Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘“The Book of Arab Humor”

Delicious jokes: From Jeha the Arab, Abul Hosn, Khodja the Turkish, Mullah Nasr Din of Iran, Jahan of Malta, Jourka of Sicily… Part 2

Almost every culture has its own Jeha, representing the common people attitudes and social behavior. These practical jokes and naïve adventure immortalize the spirit of the people.

The Arab Empire civilization had its Jeha, who probably was named Dujayn ibn Thabit Yarbu3i and was born in Basra from the tribe of Fazara.

Jeha was the contemporary of caliphs Abu Jaafar, Mahdi and Harun Rashid.

1. A man farted visiting Jeha and banged on the chair to tone down the sound of it. Jeha said “And what about the odor?”

2. Jeha’s mother-in-law was carried away in the river current. Jeha ascended to the source saying “I know her pretty well: She is of  the contrarian kind

3. Jeha is taking a night walk “I am looking for my sleep”

4. Jeha’s two spouses are harassing him “Who do you love best? If we were drowning, who will you save first…?” Jeha looked at his oldest wife and said “You can swim. Can’t you?”

5. Jeha bought a dead hawk for a single dinar “It would cost me 100 dinars if it were alive”

6. “How the moon is pretty. Particularly at night”

7. The helper hawking Jeha’s bag of flour run away with the bag. Jeha saw the helper the next day and hides from him “I didn’t want him to remind me to pay for his services

8. The dead man woke up in the coffin and said to Jeha “I am alive”, and Jeha to reply “And you want me to believe you, while everyone else believe otherwise?”

9. “The moon is more useful than the sun: It illuminates the nights

10. Jeha bought 2 kilos of meat and was expecting a delicious supper when back home. The wife said: “The cat ate the meat”. Jeha weighted the cat and finds it unchanged. Jeha says: “I got 2 kilos. Where is the cat

11. Jeha maintained that he was 40 years old, no matter how older he got “A well bred person never recant on his word”

12. Two complained to jeha separately and told each one: “I give you reason”. Jeha’s wife was obfuscated and treated him of hypocrisy. Jeha replied “And you wife, I give you reason too”

13.Jeha was invited to dinner and arrived in tattered garment. He was kicked out. Jeha returned wearing his best attire and was welcomed. Sitting to eat, Jeha advanced his right sleeve to the dish saying: “Eat. You are the one welcomed here

14. A beggar knocked at jeha’s door saying “I am God’s host”  Jeha led the beggar to the nearest Mosque and said: “Buddy, you had lost your way and forgot the address.”

15. Jeha misplaced his hatch in the forest and the night was not helping find his tool. He paid a visit to the shrine of saint Abdel Qadir al Jilani, known to aid people find misplaced items. “Let me find my hatch and I’ll contribute 20 dinars to your shrine”  Jeha recovered his hatch and returned to the shrine “Now, help me find the 20 dinars…”

Note: An extract from the French book “The Book of Arab Humor” by Jean-Jacques Schmidt

“The Book of Arab Humor” by Jean-Jacques Schmidt, Part 1

1. Ugly Walid ibn Yazid (future caliph) came in to visit caliph Hisham, his uncle. Walid was wearing an intricate laced turban that cost 1,000 dinars. Hisham was flabbergasted by this expensive item. Walid said: “This turban covers the most important part of my body. You purchased a girl slave for 10 times that amount, just to satisfy the vilest of your parts…” (The Omayyad Empire reached its vastest expansion, from Afghanistan to Spain during Hisham)

2. Abu Harith was cooking meat with friends. One retrieved a piece of meat saying “It lacks salt”, another “It lacks pepper”, “It lacks onion”… Abu Harith checked the pot and exclaimed “It lacks meat

3. I married a woman in Harran and she gave birth within 40 days. She explained “You built the walls on the foundation of another one…”

4. The wife heard the imam preaching: “If your husband “honors” you once, you set the foundation for your palace in Heaven. If he does it twice, you erect the walls, the third times you raise the arches…”  The husband had to be awakened several times that night to build the entire palace. At last the husband got a relief as he reminded his wife “The masons told me that if the clay is not allowed to dry and hardened, the whole palace will collapse…”

5. The bereaved daughter was crying “Where are they taking you father? To a place where there is not light, no food, no drink, no joy, no conversation…?” The kid accompanying his father said “Dad? Are they sending this body to our home?”

6. The Abbasid caliph Mahdi (father of Harun Rashid) lost his hunting party and visited a bedwin tent. asking to be fed. The bedwin fed him and poured date wine to the stranger. The first cup was an opportunity for the caliph to say “Do you know who I am? I accompany the Commander of the Believers“.  The second cup “I am one of the knights of the caliph”, the third cup “I am the caliph”.

The bedwin closed the bottle and would not pour another cup. He said: “I am afraid in the fourth round you might claim that you are Prophet Muhammad




February 2023

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