Story of Khadir/khidr from Quran and Hadith

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You must have heard about Khadir AS. Earlier we used to read his name as Khidr but our ustadh sahab said that the correct pronunciation is Khadir. Story of Khadir AS comes in Surah kahf which we read every Friday. Today, Let us read the story from the hadith of the prophet and lessons we learn from this story.

Story of Khadir as from Hadith:

Sa’id b. Jubair reported:

I said to Ibn Abbas that Nauf al-Bikali was of the opinion that Moses (peace be upon him), the Apostle of Bani Isra’il, was not the same who accompanied Khadir, whereupon he said: The enemy of Allah tells a lie.I heard Ubayy b. Ka’b say: Moses (peace be upon him) stood up to give sermon to the people of Isra’il. He was asked as to who amongst the people has the best knowledge, whereupon he said: I have the best knowledge. Thereupon Allah was annoyed with him that he did not attribute (the best knowledge) to Him.

He revealed to him: A servant amongst My servants is at the junction of two rivers who has more knowledge than yours. Moses said: How can I meet him? It was said to him: Carry a fish in the large basket and the place where you find it missing there you will find him. Thereupon Moses proceeded forth along with a young man (Yusha). Joshua b. Nun and Moses (peace be upon him) put the fish in the basket and there went along with him the young man (Yusha) until they came to a certain rock and Moses and his companion went to sleep and the fish stirred in that basket and fell into the ocean and Allah stopped the current of water like a vault until the way was made for the fish.

Moses and his young companion were astonished and they walked for the rest of the day and the night and the friend of Moses forgot to inform him of this incident. When it was morning, Moses (peace be upon him) said to the young man: Bring for us the breakfast for we are dead tired because of this journey, and they did not feel exhausted until they had passed that place where they had been commanded (to stay).

He said: Don’t you know that when we reached the Sakhra (rock) I forgot the fish and nothing made me forget it but Satan that I could not remember it? How strange is it that the fish found a way in the river? Moses said: That was what we had been aiming at. Then both of them retraced their steps until they reached Sakhra; there they saw a man covered with a cloth. Moses greeted him. Khadir said to him: Where is as-Salam in our country.? He said: I am Moses, whereupon he (Khadir) said: You mean the Moses of Bani Isra’il? He said: Yes. He (Khadir) said: You have a knowledge out of the knowledge of Allah which in fact Allah imparted to you and about that I know nothing and I have knowledge out of Allah’s knowledge which He imparted to me and about that you do not know. Moses (peace be upon him) said to him: May I follow you so that you may teach me that with which you have been taught righteousness.

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He said: You will not be able to bear with me; how you will be able to bear that about which you do not know? Moses said: Thou wilt find me patient, nor shalt I disobey you in aught. Khadir said to him: If you were to follow me, then do not ask me about anything until I myself speak to you about it. He said: Yes. So Khadir and Moses set forth on the bank of the river that there came before them a boat. Both of them talked to them (the owners of the boat) so that they might carry both of them. They had recognised Khadir and they carried them free. Khadir thereupon took hold of a plank in the boat and broke it away.

Moses said: These people have carried us without any charge and you attempt to break their boat so that the people sailing in the boat may drown. This is (something) grievous that you have done. He said: Did I not say that you would not bear with me? He said: Blame me not for what I forgot and be not hard upon what I did. Then both of them got down from the boat and began to walk along the coastline that they saw a boy who had been playing with other boys. Khadir pulled up his head and killed him.

Moses said: Have you killed an innocent person who is in no way guilty of slaying another? You have done something horrible. Thereupon he said: Did I not say to you that you will not be able to bear with me? He (Moses) said: This (act) is more grievous than the first one. He (Moses) further said. If I ask you about anything after this, keep not company with me, then you would no doubt find (a plausible) excuse for this.

Then they both walked on until they reached the inhabitants of a village. They asked its inhabitants for food but they refused to entertain them as their guests. They found in it a wall which had been bent on one side and was about to fall. Khadir set it right with his own hand. Moses, said to him: It is the people to whom we came but they showed us no hospitality and they did not serve us food. If you wish you can get wages for it. He (Khadir) said: This is the parting of ways between me and you.

Now I wish to reveal to you the significance of that for which you could not bear with me. Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said. May Allah have mercy upon Moses! I wish if Moses could show patience and a (fuller) story of both of them could have been told. Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said that the first thing which Moses said was out of forgetfulness. Then there came a sparrow until it perched on the wall of the boat and took water from the ocean. Thereupon, Khadir said: My knowledge and your knowledge in comparison with the knowledge of Allah is even less than the water taken by the sparrow in its beak in comparison to the water of the ocean, and Sa’id b. Jubair used to recite (verses 79 and 80 of Sura Kahf) in this way: There was before them a king who used to seize every boat by force which was in order, the boy was an unbeliever.

We read the story of Khadir in Quran, Surah Kahf:

وَإِذْ قَالَ مُوسَىٰ لِفَتَىٰهُ لَآ أَبْرَحُ حَتَّىٰٓ أَبْلُغَ مَجْمَعَ ٱلْبَحْرَيْنِ أَوْ أَمْضِىَ حُقُبًا

And ˹remember˺ when Moses said to his young assistant, “I will never give up until I reach the junction of the two seas, even if I travel for ages.”(18:60)

فَلَمَّا بَلَغَا مَجْمَعَ بَيْنِهِمَا نَسِيَا حُوتَهُمَا فَٱتَّخَذَ سَبِيلَهُۥ فِى ٱلْبَحْرِ سَرَبًا

But when they ˹finally˺ reached the point where the seas met, they forgot their ˹salted˺ fish, and it made its way into the sea, slipping away ˹wondrously˺.

فَلَمَّا جَاوَزَا قَالَ لِفَتَىٰهُ ءَاتِنَا غَدَآءَنَا لَقَدْ لَقِينَا مِن سَفَرِنَا هَـٰذَا نَصَبًا

When they had passed further, he said to his assistant, “Bring us our meal! We have certainly been exhausted by today’s journey.”

قَالَ أَرَءَيْتَ إِذْ أَوَيْنَآ إِلَى ٱلصَّخْرَةِ فَإِنِّى نَسِيتُ ٱلْحُوتَ وَمَآ أَنسَىٰنِيهُ إِلَّا ٱلشَّيْطَـٰنُ أَنْ أَذْكُرَهُۥ ۚ وَٱتَّخَذَ سَبِيلَهُۥ فِى ٱلْبَحْرِ عَجَبًا

He replied, “Do you remember when we rested by the rock? ˹That is when˺ I forgot the fish. None made me forget to mention this except Satan. And the fish made its way into the sea miraculously.”

قَالَ ذَٰلِكَ مَا كُنَّا نَبْغِ ۚ فَٱرْتَدَّا عَلَىٰٓ ءَاثَارِهِمَا قَصَصًا

Moses responded, “That is ˹exactly˺ what we were looking for.”1 So they returned, retracing their footsteps.

فَوَجَدَا عَبْدًا مِّنْ عِبَادِنَآ ءَاتَيْنَـٰهُ رَحْمَةً مِّنْ عِندِنَا وَعَلَّمْنَـٰهُ مِن لَّدُنَّا عِلْمًا

There they found a servant of Ours, to whom We had granted mercy from Us and enlightened with knowledge of Our Own.

قَالَ لَهُۥ مُوسَىٰ هَلْ أَتَّبِعُكَ عَلَىٰٓ أَن تُعَلِّمَنِ مِمَّا عُلِّمْتَ رُشْدًا

Moses said to him, “May I follow you, provided that you teach me some of the right guidance you have been taught?”1

قَالَ إِنَّكَ لَن تَسْتَطِيعَ مَعِىَ صَبْرًا

He said, “You certainly cannot be patient ˹enough˺ with me.

وَكَيْفَ تَصْبِرُ عَلَىٰ مَا لَمْ تُحِطْ بِهِۦ خُبْرًا

And how can you be patient with what is beyond your ˹realm of˺ knowledge?”

قَالَ سَتَجِدُنِىٓ إِن شَآءَ ٱللَّهُ صَابِرًا وَلَآ أَعْصِى لَكَ أَمْرًا

Moses assured ˹him˺, “You will find me patient, Allah willing, and I will not disobey any of your orders.”

قَالَ فَإِنِ ٱتَّبَعْتَنِى فَلَا تَسْـَٔلْنِى عَن شَىْءٍ حَتَّىٰٓ أُحْدِثَ لَكَ مِنْهُ ذِكْرًا

He responded, “Then if you follow me, do not question me about anything until I ˹myself˺ clarify it for you.”

فَٱنطَلَقَا حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَا رَكِبَا فِى ٱلسَّفِينَةِ خَرَقَهَا ۖ قَالَ أَخَرَقْتَهَا لِتُغْرِقَ أَهْلَهَا لَقَدْ جِئْتَ شَيْـًٔا إِمْرًا

So they set out, but after they had boarded a ship, the man made a hole in it. Moses protested, “Have you done this to drown its people? You have certainly done a terrible thing!”

قَالَ أَلَمْ أَقُلْ إِنَّكَ لَن تَسْتَطِيعَ مَعِىَ صَبْرًا

He replied, “Did I not say that you cannot have patience with me?

قَالَ لَا تُؤَاخِذْنِى بِمَا نَسِيتُ وَلَا تُرْهِقْنِى مِنْ أَمْرِى عُسْرًا

Moses pleaded, “Excuse me for forgetting, and do not be hard on me.”

فَٱنطَلَقَا حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَا لَقِيَا غُلَـٰمًا فَقَتَلَهُۥ قَالَ أَقَتَلْتَ نَفْسًا زَكِيَّةًۢ بِغَيْرِ نَفْسٍ لَّقَدْ جِئْتَ شَيْـًٔا نُّكْرًا

So they proceeded until they came across a boy, and the man killed him. Moses protested, “Have you killed an innocent soul, who killed no one? You have certainly done a horrible thing.”

۞ قَالَ أَلَمْ أَقُل لَّكَ إِنَّكَ لَن تَسْتَطِيعَ مَعِىَ صَبْرًا

He answered, “Did I not tell you that you cannot have patience with me?”

قَالَ إِن سَأَلْتُكَ عَن شَىْءٍۭ بَعْدَهَا فَلَا تُصَـٰحِبْنِى ۖ قَدْ بَلَغْتَ مِن لَّدُنِّى عُذْرًا

Moses replied, “If I ever question you about anything after this, then do not keep me in your company, for by then I would have given you enough of an excuse.”

فَٱنطَلَقَا حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَآ أَتَيَآ أَهْلَ قَرْيَةٍ ٱسْتَطْعَمَآ أَهْلَهَا فَأَبَوْا۟ أَن يُضَيِّفُوهُمَا فَوَجَدَا فِيهَا جِدَارًا يُرِيدُ أَن يَنقَضَّ فَأَقَامَهُۥ ۖ قَالَ لَوْ شِئْتَ لَتَّخَذْتَ عَلَيْهِ أَجْرًا

So they moved on until they came to the people of a town. They asked them for food, but the people refused to give them hospitality. There they found a wall ready to collapse, so the man set it right. Moses protested, “If you wanted, you could have demanded a fee for this.”

قَالَ هَـٰذَا فِرَاقُ بَيْنِى وَبَيْنِكَ ۚ سَأُنَبِّئُكَ بِتَأْوِيلِ مَا لَمْ تَسْتَطِع عَّلَيْهِ صَبْرًا

He replied, “This is the parting of our ways. I will explain to you what you could not bear patiently.

أَمَّا ٱلسَّفِينَةُ فَكَانَتْ لِمَسَـٰكِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ فِى ٱلْبَحْرِ فَأَرَدتُّ أَنْ أَعِيبَهَا وَكَانَ وَرَآءَهُم مَّلِكٌ يَأْخُذُ كُلَّ سَفِينَةٍ غَصْبًا

“As for the ship, it belonged to some poor people, working at sea. So I intended to damage it, for there was a ˹tyrant˺ king ahead of them who seizes every ˹good˺ ship by force.

وَأَمَّا ٱلْغُلَـٰمُ فَكَانَ أَبَوَاهُ مُؤْمِنَيْنِ فَخَشِينَآ أَن يُرْهِقَهُمَا طُغْيَـٰنًا وَكُفْرًا

“And as for the boy, his parents were ˹true˺ believers, and we1 feared that he would pressure them into defiance and disbelief.

فَأَرَدْنَآ أَن يُبْدِلَهُمَا رَبُّهُمَا خَيْرًا مِّنْهُ زَكَوٰةً وَأَقْرَبَ رُحْمًا

So we hoped that their Lord would give them another, more virtuous and caring in his place.

وَأَمَّا ٱلْجِدَارُ فَكَانَ لِغُلَـٰمَيْنِ يَتِيمَيْنِ فِى ٱلْمَدِينَةِ وَكَانَ تَحْتَهُۥ كَنزٌ لَّهُمَا وَكَانَ أَبُوهُمَا صَـٰلِحًا فَأَرَادَ رَبُّكَ أَن يَبْلُغَآ أَشُدَّهُمَا وَيَسْتَخْرِجَا كَنزَهُمَا رَحْمَةً مِّن رَّبِّكَ ۚ وَمَا فَعَلْتُهُۥ عَنْ أَمْرِى ۚ ذَٰلِكَ تَأْوِيلُ مَا لَمْ تَسْطِع عَّلَيْهِ صَبْرًا

“And as for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the city, and under the wall was a treasure that belonged to them, and their father had been a righteous man. So your Lord willed that these children should come of age and retrieve their treasure, as a mercy from your Lord. I did not do it ˹all˺ on my own. This is the explanation of what you could not bear patiently.”

Lesson from the story of Khadir AS:

Musa (as) is given a life lesson: he did not know something so close, how could you say you are most
knowledgable?

Allah has his own plans. We do not know the hikma behind things so we should exercise Sabr when things do not go according to our plans.



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Islam Hashtag is about seeking the pleasure of Allah and learning new things. It is authored by Aafiya who is a final year student of Alimiyyah and is studying Hanafi Fiqh.

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