Al-Khadir said to Prophet Musa:
“The final matter is the wall. It belonged to two orphans in that village; Asram and Sarim. Their father was Kashih and their mother was Dahna. Under the wall was a slab of gold and a lot of gold and silver currency; this was a treasure that their father had left for them. Their father was a pious man. People used to entrust items in his care if they wanted to travel, he would look after their items and return them to their owners when they asked for them. The orphans’ treasure was preserved and guarded for them, because of the piety of their father.” It is mentioned in the hadith, “Allah guards and protects a pious person in his offspring’s.”
Al-Khadir continued, “The orphans did not know about this treasure, but their guardian did. While their guardian was away, the wall was about to collapse. Had that happened, the treasure would have been revealed and taken from the orphans. Allah willed that their rights be protected because of their father, so Allah ordered me to fix the wall so that the orphans themselves would keep the treasure when they were older.
After clarifying these three matters to Musa, Al-Khadir then said, “I did not do this out of my own accord,” meaning that Al-Khadir did not carry out these deeds of his own accord. “Rather I did it, because Allah ordered me to do so.” This proves that Al-Khadir was a Prophet who received revelation from God. “As for the boy whom I killed, his name was Haysun and he was a blasphemer. His parents were believers. His father was Malas and his mother was Ruhma. They used to be kind to him, and they loved him. I feared that their love for him would cause them to follow him in his blasphemy. Allah decreed that I kill him, because of what his situation would be like, for had he lived he would have caused great hardships for his parents. Allah does whatever He wills with his creations, and He judges His slaves as He wishes without being unjust to anyone.
On the day that the boy was killed his mother was pregnant. The mother gave birth to a girl who was merciful than this boy. When the girl grew older, she met Yunus bin Matta, a Prophet, believed in him, and she was married to a prophet. She gave birth to several Prophets by whom many nations were guided.”
The moral of this story is that Haysun’s parents were happy when he was born and were sad when he was killed, but had he lived he would have been the cause of their adversity and hardship. It is obligatory upon every person to accept what Allah willed for them.
When Musa made this request, Al-Khadir explained, “I will clarify that which you could not be patient with. As for the ship, it belongs to poor sailors who earn their living by it. They are ten brothers who inherited the ship from their father. Each one of them has an ailment different from his brother’s. Five of them are able to work and five cannot work. Of those who work one has leprosy, the other is half blind, the third has a limp, the fourth has severe hernia and the fifth, the youngest one, is feverish; the fever stays with him constantly. As for the five that are unable to work they are blind, deaf, mute, handicapped, and insane. Their king Hudad bin Budad, was an unjust ruler. He would unjustly take every good ship that passed through his waters, but he would leave the ships that had a defect or a problem.”
Al-Khadir continued, “The brothers were not aware about what the king wanted to do, and so I made the ship seem defective when the king’s servants came on. They left it because of this flaw. When they left, I fixed it as you saw, and it remained in the brothers’ possession and they continued benefiting from it.” Musa and Al-Kahdir continued on their way until they reached a village called Ubulla. The inhabitants were very miserly and villainous, Musa and Al-Khadir went around to the people and asked for food, but none of the villagers offered them any. Moreover, they turned them away in an unpleasant manner, and so they left the village feeling hungry. Before leaving the village, though, they saw a huge wall that was about to fall, so Al-Khadir passed his hand over the wall and it became upright again. This was a miracle granted to him by Allah. This wall was no small thing; its thickness was 30 cubits, and it was 500 cubits long and 50 cubits wide, according to the cubits of that time. (Refer to foot note)
Musa again was amazed and said, “I wonder! You rewarded those people who treated us badly by fixing their wall, whereas had you wanted to, you could have charged them for this service and we could have used the reward to fill our hungry stomachs and protect ourselves.”
When Al-Khadir heard this, he was sure that Musa would not be patient with him given that he judges things based on their apparent external readings, so he said to him, “This is where you and I depart.”
Musa grabbed by his clothing and said, “I will not leave you until you tell me what made you do what you did.”
A cubit is an ancient linear unit based on the length of the forearm, from the elbow to the tip of the middle finger. People back then were bigger than we are now.
When the ship docked, they continued their journey on foot. During their travels they came upon some boys who were playing. Al-Khadir took one of them aside who was a misguided blasphemer and a thief. He stole from travellers and then swore to his parents that he did no such thing. His parents would believe him and then swear on his behalf. Relying on his oath, they would deny that he did anything wrong and protect him from the police and angry people. Al-Khadir took him away from where he was, laid him down, and then killed him. Musa was shocked, for he saw a youth, perhaps an only child, with no apparent visible sin, who was taken and his blood shed He said to Al-Khadir, “Did you kill a pure soul?”
Al-Khadir turned to him and said, “Didn’t I tell you that you would not have the patience to accompany me?” It was said that he dislocated the boys left shoulder and peeled off the flesh and on the shoulder bone it was written, “A blasphemer who will never believe in Allah.” At that Musa felt that he had burdened this pious slave, so he said, “After this, if I question you again then do not accompany me anymore.” Al-Khadir turned to look at Musa. All he did was to remind Musa of the promise and the condition saying, “Didn’t I tell you?” Musa remembered his promise and said, “Pardon me.” Musa then went off to the side and as he watched Al-Khadir he thought to himself, “Now I find myself accompanying this man. I was among the Israelites reciting the book of Allah to them morning and night while they were obeying me.”
Allah revealed to Al-Khadir what Musa was thinking of, and he said, “Oh Musa, do you want me to tell you what you were just thinking?” Musa said, “Yes.” Al-Khadir said, “You just thought such and such”, and he told him what he had just thought. Upon hearing that, Musa said, “You are right.” Later, while they were aboard the ship, a bird came and perched itself on the edge of the ship, and then he pecked at the sea with his beak. Al-Khadir then said to Musa, “Oh Musa, both our knowledge, when compared to the knowledge of Allah, is like what this bird pecked from the sea.” Al-Khadir, meant by this that we only know that amount which Allah willed for us to know, and that knowledge which he did not give us in comparison to what he gave us is like the sea compared to that which the bird pecked from it (little). The ship sailed with a few boards missing for a period of time without anyone drowning. Then Al-Khadir passed his hand over the hole and by the will of Allah, the boards returned as they had been before he took them out. The people of the ship rejoiced at their safety, feeling good towards the two. Musa and Al-Khadir then reached their destination and left the ship and its sailors. While on the ship, Musa was surprised to see Al-Khadir pull out two of the ship’s boards. At that instant, only Musa saw Al-Khadir, for had the sailors seen what he did, they would have stopped him. As one of the special things given to Al-Khadir was that he was not seen except for those whom Allah willed for them to see him. This is why when he visited Prophet Muhammad, nobody saw Al-Khadir except him. When Musa saw Al-Khadir ripping boards from the ship, being an honorable Prophet, he objected, astounded that Al-Khadir would return the sailors’ favor by destroying their ship and treating those who showed kindness to him with ungratefulness. Furthermore, Musa feared that the sailors would drown and that the ship would sink. He reproachfully looked at Al-Khadir and said, “Do you want to ruin them!? They took us on board their ship free of charge and treated us well, yet you made a hole in it which could sink it; this is a matter of grave enormity.”