The imam of Nasruddin's village was delivering a sermon about the prophets, extolling their excellent qualities and illustrious deeds.
As the imam was speaking, Nasruddin began to weep loudly.
"Behold this man's sincere devotion!" the imam exclaimed. "My sermon has moved him to tears."
"It's true," said Nasruddin, sobbing. "This morning, I woke up to discover that my favorite goat had suddenly passed away, and it broke my heart. As I watch your beard wagging back and forth as you speak, it makes me think of my poor dead goat, and I can't help but weep these tears of sorrow."
Inspired by: The World of Nasrudin by Idries Shah, free to read online at the Idries Shah Foundation.
Notes: This is story #12 in the book. There is a similar story in Jacques de Vitry 56. For another story about the imam's beard, see What the Beard Proves.