12 : 1597
بِسْمِ ٱللَّهِ ٱلرَّحْمَٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ الٓر ۚ تِلْكَ ءَايَٰتُ ٱلْكِتَٰبِ ٱلْمُبِينِ
Alif. Lam. Ra. THESE ARE MESSAGES of a revelation clear in itself and clearly showing the truth:
12 : 1598
إِنَّآ أَنزَلْنَٰهُ قُرْءَٰنًا عَرَبِيًّۭا لَّعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ
behold, We have bestowed it from on high as a discourse in the Arabic tongue, so that you might encompass it with your reason.
12 : 1599
نَحْنُ نَقُصُّ عَلَيْكَ أَحْسَنَ ٱلْقَصَصِ بِمَآ أَوْحَيْنَآ إِلَيْكَ هَٰذَا ٱلْقُرْءَانَ وَإِن كُنتَ مِن قَبْلِهِۦ لَمِنَ ٱلْغَٰفِلِينَ
In the measure that We reveal this Qur’an unto thee, [O Prophet,] We explain it to thee in the best possible way, seeing that ere this thou wert indeed among those who are unaware [of what revelation is].
12 : 1600
إِذْ قَالَ يُوسُفُ لِأَبِيهِ يَٰٓأَبَتِ إِنِّى رَأَيْتُ أَحَدَ عَشَرَ كَوْكَبًۭا وَٱلشَّمْسَ وَٱلْقَمَرَ رَأَيْتُهُمْ لِى سَٰجِدِينَ
LO! Thus spoke Joseph unto his father: “O my father! Behold, I saw [in a dream] eleven stars, as well as the sun and the moon: I saw them prostrate themselves before me!”
12 : 1601
قَالَ يَٰبُنَىَّ لَا تَقْصُصْ رُءْيَاكَ عَلَىٰٓ إِخْوَتِكَ فَيَكِيدُوا۟ لَكَ كَيْدًا ۖ إِنَّ ٱلشَّيْطَٰنَ لِلْإِنسَٰنِ عَدُوٌّۭ مُّبِينٌۭ
[Jacob] replied: “O my dear son! Do not relate thy dream to thy brothers lest [out of envy] they devise an evil scheme against thee; verily, Satan is man’s open foe!
12 : 1602
وَكَذَٰلِكَ يَجْتَبِيكَ رَبُّكَ وَيُعَلِّمُكَ مِن تَأْوِيلِ ٱلْأَحَادِيثِ وَيُتِمُّ نِعْمَتَهُۥ عَلَيْكَ وَعَلَىٰٓ ءَالِ يَعْقُوبَ كَمَآ أَتَمَّهَا عَلَىٰٓ أَبَوَيْكَ مِن قَبْلُ إِبْرَٰهِيمَ وَإِسْحَٰقَ ۚ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌۭ
For, [as thou hast been shown in thy dream,] even thus will thy Sustainer elect thee, and will impart unto thee some understanding of the inner meaning of happenings, and will bestow the full measure of His blessings upon thee and upon the House of Jacob -even as, aforetime, He bestowed it in full measure upon thy forefathers Abraham and Isaac. Verily, thy Sustainer is all-knowing, wise!”
12 : 1603
۞ لَّقَدْ كَانَ فِى يُوسُفَ وَإِخْوَتِهِۦٓ ءَايَٰتٌۭ لِّلسَّآئِلِينَ
Indeed, in [the story of] Joseph and his brothers there are messages for all who search [after truth].
12 : 1604
إِذْ قَالُوا۟ لَيُوسُفُ وَأَخُوهُ أَحَبُّ إِلَىٰٓ أَبِينَا مِنَّا وَنَحْنُ عُصْبَةٌ إِنَّ أَبَانَا لَفِى ضَلَٰلٍۢ مُّبِينٍ
NOW [Joseph’s brothers] spoke [thus to one another:] “Truly, Joseph and his brother [Benjamin] are dearer to our father than we, even though we are so many. Behold, our father is surely suffering from an aberration!”
12 : 1605
ٱقْتُلُوا۟ يُوسُفَ أَوِ ٱطْرَحُوهُ أَرْضًۭا يَخْلُ لَكُمْ وَجْهُ أَبِيكُمْ وَتَكُونُوا۟ مِنۢ بَعْدِهِۦ قَوْمًۭا صَٰلِحِينَ
[Said one of them:] “Slay Joseph, or else drive him away to some [faraway] land, so that your father’s regard may be for you alone: and after this is done, you will be [free to repent and to live once again as] righteous people!”
12 : 1606
قَالَ قَآئِلٌۭ مِّنْهُمْ لَا تَقْتُلُوا۟ يُوسُفَ وَأَلْقُوهُ فِى غَيَٰبَتِ ٱلْجُبِّ يَلْتَقِطْهُ بَعْضُ ٱلسَّيَّارَةِ إِن كُنتُمْ فَٰعِلِينَ
Another of them said: “Do not slay Joseph, but -rather – if you must do something – cast him into the dark depths of this well, [whence] some caravan may pick him up.”
12 : 1607
قَالُوا۟ يَٰٓأَبَانَا مَا لَكَ لَا تَأْمَ۫نَّا عَلَىٰ يُوسُفَ وَإِنَّا لَهُۥ لَنَٰصِحُونَ
[On this they agreed; and thereupon] they spoke [thus to their father]: “O our father! Wherefore wilt thou not trust us with Joseph, seeing that we are indeed his well-wishers?
12 : 1608
أَرْسِلْهُ مَعَنَا غَدًۭا يَرْتَعْ وَيَلْعَبْ وَإِنَّا لَهُۥ لَحَٰفِظُونَ
Let him go out with us tomorrow, that he may enjoy himself and play: and, verily, we shall guard him well!”
12 : 1609
قَالَ إِنِّى لَيَحْزُنُنِىٓ أَن تَذْهَبُوا۟ بِهِۦ وَأَخَافُ أَن يَأْكُلَهُ ٱلذِّئْبُ وَأَنتُمْ عَنْهُ غَٰفِلُونَ
[Jacob] answered: “Behold, it grieves me indeed [to think] that you might take him with you, for I dread lest the wolf devour him at a moment when you are heedless of him!”
12 : 1610
قَالُوا۟ لَئِنْ أَكَلَهُ ٱلذِّئْبُ وَنَحْنُ عُصْبَةٌ إِنَّآ إِذًۭا لَّخَٰسِرُونَ
Said they: “Surely, if the wolf were to devour him notwithstanding that we are so many-then, behold, we ought ourselves to perish!”
12 : 1611
فَلَمَّا ذَهَبُوا۟ بِهِۦ وَأَجْمَعُوٓا۟ أَن يَجْعَلُوهُ فِى غَيَٰبَتِ ٱلْجُبِّ ۚ وَأَوْحَيْنَآ إِلَيْهِ لَتُنَبِّئَنَّهُم بِأَمْرِهِمْ هَٰذَا وَهُمْ لَا يَشْعُرُونَ
And so, when they went away with him, they decided to cast him into the dark depths of the well. And We revealed [this] unto him: “Thou wilt yet remind them of this their deed at a time when they shall not perceive [who thou art]!”
12 : 1612
وَجَآءُوٓ أَبَاهُمْ عِشَآءًۭ يَبْكُونَ
And at nightfall they came to their father, weeping,
12 : 1613
قَالُوا۟ يَٰٓأَبَانَآ إِنَّا ذَهَبْنَا نَسْتَبِقُ وَتَرَكْنَا يُوسُفَ عِندَ مَتَٰعِنَا فَأَكَلَهُ ٱلذِّئْبُ ۖ وَمَآ أَنتَ بِمُؤْمِنٍۢ لَّنَا وَلَوْ كُنَّا صَٰدِقِينَ
[and] said: “O our father! Behold, we went off racing with one another, and left Joseph behind with our things; and thereupon the wolf devoured him! But [we know that] thou wouldst not believe us even though we speak the truth” –
12 : 1614
وَجَآءُو عَلَىٰ قَمِيصِهِۦ بِدَمٍۢ كَذِبٍۢ ۚ قَالَ بَلْ سَوَّلَتْ لَكُمْ أَنفُسُكُمْ أَمْرًۭا ۖ فَصَبْرٌۭ جَمِيلٌۭ ۖ وَٱللَّهُ ٱلْمُسْتَعَانُ عَلَىٰ مَا تَصِفُونَ
and they produced his tunic with false blood upon it. [But Jacob] exclaimed: “Nay, but it is your [own] minds that have made [so terrible] a happening seem a matter of little account to you! But [as for myself,] patience in adversity is most goodly [in the sight of God]; and it is to God [alone] that I pray to give me strength to bear the misfortune which you have described to me.”
12 : 1615
وَجَآءَتْ سَيَّارَةٌۭ فَأَرْسَلُوا۟ وَارِدَهُمْ فَأَدْلَىٰ دَلْوَهُۥ ۖ قَالَ يَٰبُشْرَىٰ هَٰذَا غُلَٰمٌۭ ۚ وَأَسَرُّوهُ بِضَٰعَةًۭ ۚ وَٱللَّهُ عَلِيمٌۢ بِمَا يَعْمَلُونَ
AND THERE CAME a caravan; and they sent forth their drawer of water, and he let down his bucket into the well – [and when he saw Joseph] he exclaimed: “Oh, what a lucky find, this boy!” And they hid him with a view to selling him: but God had full knowledge of all that they were doing.
12 : 1616
وَشَرَوْهُ بِثَمَنٍۭ بَخْسٍۢ دَرَٰهِمَ مَعْدُودَةٍۢ وَكَانُوا۟ فِيهِ مِنَ ٱلزَّٰهِدِينَ
And they sold him for a paltry price – a mere few silver coins: thus low did they value him.
12 : 1617
وَقَالَ ٱلَّذِى ٱشْتَرَىٰهُ مِن مِّصْرَ لِٱمْرَأَتِهِۦٓ أَكْرِمِى مَثْوَىٰهُ عَسَىٰٓ أَن يَنفَعَنَآ أَوْ نَتَّخِذَهُۥ وَلَدًۭا ۚ وَكَذَٰلِكَ مَكَّنَّا لِيُوسُفَ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ وَلِنُعَلِّمَهُۥ مِن تَأْوِيلِ ٱلْأَحَادِيثِ ۚ وَٱللَّهُ غَالِبٌ عَلَىٰٓ أَمْرِهِۦ وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ ٱلنَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ
And the man from Egypt who bought him said to his wife: “Make his stay [with us] honourable; he may well be of use to us, or we may adopt him as a son. And thus We gave unto Joseph a firm place on earth; and [We did this] so that We might impart unto him some understanding of the inner meaning of happenings. For, God always prevails in whatever be His purpose: but most people know it not.
12 : 1618
وَلَمَّا بَلَغَ أَشُدَّهُۥٓ ءَاتَيْنَٰهُ حُكْمًۭا وَعِلْمًۭا ۚ وَكَذَٰلِكَ نَجْزِى ٱلْمُحْسِنِينَ
And when he reached full manhood, We bestowed upon him the ability to judge [between right and wrong], as well as [innate] knowledge: for thus do We reward the doers of good.
12 : 1619
وَرَٰوَدَتْهُ ٱلَّتِى هُوَ فِى بَيْتِهَا عَن نَّفْسِهِۦ وَغَلَّقَتِ ٱلْأَبْوَٰبَ وَقَالَتْ هَيْتَ لَكَ ۚ قَالَ مَعَاذَ ٱللَّهِ ۖ إِنَّهُۥ رَبِّىٓ أَحْسَنَ مَثْوَاىَ ۖ إِنَّهُۥ لَا يُفْلِحُ ٱلظَّٰلِمُونَ
And [it so happened that] she in whose house he was living [conceived a passion for him and] sought to make him yield himself unto her; and she bolted the doors and said, “Come thou unto me!” [But Joseph] answered: “May God preserve me! Behold, goodly has my master made my stay [in this house]! Verily, to no good end come they that do [such] wrong!”
12 : 1620
وَلَقَدْ هَمَّتْ بِهِۦ ۖ وَهَمَّ بِهَا لَوْلَآ أَن رَّءَا بُرْهَٰنَ رَبِّهِۦ ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ لِنَصْرِفَ عَنْهُ ٱلسُّوٓءَ وَٱلْفَحْشَآءَ ۚ إِنَّهُۥ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا ٱلْمُخْلَصِينَ
And, indeed, she desired him, and he desired her; [and he would have succumbed] had he not seen [in this temptation] an evidence of his Sustainer’s truth: thus [We willed it to be] in order that We might avert from him all evil and all deeds of abomination -for, behold, he was truly one of Our servants.
12 : 1621
وَٱسْتَبَقَا ٱلْبَابَ وَقَدَّتْ قَمِيصَهُۥ مِن دُبُرٍۢ وَأَلْفَيَا سَيِّدَهَا لَدَا ٱلْبَابِ ۚ قَالَتْ مَا جَزَآءُ مَنْ أَرَادَ بِأَهْلِكَ سُوٓءًا إِلَّآ أَن يُسْجَنَ أَوْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌۭ
And they both rushed to the door; and she [grasped and] rent his tunic from behind-and [lo!] they met her lord at the door! Said she: “What ought to be the punishment of one who had evil designs on [the virtue of] thy wife – [what] but imprisonment or a [yet more] grievous chastisement?”
12 : 1622
قَالَ هِىَ رَٰوَدَتْنِى عَن نَّفْسِى ۚ وَشَهِدَ شَاهِدٌۭ مِّنْ أَهْلِهَآ إِن كَانَ قَمِيصُهُۥ قُدَّ مِن قُبُلٍۢ فَصَدَقَتْ وَهُوَ مِنَ ٱلْكَٰذِبِينَ
[Joseph] exclaimed: “It was she who sought to make me yield myself unto her!” Now one of those present, a member of her own household, suggested this: If his tunic has been torn from the front, then she is telling the truth, and he is a liar;
12 : 1623
وَإِن كَانَ قَمِيصُهُۥ قُدَّ مِن دُبُرٍۢ فَكَذَبَتْ وَهُوَ مِنَ ٱلصَّٰدِقِينَ
but if his tunic has been torn from behind, then she is lying, and he is speaking the truth.”
12 : 1624
فَلَمَّا رَءَا قَمِيصَهُۥ قُدَّ مِن دُبُرٍۢ قَالَ إِنَّهُۥ مِن كَيْدِكُنَّ ۖ إِنَّ كَيْدَكُنَّ عَظِيمٌۭ
And when (her husband] saw that his tunic was torn from behind, he said: “Behold, this is [an instance] of your guile, O womankind! Verily, awesome is your guile!
12 : 1625
يُوسُفُ أَعْرِضْ عَنْ هَٰذَا ۚ وَٱسْتَغْفِرِى لِذَنۢبِكِ ۖ إِنَّكِ كُنتِ مِنَ ٱلْخَاطِـِٔينَ
[But,] Joseph, let this pass! And thou, [O wife,] ask forgiveness for thy sin-for, verily, thou hast been greatly at fault!”
12 : 1626
۞ وَقَالَ نِسْوَةٌۭ فِى ٱلْمَدِينَةِ ٱمْرَأَتُ ٱلْعَزِيزِ تُرَٰوِدُ فَتَىٰهَا عَن نَّفْسِهِۦ ۖ قَدْ شَغَفَهَا حُبًّا ۖ إِنَّا لَنَرَىٰهَا فِى ضَلَٰلٍۢ مُّبِينٍۢ
NOW the women of the city spoke [thus to one another]: “The wife of this nobleman is trying to induce her slave-boy to yield himself unto her! Her love for him has pierced her heart; verily, we see that she is undoubtedly suffering from an aberration!
12 : 1627
فَلَمَّا سَمِعَتْ بِمَكْرِهِنَّ أَرْسَلَتْ إِلَيْهِنَّ وَأَعْتَدَتْ لَهُنَّ مُتَّكَـًۭٔا وَءَاتَتْ كُلَّ وَٰحِدَةٍۢ مِّنْهُنَّ سِكِّينًۭا وَقَالَتِ ٱخْرُجْ عَلَيْهِنَّ ۖ فَلَمَّا رَأَيْنَهُۥٓ أَكْبَرْنَهُۥ وَقَطَّعْنَ أَيْدِيَهُنَّ وَقُلْنَ حَٰشَ لِلَّهِ مَا هَٰذَا بَشَرًا إِنْ هَٰذَآ إِلَّا مَلَكٌۭ كَرِيمٌۭ
Thereupon, when she heard of their malicious talk, she sent for them, and prepared for them a sumptuous repast, and handed each of them a knife and said [to Joseph]: “Come out and show thyself to them!” And when the women saw him, they were greatly amazed at his beauty, and [so flustered were they that] they cut their hands [with their knives], exclaiming, “God save us! This is no mortal man! This is nought but a noble angel!”
12 : 1628
قَالَتْ فَذَٰلِكُنَّ ٱلَّذِى لُمْتُنَّنِى فِيهِ ۖ وَلَقَدْ رَٰوَدتُّهُۥ عَن نَّفْسِهِۦ فَٱسْتَعْصَمَ ۖ وَلَئِن لَّمْ يَفْعَلْ مَآ ءَامُرُهُۥ لَيُسْجَنَنَّ وَلَيَكُونًۭا مِّنَ ٱلصَّٰغِرِينَ
Said she: “This, then, is he about whom you have been blaming me! And, indeed, I did try to make him yield himself unto me, but he remained chaste. Now, however, if he does not do what I bid him, he shall most certainly be imprisoned, and shall most certainly find himself among the despised!
12 : 1629
قَالَ رَبِّ ٱلسِّجْنُ أَحَبُّ إِلَىَّ مِمَّا يَدْعُونَنِىٓ إِلَيْهِ ۖ وَإِلَّا تَصْرِفْ عَنِّى كَيْدَهُنَّ أَصْبُ إِلَيْهِنَّ وَأَكُن مِّنَ ٱلْجَٰهِلِينَ
Said he: “O my Sustainer! Prison is more desirable to me than [compliance with] what these women invite me to: for, unless Thou turn away their guile from me, I might yet yield to their allure and become one of those who are unaware [of right and wrong].”
12 : 1630
فَٱسْتَجَابَ لَهُۥ رَبُّهُۥ فَصَرَفَ عَنْهُ كَيْدَهُنَّ ۚ إِنَّهُۥ هُوَ ٱلسَّمِيعُ ٱلْعَلِيمُ
And his Sustainer responded to his prayer, and freed him from the threat of their guile: verily, He alone is all-hearing, all-knowing.
12 : 1631
ثُمَّ بَدَا لَهُم مِّنۢ بَعْدِ مَا رَأَوُا۟ ٱلْءَايَٰتِ لَيَسْجُنُنَّهُۥ حَتَّىٰ حِينٍۢ
For, presently it occurred to the nobleman and his household _ [even] after they had seen all the signs [of Joseph’s innocence] – that they might as well imprison him for a time.
12 : 1632
وَدَخَلَ مَعَهُ ٱلسِّجْنَ فَتَيَانِ ۖ قَالَ أَحَدُهُمَآ إِنِّىٓ أَرَىٰنِىٓ أَعْصِرُ خَمْرًۭا ۖ وَقَالَ ٱلْءَاخَرُ إِنِّىٓ أَرَىٰنِىٓ أَحْمِلُ فَوْقَ رَأْسِى خُبْزًۭا تَأْكُلُ ٱلطَّيْرُ مِنْهُ ۖ نَبِّئْنَا بِتَأْوِيلِهِۦٓ ۖ إِنَّا نَرَىٰكَ مِنَ ٱلْمُحْسِنِينَ
NOW two young men happened to go to prison at the same time as Joseph. One of them said: “Behold, I saw myself [in a dream] pressing wine.” And the other said: “Behold, I saw myself [in a dream] carrying bread on my head, and birds were eating thereof.” [And both entreated Joseph:] “Let us know the real meaning of this! Verily, we see that thou art one of those who know well [how to interpret dreams].
12 : 1633
قَالَ لَا يَأْتِيكُمَا طَعَامٌۭ تُرْزَقَانِهِۦٓ إِلَّا نَبَّأْتُكُمَا بِتَأْوِيلِهِۦ قَبْلَ أَن يَأْتِيَكُمَا ۚ ذَٰلِكُمَا مِمَّا عَلَّمَنِى رَبِّىٓ ۚ إِنِّى تَرَكْتُ مِلَّةَ قَوْمٍۢ لَّا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِٱللَّهِ وَهُم بِٱلْءَاخِرَةِ هُمْ كَٰفِرُونَ
[Joseph] answered: “Ere there comes unto you the meal which you are [daily] fed, I shall have informed you of the real meaning of your dreams, [so that you might know what is to come] before it comes unto you: for this is [part] of the knowledge which my Sustainer has imparted to me. “Behold, I have left behind me the ways of people who do not believe in God, and who persistently refuse to acknowledge the truth of the life to come;
12 : 1634
وَٱتَّبَعْتُ مِلَّةَ ءَابَآءِىٓ إِبْرَٰهِيمَ وَإِسْحَٰقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ ۚ مَا كَانَ لَنَآ أَن نُّشْرِكَ بِٱللَّهِ مِن شَىْءٍۢ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ مِن فَضْلِ ٱللَّهِ عَلَيْنَا وَعَلَى ٱلنَّاسِ وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ ٱلنَّاسِ لَا يَشْكُرُونَ
and I follow the creed of my forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It is not conceivable that we should [be allowed to] ascribe divinity to aught beside God: this is [an outcome] of God’s bounty unto us and unto all mankind -but most people are ungrateful.
12 : 1635
يَٰصَىٰحِبَىِ ٱلسِّجْنِ ءَأَرْبَابٌۭ مُّتَفَرِّقُونَ خَيْرٌ أَمِ ٱللَّهُ ٱلْوَٰحِدُ ٱلْقَهَّارُ
“O my companions in imprisonment! Which is more reasonable: [belief in the existence of numerous divine] lords, each of them different from the other” -or [in] the One God, who holds absolute sway over all that exists?
12 : 1636
مَا تَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِهِۦٓ إِلَّآ أَسْمَآءًۭ سَمَّيْتُمُوهَآ أَنتُمْ وَءَابَآؤُكُم مَّآ أَنزَلَ ٱللَّهُ بِهَا مِن سُلْطَٰنٍ ۚ إِنِ ٱلْحُكْمُ إِلَّا لِلَّهِ ۚ أَمَرَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوٓا۟ إِلَّآ إِيَّاهُ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ ٱلدِّينُ ٱلْقَيِّمُ وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ ٱلنَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ
“All that you worship instead of God is nothing but [empty] names which you have invented – you and your forefathers- [and] for which God has bestowed no warrant from on high. Judgment [as to what is right and what is wrong] rests with God alone-[and] He has ordained that you should worship nought but Him: this is the [one] ever-true faith; but most people know it not
12 : 1637
يَٰصَىٰحِبَىِ ٱلسِّجْنِ أَمَّآ أَحَدُكُمَا فَيَسْقِى رَبَّهُۥ خَمْرًۭا ۖ وَأَمَّا ٱلْءَاخَرُ فَيُصْلَبُ فَتَأْكُلُ ٱلطَّيْرُ مِن رَّأْسِهِۦ ۚ قُضِىَ ٱلْأَمْرُ ٱلَّذِى فِيهِ تَسْتَفْتِيَانِ
“[And now,] O my companions in imprisonment, [I shall tell you the meaning of your dreams:] as for one of you two, he will [again] give his lord [the King] wine to drink; but as for the other, he will be crucified, and birds will eat off his head. [But whatever be your future,] the matter on which you have asked me to enlighten you has been decided [by God].”
12 : 1638
وَقَالَ لِلَّذِى ظَنَّ أَنَّهُۥ نَاجٍۢ مِّنْهُمَا ٱذْكُرْنِى عِندَ رَبِّكَ فَأَنسَىٰهُ ٱلشَّيْطَٰنُ ذِكْرَ رَبِّهِۦ فَلَبِثَ فِى ٱلسِّجْنِ بِضْعَ سِنِينَ
And [thereupon Joseph] said unto the one of the two whom he considered saved: “Mention me unto thy lord [when thou art free]!” But Satan caused him to forget to mention [Joseph] to his lord, and so he remained in prison a few [more] years.
12 : 1639
وَقَالَ ٱلْمَلِكُ إِنِّىٓ أَرَىٰ سَبْعَ بَقَرَٰتٍۢ سِمَانٍۢ يَأْكُلُهُنَّ سَبْعٌ عِجَافٌۭ وَسَبْعَ سُنۢبُلَٰتٍ خُضْرٍۢ وَأُخَرَ يَابِسَٰتٍۢ ۖ يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلْمَلَأُ أَفْتُونِى فِى رُءْيَٰىَ إِن كُنتُمْ لِلرُّءْيَا تَعْبُرُونَ
AND [one day] the King said: Behold, I saw [in a dream] seven fat cows being devoured by seven emaciated ones, and seven green ears [of wheat] next to [seven] others that were withered. O you nobles! Enlighten me about [the meaning of] my dream, if you are able to interpret dreams!”
12 : 1640
قَالُوٓا۟ أَضْغَٰثُ أَحْلَٰمٍۢ ۖ وَمَا نَحْنُ بِتَأْوِيلِ ٱلْأَحْلَٰمِ بِعَٰلِمِينَ
They answered: ” [This is one of] the most involved and confusing of dreams, and we have no deep knowledge of the real meaning of dreams.”
12 : 1641
وَقَالَ ٱلَّذِى نَجَا مِنْهُمَا وَٱدَّكَرَ بَعْدَ أُمَّةٍ أَنَا۠ أُنَبِّئُكُم بِتَأْوِيلِهِۦ فَأَرْسِلُونِ
At that, the one of the two [erstwhile prisoners] who had been saved, and [who suddenly] remembered [Joseph] after all that time, spoke [thus]: “It is I who can inform you of the real meaning of this [dream]; so let me go [in search of it].”
12 : 1642
يُوسُفُ أَيُّهَا ٱلصِّدِّيقُ أَفْتِنَا فِى سَبْعِ بَقَرَٰتٍۢ سِمَانٍۢ يَأْكُلُهُنَّ سَبْعٌ عِجَافٌۭ وَسَبْعِ سُنۢبُلَٰتٍ خُضْرٍۢ وَأُخَرَ يَابِسَٰتٍۢ لَّعَلِّىٓ أَرْجِعُ إِلَى ٱلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ
[And he went to see Joseph in the prison and said to him:] “Joseph, O thou truthful one! Enlighten us about [the meaning of a dream in which] seven fat cows were being devoured by seven emaciated ones, and seven green ears [of wheat appeared] next to [seven] others that were withered – so that I may return [with thy explanation] unto the people [of the court, and] that they may come to know [what manner of man thou art]!”
12 : 1643
قَالَ تَزْرَعُونَ سَبْعَ سِنِينَ دَأَبًۭا فَمَا حَصَدتُّمْ فَذَرُوهُ فِى سُنۢبُلِهِۦٓ إِلَّا قَلِيلًۭا مِّمَّا تَأْكُلُونَ
[Joseph] replied: “You shall sow for seven years as usual; but let all [the grain] that you harvest remain [untouched] in its ear, excepting only a little, whereof you may eat:
12 : 1644
ثُمَّ يَأْتِى مِنۢ بَعْدِ ذَٰلِكَ سَبْعٌۭ شِدَادٌۭ يَأْكُلْنَ مَا قَدَّمْتُمْ لَهُنَّ إِلَّا قَلِيلًۭا مِّمَّا تُحْصِنُونَ
for, after that [period of seven good years] there will come seven hard [years] which will devour all that you shall have laid up for them, excepting only a little of that which you shall have kept in store.
12 : 1645
ثُمَّ يَأْتِى مِنۢ بَعْدِ ذَٰلِكَ عَامٌۭ فِيهِ يُغَاثُ ٱلنَّاسُ وَفِيهِ يَعْصِرُونَ
And after that there will come a year in which the people will be delivered from all distress, and in which they will press [oil and wine as before].”
12 : 1646
وَقَالَ ٱلْمَلِكُ ٱئْتُونِى بِهِۦ ۖ فَلَمَّا جَآءَهُ ٱلرَّسُولُ قَالَ ٱرْجِعْ إِلَىٰ رَبِّكَ فَسْـَٔلْهُ مَا بَالُ ٱلنِّسْوَةِ ٱلَّٰتِى قَطَّعْنَ أَيْدِيَهُنَّ ۚ إِنَّ رَبِّى بِكَيْدِهِنَّ عَلِيمٌۭ
And [as soon as Joseph’s interpretation. was conveyed to him,] the King said: “Bring him before me!” But when the [King’s] messenger came unto him, [Joseph] said: “Go back to thy lord and ask him [first to find out the truth] about those women who cut their hands-for, behold, [until now it is] my Sustainer [alone who] has full knowledge of their guile!”
12 : 1647
قَالَ مَا خَطْبُكُنَّ إِذْ رَٰوَدتُّنَّ يُوسُفَ عَن نَّفْسِهِۦ ۚ قُلْنَ حَٰشَ لِلَّهِ مَا عَلِمْنَا عَلَيْهِ مِن سُوٓءٍۢ ۚ قَالَتِ ٱمْرَأَتُ ٱلْعَزِيزِ ٱلْـَٰٔنَ حَصْحَصَ ٱلْحَقُّ أَنَا۠ رَٰوَدتُّهُۥ عَن نَّفْسِهِۦ وَإِنَّهُۥ لَمِنَ ٱلصَّٰدِقِينَ
[Thereupon the King sent for those women; and when they came,] he asked: “What was it that you hoped to achieve when you sought to make Joseph yield himself unto you?” The women answered: “God save us! We did not perceive the least evil [intention] on his part!” [And] the wife of Joseph’s former master exclaimed: “Now has the truth come to light! It was I who sought to make him yield himself unto me – whereas he, behold, was indeed speaking the truth!”
12 : 1648
ذَٰلِكَ لِيَعْلَمَ أَنِّى لَمْ أَخُنْهُ بِٱلْغَيْبِ وَأَنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَا يَهْدِى كَيْدَ ٱلْخَآئِنِينَ
[When Joseph learned what had happened, he said: “I asked for] this, so that [my former master] might know that I did not betray him behind his back, and that God does not bless with His guidance the artful schemes of those who betray their trust.
12 : 1649
۞ وَمَآ أُبَرِّئُ نَفْسِىٓ ۚ إِنَّ ٱلنَّفْسَ لَأَمَّارَةٌۢ بِٱلسُّوٓءِ إِلَّا مَا رَحِمَ رَبِّىٓ ۚ إِنَّ رَبِّى غَفُورٌۭ رَّحِيمٌۭ
And yet, I am not trying to absolve myself: for, verily, man’s inner self does incite [him] to evil, and saved are only they upon whom my Sustainer bestows His grace. Behold, my Sustainer is much forgiving, a dispenser of grace!”
12 : 1650
وَقَالَ ٱلْمَلِكُ ٱئْتُونِى بِهِۦٓ أَسْتَخْلِصْهُ لِنَفْسِى ۖ فَلَمَّا كَلَّمَهُۥ قَالَ إِنَّكَ ٱلْيَوْمَ لَدَيْنَا مَكِينٌ أَمِينٌۭ
And the King said: “Bring him unto me, so that I may attach him to my own person.” And when he had spoken with him, [the King] said: “Behold, [from] this day thou shalt be of high standing with us, invested with all trust!”
12 : 1651
قَالَ ٱجْعَلْنِى عَلَىٰ خَزَآئِنِ ٱلْأَرْضِ ۖ إِنِّى حَفِيظٌ عَلِيمٌۭ
[Joseph] replied: “Place in my charge the store-houses of the land; behold, I shall be a good and knowing keeper.
12 : 1652
وَكَذَٰلِكَ مَكَّنَّا لِيُوسُفَ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ يَتَبَوَّأُ مِنْهَا حَيْثُ يَشَآءُ ۚ نُصِيبُ بِرَحْمَتِنَا مَن نَّشَآءُ ۖ وَلَا نُضِيعُ أَجْرَ ٱلْمُحْسِنِينَ
And thus We established Joseph securely in the land [of Egypt]: he had full mastery over it, [doing] whatever he willed. [Thus do] We cause Our grace to alight upon whomever We will; and We do not fail to requite the doers of good.
12 : 1653
وَلَأَجْرُ ٱلْءَاخِرَةِ خَيْرٌۭ لِّلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ وَكَانُوا۟ يَتَّقُونَ
But in the eyes of those who have attained to faith and have always been conscious of Us, a reward in the life to come is a far greater good [than any reward in this world].
12 : 1654
وَجَآءَ إِخْوَةُ يُوسُفَ فَدَخَلُوا۟ عَلَيْهِ فَعَرَفَهُمْ وَهُمْ لَهُۥ مُنكِرُونَ
AND [after some years,] Joseph’s brothers came [to Egypt] and presented themselves before him: and he knew them [at once], whereas they did not recognize him.
12 : 1655
وَلَمَّا جَهَّزَهُم بِجَهَازِهِمْ قَالَ ٱئْتُونِى بِأَخٍۢ لَّكُم مِّنْ أَبِيكُمْ ۚ أَلَا تَرَوْنَ أَنِّىٓ أُوفِى ٱلْكَيْلَ وَأَنَا۠ خَيْرُ ٱلْمُنزِلِينَ
And when he had provided them with their provisions, he said: “[When you come here next,] bring unto me that brother of yours from your father’s side. Do you not see that I have given [you] full measure and have been the best of hosts?
12 : 1656
فَإِن لَّمْ تَأْتُونِى بِهِۦ فَلَا كَيْلَ لَكُمْ عِندِى وَلَا تَقْرَبُونِ
But if you do not bring him unto me, you shall never again receive a single measure [of grain] from me, nor shall you [be allowed to] come near me!”
12 : 1657
قَالُوا۟ سَنُرَٰوِدُ عَنْهُ أَبَاهُ وَإِنَّا لَفَٰعِلُونَ
They answered: “We shall try to persuade his father to part with him, and, verily, we shall do [our utmost]!”
12 : 1658
وَقَالَ لِفِتْيَٰنِهِ ٱجْعَلُوا۟ بِضَٰعَتَهُمْ فِى رِحَالِهِمْ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَعْرِفُونَهَآ إِذَا ٱنقَلَبُوٓا۟ إِلَىٰٓ أَهْلِهِمْ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ
And [Joseph] said to his servants: “Place their merchandise in their camel-packs, so that they may find it there when they come home, and hence be the more eager to return.
12 : 1659
فَلَمَّا رَجَعُوٓا۟ إِلَىٰٓ أَبِيهِمْ قَالُوا۟ يَٰٓأَبَانَا مُنِعَ مِنَّا ٱلْكَيْلُ فَأَرْسِلْ مَعَنَآ أَخَانَا نَكْتَلْ وَإِنَّا لَهُۥ لَحَٰفِظُونَ
And so, when they returned to their father, [Joseph’s brothers] said: “O our father! All grain is [to be] withheld from us [in the future unless we bring Benjamin with us]: send, therefore, our brother with us, so that we may obtain our measure (of grain]; and, verily, we shall guard him well!”
12 : 1660
قَالَ هَلْ ءَامَنُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ إِلَّا كَمَآ أَمِنتُكُمْ عَلَىٰٓ أَخِيهِ مِن قَبْلُ ۖ فَٱللَّهُ خَيْرٌ حَٰفِظًۭا ۖ وَهُوَ أَرْحَمُ ٱلرَّٰحِمِينَ
[Jacob] replied: “Shall I trust you with him in the same way as I trusted you with his brother (Joseph] aforetime? [Nay,] but God’s guardianship is better [than yours], for He is the most merciful of the merciful!”
12 : 1661
وَلَمَّا فَتَحُوا۟ مَتَٰعَهُمْ وَجَدُوا۟ بِضَٰعَتَهُمْ رُدَّتْ إِلَيْهِمْ ۖ قَالُوا۟ يَٰٓأَبَانَا مَا نَبْغِى ۖ هَٰذِهِۦ بِضَٰعَتُنَا رُدَّتْ إِلَيْنَا ۖ وَنَمِيرُ أَهْلَنَا وَنَحْفَظُ أَخَانَا وَنَزْدَادُ كَيْلَ بَعِيرٍۢ ۖ ذَٰلِكَ كَيْلٌۭ يَسِيرٌۭ
Thereupon, when they opened their packs, they discovered that their merchandise had been returned to them; [and] they said: “O our father! What more could we desire? Here is our merchandise: it has been returned to us! [If thou send Benjamin with us,] we shall (again] be able to bring food for our family, and shall guard our brother [well], and receive in addition another camel-load of grain That [which we have brought the first time] was but a scanty measure.”
12 : 1662
قَالَ لَنْ أُرْسِلَهُۥ مَعَكُمْ حَتَّىٰ تُؤْتُونِ مَوْثِقًۭا مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ لَتَأْتُنَّنِى بِهِۦٓ إِلَّآ أَن يُحَاطَ بِكُمْ ۖ فَلَمَّآ ءَاتَوْهُ مَوْثِقَهُمْ قَالَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَىٰ مَا نَقُولُ وَكِيلٌۭ
Said [Jacob]: “I will not send him with you until you give me a solemn pledge, before God, that you will indeed bring him back unto me, unless you yourselves be encompassed [by death]!” And when they had given him their solemn pledge, [Jacob] said: “God is witness to all that we say!”
12 : 1663
وَقَالَ يَٰبَنِىَّ لَا تَدْخُلُوا۟ مِنۢ بَابٍۢ وَٰحِدٍۢ وَٱدْخُلُوا۟ مِنْ أَبْوَٰبٍۢ مُّتَفَرِّقَةٍۢ ۖ وَمَآ أُغْنِى عَنكُم مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ مِن شَىْءٍ ۖ إِنِ ٱلْحُكْمُ إِلَّا لِلَّهِ ۖ عَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلْتُ ۖ وَعَلَيْهِ فَلْيَتَوَكَّلِ ٱلْمُتَوَكِّلُونَ
And he added: “O my sons! Do not enter [the city all] by one gate, but enter by different gates. Yet [even so,] I can be of no avail whatever to you against [anything that may be willed by] God: judgment [as to what is to happen] rests with none but God. In Him have I placed my trust: for, all who have trust [in His existence] must place their trust in Him alone.”
12 : 1664
وَلَمَّا دَخَلُوا۟ مِنْ حَيْثُ أَمَرَهُمْ أَبُوهُم مَّا كَانَ يُغْنِى عَنْهُم مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ مِن شَىْءٍ إِلَّا حَاجَةًۭ فِى نَفْسِ يَعْقُوبَ قَضَىٰهَا ۚ وَإِنَّهُۥ لَذُو عِلْمٍۢ لِّمَا عَلَّمْنَٰهُ وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ ٱلنَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ
But although they entered [Joseph’s city] in the way their father had bidden them, this proved of no avail whatever to them against [the plan of] God [His request] had served only to satisfy Jacob’s heartfelt desire [to protect them]: for, behold, thanks to what We had imparted unto him, he was indeed endowed with the knowledge [that God’s will must always prevail]; but most people know it not.
12 : 1665
وَلَمَّا دَخَلُوا۟ عَلَىٰ يُوسُفَ ءَاوَىٰٓ إِلَيْهِ أَخَاهُ ۖ قَالَ إِنِّىٓ أَنَا۠ أَخُوكَ فَلَا تَبْتَئِسْ بِمَا كَانُوا۟ يَعْمَلُونَ
AND WHEN [the sons of Jacob] presented themselves before Joseph, he drew his brother [Benjamin] unto himself, saying [to him in secret]: “Behold, I am thy brother! So grieve thou not over their past doings!”
12 : 1666
فَلَمَّا جَهَّزَهُم بِجَهَازِهِمْ جَعَلَ ٱلسِّقَايَةَ فِى رَحْلِ أَخِيهِ ثُمَّ أَذَّنَ مُؤَذِّنٌ أَيَّتُهَا ٱلْعِيرُ إِنَّكُمْ لَسَٰرِقُونَ
And [later,] when he had provided them with their provisions, he placed the [King’s] drinking-cup in his brother’s camel-pack. And [as they were leaving the city,] a herald called out: “O you people of the caravan! Verily, you are thieves!
12 : 1667
قَالُوا۟ وَأَقْبَلُوا۟ عَلَيْهِم مَّاذَا تَفْقِدُونَ
Turning towards the herald and his companions, the brothers asked: “What is it that you miss?”
12 : 1668
قَالُوا۟ نَفْقِدُ صُوَاعَ ٱلْمَلِكِ وَلِمَن جَآءَ بِهِۦ حِمْلُ بَعِيرٍۢ وَأَنَا۠ بِهِۦ زَعِيمٌۭ
They answered: “We miss the King’s goblet; and he who produces it shall receive a camel-load [of grain as reward]!” And [the herald added:] “I pledge myself to this _ [promise]!”
12 : 1669
قَالُوا۟ تَٱللَّهِ لَقَدْ عَلِمْتُم مَّا جِئْنَا لِنُفْسِدَ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ وَمَا كُنَّا سَٰرِقِينَ
Said [the brothers]: “By God! Well do you know that we have not come to commit deeds of corruption in this land, and that we have not been thieving!”
12 : 1670
قَالُوا۟ فَمَا جَزَٰٓؤُهُۥٓ إِن كُنتُمْ كَٰذِبِينَ
[The Egyptians] said: “But what shall be the requital of this [deed] if you are [proved to be] liars?”
12 : 1671
قَالُوا۟ جَزَٰٓؤُهُۥ مَن وُجِدَ فِى رَحْلِهِۦ فَهُوَ جَزَٰٓؤُهُۥ ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ نَجْزِى ٱلظَّٰلِمِينَ
[The brothers] replied: “Its requital? He in whose camel-pack [the cup] is found-he shall be [enslaved as] a requital thereof! Thus do we [ourselves] requite the doers of [such] wrong.
12 : 1672
فَبَدَأَ بِأَوْعِيَتِهِمْ قَبْلَ وِعَآءِ أَخِيهِ ثُمَّ ٱسْتَخْرَجَهَا مِن وِعَآءِ أَخِيهِ ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ كِدْنَا لِيُوسُفَ ۖ مَا كَانَ لِيَأْخُذَ أَخَاهُ فِى دِينِ ٱلْمَلِكِ إِلَّآ أَن يَشَآءَ ٱللَّهُ ۚ نَرْفَعُ دَرَجَٰتٍۢ مَّن نَّشَآءُ ۗ وَفَوْقَ كُلِّ ذِى عِلْمٍ عَلِيمٌۭ
Thereupon [they were brought before Joseph to be searched; and] he began with the bags of his half-brothers before the bag of his brother [Benjamin]: and in the end he brought forth the drinking Cups out of his brother’s bag. In this way did We contrive for Joseph [the attainment of his heart’s desire]: under the King’s law, he would [otherwise] not have been able to detain his brother, had not God so willed. We do raise to [high] degrees [of knowledge] whomever We will – but above everyone who is endowed with knowledge there is One who knows all.
12 : 1673
۞ قَالُوٓا۟ إِن يَسْرِقْ فَقَدْ سَرَقَ أَخٌۭ لَّهُۥ مِن قَبْلُ ۚ فَأَسَرَّهَا يُوسُفُ فِى نَفْسِهِۦ وَلَمْ يُبْدِهَا لَهُمْ ۚ قَالَ أَنتُمْ شَرٌّۭ مَّكَانًۭا ۖ وَٱللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا تَصِفُونَ
[As soon as the cup came to light out of Benjamin’s bag, the brothers] exclaimed: “If he has stolen-well, a brother of his used to steal afore-time!” Thereupon Joseph said to himself, without revealing his thought to them: “You are far worse in this respect, and God is fully aware of what you are saying.
12 : 1674
قَالُوا۟ يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلْعَزِيزُ إِنَّ لَهُۥٓ أَبًۭا شَيْخًۭا كَبِيرًۭا فَخُذْ أَحَدَنَا مَكَانَهُۥٓ ۖ إِنَّا نَرَىٰكَ مِنَ ٱلْمُحْسِنِينَ
They said: “O thou great one! Behold, he has a father, a very old man: detain, therefore, one of us in his stead. Verily, we see that thou art a doer of good!”
12 : 1675
قَالَ مَعَاذَ ٱللَّهِ أَن نَّأْخُذَ إِلَّا مَن وَجَدْنَا مَتَٰعَنَا عِندَهُۥٓ إِنَّآ إِذًۭا لَّظَٰلِمُونَ
He answered: “May God preserve us from [the sin of] detaining any other than him with whom we have found our property-for then, behold, we would indeed be evildoers!”
12 : 1676
فَلَمَّا ٱسْتَيْـَٔسُوا۟ مِنْهُ خَلَصُوا۟ نَجِيًّۭا ۖ قَالَ كَبِيرُهُمْ أَلَمْ تَعْلَمُوٓا۟ أَنَّ أَبَاكُمْ قَدْ أَخَذَ عَلَيْكُم مَّوْثِقًۭا مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ وَمِن قَبْلُ مَا فَرَّطتُمْ فِى يُوسُفَ ۖ فَلَنْ أَبْرَحَ ٱلْأَرْضَ حَتَّىٰ يَأْذَنَ لِىٓ أَبِىٓ أَوْ يَحْكُمَ ٱللَّهُ لِى ۖ وَهُوَ خَيْرُ ٱلْحَٰكِمِينَ
And so, when they lost all hope of [moving] him, they withdrew to take counsel [among themselves]. The eldest of them said: “Do you not remember that your father has bound you by a solemn pledge before God – and how, before that, you had failed with regard to Joseph? Hence, I shall not depart from this land till my father gives me leave or God passes judgment in my favour: for He is the best of all judges.
12 : 1677
ٱرْجِعُوٓا۟ إِلَىٰٓ أَبِيكُمْ فَقُولُوا۟ يَٰٓأَبَانَآ إِنَّ ٱبْنَكَ سَرَقَ وَمَا شَهِدْنَآ إِلَّا بِمَا عَلِمْنَا وَمَا كُنَّا لِلْغَيْبِ حَٰفِظِينَ
[And as for you others,] return to your father and say: `O our father! Behold, thy son has stolen-but we [can] bear witness to no more than what has become known to us; and [although we gave you our pledge,] we could not guard against something that [lay hidden in the future and, hence,] was beyond the reach of our perception.
12 : 1678
وَسْـَٔلِ ٱلْقَرْيَةَ ٱلَّتِى كُنَّا فِيهَا وَٱلْعِيرَ ٱلَّتِىٓ أَقْبَلْنَا فِيهَا ۖ وَإِنَّا لَصَٰدِقُونَ
And ask thou in the town in which we were [at the time], and of the people of the caravan with whom we travelled hither, and [thou wilt find that] we, are indeed telling the truth!”‘
12 : 1679
قَالَ بَلْ سَوَّلَتْ لَكُمْ أَنفُسُكُمْ أَمْرًۭا ۖ فَصَبْرٌۭ جَمِيلٌ ۖ عَسَى ٱللَّهُ أَن يَأْتِيَنِى بِهِمْ جَمِيعًا ۚ إِنَّهُۥ هُوَ ٱلْعَلِيمُ ٱلْحَكِيمُ
[AND WHEN they returned to their father and told him what had happened,] he exclaimed: “Nay, but it is your [own] minds that have made [so terrible] a happening seem a matter of little account to you! But [as for myself,] patience in adversity is most goodly; God may well bring them all [back] unto me: verily, He alone is all-knowing, truly wise!”
12 : 1680
وَتَوَلَّىٰ عَنْهُمْ وَقَالَ يَٰٓأَسَفَىٰ عَلَىٰ يُوسُفَ وَٱبْيَضَّتْ عَيْنَاهُ مِنَ ٱلْحُزْنِ فَهُوَ كَظِيمٌۭ
But he turned away from them and said: “O woe is me for Joseph!”-and his eyes became dim from the grief with which he was filled.
12 : 1681
قَالُوا۟ تَٱللَّهِ تَفْتَؤُا۟ تَذْكُرُ يُوسُفَ حَتَّىٰ تَكُونَ حَرَضًا أَوْ تَكُونَ مِنَ ٱلْهَٰلِكِينَ
Said [his sons]: “By God! Thou wilt never cease to remember, Joseph till thou art broken in body and spirit or art dead!”
12 : 1682
قَالَ إِنَّمَآ أَشْكُوا۟ بَثِّى وَحُزْنِىٓ إِلَى ٱللَّهِ وَأَعْلَمُ مِنَ ٱللَّهِ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ
He answered: “It is only to God that I complain of my deep grief and my sorrow: for I know, from God, something that you do not know.
12 : 1683
يَٰبَنِىَّ ٱذْهَبُوا۟ فَتَحَسَّسُوا۟ مِن يُوسُفَ وَأَخِيهِ وَلَا تَا۟يْـَٔسُوا۟ مِن رَّوْحِ ٱللَّهِ ۖ إِنَّهُۥ لَا يَا۟يْـَٔسُ مِن رَّوْحِ ٱللَّهِ إِلَّا ٱلْقَوْمُ ٱلْكَٰفِرُونَ
[Hence,] O my sons, go forth and try to obtain some tidings of Joseph and his brother; and do not lose hope of God’s life-giving mercy: verily, none but people who deny the truth can ever lose hope of God’s life-giving mercy.
12 : 1684
فَلَمَّا دَخَلُوا۟ عَلَيْهِ قَالُوا۟ يَٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلْعَزِيزُ مَسَّنَا وَأَهْلَنَا ٱلضُّرُّ وَجِئْنَا بِبِضَٰعَةٍۢ مُّزْجَىٰةٍۢ فَأَوْفِ لَنَا ٱلْكَيْلَ وَتَصَدَّقْ عَلَيْنَآ ۖ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَجْزِى ٱلْمُتَصَدِّقِينَ
[AND THE SONS of Jacob went back to Egypt and to Joseph;] and when they presented themselves before him, they said: “O thou great one! Hardship has visited us and our folk, and so we have brought but scanty merchandise; but give us a full measure [of grain], and be charitable to us: behold, God rewards those who give in charity!”
12 : 1685
قَالَ هَلْ عَلِمْتُم مَّا فَعَلْتُم بِيُوسُفَ وَأَخِيهِ إِذْ أَنتُمْ جَٰهِلُونَ
Replied he: “Do you remember what you did to Joseph and his brother when you were still unaware [of right and wrong]?”
12 : 1686
قَالُوٓا۟ أَءِنَّكَ لَأَنتَ يُوسُفُ ۖ قَالَ أَنَا۠ يُوسُفُ وَهَٰذَآ أَخِى ۖ قَدْ مَنَّ ٱللَّهُ عَلَيْنَآ ۖ إِنَّهُۥ مَن يَتَّقِ وَيَصْبِرْ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَا يُضِيعُ أَجْرَ ٱلْمُحْسِنِينَ
They exclaimed: “Why – is it indeed thou who art Joseph?” He answered: “I am Joseph, and this is my brother. God has indeed been gracious unto us. Verily, if one is conscious of Him and patient in adversity behold, God does not fail to requite the doers of good!”
12 : 1687
قَالُوا۟ تَٱللَّهِ لَقَدْ ءَاثَرَكَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَيْنَا وَإِن كُنَّا لَخَٰطِـِٔينَ
[The brothers] said: “By God! Most certainly has God raised thee high above us, and we were indeed but sinners!”
12 : 1688
قَالَ لَا تَثْرِيبَ عَلَيْكُمُ ٱلْيَوْمَ ۖ يَغْفِرُ ٱللَّهُ لَكُمْ ۖ وَهُوَ أَرْحَمُ ٱلرَّٰحِمِينَ
Said he: “No reproach shall be uttered today against you. May God forgive you your sins: for He is the most merciful of the merciful!
12 : 1689
ٱذْهَبُوا۟ بِقَمِيصِى هَٰذَا فَأَلْقُوهُ عَلَىٰ وَجْهِ أَبِى يَأْتِ بَصِيرًۭا وَأْتُونِى بِأَهْلِكُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ
[And now] go and take this tunic of mine and lay it over my father’s face, and he will recover his sight. And thereupon come [back] to me with all your family.”
12 : 1690
وَلَمَّا فَصَلَتِ ٱلْعِيرُ قَالَ أَبُوهُمْ إِنِّى لَأَجِدُ رِيحَ يُوسُفَ ۖ لَوْلَآ أَن تُفَنِّدُونِ
AND AS SOON as the caravan [with which Jacob’s sons were travelling] was on its way, their father said [to the people around him]: “Behold, were it not that you might consider me a dotard, [I would say that] I truly feel the breath of Joseph [in the air]!”
12 : 1691
قَالُوا۟ تَٱللَّهِ إِنَّكَ لَفِى ضَلَٰلِكَ ٱلْقَدِيمِ
They answered: “By God! Thou art indeed still lost in thy old aberration!”
12 : 1692
فَلَمَّآ أَن جَآءَ ٱلْبَشِيرُ أَلْقَىٰهُ عَلَىٰ وَجْهِهِۦ فَٱرْتَدَّ بَصِيرًۭا ۖ قَالَ أَلَمْ أَقُل لَّكُمْ إِنِّىٓ أَعْلَمُ مِنَ ٱللَّهِ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ
But when the bearer of good tidings came [with Joseph’s tunic], he laid it over his face; and he regained his sight, [and] exclaimed: “Did I not tell you, `Verily, I know, from God, something that you do not know’?”
12 : 1693
قَالُوا۟ يَٰٓأَبَانَا ٱسْتَغْفِرْ لَنَا ذُنُوبَنَآ إِنَّا كُنَّا خَٰطِـِٔينَ
[His sons] answered: “O our father! Ask God to forgive us our sins, for, verily, we were sinners.”
12 : 1694
قَالَ سَوْفَ أَسْتَغْفِرُ لَكُمْ رَبِّىٓ ۖ إِنَّهُۥ هُوَ ٱلْغَفُورُ ٱلرَّحِيمُ
He said: “I shall ask my Sustainer to forgive you: He alone is truly forgiving, a true dispenser of grace!”
12 : 1695
فَلَمَّا دَخَلُوا۟ عَلَىٰ يُوسُفَ ءَاوَىٰٓ إِلَيْهِ أَبَوَيْهِ وَقَالَ ٱدْخُلُوا۟ مِصْرَ إِن شَآءَ ٱللَّهُ ءَامِنِينَ
AND WHEN they [all arrived in Egypt and] presented themselves before Joseph, he drew his parents unto himself, saying, “Enter Egypt! If God so wills, you shall be secure [from all evil]!”
12 : 1696
وَرَفَعَ أَبَوَيْهِ عَلَى ٱلْعَرْشِ وَخَرُّوا۟ لَهُۥ سُجَّدًۭا ۖ وَقَالَ يَٰٓأَبَتِ هَٰذَا تَأْوِيلُ رُءْيَٰىَ مِن قَبْلُ قَدْ جَعَلَهَا رَبِّى حَقًّۭا ۖ وَقَدْ أَحْسَنَ بِىٓ إِذْ أَخْرَجَنِى مِنَ ٱلسِّجْنِ وَجَآءَ بِكُم مِّنَ ٱلْبَدْوِ مِنۢ بَعْدِ أَن نَّزَغَ ٱلشَّيْطَٰنُ بَيْنِى وَبَيْنَ إِخْوَتِىٓ ۚ إِنَّ رَبِّى لَطِيفٌۭ لِّمَا يَشَآءُ ۚ إِنَّهُۥ هُوَ ٱلْعَلِيمُ ٱلْحَكِيمُ
And he raised his parents to the highest place of honour; and they [all] fell down before Him, prostrating themselves in adoration. Thereupon [Joseph] said: “O my father! This is the real meaning of my dream of long ago, which my Sustainer has made come true. And He was indeed good to me when He freed me from the prison, and [when] He brought you [all unto me] from the desert after Satan had sown discord between me and my brothers. Verily, my Sustainer is unfathomable in [the way He brings about] whatever He wills: verily, He alone is all-knowing, truly wise!
12 : 1697
۞ رَبِّ قَدْ ءَاتَيْتَنِى مِنَ ٱلْمُلْكِ وَعَلَّمْتَنِى مِن تَأْوِيلِ ٱلْأَحَادِيثِ ۚ فَاطِرَ ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ وَٱلْأَرْضِ أَنتَ وَلِىِّۦ فِى ٱلدُّنْيَا وَٱلْءَاخِرَةِ ۖ تَوَفَّنِى مُسْلِمًۭا وَأَلْحِقْنِى بِٱلصَّٰلِحِينَ
“O my Sustainer! Thou hast indeed bestowed upon me something of power, and hast imparted unto me some knowledge of the inner meaning of happenings. Originator of the heavens and the earth! Thou art near unto me in this world and in the life to come: let me die as one who has surrendered himself unto Thee, and make me one with the righteous!”
12 : 1698
ذَٰلِكَ مِنْ أَنۢبَآءِ ٱلْغَيْبِ نُوحِيهِ إِلَيْكَ ۖ وَمَا كُنتَ لَدَيْهِمْ إِذْ أَجْمَعُوٓا۟ أَمْرَهُمْ وَهُمْ يَمْكُرُونَ
THIS ACCOUNT of something that was beyond the reach of thy perception We [now] reveal unto thee, [O Prophet:] for thou wert not with Joseph’s brothers when they resolved upon what they were going to do and wove their schemes [against him].
12 : 1699
وَمَآ أَكْثَرُ ٱلنَّاسِ وَلَوْ حَرَصْتَ بِمُؤْمِنِينَ
Yet – however strongly thou mayest desire it -most people will not believe [in this revelation],
12 : 1700
وَمَا تَسْـَٔلُهُمْ عَلَيْهِ مِنْ أَجْرٍ ۚ إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا ذِكْرٌۭ لِّلْعَٰلَمِينَ
although thou dost not ask of them any reward for it: it is but [God’s] reminder unto all mankind.
12 : 1701
وَكَأَيِّن مِّنْ ءَايَةٍۢ فِى ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ وَٱلْأَرْضِ يَمُرُّونَ عَلَيْهَا وَهُمْ عَنْهَا مُعْرِضُونَ
But [then] -how many a sign is there in the heavens and on earth which they pass by [unthinkingly], and on which they turn their backs!
12 : 1702
وَمَا يُؤْمِنُ أَكْثَرُهُم بِٱللَّهِ إِلَّا وَهُم مُّشْرِكُونَ
And most of them do not even believe in God without [also] ascribing divine powers to other beings beside Him.
12 : 1703
أَفَأَمِنُوٓا۟ أَن تَأْتِيَهُمْ غَٰشِيَةٌۭ مِّنْ عَذَابِ ٱللَّهِ أَوْ تَأْتِيَهُمُ ٱلسَّاعَةُ بَغْتَةًۭ وَهُمْ لَا يَشْعُرُونَ
Do they, then, feel free from the fear that there might fall upon them the overwhelming terror of God’s chastisement, or that the Last Hour might come upon them of a sudden, without their being aware [of its approach]?
12 : 1704
قُلْ هَٰذِهِۦ سَبِيلِىٓ أَدْعُوٓا۟ إِلَى ٱللَّهِ ۚ عَلَىٰ بَصِيرَةٍ أَنَا۠ وَمَنِ ٱتَّبَعَنِى ۖ وَسُبْحَٰنَ ٱللَّهِ وَمَآ أَنَا۠ مِنَ ٱلْمُشْرِكِينَ
Say [O Prophet]: “This is my way: Resting upon conscious insight accessible to reason, I am calling [you all] unto God – I and they who follow me.” And [say:] “Limitless is God in His glory; and I am not one of those who ascribe divinity to aught beside Him!”
12 : 1705
وَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ إِلَّا رِجَالًۭا نُّوحِىٓ إِلَيْهِم مِّنْ أَهْلِ ٱلْقُرَىٰٓ ۗ أَفَلَمْ يَسِيرُوا۟ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ فَيَنظُرُوا۟ كَيْفَ كَانَ عَٰقِبَةُ ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ ۗ وَلَدَارُ ٱلْءَاخِرَةِ خَيْرٌۭ لِّلَّذِينَ ٱتَّقَوْا۟ ۗ أَفَلَا تَعْقِلُونَ
And [even] before thy time, We never sent [as Our apostles] any but [mortal] men, whom We inspired, [and whom We always chose] from among the people of the [very] communities [to whom the message was to be brought]. Have, then, they [who reject this divine writ] never journeyed about the earth and beheld what happened in the end to those [deniers of the truth] who lived before them?-and [do they not know that] to those who are conscious of God the life in the hereafter is indeed better [than this world]? Will they not, then, use their reason?
12 : 1706
حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَا ٱسْتَيْـَٔسَ ٱلرُّسُلُ وَظَنُّوٓا۟ أَنَّهُمْ قَدْ كُذِبُوا۟ جَآءَهُمْ نَصْرُنَا فَنُجِّىَ مَن نَّشَآءُ ۖ وَلَا يُرَدُّ بَأْسُنَا عَنِ ٱلْقَوْمِ ٱلْمُجْرِمِينَ
[All the earlier apostles had to suffer persecution for a long time;] but at last -when those apostles had lost all hope and saw themselves branded as liars – Our succour attained to them: whereupon everyone whom We Milled [to be saved] was saved [and the deniers of the truth were destroyed]: for, never can Our punishment be averted from people who are lost in sin.
12 : 1707
لَقَدْ كَانَ فِى قَصَصِهِمْ عِبْرَةٌۭ لِّأُو۟لِى ٱلْأَلْبَٰبِ ۗ مَا كَانَ حَدِيثًۭا يُفْتَرَىٰ وَلَٰكِن تَصْدِيقَ ٱلَّذِى بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ وَتَفْصِيلَ كُلِّ شَىْءٍۢ وَهُدًۭى وَرَحْمَةًۭ لِّقَوْمٍۢ يُؤْمِنُونَ
Indeed, in the stories of these men there is a lesson for those who are endowed with insight. [As for this revelation,] it could not possibly be a discourse invented [by man]: nay indeed, it is [a divine writ] confirming the truth of whatever there still remains [of earlier revelations], clearly spelling out everything, and [offering] guidance and grace unto people who will believe.
Tafsir Surah Yusuf (Yusuf) Tafsir Ibn Kathir
مِ اللّهِ الرَّحْمـَنِ الرَّحِيم
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
الر تِلْكَ ءايَاتُ الْكِتَـبِ الْمُبِينِ
These are the verses of the Book that is clear.
إِنَّآ أَنْزَلْنَاهُ قُرْآنًا عَرَبِيًّا لَّعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ
12:2 Verily, We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur’an in order that you may understand.
نَحْنُ نَقُصُّ عَلَيْكَ أَحْسَنَ الْقَصَصِ بِمَآ أَوْحَيْنَآ إِلَيْكَ هَـذَا الْقُرْءَانَ وَإِن كُنتَ مِن قَبْلِهِ لَمِنَ الْغَـفِلِينَ
12:3 We relate unto you the best of stories through Our revelations unto you, of this Qur’an. And before this, you were among those who knew nothing about it.
Qualities of the Qur’an
In the beginning of Surah Al-Baqarah we talked about the separate letters,
… تِلْكَ آيَاتُ الْكِتَابِ …
These are the verses of the Book.
in reference to the Clear Qur’an that is plain and apparent, and explains, clarifies and makes known the unclear matters.
… الْمُبِينِ ﴿١﴾
that is clear.
Allah said next,
إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ قُرْآنًا عَرَبِيًّا لَّعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ ﴿٢﴾
Verily, We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur’an in order that you may understand.
The Arabic language is the most eloquent, plain, deep and expressive of the meanings that might arise in one’s mind. Therefore, the most honorable Book, was revealed in the most honorable language, to the most honorable Prophet and Messenger, delivered by the most honorable angel, in the most honorable land on earth, and its revelation started during the most honorable month of the year, Ramadan. Therefore, the Qur’an is perfect in every respect.
So Allah said,
نَحْنُ نَقُصُّ عَلَيْكَ أَحْسَنَ الْقَصَصِ بِمَا أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ هَـذَا الْقُرْآنَ وَإِن كُنتَ مِن قَبْلِهِ لَمِنَ الْغَافِلِينَ ﴿٣﴾
We relate unto you the best of stories through Our revelations unto you, of this Qur’an.And before this, you were among those who knew nothing about it.
Reason behind revealing Ayah
On the reason behind revealing Ayah (12:3), Ibn Jarir At-Tabari recorded that Abdullah bin Abbas said,
“They said, `O, Allah’s Messenger! Why not narrate to us stories?’
Later on, this Ayah was revealed, نَحْنُ نَقُصُّ عَلَيْكَ أَحْسَنَ الْقَصَصِ (We relate unto you the best of stories…).”
There is a Hadith that is relevant upon mentioning this honorable Ayah, which praises the Qur’an and demonstrates that it is sufficient from needing all books besides it.
Imam Ahmad recorded a narration from Jabir bin Abdullah that;
Umar bin Al-Khattab came to the Prophet with a book that he took from some of the People of the Book. Umar began reading it to the Prophet who became angry. He said,
أَمُتَهَوِّكُونَ فِيهَا يَا ابْنَ الْخَطَّابِ؟
وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ، لَقَدْ جِئْتُكُمْ بِهَا بَيْضَاءَ نَقِيَّةً، لَا تَسْأَلُوهُمْ عَنْ شَيْءٍ فَيُخْبِرُوكُمْ بِحَقَ فَتُكَذِّبُونَهُ، أَوْ بِبَاطِلٍ فَتُصَدِّقُونَهُ،
وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ، لَوْ أَنَّ مُوسَى كَانَ حَيًّا مَا وَسِعَهُ إِلَّا أَنْ يَتَّبِعَنِي
Are you uncertain about it Ibn Al-Khattab?
By the One in Whose Hand is my soul! I have come to you with it white and pure. Do not ask them about anything, for they might tell you something true and you reject it, or they might tell you something false and you believe it.
By the One in Whose Hand is my soul! If Musa were living, he would have no choice but to follow me.
Imam Ahmad also recorded a narration from Abdullah bin Thabit who said,
“Umar came to Allah’s Messenger and said; `O Messenger of Allah! I passed by a brother of mine from (the tribe of) Qurayzah, so he wrote some comprehensive statements from the Tawrah for me, should I read them to you?’
The face of Allah’s Messenger changed (with anger). So I said to him, `Don’t you see the face of Allah’s Messenger?”
Umar said, `We are pleased with Allah as our Lord, Islam as our religion, and Muhammad as our Messenger.’
So the anger of the Prophet subsided, and he said,
وَالَّذِي نَفْسُ مُحَمَّدٍ بِيَدِهِ، لَوْ أَصْبَحَ فِيكُمْ مُوسَى ثُمَّ اتَّبَعْتُمُوهُ وَتَرَكْتُمُونِي لَضَلَلْتُمْ، إِنَّكُمْ حَظِّي مِنَ الْأُمَمِ، وَأَنَا حَظُّكُمْ مِنَ النَّبِيِّين
By the One in Whose Hand is Muhammad’s soul, if Musa appeared among you and you were to follow him, abandoning me, then you would have strayed. Indeed you are my share of the nations, and I am your share of the Prophets.”
إِذْ قَالَ يُوسُفُ لاًّبِيهِ يأَبتِ إِنِّى رَأَيْتُ أَحَدَ عَشَرَ كَوْكَبًا وَالشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ رَأَيْتُهُمْ لِى سَاجِدِينَ
12:4 (Remember) when Yusuf said to his father: “O my father! Verily, I saw (in a dream) eleven stars and the sun and the moon – I saw them prostrating themselves to me.”
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إِذْ قَالَ يُوسُفُ لِأَبِيهِ يَا أَبتِ إِنِّي رَأَيْتُ أَحَدَ عَشَرَ كَوْكَبًا وَالشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ رَأَيْتُهُمْ لِي سَاجِدِينَ ﴿٤﴾
(Remember) when Yusuf said to his father: “O my father! Verily, I saw (in a dream) eleven stars and the sun and the moon – I saw them prostrating themselves to me.”
Allah says, `Mention to your people, O Muhammad, among the stories that you narrate to them, the story of Yusuf.’
Prophet Yusuf (Joseph) mentioned his dream to his father, Prophet Yaqub (Jacob), son of Prophet Ishaq (Isaac), son of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham), peace be upon them all.
Abdullah bin Abbas stated that the dreams of Prophets are revelations from Allah.
Scholars of Tafsir explained that;
in Yusuf’s dream the eleven stars represent his brothers, who were eleven, and the sun and the moon represent his father and mother.
This explanation was collected from Ibn Abbas, Ad-Dahhak, Qatadah, Sufyan Ath-Thawri and Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam.
Yusuf’s vision became a reality forty years later, or as some say, eighty years, when Yusuf raised his parents to the throne while his brothers were before him,
وَخَرُّواْ لَهُ سُجَّدًا وَقَالَ يَا أَبَتِ هَـذَا تَأْوِيلُ رُؤْيَايَ مِن قَبْلُ قَدْ جَعَلَهَا رَبِّي حَقًّا
and they fell down before him prostrate. And he said: “O my father! This is the interpretation of my dream aforetime! My Lord has made it come true!” (12:100)
قَالَ يبُنَىَّ لاَ تَقْصُصْ رُءْيَاكَ عَلَى إِخْوَتِكَ فَيَكِيدُواْ لَكَ كَيْدًا إِنَّ الشَّيْطَـنَ لِلإِنْسَـنِ عَدُوٌّ مُّبِينٌ
12:5 He (the father) said: “O my son! Relate not your vision to your brothers, lest they should arrange a plot against you. Verily, Shaytan is to man an open enemy!”
Yaqub orders Yusuf to hide His Vision to avoid Shaytan’s Plots
قَالَ يَا بُنَيَّ لاَ تَقْصُصْ رُؤْيَاكَ عَلَى إِخْوَتِكَ فَيَكِيدُواْ لَكَ كَيْدًا إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ لِلإِنسَانِ عَدُوٌّ مُّبِينٌ ﴿٥﴾
He (the father) said: “O my son! Relate not your vision to your brothers, lest they should arrange a plot against you. Verily, Shaytan is to man an open enemy!”
Allah narrates the reply Yaqub gave his son Yusuf when he narrated to him the vision that he saw, which indicated that his brothers would be under his authority. They would be subjugated to Yusuf’s authority to such an extent that they would prostrate before him in respect, honor and appreciation. Yaqub feared that if Yusuf narrated his vision to any of his brothers, they would envy him and conspire evil plots against him. This is why Yaqub said to Yusuf, لاَ تَقْصُصْ رُؤْيَاكَ عَلَى إِخْوَتِكَ فَيَكِيدُواْ لَكَ كَيْدًا (Relate not your vision to your brothers, lest they should arrange a plot against you).
This Ayah means,
“They might arrange a plot against you that causes your demise.”
In the Sunnah, there is a confirmed Hadith that states,
إِذَا رَأَى أَحَدُكُمْ مَا يُحِبُّ فَلْيُحَدِّثْ بِهِ، وَإِذَا رَأَى مَا يَكْرَهُ فَلْيَتَحَوَّلْ إِلَى جَنْبِهِ الْآخَرِ، وَلْيَتْفُلْ عَنْ يَسَارِهِ ثَلَاثًا، وَلْيَسْتَعِذْ بِاللهِ مِنْ شَرِّهَا، وَلَا يُحَدِّثْ بِهَا أَحَدًا فَإِنَّهَا لَنْ تَضُرَّه
If any of you saw a vision that he likes, let him narrate it. If he saw a dream that he dislikes, let him turn on his other side, blow to his left thrice, seek refuge with Allah from its evil and not tell it to anyone. Verily, it will not harm him in this case.
In another Hadith that Imam Ahmad and collectors of the Sunan collected, Mu`awiyah bin Haydah Al-Qushayri said that the Messenger of Allah said,
الرُّؤْيَا عَلَى رِجْلِ طَائِرٍ مَا لَمْ تُعْبَرْ، فَإِذَا عُبِرَتْ وَقَعَت
The dream is tied to a bird’s leg, as long as it is not interpreted. If it is interpreted, it comes true.
Therefore, one should hide the prospects or the coming of a bounty until it comes into existence and becomes known.
The Prophet said,
اسْتَعِينُوا عَلَى قَضَاءِ الْحَوَائِجِ بِكِتْمَانِهَا، فَإِنَّ كُلَّ ذِي نِعْمَةٍ مَحْسُود
Earn help for fulfilling needs by being discrete, for every owner of a blessing is envied.
وَكَذلِكَ يَجْتَبِيكَ رَبُّكَ وَيُعَلِّمُكَ مِن تَأْوِيلِ الاٌّحَادِيثِ وَيُتِمُّ نِعْمَتَهُ عَلَيْكَ وَعَلَى ءالِ يَعْقُوبَ كَمَآ أَتَمَّهَآ عَلَى أَبَوَيْكَ مِن قَبْلُ إِبْرَهِيمَ وَإِسْحَـقَ
12:6 “Thus will your Lord choose you and teach you the interpretation of dreams (and other things) and perfect His favor on you and on the offspring of Yaqub, as He perfected it on your fathers, Ibrahim and Ishaq aforetime!
إِنَّ رَبَّكَ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ
Verily, your Lord is All-Knowing, All-Wise.”
Interpretation of Yusuf’s Vision
Allah says that Yaqub said to his son Yusuf, `Just as Allah chose you to see the eleven stars, the sun and the moon prostrate before you in a vision,
وَكَذَلِكَ يَجْتَبِيكَ رَبُّكَ …
Thus will your Lord choose you,
designate and assign you to be a Prophet from Him,
… وَيُعَلِّمُكَ مِن تَأْوِيلِ الأَحَادِيثِ …
and teach you the interpretation of Ahadith.’
Mujahid and several other scholars said that;
this part of the Ayah is in reference to the interpreting of dreams.
He said next,
… وَيُتِمُّ نِعْمَتَهُ عَلَيْكَ …
and perfect His favor on you,
`by His Message and revelation to you.’
… وَعَلَى آلِ يَعْقُوبَ …
and on the offspring of Yaqub,
This is why Yaqub said afterwards,
… كَمَا أَتَمَّهَا عَلَى أَبَوَيْكَ مِن قَبْلُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ …
as He perfected it aforetime on your fathers, Ibrahim…,
Allah’s intimate friend,
… وَإِسْحَقَ …
… إِنَّ رَبَّكَ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ ﴿٦﴾
Verily, your Lord is All-Knowing, All-Wise.
Allah knows best whom to chose for His Messages.
لَّقَدْ كَانَ فِى يُوسُفَ وَإِخْوَتِهِ ءايَـتٌ لِّلسَّآئِلِينَ
12:7 Verily, in Yusuf and his brethren there were Ayat for those who ask.
إِذْ قَالُواْ لَيُوسُفُ وَأَخُوهُ أَحَبُّ إِلَى أَبِينَا مِنَّا وَنَحْنُ عُصْبَةٌ
12:8 When they said: “Truly, Yusuf and his brother are dearer to our father than we, while we are `Usbah (a group).
إِنَّ أَبَانَا لَفِى ضَلَلٍ مُّبِينٍ
Really, our father is in a plain error.”
اقْتُلُواْ يُوسُفَ أَوِ اطْرَحُوهُ أَرْضًا يَخْلُ لَكُمْ وَجْهُ أَبِيكُمْ وَتَكُونُواْ مِن بَعْدِهِ قَوْمًا صَـلِحِينَ
12:9 “Kill Yusuf or cast him out to some (other) land, so that the favor of your father may be given to you alone, and after that you will be righteous folk.”
قَالَ قَآئِلٌ مِّنْهُمْ لاَ تَقْتُلُواْ يُوسُفَ وَأَلْقُوهُ فِى غَيَابَةِ الْجُبِّ يَلْتَقِطْهُ بَعْضُ السَّيَّارَةِ إِن كُنتُمْ فَـعِلِينَ
12:10 One from among them said: “Kill not Yusuf, but if you must do something, throw him down to the bottom of a well; he will be picked up by some caravan of travelers.”
There are Lessons to draw from the Story of Yusuf
لَّقَدْ كَانَ فِي يُوسُفَ وَإِخْوَتِهِ آيَاتٌ لِّلسَّائِلِينَ ﴿٧﴾
Verily, in Yusuf and his brethren there were Ayat for those who ask.
Allah says that there are Ayat, lessons and wisdom to learn from the story of Yusuf and his brothers, for those who ask about their story and seek its knowledge. Surely, their story is unique and is worthy of being narrated.
إِذْ قَالُواْ لَيُوسُفُ وَأَخُوهُ أَحَبُّ إِلَى أَبِينَا مِنَّا…
When they said: “Truly, Yusuf and his brother are dearer to our father than we…”
They swore, according to their false thoughts, that Yusuf and his brother Binyamin (Benjamin), Yusuf’s full brother,
… أَحَبُّ إِلَى أَبِينَا مِنَّا وَنَحْنُ عُصْبَةٌ …
dearer to our father than we, while we are `Usbah.
meaning, a group.
Therefore, they thought, how can he love these two more than the group,
… إِنَّ أَبَانَا لَفِي ضَلاَلٍ مُّبِينٍ ﴿٨﴾
Really, our father is in a plain error.
because he preferred them and loved them more than us.
اقْتُلُواْ يُوسُفَ أَوِ اطْرَحُوهُ أَرْضًا يَخْلُ لَكُمْ وَجْهُ أَبِيكُمْ …
Kill Yusuf or cast him out to some (other) land, so that the favor of your father may be given to you alone,
They said, `Remove Yusuf, who competes with you for your father’s love, from in front of your father’s face so that his favor is yours alone. Either kill Yusuf or banish him to a distant land so that you are rid of his trouble and you alone enjoy the love of your father.’
… وَتَكُونُواْ مِن بَعْدِهِ قَوْمًا صَالِحِينَ ﴿٩﴾
and after that you will be righteous folk.
thus intending repentance before committing the sin,
قَالَ قَآئِلٌ مَّنْهُمْ لاَ تَقْتُلُواْ يُوسُفَ وَأَلْقُوهُ فِي غَيَابَةِ الْجُبِّ …
One from among them said: “Kill not Yusuf, but if you must do something, throw him down to the bottom of a well;
قَالَ قَآئِلٌ مَّنْهُمْ …
One from among them said…
Qatadah and Muhammad bin Ishaq said that;
he was the oldest among them and his name was Rubil (Reuben).
As-Suddi said that;
his name was Yahudha (Judah).
Mujahid said that;
it was Sham`un (Simeon) who said, لاَ تَقْتُلُواْ يُوسُفَ (Kill not Yusuf),
do not let your enmity and hatred towards him reach this level, of murder.
However, their plot to kill Yusuf would not have succeeded, because Allah the Exalted willed that Yusuf fulfill a mission that must be fulfilled and complete; he would receive Allah’s revelation and become His Prophet. Allah willed Yusuf to be a powerful man in Egypt and govern it.
Consequently, Allah did not allow them to persist in their intent against Yusuf, through Rubil’s words and his advice to them that if they must do something, they should throw him down to the bottom of a well,
… يَلْتَقِطْهُ بَعْضُ السَّيَّارَةِ …
he will be picked up by some caravan,
of travelers passing by. This way, he said, you will rid yourselves of this bother without having to kill him,
… إِن كُنتُمْ فَاعِلِينَ ﴿١٠﴾
if you must do something,
meaning, if you still insist on getting rid of him.
Muhammad bin Ishaq bin Yasar said,
“They agreed to a particularly vicious crime that involved cutting the relation of the womb, undutiful treatment of parents, and harshness towards the young, helpless and sinless.
It was also harsh towards the old and weak who have the rights of being respected, honored and appreciated, as well as, being honored with Allah and having parental rights on their offspring. They sought to separate the beloved father, who had reached old age and his bones became weak, yet had a high status with Allah, from his beloved young son, in spite of his weakness, tender age and his need of his father’s compassion and kindness.
May Allah forgive them, and indeed, He is the Most Merciful among those who have mercy, for they intended to carry out a “grave error.”
Ibn Abi Hatim collected this statement, from the route of Salamah bin Al-Fadl from Muhammad bin Ishaq.
قَالُواْ يَـأَبَانَا مَا لَكَ لاَ تَأْمَنَّا عَلَى يُوسُفَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَنَـصِحُونَ
12:11 They said: “O our father! Why do you not trust us with Yusuf though we are indeed his well-wishers”
أَرْسِلْهُ مَعَنَا غَداً يَرْتَعْ وَيَلْعَبْ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَـفِظُونَ
12:12 “Send him with us tomorrow to enjoy himself and play, and verily, we will take care of him.”
Yusuf’s Brothers ask for Their Father’s Permission to take Yusuf with Them
قَالُواْ يَا أَبَانَا مَا لَكَ …
They said: “O our father! Why,
When Yusuf’s brothers agreed to take him and throw him down the well, taking the advice of their elder brother Rubil, they went to their father Yaqub, peace be upon him. They said to him, “Why is it that you,
… لاَ تَأْمَنَّا عَلَى يُوسُفَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَنَاصِحُونَ ﴿١١﴾
do not trust us with Yusuf though we are indeed his well-wishers.”
They started executing their plan by this introductory statement, even though they really intended its opposite, out of envy towards Yusuf for being loved by his father.
أَرْسِلْهُ مَعَنَا غَدًا يَرْتَعْ وَيَلْعَبْ …
“Send him with us tomorrow to enjoy himself and play,
i.e. so that we all enjoy ourselves and play.
Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak and As-Suddi said similarly.
Yusuf’s brothers said next,
… وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ ﴿١٢﴾
and verily, we will take care of him.
we will protect him and ensure his safety for you.
قَالَ إِنِّى لَيَحْزُنُنِى أَن تَذْهَبُواْ بِهِ وَأَخَافُ أَن يَأْكُلَهُ الذِّئْبُ وَأَنْتُمْ عَنْهُ غَـفِلُونَ
12:13 He (Yaqub) said: “Truly, it saddens me that you should take him away. I fear lest a wolf should devour him, while you are careless of him.”
قَالُواْ لَئِنْ أَكَلَهُ الذِّئْبُ وَنَحْنُ عُصْبَةٌ إِنَّآ إِذَا لَّخَـسِرُونَ
12:14 They said: “If a wolf devours him, while we are `Usbah (a group), then surely, we are the losers.”
Ya`qub’s Answer to Their Request
Allah narrates to us that His Prophet Yaqub said to his children, in response to their request that he send Yusuf with them to the desert to tend their cattle,
قَالَ إِنِّي لَيَحْزُنُنِي أَن تَذْهَبُواْ بِهِ …
He (Yaqub) said: “Truly, it saddens me that you should take him away.
He said that it was hard on him that he be separated from Yusuf for the duration of their trip, until they came back.
This demonstrates the deep love that Yaqub had for his son, because he saw in Yusuf great goodness and exalted qualities with regards to conduct and physical attractiveness associated with the rank of Prophethood. May Allah’s peace and blessings be on him.
Prophet Yaqub’s statement next,
… وَأَخَافُ أَن يَأْكُلَهُ الذِّئْبُ وَأَنتُمْ عَنْهُ غَافِلُونَ ﴿١٣﴾
I fear lest a wolf should devour him, while you are careless of him.
He said to them, `I fear that you might be careless with him while you are tending the cattle and shooting, then a wolf might come and eat him while you are unaware.’
They heard these words from his mouth and used them in their response for what they did afterwards. They also gave a spontaneous reply for their father’s statement, saying,
قَالُواْ لَئِنْ أَكَلَهُ الذِّئْبُ وَنَحْنُ عُصْبَةٌ إِنَّا إِذًا لَّخَاسِرُونَ ﴿١٤﴾
They said: “If a wolf devours him, while we are an `Usbah, then surely, we are the losers.
They said, `If a wolf should attack and devour him while we are all around him in a strong group, then indeed we are the losers and weak.’
فَلَمَّا ذَهَبُواْ بِهِ وَأَجْمَعُواْ أَن يَجْعَلُوهُ فِى غَيَابَةِ الْجُبِّ وَأَوْحَيْنَآ إِلَيْهِ لَتُنَبِّئَنَّهُمْ بِأَمْرِهِمْ هَـذَا وَهُمْ لاَ يَشْعُرُونَ
12:15 So, when they took him away, they all agreed to throw him down to the bottom of the well, and We revealed to him: “Indeed, you shall (one day) inform them of this their affair, when they know (you) not.”
Yusuf is thrown in a Well
فَلَمَّا ذَهَبُواْ بِهِ …
when they took him away,
Allah says that when Yusuf’s brothers took him from his father, after they requested him to permit that,
… وَأَجْمَعُواْ أَن يَجْعَلُوهُ فِي غَيَابَةِ الْجُبِّ …
they all agreed to throw him down to the bottom of the well,
This part of the Ayah magnifies their crime, in that it mentions that they all agreed to throw him to the bottom of the well. This was their intent, yet when they took him from his father, they pretended otherwise, so that his father sends him with a good heart and feeling at ease and comfortable with his decision.
It was reported that Yaqub, peace be upon him, embraced Yusuf, kissed him and supplicated to Allah for him when he sent him with his brothers.
As-Suddi said that;
the time spent between pretending to be well-wishers and harming Yusuf was no longer than their straying far from their father’s eyes.
They then started abusing Yusuf verbally, by cursing, and harming him by beating. When they reached the well that they agreed to throw him in, they tied him with rope and lowered him down. When Yusuf would beg one of them, he would smack and curse him. When he tried to hold to the sides of the well, they struck his hand and then cut the rope when he was only half the distance from the bottom of the well. He fell into the water and was submerged. However, he was able to ascend a stone that was in the well and stood on it.
Allah said next,
… وَأَوْحَيْنَآ إِلَيْهِ لَتُنَبِّئَنَّهُم بِأَمْرِهِمْ هَـذَا وَهُمْ لاَ يَشْعُرُونَ ﴿١٥﴾
and We revealed to him: “Indeed, you shall (one day) inform them of this their affair, when they know (you) not.”
In this Ayah, Allah mentions His mercy and compassion and His compensation and relief that He sends in times of distress. Allah revealed to Yusuf, during that distressful time, in order to comfort his heart and strengthen his resolve, `Do not be saddened by what you have suffered. Surely, you will have a way out of this distress and a good end, for Allah will aid you against them, elevate your rank and raise your grade. Later on, you will remind them of what they did to you.’
… وَهُمْ لاَ يَشْعُرُونَ
when they know not.
Ibn Abbas commented on this Ayah,
“You will remind them of this evil action against you, while they are unaware of your identity and unable to recognize you.”
وَجَآءُوا أَبَاهُمْ عِشَآءً يَبْكُونَ
12:16 And they came to their father in the early part of the night weeping.
قَالُواْ يَـأَبَانَا إِنَّا ذَهَبْنَا نَسْتَبِقُ وَتَرَكْنَا يُوسُفَ عِندَ مَتَـعِنَا فَأَكَلَهُ الذِّئْبُ وَمَآ أَنتَ بِمُؤْمِنٍ لَّنَا وَلَوْ كُنَّا صَـدِقِينَ
12:17 They said: “O our father! We went racing with one another, and left Yusuf by our belongings and a wolf devoured him; but you will never believe us even when we speak the truth.”
وَجَآءُوا عَلَى قَمِيصِهِ بِدَمٍ كَذِبٍ
12:18 And they brought his shirt stained with false blood.
قَالَ بَلْ سَوَّلَتْ لَكُمْ أَنفُسُكُمْ أَمْرًا فَصَبْرٌ جَمِيلٌ وَاللَّهُ الْمُسْتَعَانُ عَلَى مَا تَصِفُونَ
He said: “Nay, but your own selves have made up a tale. So (for me) patience is most fitting. And it is Allah (Alone) Whose help can be sought against that (lie) which you describe.”
Yusuf’s Brothers try to deceive Their Father
وَجَاؤُواْ أَبَاهُمْ عِشَاء يَبْكُونَ ﴿١٦﴾
قَالُواْ يَا أَبَانَا …
And they came to their father in the early part of the night weeping. They said: “O our father!
Allah narrates to us the deceit that Yusuf’s brothers resorted to, after they threw him to the bottom of the well. They went back to their father, during the darkness of the night, crying and showing sorrow and grief for losing Yusuf. They started giving excuses to their father for what happened to Yusuf, falsely claiming that,
… إِنَّا ذَهَبْنَا نَسْتَبِقُ …
We went racing with one another,
or had a shooting competition,
… وَتَرَكْنَا يُوسُفَ عِندَ مَتَاعِنَا …
and left Yusuf by our belongings,
guarding our clothes and luggage,
… فَأَكَلَهُ الذِّئْبُ …
and a wolf devoured him,
which is exactly what their father told them he feared for Yusuf and warned against.
They said next,
… وَمَا أَنتَ بِمُؤْمِنٍ لِّنَا وَلَوْ كُنَّا صَادِقِينَ ﴿١٧﴾
but you will never believe us even when we speak the truth.
They tried to lessen the impact of the grave news they were delivering.
They said, `We know that you will not believe this news, even if you consider us truthful. So what about when you suspect that we are not truthful, especially since you feared that the wolf might devour Yusuf and that is what happened.’
Therefore, they said, `You have reason not to believe us because of the strange coincidence and the amazing occurrence that happened to us.’
وَجَآؤُوا عَلَى قَمِيصِهِ بِدَمٍ كَذِبٍ …
And they brought his shirt stained with false blood.
on it, to help prove plot that they all agreed on.
According to Mujahid, As-Suddi and several other scholars,
they slaughtered a sheep, and stained Yusuf’s shirt with its blood.
They claimed that this was the shirt Yusuf was wearing when the wolf devoured him, being stained with his blood. But, they forgot to tear the shirt, and this is why Allah’s Prophet Yaqub did not believe them. Rather, he told them what he felt about what they said to him, thus refusing their false claim,
… قَالَ بَلْ سَوَّلَتْ لَكُمْ أَنفُسُكُمْ أَمْرًا فَصَبْرٌ جَمِيلٌ …
He said: “Nay, but your own selves have made up a tale. So (for me) patience is most fitting.
Yaqub said, `I will firmly observe patience for this plot on which you agreed, until Allah relieves the distress with His aid and compassion,
… وَاللّهُ الْمُسْتَعَانُ عَلَى مَا تَصِفُونَ ﴿١٨﴾
And it is Allah (alone) Whose help can be sought against that which you describe.
against the lies and unbelievable incident that you said had occurred.’
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وَجَاءَتْ سَيَّارَةٌ فَأَرْسَلُواْ وَارِدَهُمْ فَأَدْلَى دَلْوَهُ
12:19 And there came a caravan of travelers and they sent their water-drawer, and he let down his bucket (into the well).
قَالَ يبُشْرَى هَـذَا غُلاَمٌ
He said: “What good news! Here is a boy.”
وَأَسَرُّوهُ بِضَـعَةً وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ بِمَا يَعْمَلُونَ
So they hid him as merchandise (a slave). And Allah was the All-Knower of what they did.
وَشَرَوْهُ بِثَمَنٍ بَخْسٍ دَرَهِمَ مَعْدُودَةٍ وَكَانُواْ فِيهِ مِنَ الزَهِدِينَ
12:20 And they sold him for a Bakhs price, – for a few Dirhams. And they were of those who regarded him insignificant.
Yusuf is Rescued from the Well and sold as a Slave
وَجَاءتْ سَيَّارَةٌ فَأَرْسَلُواْ وَارِدَهُمْ فَأَدْلَى دَلْوَهُ قَالَ يَا بُشْرَى هَـذَا غُلاَمٌ …
And there came a caravan of travelers and they sent their water-drawer, and he let down his bucket (into the well). He said: “What good news! Here is a boy.”
Allah narrates what happened to Yusuf, peace be upon him, after his brothers threw him down the well and left him in it, alone, where he remained for three days, according to Abu Bakr bin Ayyash.
Muhammad bin Ishaq said,
“After Yusuf’s brothers threw him down the well, they remained around the well for the rest of the day to see what he might do and what would happen to him. Allah sent a caravan of travelers that camped near that well, and they sent to it the man responsible for drawing water for them. When he approached the well, he lowered his bucket down into it, Yusuf held on to it and the man rescued him and felt happy, بُشْرَى هَـذَا غُلاَمٌ (What good news! Here is a boy).”
… وَأَسَرُّوهُ بِضَاعَةً …
So they hid him as merchandise,
Al-Awfi reported that Ibn Abbas commented,
“is in reference to Yusuf’s brothers, who hid the news that he was their brother.
Yusuf hid this news for fear that his brothers might kill him and preferred to be sold instead.
Consequently, Yusuf’s brothers told the water drawer about him and that man said to his companions, بُشْرَى هَـذَا غُلاَمٌ (“What good news! Here is a boy”), a slave whom we can sell. Therefore, Yusuf’s own brothers sold him.”
… وَاللّهُ عَلِيمٌ بِمَا يَعْمَلُونَ ﴿١٩﴾
And Allah was the All-Knower of what they did.
states that Allah knew what Yusuf’s brothers, and those who bought him, did. He was able to stop them and prevent them from committing their actions, but out of His perfect wisdom He decreed otherwise. He let them do what they did, so that His decision prevails and His appointed destiny rules,
أَلاَ لَهُ الْخَلْقُ وَالاٌّمْرُ تَبَارَكَ اللَّهُ رَبُّ الْعَـلَمِينَ
Surely, His is the creation and commandment. Blessed is Allah, the Lord of the all that exists! (7:54)
This reminds Allah’s Messenger Muhammad, that Allah has perfect knowledge in the persecution that his people committed against him and that He is able to stop them. However, He decided to give them respite, then give Muhammad the victory and make him prevail over them, just as He gave Yusuf victory and made him prevail over his brothers.
Allah said next,
وَشَرَوْهُ بِثَمَنٍ بَخْسٍ دَرَاهِمَ مَعْدُودَةٍ …
And they sold him for a Bakhs price, – for a few Dirhams
in reference to Yusuf’s brothers selling him for a little price, according to Mujahid and Ikrimah.
Bakhs‘ means decreased, just as Allah the Exalted said in another Ayah,
فَلاَ يَخَافُ بَخْساً وَلاَ رَهَقاً
shall have no fear, either of a Bakhs (a decrease in the reward of his good deeds) or a Rahaq (an increase in the punishment for his sins). (72:13)
meaning that Yusuf’s brothers exchanged him for a miserably low price. Yet, he was so insignificant to them that had the caravan people wanted him for free, they would have given him for free to them!
Ibn Abbas, Mujahid and Ad-Dahhak said that,
وَشَرَوْهُ (And they sold him), is in reference to Yusuf’s brothers. They sold Yusuf for the lowest price, as indicated by Allah’s statement next,
دَرَاهِمَ مَعْدُودَةٍ (for a few Dirhams),
twenty Dirhams, according to Abdullah bin Mas`ud.
Similar was said by Ibn Abbas, Nawf Al-Bikali, As-Suddi, Qatadah and Atiyah Al-Awfi, who added that they divided the Dirhams among themselves, each getting two Dirhams.
… وَكَانُواْ فِيهِ مِنَ الزَّاهِدِينَ ﴿٢٠﴾
And they were of those who regarded him insignificant.
Ad-Dahhak commented on Allah’s statement,
“Because they had no knowledge of his Prophethood and glorious rank with Allah, the Exalted and Most Honored.”
وَقَالَ الَّذِى اشْتَرَاهُ مِن مِّصْرَ لاِمْرَأَتِهِ أَكْرِمِى مَثْوَاهُ عَسَى أَن يَنفَعَنَآ أَوْ نَتَّخِذَهُ وَلَدًا
12:21 And he (the man) from Egypt who bought him, said to his wife: “Make his stay comfortable, maybe he will profit us or we shall adopt him as a son.”
وَكَذلِكَ مَكَّنَّا لِيُوسُفَ فِى الاٌّرْضِ وَلِنُعَلِّمَهُ مِن تَأْوِيلِ الاٌّحَادِيثِ
Thus did We establish Yusuf in the land, that We might teach him the interpretation of events.
وَاللَّهُ غَالِبٌ عَلَى أَمْرِهِ وَلَـكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ
And Allah has full power and control over His affairs, but most of men know not.
وَلَمَّا بَلَغَ أَشُدَّهُ آتَيْنَاهُ حُكْمًا وَعِلْمًا وَكَذلِكَ نَجْزِى الْمُحْسِنِينَ
12:22 And when he (Yusuf) attained his full manhood, We gave him wisdom and knowledge (the Prophethood), thus We reward the doers of good.
Yusuf in Egypt
وَقَالَ الَّذِي اشْتَرَاهُ مِن مِّصْرَ لاِمْرَأَتِهِ …
And he (the man) from Egypt who bought him, said to his wife:
Allah mentions the favors that He granted Yusuf, peace be on him, by which He made the man from Egypt who bought him, take care of him and provide him with a comfortable life. He also ordered his wife to be kind to Yusuf and had good hopes for his future, because of his firm righteous behavior.
He said to his wife,
… أَكْرِمِي مَثْوَاهُ عَسَى أَن يَنفَعَنَا أَوْ نَتَّخِذَهُ وَلَدًا …
Make his stay comfortable, maybe he will profit us or we shall adopt him as a son.
The man who bought Yusuf was the minister of Egypt at the time, and his title was Aziz.
Abu Ishaq narrated that Abu Ubaydah said that Abdullah bin Mas`ud said,
“Three had the most insight:
the Aziz of Egypt, who said to his wife, أَكْرِمِي مَثْوَاهُ (Make his stay comfortable…),
the woman who said to her father, يَا أَبَتِ اسْتَأْجِرْهُ (O my father! Hire him…), (28:26)
Abu Bakr As-Siddiq when he appointed Umar bin Al-Khattab to be the Khalifah after him, may Allah be pleased with them both.”
Allah said next that just as He saved Yusuf from his brothers,
… وَكَذَلِكَ مَكَّنِّا لِيُوسُفَ فِي الأَرْضِ …
Thus did We establish Yusuf in the land,
in reference to Egypt,
… وَلِنُعَلِّمَهُ مِن تَأْوِيلِ الأَحَادِيثِ …
that We might teach him the interpretation of events.
the interpretation of dreams, according to Mujahid and As-Suddi.
Allah said next,
… وَاللّهُ غَالِبٌ عَلَى أَمْرِهِ …
And Allah has full power and control over His affairs,
if He wills something, then there is no averting His decision, nor can it ever be stopped or contradicted. Rather, Allah has full power over everything and everyone else.
Sa`id bin Jubayr said while commenting on Allah’s statement,
“He does what ever He wills.”
… وَلَـكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ ﴿٢١﴾
but most of men know not.
meaning, have no knowledge of Allah’s wisdom with regards to His creation, compassion and doing what He wills.
Allah said next,
وَلَمَّا بَلَغَ …
And when he attained,
in reference to Prophet Yusuf, peace be upon him,
… أَشُدَّهُ …
his full manhood,
sound in mind and perfect in body,
… آتَيْنَاهُ حُكْمًا وَعِلْمًا …
We gave him wisdom and knowledge,
which is the Prophethood that Allah sent him with for the people he lived among,
… وَكَذَلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُحْسِنِينَ ﴿٢٢﴾
thus We reward the doers of good.
because Yusuf used to do good in the obedience of Allah the Exalted.
وَرَاوَدَتْهُ الَّتِى هُوَ فِى بَيْتِهَا عَن نَّفْسِهِ وَغَلَّقَتِ الاٌّبْوَابَ وَقَالَتْ هَيْتَ لَكَ
12:23 And she, in whose house he was, sought to seduce him (to do an evil act), and she closed the doors and said: “Come on, O you.”
قَالَ مَعَاذَ اللَّهِ إِنَّهُ رَبِّى أَحْسَنَ مَثْوَاىَّ إِنَّهُ لاَ يُفْلِحُ الظَّـلِمُونَ
He said: “I seek refuge in Allah! Truly, he is my Rabb! He made my living in a great comfort! Verily, the wrongdoers will never be successful.”
Wife of the `Aziz loves Yusuf and plots against Him
وَرَاوَدَتْهُ الَّتِي هُوَ فِي بَيْتِهَا عَن نَّفْسِهِ وَغَلَّقَتِ الأَبْوَابَ …
And she, in whose house he was, sought to seduce him (to do an evil act), and she closed the doors,
Allah states that the wife of the Aziz of Egypt, in whose house Yusuf resided and whose husband recommended that she takes care of him and be generous to him, tried to seduce Yusuf! She called him to do an evil act with her, because she loved him very much. Yusuf was very handsome, filled with manhood and beauty. She beautified herself for him, closed the doors and called him,
… وَقَالَتْ هَيْتَ لَكَ …
and (she) said: “Come on, O you.”
But he categorically refused her call,
… قَالَ مَعَاذَ اللّهِ إِنَّهُ رَبِّي أَحْسَنَ مَثْوَايَ …
He said: “I seek refuge in Allah! Truly, he is my Rabb! He made my living in a great comfort!”
as they used to call the chief and master a
Rabb’, Yusuf said to her,your husband is my master who provided me with comfortable living and was kind to me, so I will never betray him by committing immoral sins with his wife,’
… إِنَّهُ لاَ يُفْلِحُ الظَّالِمُونَ ﴿٢٣﴾
Verily, the wrongdoers will never be successful.
This was said by Mujahid, As-Suddi, Muhammad bin Ishaq and several others.
The scholars differ in their recitation of, هَيْتَ لَكَ (Hayta Laka), whereby Ibn Abbas, Mujahid and several other scholars said that it means that;
she was calling him to herself.
Al-Bukhari said; “Ikrimah said that, هَيْتَ لَكَ (Hayta Laka’) means,
`come on, O you’, in the Aramaic language.”
Al-Bukhari collected this statement from Ikrimah without a chain of narration.
Other scholars read it with the meaning,
`I am ready for you’.
Ibn Abbas, Abu Abdur-Rahman As-Sulami, Abu Wa’il, Ikrimah and Qatadah were reported to have read this part of the Ayah this way and explained it in the manner we mentioned, as `I am ready for you’.
وَلَقَدْ هَمَّتْ بِهِ وَهَمَّ بِهَا لَوْلا أَن رَّأَى بُرْهَانَ رَبِّهِ
12:24 And indeed she did desire him, and he would have inclined to her desire, had he not seen the evidence of his Lord.
كَذَلِكَ لِنَصْرِفَ عَنْهُ السُّوءَ وَالْفَحْشَآءَ إِنَّهُ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا الْمُخْلَصِينَ
Thus it was, that We might turn away from him evil and immoval sins. Surely, he was one of Our Mukhlasin servants.
وَلَقَدْ هَمَّتْ بِهِ وَهَمَّ بِهَا لَوْلا أَن رَّأَى بُرْهَانَ رَبِّهِ …
And indeed she did desire him, and he would have inclined to her desire, had he not seen the evidence of his Lord.
This is about the thoughts that cross the mind, according to Al-Baghawi who mentioned this opinion from some of the analysts.
Al-Baghawi next mentioned here a Hadith that he narrated from Abdur Razzaq, from Ma`mar, from Hammam, from Abu Hurayrah, from the Messenger of Allah,
يَقُولُ اللهُ تَعَالَى:
إِذَا هَمَّ عَبْدِي بِحَسَنَةٍ فَاكْتُبُوهَا لَهُ حَسَنَةً، فَإِنْ عَمِلَهَا فَاكْتُبُوهَا لَهُ بِعَشْرِ
أَمْثَالِهَا، وَإِنْ هَمَّ بِسَيِّئَةٍ فَلَمْ يَعْمَلْهَا فَاكْتُبُوهَا حَسَنَةً، فَإِنَّمَا تَرَكَهَا مِنْ جَرّائِي، فَإِنْ عَمِلَهَا فَاكْتُبُوهَا بِمِثْلِهَا
Allah the Exalted said,
`If my slave intends to perform a good deed, then record it for him as one good deed; if he performs it, then record it for him multiplied ten folds.
If he intends to commit an evil act but did not commit it, then record it for him as one good deed, if he left it for My sake. But if he commits it, then write it as one evil deed.’
This Hadith was also collected in the Two Sahihs using various wording, this is one of them.
It was also reported that the Ayah means that;
Yusuf was about to beat her.
As for the evidence that Yusuf saw at that moment, there are conflicting opinions to what it was.
Ibn Jarir At-Tabari said,
“The correct opinion is that we should say that he saw an Ayah from among Allah’s Ayat that repelled the thought that crossed his mind. This evidence might have been the image of Yaqub, or the image of an angel, or a divine statement that forbade him from doing that evil sin, etc.There are no clear proofs to support any of these statements in specific, so it should be left vague, as Allah left it.
Allah’s statement next,
… كَذَلِكَ لِنَصْرِفَ عَنْهُ السُّوءَ وَالْفَحْشَاء …
Thus it was, that We might turn away from him evil and immoral sins.
means, `Just as We showed him the evidence that turned him away from that sin, We save him from all types of evil and illegal sexual activity in all his affairs,’
… إِنَّهُ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا الْمُخْلَصِينَ ﴿٢٤﴾
Surely, he was one of Our Mukhlasin servants.
meaning, chosen, purified, designated, appointed and righteous. May Allah’s peace and blessings be on him.”
وَاسُتَبَقَا الْبَابَ وَقَدَّتْ قَمِيصَهُ مِن دُبُرٍ وَأَلْفَيَا سَيِّدَهَا لَدَى الْبَابِ
12:25. So they raced with one another to the door, and she tore his shirt from the back. They both found her master (i.e. her husband) at the door.
قَالَتْ مَا جَزَآءُ مَنْ أَرَادَ بِأَهْلِكَ سُوءًا إِلاَ أَن يُسْجَنَ أَوْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ
She said: “What is the recompense (punishment) for him who intended an evil design against your wife, except that he be put in prison or a painful torment!”
قَالَ هِىَ رَاوَدَتْنِى عَن نَّفْسِى
12:26 He (Yusuf) said: “It was she that sought to seduce me;”
وَشَهِدَ شَاهِدٌ مِّنْ أَهْلِهَآ إِن كَانَ قَمِيصُهُ قُدَّ مِن قُبُلٍ فَصَدَقَتْ وَهُوَ مِنَ الكَـذِبِينَ
and a witness of her household bore witness (saying): “If it be that his shirt is torn from the front, then her tale is true and he is a liar!”
وَإِنْ كَانَ قَمِيصُهُ قُدَّ مِن دُبُرٍ فَكَذَبَتْ وَهُوَ مِن الصَّـدِقِينَ
12:27 “But if it be that his shirt is torn from the back, then she has told a lie and he is speaking the truth!”
فَلَمَّا رَأَى قَمِيصَهُ قُدَّ مِن دُبُرٍ قَالَ إِنَّهُ مِن كَيْدِكُنَّ
12:28 So when he (her husband) saw his (Yusuf’s) shirt torn at the back, he (her husband) said: “Surely, it is a plot of you women!
إِنَّ كَيْدَكُنَّ عَظِيمٌ
Certainly mighty is your plot!”
يُوسُفُ أَعْرِضْ عَنْ هَـذَا
12:29 “O Yusuf ! Turn away from this!
وَاسْتَغْفِرِى لِذَنبِكِ إِنَّكِ كُنتِ مِنَ الْخَـطِئِينَ
(O woman!) Ask forgiveness for your sin, verily, you were of the sinful.”
وَاسُتَبَقَا الْبَابَ وَقَدَّتْ قَمِيصَهُ مِن دُبُرٍ وَأَلْفَيَا سَيِّدَهَا لَدَى الْبَابِ …
So they raced with one another to the door, and she tore his shirt from the back. They both found her master (i.e. her husband) at the door.
Allah says that Yusuf and the wife of the Aziz raced to the door, Yusuf running away from her and her running after him to bring him back to the room. She caught up with him and held on to his shirt from the back, tearing it so terribly that it fell off Yusuf’s back. Yusuf continued running from her, with her in pursuit. However, they found her master, her husband, at the front door. This is when she responded by deceit and evil plots, trying to exonerate herself and implicate him,
… قَالَتْ مَا جَزَاء مَنْ أَرَادَ بِأَهْلِكَ سُوَءًا …
She said: “What is the recompense (punishment) for him who intended an evil design against your wife…,
in reference to illegal sexual intercourse,
… إِلاَّ أَن يُسْجَنَ …
except that he be put in prison,
… أَوْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ ﴿٢٥﴾
or a painful torment.
tormented severely with painful beating.
Yusuf did not stand idle, but he declared the truth and exonerated himself from the betrayal she accused him of,
He (Yusuf) said, (in truth and honesty),
… هِيَ رَاوَدَتْنِي عَن نَّفْسِي …
It was she that sought to seduce me,
and mentioned that she pursued him and pulled him towards her until she tore his shirt.
… وَشَهِدَ شَاهِدٌ مِّنْ أَهْلِهَا إِن كَانَ قَمِيصُهُ قُدَّ مِن قُبُلٍ …
And a witness of her household bore witness (saying): “If it be that his shirt is torn from the front…”,
not from the back,
… فَصَدَقَتْ …
then her tale is true,
that he tried to commit an illegal sexual act with her.
Had he called her to have sex with him and she refused, she would have pushed him away from her and tore his shirt from the front,
… وَهُوَ مِنَ الكَاذِبِينَ ﴿٢٦﴾
and he is a liar!
وَإِنْ كَانَ قَمِيصُهُ قُدَّ مِن دُبُرٍ فَكَذَبَتْ وَهُوَ مِن الصَّادِقِينَ ﴿٢٧﴾
But if it be that his shirt is torn from the back, then she has told a lie and he is speaking the truth!
Had Yusuf run away from her, and this is what truly happened, and she set in his pursuit, she would have held to his shirt from the back to bring him back to her, thus tearing his shirt from the back.
There is a difference of opinion over the age and gender of the witness mentioned here.
Abdur-Razzaq recorded that Ibn Abbas said that, وَشَهِدَ شَاهِدٌ مِّنْ أَهْلِهَا (and a witness of her household bore witness),
“was a bearded man,” meaning an adult male.
Ath-Thawri reported that Jabir said that Ibn Abi Mulaykah said that Ibn Abbas said,
“He was from the king’s entourage.”
Mujahid, Ikrimah, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, As-Suddi, Muhammad bin Ishaq and others also said that;
the witness was an adult male.
Al-Awfi reported that Ibn Abbas said about Allah’s statement, وَشَهِدَ شَاهِدٌ مِّنْ أَهْلِهَا (and a witness of her household bore witness),
“He was a babe in the cradle.”
Similar was reported from Abu Hurayrah, Hilal bin Yasaf, Al-Hasan, Sa`id bin Jubayr and Ad-Dahhak bin Muzahim, that;
the witness was a young boy who lived in the Aziz’s house.
Ibn Jarir At-Tabari preferred this view.
فَلَمَّا رَأَى قَمِيصَهُ قُدَّ مِن دُبُرٍ …
So when he saw his (Yusuf’s) shirt torn at the back,
indicates that when her husband became certain that Yusuf was telling the truth and that his wife was lying when she heralded the accusation of betrayal at Yusuf,
… قَالَ إِنَّهُ مِن كَيْدِكُنَّ …
he said: “Surely, it is a plot of you women!…”
He said, `This false accusation and staining the young man’s reputation is but a plot of many that you, women, have,’
… إِنَّ كَيْدَكُنَّ عَظِيمٌ ﴿٢٨﴾
Certainly mighty is your plot!
The Aziz ordered Yusuf, peace be upon him, to be discrete about what happened,
يُوسُفُ أَعْرِضْ عَنْ هَـذَا …
O Yusuf ! Turn away from this!
do not mention to anyone what has happened,
… وَاسْتَغْفِرِي لِذَنبِكِ …
And ask forgiveness for your sin,
addressing his wife.
The Aziz was an easy man, or gave excuse to his wife because she saw in Yusuf an appeal she could not resist. He said to her, `Ask forgiveness for your sin, the evil desire that you wanted to satisfy with this young man, and then inventing false accusations about him,’
… إِنَّكِ كُنتِ مِنَ الْخَاطِئِينَ ﴿٢٩﴾
verily, you were of the sinful.
وَقَالَ نِسْوَةٌ فِى الْمَدِينَةِ امْرَأَتُ الْعَزِيزِ تُرَاوِدُ فَتَـهَا عَن نَّفْسِهِ قَدْ شَغَفَهَا حُبًّا إِنَّا لَنَرَاهَا فِى ضَلَـلٍ مُّبِينٍ
12:30 And women in the city said: “The wife of the Aziz is seeking to seduce her (slave) young man, indeed she loves him violently; verily, we see her in plain error.”
فَلَمَّا سَمِعَتْ بِمَكْرِهِنَّ أَرْسَلَتْ إِلَيْهِنَّ وَأَعْتَدَتْ لَهُنَّ مُتَّكَئًا
12:31 So when she heard of their accusation, she sent for them and prepared a banquet for them;
وَءَاتَتْ كُلَّ وَاحِدَةٍ مَّنْهُنَّ سِكِّينًا وَقَالَتِ اخْرُجْ عَلَيْهِنَّ
she gave each one of them a knife, and she said (to Yusuf): “Come out before them.”
فَلَمَّا رَأَيْنَهُ أَكْبَرْنَهُ وَقَطَّعْنَ أَيْدِيَهُنَّ
Then, when they saw him, they exalted him (at his beauty) and (in their astonishment) cut their hands.
وَقُلْنَ حَاشَ للَّهِ مَا هَـذَا بَشَرًا إِنْ هَـذَآ إِلاَّ مَلَكٌ كَرِيمٌ
They said: “How perfect is Allah! No man is this! This is none other than a noble angel!”
قَالَتْ فَذلِكُنَّ الَّذِى لُمْتُنَّنِى فِيهِ وَلَقَدْ رَاوَدتُّهُ عَن نَّفْسِهِ فَاسَتَعْصَمَ
12:32 She said: “This is he (the young man) about whom you did blame me, and I did seek to seduce him, but he refused.
وَلَئِن لَّمْ يَفْعَلْ مَآ ءَامُرُهُ لَيُسْجَنَنَّ وَلَيَكُونًا مِّن الصَّـغِرِينَ
And now if he refuses to obey my order, he shall certainly be cast into prison, and will be one of those who are disgraced.”
قَالَ رَبِّ السِّجْنُ أَحَبُّ إِلَىَّ مِمَّا يَدْعُونَنِى إِلَيْهِ
12:33 He said: “O my Lord! Prison is dearer to me than that to which they invite me.
وَإِلاَّ تَصْرِفْ عَنِّى كَيْدَهُنَّ أَصْبُ إِلَيْهِنَّ وَأَكُن منَ الْجَـهِلِينَ
Unless You turn away their plot from me, I will feel inclined towards them and be one of the ignorant.”
فَاسْتَجَابَ لَهُ رَبُّهُ فَصَرَفَ عَنْهُ كَيْدَهُنَّ
12:34 So his Lord answered his invocation and turned away from him their plot.
إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ
Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.
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The News reaches Women in the City, Who also plot against Yusuf
Allah states that the news of what happened between the wife of the `Aziz and Yusuf spread in the city, that is, Egypt, and people talked about it,
وَقَالَ نِسْوَةٌ فِي الْمَدِينَةِ …
And women in the city said…,
such as women of chiefs and princes said, while admonishing and criticizing the wife of the Aziz,
… امْرَأَةُ الْعَزِيزِ تُرَاوِدُ فَتَاهَا عَن نَّفْسِهِ …
The wife of the Aziz is seeking to seduce her (slave) young man,
she is luring her servant to have sex with her,
… قَدْ شَغَفَهَا حُبًّا …
indeed she loves him violently;
her love for him filled her heart and engulfed it,
… إِنَّا لَنَرَاهَا فِي ضَلاَلٍ مُّبِينٍ ﴿٣٠﴾
verily, we see her in plain error.
by loving him and trying to seduce him.
فَلَمَّا سَمِعَتْ بِمَكْرِهِنَّ …
(So when she heard of their accusation,) especially their statement, “indeed she loves him violently.” Muhammad bin Ishaq commented, “They heard of Yusuf’s beauty and wanted to see him, so they said these words in order to get a look at him. ” This is when,
… أَرْسَلَتْ إِلَيْهِنَّ …
she sent for them,
invited them to her house,
… وَأَعْتَدَتْ لَهُنَّ مُتَّكَأً …
and prepared a banquet for them.
Ibn Abbas, Sa’id bin Jubayr, Mujahid, Al-Hasan, As-Suddi and several others commented that;
she prepared a sitting room which had couches, pillows (to recline on) and food that requires knives to cut, such as citron.
This is why Allah said next,
… وَآتَتْ كُلَّ وَاحِدَةٍ مِّنْهُنَّ سِكِّينًا …
and she gave each one of them a knife,
as a part of her plan of revenge for their plot to see Yusuf,
… وَقَالَتِ اخْرُجْ عَلَيْهِنَّ …
and she said (to Yusuf): “Come out before them.”
for she had asked him to stay somewhere else in the house,
… فَلَمَّا …
he went out and,
… رَأَيْنَهُ أَكْبَرْنَهُ …
they saw him, they exalted him,
they thought highly of him and were astonished at what they saw.
… وَقَطَّعْنَ أَيْدِيَهُنَّ …
and (in their astonishment) cut their hands.
They started cutting their hands in amazement at his beauty, while thinking that they were cutting the citron with their knives.
Therefore, they injured their hands with the knives they were holding, according to several reports of Tafsir.
Others said that;
after they ate and felt comfortable, and after having placed citron in front of them, giving each one of them a knife, the wife of the Aziz asked them, “Would you like to see Yusuf?”
They said, “Yes.”
So she sent for him to come in front of them and when they saw him, they started cutting their hands.
She ordered him to keep coming and going, so that they saw him from all sides, and he went back in while they were still cutting their hands. When they felt the pain, they started screaming and she said to them, “You did all this from one look at him, so how can I be blamed?
… وَقُلْنَ حَاشَ لِلّهِ مَا هَـذَا بَشَرًا إِنْ هَـذَا إِلاَّ مَلَكٌ كَرِيمٌ ﴿٣١﴾
They said: “How perfect is Allah! No man is this! This is none other than a noble angel!”
They said to her, “We do not blame you anymore after the sight that we saw.”
They never saw anyone like Yusuf before, for he, peace be upon him, was given half of all beauty.
An authentic Hadith stated that the Messenger of Allah passed by Prophet Yusuf, during the Night of Isra’ in the third heaven and commented,
فَإِذَا هُوَ قَدْ أُعْطِيَ شَطْرَ الْحُسْن
He was given a half of all beauty.
Mujahid and others said (they said):
“We seek refuge from Allah, مَا هَـذَا بَشَرًا (No man is this!)”
They said next,
إِنْ هَـذَا إِلاَّ مَلَكٌ كَرِيمٌ ﴿٣١﴾
قَالَتْ فَذَلِكُنَّ الَّذِي لُمْتُنَّنِي فِيهِ …
“This is none other than a noble angel!”
She said: “This is he (the young man) about whom you did blame me…”
She said these words to them so that they excuse her behavior, for a man who looks this beautiful and perfect, is worthy of being loved, she thought.
… وَلَقَدْ رَاوَدتُّهُ عَن نَّفْسِهِ فَاسَتَعْصَمَ …
and I did seek to seduce him, but he refused, (to obey me).
Some scholars said that;
when the women saw Yusuf’s beauty, she told them about his inner beauty that they did not know of, being chaste and beautiful from the inside and outside.
She then threatened him,
… وَلَئِن لَّمْ يَفْعَلْ مَا آمُرُهُ لَيُسْجَنَنَّ وَلَيَكُونًا مِّنَ الصَّاغِرِينَ ﴿٣٢﴾
And now if he refuses to obey my order, he shall certainly be cast into prison, and will be one of those who are disgraced.
This is when Prophet Yusuf sought refuge with Allah from their evil and wicked plots,
قَالَ رَبِّ السِّجْنُ أَحَبُّ إِلَيَّ مِمَّا يَدْعُونَنِي إِلَيْهِ …
He said: “O my Lord! Prison is dearer to me than that to which they invite me…” (illegal sexual acts),
… وَإِلاَّ تَصْرِفْ عَنِّي كَيْدَهُنَّ أَصْبُ إِلَيْهِنَّ …
Unless You turn away their plot from me, I will feel inclined towards them,
Yusuf invoked Allah: If You abandon me and I am reliant on myself, then I have no power over myself, nor can I bring harm or benefit to myself, except with Your power and will. Verily, You are sought for each and everything, and our total reliance is on You Alone for each and everything. Please, do not abandon me and leave me to rely on myself, for then,
…أَصْبُ إِلَيْهِنَّ وَأَكُن مِّنَ الْجَاهِلِينَ ﴿٣٣﴾
فَاسْتَجَابَ لَهُ رَبُّهُ …
“I will feel inclined towards them and be one of the ignorant.”
So his Lord answered his invocation.
Yusuf, peace be upon him, was immune from error by Allah’s will, and He saved him from accepting the advances of the wife of the Aziz. He preferred prison, rather than accept her illicit call. This indicates the best and most perfect grade in this case, for Yusuf was youthful, beautiful and full of manhood. His master’s wife was calling him to herself, and she was the wife of the Aziz of Egypt. She was also very beautiful and wealthy, as well as having a great social rank. He refused all this and preferred prison, for he feared Allah and hoped to earn His reward.
… فَصَرَفَ عَنْهُ كَيْدَهُنَّ إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ ﴿٣٤﴾
and turned away from him their plot. Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.
It is recorded in the Two Sahihs that the Messenger of Allah said,
سَبْعَةٌ يُظِلُّهُمُ اللهُ فِي ظِلِّهِ يَوْمَ لَا ظِلَّ إِلَّا ظِلُّهُ:
وَشَابٌّ نَشَأَ فِي عِبَادَةِ اللهِ،
وَرَجُلٌ قَلْبُهُ مُعَلَّقٌ بِالْمَسْجِدِ إِذَا خَرَجَ مِنْهُ حَتَّى يَعُودَ إِلَيْهِ،
وَرَجُلَانِ تَحَابَّا فِي اللهِ، اجْتَمَعَا عَلَيْهِ وَتَفَرَّقَا عَلَيْهِ،
وَرَجُلٌ تَصَدَّقَ بِصَدَقَةٍ فَأَخْفَاهَا حَتَّى لَا تَعْلَمَ شِمَالُهُ مَا أَنْفَقَتْ يَمِينُهُ،
وَرَجُلٌ دَعَتْهُ امْرَأةٌ ذَاتُ مَنْصِبٍ وَجَمَالٍ فَقَالَ: إِنِّي أَخَافُ اللهَ،
وَرَجُلٌ ذَكَرَ اللهَ خَالِيًا فَفَاضَتْ عَيْنَاه
Allah will give shade to seven, on the Day when there will be no shade but His:
A just ruler,
a youth who has been brought up in the worship of Allah,
a man whose heart is attached to the Masjid, from the time he goes out of the Masjid until he gets back to it,
two persons who love each other only for Allah’s sake and they meet and part in Allah’s cause only,
a man who gives charitable gifts so secretly that his left hand does not know what his right hand has given,
a man who refuses the call of a charming woman of noble birth for illicit intercourse with her and says: “I am afraid of Allah, and
a person who remembers Allah in seclusion and his eyes are then flooded with tears.”
ثُمَّ بَدَا لَهُمْ مِّن بَعْدِ مَا رَأَوُاْ الآيَـتِ لَيَسْجُنُنَّهُ حَتَّى حِينٍ
12:35 Then it occurred to them, after they had seen the proofs (of his innocence), to imprison him for a time.
Yusuf is imprisoned without Justification
ثُمَّ بَدَا لَهُم مِّن بَعْدِ مَا رَأَوُاْ الآيَاتِ لَيَسْجُنُنَّهُ حَتَّى حِينٍ ﴿٣٥﴾
Then it occurred to them, after they had seen the proofs (of his innocence), to imprison him for a time.
Allah says, `Then it occurred to them that it would be in their interest to imprison Yusuf for a time, even after they were convinced of his innocence and saw the proofs of his truth, honesty and chastity.’
It appears, and Allah knows best, that they imprisoned him after the news of what happened spread. They wanted to pretend that Yusuf was the one who tried to seduce the Aziz’s wife and that they punished him with imprisonment. This is why when the Pharaoh asked Yusuf to leave jail a long time afterwards, he refused to leave until his innocence was ascertained and the allegation of his betrayal was refuted. When this was successfully achieved, Yusuf left the prison with his honor intact, peace be upon him.
Hint: Embark on a profound journey of reflection and enlightenment by exploring Surah Ibrahim Translation in the Holy Quran. Discover the timeless wisdom, guidance, and inspiration this chapter offers.
وَدَخَلَ مَعَهُ السِّجْنَ فَتَيَانَ
12:36 And there entered with him two young men in the prison.
قَالَ أَحَدُهُمَآ إِنِّى أَرَانِى أَعْصِرُ خَمْرًا
One of them said: “Verily, I saw myself (in a dream) pressing wine.”
وَقَالَ الآخَرُ إِنِّى أَرَانِى أَحْمِلُ فَوْقَ رَأْسِى خُبْزًا تَأْكُلُ الطَّيْرُ مِنْهُ
The other said: “Verily, I saw myself (in a dream) carrying bread on my head and birds were eating thereof.”
نَبِّئْنَا بِتَأْوِيلِهِ إِنَّا نَرَاكَ مِنَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ
(They said): “Inform us of the interpretation of this. Verily, we think you are one of the doers of good.”
Two Jail Mates ask Yusuf to interpret their Dreams
وَدَخَلَ مَعَهُ السِّجْنَ فَتَيَانَ قَالَ أَحَدُهُمَآ إِنِّي أَرَانِي أَعْصِرُ خَمْرًا وَقَالَ الآخَرُ إِنِّي أَرَانِي أَحْمِلُ فَوْقَ رَأْسِي خُبْزًا تَأْكُلُ الطَّيْرُ مِنْهُ نَبِّئْنَا بِتَأْوِيلِهِ إِنَّا نَرَاكَ مِنَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ ﴿٣٦﴾
And there entered with him two young men in the prison. One of them said: “Verily, I saw myself (in a dream) pressing wine.”
The other said: “Verily, I saw myself (in a dream) carrying bread on my head and birds were eating thereof.”
(They said): “Inform us of the interpretation of this. Verily, we think you are one of the doers of good.”
“One of them was the king’s distiller and the other was his baker.”
Each of these two men had a dream and asked Yusuf to interpret it for them.
قَالَ لاَ يَأْتِيكُمَا طَعَامٌ تُرْزَقَانِهِ إِلاَّ نَبَّأْتُكُمَا بِتَأْوِيلِهِ قَبْلَ أَن يَأْتِيَكُمَا
12:37 He said: “No food will come to you as your provision, but I will inform its interpretation before it comes.
ذَلِكُمَا مِمَّا عَلَّمَنِى رَبِّى
This is of that which my Lord has taught me.
إِنِّى تَرَكْتُ مِلَّةَ قَوْمٍ لاَّ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَهُمْ بِالاٌّخِرَةِ هُمْ كَـفِرُونَ
Verily, I have abandoned the religion of a people that believe not in Allah and are disbelievers in the Hereafter.”
وَاتَّبَعْتُ مِلَّةَ ءَابَآءِي إِبْرَهِيمَ وَإِسْحَـقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ مَا كَانَ لَنَآ أَن نُّشْرِكَ بِاللَّهِ مِن شَىْءٍ
12:38 “And I have followed the religion of my fathers, – Ibrahim, Ishaq and Yaqub and never could we attribute any partners whatsoever to Allah.
ذلِكَ مِن فَضْلِ اللَّهِ عَلَيْنَا وَعَلَى النَّاسِ وَلَـكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لاَ يَشْكُرُونَ
This is from the grace of Allah to us and to mankind, but most men thank not.
Yusuf calls His Jail Mates to Tawhid even before He interprets Their Dreams
Yusuf, peace be upon him, told the two men that he has knowledge in the interpretation of whatever they saw in their dream, and that he will tell them about the interpretation of the dreams before they become a reality.
This is why he said,
قَالَ لاَ يَأْتِيكُمَا طَعَامٌ تُرْزَقَانِهِ إِلاَّ نَبَّأْتُكُمَا بِتَأْوِيلِهِ …
He said: “No food will come to you as your provision, but I will inform you of its interpretation,
Mujahid commented, لاَ يَأْتِيكُمَا طَعَامٌ تُرْزَقَانِهِ (No food will come to you as your provision),
… إِلاَّ نَبَّأْتُكُمَا بِتَأْوِيلِه قَبْلَ أَن يَأْتِيكُمَا …
but I will inform you of its interpretation before it comes.
As-Suddi said similarly.
… ذَلِكُمَا مِمَّا عَلَّمَنِي رَبِّي إِنِّي تَرَكْتُ مِلَّةَ قَوْمٍ لاَّ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللّهِ وَهُم بِالآخِرَةِ هُمْ كَافِرُونَ ﴿٣٧﴾
This is of that which my Lord has taught me. Verily, I have abandoned the religion of a people that believe not in Allah and are disbelievers in the Hereafter.”
Yusuf said that, this knowledge is from Allah Who taught it to me, because I shunned the religion of those who disbelieve in Him and the Last Day, who neither hope for Allah’s reward nor fear His punishment on the Day of Return,
وَاتَّبَعْتُ مِلَّةَ آبَآئِـي إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْحَقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ …
And I have followed the religion of my fathers, – Ibrahim, Ishaq and Yaqub,
Yusuf said, `I have avoided the way of disbelief and polytheism, and followed the way of these honorable Messengers,’ may Allah’s peace and blessings be on them.
This, indeed, is the way of he who seeks the path of guidance and follows the way of the Messengers, all the while shunning the path of deviation. It is he whose heart Allah will guide, teaching him what he did not know beforehand. It is he whom Allah will make an Imam who is imitated in the way of righteousness, and a caller to the path of goodness.
Yusuf said next,
… مَا كَانَ لَنَا أَن نُّشْرِكَ بِاللّهِ مِن شَيْءٍ ذَلِكَ مِن فَضْلِ اللّهِ عَلَيْنَا وَعَلَى النَّاسِ …
and never could we attribute any partners whatsoever to Allah. This is from the grace of Allah to us and to mankind,
this Tawhid -Monotheism-, affirming that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah alone without partners,
… مِن فَضْلِ اللّهِ عَلَيْنَا …
is from the grace of Allah to us,
He has revealed it to us and ordained it on us,
… وَعَلَى النَّاسِ …
and to mankind,
to whom He has sent us as callers to Tawhid,
… وَلَـكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لاَ يَشْكُرُونَ ﴿٣٨﴾
but most men thank not.
they do not admit Allah’s favor and blessing of sending the Messengers to them, but rather,
بَدَّلُواْ نِعْمَتَ اللَّهِ كُفْرًا وَأَحَلُّواْ قَوْمَهُمْ دَارَ الْبَوَارِ
Have changed the blessings of Allah into disbelief, and caused their people to dwell in the house of destruction. (14:28)
يصَاحِبَىِ السِّجْنِ ءَأَرْبَابٌ مُّتَّفَرِّقُونَ خَيْرٌ أَمِ اللَّهُ الْوَاحِدُ الْقَهَّارُ
12:39 “O two companions of the prison! Are many different lords (gods) better or Allah, the One, the Irresistible!”
مَا تَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِهِ إِلاَّ أَسْمَآءً سَمَّيْتُمُوهَآ أَنتُمْ وَءَابَآؤُكُمْ مَّآ أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ بِهَا مِن سُلْطَـنٍ
12:40 “You do not worship besides Him but only names which you have named (forged) – you and your fathers – for which Allah has sent down no authority.
إِنِ الْحُكْمُ إِلاَّ للَّهِ
The command is for none but Allah.
أَمَرَ أَلاَّ تَعْبُدُواْ إِلاَّ إِيَّاهُ ذلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ وَلَـكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ
He has commanded that you worship none but Him; that is the straight religion, but most men know not.”
يَا صَاحِبَيِ السِّجْنِ …
O two companions of the prison!
Prophet Yusuf went on calling his two prison companions to worship Allah alone, without partners, and to reject whatever is being worshipped instead of Him like the idols, which were worshipped by the people of the two men, Yusuf said,
… أَأَرْبَابٌ مُّتَفَرِّقُونَ خَيْرٌ أَمِ اللّهُ الْوَاحِدُ الْقَهَّارُ ﴿٣٩﴾
Are many different lords (gods) better or Allah, the One, the Irresistible!
to Whose grace and infinite kingdom everything and everyone has submitted in humiliation.
مَا تَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِهِ إِلاَّ أَسْمَاء سَمَّيْتُمُوهَا أَنتُمْ وَآبَآؤُكُم …
“You do not worship besides Him but only names which you have named (forged) – you and your fathers –
Prophet Yusuf explained to them next that it is because of their ignorance that they worship false deities and give them names, for these names were forged and are being transferred from one generation to the next generation. They have no proof or authority that supports this practice, hence his statement to them,
… مَّا أَنزَلَ اللّهُ بِهَا مِن سُلْطَانٍ …
for which Allah has sent down no authority,
or proof and evidence.
… إِنِ الْحُكْمُ إِلاَّ لِلّهِ أَمَرَ أَلاَّ تَعْبُدُواْ إِلاَّ إِيَّاهُ …
The command is for none but Allah. He has commanded that you worship none but Him;
He then affirmed that the judgement, decision, will and kingdom are all for Allah alone, and He has commanded all of His servants to worship none but Him.
… ذَلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ …
that is the straight religion,
`this, Tawhid of Allah and directing all acts of worship at Him alone in sincerity, that I am calling you to is the right, straight religion that Allah has ordained and for which He has revealed what He wills of proofs and evidences,’
… وَلَـكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ ﴿٤٠﴾
but most men know not.
and this is why most of them are idolators,
وَمَآ أَكْثَرُ النَّاسِ وَلَوْ حَرَصْتَ بِمُؤْمِنِينَ
And most of mankind will not believe even if you eagerly desire it. (12:103)
يصَاحِبَىِ السِّجْنِ أَمَّآ أَحَدُكُمَا فَيَسْقِى رَبَّهُ خَمْرًا وَأَمَّا الاٌّخَرُ فَيُصْلَبُ فَتَأْكُلُ الطَّيْرُ مِن رَّأْسِهِ قُضِىَ الاٌّمْرُ الَّذِى فِيهِ تَسْتَفْتِيَانِ
12:41 “O two companions of the prison! As for one of you, he will pour out wine for his master to drink; and as for the other, he will be crucified and birds will eat from his head. Thus is the case judged concerning which you both did inquire.”
The Interpretation of the Dreams
When Yusuf finished calling them, he started interpreting their dreams for them, Yusuf said,
يَا صَاحِبَيِ السِّجْنِ أَمَّا أَحَدُكُمَا فَيَسْقِي رَبَّهُ خَمْرًا …
O two companions of the prison! As for one of you, he will pour out wine for his master to drink;
to the man who saw in a dream that he was pressing wine. He did not direct this speech at him, however, so that to lessen the grief of the other person.
This is why he made his statement indirect,
… وَأَمَّا الآخَرُ فَيُصْلَبُ فَتَأْكُلُ الطَّيْرُ مِن رَّأْسِهِ …
and as for the other, he will be crucified and birds will eat from his head.
which is the interpretation of the other man’s dream in which he saw himself carrying bread above his head.
Yusuf told them that the decision about their matter has already been taken and it shall come to pass. This is because the dream is tied to a bird’s leg, as long as it is not truthfully interpreted. If it is interpreted, then it becomes a reality.
Ath-Thawri said that Imarah bin Al-Qa
qa narrated that Ibrahim said that Abdullah bin Mas`ud said,
“When they said what they said to him, and he explained their dreams to them, they replied, `We did not see anything at all.’ This is when he said,
… قُضِيَ الأَمْرُ الَّذِي فِيهِ تَسْتَفْتِيَانِ ﴿٤١﴾
Thus is the case judged concerning which you both did inquire.”
The understanding in this is that he who claims that he saw a dream and was given its interpretation, then he will be tied to its interpretation, and Allah has the best knowledge.
There is an honorable Hadith that Imam Ahmad collected from Mu`awiyah bin Haydah that the Prophet said,
الرُّؤْيَا عَلَى رِجْلِ طَائِرٍ مَا لَمْ تُعْبَرْ، فَإِذَا عُبِرَتْ وَقَعَت
The dream is tied to a bird’s leg, as long as it is not interpreted. If it is interpreted, it becomes a reality.
وَقَالَ لِلَّذِى ظَنَّ أَنَّهُ نَاجٍ مِّنْهُمَا اذْكُرْنِى عِندَ رَبِّكَ
12:42 And he said to the one whom he knew to be saved: “Mention me to your king.”
فَأَنْسَاهُ الشَّيْطَـنُ ذِكْرَ رَبِّهِ فَلَبِثَ فِى السِّجْنِ بِضْعَ سِنِينَ
But Shaytan made him forget to mention it to his master. So (Yusuf) stayed in prison a few (more) years.
Yusuf asks the King’s Distiller to mention Him to the King
وَقَالَ لِلَّذِي ظَنَّ أَنَّهُ نَاجٍ مِّنْهُمَا اذْكُرْنِي عِندَ رَبِّكَ فَأَنسَاهُ الشَّيْطَانُ ذِكْرَ رَبِّهِ فَلَبِثَ فِي السِّجْنِ بِضْعَ سِنِينَ ﴿٤٢﴾
And he said to the one whom he knew to be saved: “Mention me to your king.” But Shaytan made him forget to mention it to his master. So (Yusuf) stayed in prison a few (more) years.
Yusuf knew that the distiller would be saved. So discretely, so that the other man’s suspicion that he would be crucified would not intensify, he said, اذْكُرْنِي عِندَ رَبِّكَ (Mention me to your King), asking him to mention his story to the king.
That man forgot Yusuf’s request and did not mention his story to the king, a plot from the devil, so that Allah’s Prophet would not leave the prison. This is the correct meaning of, فَأَنسَاهُ الشَّيْطَانُ ذِكْرَ رَبِّهِ (But Shaytan made him forget to mention it to his master),
that it refers to the man who was saved.
As was said by Mujahid, Muhammad bin Ishaq and several others.
a few years’, or, Bida in Arabic,
it means between three and nine, according to Mujahid and Qatadah.
Wahb bin Munabbih said,
“Ayub suffered from the illness for seven years, Yusuf remained in prison for seven years and Bukhtanassar (Nebuchadnezzar – Chaldean king of Babylon) was tormented for seven years.”
وَقَالَ الْمَلِكُ إِنِّى أَرَى سَبْعَ بَقَرَتٍ سِمَانٍ يَأْكُلُهُنَّ سَبْعٌ عِجَافٌ وَسَبْعَ سُنْبُلَـتٍ خُضْرٍ وَأُخَرَ يَابِسَـتٍ
12:43 And the king (of Egypt) said: “Verily, I saw (in a dream) seven fat cows, whom seven lean ones were devouring, and seven green ears of corn, and (seven) others dry.
يأَيُّهَا الْمَلأُ أَفْتُونِى فِى رُؤْيَـىَ إِن كُنتُمْ لِلرُّؤْيَا تَعْبُرُونَ
O notables! Explain to me my dream, if it be that you can interpret dreams.”
قَالُواْ أَضْغَـثُ أَحْلَـمٍ وَمَا نَحْنُ بِتَأْوِيلِ الاٌّحْلَـمِ بِعَـلِمِينَ
12:44 They said: “Mixed up false dreams and we are not skilled in the interpretation of dreams.”
وَقَالَ الَّذِى نَجَا مِنْهُمَا وَادَّكَرَ بَعْدَ أُمَّةٍ أَنَاْ أُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِتَأْوِيلِهِ فَأَرْسِلُونِ
12:45 Then the man who was released, now at length remembered and said: “I will tell you its interpretation, so send me forth.”
يُوسُفُ أَيُّهَا الصِّدِّيقُ أَفْتِنَا فِى سَبْعِ بَقَرَتٍ سِمَانٍ يَأْكُلُهُنَّ سَبْعٌ عِجَافٌ وَسَبْعِ سُنبُلَـتٍ خُضْرٍ وَأُخَرَ يَـبِسَـتٍ لَّعَلِّى أَرْجِعُ إِلَى النَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ
12:46 (He said): “O Yusuf, the man of truth! Explain to us seven fat cows whom seven lean ones were devouring, and seven green ears of corn, and (seven) others dry, that I may return to the people, and that they may know.”
قَالَ تَزْرَعُونَ سَبْعُ سِنِينَ دَأَبًا فَمَا حَصَدتُّمْ فَذَرُوهُ فِى سُنبُلِهِ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً مِّمَّا تَأْكُلُونَ
12:47 (Yusuf) said: “For seven consecutive years, you shall sow as usual and that which you reap you shall leave it in the ears, (all) except a little of it which you may eat.”
ثُمَّ يَأْتِى مِن بَعْدِ ذلِكَ سَبْعٌ شِدَادٌ يَأْكُلْنَ مَا قَدَّمْتُمْ لَهُنَّ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً مِّمَّا تُحْصِنُونَ
12:48 “Then will come after that, seven hard (years), which will devour what you have laid by in advance for them, (all) except a little of that which you have guarded (stored).”
ثُمَّ يَأْتِى مِن بَعْدِ ذلِكَ عَامٌ فِيهِ يُغَاثُ النَّاسُ وَفِيهِ يَعْصِرُونَ
12:49 “Then thereafter will come a year in which people will have abundant rain and in which they will press (wine and oil).”
The Dream of the King of Egypt
وَقَالَ الْمَلِكُ إِنِّي أَرَى سَبْعَ بَقَرَاتٍ سِمَانٍ يَأْكُلُهُنَّ سَبْعٌ عِجَافٌ وَسَبْعَ سُنبُلاَتٍ خُضْرٍ وَأُخَرَ يَابِسَاتٍ يَا أَيُّهَا الْمَلأُ أَفْتُونِي فِي رُؤْيَايَ إِن كُنتُمْ لِلرُّؤْيَا تَعْبُرُونَ ﴿٤٣﴾
And the king (of Egypt) said: “Verily, I saw (in a dream) seven fat cows, whom seven lean ones were devouring, and seven green ears of corn, and (seven) others dry. O notables! Explain to me my dream, if it be that you can interpret dreams.”
The King of Egypt had a dream that Allah the Exalted made a reason for Yusuf’s release from prison, with his honor and reputation preserved. When the king had this dream, he was astonished and fearful and sought its interpretation. He gathered the priests, the chiefs of his state and the princes and told them what he had seen in a dream, asking them to interpret it for him. They did not know its interpretation and as an excuse, they said,
قَالُواْ أَضْغَاثُ أَحْلاَمٍ …
They said: “Mixed up false dreams, (which you saw),
… وَمَا نَحْنُ بِتَأْوِيلِ الأَحْلاَمِ بِعَالِمِينَ ﴿٤٤﴾
and we are not skilled in the interpretation of dreams.
They said, had your dream been a vision rather than a mixed up false dream, we would not have known its interpretation.
وَقَالَ الَّذِي نَجَا مِنْهُمَا وَادَّكَرَ بَعْدَ أُمَّةٍ …
Then the man who was released, now at length remembered and said:
The man who was saved from the two, who were Yusuf’s companions in prison, remembered. Shaytan plotted to make him forget the request of Yusuf, to mention his story to the king. Now, years later, he remembered after forgetfulness and said to the king and his entourage,
… أَنَاْ أُنَبِّئُكُم بِتَأْوِيلِهِ …
I will tell you its interpretation,
the interpretation of this dream,
… فَأَرْسِلُونِ ﴿٤٥﴾
so send me forth.
to the prison, to Yusuf, the man of truth.
So they sent him, and he said to Yusuf,
يُوسُفُ أَيُّهَا الصِّدِّيقُ أَفْتِنَا …
O Yusuf, the man of truth! Explain to us…
and mentioned the king’s dream to him.
… فِي سَبْعِ بَقَرَاتٍ سِمَانٍ يَأْكُلُهُنَّ سَبْعٌ عِجَافٌ وَسَبْعِ سُنبُلاَتٍ خُضْرٍ وَأُخَرَ يَابِسَاتٍ لَّعَلِّي أَرْجِعُ إِلَى النَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ ﴿٤٦﴾
…seven fat cows whom seven lean ones were devouring, and seven green ears of corn, and (seven) others dry, that I may return to the people, and that they may know.”
Yusuf’s Interpretation of the King’s Dream
This is when Yusuf, peace be upon him, told the interpretation of the dream, without criticizing the man for forgetting his request that he had made to him. Neither did he make a precondition that he be released before explaining the meaning. Rather,
قَالَ تَزْرَعُونَ سَبْعَ سِنِينَ دَأَبًا …
(Yusuf) said: “For seven consecutive years, you shall sow as usual)
`you will receive the usual amount of rain and fertility for seven consecutive years.’
He interpreted the cows to be years, because cows till the land that produce fruits and vegetables, which represent the green ears of corn in the dream.
He next recommended what they should do during these fertile years,
… فَمَا حَصَدتُّمْ فَذَرُوهُ فِي سُنبُلِهِ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً مِّمَّا تَأْكُلُونَ ﴿٤٧﴾
ثُمَّ يَأْتِي مِن بَعْدِ ذَلِكَ سَبْعٌ شِدَادٌ …
and that (the harvest) which you reap you shall leave it in the ears, (all) except a little of it which you may eat. Then will come after that, seven hard (years),
He said, `Whatever you harvest during those seven fertile years, leave it in the ears so as to preserve it better. This will help the harvest stay healthy longer, except the amount that you need to eat, which should not be substantial. Stay away from extravagance, so that you use what remains of the harvest during the seven years of drought that will follow the seven fertile years.’
This was represented by the seven lean cows that eat the seven fat cows. During the seven years of drought, they will eat from the harvest they collected during the seven fertile years, as represented by the dry ears of corn in the dream. Yusuf told them that during these years, the remaining ears will not produce anything and whatever they try to plant, will not produce any harvest, so he said,
… يَأْكُلْنَ مَا قَدَّمْتُمْ لَهُنَّ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً مِّمَّا تُحْصِنُونَ ﴿٤٨﴾
which will devour what you have laid by in advance for them, (all) except a little of that which you have guarded (stored).
ثُمَّ يَأْتِي مِن بَعْدِ ذَلِكَ عَامٌ فِيهِ يُغَاثُ النَّاسُ وَفِيهِ يَعْصِرُونَ ﴿٤٩﴾
“Then thereafter will come a year in which people will have abundant rain and in which they will press (wine and oil).”
He delivered the good news to them that after the consecutive years of drought, there will come a fertile year, during which people will receive rain and the land will produce in abundance. The people will then press wine and oil as usual.
وَقَالَ الْمَلِكُ ائْتُونِى بِهِ
12:50 And the king said: “Bring him to me.”
فَلَمَّا جَآءَهُ الرَّسُولُ قَالَ ارْجِعْ إِلَى رَبِّكَ فَاسْأَلْهُ مَا بَالُ النِّسْوَةِ الَّـتِى قَطَّعْنَ أَيْدِيَهُنَّ إِنَّ رَبِّى بِكَيْدِهِنَّ عَلِيمٌ
But when the messenger came to him, (Yusuf) said: “Return to your king and ask him, `What happened to the women who cut their hands Surely, my Lord (Allah) is Well-Aware of their plot.”’
قَالَ مَا خَطْبُكُنَّ إِذْ رَاوَدتُنَّ يُوسُفَ عَن نَّفْسِهِ
12:51 (The king) said (to the women): “What was your affair when you did seek to seduce Yusuf.”
قُلْنَ حَاشَ للَّهِ مَا عَلِمْنَا عَلَيْهِ مِن سُوءٍ
The women said: “Allah forbid! No evil know we against him!”
قَالَتِ امْرَأَتُ الْعَزِيزِ الَنَ حَصْحَصَ الْحَقُّ أَنَاْ رَوَدْتُّهُ عَن نَّفْسِهِ وَإِنَّهُ لَمِنَ الصَّـدِقِينَ
The wife of the Aziz said: “Now the truth is manifest (to all); it was I who sought to seduce him, and he is surely of the truthful. ”
ذَلِكَ لِيَعْلَمَ أَنِّى لَمْ أَخُنْهُ بِالْغَيْبِ
12:52 (Then Yusuf said: “I asked for this inquiry) in order that he may know that I betrayed him not in (his) absence.”
وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَهْدِى كَيْدَ الْخَـئِنِينَ
And, verily, Allah guides not the plot of the betrayers.
وَمَآ أُبَرِّىءُ نَفْسِى
12:53 “And I free not myself (from the blame).
إِنَّ النَّفْسَ لأَمَّارَةٌ بِالسُّوءِ إِلاَّ مَا رَحِمَ رَبِّى
Verily, the self is inclined to evil, except when my Lord bestows His mercy (upon whom He wills).
إِنَّ رَبِّى غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ
Verily, my Lord is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
The King investigates what happened between the Wife of the Aziz, the Women in the City, and Yusuf
Allah narrates to us that when the king was conveyed the interpretation of his dream, he liked Yusuf’s interpretation and felt sure that it was true. He realized the virtue of Prophet Yusuf, recognized his knowledge in the interpretation of dreams and valued his good conduct with his subjects in his country.
وَقَالَ الْمَلِكُ ائْتُونِي بِهِ …
The king said: “Bring him to me.
`Release him from prison and bring him to me.’
… فَلَمَّا جَاءهُ الرَّسُولُ قَالَ ارْجِعْ إِلَى رَبِّكَ …
But when the messenger came to him, (Yusuf) said: “Return to your king,
When the king’s emissary came to Yusuf and conveyed the news of his imminent release, Yusuf refused to leave the prison until the king and his subjects declare his innocence and the integrity of his honor, denouncing the false accusation that the wife of the Aziz made against him. He wanted them to know that sending him to prison was an act of injustice and aggression, not that he committed an offense that warranted it. He said, ارْجِعْ إِلَى رَبِّكَ (Return to your lord (i.e. king…),
The Sunnah of our Prophet praised Prophet Yusuf and asserted his virtues, honor, elevated rank and patience, may Allah’s peace and blessings be on him.
The Musnad and the Two Sahihs recorded that Abu Hurayrah said that the Messenger of Allah said,
نَحْنُ أَحَقُّ بِالشَّكِّ مِنْ إِبْرَاهِيمَ إِذْ قَال
We are more liable to be in doubt than Ibrahim when he said,
رَبِّ أَرِنِى كَيْفَ تُحْىِ الْمَوْتَى
My Lord! Show me how You give life to the dead… (2:260)
وَيَرْحَمُ اللهُ لُوطًا لَقَدْ كَانَ يَأْوِي إِلَى رُكْنٍ شَدِيدٍ، وَلَوْ لَبِثْتُ فِي السِّجْنِ مَا لَبِثَ يُوسُفُ لَأَجَبْتُ الدَّاعِي
And may Allah send His mercy on Lut! He wished to have powerful support! If I were to stay in prison for such a long time as Yusuf did, I would have accepted the offer.
In another narration collected by Ahmad from Abu Hurayrah, the Prophet said about Yusuf’s statement,
… فَاسْأَلْهُ مَا بَالُ النِّسْوَةِ اللاَّتِي قَطَّعْنَ أَيْدِيَهُنَّ إِنَّ رَبِّي بِكَيْدِهِنَّ عَلِيمٌ ﴿٥٠﴾
“…and ask him, `What happened to the women who cut their hands Surely, my Lord (Allah) is Well-Aware of their plot.”’
لَوْ كُنْتُ أَنَا، لَأَسْرَعْتُ الْإِجَابَةَ وَمَا ابْتَغَيْتُ الْعُذْر
If it was me, I would have accepted the offer rather than await my exoneration first.
Allah said (that the king asked),
قَالَ مَا خَطْبُكُنَّ إِذْ رَاوَدتُّنَّ يُوسُفَ عَن نَّفْسِهِ …
He said, “What was your affair when you did seek to seduce Yusuf!”
The king gathered those women who cut their hands, while being hosted at the house of the wife of the Aziz. He asked them all, even though he was directing his speech at the wife of his minister, the Aziz in particular.
He asked the women who cut their hands, مَا خَطْبُكُنَّ (What was your affair…), what was your story with regards to, إِذْ رَاوَدتُّنَّ يُوسُفَ عَن نَّفْسِهِ (when you did seek to seduce Yusuf) on the day of the banquet?
… قُلْنَ حَاشَ لِلّهِ مَا عَلِمْنَا عَلَيْهِ مِن سُوءٍ …
The women said: “Allah forbid! No evil know we against him!”
The women answered the king, `Allah forbid that Yusuf be guilty of this, for by Allah, we never knew him to do evil.’
This is when,
… قَالَتِ امْرَأَةُ الْعَزِيزِ الآنَ حَصْحَصَ الْحَقُّ …
The wife of the Aziz said: “Now the truth has Hashasa…”
or the truth is manifest to all, according to Ibn Abbas, Mujahid and others.
Hashasa also means, `became clear and plain’,
… أَنَاْ رَاوَدتُّهُ عَن نَّفْسِهِ وَإِنَّهُ لَمِنَ الصَّادِقِينَ ﴿٥١﴾
it was I who sought to seduce him, and he is surely of the truthful.
when he said, هِيَ رَاوَدَتْنِي عَن نَّفْسِي (It was she that sought to seduce me) (Ayah 26).
ذَلِكَ لِيَعْلَمَ أَنِّي لَمْ أَخُنْهُ بِالْغَيْبِ …
in order that he may know that I betrayed him not in (his) absence.
She said, `I admit this against myself so that my husband knows that I did not betray him in his absence and that adultery did not occur. I tried to seduce this young man and he refused, and I am admitting this so that he knows I am innocent,’
… وَأَنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يَهْدِي كَيْدَ الْخَائِنِينَ ﴿٥٢﴾
وَمَا أُبَرِّىءُ نَفْسِي …
And, verily, Allah guides not the plot of the betrayers. And I free not myself (from the blame).
She said, `I do not exonerate myself from blame, because the soul wishes and lusts, and this is what made me seduce him,’
… إِنَّ النَّفْسَ لأَمَّارَةٌ بِالسُّوءِ إِلاَّ مَا رَحِمَ رَبِّيَ …
Verily, the (human) self is inclined to evil, except when my Lord bestows His mercy (upon whom He wills).
whom Allah the Exalted wills to grant them immunity,
… إِنَّ رَبِّي غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ ﴿٥٣﴾
Verily, my Lord is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.
This is the most viable and suitable understanding for the continuity of the story and the meanings of Arabic speech.
Al-Mawardi mentioned this in his Tafsir, in support of it, it was also preferred by Imam Abu Al-Abbas Ibn Taymiyyah who wrote about it in detail in a separate work.
It was said Yusuf peace be upon him is the one who said,
ذَلِكَ لِيَعْلَمَ أَنِّي لَمْ أَخُنْهُ …
in order that he (the Aziz) may know that I betrayed him not, (with his wife), بِالْغَيْبِ in (his) absence. until the end of Ayah (53)
He said, `I sent back the emissary, so that the king would investigate my innocence and the Aziz be certain that, أَنِّي لَمْ أَخُنْهُ (I betrayed him not), with his wife, بِالْغَيْبِ وَأَنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يَهْدِي كَيْدَ الْخَائِنِينَ (in (his) absence. And, verily, Allah guides not the plot of the betrayers).’
This is the only explanation presented by Ibn Jarir At-Tabari and Ibn Abi Hatim, but the first view is stronger and more obvious because it is a continuation of what the wife of the Aziz said in the presence of the king.
Yusuf was not present at all during this time, for he was released later on and brought to the king by his order.
وَقَالَ الْمَلِكُ ائْتُونِى بِهِ أَسْتَخْلِصْهُ لِنَفْسِى
12:54 And the king said: “Bring him to me that I may attach him to my person.”
فَلَمَّا كَلَّمَهُ قَالَ إِنَّكَ الْيَوْمَ لَدَيْنَا مِكِينٌ أَمِينٌ
Then, when he spoke to him, he said: “Verily, this day, you are with us high in rank and fully trusted.”
قَالَ اجْعَلْنِى عَلَى خَزَآئِنِ الاٌّرْضِ إِنِّى حَفِيظٌ عَلِيمٌ
12:55 (Yusuf) said: “Set me over the storehouses of the land; I will indeed guard them with full knowledge.”
Yusuf’s Rank with the King of Egypt
Allah states that when he became aware of Yusuf’s innocence and his innocence of what he was accused of,
وَقَالَ الْمَلِكُ ائْتُونِي بِهِ أَسْتَخْلِصْهُ لِنَفْسِي …
And the king said: “Bring him to me that I may attach him to my person.”
`that I may make him among my close aids and associates,’
… فَلَمَّا كَلَّمَهُ …
Then, when he spoke to him,
when the king spoke to Yusuf and further recognized his virtues, great ability, brilliance, good conduct and perfect mannerism,
… قَالَ إِنَّكَ الْيَوْمَ لَدَيْنَا مِكِينٌ أَمِينٌ ﴿٥٤﴾
he said: “Verily, this day, you are with us high in rank and fully trusted.”
The king said to Yusuf, `You have assumed an exalted status with us and are indeed fully trusted.’
Yusuf, peace be upon him said,
قَالَ اجْعَلْنِي عَلَى خَزَآئِنِ الأَرْضِ إِنِّي حَفِيظٌ عَلِيمٌ ﴿٥٥﴾
(Yusuf) said: “Set me over the storehouses of the land; I will indeed guard them with full knowledge.”
Yusuf praised himself, for this is allowed when one’s abilities are unknown and there is a need to do so. He said that he is, حَفِيظٌ (Hafiz), an honest guard, عَلِيمٌ (`Alim), having knowledge and wisdom about the job he is to be entrusted with.
Prophet Yusuf asked the king to appoint him as minister of finance for the land, responsible for the harvest storehouses, in which they would collect produce for the years of drought which he told them will come. He wanted to be the guard, so that he could dispense the harvest in the wisest, best and most beneficial way.
The king accepted Yusuf’s offer, for he was eager to draw Yusuf close to him and to honor him.
وَكَذَلِكَ مَكَّنَّا لِيُوسُفَ فِى الاٌّرْضِ يَتَبَوَّأُ مِنْهَا حَيْثُ
12:56 Thus did We give full authority to Yusuf in the land, to take possession therein, when or where he likes.
يَشَآءُ نُصِيبُ بِرَحْمَتِنَا مَن نَّشَآءُ وَلاَ نُضِيعُ أَجْرَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ
We bestow of Our mercy on whom We will, and We make not to be lost the reward of the good doers.
وَلاّجْرُ الاٌّخِرَةِ خَيْرٌ لِّلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَكَانُواْ يَتَّقُونَ
12:57 And verily, the reward of the Hereafter is better for those who believed and had Taqwa.
Yusuf’s Reign in Egypt
Allah said next,
وَكَذَلِكَ مَكَّنِّا لِيُوسُفَ فِي الأَرْضِ …
Thus did We give full authority to Yusuf in the land,
… يَتَبَوَّأُ مِنْهَا حَيْثُ يَشَاء …
to take possession therein, when or where he likes.
As-Suddi and Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said that this part of the Ayah means,
“To do whatever he wants therein.”
Ibn Jarir at Tabari said that it means,
“He used to move about freely in the land after being imprisoned, suffering from hardship and the disgrace of slavery.”
Allah said next,
… نُصِيبُ بِرَحْمَتِنَا مَن نَّشَاء وَلاَ نُضِيعُ أَجْرَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ ﴿٥٦﴾
We bestow of Our mercy on whom We will, and We make not to be lost the reward of the good doers.
Allah says here, We did not let the patience of Yusuf, from the harm his brothers exerted on him and being imprisoned because of the wife of the Aziz, to be lost. Instead, Allah the Exalted and Most Honored rewarded him with His aid and victory,
… وَلاَ نُضِيعُ أَجْرَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ
وَلَأَجْرُ الآخِرَةِ خَيْرٌ لِّلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَكَانُواْ يَتَّقُونَ ﴿٥٧﴾
And We make not to be lost the reward of the good doers. And verily, the reward of the Hereafter is better for those who believed and had Taqwa.
Allah states that what He has prepared for His Prophet Yusuf, peace be upon him, in the Hereafter is much greater, substantial and honored than the authority He gave him in this life.
Allah said about His Prophet Suleiman (Solomon), peace be upon him,
هَـذَا عَطَآؤُنَا فَامْنُنْ أَوْ أَمْسِكْ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ
وَإِنَّ لَهُ عِندَنَا لَزُلْفَى وَحُسْنَ مَـَابٍ
“This is Our gift, so spend or withhold, no account will be asked of you.” And verily, for him is a near access to Us, and a good (final) return (Paradise). (38:39-40)
Yusuf, peace be upon him, was appointed minister of finance by Ar-Rayyan bin Al-Walid, king of Egypt at the time, instead of the Aziz who bought him and the husband of she who tried to seduce him.
According to Mujahid, the king of Egypt embraced Islam at the hands of Yusuf, peace be upon him.
وَجَآءَ إِخْوَةُ يُوسُفَ فَدَخَلُواْ عَلَيْهِ فَعَرَفَهُمْ وَهُمْ لَهُ مُنكِرُونَ
12:58 And Yusuf’s brethren came and they entered unto him, and he recognized them, but they recognized him not.
وَلَمَّا جَهَّزَهُم بِجَهَازِهِمْ قَالَ ائْتُونِى بِأَخٍ لَّكُمْ مِّنْ أَبِيكُمْ أَلاَ تَرَوْنَ أَنِّى أُوفِى الْكَيْلَ وَأَنَاْ خَيْرُ الْمُنْزِلِينَ
12:59 And when he furnished them with their provisions, he said: “Bring me a brother of yours from your father. See you not that I give full measure, and that I am the best of the hosts!”
فَإِن لَّمْ تَأْتُونِى بِهِ فَلاَ كَيْلَ لَكُمْ عِندِى وَلاَ تَقْرَبُونِ
12:60 “But if you bring him not to me, there shall be no measure (of corn) for you with me, nor shall you come near me.”
قَالُواْ سَنُرَوِدُ عَنْهُ أَبَاهُ وَإِنَّا لَفَـعِلُونَ
12:61 They said: “We shall try to get permission (for him) from his father, and verily, we shall do it.”
وَقَالَ لِفِتْيَانِهِ اجْعَلُواْ بِضَـعَتَهُمْ فِى رِحَالِهِمْ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَعْرِفُونَهَآ إِذَا انْقَلَبُواْ إِلَى أَهْلِهِمْ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ
12:62 And (Yusuf) told his servants to put their money into their bags, so that they might know it when they go back to their people; in order that they might come again.
Yusuf’s Brothers travel to Egypt
وَجَاء إِخْوَةُ يُوسُفَ فَدَخَلُواْ عَلَيْهِ فَعَرَفَهُمْ وَهُمْ لَهُ مُنكِرُونَ ﴿٥٨﴾
And Yusuf’s brethren came and they entered unto him, and he recognized them, but they recognized him not.
As-Suddi, Muhammad bin Ishaq and several others said that the reason why Yusuf’s brothers went to Egypt, is that after Yusuf became minister of Egypt and the seven years of abundance passed, then came the seven years of drought that struck all areas of Egypt. The drought also reached the area of Kana`an (Canaan), where Prophet Yaqub, peace be upon him, and his children resided.
Prophet Yusuf efficiently guarded the people’s harvest and collected it, and what he collected became a great fortune for the people. This also permitted Yusuf to give gifts to the people who sought his aid from various areas who came to buy food and provisions for their families. Yusuf would not give a family man more than whatever a camel could carry, as annual provisions for them.
Yusuf himself did not fill his stomach from this food, nor did the king and his aids eat except one meal a day. By doing so, the people could sustain themselves with what they had for the remainder of the seven years. Indeed, Yusuf was a mercy from Allah sent to the people of Egypt.
Yusuf’s brothers were among those who came to Egypt to buy food supplies, by the order of their father. They knew that the Aziz of Egypt was selling food to people who need it for a low price, so they took some merchandise from their land with them to exchange it for food. They were ten, because Yaqub peace be upon him kept his son and Yusuf’s brother Binyamin with him. Binyamin was the dearest of his sons to him after Yusuf.
When Prophet Yusuf’s brothers entered on him in his court and the center of his authority, he knew them the minute he saw them. However, they did not recognize him because they got rid of him when he was still young, and sold him to a caravan of travelers while unaware of their destination. They could not have imagined that Yusuf would end up being a minister, and this is why they did not recognize him, while he did recognize them.
As-Suddi said that;
Yusuf started talking to his brothers and asked them, “What brought you to my land?”
They said, “O, Aziz, we came to buy provisions.”
He asked them, “You might be spies.”
They said, “Allah forbids.”
He asked them, “Where are you from?”
They said, “From the area of Kana`an, and our father is Allah’s Prophet Yaqub.”
He asked them, “Does he have other children besides you?”
They said, “Yes, we were twelve brothers. Our youngest died in the desert, and he used to be the dearest to his father. His full brother is alive and his father kept him, so that his closeness compensates him for losing our youngest brother (who died).”
Yusuf ordered that his brothers be honored and allowed to remain,
وَلَمَّا جَهَّزَهُم بِجَهَازِهِمْ …
And when he furnished them with their provisions,
according to their needs and gave them what they wanted to buy,
… قَالَ ائْتُونِي بِأَخٍ لَّكُم مِّنْ أَبِيكُمْ …
he said: “Bring me a brother of yours from your father.
he said to them, “Bring me your brother from your father’s side whom you mentioned, so that I know that you have told me the truth.”
… أَلاَ تَرَوْنَ أَنِّي أُوفِي الْكَيْلَ وَأَنَاْ خَيْرُ الْمُنزِلِينَ ﴿٥٩﴾
See you not that I give full measure, and that I am the best of the hosts!
encouraging them to return to him.
He then threatened them,
فَإِن لَّمْ تَأْتُونِي بِهِ فَلاَ كَيْلَ لَكُمْ عِندِي …
But if you bring him not to me, there shall be no measure (of corn) for you with me.
He threatened them that if the next time they come without Binyamin with them, they will not be allowed to buy the food that they need,
… وَلاَ تَقْرَبُونِ ﴿٦٠﴾
قَالُواْ سَنُرَاوِدُ عَنْهُ أَبَاهُ وَإِنَّا لَفَاعِلُونَ ﴿٦١﴾
“…nor shall you come near me.”
They said: “We shall try to get permission (for him) from his father, and verily, we shall do it.”
They said, `We will try our best to bring him with us, so that we spare no effort to prove to you that we are truthful in what we told you about ourselves.’
وَقَالَ لِفِتْيَانِهِ …
And (Yusuf) told his servants, (or his slaves),
… اجْعَلُواْ بِضَاعَتَهُمْ …
to put their money,
or the merchandise they brought with them to exchange for food,
… فِي رِحَالِهِمْ …
into their bags,
while they were unaware,
… لَعَلَّهُمْ يَعْرِفُونَهَا إِذَا انقَلَبُواْ إِلَى أَهْلِهِمْ …
so that they might know it when they go back to their people;
… لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ ﴿٦٢﴾
in order that they might come again.
It was said that Yusuf did this because he feared that his brothers might not have any more merchandise they could bring with them to exchange for food.
فَلَمَّا رَجِعُوا إِلَى أَبِيهِمْ قَالُواْ يأَبَانَا مُنِعَ مِنَّا الْكَيْلُ فَأَرْسِلْ مَعَنَآ أَخَانَا نَكْتَلْ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَـفِظُونَ
12:63 So, when they returned to their father, they said: “O our father! No more measure of grain shall we get (unless we take our brother). So send our brother with us, and we shall get our measure and truly, we will guard him.”
قَالَ هَلْ آمَنُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ إِلاَّ كَمَآ أَمِنتُكُمْ عَلَى أَخِيهِ مِن قَبْلُ
12:64 He said: “Can I entrust him to you except as I entrusted his brother (Yusuf) to you aforetime!
فَاللَّهُ خَيْرٌ حَـفِظًا وَهُوَ أَرْحَمُ الرَحِمِينَ
But Allah is the Best to guard, and He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy.”
Yusuf’s Brothers ask Yaqub’s Permission to send Their Brother Binyamin with Them to Egypt
فَلَمَّا رَجِعُوا إِلَى أَبِيهِمْ …
So, when they returned to their father,
… قَالُواْ يَا أَبَانَا مُنِعَ مِنَّا الْكَيْلُ …
they said: “O our father! No more measure of grain shall we get…”
after this time, unless you send our brother Binyamin with us.
… فَأَرْسِلْ مَعَنَا أَخَانَا نَكْتَلْ …
So send our brother with us, and we shall get our measure
Some scholars read this Ayah in a way that means,
`and he shall get his ration.’
… وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ ﴿٦٣﴾
and truly, we will guard him.
`do not fear for his safety, for he will be returned back to you.’
This is what they said to Ya`qub about their brother Yusuf,
أَرْسِلْهُ مَعَنَا غَدًا يَرْتَعْ وَيَلْعَبْ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ
“Send him with us tomorrow to enjoy himself and play, and verily, we will take care of him.” (12:12)
This is why Prophet Yaqub said to them,
قَالَ هَلْ آمَنُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ إِلاَّ كَمَا أَمِنتُكُمْ عَلَى أَخِيهِ مِن قَبْلُ …
He said: “Can I entrust him to you except as I entrusted his brother (Yusuf) to you aforetime!
He asked them, `Will you do to him except what you did to his brother Yusuf before, when you took him away from me and separated me from him.’
… فَاللّهُ خَيْرٌ حَافِظًا وَهُوَ أَرْحَمُ الرَّاحِمِينَ ﴿٦٤﴾
But Allah is the Best to guard, and He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy.
Yaqub said, `Allah has the most mercy with me among all those who show mercy, He is compassionate with me for my old age, feebleness and eagerness for my son. I invoke Allah to return him to me, and to allow him and I to be together; for surely, He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy.’
وَلَمَّا فَتَحُواْ مَتَـعَهُمْ وَجَدُواْ بِضَـعَتَهُمْ رُدَّتْ إِلَيْهِمْ
12:65 And when they opened their bags, they found their money had been returned to them.
قَالُواْ يأَبَانَا مَا نَبْغِى هَـذِهِ بِضَـعَتُنَا رُدَّتْ إِلَيْنَا وَنَمِيرُ أَهْلَنَا وَنَحْفَظُ أَخَانَا وَنَزْدَادُ كَيْلَ بَعِيرٍ ذلِكَ كَيْلٌ يَسِيرٌ
They said: “O our father! What (more) can we desire! This, our money has been returned to us; so we shall get (more) food for our family, and we shall guard our brother and add one more measure of a camel’s load. This quantity is easy (for the king to give).”
قَالَ لَنْ أُرْسِلَهُ مَعَكُمْ حَتَّى تُؤْتُونِ مَوْثِقًا مِّنَ اللَّهِ لَتَأْتُنَّنِى بِهِ إِلاَّ أَن يُحَاطَ بِكُمْ
12:66 He (Yaqub) said: “I will not send him with you until you swear a solemn oath to me in Allah’s Name, that you will bring him back to me unless you are yourselves surrounded (by enemies),”
فَلَمَّآ ءَاتَوْهُ مَوْثِقَهُمْ قَالَ اللَّهُ عَلَى مَا نَقُولُ وَكِيلٌ
And when they had sworn their solemn oath, he said: “Allah is the Witness to what we have said.”
They find Their Money returned to Their Bags
وَلَمَّا فَتَحُواْ مَتَاعَهُمْ وَجَدُواْ بِضَاعَتَهُمْ رُدَّتْ إِلَيْهِمْ …
And when they opened their bags, they found their money had been returned to them.
Allah says, when Yusuf’s brothers opened their bags, they found their merchandise inside them, for Yusuf had ordered his servants to return it to their bags. When they found their merchandise in their bags,
… قَالُواْ يَا أَبَانَا مَا نَبْغِي …
They said: “O our father! What (more) can we desire…”,
what more can we ask for,
… هَـذِهِ بِضَاعَتُنَا رُدَّتْ إِلَيْنَا …
This, our money has been returned to us;
Qatadah commented (that they said),
“What more can we ask for, our merchandise was returned to us and the Aziz has given us the sufficient load we wanted.”
They said next,
… وَنَمِيرُ أَهْلَنَا …
so we shall get (more) food for our family,
`if you send our brother with us the next time we go to buy food for our family,’
… وَنَحْفَظُ أَخَانَا وَنَزْدَادُ كَيْلَ بَعِيرٍ …
and we shall guard our brother and add one more measure of a camel’s load.
since Yusuf, peace be upon him, gave each man a camel’s load of corn.
… ذَلِكَ كَيْلٌ يَسِيرٌ ﴿٦٥﴾
This quantity is easy (for the king to give).
They said these words to make their case more appealing, saying that taking their brother with them is worth this gain,
قَالَ لَنْ أُرْسِلَهُ مَعَكُمْ حَتَّى تُؤْتُونِ مَوْثِقًا مِّنَ اللّهِ …
He (Yaqub (Jacob)) said: “I will not send him with you until you swear a solemn oath to me in Allah’s Name…”),
until you swear by Allah with the strongest oath,
… لَتَأْتُنَّنِي بِهِ إِلاَّ أَن يُحَاطَ بِكُمْ …
that you will bring him back to me unless you are yourselves surrounded (by enemies),
unless you were all overwhelmed and were unable to rescue him,
… فَلَمَّا آتَوْهُ مَوْثِقَهُمْ …
And when they had sworn their solemn oath,
he affirmed it further, saying,
… قَالَ اللّهُ عَلَى مَا نَقُولُ وَكِيلٌ ﴿٦٦﴾
he said: “Allah is the Witness to what we have said.”
Ibn Ishaq commented,
“Yaqub did that because he had no choice but to send them to bring necessary food supplies for their survival. So he sent Binyamin with them.”
وَقَالَ يبَنِىَّ لاَ تَدْخُلُواْ مِن بَابٍ وَاحِدٍ وَادْخُلُواْ مِنْ أَبْوَابٍ مُّتَفَرِّقَةٍ وَمَآ أُغْنِى عَنكُمْ مِّنَ اللَّهِ مِن شَىْءٍ
12:67 And he said: “O my sons! Do not enter by one gate, but enter by different gates, and I cannot avail you against Allah at all.
إِنِ الْحُكْمُ إِلاَّ للَّهِ عَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلْتُ وَعَلَيْهِ فَلْيَتَوَكَّلِ الْمُتَوَكِّلُونَ
Verily, the decision rests only with Allah. In Him, I put my trust and let all those that trust, put their trust in Him.”
وَلَمَّا دَخَلُواْ مِنْ حَيْثُ أَمَرَهُمْ أَبُوهُم مَّا كَانَ يُغْنِى عَنْهُمْ مِّنَ اللَّهِ مِن شَىْءٍ إِلاَّ حَاجَةً فِى نَفْسِ يَعْقُوبَ قَضَاهَا
12:68 And when they entered according to their father’s advice, it did not avail them in the least against (the will of) Allah; it was but a need of Yaqub’s inner self which he discharged.
وَإِنَّهُ لَذُو عِلْمٍ لِّمَا عَلَّمْنَاهُ وَلَـكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ
And verily, he was endowed with knowledge because We had taught him, but most men know not.
Ya`qub orders His Children to enter Egypt from Different Gates
وَقَالَ يَا بَنِيَّ لاَ تَدْخُلُواْ مِن بَابٍ وَاحِدٍ وَادْخُلُواْ مِنْ أَبْوَابٍ مُّتَفَرِّقَةٍ …
And he said: “O my sons! Do not enter by one gate, but enter by different gates,
Allah says that Yaqub, peace be upon him, ordered his children, when he sent Binyamin with them to Egypt, to enter from different gates rather than all of them entering from one gate.
Ibn Abbas, Muhammad bin Ka`b, Mujahid, Ad-Dahhak Qatadah, As-Suddi and several others said that;
he feared the evil eye for them, because they were handsome and looked beautiful and graceful. He feared that people might direct the evil eye at them, because the evil eye truly harms, by Allah’s decree, and brings down the mighty warrior-rider from his horse.
He next said,
… وَمَا أُغْنِي عَنكُم مِّنَ اللّهِ مِن شَيْءٍ …
and I cannot avail you against Allah at all.
this precaution will not resist Allah’s decision and appointed decree.
Verily, whatever Allah wills, cannot be resisted or stopped,
… إِنِ الْحُكْمُ إِلاَّ لِلّهِ عَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلْتُ وَعَلَيْهِ فَلْيَتَوَكَّلِ الْمُتَوَكِّلُونَ ﴿٦٧﴾
وَلَمَّا دَخَلُواْ مِنْ حَيْثُ أَمَرَهُمْ أَبُوهُم مَّا كَانَ يُغْنِي عَنْهُم مِّنَ اللّهِ مِن شَيْءٍ إِلاَّ حَاجَةً فِي نَفْسِ يَعْقُوبَ قَضَاهَا …
“Verily, the decision rests only with Allah. In Him, I put my trust and let all those that trust, put their trust in Him.”
And when they entered according to their father’s advice, it did not avail them in the least against (the will of) Allah; it was but a need of Yaqub’s inner self which he discharged,
as a precaution against the evil eye,
… وَإِنَّهُ لَذُو عِلْمٍ لِّمَا عَلَّمْنَاهُ …
And verily, he was endowed with knowledge because We had taught him,
According to Qatadah and Ath-Thawri,
he had knowledge that he implemented.
Ibn Jarir said that this part of the Ayah means,
he has knowledge that We taught him,
… وَلَـكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ ﴿٦٨﴾
but most men know not.
وَلَمَّا دَخَلُواْ عَلَى يُوسُفَ آوَى إِلَيْهِ أَخَاهُ قَالَ إِنِّى أَنَاْ أَخُوكَ فَلاَ تَبْتَئِسْ بِمَا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ
12:69 And when they went in before Yusuf, he took his brother (Binyamin) to himself and said: “Verily, I am your brother, so grieve not for what they used to do.”
Yusuf comforts Binyamin
وَلَمَّا دَخَلُواْ عَلَى يُوسُفَ آوَى إِلَيْهِ أَخَاهُ قَالَ إِنِّي أَنَاْ أَخُوكَ فَلاَ تَبْتَئِسْ بِمَا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ ﴿٦٩﴾
And when they went in before Yusuf, he took his brother (Binyamin) to himself and said: “Verily, I am your brother, so grieve not for what they used to do.”
Allah states that when Yusuf’s brothers went in before him along with his full brother Binyamin, he invited them to a place of honor as privileged guests. He granted them gifts and generous hospitality and kindness. He met his brother in confidence and told him the story of what happened to him and that he was in fact his brother. He said to him, لاَ تَبْتَئِسْ `(grieve not) nor feel sad for what they did to me.’
He ordered Binyamin to hide the news from them and to refrain from telling them that the Aziz is his brother Yusuf. He plotted with him to keep him in Egypt enjoying honor and great hospitality.
فَلَمَّا جَهَّزَهُمْ بِجَهَازِهِمْ جَعَلَ السِّقَايَةَ فِى رَحْلِ أَخِيهِ
12:70 So when he furnished them forth with their provisions, he put the bowl in his brother’s bag.
ثُمَّ أَذَّنَ مُؤَذِّنٌ أَيَّتُهَا الْعِيرُ إِنَّكُمْ لَسَارِقُونَ
Then a crier cried: “O you (in) the caravan! Surely, you are thieves!”
قَالُواْ وَأَقْبَلُواْ عَلَيْهِمْ مَّاذَا تَفْقِدُونَ
12:71 They, turning towards them, said: “What is it that you have lost?”
قَالُواْ نَفْقِدُ صُوَاعَ الْمَلِكِ وَلِمَن جَآءَ بِهِ حِمْلُ بَعِيرٍ وَأَنَاْ بِهِ زَعِيمٌ
12:72 They said: “We have lost the bowl of the king and for him who produces it is (the reward of) a camel load; and I will be bound by it.”
Yusuf had His Golden Bowl placed in Binyamin’s Bag; a Plot to keep Him in Egypt
فَلَمَّا جَهَّزَهُم بِجَهَازِهِمْ جَعَلَ السِّقَايَةَ فِي رَحْلِ أَخِيهِ ثُمَّ أَذَّنَ مُؤَذِّنٌ …
So when he furnished them forth with their provisions, he put the bowl in his brother’s bag. Then a crier cried:
After Yusuf supplied them with their provisions, he ordered some of his servants to place his silver bowl (in Binyamin’s bag), according to the majority of scholars.
Some scholars said that the king’s bowl was made from gold.
Ibn Zayd added that according to Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak and Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd,
the king used it to drink from, and later, measured food grains with it since food became scarce in that time,
bah said that Abu Bishr narrated that Said bin Jubayr said that Ibn Abbas said that;
the king’s bowl was made from silver and he used it to drink with. Yusuf had the bowl placed in Binyamin’s bag while they were unaware, and then had someone herald,
… أَيَّتُهَا الْعِيرُ إِنَّكُمْ لَسَارِقُونَ ﴿٧٠﴾
O you (in) the caravan! Surely, you are thieves!
قَالُواْ وَأَقْبَلُواْ عَلَيْهِم …
They, turning towards them, said:
They looked at the man who was heralding this statement and asked him,
… مَّاذَا تَفْقِدُونَ ﴿٧١﴾
قَالُواْ نَفْقِدُ صُوَاعَ الْمَلِكِ …
“What is it that you have lost”
They said: “We have lost the bowl of the king…”,
which he used to measure food grains,
… وَلِمَن جَاء بِهِ حِمْلُ بَعِيرٍ …
and for him who produces it is a camel load;
as a reward,
… وَأَنَاْ بِهِ زَعِيمٌ ﴿٧٢﴾
and I will be bound by it.
as assurance of delivery of the reward.
قَالُواْ تَاللَّهِ لَقَدْ عَلِمْتُمْ مَّا جِئْنَا لِنُفْسِدَ فِى الاٌّرْضِ وَمَا كُنَّا سَـرِقِينَ
12:73 They said: “By Allah! Indeed you know that we came not to make mischief in the land, and we are no thieves!”
قَالُواْ فَمَا جَزَآؤُهُ إِن كُنتُمْ كَـذِبِينَ
12:74 They said: “What then shall be the penalty of him, if you are (proved to be) liars.”
قَالُواْ جَزؤُهُ مَن وُجِدَ فِى رَحْلِهِ فَهُوَ جَزَاؤُهُ كَذَلِكَ نَجْزِى الظَّـلِمِينَ
12:75 They (Yusuf’s brothers) said: “His penalty should be that he, in whose bag it is found, should be held for the punishment (of the crime). Thus we punish the wrongdoers!”
فَبَدَأَ بِأَوْعِيَتِهِمْ قَبْلَ وِعَآءِ أَخِيهِ ثُمَّ اسْتَخْرَجَهَا مِن وِعَآءِ أَخِيهِ
12:76 So he (Yusuf) began (the search) in their bags before the bag of his brother. Then he brought it out of his brother’s bag.
كَذَلِكَ كِدْنَا لِيُوسُفَ مَا كَانَ لِيَأْخُذَ أَخَاهُ فِى دِينِ الْمَلِكِ إِلاَّ أَن يَشَآءَ اللَّهُ
Thus did We plan for Yusuf. He could not take his brother by the law of the king (as a slave), except that Allah willed it.
نَرْفَعُ دَرَجَـتٍ مَّن نَّشَآءُ وَفَوْقَ كُلِّ ذِى عِلْمٍ عَلِيمٌ
We raise to degrees whom We will, but over all those endowed with knowledge is the All-Knowing (Allah).
After Yusuf’s servants accused his brothers of theft,
قَالُواْ تَاللّهِ لَقَدْ عَلِمْتُم مَّا جِئْنَا لِنُفْسِدَ فِي الأَرْضِ وَمَا كُنَّا سَارِقِينَ ﴿٧٣﴾
They said: “By Allah! Indeed you know that we came not to make mischief in the land, and we are no thieves!
`Ever since you knew us, you, due to our good conduct, became certain that, مَّا جِئْنَا لِنُفْسِدَ فِي الأَرْضِ وَمَا كُنَّا سَارِقِينَ (we came not to make mischief in the land, and we are no thieves!).
They said, `Theft is not in our character, as you came to know.’
Yusuf’s men said,
قَالُواْ فَمَا جَزَآؤُهُ …
They said: “What then shall be the penalty of him,
in reference to the thief, if it came out that he is one of you,
… إِن كُنتُمْ كَاذِبِينَ ﴿٧٤﴾
if you are (proved to be) liars.
They asked them, `What should be the thief’s punishment if he is one of you!’
قَالُواْ جَزَآؤُهُ مَن وُجِدَ فِي رَحْلِهِ فَهُوَ جَزَاؤُهُ كَذَلِكَ نَجْزِي الظَّالِمِينَ ﴿٧٥﴾
They said: “His penalty should be that he, in whose bag it is found, should be held for the punishment. Thus we punish the wrongdoers!”
This was the law of Prophet Ibrahim, peace be upon him, that the thief be given as a slave to the victim of theft. This is what Yusuf wanted, and this is why he started with their bags first before his brother’s bag, to perfect the plot,
فَبَدَأَ بِأَوْعِيَتِهِمْ قَبْلَ وِعَاء أَخِيهِ …
So he (Yusuf) began (the search) in their bags before the bag of his brother.
… ثُمَّ اسْتَخْرَجَهَا مِن وِعَاء أَخِيهِ …
Then he brought it out of his brother’s bag.
Therefore, Yusuf took Binyamin as a slave according to their judgement and the law which they believed in.
So Allah said;
… كَذَلِكَ كِدْنَا لِيُوسُفَ …
Thus did We plan for Yusuf.
and this is a good plot that Allah likes and prefers, because it seeks a certain benefit using wisdom and the benefit of all.
Allah said next,
… مَا كَانَ لِيَأْخُذَ أَخَاهُ فِي دِينِ الْمَلِكِ …
He could not take his brother by the law of the king,
as a captive, for this was not the law of king of Egypt, according to Ad-Dahhak and several other scholars.
Allah only allowed Yusuf to take his brother as a captive after his brothers agreed to this judgement beforehand, and he knew that this was their law.
… إِلاَّ أَن يَشَاء اللّهُ …
except that Allah willed it.
This is why Allah praised him when He said,
… نَرْفَعُ دَرَجَاتٍ مِّن نَّشَاء …
We raise to degrees whom We will,
just as He said in another Ayah,
يَرْفَعِ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ مِنكُمْ
Allah will exalt in degree those of you who believe. (58:11)
Allah said next,
… وَفَوْقَ كُلِّ ذِي عِلْمٍ عَلِيمٌ ﴿٧٦﴾
but over all those endowed with knowledge is the All-Knowing.
“There is no knowledgeable person, but there is another person with more knowledge until it ends at Allah the Exalted and Most Honored.”
In addition, Abdur-Razzaq recorded that Sa`id bin Jubayr said, that we were with Ibn Abbas when he narrated an amazing Hadith.
A man in the audience said, `All praise is to Allah! There is an all-knowing above every person endowed with knowledge.’
Ibn Abbas responded, `Worse it is that which you said! Allah is the All-Knowing and His knowledge is above the knowledge of every knowledgeable person.’
Simak narrated that Ikrimah said that Ibn Abbas said about Allah’s statement, وَفَوْقَ كُلِّ ذِي عِلْمٍ عَلِيمٌ (but over all those endowed with knowledge is the All-Knowing (Allah),
“This person has more knowledge than that person, and Allah is above all knowledgeable persons.”
Similar was narrated from Ikrimah.
“Over every person endowed with knowledge is a more knowledgeable person until all knowledge ends with Allah. Verily, knowledge started from Allah, and from Him the scholars learn, and to Him all knowledge returns.”
Abdullah bin Mas`ud read the Ayah this way,
(وَفَوْقَ كُلِّ عاَلِمٍ عَلِيمٌ) “And above every scholar, is the All-Knower (Allah).”
قَالُواْ إِن يَسْرِقْ فَقَدْ سَرَقَ أَخٌ لَّهُ مِن قَبْلُ
12:77 They (Yusuf’s brothers) said: “If he steals, there was a brother of his (Yusuf) who did steal before (him).”
فَأَسَرَّهَا يُوسُفُ فِى نَفْسِهِ وَلَمْ يُبْدِهَا لَهُمْ
But these things did Yusuf keep in himself, revealing not the secrets to them.
قَالَ أَنْتُمْ شَرٌّ مَّكَاناً وَاللَّهُ أَعْلَمْ بِمَا تَصِفُونَ
He said (within himself): “You are in an evil situation, and Allah is the Best Knower of that which you describe!”
Yusuf’s Brothers accuse Him of Theft!
Allah tells that after Yusuf’s brothers saw that the king’s bowl was taken out of Binyamin’s bag,
قَالُواْ إِن يَسْرِقْ فَقَدْ سَرَقَ أَخٌ لَّهُ مِن قَبْلُ …
They said: “If he steals, there was a brother of his who did steal before.
They tried to show themselves as innocent from being like Binyamin, saying that he did just like a brother of his did beforehand, meaning Yusuf, peace be upon him!
… فَأَسَرَّهَا يُوسُفُ فِي نَفْسِهِ …
But these things did Yusuf keep in himself,
meaning the statement that he said afterwards, i.e.,
… وَلَمْ يُبْدِهَا لَهُمْ قَالَ …
revealing not the secrets to them.
… أَنتُمْ شَرٌّ مَّكَانًا وَاللّهُ أَعْلَمْ بِمَا تَصِفُونَ ﴿٧٧﴾
You are in an evil situation, and Allah is the Best Knower of that which you describe!
Yusuf said this to himself and did not utter it aloud, thus intending to hide what he wanted to say to himself even before he said it.
Al-Awfi reported that Ibn Abbas said about Allah’s statement, فَأَسَرَّهَا يُوسُفُ فِي نَفْسِهِ (But these things did Yusuf keep in himself),
“He kept in himself (his statement next), أَنتُمْ شَرٌّ مَّكَانًا وَاللّهُ أَعْلَمْ بِمَا تَصِفُونَ (You are in an evil situation, and Allah is the Best Knower of that which you describe!).”
قَالُواْ يأَيُّهَا الْعَزِيزُ إِنَّ لَهُ أَبًا شَيْخًا كَبِيرًا فَخُذْ أَحَدَنَا مَكَانَهُ إِنَّا نَرَاكَ مِنَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ
12:78 They said: “O Aziz! Verily, he has an old father (who will grieve for him); so take one of us in his place. Indeed we think that you are one of the doers of good.”
قَالَ مَعَاذَ اللَّهِ أَن نَّأْخُذَ إِلاَّ مَن وَجَدْنَا مَتَـعَنَا عِندَهُ إِنَّـآ إِذًا لَّظَـلِمُونَ
12:79 He said: “Allah forbid, that we should take anyone but him with whom we found our property. Indeed (if we did so), we should be wrongdoers.”
Yusuf’s Brothers offer taking One of Them instead of Binyamin as a Slave, Yusuf rejects the Offer
When it was decided that Binyamin was to be taken and kept with Yusuf according to the law they adhered by, Yusuf’s brothers started requesting clemency and raising compassion in his heart for them,
قَالُواْ يَا أَيُّهَا الْعَزِيزُ إِنَّ لَهُ أَبًا شَيْخًا كَبِيرًا …
They said, “O Aziz! Verily, he has an old father…”
who loves him very much and is comforted by his presence from the son that he lost,
… فَخُذْ أَحَدَنَا مَكَانَهُ …
so take one of us in his place.
instead of Binyamin to remain with you,
… إِنَّا نَرَاكَ مِنَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ ﴿٧٨﴾
Indeed we think that you are one of the doers of good.
the good doers, just, and accepting fairness.
قَالَ مَعَاذَ اللّهِ أَن نَّأْخُذَ إِلاَّ مَن وَجَدْنَا مَتَاعَنَا عِندَهُ …
He said: “Allah forbid, that we should take anyone but him with whom we found our property…”,
according to the judgement that you gave for his punishment,
… إِنَّـآ إِذًا لَّظَالِمُونَ ﴿٧٩﴾
Indeed, we should be wrongdoers.
if we take an innocent man instead of the guilty man.
فَلَمَّا اسْتَيْأَسُواْ مِنْهُ خَلَصُواْ نَجِيًّا
12:80 So, when they despaired of him, they consulted in private.
قَالَ كَبِيرُهُمْ أَلَمْ تَعْلَمُواْ أَنَّ أَبَاكُمْ قَدْ أَخَذَ عَلَيْكُمْ مَّوْثِقًا مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَمِن قَبْلُ مَا فَرَّطتُمْ فِى يُوسُفَ فَلَنْ أَبْرَحَ الاٌّرْضَ حَتَّى يَأْذَنَ لِى أَبِى أَوْ يَحْكُمَ اللَّهُ لِى وَهُوَ خَيْرُ الْحَـكِمِينَ
The eldest among them said: “Know you not that your father did take an oath from you in Allah’s Name, and before this you did fail in your duty with Yusuf. Therefore I will not leave this land until my father permits me, or Allah decides my case and He is the Best of the judges.
ارْجِعُواْ إِلَى أَبِيكُمْ فَقُولُواْ يأَبَانَا إِنَّ ابْنَكَ سَرَقَ وَمَا شَهِدْنَآ إِلاَّ بِمَا عَلِمْنَا وَمَا كُنَّا لِلْغَيْبِ حَـفِظِينَ
12:81 “Return to your father and say, `O our father! Verily, your son has stolen, and we testify not except according to what we know, and we could not know the Unseen!
وَاسْئَلِ الْقَرْيَةَ الَّتِى كُنَّا فِيهَا وَالّعِيْرَ الَّتِى أَقْبَلْنَا فِيهَا وَإِنَّا لَصَـدِقُونَ
12:82 “And ask (the people of) the town where we have been, and the caravan in which we returned; and indeed we are telling the truth.”
Yusuf’s Brothers consult Each Other in Confidence; the Advice Their Eldest Brother gave Them
فَلَمَّا اسْتَيْأَسُواْ مِنْهُ خَلَصُواْ نَجِيًّا …
So, when they despaired of him, they consulted in private.
Allah narrates to us that Yusuf’s brothers were desperate because they could not secure the release of their brother Binyamin, even though they had given a promise and sworn to their father to bring him back. They were unable to fulfill their promise to their father, so, خَلَصُو (in private), away from people’s eyes, نَجِيًّا (they consulted), among themselves,
… قَالَ كَبِيرُ…
The eldest among them said,
and his name, as we mentioned, was Rubil, or Yahudha. He was the one among them who recommended throwing Yusuf into a well, rather than killing him. So Rubil said to them,
… هُمْ أَلَمْ تَعْلَمُواْ أَنَّ أَبَاكُمْ قَدْ أَخَذَ عَلَيْكُم مَّوْثِقًا مِّنَ اللّهِ …
Know you not that your father did take an oath from you in Allah’s Name,
that you will return Binyamin to him.
However, you were not able to fulfill this promise.
… وَمِن قَبْلُ مَا فَرَّطتُمْ فِي يُوسُفَ …
and before this you did fail in your duty with Yusuf.
… فَلَنْ أَبْرَحَ الأَرْضَ …
Therefore I will not leave this land,
I will not leave Egypt,
… حَتَّىَ يَأْذَنَ لِي أَبِي …
until my father permits me,
allows me to go back to him while he is pleased with me,
… أَوْ يَحْكُمَ اللّهُ لِي …
or Allah decides my case,
by using the sword, or, they says; by allowing me to secure the release of my brother,
… وَهُوَ خَيْرُ الْحَاكِمِينَ ﴿٨٠﴾
and He is the Best of the judges.
He next ordered them to narrate to their father what happened so that they could present their excuse about that happened to Binyamin and as claim their innocence before him.
ارْجِعُواْ إِلَى أَبِيكُمْ فَقُولُواْ يَا أَبَانَا إِنَّ ابْنَكَ سَرَقَ وَمَا شَهِدْنَا إِلاَّ بِمَا عَلِمْنَا …
“Return to your father and say, `O our father! Verily, your son has stolen, and we testify not except according to what we know, and we could not know the Unseen!
Rubil said to them (to say to their father),
… وَمَا كُنَّا لِلْغَيْبِ حَافِظِينَ ﴿٨١﴾
and we could not know the Unseen!
or, `we did not know that your son had committed theft,’ according to Qatadah and Ikrimah.
Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said that it means,
`we did not know that Binyamin stole something that belonged to the king, we only stated the punishment of the thief,’
وَاسْأَلِ الْقَرْيَةَ الَّتِي كُنَّا فِيهَا …
And ask (the people of) the town where we have been,
in reference to Egypt, according to Qatadah, or another town.
… وَالْعِيْرَ الَّتِي أَقْبَلْنَا فِيهَا …
and the caravan in which we returned,
`about our truthfulness, honesty, protection and sincere guardianship,
… وَإِنَّا لَصَادِقُونَ ﴿٨٢﴾
and indeed we are telling the truth.
in what we have told you, that Binyamin stole and was taken as a captive as compensation for his theft.’
Hint: Deepen your understanding of Islamic theology by reading Surah Ar Ra’d Translation
قَالَ بَلْ سَوَّلَتْ لَكُمْ أَنفُسُكُمْ أَمْرًا فَصَبْرٌ جَمِيلٌ
12:83 He (Ya`qub) said: “Nay, but your own selves have beguiled you into something. So patience is most fitting (for me).
عَسَى اللَّهُ أَن يَأْتِيَنِى بِهِمْ جَمِيعًا إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْعَلِيمُ الْحَكِيمُ
May be Allah will bring them (back) all to me. Truly, He! Only He is All-Knowing, All-Wise.”
وَتَوَلَّى عَنْهُمْ وَقَالَ يأَسَفَا عَلَى يُوسُفَ
12:84 And he turned away from them and said: “Alas, my grief for Yusuf!”
وَابْيَضَّتْ عَيْنَاهُ مِنَ الْحُزْنِ فَهُوَ كَظِيمٌ
And he lost his sight because of the sorrow that he was suppressing.
قَالُواْ تَالله تَفْتَأُ تَذْكُرُ يُوسُفَ حَتَّى تَكُونَ حَرَضاً أَوْ تَكُونَ مِنَ الْهَـلِكِينَ
12:85 They said: “By Allah! You will never cease remembering Yusuf until you become weak with old age, or until you be of the dead.”
قَالَ إِنَّمَآ أَشْكُو بَثِّى وَحُزْنِى إِلَى اللَّهِ وَأَعْلَمُ مِنَ اللَّهِ مَا لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ
12:86 He said: “I only complain of my grief and sorrow to Allah, and I know from Allah that which you know not.”
Allah’s Prophet Yaqub receives the Grievous News
Allah’s Prophet Yaqub repeated to his children the same words he said to them when they brought false blood on Yusuf’ shirt,
قَالَ بَلْ سَوَّلَتْ لَكُمْ أَنفُسُكُمْ أَمْرًا فَصَبْرٌ جَمِيلٌ …
He (Yaqub) said: “Nay, but your own selves have beguiled you into something. So patience is most fitting (for me).
Muhammad bin Ishaq said,
“When they went back to Yaqub and told him what happened, he did not believe them and thought that this was a repetition of what they did to Yusuf. So he said, بَلْ سَوَّلَتْ لَكُمْ أَنفُسُكُمْ أَمْرًا فَصَبْرٌ جَمِيلٌ (Nay, but your own selves have beguiled you into something. So patience is most fitting (for me).
Some said that; since this new development came after what they did before (to Yusuf), they were given the same judgement to this later incident that was given to them when they did what they did (to Yusuf). Therefore, Yaqub’s statement here is befitting, بَلْ سَوَّلَتْ لَكُمْ أَنفُسُكُمْ أَمْرًا فَصَبْرٌ جَمِيلٌ (Nay, but your own selves have beguiled you into something. So patience is most fitting (for me). He then begged Allah to bring back his three sons: Yusuf, Binyamin and Rubil to him.”
Rubil had remained in Egypt awaiting Allah’s decision about his case, either his father’s permission ordering him to go back home, or to secure the release of his brother in confidence. This is why Yaqub said,
… عَسَى اللّهُ أَن يَأْتِيَنِي بِهِمْ جَمِيعًا إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْعَلِيمُ …
May be Allah will bring them (back) all to me. Truly, He! Only He is All-Knowing,
in my distress,
… الْحَكِيمُ ﴿٨٣﴾
in His decisions and the decree and preordainment He appoints.
Allah said next,
وَتَوَلَّى عَنْهُمْ وَقَالَ يَا أَسَفَى عَلَى يُوسُفَ …
… وَابْيَضَّتْ عَيْنَاهُ مِنَ الْحُزْنِ فَهُوَ كَظِيمٌ ﴿٨٤﴾
And he turned away from them and said: “Alas, my grief for Yusuf!”
He turned away from his children and remembered his old grief for Yusuf,
… يَا أَسَفَى عَلَى يُوسُفَ …
Alas, my grief for Yusuf!
The new grief, losing Binyamin and Rubil, renewed his old sadness that he kept to himself.
Abdur-Razzaq narrated that Ath-Thawri said that Sufyan Al-Usfuri said that Sa`id bin Jubayr said,
“Only this nation (the following of Prophet Muhammad) were given Al-Istirja’. Have you not heard the statement of Yaqub, peace be upon him,
… يَا أَسَفَى عَلَى يُوسُفَ وَابْيَضَّتْ عَيْنَاهُ مِنَ الْحُزْنِ فَهُوَ كَظِيمٌ ﴿٨٤﴾
“Alas, my grief for Yusuf !” And he lost his sight because of the sorrow that he was suppressing.”
According to Qatadah and other scholars,
Yaqub suppressed his sorrow and did not complain to a created being,
Ad-Dahhak also commented,
“Yaqub was aggrieved, sorrowful and sad.”
Yaqub’s children felt pity for him and said, while feeling sorrow and compassion,
قَالُواْ تَالله تَفْتَأُ تَذْكُرُ يُوسُفَ …
They said: “By Allah! You will never cease remembering Yusuf,
`you will keep remembering Yusuf,
… حَتَّى تَكُونَ حَرَضًا …
until you become weak with old age,
until your strength leaves you,’
… أَوْ تَكُونَ مِنَ الْهَالِكِينَ ﴿٨٥﴾
or until you be of the dead.
They said, `if you continue like this, we fear for you that you might die of grief,’
قَالَ إِنَّمَا أَشْكُو بَثِّي وَحُزْنِي إِلَى اللّهِ …
He said: “I only complain of my grief and sorrow to Allah.”
When they said these words to him, Yaqub said, إِنَّمَا أَشْكُو بَثِّي وَحُزْنِي `(I only complain of my grief and sorrow) for the afflictions that struck me, إِلَى اللّهِ (to Allah) alone,
… وَأَعْلَمُ مِنَ اللّهِ مَا لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ ﴿٨٦﴾
and I know from Allah that which you know not.
I anticipate from Allah each and every type of goodness.’
Ibn Abbas commented on the meaning of, وَأَعْلَمُ مِنَ اللّهِ مَا لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ (and I know from Allah that which you know not),
“The vision that Yusuf saw is truthful and Allah will certainly make it come true.”
يبَنِىَّ اذْهَبُواْ فَتَحَسَّسُواْ مِن يُوسُفَ وَأَخِيهِ وَلاَ تَايْـَسُواْ مِن رَّوْحِ اللَّهِ
12:87 “O my sons! Go you and inquire about Yusuf and his brother, and never give up hope of Allah’s mercy.
إِنَّهُ لاَ يَايْـَسُ مِن رَّوْحِ اللَّهِ إِلاَّ الْقَوْمُ الْكَـفِرُونَ
Certainly no one despairs of Allah’s mercy, except the people who disbelieve.”
فَلَمَّا دَخَلُواْ عَلَيْهِ قَالُواْ يأَيُّهَا الْعَزِيزُ مَسَّنَا وَأَهْلَنَا الضُّرُّ وَجِئْنَا بِبِضَاعَةٍ مُّزْجَاةٍ فَأَوْفِ لَنَا الْكَيْلَ وَتَصَدَّقْ عَلَيْنَآ
12:88 Then, when they entered unto him, they said: “O Aziz! A hard time has hit us and our family, and we have brought but poor capital, so pay us full measure and be charitable to us.
إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَجْزِى الْمُتَصَدِّقِينَ
Truly, Allah does reward the charitable.”
Yaqub orders His Children to inquire about Yusuf and His Brother
Allah tells what Yaqub said to his children:
يَا بَنِيَّ اذْهَبُواْ فَتَحَسَّسُواْ مِن يُوسُفَ وَأَخِيهِ وَلاَ تَيْأَسُواْ مِن رَّوْحِ اللّهِ إِنَّهُ لاَ يَيْأَسُ مِن رَّوْحِ اللّهِ إِلاَّ الْقَوْمُ الْكَافِرُونَ ﴿٨٧﴾
“O my sons! Go you and inquire about Yusuf and his brother, and never give up hope of Allah’s mercy. Certainly no one despairs of Allah’s mercy, except the people who disbelieve.”
Allah states that Yaqub, peace be upon him, ordered his children to go back and inquire about the news of Yusuf and his brother Binyamin, in a good manner, not as spies. He encouraged them, delivered to them the good news and ordered them not to despair of Allah’s mercy.
He ordered them to never give up hope in Allah, nor to ever discontinue trusting in Him for what they seek to accomplish.
He said to them that only the disbelieving people despair of Allah’s mercy.
Yusuf’s Brothers stand before Him
Allah said next,
فَلَمَّا دَخَلُواْ عَلَيْهِ …
Then, when they entered unto him,
when they went back to Egypt and entered upon Yusuf,
… قَالُواْ يَا أَيُّهَا الْعَزِيزُ مَسَّنَا وَأَهْلَنَا الضُّرُّ …
they said: “O Aziz! A hard time has hit us and our family…”
because of severe droughts and the scarcity of food,
… وَجِئْنَا بِبِضَاعَةٍ مُّزْجَاةٍ …
and we have brought but poor capital,
means, `we brought money for the food we want to buy, but it is not substantial,’ according to Mujahid, Al-Hasan and several others.
Allah said that they said next,
… فَأَوْفِ لَنَا الْكَيْلَ …
so pay us full measure,
meaning, `in return for the little money we brought, give us the full measure that you gave us before.’
Ibn Mas`ud read this Ayah in a way that means,
“So give the full load on our animals and be charitable with us.”
Ibn Jurayj commented,
“So be charitable to us by returning our brother to us.”
And when Sufyan bin Uyaynah was asked if the Sadaqah (charity) was prohibited for any Prophet before our Prophet, he said,
“Have you not heard the Ayah,
…فَأَوْفِ لَنَا الْكَيْلَ وَتَصَدَّقْ عَلَيْنَآ إِنَّ اللّهَ يَجْزِي الْمُتَصَدِّقِينَ ﴿٨٨﴾
so pay us full measure and be charitable to us. Truly, Allah does reward the charitable.”
Ibn Jarir At-Tabari collected this statement.
قَالَ هَلْ عَلِمْتُمْ مَّا فَعَلْتُم بِيُوسُفَ وَأَخِيهِ إِذْ أَنتُمْ جَـهِلُونَ
12:89 He said: “Do you know what you did with Yusuf and his brother, when you were ignorant!”
قَالُواْ أَءِنَّكَ لاّنتَ يُوسُفُ
12:90 They said: “Are you indeed Yusuf!”
قَالَ أَنَاْ يُوسُفُ وَهَـذَا أَخِى قَدْ مَنَّ اللَّهُ عَلَيْنَآ إِنَّهُ مَن يَتَّقِ
He said: “I am Yusuf, and this is my brother. Allah has indeed been gracious to us.
وَيِصْبِرْ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يُضِيعُ أَجْرَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ
He who has Taqwa, and is patient, then surely, Allah makes not the reward of the good doers to be lost.”
قَالُواْ تَاللَّهِ لَقَدْ آثَرَكَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْنَا وَإِن كُنَّا لَخَـطِئِينَ
12:91 They said: “By Allah! Indeed Allah has preferred you above us, and we certainly have been sinners.”
قَالَ لاَ تَثْرَيبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْيَوْمَ يَغْفِرُ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ وَهُوَ أَرْحَمُ الرَحِمِينَ
12:92 He said: “No reproach on you this day; may Allah forgive you, and He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy!
Yusuf reveals His True Identity to His Brothers and forgives Them
Allah says, when Yusuf’s brothers told him about the afflictions and hardship, and shortages in food they suffered from in the aftermath of the drought that struck them, and he remembered his father’s grief for losing his two children, he felt compassion, pity and mercy for his father and brothers. He felt this way, especially since he was enjoying kingship, authority and power, so he cried and revealed his true identity to them when he asked them,
قَالَ هَلْ عَلِمْتُم مَّا فَعَلْتُم بِيُوسُفَ وَأَخِيهِ إِذْ أَنتُمْ جَاهِلُونَ ﴿٨٩﴾
He said: “Do you know what you did with Yusuf and his brother, when you were ignorant!
meaning, `when you separated between Yusuf and his brother,’
… إِذْ أَنتُمْ جَاهِلُونَ
when you were ignorant!
He said, `What made you do this is your ignorance of the tremendous sin you were about to commit.’
It appears, and Allah knows best, that Yusuf revealed his identity to his brothers only then by Allah’s command, just as he hid his identity from them in the first two meetings, by Allah’s command. When the affliction became harder, Allah sent His relief from that affliction, just as He said He does,
فَإِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْراً
إِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْراً
Verily, along with every hardship is relief. Verily, along with every hardship is relief. (94:5-6)
This is when they said to Yusuf,
قَالُواْ أَإِنَّكَ لَأَنتَ يُوسُفُ …
Are you indeed Yusuf!
in amazement, because they had been meeting him for more than two years while unaware of who he really was. Yet, he knew who they were and hid this news from them. Therefore, they asked in astonishment,
… أَإِنَّكَ لَأَنتَ يُوسُفُ قَالَ أَنَاْ يُوسُفُ وَهَـذَا أَخِي …
Are you indeed Yusuf! He said: “I am Yusuf, and this is my brother…”
Yusuf said next,
… قَدْ مَنَّ اللّهُ عَلَيْنَا …
`Allah has indeed been gracious to us.
by gathering us together after being separated all this time,’
… إِنَّهُ مَن يَتَّقِ وَيِصْبِرْ فَإِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يُضِيعُ أَجْرَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ ﴿٩٠﴾
قَالُواْ تَاللّهِ لَقَدْ آثَرَكَ اللّهُ عَلَيْنَا …
“Verily, he who has Taqwa, and is patient, then surely, Allah makes not the reward of the good doers to be lost.”
They said: “By Allah! Indeed Allah has preferred you above us.”
They affirmed Yusuf’s virtue above them, being blessed with beauty, conduct, richness, kingship, authority and, above all, Prophethood.
… وَإِن كُنَّا لَخَاطِئِينَ ﴿٩١﴾
and we certainly have been sinners.”
They admitted their error and acknowledged that they made a mistake against him,
قَالَ لاَ تَثْرَيبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْيَوْمَ …
He said: “No reproach on you this day.”
He said to them, `There will be no blame for you today or admonishment, and I will not remind you after today of your error against me.’
He then multiplied his generosity by invoking Allah for them for mercy,
… يَغْفِرُ اللّهُ لَكُمْ وَهُوَ أَرْحَمُ الرَّاحِمِينَ ﴿٩٢﴾
may Allah forgive you, and He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy!
اذْهَبُواْ بِقَمِيصِى هَـذَا فَأَلْقُوهُ عَلَى وَجْهِ أَبِى يَأْتِ بَصِيرًا وَأْتُونِى بِأَهْلِكُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ
12:93 “Go with this shirt of mine, and cast it over the face of my father, his vision will return, and bring to me all your family.”
وَلَمَّا فَصَلَتِ الْعِيرُ قَالَ أَبُوهُمْ إِنِّى لأَجِدُ رِيحَ يُوسُفَ لَوْلاَ أَن تُفَنِّدُونِ
12:94 And when the caravan departed, their father said: “I do indeed sense the smell of Yusuf, if only you think me not senile.”
قَالُواْ تَاللَّهِ إِنَّكَ لَفِى ضَلَـلِكَ الْقَدِيمِ
12:95 They said: “By Allah! Certainly, you are in your old Dalal (error).”
Yaqub finds the Scent of Yusuf in his Shirt!
Allah tells about what Yusuf said to his brothers:
اذْهَبُواْ بِقَمِيصِي هَـذَا …
“Go with this shirt of mine,
Yusuf said, `Take this shirt of mine,
… فَأَلْقُوهُ عَلَى وَجْهِ أَبِي يَأْتِ بَصِيرًا …
and cast it over the face of my father, his vision will return,’
because Yaqub had lost his sight from excessive crying,
… وَأْتُونِي بِأَهْلِكُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ ﴿٩٣﴾
and bring to me all your family.
all the children of Yaqub.
وَلَمَّا فَصَلَتِ الْعِيرُ …
And when the caravan departed, (from Egypt),
… قَالَ أَبُوهُمْ …
their father said…,
Yaqub, peace be upon him, said to the children who remained with him,
… إِنِّي لَأَجِدُ رِيحَ يُوسُفَ لَوْلاَ أَن تُفَنِّدُونِ ﴿٩٤﴾
`I do indeed feel the smell of Yusuf, if only you think me not senile.
except that you might think me senile because of old age.’
Abdur-Razzaq narrated that Ibn Abbas said,
“When the caravan departed (from Egypt), a wind started blowing and brought the scent of Yusuf’s shirt to Yaqub. He said, إِنِّي لَأَجِدُ رِيحَ يُوسُفَ لَوْلاَ أَن تُفَنِّدُونِ (I do indeed feel the smell of Yusuf, if only you think me not senile.) He found his scent from a distance of eight days away!”
Similar was also reported through Sufyan Ath-Thawri and Shu`bah and others reported it from Abu Sinan.
Yaqub said to them, لَوْلاَ أَن تُفَنِّدُونِ (if only you think me not senile).
Ibn Abbas, Mujahid, Ata, Qatadah and Sa’id bin Jubayr commented,
“If only you think me not a fool!”
Mujahid and Al-Hasan said that it means,
“If only you think me not old.”
قَالُواْ تَاللّهِ …
They said: “By Allah!
Their answer to him was,
… إِنَّكَ لَفِي ضَلاَلِكَ الْقَدِيمِ ﴿٩٥﴾
Certainly, you are in your old Dalal.
meaning, `in your old error,’ according to Ibn Abbas.
“They meant that, `because of your love for Yusuf you will never forget him.’ So they uttered a harsh word to their father that they should never have uttered to him, nor to a Prophet of Allah.”
Similar was said by As-Suddi and others.
فَلَمَّآ أَن جَآءَ الْبَشِيرُ أَلْقَاهُ عَلَى وَجْهِهِ فَارْتَدَّ بَصِيرًا
12:96 Then, when the bearer of the good news arrived, he cast it (the shirt) over his face, and his vision returned.
قَالَ أَلَمْ أَقُلْ لَّكُمْ إِنِّى أَعْلَمُ مِنَ اللَّهِ مَا لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ
He said: “Did I not say to you, `I know from Allah that which you know not!”’
قَالُواْ يأَبَانَا اسْتَغْفِرْ لَنَا ذُنُوبَنَآ إِنَّا كُنَّا خَـطِئِينَ
12:97 They said: “O our father! Ask forgiveness (from Allah) for our sins, indeed we have been sinners.”
قَالَ سَوْفَ أَسْتَغْفِرُ لَكُمْ رَبِّى إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ
12:98 He said: “I will ask my Lord for forgiveness for you, verily, He! Only He is the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful.”
Yahudha brings Yusuf’s Shirt and Good News
فَلَمَّا أَن جَاء الْبَشِيرُ أَلْقَاهُ عَلَى وَجْهِهِ فَارْتَدَّ بَصِيرًا …
Then, when the bearer of the good news arrived, he cast it (the shirt) over his face, and his vision returned.
Ibn Abbas and Ad-Dahhak said; الْبَشِيرُ (good news),
Mujahid and As-Suddi said that;
the bearer of good news was Yahudha, son of Yaqub.
“He brought it (Yusuf’s shirt) because it was he who brought Yusuf’s shirt stained with the false blood. So he liked to erase that error with this good act, by bringing Yusuf’s shirt and placing it on his father’s face. His father’s sight was restored to him.”
Ya`qub said to his children,
… قَالَ أَلَمْ أَقُل لَّكُمْ إِنِّي أَعْلَمُ مِنَ اللّهِ مَا لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ ﴿٩٦﴾
He said: “Did I not say to you, `I know from Allah that which you know not’),
that I know that Allah will return Yusuf to me and that, إِنِّي لَأَجِدُ رِيحَ يُوسُفَ لَوْلاَ أَن تُفَنِّدُونِ (I do indeed feel the smell of Yusuf, if only you think me not senile).
Yusuf’s Brothers feel Sorry and Regretful
This is when Yusuf’s brothers said to their father, with humble- ness,
قَالُواْ يَا أَبَانَا اسْتَغْفِرْ لَنَا ذُنُوبَنَا إِنَّا كُنَّا خَاطِئِينَ ﴿٩٧﴾
قَالَ سَوْفَ أَسْتَغْفِرُ لَكُمْ رَبِّيَ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ ﴿٩٨﴾
“O our father! Ask forgiveness (from Allah) for our sins, indeed we have been sinners.” He said: “I will ask my Lord for forgiveness for you, verily, He! Only He is the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful.”
and He forgives those who repent to Him.
Abdullah bin Mas
ud, Ibrahim At-Taymi,Amr bin Qays, Ibn Jurayj and several others said that;
Prophet Yaqub delayed fulfilling their request until the latter part of the night.
فَلَمَّا دَخَلُواْ عَلَى يُوسُفَ ءَاوَى إِلَيْهِ أَبَوَيْهِ وَقَالَ ادْخُلُواْ مِصْرَ إِن شَآءَ اللَّهُ ءَامِنِينَ
12:99 Then, when they came in before Yusuf, he took his parents to himself and said: “Enter Egypt, if Allah wills, in security.”
وَرَفَعَ أَبَوَيْهِ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ وَخَرُّواْ لَهُ سُجَّدَا
12:100 And he raised his parents to the `Arsh and they fell down before him prostrate.
وَقَالَ يأَبَتِ هَـذَا تَأْوِيلُ رُؤْيَـى مِن قَبْلُ قَدْ جَعَلَهَا رَبِّى حَقًّا
And he said: “O my father! This is the interpretation of my dream aforetime! My Lord has made it come true!
وَقَدْ أَحْسَنَ بَى إِذْ أَخْرَجَنِى مِنَ السِّجْنِ وَجَآءَ بِكُمْ مِّنَ الْبَدْوِ مِن بَعْدِ أَن نَّزغَ الشَّيْطَـنُ بَيْنِى وَبَيْنَ إِخْوَتِى
He was indeed good to me, when He took me out of the prison, and brought you (all here) out of the Bedouin life, after Shaytan had sown enmity between me and my brothers.
إِنَّ رَبِّى لَطِيفٌ لِّمَا يَشَآءُ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْعَلِيمُ الْحَكِيمُ
Certainly, my Lord is the Most Courteous and Kind unto whom He wills. Truly, He! Only He is the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.
Yusuf welcomes His Parents; His Dream comes True
فَلَمَّا دَخَلُواْ عَلَى يُوسُفَ آوَى إِلَيْهِ أَبَوَيْهِ …
Then, when they came in before Yusuf, he took his parents to himself,
Yusuf had asked his brothers to bring all of their family, and they all departed their area and left Kana`an to Egypt. When Yusuf received news of their approach to Egypt, he went out to receive them.
The king ordered the princes and notable people to go out in the receiving party with Yusuf to meet Allah’s Prophet Yaqub, peace be upon him. It is said that the king also went out with them to meet Yaqub.
Yusuf said to his family, after they entered unto him and he took them to himself,
… وَقَالَ ادْخُلُواْ مِصْرَ إِن شَاء اللّهُ آمِنِينَ ﴿٩٩﴾
and said: “Enter Egypt, if Allah wills, in security.”
He said to them,
enter Egypt’, meaning,reside in Egypt’, and added, `if Allah wills, in security’, in reference to the hardship and famine that they suffered.
آوَى إِلَيْهِ أَبَوَيْهِ (and he took his parents to himself),
As-Suddi and Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam said that;
his parents were his father and maternal aunt, as his mother had died long ago.
Muhammad bin Ishaq and Ibn Jarir At-Tabari said,
“His father and mother were both alive.”
Ibn Jarir added,
“There is no evidence that his mother had died before then. Rather, the apparent words of the Qur’an testify that she was alive.”
This opinion has the apparent and suitable meaning that this story testifies to.
Allah said next,
وَرَفَعَ أَبَوَيْهِ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ …
And he raised his parents to Al-‘Arsh,
According to Ibn Abbas, Mujahid and several others,
he raised them to his bedstead where he sat.
… وَخَرُّواْ لَهُ سُجَّدًا …
and they fell down before him prostrate.
Yusuf’s parents and brothers prostrated before him, and they were eleven men,
… وَقَالَ يَا أَبَتِ هَـذَا تَأْوِيلُ رُؤْيَايَ مِن قَبْلُ …
And he said: “O my father! This is the Ta’wil (interpretation) of my dream aforetime…”,
in reference to the dream that he narrated to his father before, إِنِّي رَأَيْتُ أَحَدَ عَشَرَ كَوْكَبًا (I saw (in a dream) eleven stars…). (12:4)
In the laws of these and previous Prophets, it was allowed for the people to prostrate before the men of authority, when they met them. This practice was allowed in the law of Adam until the law of `Isa, peace be upon them, but was later prohibited in our law.
Islam made prostration exclusively for Allah Alone, the Exalted and Most Honored. The implication of this statement was collected from Qatadah and other scholars.
When Mu`adh bin Jabal visited the Sham area, he found them prostrating before their priests. When he returned (to Al-Madinah), he prostrated before the Messenger of Allah, who asked him,
مَا هَذَا يَا مُعَاذُ ؟
What is this, O, Mu`adh?
Mu`adh said, “I saw that they prostrate before their priests. However, you, O Messenger of Allah, deserve more to be prostrated before.”
The Messenger said,
لَوْ كُنْتُ آمِرًا أَحَدًا أَنْ يَسْجُدَ لِأَحَدٍ، لَأَمَرْتُ الْمَرْأَةَ أَنْ تَسْجُدَ لِزَوْجِهَا لِعِظَمِ حَقِّهِ عَلَيْهَا
If I were to order anyone to prostrate before anyone else (among the creation), I would have ordered the wife to prostrate before her husband because of the enormity of his right on her.)
Therefore, this practice was allowed in previous laws, as we stated.
This is why they (Yaqub and his wife and eleven sons) prostrated before Yusuf, who said at that time,
… يَا أَبَتِ هَـذَا تَأْوِيلُ رُؤْيَايَ مِن قَبْلُ قَدْ جَعَلَهَا رَبِّي حَقًّا…
O my father! This is the Ta’wil of my dream aforetime! My Lord has made it come true!
using the word, `Ta’wil‘, to describe what became of the matter, later on.
Allah said in another Ayah,
هَلْ يَنظُرُونَ إِلاَّ تَأْوِيلَهُ يَوْمَ يَأْتِى تَأْوِيلُهُ
Await they just for its Ta’wil! On the Day the event is finally fulfilled…, (7:53)
meaning, on the Day of Judgement what they were promised of good or evil will surely come to them.
… قَدْ جَعَلَهَا رَبِّي حَقًّا …
My Lord has made it come true!
mentioning that Allah blessed him by making his dream come true,
… وَقَدْ أَحْسَنَ بَي إِذْ أَخْرَجَنِي مِنَ السِّجْنِ وَجَاء بِكُم مِّنَ الْبَدْوِ …
He was indeed good to me, when He took me out of the prison, and brought you (all here) out of the Bedouin life,
out of the desert, for they lived a Bedouin life and raised cattle, according to Ibn Jurayj and others.
He also said that they used to live in the Arava, Ghur area of Palestine, in Greater Syria.
Yusuf said next,
… مِن بَعْدِ أَن نَّزغَ الشَّيْطَانُ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَ إِخْوَتِي إِنَّ رَبِّي لَطِيفٌ لِّمَا يَشَاء …
after Shaytan had sown enmity between me and my brothers. Certainly, my Lord is the Most Courteous and Kind unto whom He wills.
for when Allah wills something, He brings forth its reasons and elements of existence, then wills it into existence and makes it easy to attain,
… إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْعَلِيمُ …
Truly, He! Only He is the All-Knowing.
what benefits His servants,
… الْحَكِيمُ ﴿١٠٠﴾
in His statements, actions, decrees, preordainment and what He chooses and wills.
رَبِّ قَدْ آتَيْتَنِى مِنَ الْمُلْكِ وَعَلَّمْتَنِى مِن تَأْوِيلِ الاٌّحَادِيثِ فَاطِرَ السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ
12:101 “My Lord! You have indeed bestowed on me of the sovereignty, and taught me something of the interpretation of dreams – the (Only) Creator of the heavens and the earth!
أَنتَ وَلِىِّ فِى الدُّنُيَا وَالاٌّخِرَةِ تَوَفَّنِى مُسْلِمًا وَأَلْحِقْنِى بِالصَّـلِحِينَ
You are my Wali in this world and in the Hereafter. Cause me to die as a Muslim, and join me with the righteous.”
Yusuf begs Allah to die as A Muslim
Allah tells about Yusuf’s invocation:
رَبِّ قَدْ آتَيْتَنِي مِنَ الْمُلْكِ وَعَلَّمْتَنِي مِن تَأْوِيلِ الأَحَادِيثِ فَاطِرَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ أَنتَ وَلِيِّي فِي الدُّنُيَا وَالآخِرَةِ تَوَفَّنِي مُسْلِمًا وَأَلْحِقْنِي بِالصَّالِحِينَ ﴿١٠١﴾
“My Lord! You have indeed bestowed on me of the sovereignty, and taught me something of the interpretation of dreams – the (Only) Creator of the heavens and the earth! You are my Wali in this world and in the Hereafter. Cause me to die as a Muslim, and join me with the righteous.”
This is the invocation of Yusuf, the truthful one, to his Lord the Exalted and Most Honored. He invoked Allah after His favor was complete on him by being reunited with his parents and brothers, after He had bestowed on him Prophethood and kingship.
He begged his Lord the Exalted and Ever High, that as He has perfected His bounty on him in this life, to continue it until the Hereafter.
He begged Him that, when he dies, he dies as a Muslim, as Ad-Dahhak said, and to join him with the ranks of the righteous, with his brethren the Prophets and Messengers, may Allah’s peace and blessings be on them all.
It is possible that Yusuf, peace be upon him, said this supplication while dying.
In the Two Sahihs it is recorded that A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said that while dying, the Messenger of Allah was raising his finger and said – thrice,
اللَّهُمَّ فِي الرَّفِيقِ الْأَعْلَى
O Allah to Ar-Rafiq Al-A`la (the uppermost, highest company in heaven).
It is also possible that long before he died, Yusuf begged Allah to die as a Muslim and be joined with the ranks of the righteous.
ذَلِكَ مِنْ أَنبَآءِ الْغَيْبِ نُوحِيهِ إِلَيْكَ
12:102 That is of the news of the Ghayb (Unseen) which We reveal to you.
وَمَا كُنتَ لَدَيْهِمْ إِذْ أَجْمَعُواْ أَمْرَهُمْ وَهُمْ يَمْكُرُونَ
You were not (present) with them when they arranged their plan together, and (while) they were plotting.
وَمَآ أَكْثَرُ النَّاسِ وَلَوْ حَرَصْتَ بِمُؤْمِنِينَ
12:103 And most of mankind will not believe even if you desire it eagerly.
وَمَا تَسْأَلُهُمْ عَلَيْهِ مِنْ أَجْرٍ إِنْ هُوَ إِلاَّ ذِكْرٌ لِّلْعَـلَمِينَ
12:104 And no reward you ask of them for it; it (the Qur’an) is no less than a Reminder unto the `Alamin (men and Jinn).
This Story is a Revelation from Allah
ذَلِكَ مِنْ أَنبَاء الْغَيْبِ نُوحِيهِ إِلَيْكَ …
That is of the news of the Ghayb (Unseen) which We reveal to you.
Allah narrated to Muhammad, peace be upon him, the story of Yusuf and his brothers and how Allah raised him over them, giving him the better end, triumph, the sovereignty and wisdom (i.e., Prophethood), even though they tried to harm and kill him.
Allah said, `This and similar stories are part of the unseen incidents of the past, O Muhammad, نُوحِيهِ إِلَيْكَ (which We reveal to you) and inform you of, O Muhammad, because it carries a lesson, for you to draw from and a reminder to those who defy you.’
Allah said next,
… وَمَا كُنتَ لَدَيْهِمْ …
`You were not (present) with them,
you did not witness their conference nor saw them,
… إِذْ أَجْمَعُواْ أَمْرَهُمْ …
when they arranged their plan together,
to throw Yusuf into the well,
… وَهُمْ يَمْكُرُونَ ﴿١٠٢﴾
and (while) they were plotting.
against him. We taught you all this through Our Revelation which We sent down to you.’
Allah said in other Ayat,
وَمَا كُنتَ لَدَيْهِمْ إِذْ يُلْقُون أَقْلَـمَهُمْ
You were not with them, when they cast lots with their pens.
وَمَا كُنتَ بِجَانِبِ الْغَرْبِىِّ إِذْ قَضَيْنَآ إِلَى مُوسَى الاٌّمْرَ
And you were not on the western side, when We made clear to Musa the commandment… (28:44) until,
وَمَا كُنْتَ بِجَانِبِ الطُّورِ إِذْ نَادَيْنَا
And you were not at the side of the Tur when We did call. (28:46)
Allah also said,
وَمَا كُنتَ ثَاوِياً فِى أَهْلِ مَدْيَنَ تَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ ءَايَـتِنَا
And you were not a dweller among the people of Madyan, reciting Our verses to them. (28:45)
Allah states that Muhammad is His Messenger and that He has taught him the news of what occurred in the past, which carry lessons for people to draw from, so that they acquire their safety in their religious affairs as well as their worldly affairs. Yet, most people did not and will not believe, so Allah said,
وَمَا أَكْثَرُ النَّاسِ وَلَوْ حَرَصْتَ بِمُؤْمِنِينَ ﴿١٠٣﴾
And most of mankind will not believe even if you desire it eagerly.
Allah said in similar Ayat,
وَإِن تُطِعْ أَكْثَرَ مَن فِى الاٌّرْضِ يُضِلُّوكَ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ
And if you obey most of those on the earth, they will mislead you far away from Allah’s path. (6:116)
إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لأَيَةً وَمَا كَانَ أَكْثَرُهُمْ مُّؤْمِنِينَ
Verily, in this is an Ayah, yet most of them are not believers. (26:8)
Allah said next,
وَمَا تَسْأَلُهُمْ عَلَيْهِ مِنْ أَجْرٍ …
And no reward you ask of them for it;
Allah says, `You, O Muhammad, do not ask them in return for this advice and your call to all that is good and righteous, for any price or compensation for delivering it. Rather, you do so seeking Allah’s Face and to deliver good and sincere advice to His creatures,
… إِنْ هُوَ إِلاَّ ذِكْرٌ لِّلْعَالَمِينَ ﴿١٠٤﴾
it (the Qur’an) is no less than a Reminder unto the `Alamin (men and Jinn).
with which they remember, receive guidance and save themselves in this life and the Hereafter.’
وَكَأَيِّن مِّن ءَايَةٍ فِى السَّمَـوَتِ وَالاٌّرْضِ يَمُرُّونَ عَلَيْهَا وَهُمْ عَنْهَا مُعْرِضُونَ
12:105 And how many a sign in the heavens and the earth they pass by, while they are averse therefrom.
وَمَا يُؤْمِنُ أَكْثَرُهُمْ بِاللَّهِ إِلاَّ وَهُمْ مُّشْرِكُونَ
12:106 And most of them believe not in Allah except that they attribute partners unto Him.
أَفَأَمِنُواْ أَن تَأْتِيَهُمْ غَاشِيَةٌ مِّنْ عَذَابِ اللَّهِ أَوْ تَأْتِيَهُمُ السَّاعَةُ بَغْتَةً وَهُمْ لاَ يَشْعُرُونَ
12:107 Do they then feel secure from the coming against them of the covering veil of the torment of Allah, or of the coming against them of the (Final) Hour, all of a sudden while they perceive not!
People neglect to ponder the Signs before Them
وَكَأَيِّن مِّن آيَةٍ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ يَمُرُّونَ عَلَيْهَا وَهُمْ عَنْهَا مُعْرِضُونَ ﴿١٠٥﴾
And how many a sign in the heavens and the earth they pass by, while they are averse therefrom.
Allah states that most people do not think about His signs and proofs of His Oneness that He created in the heavens and earth.
Allah created brilliant stars and rotating heavenly objects and planets, all made subservient. There are many plots of fertile land next to each other on earth, and gardens, solid mountains, lively oceans, with their waves smashing against each other, and spacious deserts. There are many live creatures and others that have died; and animals, plants and fruits that are similar in shape, but different in taste, scent, color and attributes.
All praise is due to Allah the One and Only, Who created all types of creations, Who Alone will remain and last forever. It is He Who is unique in His Names and Attributes.
Allah said next,
وَمَا يُؤْمِنُ أَكْثَرُهُمْ بِاللّهِ إِلاَّ وَهُم مُّشْرِكُونَ ﴿١٠٦﴾
And most of them believe not in Allah except that they attribute partners unto Him.
Ibn Abbas commented,
“They have a part of faith, for when they are asked,
Who created the heavens? Who created the earth? Who created the mountains?’ They say,Allah did.’ Yet, they associate others with Him in worship.”
Similar is said by Mujahid, Ata, Ikrimah, Ash-Sha`bi, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak and Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd bin Aslam.
In the Sahih, it is recorded that;
during the Hajj season, the idolators used to say in their Talbiyah: “Here we rush to Your service. You have no partners with You, except a partner with You whom You own but he owns not!”
Allah said in another Ayah,
إِنَّ الشِّرْكَ لَظُلْمٌ عَظِيمٌ
Verily, joining others in worship with Allah is a great Zulm (wrong) indeed. (31:13)
This indeed is the greatest type of Shirk, associating others with Allah in worship.
It is recorded in the Two Sahihs that Abdullah bin Mas`ud said,
“I said, `O Allah’s Messenger! What is the greatest sin?’
أَنْ تَجْعَلَ للهِ نِدًّا وَهُوَ خَلَقَك
That you call a rival to Allah while He alone created you.”
Al-Hasan Al-Basri commented on Allah’s statement, وَمَا يُؤْمِنُ أَكْثَرُهُمْ بِاللّهِ إِلاَّ وَهُم مُّشْرِكُونَ (And most of them believe not in Allah except that they attribute partners unto Him),
“This is the hypocrite; if he performs good deeds, he does so to show off with the people, and he is an idolator while doing this.”
Al-Hasan was referring to Allah’s statement,
إِنَّ الْمُنَـفِقِينَ يُخَـدِعُونَ اللَّهَ وَهُوَ خَادِعُهُمْ وَإِذَا قَامُواْ إِلَى الصَّلَوةِ قَامُواْ كُسَالَى يُرَآءُونَ النَّاسَ وَلاَ يَذْكُرُونَ اللَّهَ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً
Verily, the hypocrites seek to deceive Allah, but it is He Who deceives them. And when they stand up for As-Salah, they stand with laziness and to be seen of men, and they do not remember Allah but little. (4:142)
There is another type of hidden Shirk that most people are unaware of.
Hammad bin Salamah narrated that Asim bin Abi An-Najud said that Urwah said,
“Hudhayfah visited an ill man and saw a rope tied around his arm, so he ripped it off while reciting, وَمَا يُؤْمِنُ أَكْثَرُهُمْ بِاللّهِ إِلاَّ وَهُم مُّشْرِكُونَ (And most of them believe not in Allah except that they attribute partners unto Him).
In a Hadith, from Ibn Umar collected by At-Tirmidhi who said it was Hasan, the Prophet said,
مَنْ حَلَفَ بِغَيْرِ اللهِ فَقَدْ أَشْرَك
He who swears by other than Allah, commits Shirk.
Imam Ahmad, Abu Dawud and other scholars of Hadith narrated that Abdullah bin Mas`ud said that the Messenger of Allah said,
إِنَّ الرُّقَى وَالتَّمَائِمَ وَالتِّوَلَةَ شِرْك
Verily, Ar-Ruqa, At-Tama’im and At-Tiwalah are all acts of Shirk.
In another narration collected by Ahmad and Abu Dawud, the Prophet said,
الطِّيَرَةُ شِرْكٌ وَمَا مِنَّا إِلَّا، وَلَكِنَّ اللهَ يُذْهِبُهُ بِالتَّوَكُّل
Verily, At-Tiyarah (omen) is Shirk; everyone might feel a glimpse of it, but Allah dissipates it with Tawakkul.”
Allah said next,
أَفَأَمِنُواْ أَن تَأْتِيَهُمْ غَاشِيَةٌ مِّنْ عَذَابِ اللّهِ …
Do they then feel secure from the coming against them of the covering veil of the torment of Allah!
Allah asks, `Do these idolators who associate others with Allah in the worship, feel secure from the coming of an encompassing torment from where they perceive not!’
… أَوْ تَأْتِيَهُمُ السَّاعَةُ بَغْتَةً وَهُمْ لاَ يَشْعُرُونَ ﴿١٠٧﴾
or of the coming against them of the (Final) Hour, all of a sudden while they perceive not!
Allah said in other Ayat,
أَفَأَمِنَ الَّذِينَ مَكَرُواْ السَّيِّئَاتِ أَن يَخْسِفَ اللَّهُ بِهِمُ الاٌّرْضَ أَوْ يَأْتِيَهُمُ الْعَذَابُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لاَ يَشْعُرُونَ
أَوْ يَأْخُذَهُمْ فِى تَقَلُّبِهِمْ فَمَا هُم بِمُعْجِزِينَ
أَوْ يَأْخُذَهُمْ عَلَى تَخَوُّفٍ فَإِنَّ رَبَّكُمْ لَرَؤُوفٌ رَّحِيمٌ
Do then those who devise evil plots feel secure that Allah will not sink them into the earth, or that the torment will not seize them from directions they perceive not! Or that He may catch them in the midst of their going to and from, so that there be no escape for them (from Allah’s punishment)! Or that He may catch them with gradual wasting (of their wealth and health)!
Truly, Your Lord is indeed full of kindness, Most Merciful. (16:45-47)
أَفَأَمِنَ أَهْلُ الْقُرَى أَن يَأْتِيَهُم بَأْسُنَا بَيَـتاً وَهُمْ نَآئِمُونَ
أَوَ أَمِنَ أَهْلُ الْقُرَى أَن يَأْتِيَهُمْ بَأْسُنَا ضُحًى وَهُمْ يَلْعَبُونَ
أَفَأَمِنُواْ مَكْرَ اللَّهِ فَلاَ يَأْمَنُ مَكْرَ اللَّهِ إِلاَّ الْقَوْمُ الْخَـسِرُونَ
Did the people of the towns then feel secure against the coming of Our punishment by night while they were asleep! Or, did the people of the towns then feel secure against the coming of Our punishment in the forenoon while they were playing! Did they then feel secure against the plan of Allah!
None feels secure from the plan of Allah except the people who are the losers. (7:97-99)
قُلْ هَـذِهِ سَبِيلِى أَدْعُو إِلَى اللَّهِ عَلَى بَصِيرَةٍ أَنَاْ وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَنِى
12:108 Say “This is my way; I invite unto Allah with sure knowledge, I and whosoever follows me.
وَسُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ وَمَآ أَنَاْ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ
And Glorified and Exalted be Allah. And I am not of the idolators.”
The Messenger’s Way
Allah tells His messenger to say:
قُلْ هَـذِهِ سَبِيلِي أَدْعُو إِلَى اللّهِ عَلَى بَصِيرَةٍ أَنَاْ وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَنِي وَسُبْحَانَ اللّهِ وَمَا أَنَاْ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ ﴿١٠٨﴾
Say “This is my way; I invite unto Allah with sure knowledge, I and whosoever follows me. And Glorified and Exalted be Allah. And I am not of the idolators.”
Allah orders His Messenger to say to mankind and the Jinns that this is his way, meaning, his method, path and Sunnah, concentrating on calling to the testimony that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah alone without partners.
The Messenger calls to this testimonial with sure knowledge, certainty and firm evidence. He calls to this way, and those who followed him call to what Allah’s Messenger called to with sure knowledge, certainty and evidence, whether logical or religious evidence,
… وَسُبْحَانَ اللّهِ …
And Glorified and Exalted be Allah.
This part of the Ayah means, I glorify, honor, revere and praise Allah from having a partner, equal, rival, parent, son, wife, minister or advisor. All praise and honor be to Allah, glorified He is from all that they attribute to Him,
تُسَبِّحُ لَهُ السَّمَـوَتُ السَّبْعُ وَالاٌّرْضُ وَمَن فِيهِنَّ وَإِن مِّن شَىْءٍ إِلاَّ يُسَبِّحُ بِحَمْدَهِ وَلَـكِن لاَّ تَفْقَهُونَ تَسْبِيحَهُمْ إِنَّهُ كَانَ حَلِيمًا غَفُورًا
The seven heavens and the earth and all that is therein, glorify Him, and there is not a thing but glorifies His praise. But you understand not their glorification. Truly, He is Ever Forbearing, Oft-Forgiving. (17:44)
وَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ إِلاَّ رِجَالاً نُّوحِى إِلَيْهِمْ مِّنْ أَهْلِ الْقُرَى
12:109 And We sent not before you (as Messengers) any but men unto whom We revealed, from among the people of townships.
أَفَلَمْ يَسِيرُواْ فِى الاٌّرْضِ فَيَنظُرُواْ كَيْفَ كَانَ عَـقِبَةُ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ
Have they not traveled in the land and seen what was the end of those who were before them!
وَلَدَارُ الاٌّخِرَةِ خَيْرٌ لِّلَّذِينَ اتَّقَواْ أَفَلاَ تَعْقِلُونَ
And verily, the home of the Hereafter is the best for those who have Taqwa. Do you not then understand!
All of the Prophets are Humans and Men
وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ إِلاَّ رِجَالاً نُّوحِي إِلَيْهِم …
And We sent not before you (as Messengers) any but men unto whom We revealed,
Allah states that He only sent Prophets and Messengers from among men and not from among women, as this Ayah clearly states.
Allah did not reveal religious and legislative laws to any woman from among the daughters of Adam. This is the belief of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jama`ah.
Sheikh Abu Al-Hasan, Ali bin Ismail Al-Ash`ari mentioned that;
it is the view of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jama`ah, that there were no female Prophets, but there were truthful believers from among women. Allah mentions the most honorable of the truthful female believers, Maryam, the daughter of Imran, when He said,
مَّا الْمَسِيحُ ابْنُ مَرْيَمَ إِلاَّ رَسُولٌ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِن قَبْلِهِ الرُّسُلُ وَأُمُّهُ صِدِّيقَةٌ كَانَا يَأْكُلاَنِ الطَّعَامَ
The Messiah (‘Isa), son of Maryam (Mary), was no more than a Messenger; many were the Messengers that passed away before him. His mother was a Siddiqah (truthful believer). They both used to eat food. (5:75)
Therefore, the best description Allah gave her is Siddiqah.
Had she been a Prophet, Allah would have mentioned this fact when He was praising her qualities and honor. Therefore, Mary was a truthful believer according to the words of the Qur’an.
All Prophets were Humans not Angels
Ad-Dahhak reported that Ibn `Abbas commented on Allah’s statement, وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ إِلاَّ رِجَالاً (And We sent not before you (as Messengers) any but men),
“They were not from among the residents of the heaven (angels), as you claimed.”
This statement of Ibn Abbas is supported by Allah’s statements,
وَمَآ أَرْسَلْنَا قَبْلَكَ مِنَ الْمُرْسَلِينَ إِلاَّ إِنَّهُمْ لَيَأْكُلُونَ الطَّعَامَ وَيَمْشُونَ فِى الاٌّسْوَاقِ
And We never sent before you any of the Messengers, but verily, they ate food and walked in the markets. (25:20)
وَمَا جَعَلْنَـهُمْ جَسَداً لاَّ يَأْكُلُونَ الطَّعَامَ وَمَا كَانُواْ خَـلِدِينَ
ثُمَّ صَدَقْنَـهُمُ الْوَعْدَ فَأَنجَيْنَـهُمْ وَمَن نَّشَآءُ وَأَهْلَكْنَا الْمُسْرفِينَ
And We did not create them with bodies that ate not food, nor were they immortals. Then We fulfilled to them the promise. So We saved them and those whom We willed, but We destroyed extravagant, (21:8-9)
قُلْ مَا كُنتُ بِدْعاً مِّنَ الرُّسُلِ
Say: “I am not a new thing among the Messengers.” (46:9)
Allah said next,
… مِّنْ أَهْلِ الْقُرَى …
from among the people of townships,
meaning, from among the people of cities, not that they were sent among the Bedouins who are some of the harshest and roughest of all people.
Drawing Lessons from the Incidents of the Past
Allah said next,
… أَفَلَمْ يَسِيرُواْ فِي الأَرْضِ …
Have they not traveled in the land,
meaning, `Have not these people who rejected you, O Muhammad, traveled in the land,’
… فَيَنظُرُواْ كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ …
and seen what was the end of those who were before them,
that is, the earlier nations that rejected the Messengers, and how Allah destroyed them. A similar end is awaiting all disbelievers.
Allah said in another Ayah,
أَفَلَمْ يَسِيرُواْ فِى الاٌّرْضِ فَتَكُونَ لَهُمْ قُلُوبٌ يَعْقِلُونَ بِهَآ
Have they not traveled through the land, and have they hearts wherewith to understand! (22:46)
When they hear this statement, they should realize that Allah destroyed the disbelievers and saved the believers, and this is His way with His creation.
This is why Allah said,
… وَلَدَارُ الآخِرَةِ خَيْرٌ لِّلَّذِينَ اتَّقَواْ …
And verily, the home of the Hereafter is the best for those who have Taqwa.
Allah says, `Just as We saved the faithful in this life, We also wrote safety for them in the Hereafter, which is far better for them than the life of the present world.’
Allah said in other Ayah,
إِنَّا لَنَنصُرُ رُسُلَنَا وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ فِى الْحَيَوةِ الدُّنْيَا وَيَوْمَ يَقُومُ الاٌّشْهَـدُ
يَوْمَ لاَ يَنفَعُ الظَّـلِمِينَ مَعْذِرَتُهُمْ وَلَهُمُ الْلَّعْنَةُ وَلَهُمْ سُوءُ الدَّارِ
Verily, We will indeed make victorious Our Messengers and those who believe in this world’s life and on the Day when the witnesses will stand forth (i.e. Day of Resurrection). The Day when their excuses will be of no profit to the wrongdoers. Theirs will be the curse, and theirs will be the evil abode (in Hellfire). (40:51-52)
… أَفَلاَ تَعْقِلُونَ ﴿١٠٩﴾
Do you not then understand!
حَتَّى إِذَا اسْتَيْـَسَ الرُّسُلُ وَظَنُّواْ أَنَّهُمْ قَدْ كُذِبُواْ جَآءَهُمْ نَصْرُنَا فَنُجِّىَ مَن نَّشَآءُ
12:110 (They were reprieved) until, when the Messengers gave up hope and thought that they were denied, then came to them Our help, and whomsoever We willed were rescued.
وَلاَ يُرَدُّ بَأْسُنَا عَنِ الْقَوْمِ الْمُجْرِمِينَ
And Our punishment cannot be warded off from the people who are criminals.
Allah’s Prophets are aided by Victory in Times of Distress and Need
حَتَّى إِذَا اسْتَيْأَسَ الرُّسُلُ وَظَنُّواْ أَنَّهُمْ قَدْ كُذِبُواْ جَاءهُمْ نَصْرُنَا فَنُجِّيَ مَن نَّشَاء وَلاَ يُرَدُّ بَأْسُنَا عَنِ الْقَوْمِ الْمُجْرِمِينَ ﴿١١٠﴾
(They were reprieved) until, when the Messengers gave up hope and thought that they were denied, then came to them Our help, and whomsoever We willed were rescued.
Allah states that He sends His aid and support to His Messengers, peace be upon them, when distress and hardship surround them and they eagerly await Allah’s aid.
Allah said in another Ayah,
وَزُلْزِلُواْ حَتَّى يَقُولَ الرَّسُولُ وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ مَعَهُ مَتَى نَصْرُ اللَّهِ
…and were so shaken that even the Messenger and those who believed along with him said, “When (will come) the help of Allah!” (2:214)
As for saying of Allah, كُذِبُواْ (they were denied),
There are two recitations for it.
One of them is with a Shadda (meaning: they were betrayed by their people).
And this is the way A’ishah, may Allah be pleased with her, recited it.
Al-Bukhari said that Urwah bin Az-Zubayr narrated that he asked Aishah about the meaning of the following verse, حَتَّى إِذَا اسْتَيْأَسَ الرُّسُلُ (`Until when the Messengers give up hope…),
Respite will be granted, is it denied or betrayed?
A’ishah replied, “betrayed.”
Urwah said, “I said,
They were sure that their people betrayed them, so why use the wordthought”?
She said, `Yes, they were sure that they betrayed them.’
I said, وَظَنُّواْ أَنَّهُمْ قَدْ كُذِبُواْ (and they thought that they were denied (by Allah))!
A’0ishah said, `Allah forbid! The Messengers did not suspect their Lord of such a thing.’
I asked, `So what does this Ayah mean?’
`This Verse is concerned with the Messengers’ followers who had faith in their Lord and believed in their Messengers. The period of trials for those followers was long and Allah’s help was delayed until the Messengers gave up hope for the conversion of the disbelievers amongst their nation and suspected that even their followers were shaken in their belief, Allah’s help then came to them.”’
Ibn Jurayj narrated that Ibn Abi Mulaikah said that Ibn Abbas read this Ayah this way,
وَظَنُّواْ أَنَّهُمْ قَدْ كُذِبُواْ
and they thought they were denied.
Abdullah bin Abi Mulaikah said,
“Then Ibn Abbas said to me that they were humans. He then recited this Ayah,
حَتَّى يَقُولَ الرَّسُولُ وَالَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ مَعَهُ مَتَى نَصْرُ اللَّهِ أَلاَ إِنَّ نَصْرَ اللَّهِ قَرِيبٌ
…even the Messenger and those who believed along with him said, “When (will come) the help of Allah!”
Yes! Certainly, the help of Allah is near! (2:214)”
Ibn Jurayj also narrated that Ibn Abi Mulaykah said that Urwah narrated to him that;
Aishah did not agree to this and rejected it. She said,
“Nothing that Allah has promised Muhammad, peace be upon him, but Muhammad knew for certainty that it shall come, until he died. However, the Messengers were tried with trials until they thought that those believers, who were with them, did not fully support them.”
Ibn Abi Mulaykah said that Urwah narrated that Aishah recited this Ayah this way,
وَظَنُّواْ أَنَّهُمْ قَدْ كُذَّبُواْ
and they thought that they were betrayed.
Therefore, there is another way of reciting this word, and there is a difference of opinion about its meaning.
We narrated the meaning that Ibn Abbas gave.
Ibn Mas`ud said, as Sufyan Ath-Thawri narrated from him, that he read the Ayah this way,
حَتَّى إِذَا اسْتَيْأَسَ الرُّسُلُ وَظَنُّواْ أَنَّهُمْ قَدْ كُذِبُواْ
until, when the Messengers gave up hope and thought that they were denied.
Abdullah commented that this is the recitation that you dislike.
Ibn Abbas also commented on the Ayah, حَتَّى إِذَا اسْتَيْأَسَ الرُّسُلُ وَظَنُّواْ أَنَّهُمْ قَدْ كُذِبُواْ (until, when the Messengers gave up hope and thought that they were denied),
“When the Messengers gave up hope that their people would accept their messages, and their people thought that their Messengers had not said the truth to them, Allah’s victory came then, فَنُجِّيَ مَن نَّشَاء (and whomsoever We willed were rescued).
Ibn Jarir At-Tabari narrated that Ibrahim bin Abi Hamzah (Hurrah) Al-Jazari said,
“A young man from Quraysh asked Sa’id bin Jubayr `O, Abu Abdullah! How do you read this word, for when I pass by it, I wish I had not read this Surah,
حَتَّى إِذَا اسْتَيْأَسَ الرُّسُلُ وَظَنُّواْ أَنَّهُمْ قَدْ كُذِبُواْ…
until, when the Messengers gave up hope and thought that they were denied…
He said, `Yes, it means, when the Messengers gave up hope that their people will believe in them and those to whom the Messengers were sent thought that the Messengers were not truthful.”’
Ad-Dahhak bin Muzahim commented,
“I have not seen someone who is called to knowledge and is lazy accepting the invitation, until today! If you traveled to Yemen just to get this explanation, it will still be worth it.”
Ibn Jarir At-Tabari narrated that;
Muslim bin Yasar asked Sa`id bin Jubayr about the same Ayah and he gave the same response. Muslim stood up and embraced Sa’id bin Jubayr, saying, “May Allah relieve a distress from you as you relieved a distress from me!”
This was reported from Sa’id bin Jubayr through various chains of narration.
This is also the Tafsir that Mujahid bin Jabr and several other Salaf scholars gave for this Ayah.
However, some scholars said that the Ayah, وَظَنُّواْ أَنَّهُمْ قَدْ كُذِبُواْ (and thought that they were denied),
is in reference to the believers who followed the Messengers, while some said it is in reference to the disbelievers among the Messengers’ nation. In the latter case, the meaning becomes:
`and the disbelievers thought that the Messengers were not given a true promise of victory.’
Ibn Jarir At-Tabari narrated that Tamim bin Hadhlam said that I heard Abdullah bin Mas`ud comment on this Ayah, حَتَّى إِذَا اسْتَيْأَسَ الرُّسُلُ (until, when the Messengers gave up hope),
“their people will believe in them, and their people thought when the respite was long, that the Messengers were not given a true promise.”
لَقَدْ كَانَ فِى قَصَصِهِمْ عِبْرَةٌ لاوْلِى الأَلْبَـبِ
12:111 Indeed in their stories, there is a lesson for men of understanding.
مَا كَانَ حَدِيثًا يُفْتَرَى وَلَـكِن تَصْدِيقَ الَّذِى بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ وَتَفْصِيلَ كُلِّ شَىْءٍ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةً لْقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ
It (the Qur’an) is not a forged statement but a confirmation of that which was before it and a detailed explanation of everything and a guide and a mercy for the people who believe.
A Lesson for Men Who have Understanding
لَقَدْ كَانَ فِي قَصَصِهِمْ عِبْرَةٌ لِّأُوْلِي الأَلْبَابِ …
Indeed in their stories, there is a lesson for men of understanding.
Allah states here that the stories of the Messengers and their nations and how we saved the believers and destroyed the disbelievers are, عِبْرَةٌ لِّأُوْلِي الأَلْبَابِ (a lesson for men of understanding), who have sound minds.
… مَا كَانَ حَدِيثًا يُفْتَرَى …
It is not a forged statement.
Allah says here that this Qur’an could not have been forged; it truly came from Allah,
… وَلَـكِن تَصْدِيقَ الَّذِي بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ …
but a confirmation of that which was before it,
in reference to the previously revealed Divine Books, by which this Qur’an testifies to the true parts that remain in them and denies and refutes the forged parts that were added, changed and falsified by people.
The Qur’an accepts or abrogates whatever Allah wills of these Books
… وَتَفْصِيلَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ …
and a detailed explanation of everything,
Meaning the allowed, the prohibited, the preferred and the disliked matters.
The Qur’an deals with the acts of worship, the obligatory and recommended matters, forbids the unlawful and discourages from the disliked.
The Qur’an contains major facts regarding the existence and about matters of the future in general terms or in detail.
The Qur’an tells us about the Lord, the Exalted and Most Honored, and about His Names and Attributes and teaches us that Allah is glorified from being similar in any way to the creation.
Hence, the Qur’an is,
… وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةً لِّقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ ﴿١١١﴾
a guide and a mercy for the people who believe.
with which their hearts are directed from misguidance to guidance and from deviation to conformance, and with which they seek the mercy of the Lord of all creation in this life and on the Day of Return.
We ask Allah the Most Great to make us among this group in the life of the present world and in the Hereafter, on the Day when those who are successful will have faces that radiate with light, while those whose faces are dark will end up with the losing deal.
This is the end of the Tafsir of Surah Yusuf; and all the thanks and praises are due to Allah, and all our trust and reliance are on Him Alone.