Is Hz. Khidr alive? According to the following verse, it is impossible for Hz. Khidr to be alive: "We granted not to any man before thee permanent life (here)" (al-Anbiya, 21/34)

Details of the Question

Is Hz. Khidr alive? According to the following verse, it is impossible for Hz. Khidr to be alive: "We granted not to any man before thee permanent life (here)" (al-Anbiya, 21/34)

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

In his book called Mektubat, Badiuzzaman Said Nursi indicates the small and trifling disagreements about the life of Hz. Khidr by some hadith and fiqh scholars compared to the majority of scholars; then, he explains the healthy aspect of the issue and the aspect that the majority of scholars agree on without analyzing the controversial aspect. He uses scholarly and mental evidence as support and states that Hz. Khidr is alive but that he is in the second level of life, that some scholars doubt whether he is alive, that Hz. Khidr and Ilyas live on earth but that they have a free life compared to us, that the obligations and restrictions that limit and constrict us loosen, become invalid and be deactivated for them, that they can, for instance, be in more than one place simultaneously, their ability to move is not restricted by human conditions, that they can eat and drink like us when they want to, but are not compelled to eat and drink like us, that some saints with special abilities have some occasions with Hz. Khidr, that there is a degree of sainthood called ‘the degree of Khidr’, that a saint who reaches this degree receives instruction from Khidr and meets with him and that sometimes the one at that degree is mistakenly thought to be Khidr himself.

Here, we want to mention briefly the source of the disagreements of some scholars regarding the issue, that is, those who say, "he is not alive", and the answers given to them.

"Nobody present on the surface of the earth this night of yours (tonight) will be living after the completion of one hundred years from this night." (Bukhari, Ilm, 41)

Acting upon the hadith of the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) above, some hadith scholars including Imam Bukhari hold the view that Hz. Khidr died within that century.

"We granted not to any man before thee permanent life (here)." (al-Anbiya, 21/34)

Acting upon the verse of the Quran above, some scholars like Ibn al-Jawzi decreed that Hz. Khidr died before the Messenger of Allah (pbuh).

Many hadith scholars, primarily Hz. Abdullah bin Umar, who narrated the hadith, said the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said those who lived in that century would die. It means one hundred years from now, all of those who are living now will die as a general rule of Allah, and the century will end. Besides, the word “yours” in the phrase “this night of yours” in the hadith shows that it does not include those living before the ummah of Muhammad. In that case, it states that the members of the ummah of Muhammad who were living at that time would die in a hundred years.   (Ayni, Umdatul-Qari, Vol. I Chapters 175-177) Accordingly, Hz Isa, Idris, Khidr and Ilyas are excluded.

The verse regarding the issue addresses the Prophet as follows:

"We granted not to any man before thee permanent life (here): if then thou shouldst die would they live permanently?"

However, it will be appropriate to exclude the death of Hz. Khidr, who has been living before the time of Hz. Musa (Moses), who travelled with him, whose existence is definite based on Bukhari and Muslim's sound hadiths, from the general decree of this verse. Otherwise, it will be necessary to think that Hz. Isa (Jesus) and Hz. Idris (Enoch) also died acting upon the general rule and decree of this verse, which will be a thought that is opposite to the verses of the Quran. It means it is more appropriate to interpret the verse as follows: "Every living being will definitely die and eternity is peculiar to Allah only."

We find it sufficient here to give the names of some books about the narrations that Hz. Khidr met the Prophet (pbuh) and that some Companions saw him, and resources in which Islamic scholars accept that he is alive:

(Al-Isaba - Ibn Hajar 1/429-452; Sahih Muslim Kitabul Fadail 170-174, 4/2380; Sharhus- Sunnah - Baghawi 15/280; Jam'ul-Fawaid 1/43; Musnadul-Firdaws 1/345 and 427, 5/504; Jam'ul-Jawami' - Suyuti hadith no: 4118 and 70707; Kanzul-Ummal hadith no: 34409; Mawariduz-Zam'an - Ibn Hibban hadith no: 2092; Tirmidhi hadith no: 30151; Zuharul-Firdaws - Ibn Hajar 4/401; Ihyau Ulumid-Din 1/336; al-Fathul-Kabir 1/439; Sharh-i Muslim - Nawawi 8/234; Ramuzul-Ahadith p: 198; Nurul-Absar p: 157, 258 and 270; al-Musannaf - San'ani 2/393; al-Fathur-Rabbani - Ghaylani p: 240,…)

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