Meeting of Musa (AS) with Khidr was one of the important events of the life of Musa (AS). It is described in detail in Surah Kahf. Background of this event is given in a Hadith in Bukhari narrated by Abi-bin-Kaab (RU).
One day the Children of Israel asked Musa (AS), “Who is the most learned person on the earth.” He said, “I am the most learned person.” Allah (SWT) did not like this answer. Musa (AS) was expected to say that Allah (SWT) knew the best. Hence Allah (SWT) intended to provide more training to Musa (AS) as He does to is chosen people. Allah (SWT) informed Musa (AS) that one of His servants was more learned than he was and that this servant was at a place where two seas met. Musa (AS) was very eager to learn more from this person. Musa (AS) requested Allah (SWT) to provide him with more detail of this location. Allah (SWT) instructed Musa (AS) to put a fish in his basket and travel towards the junction of the two seas. The learned person was at the place where the fish would disappear. Musa (AS) started the journey with his boy-servant Yusha bin Noon till they reached a rock. They both laid there heads and rested for a while there.
The fish got out of the basket and entered the sea. The path of the fish to the sea created a tunnel miraculously. The servant observed this. He, however forgot to tell Musa (AS) about the escape of the fish. Hence both continued their journey for another day and night. At this time, Musa (AS) asked his servant to bring the fish for meal since he was very hungry. Both had experienced a great deal of fatigue during this journey. The servant said to Musa (AS), “I forgot to tell you that the fish escaped when we did rest near the rock.” Musa (AS) said, “It was the location which we were looking for.” Hence they retraced their path back till they reached the rock. They saw Khidr. Musa (AS) greeted him. He asked, “Are you Musa (AS) of the Children of Israel?” Musa (AS) said, “Yes, and I request you to teach me some of the knowledge you possess.” A long dialogue took place between Musa (AS) and Khidr. There is much more detail of this dialogue in this long Hadith and also in Al-Kahf # 62-82
So when they had passed further on (beyond that fixed place), Musa (Moses) said to his boy-servant: “Bring us our morning meal; truly, we have suffered much fatigue in this, our journey.” He said: “Do you remember when we betook ourselves to the rock? I indeed forgot the fish; none but Shaitan (Satan) made me forget to remember it. It took its course into the sea in a strange (way)!” (Musa) said: “That is what we have been seeking.” So they went back retracing their footsteps. Then they found one of Our slaves, on whom We had bestowed mercy from Us, and whom We had taught knowledge from Us. Musa said to him (Khidr): “May I follow you so that you teach me something of that knowledge (guidance and true path) which you have been taught (by Allah)?” He (Khidr) said: “Verily you will not be able to have patience with me! “And how can you have patience about a thing which you know not?” Musa said: “If Allah wills, you will find me patient, and I will not disobey you in aught.” He (Khidr) said: “Then, if you follow me, ask me not about anything till I myself, mention of it to you.” So they both proceeded, till, when they embarked the boat, he (Khidr) scuttled. Musa said: “Have you scuttled it in order to drown its people? Verily, you have committed an evil, bad, dreadful thing.” He (Khidr) said: “Did I not tell you that you would not be able to have patience with me?” (Musa) said. “Call me not to account for what I forgot, and be not hard upon me for my affair (with you).” Then they both proceeded, till they met a boy, and he (Khidr) killed him. He (Moses) said: “Have you killed an innocent person who had killed none? Verily, you have committed an evil, dreadful thing!” (Khidr) said: “Did I not tell you that you can have no patience with me?” (Musa) said: “If I ask you anything after this, keep me not in your company, you have received an excuse from me.” Then they both proceeded, till, when they came to the people of a town, they asked them for food, but they refused to entertain them. Then they found therein a wall about to collapse and he (Khidr) set it up straight. (Musa) said: “If you had wished, surely, you could have taken wages for it!” (Khidr) said: “This is the parting between me and you. I will tell you the interpretation of (those) things over which you were unable to hold patience. As for the boat, it belonged to poor people working on the sea. So I wished to make a defect in it, as there was a king behind them who seized every boat by force. And as for the boy, his parents were believers, and we feared lest he should oppress them by rebellion and disbelief. So we intended that their Lord should change him for them for one better in righteousness and nearer to mercy. And as for the wall, it belonged to two orphan boys in the town; and there was under it a treasure belonging to them; and their father was a righteous man, and your Lord intended that they should attain their age of full strength and take out their treasure as a mercy from your Lord. And I did them not of my own accord. That is the interpretation of those (things) over which you could not hold patience.”
Let us try to touch upon some of the lessons we learned from this story of Musa (AS) and Khidr.
1. It is not allowed to brag, however justified it may seem.
2. Allah (SWT) does not get angry with His chosen people on making any mistake. Allah (SWT) provides more training to them to see things in true colors.
3. Musa (AS) was very eager to learn from Khidr even though Allah (SWT) had bestowed upon him a great deal of knowledge. Hence acquiring more and more beneficial knowledge is the sunnah of Prophets.
4. Acquisition of knowledge entails a great deal of hard work and patience. Nature of difficulties differ in each case. For example, the servant of Musa (AS) forgot about the fish when it escaped near the rock. They traveled for a day and night and then back again to the rock, experiencing a great deal of hardship and fatigue.
5. A student must show respect to his teacher. Musa (AS) was a prominent Prophet but he addressed his teacher, Khidr, very humbly and respectfully.
6. Allah (SWT) gives only limited and specific knowledge to Prophets and His other chosen persons. The knowledge of Allah (SWT) is unlimited. Prophet Mohammad (SAS) said, “When Musa (AS) and Khidr were in the boat, a sparrow came there. The sparrow rested on the edge of the boat and drank a tiny bit of water from the sea by its beak. Khidr said to Musa (AS), ‘The ratio of our combined knowledge with the knowledge of Allah (SWT) is somewhat like the ratio of the amount of water in the beak of the sparrow to the water in the sea.”
7. Prophet Musa (AS) taught us the travelling etiquettes. He explained his servant the direction of their journey and the final destination before they started their journey. We should share such information with our servants. Unfortunately many bosses consider it an insult for them to share traveling information with their servants.
8. Khidr said that he did not happen to do various extraordinary things on his own. Allah (SWT) had given him some special knowledge which was not given to Prophet Musa (AS). Hence all forms of knowledge is a gift from Allah (SWT). He bestows part of His knowledge on whom He wills. Allah (SWT) knows the unseen and we are very limited in our understanding and comprehension of it.
We thank Allah (SWT) for providing this detailed guidance to us for our benefit.