Mullah in the Turkish Bath

Grade Level: 
9, 10, 11, 12
Generosity of Spirit
Mullah in the Turkish Bath
A Sufi (Persian) Tale: Mullah tips excessively for poor service, and then gives less for excellent attention in the Turkish bath. How are our actions determined by our expectations of reward?

Tell me a story...

Once Mullah went to a Turkish bath. The attendants ignored him. Upon leaving the bath, Mullah gave each of the servants two derhams as tip.

Next time the attendants gave Mullah special attention, hoping to get much more in tips than on the previous occasion.

Upon coming out of the bath, Mullah paid only one derham as a tip.

“Why is it that you paid us more in tips last time, but so little this time?” asked one of the servants.

“Well,” said Mullah, “last time’s tip was for today and today’s tip is for last time,” as the attendants looked at Mullah in astonishment.



“Mullah in the Turkish Bath.” Daenecke, Eric. Tales of Mullah Nasir-ud-Din: Persian Wit, Wisdom and Folly. New York: Exposition Press, ©1960. p. 29.