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  • Raya Shokatfard


Updated: Dec 24, 2020

By: Raya Shokatfard

The overall observation of Moses and Al-Khidr story reflects the following lessons:

One of the most important lessons in this chapter is actually for non-Muslims who claim that Prophet Muhammad learned the religion from the Christians and wrote it in the Quran as the stories are similar or the same. Here, one notices that nowhere in the Old or New Testament of the Bible does this story or any other stories in the 18th chapter of the Quran are mentioned.

One should never think they have the monopoly on all the knowledge out there. There is always someone who may know more than them in some areas, while they may know more in other areas. Later in the story, we notice a change. Although Moses was in a higher level as a Prophet, he did not hesitate to humble himself and seek further knowledge.

It is important for the sincere seekers of divine knowledge to always consider themselves as students, realizing there is always someone more knowledgeable than them. Also, one should always attribute knowledge to God and not to himself, meaning that it is God who taught him.

Setting out on a journey, or exert oneself beyond the comfort zone to seek knowledge is commendable.

Taking provisions on such trips is not only necessary, but vital to the success of the mission. This is unlike the claim of some mystics who travel and say, “We put our trust in God to provide for us.” Later, they may end up begging for food. (Al-Qurtubi)

Having someone along to help ease the journey by providing needed services is allowed for those who can afford it.

Sharing meals with a servant is recommended and avoids loftiness, especially in a scholar.

Sometimes what seems like a misfortune to us may in fact be beneficial for us. This is the wisdom behind patience.

Sins are usually committed when one forgets about God. The boy attributed his forgetting to Satan who uses forgetfulness as one of the main tools to misguide mankind. In Islam, Muslims are encouraged to remember God on a regular basis as to not give Satan a tool to tempt or deceive him or make him forget important matters in his life. God states: {Those who, having done something shameful or having wronged their own souls, remember Allah and immediately ask forgiveness for their sins…} (Al-Imran 3: 135)

To have patience in something without comprehensive knowledge is difficult even for a Prophet. Yet, there are benefits in many things that humans don’t quite understand, but they need patience to find and use them.

When one realizes a mistake, it is best to immediately rectify it and when it involves others, immediately ask for forgiveness.

When in a conflict with a scholar, one must humble himself and take strong care about the words he uses, as to not elevate himself above the respected Wise-man/scholar. Even if he is correct in his perspective, each must take extra care to avoid any connotation of self exaltation.

Sometimes what seems like a misfortune to us may in fact be beneficial for us. This is the wisdom behind patience. God Almighty says: {It may be that you dislike something which is good for you.} (Al-Baqarah 2: 216)

It is important to note that God does not create evil for the evil itself, but according to His wisdom, some evil may be a for-runner for good. With this in mind, a person never feels victimized, angry at his destiny or anxious about his life and future in a negative way.

God protects the interest of children belonging to righteous parents. God is kind to their children and bestows His blessings upon them. {Your Lord wanted them to reach maturity and extract their treasure by your Lord’s grace.}

One must not attribute evil to God, as He does not create evil for the sake of evil. Only good can be attributed to Him.

It is interesting to note here “will” is attributed to God, the Exalted, because no one else is able to bring them to the age of full strength and puberty except God. In contrast, He said about the boy: {So we wanted their Lord to replace him with a more righteous and merciful (child)} and concerning the ship: {I wanted to damage it}. Although all is from God, he took care to attribute the negative to himself and the positive to God.

It is important to also note that although all kinds of beneficial knowledge are out there in the world, the ultimate knowledge is the one that brings a better understanding of God and the purpose of human life on earth and of religion itself.

One must submit himself to divine law whether it is to his liking or not. There are no laws that are created for humans in jest. Only those who can truly reflect find the answers to difficult situations or those who are patient enough to find out on the Day of Judgment.

Knowledge promotes patience. For those who believe, patience is integrated in the belief even when one does not have the right understanding.

One must not attribute evil to God, as He does not create evil for the sake of evil. Only good can be attributed to Him. Evil, however is the core attribution of Satan.

Although it is common for humans to judge based on apparent signs, one must realize that there may be a hidden reason behind unbelievable circumstances.

Believing in destiny is one of the many articles of faith in Islam. In this story, belief itself is manifested to its outmost boundary.

May Allah make us all stronger believers in God, His destiny and give us ample patience to bear hardships in life by putting our positive hope in Allah for the best outcome. Amen.


Published on: Friday, 25 January 2013

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