on the mule.”
The miser agreed since he didn’t want to lose his £1,000. So they began the journey to the courthouse. When Nasreddin saw the judge from far away he began to shout so that the judge would notice him on the mule in the coat. So the Qadi heard and looked and saw an old man on the mule. Nasreddin got off the mule’s back and tied the mule and both accuser and defender presented themselves to the Qadi.
The accuser, the miser, said, “My Lord, this old person, I used to hear him pray to God to give him £1,000, no more and no less. So I decided to challenge him, so I gave him £999, £1 short of £1,000. But he took the money and broke his word.”
Nasreddin said, “My Lord, this man is insane. I can prove it. He will claim in front of you that the coat I’m wearing belongs to him.”
The miser interrupted, “Of course it’s mine!”
Nasreddin says, “Not only with the coat can I prove it. You have seen me coming on a mule’s back. But he’ll claim that the mule is his.”
The miser shouted, “Of course it’s mine!”
So the Qadi was convinced that the miser was mad, and he sent him away. So they went home, but the miser was very, very sad.
Nasreddin called up to him and said, “Why do you try to interfere between man and God? Never try to do this kind of thing again.”
Then he gave him back his money.
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