By Ibn Saad
(Special Thanks to Tilmeedh of Sunniforum)
The Sheikh (Ibn Taymiyyah) – Rahimahullah – was asked:
“Was Khidr (as) a Prophet or a Wali? And is he alive to the present day? And if he is alive, then what do you say about what has been narrated about the Prophet saying “Had he been alive, he would surely have visited me”? Is this hadith sahih or not?”
And the Sheikh answered:
As for his Prophethood: then after the advent of the Messenger of Allah (s), neither he nor anyone else received wahi (revelation). As for before the advent of the Messenger of Allah (s), then people have differed regarding the question of his Prophethood. Those who say that he was a Prophet do not say that he gave up his Prophethood, rather they say he is a Prophet like Ilyas (as), and that he does not get any wahi in this time. And the absence of wahi for a specified period does not invalidate Prophethood, just as the Messenger (s) did not receive any wahi at times during the span of his Messengerhood.
And the majority of the ‘ulema believe that he was not a Prophet… [the Sheikh then goes on to describe the ranks of the Prophets and the Sideeqs]
And as for [the question regarding] his life: then he is alive . And the hadith is question [my note: the hadith in the question posed to the Sheikh] has no basis, and no isnad is known for it either. On the contrary, what has been narrated in Musnad Al-Shafi’i and other books is that [Khidr] did meet the Prophet (s). And as for he who says he did not meet the Prophet (s) then he has stated what he has no knowledge of, for this is from the knowledge that he does not encompass. And he who claims he died relying on the hadith “Have you seen this night of yours? At the end of one hundred years after this none would survive on the surface of the earth” then there is no proof for him in it, for it it is possible that Khidr was not on the surface of the earth at that moment [my note: also, there were Muslims in Abyssinia and Muslim women and children back in Madinah. Hence this was not a general statement] .
Also, regarding Dajjal – and similarly Al-Jasasa – the sahih is that he was alive and present during the era of the Prophet (s), and he is alive till today not having escaped (from his chains), and he is on an island from the islands of the Oceans.
So the responses concerning (Dajjal) is the response for Khidr as well: And that is: the phrase ‘surface of the earth’ does not apply. Or that the Prophet (s) meant the the known human beings. And those who are special cases do not enter the generality, just like the Jinns don’t enter it – unless a word was used that encompassed both Jinns and humans.
And examples of specifications like this are many. Wallahu A’lam.