he Angel of Death came to Nasrudin one day and announced:
‘Your time has come, Mulla! Prepare to be taken to the other world.’ Trembling and shaking with fear, his face as white as a sheet, Nasrudin managed to choke out a few words:
‘My life has been spent blaspheming, and generally poking fun of religion at every possible opportunity. But I am a Muslim, and wish that I could have one last chance to prove that all my past misdemeanours are deeply regretted.’
‘What chance do you want?’ asked the angel.
‘If I could be spared the time to perform five prayers before my death,’ sighed Nasrudin, ‘I am sure I would go peacefully on my way.’
‘Very well,’ replied the angel, ‘I will return this time tomorrow when you have performed your five prayers.’ And he disappeared. Next day he arrived at the appointed time.
‘You have had your extra day of life, Nasrudin. Now you must come with me.’
‘Did you not promise to allow me to perform my five prayers before my death?’
‘That is so.’
‘Well I have performed only two.’
‘And when will you say the rest?’
‘In my own time.’
The World of Nasrudin Idries Shah, Octagon Press