Prophet al-Khidr murdered innocent boy

Let us investigate a murder in the quran. It all begins with the prophet al-Khidr. al-Khidr was a prophet in islam and was granted ‘hidden knowledge’ from Allah. According to the hadiths, prophet Moses heard of him and wanted to learn from this guy, so he decided to connect with him. One day they went out walking together, when suddenly al-Khidr slays a young boy. Why? Let us investigate this murder.

Then they proceeded: until, when they met a young man, he slew him. Moses said: “Hast thou slain an innocent person who had slain none? Truly a foul (unheard of) thing hast thou done!” Sura 18:74

The muslim scholar al-Jalalayn gives us some more details about the incident. The boy was a young boy not yet reaching his puberty.

So they set off, after leaving the ship, making their way on foot, until, when they met a boy, who had not yet reached puberty, playing with [other] boys, among whom his face was the fairest — and he, al-Khidr, slew him, by slitting his throat with a knife while he lay down, or by tearing his head off with his hand, or by smashing his head against a wall, all of which are [different] opinions (the coordinating fā’ [of fa-qatalahu, ‘and he slew him’] is used here because [it indicates that] the slaying took place after the encounter; Sura 18:74 al-Jalalayn

al-Khidr slayed the young boy on site. After a couple of verses in the quran, al-Khidr drops the why-factor on Moses.

“As for the youth, his parents were people of Faith, and we feared that he would grieve them by obstinate rebellion and ingratitude (to Allah and man). Sura 18:80

Fearing that some boy would be rebellious in the future was enough reason to kill the boy. He was murdered for a crime he might commit in the future. Was the prophet right in doing so? Interestingly enough, you don’t see Allah condemn this act in any shape or form.

To get any further in this murder investigation, we need to look at some quran tafsirs (commentaries by respected scholars).

(And as for the lad) whom I killed, (his parents were believers) and of the greatest people of that township (and We feared lest he should oppress them) and your Lord Knew that he will overburden them (by rebellion and disbelief) by means of his rebellion and disobedience, and by lying in oath and so He killed him. Tafsir Ibn-Abbas, Sura 18:80

Now, we establish the motives. They are:

a) The boy’s parents were great believing parents (Muslims)
b) The boy would overburden the parents with rebellion and disbelief
c) Allah knew that this would happen (predestination)
d) Allah wanted the boy killed, and told al-Khidr to kill him

Ibn Kathir even states that the boy was destined to be a disbeliever from the day he was created. He had no choice or chance.

Ibn `Abbas narrated from Ubayy bin Ka`b that the Prophet said: (The boy Al-Khidr killed was destined to be a disbeliever from the day he was created.) Ibn Kathir

We have the perpetrator. We have the murder weapon. We have a witness. We even have the motives. The only thing we lack is justice. Because in islam there is no justice. Only Allah.

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