The story of Musa and Al-Khizr

Narrated Said bin Jubair:
I said to Ibn Abbas, “Nauf Al-Bukah claims that Musa (a.s.), the companion of Al-Khizr was not Musa (a.s.) (the prophet) of the children of Israel, but some other Musa (a.s.).” Ibn ‘Abbas said, “Allah’s enemy (i.e. Nauf) has told a lie. Ubai bin Ka’b told us that the Prophet said, ‘Once Musa (a.s.) 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.’ Musa (a.s.) 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’ ..

Musa (a.s.) took a fish and put it in a basket and proceeded along with his (servant) boy, Yusha ‘bin Nun, till they reached the rock where they laid their heads (i.e. lay down). Musa (a.s.) 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 Musa (a.s.) said to his boy (servant), ‘Give us our food, for indeed, we have suffered much fatigue in this journey of ours.’ Musa (a.s.) 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. Musa (a.s.) 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. Musa (a.s.) greeted him and he replied saying, ‘How do people greet each other in your land?’ Musa (a.s.) said, ‘I am Musa (a.s.).’ The man asked, ‘Musa (a.s.) of Bani Israel?’ Musa (a.s.) said, ‘Yes, I have come to you so that you may teach me from those things which Allah has taught you.’ He said, ‘O Musa (a.s.)! 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.’ Musa (a.s.) 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?’ (Musa (a.s.) 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-Khizr 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-Khizr said to Musa (a.s.), ‘O Musa (a.s.)! 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-Khizr took an adze and plucked a plank, and Musa (a.s.) did not notice it till he had plucked a plank with the adze. Musa (a.s.) said to him, ‘What have you done? They took us on board charging us nothing; yet you have intentionally made a hole in their boat so as to drown its passengers. Verily, you have done a dreadful thing.’ Al-Khizr replied, ‘Did I not tell you that you would not be able to remain patient with me?’ Musa (a.s.) 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 Musa (a.s.) was that he had forgotten. When they had left the sea, they passed by a boy playing with other boys.
Al-Khizr 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.) Musa (a.s.) said to him, “Have you killed an innocent person who has not killed any person? You have really done a horrible thing.” Al-Khizr said, “Did I not tell you that you could not remain patient with me?’ Musa (a.s.) 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 Khizr repaired it just by touching it with his hands). (Sufyan, the sub-narrator, pointed with his hands, illustrating how Al-Khizr passed his hands over the wall upwards.) Musa (a.s.) 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-Khizr 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 Prophet added, “We wished that Musa (a.s.) could have remained patient by virtue of which Allah might have told us more about their story. (Sufyan the sub-narrator said that the Prophet said, “May Allah bestow His Mercy on Musa (a.s.)! If he had remained patient, we would have been told further about their case.”)

Volume 4, Book 55, Number 613
Sahih Bukhari



  1. Masha Allah, I am obliged to get such beautiful information in detail. Am thankful to everyone for their efforts in sharing this and similar information.
    Jazakallah Qair

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