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Sufi Stories - The Sack - The Boatman

The Sack
A Sufi Story from the Middle East

Long time ago, there was a sufi named Mula Nasruddin, usually he is called by Mula. Following is the story of Mula.

Mula came upon a frowning man walking along the road to town.

"What's wrong?" he asked.

The man held up a tattered bag and moaned,

"All that I own in this wide world barely fills this miserable, wretched sack."

"Too bad," said Mula.

And with that, he snatched the bag from the man's hands and ran down the road with it.

Having lost everything, the man burst into tears and, more miserable than before, continued walking. Meanwhile, Mula quickly ran around the bend and placed the man's sack in the middle of the road where he would have to come upon it.

When the man saw his bag sitting in the road before him, he laughed with joy, and shouted,

"My sack! I thought I'd lost you!"

Watching through the bushes, Mula chuckled.

"Well, that's one way to make someone happy!"
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The Boatman
A Sufi Story from the Middle East

A scholar asked a boatman to row him across the river. The journey was long and slow. The scholar was bored.

"Boatman," he called out, "Let's have a conversation."

Suggesting a topic of special interest to himself, he asked,

"Have you ever studied phonetics or grammar?"

"No," said the boatman, "I've no use for those tools."

"Too bad," said the scholar, "You've wasted half your life. It's useful to know the rules."

Later, as the rickety boat crashed into a rock in the middle of the river, the boatman turned to the scholar and said,

"Pardon my humble mind that to you must seem dim, but, wise man, tell me, have you ever learned to swim?"

"No," said the scholar, "I've never learned. I've immersed myself in thinking."

"In that case," said the boatman, "you've wasted all your life. Alas, the boat is sinking."

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