اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ بِجَمِیعِ مَحَامِدِه کُلِّهَا عَلَی جَمِیعِ نِعَمِهِ کُلِّهَا… اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ مالِکِ الْمُلْکِ مُجْرِی الْفُلْکِ مُسَخِّرِ الرِّیاحِ فالِقِ الاْصْباحِ دَیّانِ الدّینِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمینَ اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ عَلی حِلْمِهِ بَعْدَ عِلمِهِ وَالْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ عَلی عَفْوِهِ بَعْدَ قُدْرَتِهِ وَالْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ عَلی طُولِ اَناتِهِ فی غَضَبِهِ وَهُوَ قادِرٌ عَلی ما یُریدُ
All praise be to Allah with full gratitude for all His bounties. … All praise be to Allah: the master of the sovereignty, Who allows arks to flow [on seas], Who controls the winds, Who causes the day to break, Who administers the authority, and Who is the Lord of the worlds. All praise be to Allah for His forbearance despite His full knowledge. All praise be to Allah for His amnesty despite His full power. All praise be to Allah for the length of His respite during His wrath, while He is able to do whatever He wills.
و نشهد أن لا اله الا الله وحده لا شریک له، و أَنَّ محمداً عبده و رسوله ارسله بالهدی و دین الحق لیظهره علی الدین کله و لو کره المشرکون
We bear witness that there is no god but Allah. He is one and has no partners. We bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger, whom He sent with guidance and the religion of truth that He may make it prevail over all religions, though the polytheists should be averse.
اوصیکم عبادالله و نفسی بتقوی الله و اتباع امره و نهیه، و اخوفکم من عقابه
I enjoin you, servants of Allah and myself, to have fear of God and comply with His commands and forbiddances, and warn you against His retribution.
Moses and Khiḍr
The Quran does not explicitly mention Prophet Khiḍr, However, many hadiths suggest that the wise man referred to in the Quran as Moses’s associate was indeed Khiḍr:
عَبْدًا مِنْ عِبَادِنَا آتَيْنَاهُ رَحْمَةً مِنْ عِنْدِنَا وَعَلَّمْنَاهُ مِنْ لَدُنَّا عِلْمًا
one of Our servants whom We had granted a mercy from Ourselves, and taught him a knowledge from Our own. (Al-Kahf: 65)
When Moses was travelling with his friend Joshua, the son of Nun, they came across the person Moses intended to visit. Moses requested that the man allow him to accompany him so that he could benefit from his knowledge.
فَوَجَدَا عَبْدًا مِنْ عِبَادِنَا آتَيْنَاهُ رَحْمَةً مِنْ عِنْدِنَا وَعَلَّمْنَاهُ مِنْ لَدُنَّا عِلْمًا؛ قَالَ لَهُ مُوسَى هَلْ أَتَّبِعُكَ عَلَى أَنْ تُعَلِّمَنِ مِمَّا عُلِّمْتَ رُشْدًا
Moses said to him, ‘May I follow you for the purpose that you teach me some of the probity you have been taught?’ (Al-Kahf: 65)
Initially, Khiḍr was hesitant to agree, as he thought that Moses would not be able to remain silent and refrain from objecting to the hidden wisdoms behind his deeds. Moses promised him that
سَتَجِدُنِي إِنْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ صَابِرًا وَلَا أَعْصِي لَكَ أَمْرًا
You will find me, God willing, to be patient, and I will not disobey you in any matter. (Al-Kahf: 69)
The Story of the Ship
Moses and Khiḍr went to the shore together, and they found a ship nearby. They asked the owners of the ship if they could come on board, and when they did, Khiḍr secretly leaned on the wooden wall of the ship and made a hole in one corner. Afterwards, he sealed the hole with cloth and mud to prevent water from getting inside the ship, unbeknownst to the ship’s owners.
Upon seeing what Khiḍr had done, Moses became enraged. He saw it as both damaging to the property of the ship’s owners and a threat to the lives of the passengers on board. Moses protested to Khiḍr:
لَقَدْ جِئْتَ شَيْئًا إِمْرًا
You have certainly done a monstrous thing! (Al-Kahf: 71)
Khidr said, “Didn’t I warn you that you would not be able to bear with me?” Moses realized his mistake and apologized.
آن شنیدی که خِضِر تخته کشتی بشکست تا که کشتی ز کف ظالم جبار برست
خِضِر وقت تو عشق است که صوفی ز شکست صافی است و مَثَل درد به پستی بنشست
Khiḍr broke the ship to save it from doom,
Love breaks us too, but to make our souls bloom.
Pain is the path that Sufis embrace,
To find inner peace and a higher place.
Murdering a Child
After disembarking from the ship, they continued on their journey. Along the way, they came across a boy playing with his friends. Khiḍr separated the boy from his companions and then killed him.
Upon witnessing this heinous act, Moses’s heart began to beat heavily and he harshly criticized Khiḍr for having murdered an innocent child.
لَقَدْ جِئْتَ شَيْئًا نُكْرًا
You have certainly done a dire thing! (Al-Kahf: 74)
Khiḍr said, “didn’t I warn you that you cannot be patient with me?” Moses apologized once again and made a promise not to protest any further. He understood that if he did, then he would no longer be able to travel alongside Khiḍr.
Repairing the Ruined Wall
After journeying along the path, they eventually arrived at a village, feeling incredibly tired and hungry. They entered the village and requested a meal from the villagers, but their request was rudely rejected. When they left the village, they came across a wall that was on the verge of collapse, and Khiḍr began to repair it.
Moses could not bear it any longer and said, “Are you fixing their wall in response to their disrespect towards us? You could at least request payment so that we may obtain a meal.”
At this point, Khidr told Moses:
هَذَا فِرَاقُ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنِكَ سَأُنَبِّئُكَ بِتَأْوِيلِ مَا لَمْ تَسْتَطِعْ عَلَيْهِ صَبْرًا
This is where you and I shall part. I will inform you about the interpretation of that over which you could not maintain patience. (Al-Kahf: 78)
Moses remained silent, realizing that he could no longer continue to travel with Khiḍr and tolerate his unusual actions. Before parting ways with Moses, Khiḍr revealed the secrets behind the three enigmatic deeds he had carried out.
أَمَّا السَّفِينَةُ فَكَانَتْ لِمَسَاكِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ فِي الْبَحْرِ فَأَرَدْتُ أَنْ أَعِيبَهَا وَكَانَ وَرَاءَهُمْ مَلِكٌ يَأْخُذُ كُلَّ سَفِينَةٍ غَصْبًا
As for the boat, it belonged to some poor people who work on the sea. I wanted to make it defective, for behind them was a king seizing every ship usurpingly. (Al-Kahf: 79)
وَأَمَّا الْغُلَامُ فَكَانَ أَبَوَاهُ مُؤْمِنَيْنِ فَخَشِينَا أَنْ يُرْهِقَهُمَا طُغْيَانًا وَكُفْرًا؛ فَأَرَدْنَا أَنْ يُبْدِلَهُمَا رَبُّهُمَا خَيْرًا مِنْهُ زَكَاةً وَأَقْرَبَ رُحْمًا
As for the boy, his parents were faithful [persons], and We feared he would overwhelm them with rebellion and unfaith. So We desired that their Lord should give them in exchange one better than him in respect of purity and closer in mercy. (Al-Kahf: 80-81)
وَأَمَّا الْجِدَارُ فَكَانَ لِغُلَامَيْنِ يَتِيمَيْنِ فِي الْمَدِينَةِ وَكَانَ تَحْتَهُ كَنْزٌ لَهُمَا وَكَانَ أَبُوهُمَا صَالِحًا فَأَرَادَ رَبُّكَ أَنْ يَبْلُغَا أَشُدَّهُمَا وَيَسْتَخْرِجَا كَنْزَهُمَا رَحْمَةً مِنْ رَبِّكَ
As for the wall, it belonged to two boy orphans in the city. Under it there was a treasure belonging to them. Their father had been a righteous man. So your Lord desired that they should come of age and take out their treasure—as a mercy from your Lord. (Al-Kahf: 82)
One valuable lesson to learn from this story is the importance of speaking about God with respect and reverence. As we witness in the tale, even though the wise Khiḍr stated that “I did not do that of my own accord,” he maintained a sense of decorum in attributing the three actions to himself or to God.
Despite the fact that all three actions had positive intentions, Khiḍr only ascribed the seemingly good deed of repairing the damaged wall to God, while attributing the ones with nefarious appearances, such as piercing the ship, solely to himself. Additionally, he attributed the action that possessed both good and bad characteristics, namely killing the evil son and giving a good one, to both himself and God.