The Pleasantries of the Incredible Mullah Nasrudin Summary & Study Guide

Idries Shah
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The Pleasantries of the Incredible Mullah Nasrudin Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

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In 'The Pleasantries of the Incredible Mulla Nasrudin' by author Idries Shah, we have here repeated a small part of some of the many, many teaching stories that involve themselves with the figure of Mullah Nasrudin.

The Mullah is a mysterious teaching figure claimed by Sufi mystics as their own, teaching a form of Sufi knowledge through the art of the parable, fable, joke and anecdote. Their exact origin in time is unclear, but we can assume that they form part of an oral tradition that has been added to across many centuries and certainly across many countries. Tales of the Mullah Nasrudin can be found in Afghanistan, Pakistan and the border's of India, as well as stretching into Islamic Spain, the Middle East and Egypt. They all feature a rascally, funny, and somewhat disreputable Mullah or wandering wise man known as the Mullah Nasrudin.

The author Idries Shah (himself the man mainly responsible for presenting modern Sufi thought to the Western World since the 1970s) indicates this close connection between Sufism and the Mullah Nasrudin, as the stories so often contain kernels of Sufi teaching. In his introduction he also raises the issue that the Mullah Nasrudin does not really belong to anyone, but is rather an archetypal figure who has bearing for any one attempting to find the truth. He relates how Nasrudin stories are taught in schools and at business conferences, to scientists and researchers as well as, of course, enjoyed throughout the Middle East as a part of their cultural heritage.

The book itself is one in a series of novels that Idries Shah has presented about the mysterious Mullah Nasrudin, and in this collection Shah does not offer any explanations or unpacking of the stories; merely lets them speak for themselves. What follows is a large collection of short paragraph length parables which move through a number of themes such as 'Death' or 'The Role of Man'.

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This section contains 326 words
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