Moses was traveling with Khidr, his teacher.
"Obey," Khidr told Moses, "and be silent."
They saw a child drowning in a river. "Save him!" shouted Moses.
"Be silent," Khidr said, "and obey."
They saw a ship sinking in a lake. "Save them!" shouted Moses.
"You are not being silent," said Khidr. "You are not obeying."
Only later did Khidr explain. "The boy who drowned would have led the world into cataclysmic war if he had lived. The boat was full of pirates who were ready to attack a ship of pilgrims. God is behind it all; be silent, and obey."
Inspired by: Big Tales by Hazrat Inayat Khan, compiled and edited by Mansur Johnson. the Hazrat Inayat Khan Study Database.
Notes: This is a story in Part 1 of the book: Khidr, the Murshid of Moses. You can find out more about al-Khidr at Wikipedia. This story is inspired by a famous episode of the Quran: Moses and Khidr.