Once Hodja was invited to deliver a sermon. When he got on the pulpit, he asked, Do you know what I am going to say? The audience replied “no”, so he announced, I have no desire to speak to people who don’t even know what I will be talking about! and left.
The people felt embarrassed and called him back again the next day. This time, when he asked the same question, the people replied yes. So Hodja said, Well, since you already know what I am going to say, I won’t waste any more of your time! and left.
Now the people were really perplexed. They decided to try one more time and once again invited Hodja to speak the following week. Once again he asked the same question – Do you know what I am going to say? Now the people were prepared and so half of them answered “yes” while the other half replied “no”. So Hodja said Let the half who know what I am going to say, tell it to the half who don’t, and left.
Once when Hodja was serving as qadi, one of his neighbors came to him with a complaint against a fellow neighbor.
The Hodja listened to the charges carefully, then concluded, “Yes, dear neighbor, you are quite right.”
Then the other neighbor came to him. Hodja listened to his defense carefully, then concluded, “Yes, dear neighbor, you are quite right.” Hodja’s wife, having listened in on the entire proceeding, said to him, “Husband, both men cannot be right.”
Hodja answered, “Yes, dear wife, you are quite right.”
Some children saw Hodja coming from the vineyard with two basketfuls of grapes loaded on his donkey. They gathered around him and asked him to give them a taste.
Hodja picked up a bunch of grapes and gave each child a grape.
“You have so much, but you gave us so little,” the children whined.
“There is no difference whether you have a basketful or a small piece. They all taste the same,” Hodja answered, and continued on his way.
Hodja was walking in the bazaar with a large group of followers. Whatever Hodja did, his followers immediately copied. Every few steps Hodja would stop and shake his hands in the air, touch his feet and jump up yelling “Hu Hu Hu!”. So his followers would also stop and do exactly the same thing.
One of the merchants, who knew Hodja, quietly asked him: “What are you doing my old friend? Why are these people imitating you?”
“I have become a Sufi Sheikh,” replied Hodja. “These are my Murids (spiritual seekers); I am helping them reach enlightenment!”
“How do you know when they reach enlightenment?”
“That’s the easy part! Every morning I count them. The ones who have left – have reached enlightenment!”
Hodja was boasting about the power of his faith.
“If your faith is so strong, then pray for that mountain to come to you,” said a skeptic, pointing to a mountain in the distance.
Hodja prayed fervently, but the mountain did not move. He prayed more, but the mountain remained unmoved.
Finally Hodja got up from his knees and began walking toward the mountain. “I am a humble man,” he said, “and the faith of Islam is a practical one. If the mountain will not come to Hodja, then Hodja will go to the mountain.”