If the mountain does not go to Mohammed, then Mohammed goes to the mountain

It is interesting that the expression “If the mountain does not go to Mohammed, then Mohammed goes to the mountain” has nothing to do with the activities of the Prophet Muhammad. Initially, it was based on the story of the adventures of the cunning man Khoja Nasreddin.

Somehow Khoja, posing as a saint, boasted of the power of his faith and the ability to create a miracle. "As soon as I call a stone or a tree, " Khoja assured, "they will come to me." He was asked to call an oak growing nearby. Three times he called out to the stubborn tree of Khoja, but it did not even move. The angry Khoja himself went to the oak tree. "Where are you going?" - not without gloating asked those around. Khoja replied: "The saints are not proud. If the tree does not come to me, I go to it."

But the English scientist and philosopher Francis Bacon in his book "Moral and Political Essays" gave his own version of this parable, replacing Hodja with Muhammad.

Mohammed assured the people that he would call the mountain to him and from the top of it would offer prayers for the faithful. The people gathered. Mohammed cried out to the mountain again and again; when the mountain did not budge, he, not at all embarrassed, said: "If the mountain does not go to Mohammed, Mohammed will come to the mountain."

The meaning of this expression is twofold, as is the story of its origin. Some believe that it means: to get what you want, you need to act yourself, and not wait with folded hands; others - that it is used when due to circumstances has to submit to the one from whom he himself expected obedience.