About Khidr/Khadir

I want to ask a question about Khidr/Khadir. Was he a Prophet or Walee? Some people say where he prays it becomes green. Is he still alive now?

Prophet or Walee?

Imaams Ibn Katheer and Ibn Hajar, Shaykhs ash-Shanqeetee and Ibn Baaz, as well as many other scholars from Ahl-us-Sunnah have convincingly argued, using several aayahs and hadeeths, that Khidr/Khadir was indeed a prophet of Allah.

According to ar-Raazee and al-Aloosee, this is the view of the majority of the scholars.

This the stronger view and it has of many proofs and arguments for it. However, perhaps the most obvious one out of them all is that Khidr had been granted certain knowledge of the Unseen, like his knowledge of the boy’s life in the future had he grown up – and Allah does not grant such knowledge except to his prophets:

{ عَالِمُ الْغَيْبِ فَلَا يُظْهِرُ عَلَى غَيْبِهِ أَحَدًا. إِلَّا مَنِ ارْتَضَى مِنْ رَسُولٍ }

“He alone has knowledge of the Unseen. He reveals this to none, except the messengers whom He has chosen.” [1]

Alive or Dead?

As for the claim that he is still alive, this is a heretical view which is not related except in baseless stories and has no evidence for it. Knowledge about past prophets and anything to do with the Unseen cannot be taken except from the Qur’an and the authentic Hadeeth.

Our duty, in all such matters where people differ, is to refer them to Allah and His Messenger (ﷺ), and we do not find anything confirmed in this regard in the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Therefore, there is no valid basis to assume that he has been exempted from death until now.

Moreover, the implications of his being alive contradict the Qur'an and the Sunnah in many ways.

Allah said (the meaning of which is): “We did not granted any human being immortality before you (O Prophet). So if you die, would they live forever?” [2]The Prophet (ﷺ) said: “O Allah, if you allow this group of Muslims to be destroyed, You will not be worshipped on earth.” [3]

Also, if al-Khidr had really lived until the time of the Prophet (ﷺ), he would have followed him, supported him and fought alongside him, because he was sent to the whole of mankind and jinn.

The Reason for his Title

Aboo Hurairah (رضى الله عنه) narrated that the Prophet (ﷺ) said: “He was called al-Khidr because he sat on a patch of withered vegetation and it turned green beneath him.” [4]

The same hadeeth is related by Ibn Asaakir via Ibn ‘Abbaas but with the words “because he prayed on...” and Ibn Katheer commented that it is strange. Also, Its isnaad seems to be extremely weak.

Yes, it is narrated from Mujaahid, one of the taabi‘een that he said: “He was called Khidr because whenever he prayed, the place around him would turn green.” However, this is not a hadeeth of the Prophet (ﷺ) and does not constitute evidence.

All that the aforementioned authentic hadeeth indicates is that once Khidr sat on a barren patch of land, and it turned green. Whether this happened always, or whenever he prayed or sat anywhere else, requires evidence.

And Allah knows Best.

References:

[1] (Qur'an 72:26-27)

[2] (Qur'an 21:34)

[3] (Reported by Muslim, 1763)

[4] Reported by al-Bukhaaree (3402).

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