An eleventh century book by a renowned Muslim scholar has been revealed to be less a theological guide to life than a joke book for would-be party-crashers in Baghdad.
The book, called 'The Art of Crashing', was authored by al-Khatib al-Baghdadi , a respected scholar of the Prophet Muhammad’s teachings. The writings are supposed to show, "that every serious minded person needs to take a break", according to Emily Selove of Manchester University.
Selove and her team translated the book and have unearthed some of the witticisms of life in in Baghdad 1,000 years ago.
"This book, which contains flirtation, profanity, and even a little drunkenness, is a lot of fun and offers a rather different perspective to the austere image Islam has from that period. The reality is that the Baghdad of 1,000 years ago was actually rather Bohemian -- it wasn't perfect by any means -- but not the violent and repressive society you might imagine it was," she said.
The translated tome goes some way to shedding light on a part of history that little is known about. Selove puts this down to the fact that large parts of the literature from that period have yet to be translated in to English.
As well as a joke book , the work is littered with anecdotes and messages of a more serious nature, such as those advising you that you should never turn a hungry person away from a house.
Some of the best jokes are below:
Once a man crashed another man's party. "Who are you?" the host asked him. "I'm the one who saved you the trouble of sending an invitation!" he replied.
Once a party-crasher walked in the house of a man who had invited a gathering of people. "Hey, you!" the man said. "Did I say you could come?" "Did you say I couldn't come?" the party crasher replied.
Are these jokes funny anymore? Have they stood the test of time or should they be left in the past? Tell us what you think below.