The Story of al-Khadir and Alexander
as related by Kataragama Mosque & Shrine Trustee al-Haj M.H.A. Gaffar
"According to Islamic tradition, after prophet Adam (alai) was expelled from Paradise, he came down from Paradise to Adam's Peak in Serendip (Sri Lanka) while Hawwa (Eve) came down to Jeddah; her tomb is there. From Adam up to the Holy Prophet Mohammed (uhbp) there have been 124,000 nabis or prophets, of whom 313 were rasuls or special prophets.
Adam's footprint then was crusted with gems. The life span them was 1,500 years so that people then had time to walk all over the world. Only 25 nabis are mentioned in the Holy Quran. Almighty Allah has given more power (kudrath) to some rasuls than to others.
Allah has sent different nabis to different peoples at different time and also teaching differently. One of them is Hayat Nabi or Hilur or Khidr ('the Green Man') who has many names. Out of the 124,000 nabis, Allah sent Hilur Nabi and his cousin al-Sikandar or Zul-Qarnain (Alexander the Great) to be born to two sisters, both of whose fathers were kings. Hilur's father was a village headman-type 'king', while al-Sikandar's father was an emperor. Iskandar Kumara, Iskandar Zul-Qarnain and Alexander the Great are among his names. Everyone calls the same one by many names; all are brothers and sister. Zul-Qarnain means 'two-horned'.
Iskandar Zul-Qarnain's father was also an astrologer or vana sastra. He waited forty years for a conjunction of two stars/planets and remained celibate for the whole forty years. He told his queen, "If we have a child at that time, he will live until the end of the world. If we have a child one hour later he will rule the world under one flag." He had mahrÓfa or jñānam to know this. Meanwhile, the queen's sister heard all this from behind a pillar. She was the future mother of Hayat Nabi.
When the time had almost come, the emperor told his wife, "I will pray and sleep now. At that time you must call me." That time came, but because of shame or shyness (lajja, vetkam) she hesitated. So the emperor overslept and missed the first opportunity. The first opportunity was Hayat Nabi's and the second was al-Sikandar's.
When the two cousins grew up, they set out together to search for the ma'ul hayat or water of life. They came to Kathirkamam and went inside a tunnel in the mountain. They agreed to share the water, but only Hilur got it because Allah wanted to give it to him. Hilur brought it in a pot and set it down but a crow came and spilled it. Therefore the crow has long life. Anywhere Hayat Nabi goes that place is green.
Now anyone who finds that place describes it as a tunnel full of gems. Hayat Nabi says to such people, "If you take the gems you are fools; if you don't take them you are also fools." Allah has put gems all around places like Kataragama, Jailani and Adam's Peak as a gift from Allah. Every kind of gems and many different climates are here in Sri Lanka.
The tradition says that prophet Isha (Jesus) will come again and live for forty years. At that time, Hayat Nabi will fight Shaitan and Shaitan will cut him seven times but Hayat Nabi will not die. Isha will come forty years before the end of the world and Hayat Nabi is also living in this period. Only Almighty Allah can take Hayat Nabi's life.
Hayat Nabi is not living in one place but is always traveling (cf. Wandering Jew motif). Once every 500 years he returns here to Khadirgama.
He spends six months on land and six months at sea.
Prophet Musa was told by Allah to seek teachings from one greater in in wisdom than himself, from someone called a "servant of Allah". He was told to watch for a fried fish that would come alive and at that place he would find Hayat Nabi. Sura Kahlf (XVIII), verses 60-61 Musa is told to search for a junction near the sea. That place is here at Khadir-gama."