Assalamo aleykum. Little health and family issues in the last few weeks meant I had less time and energy to post, but I still have love for this little project. Alhamdulillah.
So here is the most recent feature of our wall (and bedtime stories repertoire): our poster about al-Khidr, Alhamdulillah.
As well as Stories of the Prophets we also used Ibn Katheer’s tafseer of surah al-Kahf. Here are some bullet points.
- His name comes from the colour green (أَخْضَر), because he used to sit on a mat (or a patch of dried vegetation) that turned green.
- The Qur’an tells us about him in surah al-Kahf, when Musa (‘alayhi as-salaam) sets out on a journey with his servant (Yushaa bin Noon) to find him.
- Musa is looking for al-Khidr to learn from him.
- When they find him, Musa asks if he could follow him to learn his wisdom, but al-Khidr tells him, “You will not be able to be patient with me.”
- Musa promises he will do his best and sets off with him.
- They go on board of a ship and the people of that ship, recognizing al-Khidr, let them on free of charge. However, during the journey, al-Khidr begins making a hole in the ship. Musa was shocked by this behaviour and asks him why would he do such thing to people that had been nice to them.
- Al-Khidr reminds Musa, “Didn’t I tell you that you were not going to be able to be patient with me [and wait to ask questions until I myself explain things to you]?” Musa apologises and they continue the journey.
- They come across a boy playing with other children, and al-Khidr kills him. Again, Musa is upset by this behaviour and expresses his concern to al-Khidr.
- Again, al-Khidr reminds Musa, “Didn’t I tell you that you were not going to be able to be patient with me [and wait to ask questions until I myself explain things to you]?” Musa apologises and says to al-Khidr, “If I do this again, then you can send me away.”
- They arrive in a village, but its inhabitant are not hospitable to them and they don’t want to treat them as guests. Yet, al-Khidr finds a wall that is about to collapse and fixes it, so that it stands straight again. Musa comments: “If you wanted, you could have asked to paid for this job.” He probably thought al-Khidr was being so nice to the same people who refused them hospitality.
- Al-Khidr then said: “This is when me and you go our separate ways.”
- But before Musa has to leave him, al-Khidr explains to him the reason why he did those things that Musa had found so strange.
- He had damaged the ship because it belonged to poor people and he knew a bad king was stealing all boats from people. Al-Khidr hoped to make it look broken so the king would leave it.
- As for the boy, al-Khidr knew for sure that he was going to grow up to become a disbeliever, and his parents – because of their love for him – would follow him in disbelief. Allah wanted to save them from it and give them a better child.
- When al-Khidr decided to mend the wall in the village where the people didn’t want to welcome them as guests, he did so because he knew that a good man had hidden a treasure for his children under it before he died; his children were still young and Allah wanted to wait until the two orphans had become adults for the treasure to be revealed.
- Al-Khidr explained that it was not his idea to do all those things but it was something he was commanded by Allah.
- One of the main things we learn from this story is that when Allah makes something happen, there is always a very good reason behind it and it is always for the best, even if it seems something bad at first.