Khidr in Ahadith

Narrated Ibn 'Abbas:

That he differed with Hur bin Qais bin Hisn Al-Fazari regarding the companion of (the Prophet) Moses. Ibn 'Abbas said that he was Khadir. Meanwhile, Ubai bin Ka'b passed by them and Ibn 'Abbas called him, saying "My friend (Hur) and I have differed regarding Moses' companion whom Moses, asked the way to meet. Have you heard the Prophet mentioning something about him? He said, "Yes. I heard Allah's Apostle saying, "While Moses was sitting in the company of some Israelites, a man came and asked him. "Do you know anyone who is more learned than you? Moses replied: "No." So Allah sent the Divine Inspiration to Moses: 'Yes, Our slave Khadir (is more learned than you.)' Moses asked (Allah) how to meet him (Khadir). So Allah made the fish as a sign for him and he was told that when the fish was lost, he should return (to the place where he had lost it) and there he would meet him (Al-Khadir). So Moses went on looking for the sign of the fish in the sea. The servant-boy of Moses said to him: Do you remember when we betook ourselves to the rock, I indeed forgot the fish, none but Satan made me forget to remember it. On that Moses said: 'That is what we have been seeking? (18.64) So they went back retracing their foot-steps, and found Khadir. (And) what happened further to them is narrated in the Holy Qur'an by Allah. (18.54 up to 18.82) [1]


Narrated Ubai bin Kab:

Allah's Apostle said, "Moses the Apostle of Allah," and then he narrated the whole story about him. Al-Khadir said to Moses, "Did not I tell you that you can have no patience with me." (18.72). Moses then violated the agreement for the first time because of forgetfulness, then Moses promised that if he asked Al-Khadir about anything, the latter would have the right to desert him. Moses abided by that condition and on the third occasion he intentionally asked Al-Khadir and caused that condition to be applied. The three occasions referred to above are referred to by the following Verses:

"Call me not to account for forgetting And be not hard upon me." (18.73)

"Then they met a boy and Khadir killed him." (18.74)

"Then they proceeded and found a wall which was on the verge of falling and Khadir set it up straight." (18.77) [2]


Narrated Sa'id bin Jubair:

I said to Ibn 'Abbas, "Nauf Al-Bikali claims that Moses, the companion of Al-Khadir was not the Moses of the children of Israel" Ibn 'Abbas said, "The enemy of Allah (Nauf) told a lie." Narrated Ubai bin Ka'b that he heard Allah's Apostle saying, "Moses got up to deliver a speech before the children of Israel and he was asked, Who is the most learned person among the people?' Moses replied, 'I (am the most learned).' Allah admonished him for he did not ascribe knowledge to Allah alone. So Allah revealed to him: 'At the junction of the two seas there is a slave of Ours who is more learned than you.' Moses asked, 'O my Lord, how can I meet him?' Allah said, 'Take a fish and put it in a basket (and set out), and where you, will lose the fish, you will find him.' So Moses (took a fish and put it in a basket and) set out, along with his boy-servant Yusha' bin Nun, till they reached a rock (on which) they both lay their heads and slept. The fish moved vigorously in the basket and got out of it and fell into the sea and there it took its way through the sea (straight) as in a tunnel). (18.61) Allah stopped the current of water on both sides of the way created by the fish, and so that way was like a tunnel. When Moses got up, his companion forgot to tell him about the fish, and so they carried on their journey during the rest of the day and the whole night.

The next morning Moses asked his boy-servant 'Bring us our early meal; no doubt, we have suffered much fatigue in this journey of ours.' (18.62) Moses did not get tired till he had passed the place which Allah had ordered him to seek after. His boy-servant then said to him,' 'Do you remember when we be-took ourselves to the rock I indeed forgot the fish, none but Satan made me forget to remember it. It took its course into the sea in a marvelous way.' (18.63)

There was a tunnel for the fish and for Moses and his boy-servant there was astonishment. Moses said, 'That is what we have been seeking'. So they went back retracing their footsteps. (18.64) They both returned, retracing their steps till they reached the rock. Behold ! There they found a man covered with a garment. Moses greeted him. Al-Khadir said astonishingly. 'Is there such a greeting in your land?' Moses said, 'I am Moses.' He said, 'Are you the Moses of the children of Israel?' Moses said, 'I have come to you so that you may teach me of what you have been taught.

Al-Khadir said, 'You will not be able to have patience with me. (18.66) O Moses! I have some of Allah's knowledge which He has bestowed upon me but you do not know it; and you too, have some of Allah's knowledge which He has bestowed upon you, but I do not know it." Moses said, "Allah willing, you will find me patient, and I will not disobey you in anything.' (18.6) Al-Khadir said to him. 'If you then follow me, do not ask me about anything until I myself speak to you concerning it.' (18.70), After that both of them proceeded along the sea coast, till a boat passed by and they requested the crew to let them go on board. The crew recognized Al-Khadir and allowed them to get on board free of charge. When they got on board suddenly Moses saw that Al-Khadir had pulled out one of the planks of the boat with an adze. Moses said to him.' These people gave us a free lift, yet you have scuttled their boat so as to drown its people! Truly, you have done a dreadful thing.' (18.71)

Al-Khadir said, 'Didn't I say that you can have no patience with me ?' (18.72) Moses said, 'Call me not to account for what I forgot and be not hard upon me for my affair (with you.)" (18.73)

Allah's Apostle said, "The first excuse given by Moses, was that he had forgotten. Then a sparrow came and sat over the edge of the boat and dipped its beak once in the sea. Al-Khadir said to Moses, 'My knowledge and your knowledge, compared to Allah's knowledge is like what this sparrow has taken out of the sea.' Then they both got out of the boat, and while they were walking on the sea shore, Al-Khadir saw a boy playing with other boys. Al-Khadir got hold of the head of that boy and pulled it out with his hands and killed him. Moses said, 'Have you killed an innocent soul who has killed nobody! Truly, you have done an illegal thing.' (18.74) He said, "Didn't I tell you that you can have no patience with me?' (18.75) (The sub narrator said, the second blame was stronger than the first one.) Moses said, 'If I ask you about anything after this, keep me not in your company, you have received an excuse from me.' (18.76)

Then they both proceeded until they came to the inhabitants of a town. They asked them food but they refused to entertain them. (In that town) they found there a wall on the point of falling down. (18.77) Al-Khadir set it up straight with his own hands. Moses said, 'These are people to whom we came, but they neither fed us nor received us as guests. If you had wished, you could surely have exacted some recompense for it. Al-Khadir said, 'This is the parting between me and you ..that is the interpretation of (those things) over which you were unable to hold patience.' (18.78-82)

Allah's Apostle said, "We wished that Moses could have been more patient so that Allah might have described to us more about their story." [10]


Narrated Ibn Juraij:

Ya'la bin Muslim and 'Amr bin Dinar and some others narrated the narration of Sa'id bin Jubair.

Narrated Sa'id: While we were at the house of Ibn 'Abbas, Ibn 'Abbas said, "Ask me (any question)" I said, "O Abu Abbas! May Allah let me be sacrificed for you ! There is a man at Kufa who is a story-teller called Nauf; who claims that he (Al-Khadir's companion) is not Moses of Bani Israel." As for 'Amr, he said to me, "Ibn 'Abbas said, "(Nauf) the enemy of Allah told a lie." But Ya'la said to me, "Ibn 'Abbas said, Ubai bin Ka'b said, Allah's Apostle said, 'Once Moses, Allah's Apostle, preached to the people till their eyes shed tears and their hearts became tender, whereupon he finished his sermon. Then a man came to Moses and asked, 'O Allah's Apostle! Is there anyone on the earth who is more learned than you?' Moses replied, 'No.' So Allah admonished him (Moses), for he did not ascribe all knowledge to Allah. It was said, (on behalf of Allah), 'Yes, (there is a slave of ours who knows more than you ).' Moses said, 'O my Lord! Where is he?' Allah said, 'At the junction of the two seas.' Moses said, 'O my Lord ! Tell I me of a sign whereby I will recognize the place.' " 'Amr said to me, Allah said, "That place will be where the fish will leave you." Ya'la said to me, "Allah said (to Moses), 'Take a dead fish (and your goal will be) the place where it will become alive.' " So Moses took a fish and put it in a basket and said to his boy-servant "I don't want to trouble you, except that you should inform me as soon as this fish leaves you." He said (to Moses)." You have not demanded too much." And that is as mentioned by Allah:

'And (remember) when Moses said to his attendant .... ' (18.60) Yusha' bin Nun. (Sa'id did not state that). The Prophet said, "While the attendant was in the shade of the rock at a wet place, the fish slipped out (alive) while Moses was sleeping. His attend an said (to himself), "I will not wake him, but when he woke up, he forgot to tell him The fish slipped out and entered the sea. Allah stopped the flow of the sea. where the fish was, so that its trace looked as if it was made on a rock. 'Amr forming a hole with his two thumbs an index fingers, said to me, "Like this, as in its trace was made on a rock." Moses said "We have suffered much fatigue on this journey of ours." (This was not narrate by Sa'id). Then they returned back and found Al-Khadir. 'Uthman bin Abi Sulaiman said to me, (they found him) on a green carpet in the middle of the sea. Al-Khadir was covered with his garment with one end under his feet and the other end under his head. When Moses greeted, he uncovered his face and said astonishingly, 'Is there such a greeting in my land? Who are you?' Moses said, 'I am Moses.' Al-Khadir said, 'Are you the Moses of Bani Israel?' Moses said, 'Yes.' Al-Khadir said, "What do you want?' Moses said, ' I came to you so that you may teach me of the truth which you were taught.' Al-Khadir said, 'Is it not sufficient for you that the Torah is in your hands and the Divine Inspiration comes to you, O Moses? Verily, I have a knowledge that you ought not learn, and you have a knowledge which I ought not learn.' At that time a bird took with its beak (some water) from the sea: Al-Khadir then said, 'By Allah, my knowledge and your knowledge besides Allah's Knowledge is like what this bird has taken with its beak from the sea.' Until, when they went on board the boat (18.71). They found a small boat which used to carry the people from this sea-side to the other sea-side. The crew recognized Al-Khadir and said, 'The pious slave of Allah.' (We said to Sa'id "Was that Khadir?" He said, "Yes.") The boat men said, 'We will not get him on board with fare.' Al-Khadir scuttled the boat and then plugged the hole with a piece of wood. Moses said, 'Have you scuttle it in order to drown these people surely, you have done a dreadful thing. (18.71) (Mujahid said. "Moses said so protestingly.") Al-Khadir said, 'Didn't I say that you can have no patience with me?' (18.72) The first inquiry of Moses was done because of forget fullness, the second caused him to be bound with a stipulation, and the third was done he intentionally. Moses said, 'Call me not to account for what I forgot and be not hard upon me for my affair (with you).' (18.73)

(Then) they found a boy and Al-Khadir killed him. Ya'la- said: Sa'id said 'They found boys playing and Al-Khadir got hold of a handsome infidel boy laid him down and then slew him with knife. Moses said, 'Have you killed a innocent soul who has killed nobody' (18.74) Then they proceeded and found a wall which was on the point of falling down, and Al-Khadir set it up straight Sa'id moved his hand thus and said 'Al-Khadir raised his hand and the wall became straight. Ya'la said, 'I think Sa'id said, 'Al-Khadir touched the wall with his hand and it became straight (Moses said to Al-Khadir), 'If you had wished, you could have taken wages for it. Sa'id said, 'Wages that we might had eaten.' And there was a king in furor (ahead) of them" (18.79) And there was in front of them. Ibn 'Abbas recited: 'In front of them (was) a king.'

It is said on the authority of somebody other than Sa'id that the king was Hudad bin Budad. They say that the boy was called Haisur. 'A king who seized every ship by force. (18.79) So I wished that if that boat passed by him, he would leave it because of its defect and when they have passed they would repair it and get benefit from it. Some people said that they closed that hole with a bottle, and some said with tar. 'His parents were believers, and he (the boy) was a non-believer and we(Khadir) feared lest he would oppress them by obstinate rebellion and disbelief.' (18.80) (i.e. that their love for him would urge them to follow him in his religion, 'so we [i.e. Khadir] desired that their Lord should change him for them for one better in righteousness and near to mercy' (18:81). This was in reply to Moses' saying: Have you killed an innocent soul.'? (18.74). 'Near to mercy" means they will be more merciful to him than they were to the former whom Khadir had killed. Other than Sa'id, said that they were compensated with a girl. Dawud bin Abi 'Asim said on the authority of more than one that this next child was a girl. [11]


Narrated Sa'id bin Jubair:

I said to Ibn 'Abbas, "Nauf-al-Bakali " claims that Moses of Bani Israel was not Moses, the companion of Al-Khadir." Ibn 'Abbas said, "Allah's enemy tells a lie! Ubai bin Ka'b narrated to us that Allah's Apostle said, 'Moses got up to deliver a sermon before Bani Israel and he was asked, 'Who is the most learned person among the people?' Moses replied, 'I (am the most learned).' Allah then admonished Moses for he did not ascribe all knowledge to Allah only (Then) came the Divine Inspiration:-- 'Yes, one of Our slaves at the junction of the two seas is more learned than you.'

Moses said, 'O my Lord ! How can meet him?' Allah said, 'Take a fish in a basket and wherever the fish is lost, follow it (you will find him at that place). So Moses set out along with his attendant Yusha' bin Nun (Joshua, successor of Moses), and they carried with them a fish till they reached a rock and rested there. Moses put his head down and slept. (Sufyan, a sub-narrator said that somebody other than 'Amr said) 'At the rock there was a water spring called 'Al-Hayat' and none came in touch with its water but became alive. So some of the water of that spring fell over that fish, so it moved and slipped out of the basket and entered the sea. When Moses woke up, he asked his attendant, 'Bring our early meal' (18.62).

The narrator added: Moses did not suffer from fatigue except after he had passed the place he had been ordered to observe. His attendant Yusha bin Nun said to him, 'Do you remember (what happened) when we betook ourselves to the rock? I did indeed forget (about) the fish ...' (18.63) The narrator added: So they came back, retracing their steps and then they found in the sea, the way of the fish looking like a tunnel. So there was an astonishing event for his attendant, and there was tunnel for the fish. When they reached the rock, they found a man covered with a garment. Moses greeted him. The man said astonishingly, 'Is there any such greeting in your land?' Moses said, 'I am Moses.' The man said, 'Moses of Bani Israel?' Moses said, 'Yes,' and added, 'may I follow you so that you teach me something of the Knowledge which you have been taught?' (18.66). Al-Khadir said to him, 'O Moses! You have something of Allah's knowledge which Allah has taught you and which I do not know; and I have something of Allah's knowledge which Allah has taught me and which you do not know.' Moses said, 'But I will follow you.' Al-Khadir said, 'Then if you follow me, ask me no question about anything until I myself speak to you concerning it.' (18.70). After that both of them proceeded along the seashore. There passed by them a boat whose crew recognized Al-Khadir and received them on board free of charge. So they both got on board. A sparrow came and sat on the edge of the boat and dipped its beak unto the sea. Al-Khadir said to Moses. 'My knowledge and your knowledge and all the creation's knowledge compared to Allah's knowledge is not more than the water taken by this sparrow's beak.'

Then Moses was startled by Al-Khadir's action of taking an adze and scuttling the boat with it. Moses said to him, 'These people gave us a free lift, but you intentionally scuttled their boat so as to drown them. Surely you have...' (18.71) Then they both proceeded and found a boy playing with other boys. Al-Khadir took hold of him by the head and cut it off. Moses said to him, 'Have you killed an innocent soul who has killed nobody? Surely you have done an illegal thing! ' (18.74) He said, "Didn't I tell you that you will not be able to have patient with me up to ..but they refused to entertain them as their guests. There they found a wall therein at the point of collapsing.' (18.75-77) Al-Khadir moved his hand thus and set it upright (repaired it). Moses said to him, 'When we entered this town, they neither gave us hospitality nor fed us; if you had wished, you could have taken wages for it,' Al-Khadir said, 'This is the parting between you and me I will tell you the interpretation of (those things) about which you were unable to hold patience.'...(18.78)

Allah's Apostle said, 'We wished that Moses could have been more patient so that He (Allah) could have described to us more about their story.' Ibn 'Abbas used to recite:-- 'And in front (ahead) of them there was a king who used to seize every (serviceable) boat by force. (18.79) ...and as for the boy he was a disbeliever."[12]


It has been narrated on the authority of Yazid b. Hurmuz who said: Najda b. 'Amir al-Haruri wrote to Ibn Abbas asking him about the slave and the woman as to whether they would get a share from the booty (it they participated in Jihad) ; about the killing of (enemy) children (in war) ; about the orphan as to when his orphanhood comes to an end; about kinsmen (of the Holy Prophet) as to who they are. He said to Yazid: Write to him. (If he were not likely to fall into folly, I would not have written to him.) Write: You have written asking about the woman and the slave whether they would get a share of the booty if they participated in Jihad. (You should know that) there is nothing of the sort for them except that they will be given a prize. And you have written asking me about the killing of the enemy children in war. (You should understand that) the Messenger of Allah (may peare be upon him) did not kill them. and thou shouldst not kill them unless thou knew what the companion of Moses (i. e. Khadir) knew about the boy he had killed. And you have written asking me about the orphan as to when the period of his orphanhood comes to an end, so that the sobriquet of" orphan" is dropped from him. (In this regard, you should know that) the sobriquet" orphan" will not be dropped from him until he attains maturity of body and mind. And you have written asking me about the close relatives (of the Holy Prophet) as to who they are. We think that it is we, but our people have denied us this (position and its concomitant privileges).[13]
'Utba b. Mas, ud reported that 'Abdullah b. 'Abbas contended with Hurr b. Qais b. Hisn al-Fazari about the companion of Moses (peace be upon him). Ibn 'Abbas said that he was Khadir. There happened to pass Ubayy b. Ka'b Ansari. Ibn Abbas called him and said: Abu Tufail, come to us. There has been a difference of opinion between my friend (Hurr). Did the Messenger (may peace be upon him) making a mention of anything? Ubayy said: I heard Allah's Messenger (may Peace be upon him) as saying: As Moses was amongst the group of Bani Isra'il, there came to him a person and he said to him: Do you know anyone having better knowledge than you? Moses said: No. Thereupon Allah revealed to Moses: Of course, there is amongst Our servants Khadir (who has better knowledge) than you. Moses asked the way of meeting him. Allah made the fish a sign and it was said to him: Where you miss the fish return to that (place) and you will soon find him. So Moses moved on as Allah wished him to move on. He then said to his young companion: Bring for us the breakfast. Thereupon that young man said to Moses. when he asked him for the breakfast: Don't you see that as we had reached the Sakhra I forgot the fish and nobody made it forget (in our mind) but the Satan that I should remind you of it? Moses said to that young man: This was what we wanted. So they retraced their steps and met Khadir and the events which followed have been described in His Book except that Yunus (the narrator) said that he followed the traces of fish in the ocean. [14]

When the Prophet left this world and condolence came, they heard a voice from the corner of the house saying, "Peace, God's mercy and blessings be upon you, members of the Family of the Prophet !" `Ali (r) then asked if they knew who this was, and he said it was Khidr .[15]


[1] Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 3, Number 74.

[2]Sahih Bukhari,Volume 3, Book 50, Number 888.

[10] Sahih Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 249.

[11] Sahih Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 250.

[12] Sahih Bukhari, Volume 6, Book 60, Number 251, Sahih Muslim, Book 030, Number 5864 (

Chapter 41: The Merits of Hadrat Khadir, upon whom be peace).

 [13]Sahih Muslim, Book 019, Number 4458.

[14] Sahih Muslim, Book 030, Number 5867.

[15] Bayhaqi transmitted it in Dala'il an-Nubuwwa.