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Musa NabiAS and the Learned Man

A story about Musa NabiAS is related in Sura al-Kahf. Ä°t narrates a conversation between Musa Nabi AS and Khadir. Though Musa Nabi AS was eager to learn from him, Khadir openly told him that Musa Nabi AS did not possess the patience required. The narrative is as follows:

They (Musa Nabi AS and his companion) found a servant of Ours upon whom We had granted mercy and had given knowledge. Musa said to him, “May I follow you so that you may teach from what you have learnt?”

He said, “You will not be able to bear with me. How can you bear something that your knowledge does not encompass?”

Musa Nabi AS said, “You will find me patient, if Allah wills, and I will not disobey you in any matter.”

He said, “Then if you do follow me, do not question me about anything until I mention it to you.”

They continued until they boarded a boat which he scuppered. To which Musa said, “Did you damage it so that those in it would be drowned? This is truly a dreadful thing that you have done!”

He said, “Did I not say that you would not be able to bear with me?”

Musa Nabi said AS, “Do not take me to task because I forgot. Do not demand of me something which is too difficult.”

They then journeyed until they met a youngster whom Khadir killed. Musa said, “Have you not killed a boy who has done no wrong and without his killing being in retaliation for someone else’s death? This is truly an appalling deed!”

He said, “Did I not tell you that you would not be able to bear with me?”

Musa said, “If I ask you about anything after this, then you may no longer keep me with you.

They went on until they reached a town. They asked its inhabitants for food but they refused. In the town they found a wall about to collapse which he strenghtened. Musa said, “If you had wanted, you could have taken remuneration for doing that.”

He said, “This is where you and I part. I will explain to you those things over which you were unable to restrain yourself. The boat belonged to some poor people who worked at sea. I resolved to damage it because a king was coming behind them who was commandeering every boat.

As for the boy, his parents were believers and we feared that he would darken their days with excessive insolence and transgression. We wanted their Lord to give them in exchange a purer and more compassionate son than him. As for the wall, it belongs to two young orphans in the town with treasure lying beneath it for them. Their father was pious and your Lord wanted them to come of age and unearth this treasure, an act of mercy from Him. I did not do it of my own volition. This is the explanation of the things about which you were not able to restrain yourself.” (Qur’an, 18: 65-82)