The Pleasantries of the Incredible Mulla Nasrudin by Idries Shah

‘[Nasrudin’s] antics are parallels of the mind’s workings, designed to amuse the teahouses, but also for use on other levels.’

Doris Lessing

Available worldwide in all formats – including ebook and audio – on Amazon. In the USA go to, in the UK, in India You can also order The Pleasantries of the Incredible Mulla Nasrudin in paperback and hardback from your local bookstore — and in the UK and USA we also recommend; and in Australia and New Zealand Booktopia. ISF also publishes an edition in Dari, Farsi.

Part of Shah’s Nasrudin series, this book contains some of the thousands of stories that have been told around this popular folk character since his purported birth in the 13th century.

The Pleasantries of the Incredible Mulla Nasrudin is a collection of teaching stories, anecdotes and jokes drawn from Middle Eastern folklore and the Sufi mystical tradition, which feature the Eastern crackpot and enlightened fool, Mulla Nasrudin.

Idries Shah assembled this compendium of Nasrudin’s trials and tribulations from ancient manuscripts and oral literature, from sources in North Africa and Turkey, the Middle East and Central Asia. Many were known to the great Sufi masters, Rumi, Jami, and Attar the Chemist.

In this delightful volume, Shah not only gives the Mulla a proper vehicle for our times, he proves that the centuries-old stories and quips of Nasrudin are still some of the funniest jokes in the world.

‘A great deal of timeless and universal wisdom made accessible and highly attractive with humour.’


‘Deliberately created to inculcate Sufic thinking, to outwit The Old Villain, which is a name for the patterns of conditioned thinking which form the prison in which we all live.’

New York Times