Narrated by Ubai Ka’b: The Prophet Muhammad (sal-allahu-alleihi-wasallam) said, “Once the Prophet Musa alaihi salaam stood up and addressed Bani Israel. He was asked ‘Who is the most learned man amongst the people.’ He said ‘ I am the most learned.’
Allah admonished 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 amongst my slaves who is more learned than you.’ Musa alaihi salaam said , ‘O my Lord! How can I meet him?’ Allah said: ‘Take a fish and proceed and you will find him at the place where you will lose the fish.’ So Musa alaihi salaam set out along with his servant boy, Yusha bin Nun.”
Further Explanation is defined in Surah Al-Kahf from Ayahs 60 to 82:
[18. Surah Al-Kahf : Ayah 60-82]
And when Musa alaihi salaam said to his servant: I will not cease until I reach the junction of the two seas or I will go on for years.
So when they had reached the junction of the two (rivers) they forgot their fish, and it took its way into the sea, going away.
But when they had gone farther, he said to his servant: Bring to us our morning meal, certainly we have met with fatigue from this our journey.
He (Servant) said: Did you see when we took refuge on the rock then I forgot the fish, and nothing made me forget to speak of it but the Shaitan, and it took its way into the river; what a wonder!
He (Musa alaihi salaam) said: This is what we sought for; so they returned retracing their footsteps.
Then they found one from among Our servants whom We had granted mercy from Us and whom We had taught knowledge from Ourselves.
Musa alaihi salaam said to him: Shall I follow you on condition that you should teach me right knowledge of what you have been taught?
He (Khizar alaihi salaam) said: Surely you cannot have patience with me.
And how can you have patience in that of which you have not got a comprehensive knowledge?
He (Musa alaihi salaam) said: If Allah pleases, you will find me patient and I shall not disobey you in any matter.
He (Khizar alaihi salaam) said: If you would follow me, then do not question me about any thing until I myself speak to you about it.
So they went (their way) until when they embarked in the boat he made a hole in it. (Musa alaihi salaam) said: Have you made a hole in it to drown its inmates? Certainly you have done a grievous thing.
He (Khizar alaihi salaam) said: Did I not say that you will not be able to have patience with me?
He (Musa alaihi salaam) said: Blame me not for what I forgot, and do not constrain me to a difficult thing in my affair.
So they went on until, when they met a boy, He (Khizar alaihi salaam) slew him. (Musa alaihi salaam) said: Have you slain an innocent person otherwise than for manslaughter? Certainly you have done an evil thing.
He (Khizar alaihi salaam) said: Did I not say to you that you will not be able to have patience with me?
He (Musa alaihi salaam) said: If I ask you about anything after this, keep me not in your company; indeed you shall have (then) found an excuse in my case.
So they went on until when they came to the people of a town, they asked them for food, but they refused to entertain them as guests. Then they found in it a wall which was on the point of falling, so He (Khizar alaihi salaam) put it into a right state. (Musa alaihi salaam) said: If you had pleased, you might certainly have taken a recompense for it.
He (Khizar alaihi salaam) said: This shall be separation between me and you; now I will inform you of the significance of that with which you could not have patience.
As for the boat, it belonged to (some) poor men who worked on the river and I wished that I should damage it, and there was behind them a king who seized every boat by force.
And as for the boy, his parents were believers and we feared lest he should make disobedience and ingratitude to come upon them:
So we desired that their Lord might give them in his place one better than him in purity and nearer to having compassion.
And as for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the city, and there was beneath it a treasure belonging to them, and their father was a righteous man; so your Lord desired that they should attain their maturity and take out their treasure, a mercy from your Lord, and I did not do it of my own accord. This is the significance of that with which you could not have patience.
The Prophet Muhammad (sal-allahu-alleihi-wasallam) said ” May Allah be Merciful to Musa alaihi salaam! Would that he could have been more patient so that we could learn more about their story.”
THE LIFE OF HAZRAT KHIDR ( ALAIHISSALAM )
There are differences (Ikhtilaaf) amongst the scholars regarding whether Khidr (Alay hissalaam) is still alive, or has died. There also exists Ikhtilaaf regarding whether Khidr (Alay hissalaam) was a Prophet or a saint. Many scholars are of the opinion that he is still alive, while others, such as Hafidhh Ibn Taymiyyah and his followers is of the opinion that he has died.
Evidence suggesting that Khidr ‘alaihi salaam is alive
In Sahih Muslim we find the following narration:
Dajjaal will kill a person once and then bring him back to life, then he will ask him, “Do you believe that I am God?” That person will reply, “No! I am convinced that you are the Dajjaal of which the Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) informed us”. Dajjaal will throw him in his fire, which in reality will be Paradise.The narrator of this Hadith is Abu Is-haaq who says: It is commonly known that this person would be Khidr (Alay hissalaam).
(Sahih Muslim, Chapter on Dajjaal)
Abu Is-haaq was amongst the Taba’tabi’een and it was common knowledge during that period that Khidr (Alay hissalaam) was alive and his death will occur at the time of Dajjaal.
Hafidhh Ibn Kathir states:
King Zulqarnain discovered a type of water referred to as the ‘water of life’ which when drank would allow a person to remain alive forever. He departed with many people searching for it, and Khidr, (Alay hissalaam) was also with him. At one place Khidr (Alay hissalaam) drank some water and the King did not.
[Tareekh by Ibn Kathir, volume 1 chapter Zulqarnain]
Hafidhh Ibn Hajar Asqalani says in his A’sabah that Khidr’s name is in the list of Companions of our Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace).)
Hafidhh Ibn Kathir writes: “ When the Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) departed from this world, Umar heard someone come into the house but saw no-one, when he asked, Umar said it was Khidr (Alay hissalaam)”. Then a voice was heard which said, ‘O household of the Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace), be patient’. Ali said it was Khidr (Alay hissalaam).”
Imam Bayhaqi said: “These narration’s are weak, but there are so many similar narrations, which suggests that they do have some origin. The coming of Khidr upon the death of the Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace).
(Sirat-un-Nabi and Tareekh ibn Kathir chap Demise of Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) by Hafidhh ibn Kathir).
Other narrations of a similar nature can be found including the following made by someone who is very much respected by certain factions :
Ibn Muhammad bin Abdul Wahaab al Najdi writes, “After the death of the Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) a voice was heard, ‘O family of the Prophet, be patient and peace be upon you.’” [Mukhtaser Sirat-ur-Rasool, Chapter ‘Death of Prophet’]
We can mention here a very important scholarly point that are made by countless scholars including Hafidhh Ibn Kathir who writes,
“If there exist many narrations regarding one issue, then even if they are weak, they can be accepted.” [Tafsir Ibn Kathir (Surah Al-An’am, verse 123]
Hafidhh Ibn Kathir states that Khidr (Alay hissalaam) was the son of Adam (Alay hissalaam), who prayed to Allah: ‘O Allah, give my son Khidr a long life so that he lives until the Day of Judgement’. Adam (Alay hissalaam) also told Khidr (Alay hissalaam) ‘O my son, you shall bury me after my death’. He also gave him news of his long life. Khidr (Alay hissalaam) also sat in the boat of the Prophet Nuh (Alay hissalaam).
[Tareekh by Ibn Kathir, Volume One, Chapter ‘Musa and Khidr’]
There have been many narrations of various types some which have been rejected by the scholars for example Hafidhh Ibn Kathir rejected the statements which claimed that Khidr (Alay hissalaam) was the son of Pharaoh or that he was born during Pharaoh’s time. He strictly says he was alive a long time before Musa (Alay hissalaam).
[Tareekh by Ibn Kathir, Volume One, Chapter ‘Musa and Khidr’]
Imam Dhahabi writes, Umar bin Abdul Aziz was talking with a man. After he had finished talking with him, he returned and someone asked him who, he had been talking with. He replied, “He was Khidr and he came to give me some good news, that I will be the ruler of the Muslim world.”
(Tadkarahtul Huffaz biography of Umar bin Abdul Aziz by Imam Dhahabi)
Imam Nawawi also provides many references and statements given by many scholars, proving that Khidr (Alay hissalaam) is still alive. (Sharh Muslim, Chapter on Dajjaal)
From the aforementioned evidence, it can be clearly seen that the narrations support the opinion of those Ulama who say that Khidr (Alay hissalaam) is still alive.
Some people raise a question by saying:
In Bukhari there is a Hadith where the Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) states, ‘Of all the people who are alive upon the earth on this day, none will be living in a hundred years time’.
Secondly he said that: The Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) supplicated (du’a) upon the occasion of the battle of Badr. “There are three hundred and thirteen people with me. If we do not triumph then no one will be left to worship you Oh Allah.” Following this evidence, Hafidhh Ibn Taymiyyah and his follwers conclude that if Khidr (Alay hissalaam) was alive then he should have joined the army and made the number amount to three hundred and fourteen.
Answers to the objections
(1) The Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) stated: “Of those alive on the earth, none will be alive in a hundred years time”. It is possible that Khidr (Alay hissalaam) at that particular moment was present in a location other than this world (dunya). Just as Isa (Alay hissalaam) was also ‘alive’ at that time. If Isa (Alay hissalaam) never came down to help the Prophet Muhammad (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) in the battle of Badr then this did not break his promise that he made with Allah most High, in the spiritual world. In the same manner, there is nothing inappropriate regarding the fact that Khidr (Alay hissalaam) never joined the army for the battle. Having said that there is no confirmation that he did or did not join the Muslim army in the Battle of Badr since he is an unseen person. It may also be possible that he joined, but our Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) never mentioned his name like the thousands of angels who fought in this great battle but the Prophet (May Allah bless him and grant him peace) never mentioned all their names. So this means that Hafidhh Ibn Taymiyyah’s suspicions are insufficient to support the opinion that Khidr (Alay hissalaam) has died. There is not even a single weak Hadith to support this opinion let alone an authentic one.
(2) At the time of the Battle of Badr the population of the Muslim Ummah was not just three hundred and thirteen, In fact there were Muslims present in Madinah Munawarah who did not fight in the battle.
The explanation of the du’a is. ‘There will be none to worship you with victory.’ For no doubt the Muslims in Madinah, Abysinnia and Makkah would have continued to worship Allah.
From the aforementioned, according to Hafidhh Ibn Kathir, Khidr (Alay hissalaam) was alive from the time of Adam (Alay hissalaam) up until the time of Musa (Alay hissalaam). It seems rather unusual that Ibn Kathir rejected the understanding that Khidr (Alay hissalaam) could not live after the time of Musa (Alay hisalaam)
To conclude this chapter, it is clear that Ibn Taymiyyah and those who adhere to his principles do not believe that Khidr (Alay hissalaam) is alive.
It is very disturbing to see that on one side many narration’s exist which prove the validity of Khidr (Alay hissalaam) being ‘alive’ but on the other side there are the suspicions of Ibn Taymiyyah and those who blindly follow him. Such as, Hafidhh Ibn Kathir, who after having written the above narrations was convinced by Hafidhh ibn Taymiyyah’s understanding, still continue to create doubts in the minds of Muslims.
It must be understood that the belief that Khidr (Alay hissalaam) is still alive is not a matter of aqeedah and has no relation to Imaan and kufr.
We ask Allah ‘O Allah whatever we have said, if it is true accept it but if it is false we ask you to forgive us’. Amin!