The Story Musa and Al-Khidr (A.S.)

Allah the Almighty says:
“And (remember) when Musa (Moses) said to his (boy) servant: “I will not give up (traveling) until I reach the junction of the two seas or (until) I spend years and years in traveling.” 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. So when they had passed further on (beyond that fixed place), Musa (Moses) said to his boy-servant: “Bring us our morning meal; truly, we have suffered much fatigue in this, our journey.” 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)!” (Musa (Moses)) said: “That is what we have been seeking;” So they went back retracing their footsteps; Then they found one of Our slaves, on whom We had bestowed mercy from Us, and whom We had taught knowledge from Us; Musa (Moses) said to him (Al-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)?” He (Al-Khidr) said: “Verily you will not be able to have patience with me! And how can you have patience about a thing which you know not;” Musa (Moses) said: “If Allah wills, you will find me patient, and I will not disobey you in aught;” He (Al-Khidr) said: “Then, if you follow me, ask me not about anything till I myself mention of it to you;” So they both proceeded, till, when they embarked the ship, he (Al-Khidr) scuttled it; Musa (Moses) said: “Have you scuttled it in order to drown its people? Verily, you have committed a thing Imr (a Munkar -evil, bad, dreadful thing); ” He (Al-Khidr) said: “Did I not tell you, that you would not be able to have patience with me?” (Musa (Moses)) said: “Call me not to account for what I forgot, and be not hard upon me for my affair (with you);” Then they both proceeded, till they met a boy, and he (Al-Khidr) killed him; Musa (Moses) said: “Have you killed an innocent person who had killed none? Verily, you have committed a thing Nukr (a great Munkar prohibited, evil, dreadful thing)!” (Al-Khidr) said: “Did I not tell you that you can have no patience with me?” (Musa (Moses)) said: “If I ask you anything after this, keep me not in your company, you have received an excuse from me; ” 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 (Al-Khidr) set it up straight; (Musa (Moses)) said: If you had wished, surely, you could have taken wages for it!” (Al-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. As for the ship, it belonged to Masakin (poor people) working in the sea. So I wished to make a defective damage in it, as there was a king behind them who seized every ship by force. And as for the boy, his parents were believers, and we feared lest he should oppress them by rebellion and disbelief. So we intended that their Lord should change him for them for one better in righteousness and nearer to mercy. 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 them not of my own accord. That is the interpretation of those (things) over which you could not hold patience.” (Al-Kahf, 60-82)
Some of the People of the Book said: the one who met Al-Khidr was Musa Ibn Misha Ibn Yusuf Ibn Yaub Ibn Ishaq Ibn Ibrahim, father of the Prophets (A.S.). But, the most authentic view is that he was Musa Ibn Imran (A.S.), the Prophet sent by Allah to the Children of Israel.
Narrated Ubai bin Kab: The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: “Once Prophet Musa stood up and addressed Banu Israel. He was asked: “Who is the most learned man amongst the people?” He said: “I am the most learned.” Allah admonished Musa as he did not attribute absolute knowledge to Him (Allah). So Allah inspired to him, “At the junction of the two seas there is a slave of mine who is more learned than you.” Musa said: “O my Lord! How can I meet him?” Allah Almighty said: “Take a fish in a large basket (and proceed) and you will find him at the place where you will lose the fish.” So Musa set out along with his (servant) boy, Yusha bin Nun and carried a fish in a large basket till they reached a rock, where they laid their heads (i. e. lay down) and slept. The fish came out of the basket and it took its way into the sea as in a tunnel. So it was an amazing thing for both Musa and his (servant) boy. They proceeded for the rest of that night and the following day. When the day broke, Musa said to his (servant) boy: (Bring us our early meal. No doubt, we have suffered much fatigue in this journey). Musa did not get tired till he passed the place about which he was told. There the (servant) boy told Musa: (Do you remember when we betook ourselves to the rock, I indeed forgot the fish). Musa remarked: That is what we have been seeking. So they went back retracing their footsteps, till they reached the rock. There they saw a man covered with a garment (or covering himself with his own garment). Musa greeted him. Al-Khidr replied saying: “How do people greet each other in your land?” Musa said: “I am Musa.” He asked: “The Musa of Banu Israel?” Musa replied in the affirmative and added: “May I follow you so that you teach me of that knowledge which you have been taught.” Al-Khidr replied: “Verily! You will not be able to remain patient with me, 0 Musa! I have some of the knowledge of Allah which He has taught me and which you do not know, while you have some knowledge which Allah has taught you which I do not know.” Musa said: “Allah willing, you will find me patient and I will not disobey you in aught. So both of them set out walking along the seashore, as they did not have a boat. In the meantime a boat passed by them and they requested the crew of the boat to take them on board. The crew recognized Al-Khidr and took them on board without fare. Then a sparrow came and stood on the edge of the boat and dipped its beak once or twice in the sea. Al-Khidr said: “O Musa! My knowledge and your knowledge have not decreased Allah’s knowledge except as much as this sparrow has decreased the water of the sea with its beak.” Al- Khidr went to one of the planks of the boat and plucked it out. Musa said: “These people gave us a free lift but you have broken their boat and scuttled it so as to drown its people.” Al-Khidr replied: “Didn’t I tell you that you will not be able to remain patient with me.” Moses said: “Call me not to account for what I forgot.” The first (excuse) of Musa was that he had forgotten. Then they proceeded further and found a boy playing with other boys. Al-Khidr took hold of the boy’s head from the top and plucked it out with his hands (i.e. killed him). Musa said: “Have you killed an innocent soul who has killed none.” AI-Khidr replied: “Did I not tell you that you cannot remain patient with me?” 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 there a wall on the point of collapsing. Al-Khidr repaired it with his own hands. Musa said: “If you had wished, surely you could have taken wages for it.” Al-Khidr replied: “This is the parting between you and me.” The Prophet (Muhammad (Peace be upon him)) added: “May Allah be Merciful to Moses! Would that he could have been more patient to learn more about his story with Al-Khidr.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari)

Al-Khidr’s (A.S.) Name, Lineage and Prophethood: Is He (A.S.) Still Alive?
The real name, lineage and status of Al-Khidr are controversial. This can be added to the very important question: Is he still alive?
Al-Hafiz Ibn Asakir said: He is said to be Al-Khidr son of Adam. Ibn Qutaibah said: His name was Balya or Aylya Ibn Malakan Ibn Faligh Ibn Abir Ibn Shalikh Ibn Arfakhshdh Ibn Sam Ibn Noah (Peace be Upon him). Ismail Ibn Abu Uwais said: His name was Al-Muamir Ibn Malik Ibn Abdullah Ibn Nasr Ibn Lazd.
Others said: He is Khidrun Ibn Amyaiyl Ibn Al-Afiz Ibn AI-Iys Ibn Ishaq Ibn Prophet Ibrahim (Peace be upon him). There are so many other views pertaining to his name and lineage.
Imam Al-Bukhari said: I was told by Muhammad Ibn Said Al-Asbahani after Ibn Al-Mubarak after Muamir after Hammam on the authority of Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: “Al-Khidr was named so because he sat over a barren white land, it turned green with plantation after (his sitting over It).”
Qabisah narrated on the authority of Ath-Thauri after Mansur after Mujahid as saying: Al-Khidr was named so because everything around him used to turn into green when he stands for prayer. It was stated earlier that Musa (A.S.) and Yusha went back retracing their footsteps, till they reached the rock. There they saw a man covered with a green garment (or covering himself with his own garment). Musa (A.S.) greeted him. Al-Khidr (A.S.) replied saying: “How do people greet each other in your land?” Musa (A.S.) said: “I am Musa.” He (A.S.) asked: “The Musa of Banu Israel?” Moses replied in the affirmative and added: “May I follow you so that you teach me of that knowledge which you have been taught… etc.”

The Story Indicated His (A.S.) Prophethood in Four Aspects
First: Allah the Almighty says: “Then they found one of Our slaves, on whom We had bestowed mercy from Us, and whom We had taught knowledge from Us.” (Al-Kahf, 65)
Second: Musa says to Al-Khidr (A.S.): “Musa (Moses) said to him (Al-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)?” He (Al-Khidr) said: “Verily you will not be able to have patience with me! And how can you have patience about a thing which you know not.”
Musa (Moses) said: “If Allah wills, you will find me patient, and I will not disobey you in aught.” He (Al-Khidr) said: “Then, if you follow me, ask me not about anything till I myself mention of it to you.”” (Al-Kahf, 66-70)
So, if he (A.S.) was not a Prophet, Musa (A.S.) would not address him that way, and he (A.S.) would not answer Musa (A.S.) that way as well. Musa (A.S.) sought his company because he (A.S.) wanted to get some of the knowledge Al-Khidr (A.S.) was given by Allah and that which Musa (A.S.) did not get. Where Al-Khidr (A.S.) anything but a Prophet, he (A.S.) would not be infallible. Thus, Musa would not be keen to accompany him because Musa (A.S.) himself was an honorable Prophet and an infallible Messenger. Where Al-Khidr (A.S.) anything but a Prophet, Musa (A.S.) would not take the trouble of searching for him for eighty years. When Musa (A.S.) met with Al-Khidr (A.S.), Musa (A.S.) highly respected him and followed him submissively to gain as much as possible of his divine knowledge.
Third: Al-Khidr (A.S.) intentionally killed the boy. He (A.S.) would not do that without an inspiration from Allah Almighty ordering him to. This incident can stand as a separate proof that Al-Khidr (A.S.) was a Prophet. It can stand as well, as a proof that he (A.S.) was infallible. Al-Khidr (A.S.) killed the boy because he (A.S.) was inspired that the boy would be a disbeliever when he (A.S.) grows up and that his parents would follow him due to their earnest love for him. So he (A.S.) killed him to save the faith of the parents. This indicated that he (A.S.) was an infallible Prophet.
Fourth: When Al-Khidr (A.S.) interpreted and explained for Musa (A.S.) the actions he (A.S.) took and clarified everything to him he added: (As a mercy from your Lord. And I did them not of my own accord), i.e. I did not do that out of my desire, instead, I was ordered to by divine inspiration. All these indicated his Prophethood and infallibility.

Is Al-Khidr (A.S.) Still Alive?
The majority of scholars said: “Al-Khidr (A.S.) is still alive because he (A.S.) was the one who buried Adam (Peace be upon him) after the Deluge and thus he (A.S.) was affected by the invocation of Adam (A.S.) that he (A.S.) who buries him will live long.” Some people said: “He (A.S.) is still alive because he (A.S.) drank of the spring of life.”
There are so many narrations and stories on which those who viewed the existence of Al-Khidr (A.S.) today based their opinion. But, all the narrations and Hadiths pertaining to that issue are weak and invented and those who narrated them are not infallible.
Abdur Razzaq said: I was told by Muamir that Abu Said AI-Khudri said: “One day Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) narrated to us a long narration about Ad-Dajjal and among the things he narrated to us, was: Ad-Dajjal will come, and he will be forbidden to enter the mountain passes of Medina. He will encamp in one of the salt areas neighboring Medina and there will appear to him a man who will be the best or one of the best of the people. He will say: ‘I testify that you are Ad-Dajjal whose story Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) has told us. Ad-Dajjal will say (to his audience): ‘Look, if I kill this man and then give him life, will you have any doubt about my claim?’ They will reply: ‘No.’ Then Ad-Dajjal will kill that man and then will make him alive. The man will say: ‘By Allah, now I recognize you more than ever! Ad-Dajjal will then try to kill him (again) but he will not be given the power to do so. “, Muamir said: I was told that the man who stands against the Dajjal is Al-Khidr (A.S.) and that his neck on that day would be covered with brass.
Sheik Abu Al-Faraj Ibn Al-Jawzi refuted all these Hadiths and proved them all to be invented, and he proved the Chains of Transmission of the narrations and stories of the Prophet’s Companions (R.A.) and followers to be weak and fallible.
Indeed, Ibn Al-Jawzi was very powerful and authentic in doing so.
As for those who claimed Al-Khidr (A.S.) to be dead such as Imam Al-Bukhari, Abu Al-Husain Ibn Al-Munadi and sheik Abu Al-Faraj Ibn Al-Jawzi, they held as their textual proofs what follows: Allah the Almighty says: “And We granted not to any human being immortality before you (O Muhammad (Peace be upon him): then if you die, would they live forever?” (Al-Anbyia, 34) So if Al-Khidr (A.S.) was a human being, he (A.S.) would be affected by this ruling: he (A.S.) is mortal, he (A.S.) must die. Allah the Almighty says: (And (remember) when Allah took the Covenant of the Prophets, saying: “Take whatever I gave you from the Book and Hikmah (understanding of the Laws of Allah), and afterwards there will come to you a Messenger (Muhammad (Peace be upon him) confirming what is with you; you must, then, believe in him and help him.” Allah said: “Do you agree (to it) and will you take up My Covenant (which I conclude with you)?” They said: “We agree.” He said: “Then bear witness; and I am with you among the witnesses (for this).”” (Al Imran, 81)
Ibn Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) said: Allah took the Covenant of all the Prophets (A.S.) to believe in Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and support him if he (Peace be upon him) appears during their lifetimes. In addition, they should take the Covenant of all their own nations to believe in him and support him in the same way. Thereupon, were Al-Khidr (A.S.) a Prophet or a Wali (protector or guardian), he (A.S.) would be involved in that Covenant and that were he (A.S.) alive during the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), he (A.S.) would follow him and present himself before him paying allegiance and absolute faith.
Imam Ahmed narrated: I was told by Shuraih Ibn An-Numan after Hashim after Mujalid after Ash Shibi after Jabir Ibn Abdullah that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: “By Him in Whose Hand my soul is! Were Musa alive, he would do nothing but follow me.” This is the decisive view which the earlier Quranic Verse indicates that all Prophets – if they happen to live during the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) – are ordered to follow him and practice his own Shariah. On the Night Journey, he (Peace be upon him) was raised far above them all. When they descended to Jerusalem and the time for Prayer was due, he (Peace be upon him) was ordered to lead them all (in Prayer). This showed that he (Peace be upon him) is the greatest Imam and the last Prophet who is most honored and respected (May Allah grant him and them all mercy).
Thereupon, if Al-Khidr (A.S.) was alive, he (A.S.) would be joining forces with Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), and he (A.S.) would follow his religion in every minute detail. This is Prophet Isa (Jesus (Peace be upon him)) when he (A.S.) will descends by the end of time, he (A.S.) will rule over the whole world in accordance with this honorable legislation of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him). However, there is nothing to certify that Al-Khidr (A.S.) has met together with Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) in a single day or even witnessed any fight with him against the polytheists or the infidels. On the day on which the Battle of Badr was fought, the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) cast a glance at the infidels, and they were one thousand (1000) while his own Companions were three hundred and nineteen (319). Allah’s Prophet (Peace be upon him) turned (his face) towards the Qiblah. Then, he (Peace be upo him) stretched his hands and began his supplication to his Lord: ‘O Allah! Accomplish for me what Thou hast promised to me. 0 Allah! Bring about what Thou hast promised to me. 0 Allah! If this small band of Muslims is destroyed, Thou will not be worshiped on this earth.’ He (Peace be upon him) continued his supplication to his Lord, stretching his hands, facing the Qiblah, until his mantle slipped down from his shoulders. So Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him) came to him, picked up his mantle and put it on his shoulders. Then he (Abu Bakr (R.A.)) embraced him from behind and said: 0 Prophet of Allah! This prayer of yours to your Lord will suffice you, and He will fulfill for you what He has promised you. So Allah, the Glorious and Exalted, revealed (the Quranic verse): ((Remember) when you sought help of your i.e. Near Sidrat-ul-Muntaha (a lote-tree of the utmost boundary over the seventh heaven beyond which none can pass). (Translator)
When ye sought help of your Lord and He answered you (saying): I will help you with a thousand of the angels each behind the other (following one another) in succession). (Al-Anfal, 9) So Allah helped him with angels.” (Sahih Muslim)
However, this small band of Muslims consisted, then, of the chiefs from among the Muslims and the angels, foremost among whom was Jibrael (Gabriel (Peace be upon him)). Thus, if Al-Khidr (A.S.) were alive, his presence, then, would be the best thing he (A.S.) could ever do. Narrated Al-Qadi Abu Yala Muhammad Ibn Al-Husain Al-Fara Al-Hanbali: Some people asked some of our companions about Al-Khidr (A.S.), was he (A.S.) dead? They answered: “Yes.”
Some people claim that Al-Khidr (A.S.) was present during all these past events but no one could see him because he (A.S.) was invisible. Obviously, this claim is groundless and is based only on illusions. Indeed, if he (A.S.) was still alive during the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), he (A.S.) would certainly join him in his fight against the polytheists of the tribe of Quraish. See the following Hadith: Narrated Sad (May Allah be pleased with him): “On the Day of Uhud I saw on the right side of Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) and on his left side two persons dressed in white clothes and whom I did not see before nor after that, and they were Jibrael and Michael (may Allah be pleased with them).” (Sahih Muslim)
In addition, Abdullah Ibn Umar (R.A.) said: “Once the Prophet (Peace be upon him) led us in the Isha (Night) Prayer during the last days of his life and after finishing it (the Prayer) (with Taslim, i.e. final salutation) he (Peace be upon him) said: ‘Do you realize (the importance of) this night? Nobody present on the surface of the earth tonight will be living after the completion of one hundred years from this night. “, (Sahih Al-Bukhari) And, Abdullah Ibn Umar (R.A.) narrated: “Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) led us in the Isha (Night) Prayer at the latter part of the night and when he (Peace be upon him) had concluded it by salutations he (Peace be upon him) stood up and said: ‘Have you seen this night of yours? At the end of one hundred years after this (night) none would survive on the surface of the earth (from among my Companions). Ibn Umar (R.A.) said: People were (not understanding) these words of the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) which had been uttered pertaining to one hundred years. Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) in fact meant (by these words) that on that day none from amongst those who had been living upon the earth (from amongst his Companions) would survive (after one hundred years) and that would be the end of this generation.” (Sahih Muslim) And, Jabir Ibn Abdullah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: “I heard Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) as saying this one month before his death: ‘You asked me about the Last Hour whereas its knowledge is with Allah. I, however, take an oath and say that none upon the earth, the created beings (from amongst my Companions), would survive at the end of one hundred years.” This Hadith has been narrated on the authority of Ibn Juraij with the same chain of transmitters, but there is no mention of the words: “one month before his death.” (Sahih Muslim)
So, even if Al-Khidr (A.S.) were alive during the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), he (A.S.) would, then, be dead in accordance with these above-mentioned Hadiths. And, Allah knows the best of all!