One day, after giving a sermon, a man in the audience speaks up and asks Prophet Moses (AS) a question.
Oh, Messenger of God, who is more learned than you alive today? The Prophet Moses (AS) responds that there are none.
Prophet Moses (AS) Realizes He Is Not The Smartest
Later, Allah, God (SWT) informs Moses, who believes he is the wisest man on earth, that one man cannot know everything there is to know.
Also, there is always one man who is more learned than another. Moses then asks God who this person is and knows more.
He wishes to meet him and learn from him.
Allah, God (SWT)Assigns Prophet Moses (AS) An Important Task
The story continues as God (SWT) instructs Prophet Moses to travel with a live fish in water. God tells Moses that at the place where the fish vanishes, he will find the more learned man.
Prophet Moses (AS) Finds His Man
Carrying a live fish, Prophet Moses (AS) and his young assistant set out. At a place where two rivers meet, they stop to rest. There, Prophet Moses (AS) falls asleep.
The Live Fish Escapes
In the morning, both men continue their journey.
Satan causes the young man to forget to mention to Prophet Moses (AS) that the live fish managed to wiggle out of the container and swim into the river.
After some time, the young man remembers what happened to the fish.
They immediately double back to their resting spot.
Prophet Moses (AS) Meets Al Khidr
Upon arrival, they see a wise-looking hooded man. He reveals that his name is Al Khidr, the Guide.
Prophet Moses (AS) also remembers how Satan had duped him into forgetting about the fish, and later they met a man (Al Khidr) who Allah, God (SWT), blessed with knowledge and insight.
Al Khidr And Prophet Moses (AS) Talk
What is your name, and how shall I greet you?
I am Moses.
Are you Moses of Bani Israel?
Yes, I am!
Prophet Moses (AS) explains,
I am here so that you may teach me what Allah, God (SWT), has taught you.
Al Khidir replies, Oh, Moses, I have some knowledge from God that is unknown to you.
Allah, God (SWT), has also given you the knowledge that I lack.
Prophet Moses (AS) asks if he can follow Al Khidr and to please teach him something about the religious path that Allah, God (SWT), has taught him.
Al Khidr responds. In truth, you do not have enough patience, nor can you know anything about this knowledge I have from Allah, God (SWT).
Al Khidr Allows Prophet Moses (AS) To Become His Student
In following after Al Khidr, Prophet Moses (AS) promises to be patient and not to disobey, question, or speak until the learned man permits.
Story 1 – Al Khidr Scuttles and Sinks A Ship
In the story, Prophet Moses (AS) and Al Khidr board a ship. During the voyage, Al Khidr deliberately scuttles the ship, causing it to sink into the sea.
Moses is shocked and admonishes Al Khidir, asking him why he is trying to drown the passengers and what a terrible act it is (Munkar).
Al Khdir reminds the Prophet Moses (AS) about his promise to be patient.
Prophet Moses (RA) realizes this and apologizes.
Story 2 – Al Khidr Murders A Small Boy
As the two men proceed, they meet a small boy. Suddenly, Al Khidir kills him by ripping his head off with his bare hands.
Prophet Moses (AS) is appalled and chastises Al Khidir.
Why on earth did you murder an innocent boy? It is a great evil, indeed. (Munkar)
Al Khidr replies, Didn’t I tell you that you would not have patience?
Prophet Moses (AS) apologizes a second time and swears he will leave his friend if he dares question him again.
Story 3 – Al Khidr Rebuilds A Fallen Wall
The story continues. The two men come to an unknown town. They are tired and hungry. They ask the townsfolk for food, but everyone refuses them.
In the town, a wall has collapsed. Al Khidir works hard to repair it. He rebuilds the wall and straightens it out.
Prophet Moses (AS) questions Al Khidr about why he works for free.
You could have had a salary. Why not? These people were mean to us and refused to give us food or accommodations.
Al Khidr Reveals The Truth
At the end of the story, the learned man decides to leave Prophet Moses (RA) because he has broken his promise three times.
Before leaving him, Al Khidr explains why he acted the way he did and the wisdom behind his actions.
Story 1 – The Revelation
The ship Al Khidir scuttled and sank to the bottom of the sea. It belonged to poor fishermen.
Al Khdir explained that he wished to damage and sink it because the king’s men were after them and would take the ship by force and confiscate it forever.
Story 2 – The Revelation
Al Khidr clarifies that he had murdered the young child out of mercy and in the knowledge that the boy would one day become an adult, oppress, and harm his parents.
They were very religious and great believers. He believed the couple would later have a better son to replace him.
Story 3 – The Revelation
Al Khidr describes how the religious father of two orphaned boys owned the broken wall.
Inside the wall foundations, the father had buried all his wealth, which he intended to give to his two sons following his death.
In rebuilding the wall, Al Khidr only wished to protect the boys’ wealth until they were old enough to unearth it for themselves.
By the command of Allah, God’s (SWT) mercy, Al Khidir reveals everything and then departs.
References and Useful Links
The Story of Al Khidr– Quran Surat Al Kahf 18:65-82