Who was Prophet Khidr – story?

Allah has sent 124,000 Prophets out of which one was Hazrat Khidr عليه السلام who was also the spiritual guide of Prophet Musa عليه السلام.

Full Name: Khidr Ibn Umyael Ibn Nahath Ibn Esau Ibn Ishaq عليه السلام.

Who was Prophet Khidr?

There are many opinions about Prophet Khidr عليه السلام where some people treat him as a Nabi while others consider him an angel.

According to Ibn Kathir, he was a Prophet. He was one of the nobles of Bani Israel but left their tribe and went in isolation.

Prophet Khidr in Quran

There is no mention of Hazrat Khidr عليه السلام in the Holy Quran with his name. However, his interaction with Prophet Musa عليه السلام has been given in detail in Surah Kahf as explained below.

There is a Hadith of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ that describes about his wife and children.

Prophet Khidr – a Noble of Bani Israel

On the night of Israʾ and Miʿraj, Prophet Muhammad ﷺ observed a good fragrance and inquired about it from Jibril عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ‎. He told Prophet Muhammad ﷺ that the smell is coming from a grave.

Jibril عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ said: “This is the fragrance of the grave of the hairdresser and her two sons and her husband, Khidr”

Prophet Khidr عليه السلام, who was one of the nobles of Bani Israel, used to pass by a monk in his cell. The monk used to meet him and he taught him, Islam.

Khidr got married

When Prophet Khidr عليه السلام reached adolescence, his father married him to a woman.  Khidr taught her about Islam and promised not to tell anyone about the fact that Khidr was a Muslim. He used not to touch women, so he divorced her.

Then his father married him to another woman, and Prophet Khidr عليه السلام taught her Islam and made her promise not to tell anyone. One of them kept the secret but the other disclosed it, so he fled until he came to an island in the sea.

Khidr fled his hometown

Two men came, gathering firewood, and saw him. One of them kept the secret but the other disclosed it and said: ‘I have seen Khidr.’ It was said: ‘Who else saw him beside you?’ He said: ‘So-and-so.’ (The other man) was questioned but he kept silent. According to their religion, the liar was to be killed.

The wife of Khidr in Pharoah House

The woman who had kept the secret got married, and while she was combing the hair of Pharoah’s daughter, she dropped the comb and said: ‘May Pharoah perish!’.

The daughter told her father about that. The woman had two sons and a husband. Pharaoh sent for them and tried to make the woman and her husband give up their religion, but they refused.

The last wish of Khidr’s wife

He said: ‘I am going to kill you.’ They said: ‘It would be an act of kindness on your part, if you kill us, to put us in one grave.’ So he did that.”

Source: Sunan Ibn Majah 4030

Prophet Khidr and Yusha Ibn Nun

Once Prophet Musa عليه السلام was asked as to who amongst the people has the best knowledge, whereupon he said: I have the best knowledge. However, Allah did not like this.

He revealed to Hazrat Musa عليه السلام: A servant amongst My servants is at the junction of two rivers who has more knowledge than yours.

  • Prophet Musa عليه السلام asked: How can I meet him?
  • Allah said: Carry a fish in the large basket and the place where you find it missing there you will find him.

Thereupon Hazrat Musa عليه السلام proceeded forth along with a young man (Prophet Yusha bin Nun عليه السلام).

They put the fish in the basket and there went along until they came to a certain rock. – Al-Kahf 18:60

Prophet Musa عليه السلام and Hazrat Yusha bin Nun عليه السلام went to sleep and the fish stirred in that basket and fell into the ocean. Prophet Yusha forgot to inform Moses about it.

Therefore, they kept on walking for the rest of the day until the night.  When it was morning, Hazrat Musa عليه السلام said to Yusha: Bring for us breakfast for we are dead tired because of this journey.

Hazrat Yusha bin Nun said: Don’t you know that when we reached the Sakhra (rock) I forgot the fish.

Moses said: That was what we had been aiming at. Then both of them retraced their steps until they reached Sakhra; there they saw a man covered with a cloth (Prophet Khidr عليه السلام). – Sahih Muslim 2380a

Prophet Khidr and Prophet Musa

Prophet Musa عليه السلام requested to stay with Hazrat Khidr عليه السلام to learn some of his knowledge. 

Prophet Khizr عليه السلام said: You certainly cannot be patient enough with me. Do not question me about anything until I ˹myself˺ clarify it for you. – Al-Kahf 18:70

Hole in the Boat

When they boarded a boat, Prophet Khidr عليه السلام made a hole in that.

Hazrat Musa عليه السلام protested: Have you done this to drown its people? You have certainly done a terrible thing! – Al-Kahf 18:71

He replied, “Did I not say that you cannot have patience with me?”

Prophet Musa عليه السلام pleaded, “Excuse me for forgetting, and do not be hard on me.”

Prophet Khidr killed a boy

They proceeded until they came across a boy, and Prophet Khizr عليه السلام killed him.

Hazrat Musa عليه السلام protested: Have you killed an innocent soul, who killed no one? You have certainly done a horrible thing. – Al-Kahf 18:74

  • He answered, “Did I not tell you that you cannot have patience with me?”

Prophet Musa عليه السلام said: 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.

Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: The young man whom Khidr killed was a non-believer by his very nature and had he survived he would have involved his parents in defiance and unbelief. – Sahih Muslim 2662a

Construction of Wall

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 Prophet Khizr عليه السلام set it right.

Hazrat Musa عليه السلام protested: If you wanted, you could have demanded a fee for this. – Al-Kahf 18:77

He replied, “This is the parting of our ways. I will explain to you what you could not bear patiently.

Prophet Khidr Explanation

Prophet Khidr عليه السلام explained that the ship 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. – Al-Kahf 18:79

As for the boy, his parents were ˹true˺ believers, and I feared that he would pressure them into defiance and disbelief.- Al-Kahf 18:80

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 Allah willed that these children should come of age and retrieve their treasure. Therefore, I constructed the wall. – Al-Kahf 18:82

Is Prophet Khidr alive?

Some people believe that Prophet Khidr عليه السلام has drunk Aab-e-Hayat, the water of life and he is still alive. However, there is no authenticity of this claim in religious scripture.

As per Islamic historians, he lived for a long time but ultimately died like any other human being.

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