Mysterious places, persons and events?
Mohamad Mostafa Nassar
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم الحمد لله وحده و الصلاة و السلام على من لا نبي بعده و على آله و أصحابه أجمعين
by Adeel Tariq Khan
This article discusses more than one claims of anti Islamic missionaries and therefore, the article shall be divided into seven sections as follows:
We have already mentioned this several times before and we will repeat the fact that the Qur’an is a book of guidance and not a story book. Anti Islamic missionaries ignore this fact while they try to find faults with the Qur’an.
Therefore, to seek answers as to who married whom, at what age, who had how many children from whom and who divorced whom, who were Oholah and Oholibah are basically useless questions and answers to them would not serve any purpose (unless they contain guidance) except that they would provide satisfaction to a person that he/she receives upon reading fairy tales.
Since a particular group of people have developed a belief that a certain individual died for their sins and all those who believe in this are guaranteed salvation and all other laws prior to him have been nailed to death by his ‘death’, they are likely to take the Qur’an as they take their book.
Their book should serve no purpose to them since heaven and hell have been decided upon two pieces of wood and nails and they subconsciously they take their book as a fairytale. To look at it from their point of view, it does appear to be a valid point since you do not need a book for guidance purposes, you just need to believe in a doctrine and that’s it.
Another point regarding Islam needs to be understood by Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Neutral readers of the Qur’an do accept this fact but those with twist in their understanding and fault seekers simply refuse to accept the below quoted fact:
A woman named Umm Ya’qub from the tribe of Banu Asad came to know of these words. She approached Ibn Mas’ood and said: “O Abu ‘Abd ar-Rahman! It was reported to me that you have cursed such and such women.” He said: “Why should I not curse those whom the Prophet cursed and who are cursed in the Book of Allah as well.” She said:
“I have read whatever is contained between the two covers (i.e. the whole Qur’an).” Had you been a good reader, you would have discovered it. Did you not read the following verse? “So take whatever the Messenger gives you and keep away from what he forbids you.” (Qur’an 59:7)
From this we establish that the Qur’an orders the believers to obey the Prophet (pbuh) as his word is also revelation and obeying the Prophet (pbuh) is obeying the Qur’an.
2) The story of Prophet Ayyub عليه السلام
The story of Prophet Ayyub عليه السلام in the Bible is very confusing most likely due to severe alterations and corruptions at many levels over several centuries. An example would be of the age of the world. According to a religious book of a particular group, the world is around 6,000 years while a fraction of them state it to be 10,000 years old. As per archaeologists, the ark of Prophet Nooh عليه السلام discovered is around 100,000 years and therefore, the scripture goes against outside evidence.
‘How can you say, “We are wise, for we have the law of the LORD,” when actually the lying pen of the scribes has handled it falsely? – Jeremiah 8:8 (NIV)
Let’s take another example and that of Haman this time. Haman is mentioned as a helper of a Babylonian King who inflicted harm on the Israelis thousands of years after Prophet Moosa السلام عليه whereas as per the Qur’an he is described as a helper to the Pharaoh.
Now a foolish man would argue that since the Bible was written much before the Qur’an was sent down, the Biblical account on this and anywhere else is more accurate. Scientific evidences negate such absurd claims.
Before proceeding to the story of Prophet Ayyub عليه السلام let us look at one of the purposes of the Qur’an (the grand purpose if of course guidance):
O people of the Book! There hath come to you our Apostle, revealing to you much that ye used to hide in the Book, and passing over much (that is now unnecessary): There hath come to you from God a (new) light and a perspicuous Book,- (Qur’an 5:15)
Here we have established a fact that the Qur’an came to correct the previously corrupted books and practices. We have also established our understanding as to how the books were corrupted i.e. by hiding parts, adding parts to it, etc. We previously discussed the fact that the Qur’an is not a story book and seeking petty answers will serve no purpose to anyone except misguidance to oneself.
The Jews at the time of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) knew about their books and were doubtful about a lot of their own stories. They sought answers from the Prophet (pbuh) which were provided to them by the Prophet (pbuh) and the Qur’an and at times revoked for irrelevant or over-questioning (Ref. Sahih Bukhari Volume 1, Book 3, Number 127).
Below are some verses from the Qur’an regarding Prophet Ayyub عليه السلام
And remember Our servant Job, when he called to his Lord, “Indeed, Satan has touched me with hardship and torment.” [So he was told], “Strike [the ground] with your foot; this is a [spring for] a cool bath and drink.” And We granted him his family and a like [number] with them as mercy from Us and a reminder for those of understanding. [We said], “And take in your hand a bunch [of grass] and strike with it and do not break your oath.” Indeed, We found him patient, an excellent servant. Indeed, he was one repeatedly turning back [to Allah]. [Qur’an 38:41-44]
The Qur’an clearly addresses the Jews and Christians directly. Anyone coming from the Bible would know what the above mentioned verses are referring to. The Biblical account is very unclear and some Christians have made attempts to clarify it with mistranslations but the temptation resisting scholars have stuck with the correct translation and attempted to explain the confusion by mixing it in the poetic style of the narration.
The confusion is that according to the Bible, Prophet Ayyub’s عليه السلام wife told him to curse God and die (Job 2:9); she is not mentioned directly at any other place in the book.
A person with knowledge of this background would find that the Qur’anic order of “And take in your hand a bunch [of grass] and strike with it and do not break your oath” refers to Prophet Ayyub’s عليه السلام wife.
The Jews at the time of the Prophet (pbuh) understood the meaning when they read it but the Muslims who did not read the Bible were explained the entire story and the background by the Prophet (pbuh). If the anti Islamic missionaries do not understand these passages themselves, then they too can refer to the Prophet (pbuh) as the Qur’an mentions (stated above).
The verses 41 to 44 of the 38th chapter of Qur’an are clear that Prophet Ayyub عليه السلام was in difficulty and he sought help from the Almighty. He was ordered by God Almighty towards a certain action which would relieve him of his hardships.
Now leaving aside the storybook mentality, we go towards the lesson learnt from the story that Prophet Ayyub السلام عليه was a righteous man of God who repeatedly turned back to Allah, he was patient and an excellent servant and a role model for the believers to follow.
He was afflicted with pain but he sought help from Allah and Allah helped him while also testing him. These are some very valuable lessons learnt from the story of Prophet Ayyub السلام عليه. I hope the blind Islamophobes will not start asking the temperature of the cool bath.
The disbelievers have asked some questions from the Muslims stated below:
Who were the people of Rass and Tubba? Who were the Companions of the Wood? Who were the apostles sent to these people, and why did Allah warn them? What sins did they commit which necessitated the sending of messengers to them?
Were they idolaters, murderers, lovers of money or of lustful pleasures? Can a Muslim answer these questions by consulting the Quran alone?
The believers can answer them from the book of God provided that they leave aside their fairytale storybook mentality:
“To the people of Madyan (Madian) (We sent) their brother Shu’aib. He said: “O my people! Worship Allah, you have no other Ilah (God) but Him. Verily! a clear proof (sign) from your Lord has come unto you; so give full measure and full weight and wrong not men in their things, and do not mischief on the earth after it has been set in order that will be better for you, if you are believers.
And sit not on every road, threatening, and hindering from the Path of Allah those who believe in Him and seeking to make it crooked. Remember when you were but few, and He multiplied you. See what was the end of the Mufsideen (mischief makers, corrupts and liars). And if there is a party of you who believes in that which I have been sent and a party who do not believe, so be patient until Allah judges between us, and He is the Best of judges.”
The chiefs of those who were arrogant among his people said: “We shall certainly drive you out, O Shu’aib! and those who have believed with you from our town, or else you all shall return to our religion.”
He said: “Even though we hate it! We should have invented a lie against Allah if we returned to your religion, after Allah has rescued us from it. It is not for us to return to it unless Allah, our Lord, should will. Our Lord comprehends all things in His Knowledge. In Allah (Alone) we put our trust. Our Lord! Judge between us and our people in truth, for You are the Best of those Who gives judgment.”
The chiefs of those who disbelieved among his people said to their people: “If you follow Shu’aib be sure then you will be the losers!”
Then he (shu’aib) turned from them and said: “O my people! I have indeed conveyed my Lord’s Messages unto you and I have given you good advice. Then how can I sorrow for the disbelieving people’s (destruction).”(Qur’an 7:85-93)
“The dwellers of Al Aiyka (near Midian, or Madyan) belied the Messengers. When Shu’aib said to them: “Will you not fear Allah and obey Him? I am a trustworthy Messenger to you. SO fear Allah, keep your duty to Him, and obey me. No reward do I ask of you for it (my message of Islamic Monotheism), my reward is only from the Lord of the Alamin (mankind, jinn and all that exists).
Give full measure, and cause no loss to others. And weigh with the true and straight balance. Defraud not people by reducing their things nor do evil making corruption and mischief in the land. Fear Him Who created you and the generations of the men of old.”
They said: “You are only one of those bewitched! You are but a human being like us and verily, we think that you are one of the liars! So cause a piece of heaven to fall on us, if you are of the truthful!”
He said: “My Lord is the Best Knower of what you do.”
But, they belied him, so the torment of the day of shadow (a gloomy cloud) seized them, indeed that was the torment of a Great Day. Verily, in this is a sign yet most of them are not believers. And verily! Your Lord, He is indeed the All Mighty, the Most Merciful.”(Qur’an 26:176-191).
Allah Almighty revealed: Noah’s people, when they denied the Messengers We drowned them, and We made them as a sign for mankind. We have prepared a painful torment for the Zalimeen (polytheists and wrongdoers) Also Ad and Thamud and the dwellers of Ar Rass and many generations in between. For each of them We put forward examples (as proofs and lessons etc), and each of them We brought to utter ruin (because of their disbelief and evil deeds) (Qur’an 25:37-39).
Allah the Exalted revealed: Denied before them (these pagans of Mecca who denied you, O Muhammad) the people of Noah and the dwellers of Ar Rass, and Thamud and Ad and Pharaoh, and the brethren of Lot, and the dwellers of the Wood, and the people of Tubba, everyone of them denied their Messengers so My Threat took effect. (Qur’an 50:12-14).
These verses indicate that the dwellers of Ar Rass were destroyed as they were the other people who refused to believe in the prophets of Allah.
Ibn Jarir stated that the dwellers of Ar Rass were the people of one of Thamud’s villages. Allah sent a prophet to them called Huzlah Ibn Safwan. They denied and killed him, so Allah destroyed them.
Abu Bakr Muhammad Ibn Al Hassan narrated: “The dwellers of AR Rass had a well sufficing them and their land. They also had a just and good-hearted king. When he died, they were much grieved for him. After four days Satan took his form and said: “I was not deed, but I kept absent from you to see your reaction.” They were very joyful. He commanded them to set up a curtain between him and them and told them that he would never die.
A great number of them believed him and were fascinated with and worshiped him. Then Allah sent them a prophet telling them that it was only Satan who was addressing them from behind the curtain. He forbade them to worship him and commanded them to worship only Allah and no partner with Him. In spite of that, they killed their prophet and threw his body into a well. Therefore Allah destroyed them and their homes.”
It is surprising that the believers in unicorn find the prophecy of a beast emerging out of the earth to be amusing. No wonder the western evolutionists do not take them seriously (but take rationalists seriously) as in every debate, the missionary mentality holders would be demanding unicorn fossils as evidence.
And when the word befalls them, We will bring forth for them a creature (دابة) from the earth speaking to them, [saying] that the people were, of Our verses, not certain [in faith]. [Qur’an 27:82]
The Arabic word “دابة” has several meanings including ‘creature’, ‘beast’, ‘animal’, ‘cattle’ etc and has been used several times in the Qur’an (2:164, 6:38, 11:6, 11:56, 16:49, 16:61, 24:45, 27:82, 29:60, 31:10, 34:14, 35:45, 42:29, 45:4). Since the verse above speaks of the future, we do not know for certain whether the creature would be like an animal, like a wild creature or a beast or even from the cattle and therefore, the best way to translate it is to use the word ‘creature’ as it covers all possibilities. Here is what Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said regarding this creature:
Abu Dawud At-Tayalisi recorded from Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said:
«تَخْرُجُ دَابَّةُ الْأَرْضِ وَمَعَهَا عَصَا مُوسَى وَخَاتَمُ سُلَيْمَانَ عَلَيْهِمَا السَّلَامُ، فَتَخْطِمُ أَنْفَ الْكَافِرِ بِالْعَصَا، وَتُجَلِّي وَجْهَ الْمُؤْمِنِ بِالْخَاتَمِ، حَتَّى يَجْتَمِعَ النَّاسُ عَلَى الْخِوَانِ يُعْرَفُ الْمُؤْمِنُ مِنَ الْكَافِر»
A beast will emerge from the earth, and with it will be the staff of Musa and the ring of Sulayman, peace be upon them both. It will strike the nose of the disbelievers with the staff, and it will make the face of the believer bright with the ring, until when people gather to eat, they will be able to recognize the believers from the disbelievers. (Musnad al-Tayalsi, Hadith 2687)
It also was recorded by Imam Ahmad, with the wording:
«فَتَخْطِمُ أَنْفَ الْكَافِر بِالْخَاتَمِ، وَتَجْلُو وَجْهَ الْمُؤْمِن بِالْعَصَا، حَتَّى إِنَّ أَهْلَ الْخِوَانَ الْوَاحِدِ لَيَجْتَمِعُونَ فَيَقُولُ هَذَا: يَا مُؤْمِنُ، وَيَقُولُ هَذَا: يَا كَافِر»
It will strike the nose of the disbelievers with the ring, and will make the face of the believer bright with the staff, until when people gather for a meal, they will say to one another, O believer, or O disbeliever. (Musnad Ahmad 15/80. Classified as Sahih by Ahmad Shakir)
It was also recorded by Ibn Majah. Ibn Jurayj reported that Ibn Az-Zubayr described the beast and said, “Its head is like the head of a bull, its eyes are like the eyes of a pig, its ears are like the ears of an elephant, its horns are like the horns of a stag, its neck is like the neck of an ostrich, its chest is like the chest of a lion, its color is like the colour of a tiger, its haunches are like the haunches of a cat, its tail is like the tail of a ram, and its legs are like the legs of a camel. Between each pair of its joints is a distance of twelve cubits. It will bring out with it the staff of Musa and the ring of Sulayman.
There will be no believer left without it making a white spot on his face, which will spread until all his face is shining white as a result; and there will be no disbeliever left without it making a black spot on his face, which will spread until all his face is black as a result, then when the people trade with one another in the marketplace, they will say, `How much is this, O believer’ `How much is this, O disbeliever’ And when the members of one household sit down together to eat, they will know who is a believer and who is a disbeliever.
Then the beast will say: `O so-and-so, enjoy yourself, for you are among the people of Paradise.’ And it will say: `O so-and-so, you are among the people of Hell,’ This is what Allah says:
[وَإِذَا وَقَعَ الْقَوْلُ عَلَيْهِم أَخْرَجْنَا لَهُمْ دَآبَّةً مِّنَ الاٌّرْضِ تُكَلِّمُهُمْ أَنَّ النَّاسَ كَانُوا بِـَايَـتِنَا لاَ يُوقِنُونَ ]
And when the Word is fulfilled against them, We shall bring out from the earth a beast for them, to speak to them because mankind believed not with certainty in Our Ayat.
This will happen slightly before the rapture and around the time the sun rises from the west. Only the disbelievers in God will find His powers unbelievable. For those who believe in God, this shouldn’t be hard to accept unless a person believes in a god who can only die and leave the world godless for three days.
4) The story of Luqman عليه السلام
And We had certainly given Luqman wisdom [and said], “Be grateful to Allah.” And whoever is grateful is grateful for [the benefit of] himself. And whoever denies [His favor] – then indeed, Allah is Free of need and Praiseworthy. And [mention, O Muhammad], when Luqman said to his son while he was instructing him, “O my son, do not associate [anything] with Allah. Indeed, association [with him] is great injustice.” And We have enjoined upon man [care] for his parents.
His mother carried him, [increasing her] in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years. Be grateful to Me and to your parents; to Me is the [final] destination. But if they endeavor to make you associate with Me that of which you have no knowledge, do not obey them but accompany them in [this] world with appropriate kindness and follow the way of those who turn back to Me [in repentance].
Then to Me will be your return, and I will inform you about what you used to do. [And Luqman said], “O my son, indeed if wrong should be the weight of a mustard seed and should be within a rock or [anywhere] in the heavens or in the earth, Allah will bring it forth. Indeed, Allah is Subtle and Acquainted.
O my son, establish prayer, enjoin what is right, forbid what is wrong, and be patient over what befalls you. Indeed, [all] that is of the matters [requiring] determination. And do not turn your cheek [in contempt] toward people and do not walk through the earth exultantly.
Indeed, Allah does not like everyone self-deluded and boastful. And be moderate in your pace and lower your voice; indeed, the most disagreeable of sounds is the voice of donkeys.” Do you not see that Allah has made subject to you whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth and amply bestowed upon you His favors, [both] apparent and unapparent? But of the people is he who disputes about Allah without knowledge or guidance or an enlightening Book [from Him]. [Qur’an 31: 13-20]
The anti Islamics have asked a few questions from this passage. The questions are as follows:
Who is Luqman? What makes him so important that the entire chapter of Sura 31 is named after him? Who was his son? Where were they from? Were they Arabs, Israelites, Persians etc.? When did they live? Did they live before, during, or after Moses? Did they live before or after Christ? And just using the Quran alone how can anyone know?
The answers are in the above passage themselves. Luqman was a man who was given ‘wisdom’ by the Almighty and he was not just an old man with experience but with real wisdom granted by Allah Almighty. He is important to have an entire chapter after him because of what he was granted and what he returned in response. He was granted wisdom and he shared that wisdom with his son which is an example for believers to follow.
The believing fathers must take him as a role model and guide their children just like he guided his son. As to who is son was and where they were from/where did they live are totally irrelevant questions and have no basis on the meaning, the message and the lesson to be learnt from the entire story.
Even if the Qur’an provided answers to these questions, the blind hate seekers would have asked more useless questions such as the ages of Luqman السلام عليه and his son etc which is very similar to what the Qur’an states regarding the habit of children of Israel of asking too many questions that are irrelevant and make matters difficult for themselves only (Qur’an 2:68-71).
Some people have tried to reconcile the story of Luqman السلام عليه with Aesop’s fables. Since the Qur’an also came to correct previous corruptions, it is possible that Aesop’s fables were derived from some truths and then written as story books. Please note that the Aesopica are attributed to a Greek story teller and we all know the link of Greece with the New Testaments of today.
Much of the material from the New Testament was originally from God and then the Greek story telling turned it into fictional books. Perhaps Aesop’s fables are a similar case.
Perhaps they were originally parts of the Torah or sacred scriptures of other nations and later got corrupted into the form of a Greek story. We do not know about all the details but it does appear that there was corruption somewhere just like the Bibles.
However we do know the uncorrupted and true stories and events like that of Luqman السلام عليه and we must believe in them. Lack of proper record of corrupted areas can be ignored. Not knowing the corrupted belief about Luqman السلام عليه is irrelevant; now we know the uncorrupted truth and we must learn our lessons from it.
There are some other Prophets who were already known to the people at the time of the revelation of the Qur’an. The Qur’an mentions them in brief and the Prophet (pbuh) described them in detail to the Muslims. Descriptions of some of them have been asked by the non-believers and among them are ‘Idris’ عليه السلام, ‘Zulkifl’ عليه السلام and Ilyas عليه السلام.
These are the Arabic names of these two Prophets which were well known to the Jews and Christians in Arabia at the time of revelation. This single line is sufficient to answer their questions but in their ignorance, they even ask who Allah is whereas the people of their own faith called and still call God as Allah.
The Jews at the time of the Prophet (pbuh) were very clear on what these verses meant and who these Prophets were. However, the present day “scholars” from the non-Muslims (with much pain I write this word) have absolutely no clue what is being discussed and simply rely on weak modern day “scholars” (another painful moment) from the Muslims who merely rely on guesswork.
Who was Idris عليه السلام? Allah has praised Idris (Enoch), describing him as being a prophet and truthful:
Mention in the Book (Quran) Idris (Enoch). Verily! He was a man of truth (and) a prophet. We raised him to a high station. (Qur’an 19:56-57).
Enoch was born and raised in Babylon following the teachings and religion of Prophet Adam (pbuh) and his son Seth (pbuh). Enoch was the 5th generation of the Prophet Adam. He called the people back to his forefathers’ religion, but only a few listened to him, while the majority turned away.
Prophet Enoch and his followers left Babylon for Egypt. There he carried on his mission, calling people to what is just and fair, teaching them certain prayers and instructing them to fast on certain days and to give a portion of their wealth to the poor.
He was the first of the Children of Adam to be given prophet-hood after Adam and Seth (peace upon them). It is reported that he was the 1st to invent the basic form of writing. Some of his wise sayings are:
Happy is he who looks at his own deeds and appoints them as pleaders to his Lord
None can show better gratitude for Allah’s favors than he who shares them with others. Do not envy people for what they have as they will only enjoy it for a short while. He who indulges in excess will not benefit from it. The real joy of life is to have wisdom. [Tafsir Ibn Kathir]
As for Zulkifl, Ibn Jarir narrated that he was not a prophet but he was a righteous man. He supported his people to suffice their needs and administrated justice among them. That is why he was called Dhul Kifl. (means possessor of, or giving, a double requital or portion)
Now coming to Ilyas عليه السلام, Ibn Ishaaq said that Elisha عليه السلام was sent to the children after Elijah عليه السلام. He lived among his people, calling them to Allah and abiding by the message and laws of Elijah until he passed away. Then dissension rose among them, and events took momentum. Sins increased everywhere, and the tyrants increased and killed the prophets.
According to Al-Hafiz Abu Al-Qasim Ibn Asaker, Elisha was Ibn Adi, Ibn Shultam, Ibn Aphraem, Ibn Joseph, Ibn Isaac, Ibn Abraham. It was said that he was the cousin of Elijah. Other sources said also that he had been hiding with Elijah in a cave in Mount Qasium to escape from the King of Ba’alabak, and when Elijah died, he Elisha succeeded him as a prophet among his people. [Tafsir Ibn Kathir]
Again with the Prophet Ilyas عليه السلام, the Jews and Christians, at the time of the Prophet (pbuh), had no issues with any of the Prophets mentioned in the Qur’an and they recognized the Biblical Prophets very well in the Arabic language.
6) The story of Zulqarnayn عليه السلام
The Qur’an is a book for all peoples of all ages for all times. Who exactly Zulqarnayn عليه السلام was, is not much relevant to us. He could either be Alexander the great, Persian king Cyrus or someone else altogether.
The fact of the matter is that he performed certain actions which are very clear and what the prophecy is regarding his actions is also very clear; near the end times, after the anti-Christ, the people locked up by Zulqarnayn عليه السلام would be opened from their captivity and they would create tremendous mischief on land.
Since the Qur’an is not only for a particular time period, the question of who the people were that were locked up may not be directly relevant to the believers. The answer to this will certainly be known when the time comes. This is the beauty of the Qur’an; each time you read it, you find plenty of new things to learn and its teachings and message is universal and unfolds further and further with time.
As for Zulqarnayn being Alexander the Great, that is only speculation at best. So don’t jump on accusing the Qur’an of what it does not say. Some scholars say it was Alexander the Great, but some scholars may be wrong sometimes too.
They are not prophets. Muslims are warned not to follow blindly. We are taught to seek knowledge and correct our brothers if they do wrong. Know this, at best the answer to the question of who is the personage of Zulqarnayn is simply speculation.
Having said that, I know some scholars say it was King Cyrus, the Persian Emperor, who is described in the Book of Ezra as a God-fearing king who liberates the Israelites because he is such a God-fearing individual. (source: Mawdudi’s “Towards understanding the Qur’an”) Additionally, Mawdudi writes, “Nevertheless, the information available to date does not enable us to form a definitive opinion concerning Dhul-Qarnayn’s identity.” God knows best. [Taken from here]
7) The story of Prophet Moosa عليه السلام and Khidr عليه السلام
The foolish people find problems where there are none and in doubtful matters, reach conclusions prematurely where the matter is to be studied in detail. The same is the case with the story of Prophet Moosa عليه السلام and Khidr عليه السلام.
And [mention] when Moses said to his servant, “I will not cease [traveling] until I reach the junction of the two seas or continue for a long period.” But when they reached the junction between them, they forgot their fish, and it took its course into the sea, slipping away.
So when they had passed beyond it, [Moses] said to his boy, “Bring us our morning meal. We have certainly suffered in this, our journey, [much] fatigue.” He said, “Did you see when we retired to the rock?
Indeed, I forgot [there] the fish. And none made me forget it except Satan – that I should mention it. And it took its course into the sea amazingly”. [Moses] said, “That is what we were seeking.” So they returned, following their footprints.
And they found a servant from among Our servants to whom we had given mercy from us and had taught him from Us a [certain] knowledge. Moses said to him, “May I follow you on [the condition] that you teach me from what you have been taught of sound judgment?”
He said, “Indeed, with me you will never be able to have patience. And how can you have patience for what you do not encompass in knowledge?” [Moses] said, “You will find me, if Allah wills, patient, and I will not disobey you in [any] order.” He said, “Then if you follow me, do not ask me about anything until I make to you about it mention.”
So they set out, until when they had embarked on the ship, al-Khidhr tore it open. [Moses] said, “Have you torn it open to drown its people? You have certainly done a grave thing.” [Al-Khidhr] said, “Did I not say that with me you would never be able to have patience?” [Moses] said, “Do not blame me for what I forgot and do not cover me in my matter with difficulty.”
So they set out, until when they met a boy, al-Khidhr killed him. [Moses] said, “Have you killed a pure soul for other than [having killed] a soul? You have certainly done a deplorable thing.” [Al-Khidhr] said, “Did I not tell you that with me you would never be able to have patience?” [Moses] said, “If I should ask you about anything after this, then do not keep me as a companion. You have obtained from me an excuse.”
So they set out, until when they came to the people of a town, they asked its people for food, but they refused to offer them hospitality. And they found therein a wall about to collapse, so al-Khidhr restored it. [Moses] said, “If you wished, you could have taken for it a payment.” [Al-Khidhr] said,
“This is parting between me and you. I will inform you of the interpretation of that about which you could not have patience. As for the ship, it belonged to poor people working at sea.
So I intended to cause defect in it as there was after them a king who seized every [good] ship by force. And as for the boy, his parents were believers, and we feared that he would overburden them by transgression and disbelief. So we intended that their Lord should substitute for them one better than him in purity and nearer to mercy.
And as for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the city, and there was beneath it a treasure for them, and their father had been righteous. So your Lord intended that they reach maturity and extract their treasure, as a mercy from your Lord. And I did it not of my own accord. That is the interpretation of that about which you could not have patience.” [Qur’an 18:60-82]
The anti Islamic missionaries ask a few more questions that do not serve the purpose of genuine guidance such as where they are going, what town they entered etc. They ask the name of the servant of Prophet Moosa عليه السلام(Qur’an 18:60-82). These have been mentioned by the Prophet (pbuh) in his sayings.
A few of the Prophets and their stories have been mentioned in brief in the Qur’an for the purpose of obtaining the morals while they were explained in detail by the Prophet (pbuh). The anti Islamic missionaries ask as to when this incident took place, the answer to which, even though not relevant for guidance, is that it took place after Pharaoh as Prophet Moosa عليه السلام is mentioned to be addressing his followers.
One of their questions, however, is very much relevant. They ask as to why this incident has not been mentioned in the Bible? The answer to this is very simple. The Bible is corrupt. Much of the incorrect accounts mentioned in the Bible were corrected by the Qur’an but the incident of Prophet Moosa عليه السلام and Khidr عليه السلام are not to be found in the Bible.
The Jews did not object to the story which meant that they were aware of it in some form. Did it exist in their Bibles or not cannot be known but one thing for sure is that they do have other books than the Torah which are very secretive in nature.
Say: “Do ye see what it is ye invoke besides God? Show me what it is they have created on earth, or have they a share in the heavens bring me a book (revealed) before this, or any remnant of knowledge (ye may have), if ye are telling the truth! [Qur’an 46:4]
The verse above does prove that the Qur’an recognizes other forms of knowledge besides the revealed books and a saying of Prophet Moosa عليه السلام recorded by one of his followers can be classified as ‘other form of knowledge’. However, we cannot say the same for Talmud as it also keeps changing and mostly contains words of Rabbis.
It is highly possible that the incident of Prophet Moosa عليه السلام and Khidr عليه السلام was recorded in the Talmud or other books of Jews at the time of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). On a side note we would like to mention that Moosa عليه السلام is not portrayed as an arrogant man according to the Qur’an and Hadith.
A Prophet is obviously the most knowledgeable man there could be and this what Prophet Moosa عليه السلام thought as well until he was corrected by Allah Almighty. However, Moses of the Bible was most definitely an arrogant man.
The Bible is not a reliable religious or history book and if something is found in it does not mean that the mentioned event actually took place or if something is mentioned elsewhere, then looking for it in the Bible is also not a prudent thing to do. History, science and archaeology have proven the Bible to be wrong on several occasions and difference of Qur’an with the Bible on the story of Prophet Moosa السلام عليه and Khidr السلام عليه is no concern for the Muslims, however, it rings alarm bells for the enemies of Islam.
Indeed Allah knows the best!