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In the Name of God بسم الله
Chair Pundit

Did Khidr Murder A Boy?

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Surah Kahf:

74. Then they both proceeded, till they met a boy, he (Khidr) killed him. Musa (Moses) said: "Have you killed an innocent person who had killed none? Verily, you have committed a thing "Nukra" (a great Munkar - prohibited, evil, dreadful thing)!"

80. "And as for the boy, his parents were believers, and we feared lest he should oppress them by rebellion and disbelief.

Khidr killed the innocent boy.

You must accept the following assumptions:

- His destiny was fixed.

- God can arbitrarily violate freewill.

- God intervened to save the parents: what happened to the notion of life being a test?

Also, God logically cannot send the boy to a peaceful abode if the rationale for killing him in the first place was that he was destined to be a rebellious apostate.

And yet...

Imam Ja’far b. Muhammad as-Sadiq (ع) describes these blessings in these words: “Allah knew that if he stayed alive, the young man would lead his parents to disbelief and he would become a source of corruption and hardship for all. Thus Khidr (ع) was commanded to finish his life so that as a result all of them (the killer, the killed, and his parents) would attain honor and Divine grace.”

Good luck with the defence.

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Dont need luck. Its simple. Allah(swt) has the knowledge of the unseen and Allah knew what kind of destiny that boy was going to choose no matter how many signs are thrown at him. The knowledge of the boys destiny was known by Allah(swt) but its not predestined. Allah(swt) knew what kind of destiny the boy was going to choose for himself.    

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Dont need luck. Its simple. Allah(swt) has the knowledge of the unseen and Allah knew what kind of destiny that boy was going to choose no matter how many signs are thrown at him. The knowledge of the boys destiny was known by Allah(swt) but its not predestined. Allah(swt) knew what kind of destiny the boy was going to choose for himself.    

 

If it was not predestined then why was the boy killed? It is contradictory to say that the boy is able to freely choose if his choice has already been fixed from God's standpoint. 

 

There are also other problems I've mentioned which you have not addressed.

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I'm not the most learned person here, neither am I very sure what exactly your objection is. But I'll take a stab at it.

Your main objection seems to be that Allah didn't 'give him a chance', or how could he punish him for something he hadn't even done? Also, why would he send a boy who was 'destined' to commit a sin to Heaven? 

 

Couple things I'd like to mention here.

 

First, the idea that God 'punished' is not sans debate. Our knowledge is, after all, negligent as compared to God and like you mention later in the post, the boy was probably saved by Allah from going to Hell as a result of his actions.

 

Second, I doubt anyone with any knowledge about Allah's qualities (sifaat) would think that this event by any means 'legitimizes' murder committed by humans as your title implied before it was changed. Instead, it is as Jahangiram said,

 

exceptional divine inspiration.

It goes without saying that the pre cursor belief to this is Allah's Adl (justice) - the belief that he does everything fairly, whether we understand it or not.

 

As for 

 

- His destiny was fixed.

 

is not really a 'true' assumption IMO. The argument about fate vs free will is an old one, usually in context of natural disasters and wars and people dying. And to me at least, the fact that God 'knows' what I'm about to do does not equal him being responsible for it. As for the 'why doesn't he stop the wars if he's so powerful', I think the answer is the same as the answer to this

 

- God intervened to save the parents: what happened to the notion of life being a test?

 

i.e, God decides which tests to give whom. He is, after all, more knowledgeable than you or I are. Maybe God tested these parents in another way.

 

Also, God logically cannot send the boy to a peaceful abode if the rationale for killing him in the first place was that he was destined to be a rebellious apostate.
And yet...

Imam Ja’far b. Muhammad as-Sadiq (ع) describes these blessings in these words: “Allah knew that if he stayed alive, the young man would lead his parents to disbelief and he would become a source of corruption and hardship for all. Thus Khidr (ع) was commanded to finish his life so that as a result all of them (the killer, the killed, and his parents) would attain honor and Divine grace.”

Good luck with the defence.

Why is it difficult to accept that God could still send the boy to a peaceful abode? Isn't this a sign of Allah's mercy? It might be irrational if Allah sent the boy to Heaven after he had knowingly committed a sin (I say might because like I said, Allah does not need to justify himself to us) but if the boy never committed a sin, then Allah saved him, did he not?

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If it was not predestined then why was the boy killed? It is contradictory to say that the boy is able to freely choose if his choice has already been fixed from God's standpoint. 

 

There are also other problems I've mentioned which you have not addressed.

 

What Im trying to say is Allah(swt) already knows what actions the boy will commit through out his life. Those actions the boy will commit will be on his on free will. 

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If it was not predestined then why was the boy killed? It is contradictory to say that the boy is able to freely choose if his choice has already been fixed from God's standpoint.

There are also other problems I've mentioned which you have not addressed.

It was not predestined but God did have foreknowledge that the boy would rebel. If God's foreknowledge is chronologically prior to the boy's free decision but the free decision is logically prior to God's foreknowledge then there is no contradiction.

Furthermore, I think you are reading too much into the verse. It mentions that the boy's parents were believers but it does not explicitly state if the boy is also a believer or not and the translation on Quran.com suggests that the boy is already openly rebelling against his parents.

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Why is it difficult to accept that God could still send the boy to a peaceful abode? Isn't this a sign of Allah's mercy? It might be irrational if Allah sent the boy to Heaven after he had knowingly committed a sin (I say might because like I said, Allah does not need to justify himself to us) but if the boy never committed a sin, then Allah saved him, did he not?

 

It's a sign of God's mercy that he judged someone guilty before innocence? Really? The fact is, the parents had no problem with the boy till that point. Yet God inspired Khidr to kill the boy as if his future was predetermined and sealed. Is this the way God flaunts his perfect "wisdom?" 

 

God has the boy killed for a crime that has not yet materialised and then rewards the boy heaven? Why did God not do the same to Pinochet? Or Bush? Or Blair? Does any of this really make sense?

 

the translation on Quran.com suggests that the boy is already openly rebelling against his parents.

 

 

Then that translation is obviously incorrect. 

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It's a sign of God's mercy that he judged someone guilty before innocence? 

Did he? 

Again, you're assuming God punished him. 

 

First, the idea that God 'punished' is not sans debate. Our knowledge is, after all, negligent as compared to God and like you mention later in the post, the boy was probably saved by Allah from going to Hell as a result of his actions.

 

As for your 'Why doesn't God...' objections, again,

 

 

It goes without saying that the pre cursor belief to this is Allah's Adl (justice) - the belief that he does everything fairly, whether we understand it or not.

.....

God decides which tests to give whom. He is, after all, more knowledgeable than you or I are. Maybe God tested these parents in another way.

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It goes without saying that the pre cursor belief to this is Allah's Adl (justice) - the belief that he does everything fairly, whether we understand it or not.

 

Without commenting on the opening post, does that not defeat the purpose of `adl then? From a simple logical position, we should be able to come to a conclusion on divine `adl through demonstrable examples; if rational deliberations lead to a difficult conclusion how then our belief is any good than not?

 

In other words, if one is to believe in divine `adl as through faith and not through reasoning, then it leads to a position whereby anything God does or says must be believed as just, which is a self-fulfilling proposition, a sort of circular argument.

 

I understand there are limitations to human understanding and wisdom, and one may believe in divine `adl as an article of one's faith, but I suppose this applies where we really don't understand the goings-on, such as that which challenge our moral and mental faculties and render us unable to arrive at a definite conclusion. To give a broader example of such a scenario, consider the justice in allowing human beings the power to commit atrocities on the innocent other, which is an auxiliary question to the so-called 'problem of evil'. But when in individual cases we clearly perceive a mishap of justice, we have two choices. Either to force to ask tough questions or, owing to belief, look the other way.

Edited by Marbles

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Without commenting on the opening post, does that not defeat the purpose of `adl then? From a simple logical position, we should be able to come to a conclusion on divine `adl through demonstrable examples; if rational deliberations lead to a difficult conclusion how then our belief is any good than not?

 

In other words, if one is to believe in divine `adl as through faith and not through reasoning, then it leads to a position whereby anything God does or says must be believed as just, which is a self-fulfilling proposition, a sort of circular argument.

 

I understand there are limitations to human understanding and wisdom, and one may believe in divine `adl as an article of one's faith, but I suppose this applies where we really don't understand the goings-on, such as that which challenge our moral and mental faculties and render us unable to arrive at a definite conclusion. To give a broader example of such a scenario, consider the justice in allowing human beings the power to commit atrocities on the innocent other, which is an auxiliary question to the so-called 'problem of evil'. But when in individual cases we clearly perceive a mishap of justice, we have two choices. Either to force to ask tough questions or, owing to belief, look the other way.

It would defeat the purpose of Adl if we believed that sometimes Allah does things without perfect logical reasoning, and we just have to accept it. But that's not what we think. The reason I have to resort to 'whether I understand it or not' is purely my lack of knowledge about the logic behind Allah's rules. I base my belief in adl on the situations in which the logic does make sense to my limited understanding. That belief in Adl then helps me accept the things I do not understand, out of trust. In other words, almost all acts of Allah make sense to me logically on some level at least. Sometimes, it takes a while. Sometimes, I need help from people whose intelligence is more attuned to these matters than mine. But eventually, it makes sense.

 

And isn't that how belief in the five usool of deen works? Based on my understanding, everyone understands them based on their own perception. What proves adl to me may not prove anything to you. There are a variety of proofs for each proposed by Ulema of Aqaid, but there's a lot of instinct involved.

 

 

But when in individual cases we clearly perceive a mishap of justice, we have two choices. Either to force to ask tough questions or, owing to belief, look the other way.

 

 I think there's a third option in there - a play on perception. In my experience, there are always multiple possible explanations for every event. Take the example of humans having the power to commit atrocities on innocents. If we believe that the world is a test, its greater purpose being to 'sow' for the hereafter, then the innocents (assuming that they really are innocents - limited human knowledge and all that) aren't really victims; because they will be more than compensated for in the world that really matters.

Edited by l'Optimiste

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- His destiny was fixed.

- God can arbitrarily violate freewill.

- God intervened to save the parents: what happened to the notion of life being a test?

 

Also, God logically cannot send the boy to a peaceful abode if the rationale for killing him in the first place was that he was destined to be a rebellious apostate.

 

Disregarding the authenticity of any narration or interpretation, we could at least respond to those points directly.

 

- God intervened to save the parents: what happened to the notion of life being a test?

 

Everyone is tested to their capacity and no more than that. It's an Islamic teaching. Do you think that removing one difficulty is equal to removing all the tests?

 

- God can arbitrarily violate freewill.

 

Islamically there is no problem with this notion. Islam never said that humans have absolute free will.

 

Also, God logically cannot send the boy to a peaceful abode if the rationale for killing him in the first place was that he was destined to be a rebellious apostate.

 

There is nothing wrong with preventing someone from committing a sin if that person has the potential to grow and become someone who would not sin. This option is not for the obstinate who would never improve or for those who would not be harmed by the sin (e.g. they will learn from the sin).

 

- His destiny was fixed.

 

Destiny is fixed after taking account of free acts.

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Everyone is tested to their capacity and no more than that. It's an Islamic teaching. Do you think that removing one difficulty is equal to removing all the tests?

 

The parents, however, had not been experiencing any problem with the boy at that point in time. Picture yourself as the father of the murdered boy. How would you react? Obviously with intense grief and anger. If you then came to know that your boy had to be killed because you wouldn't have been able to handle him in the future, you would have reacted with utter disbelief at the twisted logic of the rationale.

 

There is nothing wrong with preventing someone from committing a sin if that person has the potential to grow and become someone who would not sin. This option is not for the obstinate who would never improve or for those who would not be harmed by the sin (e.g. they will learn from the sin).

 

 

Let me get this straight. God knows the entire script without being involved in writing the script. The assumption being that God's foreknowledge has no tangible bearing on a freely chosen outcome.

So if there are three choices in front of me, God already knows the choice I will take. So is God's omniscience subordinated to my freely chosen action or is my freely chosen action subordinated to God's omniscience?

 

You can't have both. 

 

Destiny is fixed after taking account of free acts.

 

 

This is superficial nonsense. There are a variety of nature and nurture factors which have a role in shaping the future of an individual. To "fix" a destiny is no different to planning a particular outcome. Why? Because God is responsible for creating the conditions in which a person is born. This is self-evident. It follows from this premise that any choice to be made has a limited scope which is largely dependant on the given conditions. 

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The story of Khidr and the boy is a fascinating insight into the topic of predestination. It all goes back to the question as to whether humans have free will if God has foreknowledge of everything. The narrative clearly shows that free will is the reality, and God's foreknowledge is that of the potential choices of human beings.

 

The title of this thread has little to do with the topic, and it implies the OP has already made his mind by charactarizing the killing as a 'murder'. It's like me creating a thread about Moses' splitting of the sea with the opening question "Does the Quran promote an irrational event like the splitting of the sea?".

 

This idiotic approach to everything makes me think Chair isn't even looking for an answer, he just wants to argue endlessly. Some of the questions posed in the OP are so elementary, a 13 year old could figure out the answer. A boy passed on before he could grow into a rebel, what's so difficult to comprehend about not being accountable for a sin that hasn't been committed? The narrative's clear implication is that the choices we make lead to different fates.

 

Why always assume every conundrum is unanswerable? Why complicate that which is simple?

Edited by Jahangiram

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A boy passed on before he could grow into a rebel, what's so difficult to comprehend about not being accountable for a sin that hasn't been committed?

The boy did not "pass on," he was murdered. Definition of murder: premeditated killing. That's exactly what it was.

If you're not held accountable for a sin that has not been committed, why was the boy murdered? Clearly he was being held accountable by being killed for something he had not done.

Again, is freewill subordinated to His omniscience or is His omniscience subordinated to our freewill?

The narrative's clear implication is that the choices we make lead to different fates.

The boy didn't even have a choice. He was killed because his fate was already known. How can we have true freewill if God can have us murdered for something that we haven't done?i

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The boy didn't even have a choice. He was killed because his fate was already known. How can we have true freewill if God can have us murdered for something that we haven't done?i

You are presupposing that the boy was a mere innocent. Allah SWT knew the sins of his past and let him live, until the time when the boy was going to commit major sins, such as murdering his own parents.

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If this make any sense to someone and can compare with this instance.

 

" When Allah ordered to bow in front of Adam , All bow down but Iblees rejected ". If you read this instance thoroughly there you can find sentence from Allah, You was from Bad people. I tried to translate from my Urdu language so i don't know what exact word to use. In short Allah was aware Iblees was from Bad people who are arrogant and Proud-y. When i dig deep in this with some students of Islamic studies , they told me Iblees name was Haris and he was commander of the team which clear earth with old species , and due to that he got proud nature.

 

So shall we blame Allah when he was aware of this why then he not kill Iblees ? :P

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You are presupposing that the boy was a mere innocent. Allah SWT knew the sins of his past and let him live, until the time when the boy was going to commit major sins, such as murdering his own parents.

You are presupposing that this "boy" is someone who has reached puberty. Beside that, nowhere in the verse does it state that the boy was going to murder his own parents. That doesn't even logically follow from the premise "he was going to rebel and become an apostate." What does rebel even mean?

Is anyone even remotely curious as to the reason why he would rebel? No reason is provided. If he had religious parents, whom you would rightly suppose brought him up well, how could he suddenly rebel in isolation of any context?

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Salam,

The answer is no. In Surah al kahf, we have Musa (as) who is a Prophet who came with a new law, and even him doesn't understand the actions of Al khidr (as). Therefore we can say this is an issue which is beyond human reason or judgement, and one shouldn't act deliberately upon this example, nor take this as a jurisprudence.

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You are presupposing that this "boy" is someone who has reached puberty. Beside that, nowhere in the verse does it state that the boy was going to murder his own parents. That doesn't even logically follow from the premise "he was going to rebel and become an apostate." What does rebel even mean?

Is anyone even remotely curious as to the reason why he would rebel? No reason is provided. If he had religious parents, whom you would rightly suppose brought him up well, how could he suddenly rebel in isolation of any context?

Why getting confuse buddy .. Hazrat Khidr (as) is still alive .. why not try to meet him and get answer ? :P

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The answer is no. In Surah al kahf, we have Musa (as) who is a Prophet who came with a new law, and even him doesn't understand the actions of Al khidr (as). Therefore we can say this is an issue which is beyond human reason or judgement, and one shouldn't act deliberately upon this example, nor take this as a jurisprudence.

But the Khidr explained his action afterward. So it is not beyond human reason.

How is this a good message? Is the story meant to tell us that some of those who kill a child are carrying out the work of God?

The action of Khidr has no meaning beyond that.

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If it was not predestined then why was the boy killed? It is contradictory to say that the boy is able to freely choose if his choice has already been fixed from God's standpoint. 

 

There are also other problems I've mentioned which you have not addressed.

 

'Alam al-Thar. We've made our choices there.

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Another apparent problem is that if the boy was destined to be a rebellious apostate, why did God allow him to be born?  Why did God choose to kill him purposefully just so that he could be sent to heaven?  If God is truly omni-benevolent, why does he not do the same for those of us who are also destined to be hell bound?

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If the boy died in accident. Nobody would've questioned. Like natural death isn't from God.

Free will is for person to practice, how long would he live and when the death would come isn't part of free will. Neither long life a guarantee from God.

The boy would certainly be judged on basis of his acts he committed not ones he could've.

As for your question why God doesn't do the same to you, it's His will. Pray if you sincerely need the same.

As for reason of asking the boy to be killed, the next verse explains:

So We desired that their Lord should give them in exchange one better than him in respect of purity and closer in mercy. (Al-Kahf 18:81, English - Ali Quri Qara)

For those who believe can see mercy in it

For those who don't would lurk in doubt.

May Allah guide us.

Every soul shall taste death, and you will indeed be paid your full rewards on the Day of Resurrection. Whoever is delivered from the Fire and admitted to paradise has certainly succeeded. The life of this world is nothing but the wares of delusion. (Aal-E-Imran 3:185, English - Ali Quri Qara)

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The wrong concept usually picked by Non Muslims. They never picked those events where instruction for helping poor, taking responsibility of orphan, help other, dont do crime etc are announced.

 

Usually people pick one verse and left other. " Do jihad with Infidels " they picked it and left the next verses where it is clear .. dont kill them if they are in peace with you or if they surrender, and again gave warning .. dont do terrorism in earth.

 

Spectators are the worst living being on earth who never go and verify if he listen something really exist or not. Instead they start promoting same rumors without checking its validity. And slowly they lands in an Ignorant stage from where it is almost impossible for 98% to come back to Normal Human life.

 

We can see examples .. ISIS is the biggest example who are not even able to understand what they are doing.

 

The simplest answer for discussion on Quran is " Ask the questioner if you are Muttaqi or not ? " if he don't know what is the meaning of Muttaqi the discussion can not proceed as Quran already mentioned " Zaalikal Kitabulla Raiba fe Huddalil Muttaqeen " this book is guidance for those who accept Taqwa and become Muttaqi.

 

Its clear only Muttaqi can get guidance from Quran. Its a true example you can see .. Second largest population on earth is Muslim having Quran ... But they are not capable to understand Quran, its clear they are not Muttaqi.

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Umm from my extremely limited understanding, and I could be way off the mark lol, but the purpose of the whole story was to impart wisdom to the Prophet Musa (as), and not to save the parents?

 

Where is the wisdom to be found? That God should be trusted even if he does things that evidently don't make any sense?

 

The boy would certainly be judged on basis of his acts he committed not ones he could've.

 

But that is exactly what happened in the story!  He was killed for acts he could've committed, not acts that he had already committed. 

 

As for your question why God doesn't do the same to you, it's His will. Pray if you sincerely need the same.

 

What? Pray for God to kill me before I perform an act that could land me in hell permanently? The boy didn't have to pray for that...

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Where is the wisdom to be found? That God should be trusted even if he does things that evidently don't make any sense?

 

[Pooya/Ali Commentary 18:60]

...

 

Musa was the most learned man of his times, but even his wisdom did not comprehend everything. Therefore he was commanded by Allah to go in search of Khizr who would impart to him such knowledge as even he did not possess.

 

...

 

Musa learned from Khizr that the mysteries of life are diverse and countless. The finite mind cannot easily disentangle the web of secrets unless the all-wise Lord shows the way to have a glimpse of the unknown; that patience is essential to face the vicissitudes of life and to know the inner meanings of the external manifestations; that the working of the divine plan always brings good in the end; that in the larger interest of the human society the loss of a few lives is not a loss at all; and that good deeds should be done for the sake of good not for immediate return in terms of material gain.

 

I dunno bout you but that ^ makes sense to me.

Saying "evidently doesn't make sense" is only within the bounds of your comprehension. What does not seem evident to you can easily be evident to another and vice versa.

 

I feel the problem here is though, with all do respect, you don't seem to be reading the Quran to understand, rather you are reading it to find faults. And I feel you are limiting yourself to short of your full capacity.

Edited by dragonxx

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I might sound strange here but that is how Allah works really. Personally i was destined for a very ignorant atheist life but Allah brought me back to Islam. Its as Baqarah says Allah chooses to open one's eyes to whomever He wishes. His mercy to the boy is similar to the mercy on me.

Now why dont all people get such signs? They do but ignore it. Faith is sth that cannot be explained logically. It just happens.

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