Tiny Tales from the Sufis

Welcome to Tiny Tales from the Sufis. This is a collection of two hundred stories from Sufi storytellers, and each story is just 100 words long.

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Creative Commons. This work is released with a Creative Commons license: CC BY-NC-SA 4.0. That means you can remix and reuse individual stories or the contents of the whole book with attribution for non-commercial purposes, provided that you release your work with the same license. Find out more.
Attribution: Tiny Tales from the Sufis by Laura Gibbs.
Version: October 18 2020.

You can access the book in a variety of formats, along with individual stories here at the blog (see story title list and links below).

Pressbooks. This is a web-based presentation of the book with all the stories on one page. Even better: you can highlight the stories using Hypothesis; just click on the upper right-hand corner for the Hypothesis toolbar.

Audiobook. There is a free audiobook you can listen to via SoundCloud. I've also made the mp3 files available for download if you prefer not to use SoundCloud and/or if you want to repurpose the audio (which is also released with the CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license).

EPUB. You can use this EPUB file for ebook readers like Nook, etc.

MOBI. You can download this MOBI file to load onto your Kindle, and this Kindle MOBI file is free! Here's how to add a free MOBI file to your Kindle.

Kindle Store. You can get a Kindle version of the book for 99 cents.

Print. There is a paperback version for $5.99 from Amazon (free Prime shipping).

Randomizer. You can see a story from the book at random, and you can also get the javascript code to add the randomizer to your own blog or website if you want.

Text file. This is a plain text file, no special characters. This option might be useful if you want to repurpose the entire book with your own formatting; see Creative Commons licensing CC BY-NC-SA above.

HTML. If you want to read a web-based presentation without the Hypothesis toolbar, this is a very simple HTML version.

PDF. You can download a PDF copy of the book.

Diigo. If you are interested in searching the contents of the book, searching the Diigo bookmark collection might be useful! You can use Boolean searches of the #sufis:book items. For example: Moses.

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A Book of Two Hundred 100-Word Stories


The Sufis are spiritual seekers of the Islamic tradition, and much Sufi wisdom is conveyed in story form. In this book you will find stories from the Persian poet Rumi and other Sufi saints, along with stories from modern Sufi teachers such as Inayat Khan. You will meet the mad lover Majnun in these pages, and also the wise fool Nasruddin. Sufi stories aim to jolt you into a new awareness of reality, and, like parables, the stories sometimes conceal their deeper meaning. Look beneath the surface; you might realize the story is about you. Find out more here:

The paragraph you just read about the Sufis is 100 words long, as is this paragraph, and that's also the length of each story in this book. The stories go fast, but you can slow down when you find one you like. Read it again. Let it sink in. Maybe even write your own version of the story, using your imagination to add more details. Meanwhile, if you don't like a story, don't get bogged down; just move on to the next one. There are more 100-word stories from the Sufis, along with stories from other cultural traditions, at:


1. A Handful of Dust

2. Noah and Canaan
3. The Child in the Shipwreck
4. Abraham in the Fire
5. The Sound of Joseph's Cup
6. Pharaoh and the Newborns
7. Moses and Khidr
8. The Language of Animals
9. Moses and the Bearded Dervish
10. Moses and the Shepherd
11. God Questions Moses
12. Moses Questions God
13. Moses Seeks Advice from Iblis
14. Azrael and King Solomon
15. The Gnat and King Solomon
16. Jesus and the Jug of Water
17. Jesus and the Name of God
18. Jesus and the Fool
19. Jesus Went Walking
20. The Dreams of the Three Travelers
21. The Sufi Who Went to Heaven
22. The Bundles of Misery
23. The Dervish and the Ship's Captain
24. The Man of Baghdad's Treasure
25. The Haunted Mosque
26. The Sultan's Seven Years
27. Turning Lead into Gold
28. The Water of Old
29. The Stream in the Desert
30. The Bread and the Ocean
31. Qays and Layla in Love
32. Majnun and Layla's Dog
33. Majnun and Layla's Beauty
34. Majnun's Eyes
35. Majnun and the Letter-Carrier
36. Majnun and the Shepherd
37. Majnun and the Caravan
38. Majnun's Feet
39. Majnun among the Beggars
40. Majnun's Blood
41. Majnun and the Tree
42. The Beggar and the King
43. Knocking at the Door
44. The Man without a Key
45. The Traveler and the Teacher
46. The Palace with One Door
47. The King's New Palace
48. The Boy and his Candle
49. The Faithful Man's Shadow
50. The Sufi and the Gravedigger
51. The King Enslaved
52. The Dervish and the Rich Man
53. A Prayer for a Tyrant
54. The Disciple Sentenced to Death
55. The Teacher in the Tavern
56. The Wisest Man in the City
57. The Old Man and the Two Strangers
58. Seeking the Tree of Heaven
59. Advice to a Seeker
60. The Death of Socrates
61. Muhammad and the Eagle
62. Ali and his Servant
63. Ali and the Knight
64. When Hallaj Grew Pale
65. The Caliph and the Pearl
66. The King's Caravansary
67. King Ibrahim on the Roof
68. King Ibrahim Hears the Voice
69. King Ibrahim and the Needle
70. King Ibrahim and the Old Sufi
71. Rabia's House
72. Rabia and the Governor of Basra
73. Rabia's Total Devotion
74. Rabia and the Blanket
75. Rabia and the Purse of Gold
76. Rabia and the Donkey
77. Rabia Breaks her Fast
78. Rabia and the Bread
79. Rabia and the Preacher
80. Rabia's Needle
81. Rabia and Hasan
82. Rabia Instructs Hasan
83. Rabia and Hasan by the Lake
84. Rabia and Sufyan
85. Rabia and Riyah al-Qaysi
86. Rabia and the Villagers
87. Rabia and Azrael
88. Rabia's Grave
89. A Vision of Rabia
90. Finding Bayazid
91. Bayazid's Pilgrimage
92. Bayazid in Ecstasy
93. Dhul-Nun the Madman
94. The Grieving Sufi and Shabli
95. The Disciple and the Dove
96. Junaid's Disciples and the Chickens
97. Junaid's New Neighbor
98. Abu Mansur and the Sultan
99. Abu Said on the Path
100. Fruits and Thorns
101. Abu Said's Recitations
102. Abu Said and the Learned Cleric
103. Abu Said and the Straight Path
104. Abu Said and God's Secret Mysteries
105. Abu Said and the Wealthy Disciple
106. Abu Said and the Wine-Merchant
107. Abu Said and the King of the Gamblers
108. Abu Said and the Bucket of Ashes
109. Abu Said and the Bags of Filth
110. Abu Said's Horse
111. Sultan Mahmud's Golden Bracelet
112. Sultan Mahmud and his Servants
113. Sultan Mahmud Watches Ayaz
114. Sultan Mahmud and the Pearl
115. Ahmad Yasawi and the Seeker
116. Abu Ali and the Old Woman
117. Jafar Seeks a Teacher
118. Little Rumi and the Angels
119. Sanai, The Court Poet
120. Chishti the Musician
121. Nimatullah and the Stolen Lamb
122. Jami and the Would-Be Disciple
123. Jami and the Physician's Son
124. Nasruddin and the Quick Learner
125. Nasruddin and the Scholar
126. Nasruddin and the Would-Be Disciple
127. A Conversation without Words
128. God Created the Camel
129. Nasruddin's Sermon
130. Nasruddin and the Pilgrims
131. Nasruddin and the Shrine
132. Nasruddin Crossing the Lake
133. Nasruddin in a New Town
134. Nasruddin Leaves the Tavern
135. Nasruddin by Night
136. Nasruddin and the Frogs
137. Nasruddin and the Man's Bag
138. Nasruddin and the Drowning Man
139. Nasruddin and the Music Teacher
140. Nasruddin at the Baths
141. A Sign for Nasruddin's Restaurant
142. Nasruddin's Duck Soup
143. Nasruddin and the Puddle
144. Nasruddin on the Way to the Cemetery
145. A Beggar at the Door
146. The Wicked Man's Thornbush
147. The Peasant and the General
148. The Farmer and the Thief
149. The Schoolboys and their Teacher
150. The Tanner who Fainted
151. The Bedouin's Pitcher of Water
152. The Bedouin and his Two Sacks
153. A First Time at Sea
154. The Patient Fisherman
155. The Woman and the Brick Wall
156. A Man Who Gathers Stones
157. A Man Seeking a House
158. The Prisoner and the Prayer Rug
159. The Princess and the Slave
160. The Contest of the Artists
161. The King Rides to Damascus
162. The Old Man and the Doctor
163. Sharing the Cucumbers
164. The Mayor's Servant and the Donkey
165. The Sufi and his Father
166. The Elephant in the Dark
167. The Lost Camel
168. The Wandering Sufi and his Donkey
169. The Thief who Stole a Snake
170. The Frozen Dragon
171. Shelter from the Storm
172. The Hunter's Divine Revelation
173. The Dog at the River
174. The Lion Tattoo
175. The Hunter of Monkeys
176. The Hypnotized Sheep
177. The Elephant's Child
178. The Child and the Monster
179. What a Cat Can Teach
180. The Camel and the Mouse
181. The Mule and the Camel
182. Camel, Ox, and Ram
183. The Ant and the Wasp
184. The Fly and the Beehive
185. The Donkey and the Stallions
186. The Gazelle and the Donkey
187. The Moths and the Candle
188. The Ants and the Pen
189. The Three Fish
190. The Jackal and the Pot of Dye
191. The Lion and the Fox
192. Lion, Wolf, and Fox
193. The Lion and the Rabbit
194. The Elephants and the Rabbits
195. A Cow on an Island
196. The Miser
197. The Bird's Advice
198. The Man and the Bear
199. The Wild Parrots of India
200. The Cook and the Chickpea


Arberry, A. J. Tales from the Masnavi and More Tales from the Masnavi.
Arnold, Edwin. The Gulistan; being the Rose-garden of Shaikh Sa'di.
Borrow, George. The Turkish Jester.
Chatterjee, Debjani. Sufi Stories from Around the World.
Edwards, A. Hart. The Bustan of Sadi.
Jamnia, Mohammad Ali and Mojdeh Bayat. Under the Sufi's Cloak: Stories of Abu Said and His Mystical Teaching.
Johnson, Mansur. Big Tales (of Hazrat Inayat Khan).
Khan, Adalut. The rose-necklace, being the selections from the Gulistan and the Anwaar-i Suhaili.
Mahfuzdur, Her Hakki. 202 Jokes of Nasreddin Hodja.
Muhaiyaddeen, M. R. Baw. Come to the Secret Garden: Sufi Tales of Wisdom.
Nakosteen, Mehdi. Mulla's Donkey and Other Friends.
Neruda, Nico. The Little Book of Sufi Parables.
Nott, S. C. The Conference of the Birds by Farid Ud-Din Attar.
Nurbakshsh, Javad. Sufi Women.
Rahman, Imam Jamal. Sacred Laughter of the Sufis.
Shah, Idries. Knowing How to Know.
Shah, Idries. Learning How to Learn.
Shah, Idries. Seeker After Truth.
Shah, Idries. Tales of the Dervishes.
Shah, Idries. The Dermis Probe.
Shah, Idries. The Hundred Tales of Wisdom.
Shah, Idries. The Magic Monastery.
Shah, Idries. The Sufis.
Shah, Idries. The Way of the Sufi.
Shah, Idries. Thinkers of the East.
Shah, Idries. Wisdom of the Idiots.

Corrigenda: None thus far.

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