بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
[Note: I’ve updated this post. I’ve added the Quranic text and the translation from Surah Al-Kahf, the Arabic text of the hadeeth as well as an additional article at the end.]
The story of Musa (alaihissalam) and Al-Khidr is mentioned in Surah Al-Kahf.
وَإِذْ قَالَ مُوسَىٰ لِفَتَاهُ لَا أَبْرَحُ حَتَّىٰ أَبْلُغَ مَجْمَعَ الْبَحْرَيْنِ أَوْ أَمْضِيَ حُقُبًا
“And (remember) when Musa said to his boy-servant: “I will not give up (travelling) until I reach the junction of the two seas or (until) I spend years and years in travelling.”
فَلَمَّا بَلَغَا مَجْمَعَ بَيْنِهِمَا نَسِيَا حُوتَهُمَا فَاتَّخَذَ سَبِيلَهُ فِي الْبَحْرِ سَرَبًا
But when they reached the junction of the two seas, they forgot their fish, and it took its way through the sea as in a tunnel.
فَلَمَّا جَاوَزَا قَالَ لِفَتَاهُ آتِنَا غَدَاءَنَا لَقَدْ لَقِينَا مِن سَفَرِنَا هَـٰذَا نَصَبًا
So when they had passed further on (beyond that fixed place), Musa said to his boy-servant: “Bring us our morning meal; truly, we have suffered much fatigue in this, our journey.”
قَالَ أَرَأَيْتَ إِذْ أَوَيْنَا إِلَى الصَّخْرَةِ فَإِنِّي نَسِيتُ الْحُوتَ وَمَا أَنسَانِيهُ إِلَّا الشَّيْطَانُ أَنْ أَذْكُرَهُ ۚ وَاتَّخَذَ سَبِيلَهُ فِي الْبَحْرِ عَجَبًا
He said:”Do you remember when we betook ourselves to the rock? I indeed forgot the fish, none but Shaitan (Satan) made me forget to remember it. It took its course into the sea in a strange (way)!”
قَالَ ذَٰلِكَ مَا كُنَّا نَبْغِ ۚ فَارْتَدَّا عَلَىٰ آثَارِهِمَا قَصَصًا
[Musa] said: “That is what we have been seeking.” So they went back retracing their footsteps.
فَوَجَدَا عَبْدًا مِّنْ عِبَادِنَا آتَيْنَاهُ رَحْمَةً مِّنْ عِندِنَا وَعَلَّمْنَاهُ مِن لَّدُنَّا عِلْمًا
Then they found one of Our slaves, unto whom We had bestowed mercy from Us, and whom We had taught knowledge from Us.
قَالَ لَهُ مُوسَىٰ هَلْ أَتَّبِعُكَ عَلَىٰ أَن تُعَلِّمَنِ مِمَّا عُلِّمْتَ رُشْدًا
Musa said to him (Khidr) “May I follow you so that you teach me something of that knowledge (guidance and true path) which you have been taught (by Allah)?”
قَالَ إِنَّكَ لَن تَسْتَطِيعَ مَعِيَ صَبْرًا
He (Khidr) said: “Verily! You will not be able to have patience with me!
وَكَيْفَ تَصْبِرُ عَلَىٰ مَا لَمْ تُحِطْ بِهِ خُبْرًا
“And how can you have patience about a thing which you know not?”
قَالَ سَتَجِدُنِي إِن شَاءَ اللَّـهُ صَابِرًا وَلَا أَعْصِي لَكَ أَمْرًا
Musa said: “If Allah wills, you will find me patient, and I will not disobey you in aught.”
قَالَ فَإِنِ اتَّبَعْتَنِي فَلَا تَسْأَلْنِي عَن شَيْءٍ حَتَّىٰ أُحْدِثَ لَكَ مِنْهُ ذِكْرًا
He (Khidr) said: “Then, if you follow me, ask me not about anything till I myself mention it to you.”
فَانطَلَقَا حَتَّىٰ إِذَا رَكِبَا فِي السَّفِينَةِ خَرَقَهَا ۖ قَالَ أَخَرَقْتَهَا لِتُغْرِقَ أَهْلَهَا لَقَدْ جِئْتَ شَيْئًا إِمْرًا
So they both proceeded, till, when they embarked the ship, he (Khidr) scuttled it. Musa said: “Have you scuttled it in order to drown its people? Verily, you have committed a thing “Imra” (a Munkar – evil, bad, dreadful thing).”
قَالَ أَلَمْ أَقُلْ إِنَّكَ لَن تَسْتَطِيعَ مَعِيَ صَبْرًا
He (Khidr) said: “Did I not tell you, that you would not be able to have patience with me?”
قَالَ لَا تُؤَاخِذْنِي بِمَا نَسِيتُ وَلَا تُرْهِقْنِي مِنْ أَمْرِي عُسْرًا
[Musa] said: “Call me not to account for what I forgot, and be not hard upon me for my affair (with you).”
فَانطَلَقَا حَتَّىٰ إِذَا لَقِيَا غُلَامًا فَقَتَلَهُ قَالَ أَقَتَلْتَ نَفْسًا زَكِيَّةً بِغَيْرِ نَفْسٍ لَّقَدْ جِئْتَ شَيْئًا نُّكْرًا
Then they both proceeded, till they met a boy, he (Khidr) killed him. Musa said: “Have you killed an innocent person who had killed none? Verily, you have committed a thing “Nukra” (a great Munkar – prohibited, evil, dreadful thing)!”
قَالَ أَلَمْ أَقُل لَّكَ إِنَّكَ لَن تَسْتَطِيعَ مَعِيَ صَبْرًا
(Khidr) said: “Did I not tell you that you can have no patience with me?”
قَالَ إِن سَأَلْتُكَ عَن شَيْءٍ بَعْدَهَا فَلَا تُصَاحِبْنِي ۖ قَدْ بَلَغْتَ مِن لَّدُنِّي عُذْرًا
[Musa] said: “If I ask you anything after this, keep me not in your company, you have received an excuse from me.”
فَانطَلَقَا حَتَّىٰ إِذَا أَتَيَا أَهْلَ قَرْيَةٍ اسْتَطْعَمَا أَهْلَهَا فَأَبَوْا أَن يُضَيِّفُوهُمَا فَوَجَدَا فِيهَا جِدَارًا يُرِيدُ أَن يَنقَضَّ فَأَقَامَهُ ۖ قَالَ لَوْ شِئْتَ لَاتَّخَذْتَ عَلَيْهِ أَجْرًا
Then they both proceeded, till, when they came to the people of a town, they asked them for food, but they refused to entertain them. Then they found therein a wall about to collapse and he (Khidr) set it up straight. [Musa] said: If you had wished, surely, you could have taken wages for it!”
قَالَ هَـٰذَا فِرَاقُ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنِكَ ۚ سَأُنَبِّئُكَ بِتَأْوِيلِ مَا لَمْ تَسْتَطِع عَّلَيْهِ صَبْرًا
(Khidr) said: “This is the parting between me and you, I will tell you the interpretation of (those) things over which you were unable to hold patience.
أَمَّا السَّفِينَةُ فَكَانَتْ لِمَسَاكِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ فِي الْبَحْرِ فَأَرَدتُّ أَنْ أَعِيبَهَا وَكَانَ وَرَاءَهُم مَّلِكٌ يَأْخُذُ كُلَّ سَفِينَةٍ غَصْبًا
“As for the ship, it belonged to Masaakeen (poor people) working in the sea. So I wished to make a defective damage in it, as there was a king after them who seized every ship by force.
وَأَمَّا الْغُلَامُ فَكَانَ أَبَوَاهُ مُؤْمِنَيْنِ فَخَشِينَا أَن يُرْهِقَهُمَا طُغْيَانًا وَكُفْرًا
“And as for the boy, his parents were believers, and we feared lest he should oppress them by rebellion and disbelief.
فَأَرَدْنَا أَن يُبْدِلَهُمَا رَبُّهُمَا خَيْرًا مِّنْهُ زَكَاةً وَأَقْرَبَ رُحْمًا
“So we intended that their Lord should change him for them for one better in righteousness and near to mercy.
وَأَمَّا الْجِدَارُ فَكَانَ لِغُلَامَيْنِ يَتِيمَيْنِ فِي الْمَدِينَةِ وَكَانَ تَحْتَهُ كَنزٌ لَّهُمَا وَكَانَ أَبُوهُمَا صَالِحًا فَأَرَادَ رَبُّكَ أَن يَبْلُغَا أَشُدَّهُمَا وَيَسْتَخْرِجَا كَنزَهُمَا رَحْمَةً مِّن رَّبِّكَ ۚ وَمَا فَعَلْتُهُ عَنْ أَمْرِي ۚ ذَٰلِكَ تَأْوِيلُ مَا لَمْ تَسْطِع عَّلَيْهِ صَبْرًا
“And as for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the town; and there was under it a treasure belonging to them; and their father was a righteous man, and your Lord intended that they should attain their age of full strength and take out their treasure as a mercy from your Lord. And I did it not of my own accord. That is the interpretation of those (things) over which you could not hold patience.”
[Surah Al-Kahf (18): 60-82]
There are also some ahadeeth which add to the information:
عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم : قام موسى النبي خطيبا في بني إسرائيل فسئل : أي الناس أعلم ؟ فقال : أنا أعلم ، فعتب الله عليه ، إذ لم يرد العلم إليه ،
فأوحى الله إليه : إن عبدا من عبادي بمجمع البحرين ، هو أعلم منك . قال : يا رب ، وكيف به ؟ فقيل له : احمل حوتا في مكتل ، فإذا فقدته فهو ثم ، فانطلق وانطلق بفتاه يوشع بن نون ، وحمل حوتا في مكتل ، حتى كانا عند الصخرة وضعا رؤوسهما وناما ، فانسل الحوت من المكتل فاتخذ سبيله في البحر سربا ، وكان لموسى وفتاه عجبا ، فانطلقا ، بقية ليلتهما ويومهما ، فلما أصبح قال موسى لفتاه : آتنا غداءنا لقد لقينا من سفرنا هذا نصبا .
ولم يجد موسى مسا من النصب حتى جاوز المكان الذي أمر به ، قال له فتاه : أرأيت إذ أوينا إلى الصخرة ؟ فإني نسيت الحوت ، قال موسى : ذلك ما كنا نبغي ، فارتدا على آثارهما قصصا ، فلما انتهيا إلى الصخرة ، إذا رجل مسجى بثوب ، أو قال تسجى بثوبه ، فسلم موسى ، فقال الخضر : وأنى بأرضك السلام ؟ فقال : أنا موسى ، فقال : موسى بني إسرائيل ؟ قال : نعم ، قال : هل أتبعك على أن تعلمني مما علمت رشدا ؟
قال : إنك لن تسطيع معي صبرا ، يا موسى ، إني على علم من علم الله علمنيه لا تعلمه أنت ، وأنت على علم علمكه لا أعلمه . قال : ستجدني إن شاء الله صابرا ، ولا أعصي لك أمرا ، فانطلقا يمشيان على ساحل البحر ، ليس لهما سفينة ، فمرت بهما سفينة ، فكلموهم أن يحملوهما ، فعرف الخضر ، فحملوهما بغير نول ، فجاء عصفور فوقع على حرف السفينة ، فنقر نقرة أو نقرتين في البحر ، فقال الخضر : يا موسى : ما نقص علمي وعلمك من علم الله إلا كنقرة هذا العصفور في البحر ، فعمد الخضر إلى لوح من ألواح السفينة فنزعه ، فقال موسى : قوم حملونا بغير نول ، عمدت إلى سفينتهم فخرقتها لتغرق أهلها ؟ قال : ألم أقل لك إنك لن تسطيع معي صبرا ؟ قال : لا تؤاخذني بما نسيت – فكانت الأولى من موسى نسيانا
– فانطلقا ، فإذا غلام يلعب مع الغلمان ، فأخذ الخضر برأسه من أعلاه فاقتلع رأسه بيده ، فقال موسى : أقتلت نفسا زكية بغير نفس ؟ قال : ألم أقل لك إنك لن تسطيع معي صبرا ؟ – قال ابن عيينة : وهذا أؤكد –
فانطلقا ، حتى إذا أتيا أهل قرية استطعما أهلها فأبوا أن يضيفوهما ، فوجد فيها جدارا يريد أن ينقض فأقامه ، قال الخضر بيده فأقامه ، فقال له موسى : لو شئت لاتخذت عليه أجرا ، قال : هذا فراق بيني وبينك . قال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم : يرحم الله موسى ، لوددنا لو صبر حتى يقص علينا من أمرهما .
[For those of you who have kiddies, a brother has created a nice powerpoint presentation of this story which you can download from his site. Good stuff.]
This story is full of lessons (and by full, I mean FULL) but of course, we just need someone to tell us what they are.
Here are the lessons derived by Imam As-Saadi (rahimahullah) from this story: Lessons From the Encounter Between Moosa (alaihissalaam) and Al-Khidr.
Also, for those who are interested in knowing more about Al-Khidr, please check the following resources:
[Please note that there is a dispute as to whether Al-Khidr is a Prophet or not.]
Who is Al-Khidr?
Was al-Khidr an angel, a Messenger, a Prophet or a wali (“saint”)?
Praise be to Allaah.
The from the general meaning of the Qur’aanic verses it appears that he was a Prophet.
Shaykh al-Shanqeeti (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in his commentary on the aayah (interpretation of the meaning)
“Then they found one of Our slaves, on whom We had bestowed mercy from Us, and whom We had taught knowledge from Us”
“But it may be understood from some aayahs that the mercy mentioned here was the mercy of Prophethood, and that this knowledge which came from Allaah was the knowledge of revelation (wahy)… It is known that mercy and the bestowal of knowledge from Allaah is more general and comes in more ways than via Prophethood. The fact that something general exists does not necessarily imply that something more specific exists, as is well known. One of the indications that the mercy and knowledge with which Allaah blessed His slave al-Khidr came by way of Prophethood and revelation is the aayah (interpretation of the meaning):
“And I did them not of my own accord”[al-Kahf 18:82]
i.e., rather I did them by the command of Allaah, and the command of Allaah is only conveyed via wahy (revelation), because there is no way for the commands and prohibitions of Allaah to be known except through revelation from Allaah, especially with regard to the killing of an apparently innocent soul and damaging a ship by making a hole in it, because committing acts of aggression against people’s lives and wealth can only be validated via revelation from Allaah. Allaah has restricted the method of warning to revelation as He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Say (O Muhammad): “I warn you only by the Revelation”
the word innama (translated here as “only”) implies limitation or restriction.
Adwaa’ al-Bayaan, 4/172, 173
And he said:
From all of this we know that al-Khidr’s killing the boy and making a hole in the ship, and his saying,
“And I did them not of my own accord”
[al-Kahf 18:82 – interpretation of the meaning]]
clearly indicate that he was a Prophet. Al-Fakhr al-Raazi, in his tafseer, attributed the view that he was a Prophet to many scholars. Another factor that may indicate that he was a Prophet is the fact that Moosa (peace be upon him) humbled himself before him and said (interpretation of the meaning):
“May I follow you so that you teach me something of that knowledge (guidance and true path) which you have been taught (by Allaah)?”[al-Kahf 18:66]
“If Allaah wills, you will find me patient, and I will not disobey you in aught”[al-Kahf 18:69]
even though al-Khidr said to him (interpretation of the meaning):
“And how can you have patience about a thing which you know not?” [al-Kahf 18:68]
Adwaa’ al-Bayaan, 3/326.
Is al-Khidr still living on the face of the earth until the present day? And will he remain alive until the Day of Resurrection?
Praise be to Allaah.
The stories of al-Khidr told by the righteous are innumerable. They claim that he and Ilyaas perform Hajj each year and they narrated du’aa’s from them, and these stories are well known and widespread, but the basis of what they say is very weak, because most of them are stories narrated from some of those whom they think are righteous, or dreams and ahaadeeth that are attributed to Anas or others, but all of them are da’eef (weak) and cannot be used to prove anything.
What seems to me to be more likely, based on the evidence concerning this matter, is that al-Khidr is not alive, rather he died. This is for a number of reasons:
1 – The apparent meaning of the aayah (interpretation of the meaning)
“And We granted not to any human being immortality before you (O Muhammad); then if you die, would they live forever?”
2 – The Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “O Allaah, if you allow this group of Muslims to be destroyed, You will not be worshipped on earth.” (Narrated by Muslim)
3 – The Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said that one hundred years after the night on which he was speaking, none of the people who were on the face of the earth then would still be alive. If al-Khidr had been alive at that point he would not have remained after the hundred years mentioned. Muslim ibn al-Hajjaaj said that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Umar said: “The Messenger of Allaah SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) led us in praying ‘Isha’ one night towards the end of his life, then he stood up and said: ‘Do you see this night of yours? One hundred years from now not one of those who are on the face of the earth now will remain.” Ibn ‘Umar said: “The people did not understand these words of the Messenger of Allaah SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and they said that this meant that the Day of Resurrection would come after one hundred years. The Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, ‘not one of those who are on the face of the earth now will remain’ meaning that that generation would pass away.”
4 – If al-Khidr had lived until the time of the Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), he would have followed him, supported him and fought alongside him, because he was sent to the two races of jinn and mankind.
The First Person to Travel to Seek Knowledge
Musa believed or said that there was nobody more knowledgeable than him, so he was then ordered to travel to al Khadir. Some of the people of knowledge stated that the fatigue that Musa – صلى الله عليه و سلم – went through by traveling, and the patience he had for the humility and subjection that he demonstrated to al Khadir after his wearisome journey, keeping in mind Musa’s status with Allaah, his dignity and the nobility of his prophet-hood, that this is evidence of the lofty status of knowledge as well as the lofty status of the people of knowledge. It is also evidence of the humility that one should have towards the person knowledge is sought and taken from.
If there were anyone who would be too great to humble himself due to his lofty status, it would have been Musa [at that time]. So when he exhibited his eagerness and seriousness for benefit, and left his land while acknowledging the need to learn some knowledge that is unknown to him, it demonstrates that there is nothing in creation that is higher than this state, nothing is greater than it.
And more than one of the Companions of the Messenger of Allaah – صلى الله عليه و سلم – traveled to distant lands to hear just one Hadeeth, as well as a number of Taabi’een after them. We will mention the stories that reached us with the aid of and will of Allaah…
There is more than one way to pronounce the name (الخضر), in the books of Hadeeth, some of the narrators bare this name and its pronounced ‘Khidir’. However, with the companion of Musa – the one mentioned in this article – the correct pronunciation is al Khadir, with a fat-ha on the ‘Kha’ and a Kasra on the ‘Daad’.