Khidr

Khidr is widely known for his appearance in the Qur'an in sura al-Kahf [Qur'an 18:65] as the guide of Moses and Alexander the Great, a wali (saint), a prophet, and one of four immortals along with Enoch (Idris), Jesus, and Elijah. In the Persian Alexander Romances (Iskandarnama), Khidr appears as Alexander’s deputy and cook who gained immortality by drinking the water of eternal life. His name, however spelled and pronounced — al-Khadir, al-Khidr, al-Khizr (Arabic), al-Khezr (Farsi), H1z1r (Turkish), or Khidlir and Khizir (Indonesian) — means literally, “the Green.” The Prophet Muhammad expanded on the story, further detailing Moses’ journey with Khidr. Asked by his companions about Khidr, the Prophet Muhammad explained that after al-Khidr sat on barren land, the ground turned green with vegetation.

Although not mentioned by name in the Qur'anic verse, Khiḍr is assumed to be the figure that Musa (Moses) accompanies and whose challenging actions disturb Moses, leading to Moses violating his oath to not ask any questions. This incident - and others - have led to the description attributed to Khidr of being a "teacher of the prophets".

One day, Prophet Moses (pbuh) delivered such an impressive sermon that all who heard it were deeply moved. Someone in the congregation asked: “O Messenger of Almighty God, is there another man on earth more learned than you?” Moses replied: “No!” believing so, as Almighty God had given him the power of miracles and honored him with the Torah. However, Almighty God revealed to Moses that no man could know all there is, to know, nor would one messenger alone be the custodian of all knowledge. There would always be another who knew what others did not. Moses asked Almighty God: “O Almighty God, where is this man? I would like to meet him and learn from him.” He also asked for a sign to this person’s identity.

Almighty God instructed him to take a live fish in a water-filled vessel. Where the fish disappeared, he would find the man he sought. When Moses heard about Khidr’s wisdom, he set out on his journey, accompanied by a young man, Joshua (Youshe the son of Noun) who carried the vessel with the fish and decided not to rest until they found him. They reached a place where two rivers met, Moses felt tired and decided to rest there. Instantly, Moses fell asleep on a rock.

While he was asleep, his companion saw the fish wriggle out of the vessel into the river and swim away making a silvery line. However, he forgot to relate this incident to Moses. When he awoke, they continued their journey until they were exhausted and hungry. Moses asked for his meal. Only then did his companion recall that the fish they had brought with them had got away. Hearing this, Moses exclaimed: “This is exactly what we are seeking!” They hurriedly retraced their steps to the place where the rivers met and where the fish had jumped out.

There they found a man sitting on the same rock, his face partly covered with a hood. His bearing showed he was a saintly man. He was Al-Khidr, the guide. Moses greeted him and told him he had come to find out that, which God wanted Moses to know through Khidr. So, “do you allow me to follow you and would you teach me the things God has taught you?” Khidr said, God has given me knowledge of some of His mysteries which you do not know of. You might find them strange, and therefore it might be difficult for you to stop yourself from asking questions when you are with me. But when Moses promised to be patient, Khidr agreed to let Moses accompany him and learn from him, provided that he would just watch and not ask any questions.

Moses went along with Khidr. Soon they came to a river and Khidr hired a boat to cross it. The people on the boat knew Khidr and did not charge any money to take them across. Strangely enough, as they were crossing, Khidr made a hole in the boat by breaking a plank. Moses was annoyed at this and said to Khidr, “Is this how you repay their kindness, why did you do that?” Khidr replied: Did I not tell you not to ask any questions? Just then, a bird came and sat on the prow of the boat and drank a drop of water. Pointing towards it, Khidr said, our knowledge is like that drop in comparison to God’s knowledge which is like an ocean. Moses realized his mistake, remembered his promise, and apologized. “I'll be more careful next time,” he said.

When they reached the town across the river and were passing through it, they saw a nice child. For no obvious reason, Khidr suddenly rushed to the child caught him and killed him immediately. It was too much for Moses to bear. He forgot about his promise and asked angrily, “Why did you kill that innocent child who had done no crime? It was really a cruel and evil deed.” Khidr did not reply. He only reminded Moses of his promise, and said, “If you break your promise once again, I’ll leave.” Moses apologized, and promised not to question him again.

They continued their way and after walking for a long time, they became hungry and tired. They arrived in a town and asked the people for some food to satisfy their hunger, but the people of the town refused to give them food or shelter and did not treat them with hospitality, so they left the town while they were still hungry. As they were leaving the town, they saw a wall which was about to be collapsed. Khidr repaired it, without taking any money for doing the work. Moses didn’t understand this kindness in return for their unkindness. He couldn’t resist asking “Why did you do this when the people were so unkind to us? At least, you could have taken some money for it to buy us some food.” “Alas,” said Khidr, you cannot be patient, now; you’ve broken your vow for the third time. It is time for us to part. But before this I would like to reveal the secrets hidden in what I have done.

That boat in which I made a hole belonged to poor people who earned their living from it. The king who lives across the river is very cruel, and takes away all good boats by force. He would have taken this one, too. That’s why I made a hole in it, so that it would look broken and useless and the king wouldn’t take it for himself. But why did you kill the child? Moses asked. I killed him because his parents are very virtuous and pious people, said Khidr. But, he would have grown up to be an atheist and very wicked person and made their life miserable. They will be unhappy at his death, but, the pain and sorrow would be much less than what they would have had to bear if he had grown up to be a sinner. Also, there was the possibility that he would force his parents to accept atheism. God will soon give them another son who will be a joy in their old age. Instead of that child that was killed by Khidr (and Moses objected to this act). God granted his parents a daughter from whose generation came seventy Prophets. What about the last one? Why did you fix the wall even though the people were unkind to us? asked Moses. Well, I did that because a treasure belonging to two orphan children is hidden beneath that wall, said Khidr. Their father was a very virtuous man, and it was God's wish that these boys find the treasure when they grow up. Revealing all this to Moses, Khidr said, “Remember, I did nothing on my own. It was all God’s will.” “And moreover, I did not do it of my accord. This is the significance of that with which you could not have patience.” (Qur’an 18: 60-82)

Then Khidr went away leaving Moses surprised, and lost in thought about how little we human beings know of God’s mysteries. Indeed, everything has a reason, and God, the Wise, the Omniscient and the Omnipotent alone knows it all.

Among the strongest transmitted proofs about the life of Khiḍr are two reports, one narrated by Imam Ahmad in Al-Zuhd whereby Prophet Muhammad is said to have stated that Elijah and Khidr meet every year and spend the month of Ramadan in Jerusalem and the other narrated by Ya'qub ibn Sufyan from the 'Umar ibn 'Abd al-'Aziz whereby a man he was seen walking with was actually al-Khiḍr. Ibn Hajar declared the chain of the first fair and that of the second sound in Fath al-Bari. He goes on to cite another sound report narrated by Ibn 'Asakir from Abu Zur'a al-Razi whereby the latter met al-Khiḍr twice, once in his young age, the other in his old age, but al-Khiḍr himself had not changed.

Al-Khiḍr is believed to be a man who has the appearance of a young adult but a long, white beard. According to some authors like Abdul Haq Vidhyarthi, al-Khiḍr is Xerxes (not to be confused with Xerxes I), who disappeared after being in the lake regions of Sijistan or Sistan that comprise the wetlands of the Irano-Afghan border today, and after finding the fountain of life, sought to live his entire remaining life in service of God and to help those in their path/journey to Him.

Imam Bukhari reports that al-Khiḍr got his name after he was present over the surface of some ground that became green as a result of his presence there. There are reports from Al-Bayhaqi that al-Khiḍr was present at the funeral of Prophet Muhammad and was recognized only by Abu Bakr and Ali from amongst the rest of the companions, and where he came to show his grief and sadness at the passing away of the Prophet. Al-Khiḍr's appearance at prophet Muhammad's funeral is related as follows: A powerful-looking, fine-featured, handsome man with a white beard came leaping over the backs of the people till he reached where the sacred body lay. Weeping bitterly, he turned toward the Companions and paid his condolences. Abu Bakr and Ali said that he was Khiḍr.

In another narration al-Khiḍr met with Ali by the Kaabah and instructed him about a supplication that is very meritorious when recited after the obligatory prayers. Al-Khiḍr also figures into the Alexander Romance as a servant of Alexander the Great. Al-Khidr and Alexander cross the Land of Darkness to find the Water of Life. Alexander gets lost looking for the spring, but al-Khiḍr finds it and gains eternal life.

It is reported by Imam Muslim that during the time when the false Messiah appears and as he approaches at the outskirts of the city of Medina, a believer would challenge him, whom the false Messiah will slice into two piece and rejoin, making it appear that he caused him to die and be resurrected, to which this man would proclaim the falsehood of the Dajjal who would try again to kill him (or make show of it) but would fail and thus his weakness and inability being made revealed. According to the commentators and transmitters of this narration the person who will challenge the Antichrist and humiliate him will be al-Khiḍr.

Khidr brings a gift that Sufis realize as the treasure of gnosis within the heart. Some Sufis teach that we will all meet Khidr at least once in our lifetime, that you will recognize him when you shake hands with a white bearded man with no bone in his thumb.

Sources :
Men of God by Akramulla Syed;
http://thesoundjournal.org/archives-2/february-2010-issue/al-khidr-the-green-and-artistic-spiritual-guide-excerpt/;
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khidr

Pic Source :
http://thesoundjournal.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/khidr-bengal-cambridge.jpg
Khidr Khidr Reviewed by Tripzibit on 21:18 Rating: 5

1 comment:

  1. Islam = Love & Peace

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GikqA0ZBpOI

    :)

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