About: Al-Khiḍr The Green One

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Is Al-Khidr Still Alive…?

The majority of scholars said:

“Al-Khadir is still alive because he was the one who buried Adam (Peace be upon him) after the Deluge and thus he was affected by the invocation of Adam that he who buries him will live long.” Some people said: “he is still alive because he drank of the spring of life.” There are so many narrations and stories on which those who viewed the existence of Al-Khadir today based their opinion. But, all the narrations and Hadiths pertaining to that issue are weak and invented and those who narrated them are not infallible.

Abdur Razzaq said: I was told by Mu’ amir that Abu Sa’id AI-Khudri said:

“One day Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) narrated to us a long narration about Ad-Dajjal and among the things he narrated to us, was: ‘Ad-Dajjal will come, and he will be forbidden to enter the mountain passes of Medina. He will encamp in one of the salt areas neighboring Medina and there will appear to him a man who will be the best or one of the best of the people. He will say: ‘I testify that you are Ad-Dajjal whose story Allah’s Messenger has told us.

‘Ad Dajjal will say (to his audience): ‘Look, if I kill this man and then give him life, will you have any doubt about my claim?’ They will reply: ‘No.’ Then Ad Dajjal will kill that man and then will make him alive. The man will say: ‘By Allah, now I recognize you more than ever! ‘Ad-Dajjal will then try to kill him (again) but he will not be given the power to do so. “, Mu’amir said: I was told that the man who stands against the Dajjal is Al-Khadir and that his neck on that day would be covered with brass.

Sheik Abu Al-Faraj Ibn Al-Jawzi refuted all these Hadiths and proved them all to be invented, and he proved the Chains of Transmission of the narrations and stories of the Prophet’s Companions and followers to be weak and fallible. Indeed, Ibn Al-Jawzi was very powerful and authentic in doing so.As for those who claimed Al-Khadir to be dead such as Imam Al-Bukhari, Abu Al-Husain Ibn Al-Munadi and sheik Abu Al-Faraj Ibn Al-Jawzi, they held as their textual proofs what follows: Allah the Almighty says:

”And We granted not to any human being immortality before you (O Muhammad (Peace be upon him»: then if you die, would they live forever?”. (Al-Anbyia’, 34)

So if Al-Khadir was a human being, he would be affected by this ruling: he is mortal, he must die. Allah the Almighty says:

‘’And (remember) when Allah took the Covenant of the Prophets, saying: “Take whatever I gave you from the Book and Hikmah (understanding of the Laws of Allah), and afterwards there will come to you a Messenger (Muhammad (Peace be upon him» confirming what is with you; you must, then, believe in him and help him.”

Allah said:

“Do you agree (to it) and will you take up My Covenant (which I conclude with you)?” They said: “We agree.” He said: “Then bear witness; and I am with you among the witnesses (for this)“. (Al ‘Imran, 81)

Ibn ‘Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) said: Allah took the Covenant of all the Prophets to believe in Muhammad and support him if he appears during their lifetimes. In addition, they should take the Covenant of all their own nations to believe in him and support him in the same way.

Thereupon, were Al-Khadir a Prophet or a Wali (protector or guardian), he would be involved in that Covenant and that were he alive during the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), he would follow him and present himself before him paying allegiance and absolute faith. Imam Ahmed narrated: I was told by Shuraih Ibn An-Nu’man after Hashim after Mujalid after AshShi’bi after Jabir Ibn ‘Abdullah that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“By Him in Whose Hand my soul is! Were Moses alive, he would do nothing but follow me.” This is the decisive view which the earlier Qur’anic Verse indicates that all Prophets -if they happen to live during the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad -are ordered to follow him and practice his own Shari `ah. On the Night Journey, he (Peace be upon him) was raised far above them all.[5] When they descended to Jerusalem and the time for Prayer was due, he (Peace be upon him) was ordered to lead them all (in Prayer).

This showed that he is the greatest Imam and the last Prophet who is most honored and respected (May Allah grant him and them all mercy). Thereupon, if Al-Khadir were alive, he would be joining forces with Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), and he would follow his religion in every minute detail. This is Prophet `Isa (Jesus (Peace be upon him)) when he will descends by the end of time, he will rule over the whole world in accordance with this honorable legislation of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him).

However, there is nothing to certify that Al-Khadir has met together with Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) in a single day or even witnessed any fight with him against the polytheists or the infidels. On the day on which the Battle of Badr was fought, the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) cast a glance at the infidels, and they were one thousand (1000) while his own Companions were three hundred and nineteen (319). Allah’s Prophet (Peace be upon him) turned (his face) towards the Qiblah.

Then, he stretched his hands and began his supplication to his Lord: ‘O Allah! Accomplish for me what Thou hast promised to me. O Allah! Bring about what Thou hast promised to me. O Allah! If this small band of Muslims is destroyed, Thou will not be worshipped on this earth.’ He (Peace be upon him) continued his supplication to his Lord, stretching his hands, facing the Qiblah, until his mantle slipped down from his shoulders.

So Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him) came to him, picked up his mantle and put it on his shoulders. Then he (Abu Bakr) embraced him from behind and said: O Prophet of Allah! This prayer of yours to your Lord will suffice you, and He will fulfil for you what He has promised you. So Allah, the Glorious and Exalted, revealed (the Qur’anic verse):

‘’(Remember) when you sought help of your Lord and He answered you (saying): I will help you with a thousand of the angels each behind the other (following one another) in succession’’. (Al-Anfal, 9)

5 I.e. Near Sidrat-ul-Muntaha (a lote-tree of the utmost boundary over the seventh heaven beyond which none can pass). (Translator)

So Allah helped him with angels.” (Sahih Muslim) However, this’ small band of Muslims’ consisted, then, of the chiefs from among the Muslims and the angels, foremost among whom was Jibril (Gabriel (Peace be upon him)). Thus, if Al-Khadir were alive, his presence, then, would be the best thing he could ever do. Narrated Al-Qadi Abu Ya`la Muhammad Ibn Al-Husain Al-Fara’ Al-Hanbali: Some people asked some of our companions about Al-Khadir, was he dead? They answered: “Yes.”

Some people claim that Al-Khadir was present during all these past events but no one could see him because he was invisible. Obviously, this claim is groundless and is based only on illusions. Indeed, if he was still alive during the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), he would certainly join him in his fight against the polytheists of the tribe of Quraish. See the following Hadith:

Narrated Sa’d (May Allah be pleased with him):

“On the Day of Uhud I saw on the right side of Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) and on his left side two persons dressed in white clothes and whom I did not see before nor after that, and they were Gabriel and Michael (may Allah be pleased with both of them).” (Sahih Muslim)

In addition, ‘Abdullah Ibn `Umar (May Allah be pleased with both of them) said:

“Once the Prophet (Peace be upon him) led us in the `Isha’ (Night) Prayer during the last days of his life and after finishing it (the Prayer) (with Taslim, i.e. final salutation) he said: ‘Do you realize (the importance of) this night? Nobody present on the surface of the earth tonight will be living after thecompletion of one hundred years from this night. “, (Sahih Al-Bukhari) And,

`Abdullah Ibn `Umar (May Allah be pleased with both of them) narrated:

“Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) led us in the `Isha’ (Night) Prayer at the latter part of the night and when he had concluded it by salutations he stood up and said: ‘Have you seen this night of yours? At the end of one hundred years after this (night) none would survive on the surface of the earth (from among my Companions).’

Ibn `Umar said:

People were (not understanding) these words of the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) which had been uttered pertaining to one hundred years.

”Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) in fact meant (by these words) that on that day none from amongst those who had been living upon the earth (from amongst his Companions) would survive (after one hundred years) and that would be the end of this generation.” (Sahih Muslim) And, Jabir Ibn `Abdullah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: “I heard Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) as saying this one month before his death: ‘You asked me about the Last Hour whereas its knowledge is with Allah.”

I, however, take an oath and say that none upon the earth, the created beings (from amongst my Companions), would survive at the end of one hundred years.” This Hadith has been narrated on the authority of Ibn Juraij with the same chain of transmitters, but there is no mention of the words: “one month before his death.” (Sahih Muslim) So, even if Al-Khadir were alive during the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), he would, then, be dead in accordance with these above-mentioned Hadiths. And, Allah knows best!

Al-Khidr | The Green One

Khidr or al-Khidr (Arabic: الخضر al-Khidr “the Green One”, also transcribed as Khidar, Khizr, Khyzer, Qhizyer, Qhezar, Khizar, Xizir, Hizir) is a revered figure in Islam, whom the Quran describes as a righteous servant of God, who possessed great wisdom or mystic knowledge. He is most often said to be a contemporary of Moses, but in other variations of his story, he lived at the same time as Abraham, the mythological Persian king Afridun and Nashiya bin Amus. The 18th sura (“The Cave”) presents a narrative where Khidr accompanies Moses and tests him about his oath to not ask any questions.

In medieval Islamic tradition, Khidr is variously described as a messenger or a prophet.

Quranic narrative

In chapter 18, verses 65–82, Moses meets the Servant of God, referred in the Quran as “one from among Our friend whom We had granted mercy from Us and whom We had taught knowledge from Ourselves”, at the junction of the two seas and asks for permission to accompany him so Moses can learn “right knowledge of what [he has] been taught”. The Servant of God informs him in a stern manner that their knowledge is of different nature and that “Surely you [Moses] cannot have patience with me.

And how canst thou have patience about things about which thy understanding is not complete?” Moses promises to be patient and obey him unquestioningly, and they set out together. After they board a ship, the Servant of God damages the vessel. Forgetting his oath, Moses says, “Have you made a hole in it to drown its inmates? Certainly you have done a grievous thing.” The Servant of God reminds Moses of his warning, “Did I not say that you will not be able to have patience with me?” and Moses pleads not to be rebuked.

Next, the Servant of God kills a young man. Moses again cries out in astonishment and dismay, and again the Servant of God reminds Moses of his warning, and Moses promises that he will not violate his oath again, and that if he does he will excuse himself from the Servant’s presence. They then proceed to a town where they are denied hospitality. This time, instead of harming anyone or anything, the Servant of God restores a decrepit wall in the village. Yet again Moses is amazed and violates his oath for the third and last time, asking why the Servant of God did not at least exact “some recompense for it!”

The Servant of God replies, “This shall be separation between me and you; now I will inform you of the significance of that with which you could not have patience.” Many acts which seem to be evil, malicious or somber, actually are merciful. The boat was damaged to prevent its owners from falling into the hands of “a king who seized every boat by force… And as for the boy, his parents were believers and we feared lest he should make disobedience and ingratitude to come upon them.” God will replace the child with one better in purity, affection and obedience.

As for the restored wall, the Servant of God explained that underneath the wall was a treasure belonging to two helpless orphans whose father was a righteous man. As God’s envoy, the Servant of God restored the wall, showing God’s kindness by rewarding the piety of the orphans’ father, and so that when the wall becomes weak again and collapses, the orphans will be older and stronger and will take the treasure that belongs to them.

Muslim scholars identify the Servant of God mentioned in these verses as Khidr, although he is not explicitly named in the Quran and there is no reference to him being immortal or being especially associated with esoteric knowledge or fertility. These associations come in later scholarship on Khidr.

Khidr in | The History of al-Tabari

In his chapter ‘The Tale of al-Khiḍr and His History; and the History of Moses and His Servant Joshua,’ al-Tabari describes several versions of the traditional story surrounding Khidr. At the beginning of the chapter, al-Tabari explains that in some variations, Khidr is a contemporary of the mythical Persian king Afridun, who was a contemporary of Abraham, and lived before the days of Moses.

Khidr is also said to have been appointed to be over the vanguard of the king Dhu al-Quarnayn the Elder, who in this version is identified as the king Afridun. In this specific version, Khidr comes across the River of Life and, unaware of its properties, drinks from it and becomes immortal. Al-Tabari also recounts that Khidr is said to have been the son of a man who believed in Abraham, and who emigrated with Abraham when he left Babylon.

Khidr is also commonly associated with Elijah, even equated with him, and al-Tabari makes a distinction in the next account in which Khidr is Persian and Elijah is Israeli. According to this version of Khidr’s story, Khidr and Elijah meet every year during the annual festival season.

Al-Tabari seems more inclined to believe that Khidr lived during the time of Afridun before Moses, rather than traveled as Abraham’s companion and drank the water of life. He does not state clearly why he has this preference, but rather seems to prefer the chain of sources (the isnad) of the former story rather than the latter.

The various versions in al-Tabari’s History more or less parallel each other and the account in the Quran. However, in the stories al-Tabari recounts, Moses claims to be the most knowledgeable man on earth, and God corrects him by telling him to seek out Khidr. Moses is told to bring a salted fish, and once he found the fish to be missing, he would then find Khidr. Moses sets out with a travel companion, and once they reach a certain rock, the fish comes to life, jumps into the water, and swims away. It is at this point that Moses and his companion meet Khidr.

Al-Tabari also adds to lore surrounding the origins of Khidr’s name. He refers to a saying of Muhammad, that Khidr was called green because he sat on a white fur and it shimmered green with him.

Reports in the Hadith:

”Among the strongest transmitted proofs about the life of Khidr are two reports,”

One narrated by Ahmad ibn Hanbal in Al-Zuhd whereby Muhammad is said to have stated that Elijah and Khidr meet every year and spend the month of Ramadan in Jerusalem and the other narrated by Ya’qub ibn Sufyan from Umar II whereby a man he was seen walking with was actually Khidr.

Ibn Hajar declared the claim of the first fair and that of the second sound in Fath al-Bari (1959 ed. 6:435). He goes on to cite another sound report narrated by Ibn ‘Asakir from Abu Zur’a al-Razi whereby the latter met Khidr twice, once in his youth, the other in old age, but Khidr himself had not changed.

Khidr is believed to be a man who has the appearance of a young adult but a long, white beard. According to some authors like Abdul Haq Vidhyarthi, Khidr is Xerxes (not to be confused with Xerxes I), who disappeared after being in the lake regions of Sijistan or Sistan that comprise the wetlands of the Irano-Afghan border today, and after finding the fountain of life, sought to live his entire remaining life in service of God and to help those in their path/journey to Him.

Imam Bukhari reports that Khidr got his name after he was present over the surface of some ground that became green as a result of his presence there. There are reports from Al-Bayhaqi that Khidr was present at the funeral of Muhammad and was recognized only by Abu Bakr and Ali from amongst the rest of the companions, and where he came to show his grief and sadness at the passing away of Muhammad. Khidr’s appearance at Muhammad’s funeral is related as follows:

A powerful-looking, fine-featured, handsome man with a white beard came leaping over the backs of the people till he reached where the sacred body lay. Weeping bitterly, he turned toward the Companions and paid his condolences. Abu Bakr and Ali said that he was Khiḍr.

In another narration Khidr met with Ali by the Kaaba and instructed him about a supplication that is very meritorious when recited after the obligatory prayers. It is reported by Imam Muslim that during the time when the false Messiah appears and as he approaches at the outskirts of the city of Medina, a believer would challenge him, whom the false Messiah will slice into two piece and rejoin, making it appear that he caused him to die and be resurrected, to which this man would proclaim the falsehood of the Dajjal who would try again to kill him (or make show of it) but would fail and thus his weakness and inability being made revealed. According to the commentators and transmitters of this narration the person who will challenge the Antichrist and humiliate him will be Khidr.

Islamic Perspectives

In Shia Islam

Many Shia Muslims believe Khidr accompanied the Twelfth Imam, Muhammad al-Mahdi, in meeting one Sheikh Hassan ibn Muthlih Jamkarani, on 22 February 984 CE (17 Ramadan 373 A.H.) and instructing him to build a mosque at that site of their meeting, known as Jamkaran. The site, six kilometres east of Qom, Iran, has been a pilgrimage destination for the Shia for some time. In the last few years, however, it has become very popular, particularly with young people, and drawn crowds of tens of thousands.

In Ismailism, Khidr is of greater importance as one of the ‘Permanent Imams’; that is those who guide people through the ages of history.

In Sufism

To Sufis, Khidr holds a very dear place. Although amongst the Sunni scholars there is a difference of opinion about him being still alive, amongst Sunni Sufis there is almost a consensus that Khidr is still alive, with many respected figures and shaykhs, and prominent leaders claiming having had personal encounters with him. Examples of those who have claimed this are Hazrat Syed Sheikh Sultan Abdul-Qadir al-Jilani, Al-Nawawi, Ibn Arabi, Sidi Abdul Aziz ad-Dabbagh and Ahmad ibn Idris al-Fasi.

Ibn ‘Ata’ Allah in Lata’if al-Minan (1:84-98) states that there is consensus among the Sufis that Khidr is alive. In fact there are orders that claim origin with Khidr himself, or that Khidr was part of their chain, for example some of the Naqshbandi, the Muhammadiyyah, the Idrisiyya, and the Senussi are tariqahs that had Khidr as one of the central figures connecting them to the spiritual outflow of Muhammad.

In Sufi tradition, Khidr has come to be known as one of those who receive illumination direct from God without human mediation. He is the hidden initiator of those who walk the mystical path, like some of those from the Uwaisi tariqa. Uwaisis are those who enter the mystical path without being initiated by a living master. Instead they begin their mystical journey either by following the guiding light of the teachings of the earlier masters or by being initiated by the mysterious prophet-saint Khidr.

Khidr has had thus gained enormous reputation and popularity in the Sufi tradition due to his role as an initiator. Through this way come several Sufi orders which claim initiation through Khidr and consider him their master. Khidr had thus come to symbolize access to the divine mystery (ghayb) itself. In the writings of Abd al-Karim al-Jili, Khidr rules over ‘the Men of the Unseen’ (rijalu’l-ghayb)— the exalted saints and angels. Khidr is also included among what in classical Sufism are called the abdāl (‘those who take turns’).

In Sufi hierarchy, abdal is a mysterious rank. It is thought in Sufism that Allah decides who will be abdal for a decade before an abdal is born. Adbals are thought as the gainers of mysterious power that is knowing the future also called Ilm-e-ladunni. They are deployed to protect some unwanted evil activities that threaten the existence of Islam. In a divinely-instituted hierarchy of such saints, Khidr holds the rank of their spiritual head.

The Sri Lankan Sufi Bawa Muhaiyaddeen gives a unique account of Khidr. Khidr was on a long search for Allah, until Allah, out of his mercy, sends the Archangel Gabriel to guide him. Gabriel appears to Khidr as a wise human sage, and Khidr accepts him as his teacher. Gabriel teaches Khidr much in the same way as Khidr later teaches Moses in the Quran, by carrying out seemingly unjust actions.

Khidr repeatedly breaks his oath not to speak out against Gabriel’s actions, and is still unaware that the human teacher is actually Gabriel. Gabriel then explains his actions, and reveals his true angelic form to Khidr. Khidr recognises him as the Archangel Gabriel, and then Gabriel bestows a spiritual title upon Khidr, by calling him Hayat Nabi, the Eternal Life Prophet.

The French scholar of Sufism, Henry Corbin, interprets Khidr as the mysterious prophet, the eternal wanderer. The function of Khidr as a ‘person-archetype’ is to reveal each disciple to himself, to lead each disciple to his own theophany, because that theophany corresponds to his own ‘inner heaven,’ to the form of his own being, to his eternal individuality. Accordingly, Khidr is Moses’ spiritual guide, who initiates Moses into the divine sciences, and reveals to him the secret mystic truth.

In Ahmadiyya

Ahmadiyya identifies Khidr to be the symbolic representation of the Islamic prophet Muhammad himself. Ahmadis believe that the Quranic passage of Moses’ encounter with the “Servant of God” is closely linked, contextually to the subject matter of surah Al Kahf in which his story or parable is cited. According to Ahmadi exegesis on al-Kahf, which draws upon external and internal, religious and historical evidence to show that Moses’ journey towards, and his experience with the “servant of God” was not physical but by way of vision, similar to the Mi’raj (ascension) of Muhammad.

The righteous ‘servant of God’ otherwise known as Khidr is not believed to be a historical figure but rather a symbolic figure who signifies the person of Muhammad whom Moses had desired to see and whom he saw in this vision. Muhammad has been called the ‘servant of God’ in many places within the Quran and is believed to be the servant of God par excellence who has been called a mercy to the whole world;[20] he is also believed to have been vouchsafed divine knowledge in a very large measure.

The place of the meeting of the two seas signifies the time when the Mosaic dispensation meets the Islamic dispensation, i.e. when the Judaic dispensation will be superseded by the Islamic one.

The first action of “the servant of God” of making a hole in the boat is interpreted as signifying the commandments laid down by Muhammad which would, as it were make a hole in the boat, which in spiritual terms denotes worldly riches, i.e. he would see to it that wealth is fairly distributed and does not accumulate in the hands of a few. The “poor people” to whom the boat belonged represent the Muslims, and making a hole in it means that Islam would exhort its followers to spend in the way of God by way of Zakat and charity that would seem to be a source of economic weakness, but in fact would be one of economic strength and prosperity.

The tyrant king who confiscates the boats were the Byzantine and Persian Empires who would have seized Arabia had it not seemed to them a poor and barren land not worth conquering. Thus the Arabian land in which Muhammad was to appear, represented as the damaged boat had been safeguarded from being conquered or “taken by force”.

The youth, is interpreted as ignorance, strength and wild impulses, thus the second action of the “servant of God”, the killing of the youth signifies that the teachings of his religion would require its followers to bring about a veritable death over their carnal desires and passions. The source of these carnal desires, impulses and passions is the human body and soul combined, from which all moral qualities spring.

Islamic theology holds that every human is born virtuous, thus because his parents have been called “believers”, this means that the believers may be dragged into vice by the impulses represented as the “youth”. Islam seeks to eradicate these impulses and leaves man with the soul and body combined to develop along beneficent lines to achieve the high purpose of human life.

Then Moses and the “servant of God” approach a town, ask its people for food and are refused to be accepted as guests. This signifies that both Moses and Muhammad would seek co-operation from Jews and Christians but it would be denied. The two orphan boys to whom the wall belonged are Moses and Jesus and their ‘righteous’ father is Abraham.

Their treasure was the true teaching bequeathed by them to their peoples, which was in danger of being lost due to the latter’s irreligiousness. Thus the third act of the ‘servant of God’ (Muhammad) of rebuilding the wall signifies that the treasure or true teachings were to be safeguarded in the Quran, so that they (the people of Moses and Jesus) may accept it after having awakened to a realization of the truth of the Quranic teachings.

Comparative mythology

There are several versions of the Novel Alexander Romance in which Khidr figures as a servant of Zul-Qarneyn. in one version, Khidr and Zulqarnain cross the Land of Darkness to find the Water of Life. Zulqarnain gets lost looking for the spring, but Khidr finds it and gains eternal life. In the Iskandarnamah by an anonymous author, Khidr is asked by Zulqarnain to lead him and his armies to the Water of Life. Khidr agrees, and eventually stumbles upon the Water of Life on his own.

Some scholars suggest that Khidr is also represented in the Arthurian tale, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, as the Green Knight. In the story, the Green Knight tempts the faith of Sir Gawain three times. The character of Khidr may have come into European literature through the mixing of cultures during the Crusades. It is also possible that the story derives from an Irish myth which predates the Crusades in which Cuchulainn and two other heroes compete for the champion’s portion at feasts; ultimately, Cuchulainn is the only one willing to let a giant — actually a king who has magically disguised himself — cut off his head, as per their agreement.

The story is also similar to one told by Rabbi Nissim ben Jacob in the eleventh century of a journey made by the prophet Elijah and Rabbi Joshua ben Levi. The first house where they stay the night belongs to a pious old couple who give the prophet and the rabbi the best of their food and beds. However, the couple’s cow dies in the night. Elijah later explains that the Angel of Death came and he persuaded the angel to take the cow instead of the wife. The next house, as in the Khidr story, is that of a rich miser, and Elijah repairs his wall so that he will not, in having it repaired, find the treasure hidden under it.

A third potential parallel to the legend surrounding Khidr is the Epic of Gilgamesh. The episode in question takes place after the death of king Gilgamesh’s closest friend Enkidu. Gilgamesh goes on a journey to find his ancestor Utnapishtim, a wise figure who was granted immortal life and who lives at the mouth of two rivers. Ultimately, although Gilgamesh finds Utnapishtim, he is not able to attain immortality. Although the parallel is not exact, the story shares several major themes with both Surah 18 in the Quran and the Alexander romance, namely, the presence of a wise figure in all three stories, and the quest and ultimate failure to attain immortality in the epic of Gilgamesh and the Alexander romance.

In certain parts of India, Khidr is also known as Khwadja Khidr, a river god or spirit of wells and streams. He is mentioned in the Sikandar-nama as the saint who presides over the well of immortality, and is revered by both Hindus and Muslims. He is sometimes pictured as an old man dressed in green, and is believed to ride upon a fish. His principal shrine is on an island of the Indus by Bakhar.

In The Unreasoning Mask, by famed science fiction writer, Philip José Farmer, Ramstan, captain of the al-Buraq, a rare model spaceship capable of instantaneous travel between two points, attempts to stop an unidentified “creature” that is annihilating intelligent life on planets throughout the universe, he is haunted by repeating vision of meeting al-Khidr.

Popular culture

Hıdır is revered as helper among some muslims vehicles of emergency such as Hızır acil named after it.