Sayyiduna Khidar (Khadir)
Answer: In the Name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,
The great Hadith expert (Hafidh) Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani (Allah have mercy on Him) deals with aspects related to Sayyiduna Khadir (or as some call him, Khidar, Peace be upon him) in his monumental commentary of Sahih al-Bukhari, ‘Fath al-Bari’. The following is the summary from ‘Fath al-Bari’, in relation to the following Points:
1) His real name
2) Was he a Prophet?
3) Is he still alive?
As far as the first aspect is concerned, in a Hadith recorded by Imam al-Bukhari in his ‘Sahih’, the messenger of Allah said:
“He was named Khadir because he sat over a barren white land. It turned green with plantation after he sat on it”. (Sahih al-Bukhari).
It should be remembered that the word ‘Khadir’ is from the word ‘Khadrah’ which means greenness and to be green. It has been narrated from Mujahid (a great scholar of Tafsir) that another reason for him being called ‘Khadir’ is that when he used to pray and worship Allah, everything around him would turn green.
The Scholars have debated about what his real name was, prior to being called Khadir. Wahb ibn Munahbah said: It was ‘Balya’. Some said: His name was ‘Ilyas’. Others said: ‘Aamir’ and some mentioned that it was ‘Kadirun’. (Allah knows best)
With regards to the second point, most of the Scholars are of the view that he was a Prophet, although some have said: “He was a pious servant of Allah.”
The third question of whether he is still alive or has passed away was a matter of great debate between the Scholars. Ibn Salah said:
“According to the vast majority of the Scholars, he is still alive. Only some Hadith Scholars have denied this including Imam Nawawi. The incidents and stories of his meeting with many people reject there opinion”.
Ka’b ibn al-Ahbar said:
“There are four Prophets who are alive and a source of security for mankind. Two are in the heavens: Idris and Esa , and two on land: Khidar and Ilyas”.
There are also some narrations which indicate that he came at the time of the demise of the Prophet (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and also met some of the Companions (Sahaba). However, most of these narrations are either weak (Da’eef) or fabricated (Mawdu).
The answer to your question “Do you know any ulama (scholars) who have met him” is, I really don’t know neither do I look out for somebody who has.
In conclusion, there is uncertainty with regards to Sayyiduna Khadir (Allah bless him). The scholars have many different and conflicting views regarding his name, age and whereabouts. Nothing can be said for certain.
Therefore, it is best that we leave the knowledge of this to Allah Almighty. One will not be asked regarding this on the Day of Judgment. What we will be asked about is, the necessary knowledge relating to purity, Salat, Zakat, etc…
And Allah Knows Best
Muhammad ibn Adam