I have two questions:
Was Khidr an angel? I have read this opinion at one of your sister sites. If yes, why has he been referred to as ‘abd’ in Surah al Kahaf? Abd means servant/slave and has been generally used to refer to humans in the Quran (please correct me if I am wrong). If however, this holds true then why would Allah refer to an angel as abd at this particular point?
My second question is somewhat related to the first one. Would Allah ever send angels to people other than prophets? Like an angel was sent to Marriam (ra) to inform her about her son, Jesus.
Sura al Kahaf reads:
Until, when he reached the setting of the sun, he found it set in a spring of murky water: Near it he found a People: We said: “O Zul-qarnain! (thou hast authority,) either to punish them, or to treat them with kindness.” Al Kahf 18:86
How did Allah converse with Zulqarnain as I suppose he has not been referred to as a prophet?
I wonder if I have been able to clarify my questions. But I hope you’d understand.
Your site has clarified numerous concepts for me.
The Qur’an does not provide us details regarding the entity of Khid’r, however it is inferred on the basis of the incident narrated by the Qur’an that he was an angel. We know that in all the events, which occurred along with Hazrat Musa (i.e. Moses), he was not visible for other people. Only Musa was able to see him. He made a hole in the boat but no one objected and even when he put the boy to death, no one was able to trace or see him.
Abd means “slave” and all the creation of the Almighty is nothing but His slaves regardless of the fact what their real nature or substance may be. It is not unfamiliar to Quranic style and diction that it also uses this word for other than human beings. For example 21:26
And they say The Beneficent hath taken unto Himself a son (angels) Be He glorified: Nay but (the angels) are honoured slaves.
Likewise see 43:19
And they make the angels, who are the slaves of the Beneficent, females, Did they witness their creation?
At this particular point he has been referred as abd to show the power and authority of the Almighty on the one hand and to show that Khid’r had not come of his own accord, but it was rather a part of God’s scheme by which He wanted to teach something to his prophet, on the other.
Coming of angels is not necessarily a sign of prophethood unless the prophet declares that he has been bestowed with the status of prophethood by the Almighty, and it is a known fact that the Almighty had been sending his angels to the people other than prophets just like the example of Marriam (i.e. Mary).
As for the verse 18: 86, it is not a statement that had been conveyed to Zulqarnain through the angel, rather it is the narration of the implied authority, freedom and option, which the Almighty bestowed upon Zulqurnain in the form of his unique victory. This statement implies that by bestowing the great victories upon Zulqarnain, the situation practically called-out to him saying that the fate of the dominated was now completely at his disposal and pleasure.
May 30, 2003