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The Worst People are Those Who turn away after being reminded

Allah says, `Who among My creatures does more wrong than one who is reminded of the signs of Allah then turns away from them,' i.e., ignores them and does not listen or pay attention to them.

﴿ وَنَسِىَ مَا قَدَّمَتۡ يَدَاهُ‌ۚ

(forgetting what his hands have sent forth.) means, bad deeds and evil actions.

﴿ إِنَّا جَعَلۡنَا عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِهِمۡ

(Truly, We have set over their hearts) means, the hearts of these people,

﴿ أَڪِنَّةً

(Akinnah) means, coverings.

﴿ أَن يَفۡقَهُوهُ

(lest they should understand this,) means, so that they will not understand this Qur'an and its clear Message

﴿ وَفِىٓ ءَاذَانِہِمۡ وَقۡرً۬ا‌ۖ

(and in their ears, deafness.) means that they will be deaf in an abstract way, to guidance.

﴿ وَإِن تَدۡعُهُمۡ إِلَى ٱلۡهُدَىٰ فَلَن يَہۡتَدُوٓاْ إِذًا أَبَدً۬ا

(And if you call them to guidance, even then they will never be guided.)

﴿ وَرَبُّكَ ٱلۡغَفُورُ ذُو ٱلرَّحۡمَةِ‌ۖ

(And your Lord is Most Forgiving, Owner of mercy.) means, `your Lord, O Muhammad, is forgiving and has great mercy.'

﴿ لَوۡ يُؤَاخِذُهُم بِمَا ڪَسَبُواْ لَعَجَّلَ لَهُمُ ٱلۡعَذَابَ‌ۚ

(Were He to call them to account for what they have earned, then surely, He would have hastened their punishment.) This is like the Ayah:

﴿ وَلَوۡ يُؤَاخِذُ ٱللَّهُ ٱلنَّاسَ بِمَا ڪَسَبُواْ مَا تَرَكَ عَلَىٰ ظَهۡرِهَا مِن دَآبَّةٍ۬

(And if Allah were to punish men for that which they earned, He would not leave a moving creature on the surface of the earth.) (35:45)

﴿ وَإِنَّ رَبَّكَ لَذُو مَغۡفِرَةٍ۬ لِّلنَّاسِ عَلَىٰ ظُلۡمِهِمۡ‌ۖ وَإِنَّ رَبَّكَ لَشَدِيدُ ٱلۡعِقَابِ

(But verily, your Lord is full of forgiveness for mankind in spite of their wrongdoing. And verily, your Lord is (also) severe in punishment) (13:6). And there are many Ayat which say the same thing. Then Allah tells us that He is patient, He conceals faults and forgives sins. He may guide some of them from wrongdoing to true guidance, and whoever continues in his evil ways, then there will come to him a Day when infants will turn grey and every pregnant female will shed her load. He says:

﴿ بَل لَّهُم مَّوۡعِدٌ۬ لَّن يَجِدُواْ مِن دُونِهِۦ مَوۡٮِٕلاً۬

(But they have their appointed time, beyond which they will find no escape.) meaning, they will find no way out.

﴿ وَتِلۡكَ ٱلۡقُرَىٰٓ أَهۡلَكۡنَـٰهُمۡ لَمَّا ظَلَمُواْ

(And these towns, We destroyed them when they did wrong.) This refers to earlier nations in times past; `We destroyed them because of their stubborn disbelief.'

﴿ وَجَعَلۡنَا لِمَهۡلِكِهِم مَّوۡعِدً۬ا

(And We appointed a fixed time for their destruction.) `We appointed for them a set time limit, not to be increased or decreased. The same applies to you, O idolaters, so beware or what happened to them will happen to you too, for you have rejected the noblest Messenger and greatest Prophet, and you are not dearer to Us than them, so fear My punishment and wrath.'

﴿ وَإِذۡ قَالَ مُوسَىٰ لِفَتَٮٰهُ لَآ أَبۡرَحُ حَتَّىٰٓ أَبۡلُغَ مَجۡمَعَ ٱلۡبَحۡرَيۡنِ أَوۡ أَمۡضِىَ حُقُبً۬ا فَلَمَّا بَلَغَا مَجۡمَعَ بَيۡنِهِمَا نَسِيَا حُوتَهُمَا فَٱتَّخَذَ سَبِيلَهُ ۥ فِى ٱلۡبَحۡرِ سَرَبً۬ا فَلَمَّا جَاوَزَا قَالَ لِفَتَٮٰهُ ءَاتِنَا غَدَآءَنَا لَقَدۡ لَقِينَا مِن سَفَرِنَا هَـٰذَا نَصَبً۬ا قَالَ أَرَءَيۡتَ إِذۡ أَوَيۡنَآ إِلَى ٱلصَّخۡرَةِ فَإِنِّى نَسِيتُ ٱلۡحُوتَ وَمَآ أَنۡسَٮٰنِيهُ إِلَّا ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنُ أَنۡ أَذۡكُرَهُ ۥ‌ۚ وَٱتَّخَذَ سَبِيلَهُ ۥ فِى ٱلۡبَحۡرِ عَجَبً۬ا قَالَ ذَٲلِكَ مَا كُنَّا نَبۡغِ‌ۚ فَٱرۡتَدَّا عَلَىٰٓ ءَاثَارِهِمَا قَصَصً۬ا فَوَجَدَا عَبۡدً۬ا مِّنۡ عِبَادِنَآ ءَاتَيۡنَـٰهُ رَحۡمَةً۬ مِّنۡ عِندِنَا وَعَلَّمۡنَـٰهُ مِن لَّدُنَّا عِلۡمً۬ا

(60. And (remember) when Musa said to his boy-servant: "I will not give up until I reach the junction of the two seas or a Huqub passes.'') (61. But when they reached the junction of the two seas, they forgot their fish, and it took its way through the sea as in a tunnel.) (62. So when they passed further on, Musa said to his boy-servant: "Bring us our morning meal; truly, we have suffered Nasaban in this, our journey.'') (63. He said: "Do you remember when we betook ourselves to the rock I indeed forgot the fish; none but Shaytan made me forget to remember it. It took its course into the sea in a strange (way)) (64. Musa (said: "That is what we have been seeking.'' So they went back retracing their footsteps.) (65. Then they found one of Our servants, on whom We had bestowed mercy from Us, and whom We had taught knowledge from Us.)

The Story of Musa and Al-Khidr

The reason for Musa's conversation with the boy-servant, Yusha` bin Nun, was that he had been told about one of the servants of Allah at the junction of the two seas, who had knowledge which Musa had not been granted, so he wanted to travel to meet him. So he said to that boy-servant of his:

﴿ لَآ أَبۡرَحُ

(I will not give up) meaning, I will keep on traveling,

﴿ حَتَّىٰٓ أَبۡلُغَ مَجۡمَعَ ٱلۡبَحۡرَيۡنِ

(until I reach the junction of the two seas) meaning, the place where the two seas met.

﴿ أَوۡ أَمۡضِىَ حُقُبً۬ا

(or a Huqub passes.) meaning, even if I have to travel for a very long time. Ibn Jarir (may Allah have mercy on him) said, "Some of the scholars of the Arabic language said that Huqub means a year in the dialect of )the tribe of) Qays,'' then he narrated that `Abdullah bin `Amr said, "Huqub means eighty years.'' Mujahid said, "Seventy years.'' `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said that it means a lifetime. Qatadah and Ibn Zayd said likewise.

﴿ فَلَمَّا بَلَغَا مَجۡمَعَ بَيۡنِهِمَا نَسِيَا حُوتَهُمَا

(But when they reached the junction of the two seas, they forgot their fish,) He had been commanded to carry a salted fish with him, and it had been said to him, when you lose the fish, that will be a sign that you have reached the right place. So they set out and traveled until they reached the junction of the two seas, where there was a spring called `Ayn Al-Hayat (the Spring of Life). They went to sleep there, and the fish felt the drops of that water, so it came back to life. It was in a vessel with Yusha`, upon him be peace, and it jumped out of the vessel towards the sea. Yusha` woke up and the fish fell into the water and started to swim through the water, leaving a track or channel behind it. Allah said:

﴿ فَٱتَّخَذَ سَبِيلَهُ ۥ فِى ٱلۡبَحۡرِ سَرَبً۬ا

(and it took its way through the sea as in a tunnel.) meaning, like going through a tunnel on land. Ibn Jurayj said, "Ibn `Abbas said, `It left a trace as if it were a rock.'"

﴿ فَلَمَّا جَاوَزَا

(So when they had passed further on,) means, past the place where they had forgotten the fish. Forgetfulness is attributed to them both even though it was actually Yusha` who forgot. This is like the Ayah:

﴿ يَخۡرُجُ مِنۡہُمَا ٱللُّؤۡلُؤُ وَٱلۡمَرۡجَانُ

(Out of them both come out pearl and coral.) (55:22), although they come from the salt water, according to one of the two opinions. When they had passed one stage beyond the place where they had forgotten the fish,

﴿ قَالَ لِفَتَٮٰهُ ءَاتِنَا غَدَآءَنَا لَقَدۡ لَقِينَا مِن سَفَرِنَا هَـٰذَا

((Musa) said to his boy-servant: "Bring us our morning meal; truly, we have suffered in this, our journey) meaning, their journey beyond the place where they should have stopped.

﴿ نَصَبً۬ا

(Nasaban) means, exhaustion.

﴿ قَالَ أَرَءَيۡتَ إِذۡ أَوَيۡنَآ إِلَى ٱلصَّخۡرَةِ فَإِنِّى نَسِيتُ ٱلۡحُوتَ وَمَآ أَنۡسَٮٰنِيهُ إِلَّا ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنُ أَنۡ أَذۡكُرَهُ ۥ‌ۚ

(He said: "Do you remember when we betook ourselves to the rock I indeed forgot the fish; none but Shaytan made me forget to remember it...'') Then he said,

﴿ وَٱتَّخَذَ سَبِيلَهُ ۥ

(It took its course), meaning its path,

﴿ فِى ٱلۡبَحۡرِ عَجَبً۬ا قَالَ ذَٲلِكَ مَا كُنَّا نَبۡغِ‌ۚ

("...into the sea in a strange (way)!''(Musa) said: "That is what we have been seeking.'') meaning, this is what we have been looking for.

﴿ فَٱرۡتَدَّا

(So they went back)

﴿ عَلَىٰٓ ءَاثَارِهِمَا

(their footsteps.)

﴿ فَوَجَدَا عَبۡدً۬ا مِّنۡ عِبَادِنَآ ءَاتَيۡنَـٰهُ رَحۡمَةً۬ مِّنۡ عِندِنَا وَعَلَّمۡنَـٰهُ مِن لَّدُنَّا عِلۡمً۬ا

(Then they found one of Our servants, on whom We had bestowed mercy from Us, and whom We had taught knowledge from Us.) This was Al-Khidr, peace be upon him, as is indicated by the authentic Hadiths narrated from the Messenger of Allah. Al-Bukhari recorded that Sa`id bin Jubayr said, "I said to Ibn `Abbas: `Nawf Al-Bikali claims that Musa, the companion of Al-Khidr was not the Musa of the Children of Israel.' Ibn `Abbas said, `The enemy of Allah has told a lie.' Ubayy bin Ka`b narrated that he heard the Messenger of Allah say,

« إِنَّ مُوسَى قَامَ خَطِيبًا فِي بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ فَسُئِلَ: أَيُّ النَّاسِ أَعْلَمُ؟ قَالَ: أَنَا، فَعَتَبَ اللهُ عَلَيْهِ إِذْ لَمْ يَرُدَّ الْعِلْمَ إِلَيْهِ، فَأَوْحَى اللهُ إِلَيْهِ إِنَّ لِي عَبْدًا بِمَجْمَعِ الْبَحْرَيْنِ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ مِنْكَ. قَالَ مُوسَى: يَا رَبِّ وَكَيْفَ لِي بِهِ؟ قَالَ: تَأْخُذُ مَعَكَ حُوتًا فَتَجْعَلَهُ بِمِكْتَلٍ، فَحَيْثُمَا فَقَدْتَ الْحُوتَ فَهُوَ ثَمَّ، فَأَخَذَ حُوتًا فَجَعَلَهُ بِمِكْتَلٍ، ثُمَّ انْطَلَقَ وَانْطَلَقَ مَعَهُ فَتَاهُ يُوشَعُ بْنُ نُونٍ عَلَيْهِ السَّلَامُ، حَتَّى إِذَا أَتَيَا الصَّخْرَةَ وَضَعَا رُءُوْسَهُمَا فَنَامَا، وَاضْطَرَبَ الْحُوتُ فِي الْمِكْتَلِ، فَخَرَجَ مِنْهُ فَسَقَطَ فِي الْبَحْرِ فَاتَّخَذَ سَبِيلَهُ فِي الْبَحْرِ سَرَبًا، وَأَمْسَكَ اللهُ عَنِ الْحُوتِ جِرْيَةَ الْمَاءِ، فَصَارَ عَلَيْهِ مِثْلَ الطَّاقِ، فَلَمَّا اسْتَيْقَظَ، نَسِيَ صَاحِبُهُ أَنْ يُخْبِرَهُ بِالْحُوتِ، فَانْطَلَقَا بَقِيَّةَ يَوْمِهِمَا وَلَيْلَتَهُمَا حَتَّى إِذَا كَانَ مِنَ الْغَدِ قَالَ مُوسَى لِفَتَاهُ:
﴿ ءَاتِنَا غَدَآءَنَا لَقَدۡ لَقِينَا مِن سَفَرِنَا هَـٰذَا نَصَبً۬ا

(Musa got up to deliver a speech before the Children of Israel and he was asked, "Who is the most learned person among the people'' Musa replied, "I am.'' Allah rebuked him because he did not refer the knowledge to Allah. So Allah revealed to him: "At the junction of the two seas there is a servant of Ours who is more learned than you.'' Musa asked, "O my Lord, how can I meet him'' Allah said, "Take a fish and put it in a vessel and then set out, and where you lose the fish, you will find him.'' So Musa took a fish, put it in a vessel and set out, along with his boy-servant Yusha` bin Nun, peace be upon him, till they reached a rock (on which) they both lay down their heads and slept. The fish moved vigorously in the vessel and got out of it and fell into the sea and there it took its way through the sea (straight) as in a tunnel. Allah stopped the flow of water on both sides of the way created by the fish, and so that way was like a tunnel. When Musa got up, his companion forgot to tell him about the fish, and so they carried on their journey during the rest of the day and the whole night. The next morning Musa said to his boy-servant, ("Bring us our morning meal; truly, we have suffered much fatigue in this, our journey.")

« وَلَمْ يَجِدْ مُوسَى النَّصَبَ حَتَّى جَاوَزَ الْمَكَانَ الَّذِي أَمَرَهُ اللهُ بِهِ، قَالَ لَهُ فَتَاهُ:»
﴿ أَرَءَيۡتَ إِذۡ أَوَيۡنَآ إِلَى ٱلصَّخۡرَةِ فَإِنِّى نَسِيتُ ٱلۡحُوتَ وَمَآ أَنۡسَٮٰنِيهُ إِلَّا ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنُ أَنۡ أَذۡكُرَهُ ۥ‌ۚ وَٱتَّخَذَ سَبِيلَهُ ۥ فِى ٱلۡبَحۡرِ عَجَبً۬ا
قاَل: فَكَانَ لِلْحُوتِ سَرَبًا، وَلِمُوسَى وَفَتَاهُ عَجَبًا، فَقَالَ:
﴿ ذَٲلِكَ مَا كُنَّا نَبۡغِ‌ۚ فَٱرۡتَدَّا عَلَىٰٓ ءَاثَارِهِمَا قَصَصً۬ا
قَالَ: فَرَجَعَا يَقُصَّانِ أَثَرَهُمَا حَتَّى انْتَهَيَا إِلَى الصَّخْرَةِ، فَإِذَا رَجُلٌ مُسَجًّى بِثَوْبٍ، فَسَلَّمَ عَلَيْهِ موسَى فَقَالَ الْخَضِرُ: وَأَنَّى بِأَرْضِكَ السَّلَامُ. فَقَالَ: أَنَا مُوسَى. فَقَالَ: مُوسَى بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ؟ قَالَ: نَعَمْ، قَالَ: أَتَيْتُكَ لِتُعَلِّمَنِي مِمَّا عُلِّمْتَ رُشْدًا
﴿ قَالَ إِنَّكَ لَن تَسۡتَطِيعَ مَعِىَ صَبۡرً۬ا
« يَا مُوسَى إِنِّي عَلَى عِلْمٍ مِنْ علْمِ اللهِ عَلَّمَنِيهِ لَا تَعْلَمُهُ أَنْتَ وَأَنْتَ عَلَى عَلْمٍ مِنْ عِلْمِ اللهِ عَلَّمَكَهُ اللهُ لَا أَعْلَمُه »

Musa did not get tired till he had passed the place that Allah had ordered him to look for. His boy-servant then said to him, ("Do you remember when we betook ourselves to the rock I indeed forgot the fish; none but Shaytan made me forget to remember it. It took its course into the sea in a strange way.'') There was a tunnel for the fish and Musa and his boy-servant were amazed. Musa said, ("That is what we have been seeking.'' So they went back retracing their footsteps.'') So they went back retracing their steps until they reached the rock. There they found a man covered with a garment. Musa greeted him. Al-Khidr said, "Is there such a greeting in your land'' Musa said, "I am Musa.'' He said, "Are you the Musa of the Children of Israel'' Musa said, "Yes,'' and added, "I have come to you so that you may teach me something of that knowledge which you have been taught.'' Al-Khidr said, ("You will not be able to have patience with me.) O Musa! I have some of Allah's knowledge which He has bestowed upon me but you do not know it; and you too, have some of Allah's knowledge which He has bestowed upon you, but I do not know it.''

« فَقَالَ مُوسَى: »
﴿ سَتَجِدُنِىٓ إِن شَآءَ ٱللَّهُ صَابِرً۬ا وَلَآ أَعۡصِى لَكَ أَمۡرً۬ا
قَالَ لَهُ الْخَضِرُ:
﴿ فَإِنِ ٱتَّبَعۡتَنِى فَلَا تَسۡـَٔلۡنِى عَن شَىۡءٍ حَتَّىٰٓ أُحۡدِثَ لَكَ مِنۡهُ ذِكۡرً۬ا
فَانْطَلَقَا يَمْشِيَانِ عَلَى سَاحِلِ الْبَحْرِ فَمَرَّتْ سَفِيَنةٌ، فَكَلَّمُوهُمْ أَنْ يَحْمِلُوهُمْ، فَعَرَفُوا الْخَضِرَ فَحَمَلُوهُمْ بِغَيْرِ نَوْلٍ، فَلَمَّا رَكِبَا فِي السَّفِينَةِ لَمْ يَفْجَأْ إِلَّا وَالْخَضِرُ قَدْ قَلَعَ لَوْحًا مِنْ أَلْوَاحِ السَّفِينَةِ بِالْقَدُّومِ، فَقَالَ لَهُ مُوسَى: قَدْ حَمَلُونَا بِغَيْرِ نَوْلٍ، فَعَمَدْتَ إِلَى سَفِينَتِهِمْ فَخَرَقْتَهَا لِتُغْرِقَ أَهْلَهَا؟ لَقَدْ جِئْتَ شَيْئًا إِمْرًا
﴿ قَالَ أَلَمۡ أَقُلۡ إِنَّكَ لَن تَسۡتَطِيعَ مَعِىَ صَبۡرً۬ا قَالَ لَا تُؤَاخِذۡنِى بِمَا نَسِيتُ وَلَا تُرۡهِقۡنِى مِنۡ أَمۡرِى عُسۡرً۬ا

Musa said, ("If Allah wills, you will find me patient, and I will not disobey you in aught.'') Al-Khidr said to him, ("Then, if you follow me, ask me not about anything till I myself mention it to you.'') So they set out walking along the shore, until a boat passed by and they asked the crew to let them go on board. The crew recognized Al-Khidr and allowed them to go on board free of charge. When they went on board, suddenly Musa saw that Al-Khidr had pulled out one of the planks of the ship with an adz. Musa said to him, "These people gave us a free ride, yet you have broken their boat so that its people will drown! Verily, you have done a terrible thing! ("Al-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). '')) The Messenger of Allah said,

« فَكَانَتِ الْأُولَى مِنْ مُوسَى نِسْيَانًا، قَالَ: وَجَاءَ عُصْفُورٌ فَوَقَعَ عَلَى حَرْفِ السَّفِينَةِ، فَنَقَرَ فِي الْبَحْرِ نَقْرَةً أَوْ نَقْرَتَيْنِ فَقَالَ لَهُ الْخَضِرُ: مَا عِلْمِي وَعِلْمُكَ فِي عِلْمِ اللهِ إِلَّا مِثْلُ مَا نَقَصَ هَذَا الْعُصْفُورُ مِنْ هَذَا الْبَحْرِ ثُمَّ خَرَجَا مِنَ السَّفِينَةِ فَبَيْنَمَا هُمَا يَمْشِيَانِ عَلَى السَّاحِلِ إِذْ أَبْصَرَ الْخَضِرُ غُلَامًا يَلْعَبُ مَعَ الْغِلْمَانِ، فَأَخَذَ الْخَضِرُ رَأْسَهُ فَاقْتَلَعَهُ بِيَدِهِ فَقَتَلَهُ، فَقَالَ لَهُ مُوسَى: »
﴿ فَٱنطَلَقَا حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَا لَقِيَا غُلَـٰمً۬ا فَقَتَلَهُ ۥ قَالَ أَقَتَلۡتَ نَفۡسً۬ا زَكِيَّةَۢ بِغَيۡرِ نَفۡسٍ۬ لَّقَدۡ جِئۡتَ شَيۡـًٔ۬ا نُّكۡرً۬ا قَالَ أَلَمۡ أَقُل لَّكَ إِنَّكَ لَن تَسۡتَطِيعَ مَعِىَ صَبۡرً۬ا

(In the first instance, Musa asked Al-Khidr because he had forgotten his promise. Then a bird came and sat on the edge of the boat, dipping its beak once or twice in the sea. Al-Khidr said to Musa, "My knowledge and your knowledge, in comparison to Allah's knowledge, is like what this bird has taken out of the sea.'' Then they both disembarked from the boat, and while they were walking on the shore, Al-Khidr saw a boy playing with other boys. Al-Khidr took hold of the boy's head and pulled it off with his hands, killing him. Musa said to him, ("Have you killed an innocent person who had killed none! Verily, you have committed a thing Nukr!'' He said, "Did I not tell you that you would not be able to have patience with me'')

« قَالَ: وَهَذِهِ أَشَدُّ مِنَ الْأُولَى »
﴿ قَالَ إِن سَأَلۡتُكَ عَن شَىۡءِۭ بَعۡدَهَا فَلَا تُصَـٰحِبۡنِى‌ۖ قَدۡ بَلَغۡتَ مِن لَّدُنِّى عُذۡرً۬ا فَٱنطَلَقَا حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَآ أَتَيَآ أَهۡلَ قَرۡيَةٍ ٱسۡتَطۡعَمَآ أَهۡلَهَا فَأَبَوۡاْ أَن يُضَيِّفُوهُمَا فَوَجَدَا فِيہَا جِدَارً۬ا يُرِيدُ أَن يَنقَضَّ
أَيْ مَائِلًا، فَقَالَ الْخَضِرُ بِيَدِهِ
﴿ فَأَقَامَهُ ۥ‌ۖ
فَقَالَ مُوسَى: قَوْمٌ أَتَيْنَاهُمْ فَلَمْ يُطْعِمُونَا وَلَمْ يُضَيِّفُونَا
﴿ فَٱنطَلَقَا حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَآ أَتَيَآ أَهۡلَ قَرۡيَةٍ ٱسۡتَطۡعَمَآ أَهۡلَهَا فَأَبَوۡاْ أَن يُضَيِّفُوهُمَا فَوَجَدَا فِيہَا جِدَارً۬ا يُرِيدُ أَن يَنقَضَّ فَأَقَامَهُ ۥ‌ۖ قَالَ لَوۡ شِئۡتَ لَتَّخَذۡتَ عَلَيۡهِ أَجۡرً۬ا قَالَ هَـٰذَا فِرَاقُ بَيۡنِى وَبَيۡنِكَ‌ۚ سَأُنَبِّئُكَ بِتَأۡوِيلِ مَا لَمۡ تَسۡتَطِع عَّلَيۡهِ صَبۡرًا

)The narrator( said, "The second blame was stronger than the first one''. (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 until they came to the people of a town. They asked them for food but they refused to entertain them. (Then) they found there a wall on the point of falling down.) (Al-Khidr) set it up straight with his own hands. Musa said, "We came to these people, but they neither fed us nor received us as guests. (If you had wished, surely, you could have taken wages for it!'' (Al-Khidr) said: "This is the parting between you and I. I will tell you the interpretation of (those) things over which you were unable to be patient.'') The Messenger of Allah said:

« وَدِدْنَا أَنَّ مُوسَى كَانَ صَبَرَ حَتَّى يَقُصَّ اللهُ عَلَيْنَا مِنْ خَبَرِهِمَا »

(We wish that Musa was patient so that Allah would have told us more about both of them.) Sa`id bin Jubayr said: "Ibn `Abbas used to recite )Ayah no. 79

« وَكَانَ أَمَامَهُمْ مَلِكٌ يَاْخُذُ كُلَّ سَفِينَةٍ صَالَحَةٍ غَضْبًا » (There was a king before them who seized every good-conditioned ship by force) and )Ayah no 80 « وَأَمَّا الْغُلَامُ فَكَانَ كَافِرًا وَكَانَ أَبَوَاهُ مُؤْمِنَيْنِ » (As for the boy, he was a disbeliever and his parents were believers.) Then (in another narration) Al-Bukhari recorded a similar account which says: « فَخَرَجَ مُوسَى وَمَعَهُ فَتَاهُ يُوشَعُ بْنُ نُونٍ وَمَعَهُمَا الْحُوتُ، حَتَّى انْتَهَيَا إِلَى الصَّخْرَةِ، فَنَزَلَا عِنْدَهَا، قَالَ: فَوَضَعَ مُوسَى رَأْسَهُ فَنَامَ، قَالَ: وَفِي أَصْلِ الصَّخْرَةِ عَيْنٌ يُقَالُ لَهَا الْحَيَاةُ لَا يُصِيبُ مِنْ مَائِهَا شَيْءٌ إِلَّا حَيِيَ فَأَصَابَ الْحُوتَ مِنْ مَاءِ تِلْكَ الْعَيْنِ، فَتَحَرَّكَ وَانْسَلَّ مِنَ الْمِكْتَلِ فَدَخَلَ الْبَحْرَ، فَلَمَّا اسْتَيْقَظَ قَالَ مُوسَى لِفَتَاهُ: »
﴿ ءَاتِنَا غَدَآءَنَا

(...then Musa set out and with him was his boy-servant Yusha` bin Nun, and they had the fish with them. When they reached the rock, they camped there, and Musa lay down his head and slept. At the base of the rock there was a spring called Al-Hayat; its water never touched a thing but it brought it to life. Some of its water touched the fish, so it began to move and jumped out of the vessel and into the sea. When he woke up, Musa said to his boy-servant: (Bring us our morning meal.)) Then he quoted the rest of the Hadith. Then a bird came and perched on the edge of the ship, and dipped its beak in the sea, and Al-Khidr said to Musa, "My knowledge and your knowledge and the knowledge of all of creation, in comparison to the knowledge of Allah, is like what this bird has taken from the sea.'' Then he mentioned the rest of the report.

﴿ قَالَ لَهُ ۥ مُوسَىٰ هَلۡ أَتَّبِعُكَ عَلَىٰٓ أَن تُعَلِّمَنِ مِمَّا عُلِّمۡتَ رُشۡدً۬ا قَالَ إِنَّكَ لَن تَسۡتَطِيعَ مَعِىَ صَبۡرً۬ا وَكَيۡفَ تَصۡبِرُ عَلَىٰ مَا لَمۡ تُحِطۡ بِهِۦ خُبۡرً۬ا
﴿ قَالَ سَتَجِدُنِىٓ إِن شَآءَ ٱللَّهُ صَابِرً۬ا وَلَآ أَعۡصِى لَكَ أَمۡرً۬ا قَالَ فَإِنِ ٱتَّبَعۡتَنِى فَلَا تَسۡـَٔلۡنِى عَن شَىۡءٍ حَتَّىٰٓ أُحۡدِثَ لَكَ مِنۡهُ ذِكۡرً۬ا

(66. Musa said to him: "May I follow you so that you teach me something of that knowledge which you have been taught (by Allah)'') (67. He said: "Verily, you will not be able to have patience with me!'') (68. "And how can you have patience about a thing which you know not'') (69. Musa said: "If Allah wills, you will find me patient, and I will not disobey you in aught.'') (70. He said: "Then, if you follow me, ask me not about anything till I myself mention of it to you.'')

Musa meeting with Al-Khidr and accompanying Him

Allah tells us what Musa said to that learned man, who was Al-Khidr. He was one to whom Allah had given knowledge that He had not given to Musa, just as He had given Musa knowledge that He had not given to Al-Khidr.

﴿ قَالَ لَهُ ۥ مُوسَىٰ هَلۡ أَتَّبِعُكَ

(Musa said to him: "May I follow you...'') This is a question phrased in gentle terms, with no sense of force or coercion. This is the manner in which the seeker of knowledge should address the scholar.

﴿ أَتَّبِعُكَ

(I follow you) means, I accompany you and spend time with you.

﴿ عَلَىٰٓ أَن تُعَلِّمَنِ مِمَّا عُلِّمۡتَ رُشۡدً۬ا

(so that you teach me something of that knowledge which you have been taught) meaning, teach me something from that which Allah has taught you so that I may be guided by it and learn something beneficial and do righteous deeds. At this point,

﴿ قَالَ

(He said) meaning, Al-Khidr said to Musa,

﴿ إِنَّكَ لَن تَسۡتَطِيعَ مَعِىَ صَبۡرً۬ا

(Verily, you will not be able to have patience with me!) meaning, `You will not be able to accompany with me when you see me doing things that go against your law, because I have knowledge from Allah that He has not taught you, and you have knowledge from Allah that He has not taught me. Each of us has responsibilities before Allah that the other does not share, and you will not be able to stay with me,'

﴿ وَكَيۡفَ تَصۡبِرُ عَلَىٰ مَا لَمۡ تُحِطۡ بِهِۦ خُبۡرً۬ا

(And how can you have patience about a thing which you know not) `For I know that you will denounce me justifiably, but I have knowledge of Allah's wisdom and the hidden interests which I can see but you cannot.'

﴿ قَالَ

(He said) meaning, Musa said:

﴿ سَتَجِدُنِىٓ إِن شَآءَ ٱللَّهُ صَابِرً۬ا

(If Allah wills, you will find me patient,) with whatever I see of your affairs,

﴿ وَلَآ أَعۡصِى لَكَ أَمۡرً۬ا

(and I will not disobey you in aught.) means, `I will not go against you in anything.' At that point, Al-Khidr, upon him be peace, set a condition:

﴿ قَالَ فَإِنِ ٱتَّبَعۡتَنِى فَلَا تَسۡـَٔلۡنِى عَن شَىۡءٍ

(Then, if you follow me, ask me not about anything) do not initiate any discussion of the matter,

﴿ حَتَّىٰٓ أُحۡدِثَ لَكَ مِنۡهُ ذِكۡرً۬ا

(till I myself mention of it to you. ) meaning, `until I initiate the discussion, before you ask me about it.'

﴿ فَٱنطَلَقَا حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَا رَكِبَا فِى ٱلسَّفِينَةِ خَرَقَهَا‌ۖ قَالَ أَخَرَقۡتَہَا لِتُغۡرِقَ أَهۡلَهَا لَقَدۡ جِئۡتَ شَيۡـًٔا إِمۡرً۬ا قَالَ أَلَمۡ أَقُلۡ إِنَّكَ لَن تَسۡتَطِيعَ مَعِىَ صَبۡرً۬ا قَالَ لَا تُؤَاخِذۡنِى بِمَا نَسِيتُ وَلَا تُرۡهِقۡنِى مِنۡ أَمۡرِى عُسۡرً۬ا

(71. So they both proceeded, till, when they boarded the boat, he (Khidr) damaged it. Musa said: "Have you damaged it wherein its people will drown Verily, you have committed a thing Imr.'') (72. He said: "Did I not tell you, that you would not be able to have patience with me'') (73. He said: "Call me not to account for what I forgot, and be not hard upon me for my affair (with you).'')

Damaging the Boat

Allah tells us that Musa and his companion Al-Khidr set out having come to an agreement and reached an understanding. Al-Khidr had made the condition that Musa should not ask him about anything he found distasteful until he himself initiated the discussion and offered an explanation. So they went on board the ship, as described in the Hadith quoted above -- the crew recognized Al-Khidr and let them ride on board free of charge, as an honor to Al-Khidr. When the boat took them out to sea and they were far from the shore, Al-Khidr got up and damaged the boat, pulling out one of its planks and then patching it up again. Musa, peace be upon him, could not restrain himself from denouncing him, so he said:

﴿ أَخَرَقۡتَہَا لِتُغۡرِقَ أَهۡلَهَا

(Have you damaged it wherein its people will drown) The grammatical structure of the sentence in Arabic implies that this was the consequence, not the purpose, of his action.

﴿ لَقَدۡ جِئۡتَ شَيۡـًٔا إِمۡرً۬ا

(Verily, you have committed a thing Imr.) About `Imr', Mujahid said: "An evil thing.'' Qatadah said, "An astounding thing.'' At this point, reminding him of the previously-agreed condition, Al-Khidr said:

﴿ أَلَمۡ أَقُلۡ إِنَّكَ لَن تَسۡتَطِيعَ مَعِىَ صَبۡرً۬ا

(Did I not tell you, that you would not be able to have patience with me) meaning, `this thing that I did deliberately is one of the things I told you not to denounce me for, because you do not know the full story, and there is a reason and purpose for it that you do not know about.'

﴿ قَالَ

(He said), meaning, Musa said:

﴿ لَا تُؤَاخِذۡنِى بِمَا نَسِيتُ وَلَا تُرۡهِقۡنِى مِنۡ أَمۡرِى عُسۡرً۬ا

(Call me not to account for what I forgot, and be not hard upon me for my affair (with you).) meaning, `do not be harsh with me.' Hence it says in the Hadith quoted above from the Messenger of Allah:

« كَانَتِ الْأُولَى مِنْ مُوسَى نِسْيَانًا »

(In the first instance, Musa asked Al-Khidr because he had forgotten his promise.)

﴿ فَٱنطَلَقَا حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَا لَقِيَا غُلَـٰمً۬ا فَقَتَلَهُ ۥ قَالَ أَقَتَلۡتَ نَفۡسً۬ا زَكِيَّةَۢ بِغَيۡرِ نَفۡسٍ۬ لَّقَدۡ جِئۡتَ شَيۡـًٔ۬ا نُّكۡرً۬ا قَالَ أَلَمۡ أَقُل لَّكَ إِنَّكَ لَن تَسۡتَطِيعَ مَعِىَ صَبۡرً۬ا قَالَ إِن سَأَلۡتُكَ عَن شَىۡءِۭ بَعۡدَهَا فَلَا تُصَـٰحِبۡنِى‌ۖ قَدۡ بَلَغۡتَ مِن لَّدُنِّى عُذۡرً۬ا

(74. Then they both proceeded till they met a boy, and he (Khidr) killed him. Musa said: "Have you killed an innocent person without Nafs Verily, you have committed a thing Nukr!'') (75. He said: "Did I not tell you that you can have no patience with me'') (76. He said: "If I ask you anything after this, keep me not in your company, you have received an excuse from me.'')