Mulla preached on Fridays at the village mosque. One day, having nothing to preach about, he asked the congregation:
“Do you know the subject I am going to discuss today?” “No” said the people. “Then I refuse to preach to such an ignorant assembly. How could you not know given the events of the past week?” asked Mulla and left hurriedly. Next Friday he went up the minbar and asked: “Do you know the subject of my sermon today?” People fearing a repetition of what had taken place a week before nodded and said: “Yes yes, indeed we know.” “Well, then. There is no point in telling you what you already know”, said Mulla and left. On the third Friday he ascended the minbar and asked: “Do you know what I am going to speak about today?” Not knowing what to say, some said yes and some said no.
“Then those who know can tell those who don’t”, said Mulla and left.
- t is easy to manipulate an audience that trusts you implicitly.
- The correct answer is not always the opposite of the wrong answer.
- It is impossible to teach those who are completely ignorant, and it is impossible to teach those who believe they already know the answers. The real way toward wisdom is for the learned ones to pass on what they know to ones who are willing and able to learn.