Monday, June 29, 2009

Seeking al-Khadir's Knowledge

Then they found one from among Our servants whom We had granted mercy from Us and whom We had taught knowledge from Ourselves. (18:65)

Imam al-Tabari relates with his isnad to Ibn Abbas:

حدثنا ابن حميد، قال: ثنا يعقوب، عن هارون بن عنترة، عن أبـيه، عن ابن عبـاس، قال: سأل موسى ربه وقال: ربّ أيّ عبـادك أحبّ إلـيك؟ قال: الذي يذكرنـي ولا ينسانـي قال: فأيّ عبـادك أقضى؟ قال: الذي يقضي بـالـحقّ ولا يتبع الهوى قال: أي ربّ أيّ عبـادك أعلـم؟ قال: الذي يبتغي علـم الناس إلـى علـم نفسه، عسى أن يصيب كلـمة تهديه إلـى هُدَى، أو تردّه عن رَدَى قال: ربّ فهل فـي الأرض أحدٌ؟ قال: نعم قال: ربّ، فمن هو؟ قال: الـخضر قال: وأين أطلبه؟ قال: علـى الساحل عند الصخرة التـي ينفلت عندها الـحوت

Musa asked his Lord: "Lord, which of your servants is most beloved to you?" He said, "The one who remembers Me and does not forget Me." Musa said: And which of your servants is most judicious?" He said, "The one who judges by the truth and does not follow his own inclination (hawaa)."

Musa said: "O Lord, which of your servants is the most knowledgeable?" He said: "The one to whose knowledge the knowledge of the people aspire, that perhaps they might receive a word that would lead them to guidance or save them from ruin."

Musa said: "Lord, is there such a one on earth?" He said: "Yes." Musa said, "Lord, who is he?" He said: "Al-Khadir." Musa said: "Where shall I look for him?" He said, "Upon the shore by the rock where the fish will slip away."

Translated by
Kristin Zahra Sands, Sufi Commentaries on the Quran in Classical Islam, p. 81

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