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Relaunch: The Subtleties of the Inimitable Mulla Nasrudin


Mulla Nasrudin Last month, ISF relaunched The Subtleties of the Inimitable Mulla Nasrudin. It’s a selection of tales about the eponymous Middle Eastern joke character Mulla Nasrudin. The jokes are widespread- the Mulla is called Goha in Egypt (Joha in other Arab countries), Hershel Ostroplier in many European Jewish jokes, Mushfiki in Tajikstan, and Afanti [...]

Nasrudin always chooses badly and foreign thoughts


This article by Paulo Coelho, translated from the Portuguese, is a collection of three stories, one of which is a well known Nasrudin tale. You can read the full article here. We will be collecting articles from around the internet that feature Idries Shah books or Nasrudin tales and we'll be featuring a selection of them [...]

The Pleasantries of the Incredible Mulla Nasrudin


The appeal of Nasrudin is as universal and timeless as the truths he illustrates. His stories are read by children, by scientists and scholars, and by followers of philosophy. Idries Shah assembled this collection of Nasrudin’s trials and tribulations from ancient manuscripts and oral literature, from sources in North Africa and Turkey, the Middle East [...]

The Exploits of the Incomparable Mulla Nasrudin


Mulla Nasrudin, the wise fool of Eastern folklore, holds a special place in Sufi studies. The Sufis, who believe that deep intuition is the only real guide to knowledge, use the humorous stories of Nasrudin’s adventures almost like exercises. They ask people to choose a few which especially appeal to them, and turn them over [...]

The Subtleties of the Inimitable Mulla Nasrudin


Many countries claim Nasrudin as a native, although few have gone so far as Turkey in exhibiting a ‘grave’ of the wisest fool who ever lived, and holding an annual Nasrudin Festival. He is the greatest, most intriguing, character of folklore found in any Eastern land. Versions of his back-to-front thinking can be found in [...]

The World of Nasrudin


Nasrudin is the greatest of all Arab folk heroes, and is found across the Islamic World, from Morocco to Pakistan, and beyond. He is said to have been the wisest fool who ever lived – that is if he ever did live at all. Stories of Nasrudin’s many incarnations are studied by Sufis for their [...]

David Ault – Giving voice to the words of Idries Shah


About David Ault A polymath worthy of the Renaissance Age, David Ault is the voice of ISF’s audio editions. Working with his partner, Patrick – who handles the technical side of the recordings – he has brought new life to works as short as The Book of the Book, and as lengthy as Kara [...]

Remembering Robert E. Ornstein


By Tahir Shah Do a Google search on Robert Ornstein and you’ll see right away that, as an eminent psychologist, he was a pioneering researcher into the two halves of the brain. You’ll also find that he authored and co-authored dozens of books with a wide gamut of intellectuals, and that he founded and [...]

A Stream of Stories Flows Through My Veins


by Victor-M Amela, of the Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia, interviews Tahir Shah. [Translation from the original Spanish piece which appeared in La Vanguardia on 2 August 2018.] TAHIR SHAH, son and representative of the Sufi writer Idries Shah I’m 51. I was born in London and live in Casablanca. I’m a writer and explorer [...]

The Sirdar Ikbal Ali Shah


by Professor L.F. Rushbrook Williams* Sirdar Ikbal Ali Shah, the father of Idries Shah, belonged to a family of Muswi Saiyids directly descended from Ali Musa Raza, the eighth Imam, and thus from the Prophet Mohammed himself. For centuries, this family has provided scholars, soldiers, and statesmen-including kinsmen of the Sassanid dynasty of Iran—who have [...]