Lessons from the story of Musa (عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَمُ) and Khidr

What lessons do we learn from the story of Musa (عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَم) and Khidr with regards to destiny?

The story of Musa (عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَم) and Khidr demonstrates a practical example of destiny in its different forms. Musa (عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَم) was instructed by Allah (سبحانهُ وتعالى) to accompany Khidr and learn the special knowledge from him which Allah granted him. Khidr agreed to take him along on the condition that he wouldn’t ask any question until they had completed the journey and that he would later explain to him the reasons for whatever took place during that journey. Musa (عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَم)ُ agreed, but no sooner had he agreed, than he was tested. During the journey, Musa (عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَم) and Khidr came across different situations and Khidr performed certain actions which did not seemed sensible to Musa (عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَم). Firstly, Khidr destroyed the boat of those people who kindly helped them cross the river. Following that, Khidr saw a little boy, grabbed him and twisted his head. Then they entered the town and found the inhabitants inhospitable towards them. Khidr saw that a wall was about to fall, so he gave it support and build it up straight. During each incident, Musa (عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَم) was unable to control his curiosity and asked Khidr the reason behind his actions, despite the agreement he made with him of controlling his curiosity. Khidr finally explained him the wisdom and reason behind all his actions.

As for the boat, there was an unjust king targeting the boats of poor owners depriving them of their means of livelihood. Khidr, knowing what the king was upto, made a hole in their boat so that when he would find a hole in it, he may not seize it. This way the boat was saved by the hole. Initially when the people saw a fault in the boat, their first reaction was that of amazement and shock. However, when the King spared their boat after finding a hole in it, the people who were first disappointed seeing the damage became happy that the hole in fact saved the boat. Initially they saw the evil but soon they realized that the hole happened for good. What appeared to be evil had a good consequence.

Following that, when Khidr killed the little boy, his family would have been aghast after finding their son dead. However, according to the narrations, Allah (سبحانهُ وتعالى) gave them another child, a girl who was righteous and who treated them well. So, there was a good thing coming after it but they felt the loss of their son in their hearts and failed to understand the reason for his death. Khidr explained that his family members were righteous people, and though the boy appeared to be innocent, he was going to grow up and test his family. He was going to put a trial on them so heavy, that it would shake their faith. That child was an evil child. So Allah spared them from his evil by taking his life in youth. On the Day of Judgment when the book of deeds will be brought, they will know the wisdom behind it. But until then, there's no way for them to know. All that remained was something evil. That’s all they could see and the loss they felt. So that is another element of the destiny. Things happen and we can’t see the good.

The last incident was the case of the wall belonging to the town whose people were unkind towards Musa (عَلَيْهِ السَّلاَم) and Khidr. The wall covered a treasure, the buried wealth of two orphans who lived in that town. The two orphans would have been exploited by the town people if their wealth was exposed. They would have taken it, used it up, and the wealth would not have reached the children. So Allah had that wealth hidden until they could reach the age when they can possess it and to save them from exploitation. The reason why he did was as Al-Khidr said,

"...كَانَ أَبُوهُمَا صَـٰلِحً۬ا..."

“...because their father was a righteous man...” [1]

The good of the destiny is for the righteous. If we strive to be righteous and good, then whatever happens in our lives is for good. And that good is not just confined to us; but will benefit those next to us -  our offspring and the generations to come. That is the greatness of destiny and Allah’s Mercy with regards to it.


[1] (Qur’an 18:82)

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