Al Khidr

Who is Al Khidr?

Al Khizr and Moses

Al Khidr (Al Khijr) is the person who possesses the perfect knowledge. Even the God of Quran and Bible does not have the knowledge equivalent to Al Khijr. The God of Quran makes this clear to Moses and also to Prophet Muhammad. There is an account in Quran where Moses is asked by Allah to search for Al Khidr in order to gain the most valuable knowledge. This happens when Moses claims that he himself is the most knowledgeable person on earth. Annoyed by this Allah tells him that there is a person named Al Khidr who has the most intricate knowledge. Moses replies that I have gained all the knowledge from you (Allah)

The fact that allah asks Moses to find Al Khidr (for the perfect knowledge) proves that even the Allah or the God of Moses doesn't have the full knowledge. Please read the full account below.

Allah asks Moses to find Al Khidr

One day Prophet Moses was delivering a sermon. A member of the congregation asked him, “O Musa (Moses), who is the most knowledge person on earth today?”

Moses proudly replied, "I am.”

Allah did not like this style of Moses at all and said, “Moses, I am very sad to hear this from you. How did you consider yourself to be the most knowledgeable?”

Moses knelt down and said, “I am a messenger sent by you and I have gained all the knowledge from you. That is why, I said that no one has more knowledge than me on the earth today.”

Allah said, “Moses, there is a person present on earth who has more knowledge than you, and your knowledge is nothing in front of his knowledge.”

Moses said, “O Allah! I want to meet that person so that I can gain that knowledge which I do not have. Where does that person live and how can I find him? Please tell me this.”

Allah said, “He lives in "Majma-e-Bahrain", that is, where two rivers of sweet and salty water meet.”

Moses said, “O Allah! How will I recognise him?

Allah told him, “Take a dead fish with you in a vessel. Where that fish will revive and dive into the water, understand that he is near.”

Moses sets out in search of Al Khidr

Moses sets out in search of Al Khidr with one of his disciples/servants and swears, “I will not give up until I gain knowledge from Al Khidr, even if I have to walk for ages.”

After travelling a long distance, Moses and his disciple reached the area of "Majma-e-Bahrain". Moses slept with his back against a rock to unwind from the long journey. While he was asleep, the disciple saw that the dead fish, which they had carried in a vessel, revived, wriggled and jumped into the water.

The disciple forgets to inform Moses about the reanimation of the fish, and Moses continues his journey in search of Al Khidr.

After walking the whole day and all night, the next morning Moses says to his disciple, “I have been exhausted by the journey. Give me something to eat.” Then the disciple recalls, “The fish that we had brought with us, had revived yesterday and jumped into the water at the place where we rested by the rock, and I forgot to tell you due to the influence of Shaitan (Satan).” Hearing this, Moses said, “This was the place where we had to stop.” Moses and his disciple went back retracing their footsteps to the place, and they meet a man with a white beard wearing a white sheet.

Moses introduced himself and said, “Allah has sent me to learn knowledge from you. I plead with you. Teach me the noble knowledge that you have.”

In reply, Al Khidr said, “Moses! You will not be able to have patience with me at all, because how can you be patient on something, of which you do not know the reality?”

Moses said, “You will find me patient and I will not disobey you in anything.”

Al Khidr said, “Alright! If you want to follow me, keep in mind not to question me about anything, until I myself tell you about it.

From this place, Moses sent his disciple back and began his journey with Al Khidr.

Moses's Journey with Al Khidr

  1. On the way, they saw a boat belonging to some poor people, who used to work hard and ferry people across the river by charging them. Al Khidr and Musa (Moses) boarded that boat. During the journey, Al Khidr broke the frames of the boat and the boat started filling with water. The people started throwing water out and somehow avoided drowning. Seeing this, Moses protested and said to Al Khidr, “Do you intend to drown the people?” To this Al Khidr replied, “I had already said that you will not be able to be patient with me.” Musa (Moses) said, “My intellect did not work. Forgive me; this mistake will not happen again.”
  2. Then both went ahead and met a boy. Al Khidr killed that boy. Seeing this, Moses said, “Did you kill an innocent person? And that too not in exchange for anyone's blood. You have certainly done a horrible and an abhorrent act.” On this, Al Khidr said, “Did I not tell you that you will certainly not be able to have patience with me.” Moses replied, “If I ever question you about anything after this, then do not keep me in your company, indeed I would have given you enough of an excuse by then.”
  3. Once again, the journey began. They both reached a village and Moses asked for food. The villagers flatly refused to offer them hospitality. In that village, they both saw a wall which was about to collapse. Al Khidr restored it. Seeing this, Moses said, “If you wanted, you could have taken a fee for this, with which we could have eaten food.” Al Khidr said to Moses, “That is it! Now we will part ways; before leaving I will tell you the reality of those things about which you could not be patient.

Al Khidr Explains the reason behind his acts

  1. The boat belonged to some poor people who worked at the river. I intended to damage it because there was an emperor ahead of them who forcibly seized every good boat. Because of the hole, that emperor would not seize their boat, and those poor people would get it fixed by spending some money.
  2. About the second incident, he explained, “The boy's parents believed in Allah. We feared that this boy would oppress them by his defiance and disbelief. Therefore, we hoped that their Lord would bless them with another more virtuous and caring child than him.”
  3. The story of the wall is that there are two orphan children in that village whose treasure is buried under that wall. Their father was a righteous man. The Lord desired that these two orphans should come of age and retrieve their treasure, as a mercy from the Lord.

After explaining these three incidents, Al-Khidr makes a significant statement, “Musa (Moses)! This was the reality of those incidents over which you could not be patient.”

Surah Al Kahf 18 | Quran

Verse 60-82

  • 18:60 - 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.”
  • 18:61 - 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.
  • 18:62 - When they had passed further, he said to his assistant, “Bring us our meal! We have certainly been exhausted by today’s journey.”
  • 18:63 - 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.”
  • 18:64 - Moses responded, “That is ˹exactly˺ what we were looking for.” So they returned, retracing their footsteps.
  • 18:65 - There they found a servant of Ours, to whom We had granted mercy from Us and enlightened with knowledge of Our Own.
  • 18:66 - Moses said to him, “May I follow you, provided that you teach me some of the right guidance you have been taught?”
  • 18:67 - He said, “You certainly cannot be patient ˹enough˺ with me.
  • 18:68 - And how can you be patient with what is beyond your ˹realm of˺ knowledge?”
  • 18:69 - Moses assured ˹him˺, “You will find me patient, Allah willing, and I will not disobey any of your orders.”
  • 18:70 - He responded, “Then if you follow me, do not question me about anything until I ˹myself˺ clarify it for you.”
  • 18:71 - 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!”
  • 18:72 - He replied, “Did I not say that you cannot have patience with me?”
  • 18:73 - Moses pleaded, “Excuse me for forgetting, and do not be hard on me.”
  • 18:74 - 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.”
  • 18:75 - He answered, “Did I not tell you that you cannot have patience with me?”
  • 18:76 - 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.”
  • 18:77 - 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.”
  • 18:78 - He replied, “This is the parting of our ways. I will explain to you what you could not bear patiently.
  • 18:79 - “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.
  • 18:80 - “And as for the boy, his parents were ˹true˺ believers, and we1 feared that he would pressure them into defiance and disbelief.
  • 18:81 - So we hoped that their Lord would give them another, more virtuous and caring in his place.
  • 18:82 - “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.”

Story of Al Khidr and Moses | Hadith

From Sahih Al Bukhari

Once Moses stood up and addressed Bani Israel. He was asked who was the most learned man amongst the people. He said, 'I.' Allah admonished him as he did not attribute absolute knowledge to Him (Allah). So, Allah said to him, 'Yes, at the junction of the two seas there is a Slave of Mine who is more learned than you.' Moses said, 'O my Lord! How can I meet him?' Allah said, 'Take a fish and put it in a large basket and you will find him at the place where you will lose the fish.' Moses took a fish and put it in a basket and proceeded along with his (servant) boy, Yusha` bin Noon, till they reached the rock where they laid their heads (i.e. lay down). Moses slept, and the fish, moving out of the basket, fell into the sea. It took its way into the sea (straight) as in a tunnel. Allah stopped the flow of water over the fish and it became like an arch (the Prophet pointed out this arch with his hands). They travelled the rest of the night, and the next day Moses said to his boy (servant), 'Give us our food, for indeed, we have suffered much fatigue in this journey of ours.' Moses did not feel tired till he crossed that place which Allah had ordered him to seek after. His boy (servant) said to him, 'Do you know that when we were sitting near that rock, I forgot the fish, and none but Satan caused me to forget to tell (you) about it, and it took its course into the sea in an amazing way?.' So there was a path for the fish and that astonished them. Moses said, 'That was what we were seeking after.' So, both of them retraced their footsteps till they reached the rock. There they saw a man Lying covered with a garment. Moses greeted him and he replied saying, 'How do people greet each other in your land?' Moses said, 'I am Moses.' The man asked, 'Moses of Bani Israel?' Moses said, 'Yes, I have come to you so that you may teach me from those things which Allah has taught you.' He said, 'O Moses! I have some of the Knowledge of Allah which Allah has taught me, and which you do not know, while you have some of the Knowledge of Allah which Allah has taught you and which I do not know.' Moses asked, 'May I follow you?' He said, 'But you will not be able to remain patient with me for how can you be patient about things which you will not be able to understand?' (Moses said, 'You will find me, if Allah so will, truly patient, and I will not disobey you in aught.') So, both of them set out walking along the sea-shore, a boat passed by them and they asked the crew of the boat to take them on board. The crew recognized Al-Khadir and so they took them on board without fare. When they were on board the boat, a sparrow came and stood on the edge of the boat and dipped its beak once or twice into the sea. Al-Khadir said to Moses, 'O Moses! 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.' Then suddenly Al-Khadir took an adze and plucked a plank, and Moses did not notice it till he had plucked a plank with the adze. Moses said to him, 'What have you done? They took us on board charging us nothing; yet you I have intentionally made a hole in their boat so as to drown its passengers. Verily, you have done a dreadful thing.' Al-Khadir replied, 'Did I not tell you that you would not be able to remain patient with me?' Moses replied, 'Do not blame me for what I have forgotten, and do not be hard upon me for my fault.' So the first excuse of Moses was that he had forgotten. When they had left the sea, they passed by a boy playing with other boys. Al-Khadir took hold of the boys head and plucked it with his hand like this. (Sufyan, the sub narrator pointed with his fingertips as if he was plucking some fruit.) Moses said to him, "Have you killed an innocent person who has not killed any person? You have really done a horrible thing." Al-Khadir said, "Did I not tell you that you could not remain patient with me?' Moses said "If I ask you about anything after this, don't accompany me. You have received an excuse from me.' Then both of them went on till they came to some people of a village, and they asked its inhabitant for wood but they refused to entertain them as guests. Then they saw therein a wall which was just going to collapse (and Al Khadir repaired it just by touching it with his hands). (Sufyan, the sub-narrator, pointed with his hands, illustrating how Al-Khadir passed his hands over the wall upwards.) Moses said, "These are the people whom we have called on, but they neither gave us food, nor entertained us as guests, yet you have repaired their wall. If you had wished, you could have taken wages for it." Al-Khadir said, "This is the parting between you and me, and I shall tell you the explanation of those things on which you could not remain patient."


The above account in Quran and Hadith proves that the Allah of Quran and the God of Moses (who is the same God) does not have the complete knowledge. Al Khidr holds more knowledge than the Allah of Quran. Who is this Al Khidr? Supreme God himself appeared as Al Khidr to give his complete knowledge. 

Who in reality is Al Khidr?

Supreme God  appeared as Al Khidr in the Islamic world and met his virtuous souls. Among them are Shams Tabrezi, Sultan Ibrahim Bin Adham, Bayazid Bastami.

Rumi in his book Masnavi has described the meeting of Al Khidr and Bayazid Bastami.

Meeting between Al Khidr and Bayazid Bastami

Excerpt from Masnavi of Rumi

The celebrated Sufi, Abu Yazid or Bayazid of Bastam, in Khorasan, who lived in the third century of the Flight, was once making a pilgrimage to Mecca, and visiting all the "Pillars of insight" who lived in the various towns that lay on his route. At last he discovered the "Khizr of the age" in the person of a venerable Darvesh, with whom he held the following conversation:

  • The Sage said, "Where are you going, O Bayazid? Where will you bring your caravan to a halt?"
  • Bayazid replied, "At dawn I start for the Ka'ba."
  • Sage Said, "What provision for the way have you?"
  • Bayazid answered, "I have two hundred silver dirhams; See them tied up tightly in the corner of my cloak."
  • The Sage said, "Circumambulate me seven times; Count this better than circumambulating the Ka'ba; And as for the dirhams, give them to me, O liberal one, And know you have finished your course and obtained your wish. You have made the pilgrimage and gained the life to come, You have become pure, and that in a moment of time. Of a truth that is God which your soul sees in me, For God has chosen me to be His house. Though the Ka'ba is the house of His grace and favors, Yet my body too is the house of His secret. Since He made that house He has never entered it, But none but That Living One enters this house; When you have seen me you have seen God, And have circumambulated the veritable Ka'ba. To serve me is to worship and praise God; Think not that God is distinct from me. Open clear eyes and look upon me, That you may behold the light of God in a mortal. Tho Beloved once called the Ka'ba 'My house,' But has said to me 'O my servant' seventy times; O Bayazid, you have found the Ka'ba, You have found a hundred precious blessings."

Bayazid gave heed to these deep sayings, and placed them as golden earrings in his ears.

As per Rumi, the above interaction between Al Khidr and Bayazid Bastami clearly proves that Al Khidr is more revered than Kaaba. According to Rumi, despite Kaaba being the home of God, God has never entered it and circumambulating Kaaba is of little value. The import is that one needs to find the Baakhabar who can give the most secretive instruction in order to achieve the Supreme Lord.


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