The Great Pumpkin

Nasreddin Hodja was lying in the shade of an ancient walnut tree. His body was at rest, but, befitting his calling as an imam, his mind did not relax. Looking up into the mighty tree he considered the greatness and wisdom of Allah.

“Allah is great and Allah is good,” said the Hodja, “but was it indeed wise that such a great tree as this be created to bear only tiny walnuts as fruit? Behold the stout stem and strong limbs. They could easily carry the great pumpkins that grow from spindly vines in yonder field, vines that cannot begin to bear the weight of their own fruit. Should not walnuts grow on weakly vines and pumpkins on sturdy trees?”

So thinking, the Hodja dozed off, only to be awakened by a walnut that fell from the tree, striking him on his forehead.

“Allah be praised!” he exclaimed, seeing what had happened. “If that had been a pumpkin that fell on my head, it would have killed me for sure! God is merciful! He has rearranged nature only to spare my life.”


  • Things are as they should be.
  • Man is unable to understand just how complex nature actually is.
  • To achieve the fruit (spiritual perfection) one needs to be humble as the big fruit grow on the vines which are on the ground. Tall trees cannot bear the weight of big fruit and hence only produce walnuts.
  • What we think should be best, and what really is best, are often very different things.
  • To compare what is and what should be is always a fallacy, as it oversimplifies that which we, as mortals, cannot understand.
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