Prophet Joseph (Yusuf)Written by: by Mahmood Shakir Saeed :: (View All Articles by: Mahmood Shakir Saeed)
A MODEL FOR MUSLIM YOUTH IN THE STORY OF JOSEPH (YUSUF)
(PEACE BE UPON HIM)
ÂÂ Â Â - INTRODUCTION
Â Â Â - THE STORY OF JOSEPH
"We do relate unto thee the most beautiful of stories, in that We reveal to thee this (portion of the) Qur'an: Before this, thou too was among those who knew it not. "(Yusuf: 3)
"Say thou: "This is my Way; I do invite unto Allah, with a certain knowledge I and whoever follows me, Glory to Allah! and never will I join gods with Allah!"(Yusuf: 108) "There is in their stories, instruction for men endued with understanding. It is not a tale invented, but a confirmation of what went before it, a detailed exposition of all things, and a Guide and a Mercy to any such as believe. " (Yusuf: 111)
Praise be to Allah who has put in the prophet's story a lesson as an example to those with understanding. May the blessings and peace be upon the ideal example of life and morality, Muhammad.
The World Assembly of Muslim Youth is pleased to present to you this brief treatise, "A Model for Muslim Youth in the Story of Joseph", peace be upon him by Mahmood Shakir Saeed.
The story of Joseph, peace be upon him, represents the peak of all the Qur'anic stories with regard to its topical unity and its artistic appeal, and also with regard to the lessons of faith which the story contains.
Joseph, the righteous, may blessings and peace be upon him, is an example of a patient youth who has raised himself above carnal desires and temptations of Satan. He was an example of a da'ee youth who worked day and night in all circumstances and conditions to raise the words of Allah. He took advantage of all occasions to introduce people to the religion of Truth. He also took advantage of what Allah had endowed him with the knowledge and skills for the interpretation of dreams and the knowledge of management.
He used these skills to establish the religion of Allah and attract the hearts of men to it. This undoubtedly is the model of a young Muslim that we need in our world today. He combined perseverance and firmness, insight and understanding with faith and knowledge in the dealings of life. He did this in such a way that people could see in Islam the ideal code. This code is sufficient to solve problems in all spheres of life.
The story of Joseph, peace be upon him, is considered to be a beacon for youth in particular. It contains crucial situations showing truthfulness and chastity in the face of instinctive motives and natural desires. Joseph, peace and blessings be upon him, was able to stand in the face of temptations, even though all the enticing elements were present. He was a young person, in a strange land, unmarried, and he was commanded by a beautiful woman with high position calling him to herself in total secrecy, threatening him with prison and humiliation if he did not do what she wanted. With all these tempting circumstances, he chose to be patient and preferred the way of Allah.
One of the most important lessons that one can get from this story is the continuity of conflict between good and evil and the victory of good and virtue. This victory over evil for the faithful followers always happens at the end of a predicament.
Another lesson from this story is that whatever afflicts man, from intolerable ordeals or crises in life will always be solved and overcome.
"So, verily, with every difficulty, there is relief: Verily, with every difficulty there is relief." (Inshirah: 5&6)As one of the poets said:
"The situation was difficult and worsened day by day, relief came at the moment when I thought it would never arrive." Ataa bin Rabah spoke an essential truth when he said that:
" Any who is grieved and sad who listens to the chapter of Yusuf (Joseph) will feel relieved."
We have tried by printing this story to show the nobility of Joseph's life so that it will be a lesson to youth and others. Allah, the Great has spoken the truth when He says:
"All that we relate to thee of the stories of the messengers, with it We make firm thy heart: in them there cometh to thee the Truth, as well as an exhortation and a message of remembrance to those who believe." (Hud: 120)
We extend our gratitude and thanks to our brother Dr. Mahmood Shakir Saeed for his invaluable contribution. We ask Allah, Exalted is He, to reward him for what he has offered us, and to make this work beneficial to the readers who are the youth of the Islamic nation and everywhere.
May Allah make them successful following in the footsteps of Joseph, the righteous, and in applying the way of our Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. We always seek help from Allah, He is our only Patron and Supporter.
In the Name of Allah, may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon his Messenger, his family, his companions, and all those who follow him.
The youth are the spirit of a nation, the resource of the future, and the hope for tomorrow. They are the nerve of life and the blood that runs in the artery of the society. The society will never progress except by their efforts. In the context of my speech on the youth, I would like to present the following issues:
1. Who are the Youth?
Many think that the youth are a segment of a society who are between the ages of 18 and 40. But the fact of the matter is that every individual able to play a role in the society, be it a child, a grown up, young or old is a member of the youth. Hence, their participation is not confined to a specified age or a certain period of time. A human being stays young so long as he is able to serve his society, his country, and his nation. Thus he stays young as long as he offers some of his expertise and his knowledge whether he is a worker, peasant, employee, or employer.
2. What is the duty of the Youth?
A great duty is laid upon the shoulders of the Youth to serve their country and their society. They are supposed to fulfill their great duty without any laziness or tardiness. The Youth will not fulfill this duty fully unless they believe in it, are aware of it, and are directed to it with conviction and satisfaction. There must be no coercion or force.
If he is pushed by his strong faith, awaking belief, his national and social sense, then he will work day and night. He will endeavor in every sphere to serve his nation and to serve his country. The youth will always strive to work industriously in the cause of developing his nation and move it up the ladder of civilization.
A human being does not only perform his duty when he is enticed or frightened. But he does it in the best manner when he has undoubting faith. Thus, we can be sure that the fruit of his duty will be reaped. The Youth in every society are the cause of progress, development, and prestige. They are also the cause of society falling into the abyss. This is because they form the essential working group of every intellectual, social, political, or moral sphere.
3. What are the rights of the Youth?
Due to the significant role the Youth play in elevating the society as we have noticed, we might wonder what has been offered to this segment of society? What must they be offered to guarantee their continuous productivity and steadfastness in doing their duty fully without deviation?
Since they have been asked to fulfill their duty, in return they have some rights. They should not be blamed if they request such rights. The fully grown Youth is like the flower which is full of life, ambition, and determination that does not settle or relax. He is always in need of care and catering to his needs and personal concerns. He is in need of someone to hold him by his hand and offer him what is needed in this life to enable him to lead his society and country to progress and the achievement of the desired goals. These rights vary with time and with the environment, and must be addressed with care and guidance in order to fulfill the needs of the time.
Now let us look at the story of Joseph, peace be upon him, as has been mentioned in the 12 Chapter of the Holy Qur'an. This chapter is entitled Joseph (Yusuf in Arabic) and it starts with the Arabic syllabic letters Alif, Lam, Ra. It is our view and the view of many commentators that these letters are just symbols and signs that are not known except by ALLAH and those who are firmly entrenched in knowledge. Other chapters of the Holy Qur'an start with these three Arabic syllabic letters. These chapters are Yunus and Hud, and they are the chapters that come before the chapter of Joseph in the Qur'anic order. The chapters of Ibrahim and Al-Hijr come after Yusuf. They are separated from Yusuf by the chapter AlRa'd. These Chapters begin as follows:
In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
â€śAlif Lam Ra. These are the verses of the Perspicuous Book." "We have sent down as an Arabic Qur'an, in order that ye may learn wisdom.â€ť (Yunus: 1&2)"Alif Lam Ra. (this is) a Book, with verses fundamental (of established meaning), further explained in detail, from One Who is Wise and Well acquainted (with all things).â€ť(Hud: 1) "Alif Lam Ra. A Book which We have revealed unto thee, in order that thou mightiest lead mankind out of the depths of darkness into light by the leave of their Lord to the Way of (Him) the Exalted in Power, Worthy of all Praise! "Â (Ibrahim: 1) "Alif Ram Ra. These are the ayats of Revelation, of a Qur'an that makes things clear.â€ť(Hijr: 1) The first thing we notice following each of these openings is the relationship between them and the word Book or Kitab in Arabic. This encourages us to seek knowledge and learning whether it be through reading or writing. This is also a call to benefit from the knowledge and morality that the Book contains. We are also urged to ponder, to think, and to contemplate what has been revealed from this Book of inexhaustible words and knowledge. This call is continuous and permanent and will exist so long as the book exists. The Book is for all peoples of all times.
After the 1st verse in the 12th Chapter, the words of ALLAH state:
"We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur'an in order that ye may learn wisdom."
This clearly shows that the Holy Book came in a language that people could understand and speak. That language was the Arabic language.
The rhetorical style requires the consideration of the situation and that human beings are not spoken to except in the language that they understand. Those without knowledge are not spoken to in the way that a scholar is spoken to, and the opposite is true. In this regard, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) instructed us to speak to people with what they can understand and leave out what they can not understand and he posed the question: "Do you want that ALLAH and his messenger be disbelieved?"
The story of Joseph is prefaced with this saying of Allah, the Exalted:
"We do relate unto thee the most beautiful of stories, in that We reveal to thee this (portion of the) Qur'an: before this, thou too was among those who knew it not." (Yusuf:3)
From this it becomes clear that whatever is narrated in this story is from ALLAH. There is a great difference between what is from Allah and what is from anyone else.
The most beautiful of stories is the one that is most truthful, has the best speech, and honorable aim, has the most respected goal and the straightest path to follow. The stories of the Holy Qur'an that are used are historical events or incidents which have no element of fantasy or imagination. They are real! Nevertheless they are unique in their excitement and suspense with absolute facts.
THE EVENTS OF THE STORY AND ITS LESSONS
The story starts with Joseph, peace be upon him, telling his father about the strange vision he had while asleep. He was waiting for its interpretation.
A noted companion of the Prophet, Ibn Abbas, said that: "visions of the prophets are revelations from Allah."
Behold, Joseph said to his father:
"O my father! I did see eleven stars and the sun and the moon.Â I saw them Prostrate themselves to me!"(Yusuf: 4)
But his father, Prophet Jacob (Yacub in Arabic) could only reveal one side of the vision to his son. That is, the vision was a true vision and that there was much good awaiting him in his life.
Jacob implored Joseph not to mention this vision to his brothers. Jacob feared that they would envy him and conspire against him in an unbearable way. Thus, we have the first lesson from this story. We are encouraged to fulfil our requirements with discretion and to deal with others according to their personal qualities and our knowledge of them.
Joseph, peace be upon him, was the youngest of the twelve children of Jacob. He was the most preferred to the father and the most beloved to him. Jacob would meet Joseph with a smiling face and a happy heart. He would listen to what he said with interest be it for simple news or Joseph's needs. His brother Benjamin enjoyed the same status with his father although to a lesser degree. The other brothers noticed this preferential treatment from their father. They started holding secret meetings to conspire against Joseph in a way that increased their motives of envy and hatred.
"Truly Joseph and his brother are loved more by our father than we: but we are a goodly body! Really our father is obviously in error!" (Yusuf: 8)The ten brothers then decided to kill Joseph. They based their action upon the belief that their father preferred the younger brothers Joseph and Benjamin over them. They thought that by getting rid of Joseph they would reconcile themselves with their father. Thus, they thought their father's heart would turn to them and their hearts would be cured from remorse and pain caused by Joseph's preferred status over them.
There is an important lesson in this for every Muslim. He should not let his children feel his preference for some of them over the others. He should not have more concern and care to some of them over the others, especially if they are of different sex, male and female, or from different mothers. In my opinion equality between children is a basic condition of justice between wives. This is a matter that one has to make sure or be certain of before thinking about marrying again for the second, third, or fourth time.
When the time of thinking and planning had ended, the time for action came. The sons urged their father to send Joseph with them while they grazed their sheep. They gave him their word that they would take care of Joseph.
"O, our father! Why dost thou not trust us with Joseph, seeing we are indeed his sincere well wishers.â€ť(Yusuf: 11)
"Send him with us tomorrow to enjoy himself and play, and we shall take every care of him.â€ť(Yusuf: 12)
As a result of their insistence, their father agreed reluctantly.
"Really it saddens me that ye should take him away: I fear lest the wolf should devour him while ye attend not to him." (Yusuf: 13)But the brothers affirmed that they would take care of Joseph. Their father was pleased when they told him that Joseph would have a chance to enjoy himself and play. Thus they deceived their father.
Joseph ran with his brothers to the pasture. The brothers took from the fearful words of their father, an excuse to implement their plan against Joseph. A consensus was reached that they would throw Joseph down a well and leave him to his fate and destiny.
"Then they came to their father in the early part of the night weeping." (Yusuf: 16)They said:
"O our father! We went racing with one another, and left Joseph with our things; and the wolf devoured him. But thou wilt never believe us even though we tell the truth." (Yusuf: 17)
Hence falsehood reveals itself as if the guilty one is saying â€ścome and take me". In the poet's words, "but the eyes of the listener knows from the eyes of the speaker, whether he is a friend or a foe."
Later the sons of Jacob returned at night so that the eyes of their father would not see them and the darkness of the night would cover them. The evidence exposed them and revealed their conspiracy. Their deceit could not have been hidden from their father.
They stained his shirt with false blood. He said:
"Nay, but your minds have made up a tale (that may pass) with you, (for me) patience is most fitting against that which ye assert, it is Allah (alone) whose help can be sought... "(Yusuf: 18)In this there is a call or a lesson not to be hasty in making judgments, but to be deliberate and patient in understanding the situations; to tackle the situation from all angles to find out the truth. There is also a call and a lesson to seek the help of Allah during trials, adversity or problems.
It has been stated in this context that there was once a woman who sought a court judgment from Shuraih. She came to Shuraih weeping and Shabee said: "Oh, the father of Omaya, don't you see her weeping." Shuraih respond:
"The brothers of Joseph came weeping though they were oppressors and liars. It is not proper for a human being to be judged except by the truth."
Then help came to Joseph from Heaven. A caravan passed by the well and he was taken out of the well.
"Then there came a caravan of travelers: they sent their water carrier (for water). And he let down his bucket (into the well) ... He said: "Ah there! Good news! Here is a (fine) young man! " So they concealed him as a treasure! But Allah knoweth well all that they do! Â Â (Yusuf: 19)"The (brethren) sold him for a miserable price, for a few dirhams counted out: In such low estimation did they hold him!" (Yusuf: 20)
Allah does not neglect his servants. Be with Allah and be without fear.
"...And for those who fear Allah, He (ever) prepares a way out. " "And He provides for him from (sources) he never could expect..." (Talaq: 2&3)That is what is confirmed by the incident that Joseph, peace be upon him, faced in this story.
Joseph was later sold in Egypt.Â He was transferred from one country to another and from one hand to anther until he was settled in the house of EI-Aziz.Â EI-Aziz was the Minister of Treasury in Egypt at that time and he saw in Joseph resourcefulness and righteousness.
"The man in Egypt who bought him, said to his wife: 'Make his stay (among us) honorable: May be he will bring us much good, or we shall adopt him as a son. 'Thus did We establish Joseph in the land, that We might teach him the interpretation of stories (and events). And Allah hath full power and control over His affairs; but most among mankind know it not." (Yusuf: 21)There was a great difference between the people of the caravan who sold Joseph for a miserable price, a few dirhams, and El-Aziz.
"The (Brethren) sold him for a miserable price, for a few dirhams counted out: in such low estimation did they hold him!"(Yusuf: 21) But El-Aziz considered him to be a priceless jewel. Even payments with heaps of gold and silver would be insufficient. But Joseph's trials were to continue in pursuit of him.
'But she in whose house He was, sought to seduce him and she fastened the doors, and said: "Now come," He said: "Allah forbid! Truly (thy husband) is my lord! He made my sojourn agreeable! Truly to no good come those who do wrong!" (Yusuf: 23)In the Arabic text of the Qur'an there is a word "El-murawadah", which means seeking to seduce. It really means trickery and deception. That is conspiring and plotting against someone in a very nice way and using clever deceit.
Joseph with his strong faith, morality and piety, did not want to betray or deceive the El-Aziz. The one who had put him up and was so generous to him. The one who put him up in his house and considered him a son. He did not want to meet good with evil and generosity with betrayal and deception. This was a great wrong doing and the wrong doers are never successful. This is the morality of a Muslim in all conditions.
In a firm and dignified manner with honor, strength and faith, Joseph said:
"Allah forbid! Truly thy husband is my lord! He made my sojourn agreeable! Truly to no good come those who do wrong!"(Yusuf: 23) But the woman was insistent and had prepared for every eventuality. The wife of El-Aziz had made her decision. She desired him and he would have desired her, if it weren't for the fact that he had seen the evidence of his Lord again.
"And (with passion) did she desire him, and he would have desired her, but that he saw the evidence of his Lord: thus (did We order) that We might turn away from him (all) evil and indecent deeds: for he was one of Our servants chosen."(Yusuf: 24) Faced with the uncontrolled desire of this woman, Joseph could not do anything except try to escape to the door. She chased him and held him and in trying to free himself of her, his shirt was ripped in the back. Joseph's shirt later became the evidence of his innocence as it was the evidence against Joseph's brothers before.
Then came help as his lord, El-Aziz appeared at the door which brought the scene to an end for Joseph's benefit, peace be upon him.
All happenings are from the mercy and grace of Allah. Some are signs of mercy which Allah showers upon his servants and supporters to facilitate their way. Others are slips and trips in,Â which the enemies of Allah fall similar to the way a moth falls into the fire.
"So he who gives (in charity) and fears (Allah), and (in all sincerity) testifies to the Best, - We will indeed make smooth for him the path to Ease. But he who is a greedy miser and thinks himself self sufficient, and gives the lie to the Best, -We will indeed make smooth for him the Path of Misery." (Al-Lail, The Night: 5-10)
Hence, the coming of EI-Aziz at that crucial moment was undoubtedly one of the signs of Allah. It manifested Allah's mercy and grace as it revealed a constant protection for that servant who was being prepared for the office of prophethood. A Muslim does not betray his trust or deceive others and if a calamity befalls him, he is ever steadfast. Also, a Muslim does not succumb or weaken in the presence of temptations.
"So they both raced each other to the door, and she tore his shirt from the back: They both found her lord near the door. She said: "What is the (fitting) punishment for one who formed an evil design against thy wife, but prison or a grievous chastisement?"(Yusuf: 25)
"He said: "It was she that sought to seduce me from my (true) self." And one of her household saw (this) and bore witness, (thus): "If it be that his shirt is rent from the front, then is her tale true, and he is a liar!" (Yusuf: 26)"But if it be that his shirt is torn from the back, then is she the liar, and he is telling the truth!" (Yusuf: 27) "So when he saw his shirt, that it was torn at the back, (her husband) said: "Behold! it is a snare of you women' Truly, mighty is your snare!" (Yusuf: 28) "O Joseph, pass this over! (O wife), ask forgiveness for thy sin, for truly thouÂ
hast been at fault!" (Yusuf: 29)
El-Aziz who was the Minister of Treasury of Egypt with his insight, knowledge, and expertise saw the generosity and good morality of Joseph. This led him to bear witness that Joseph was speaking the truth. Some other commentators have mentioned that an infant was in the house and that infant supported Joseph's testimony. This was related by Abu Hurayrah and Ibn Abbas, May Allah be pleased with them.
The woman exaggerated in the defense of her chastity and purity by asking for the imprisonment of Joseph or a tough punishment. Joseph, who was true with his Lord, strongly and confidently defended himself saying.
"It was she who sought to seduce me from my true self." (Yusuf: 26)He said this without the need to confirm the truth with emphasis, evasion, or by swearing an oath. He left the truth flowing according to its nature, without the need to follow the ways of those who commit falsehood and lies by swearing and talking too much to hide the truth with falsehood. This is the way for a Muslim in his life. His way must be the way of truth and his saying must be the truth and he should not fear abiding by the truth or reproach.
Thus we can see that the innocence of Joseph was proven. He was acquitted from the falsehood and accusations which the wife of El-Aziz had stated.
The wisdom, expertise, and experience of El-Aziz in many matters was manifested when he came to his wife not to accuse her alone, but to show the universality of this trait in the female Sex.
Her husband said: "Behold! It is a snare of you women! Truly, mighty is your snare!"(Yusuf: 28) Then El-Aziz combining advice, guidance, and reproach for his wife turned to Joseph and said:
"O Joseph pass this over!
This meant that Joseph should avoid talking about this matter. Then turning to his wife, he said:
"(O wife) ask forgiveness for thy sins, for truly thou hast been at fault!"(Yusuf: 29) In Arabic text of the Qur'an the word Al-Khateen means, exactly, thou has been from those men and women who are at fault. This is used instead of Al-Khetaat which means exactly, that thou has been from those women who are at fault. This is done as a mitigation or lessening of the accusation directed at her to make this sin applicable to both the male sex and female sex, as every child of Adam is liable to fall into sin. She must confess this sin, at least to herself, and ask her Lord for forgiveness and repentance.
This incident was soon spread in the form of a rumor on the lips of people throughout the city. This occurred even though the incident was known only to a very closed circle which included EI-Aziz, his wife, and Joseph. Among the people, the women were the, majority of those searching for the secrets of the houses and they were the most capable of uncovering these secrets and divulging them.
The incident of EI-Aziz soon became known among the women and became the subject of gossip.
Ladies said in the City:
"The wife of the (great) 'Aziz is seeking to seduce her slave. Truly hath he inspired her with violent love: we see she is evidently going astray." (Yusuf 30)When this gossip reached EI-Aziz and his wife, the wife thought long and hard on how to entrap these women who were gossiping about her. She prepared food and comfortable seating for them and she gave everyone of them a knife to use on their food. She then asked Joseph to appear amongst them while they were inattentive.
When Joseph came before them in his handsome appearance and presence, they without thinking cut their hands as they were looking at him. After having filled their eyes with the angelic appearance of Joseph, they realized that their wounds were bleeding. They then cried out from the depths of their hearts.
"â€¦Allah preserve us! No mortal is this! This is none other than a noble angel!"(Yusuf: 31) The women told her that she was not to be blamed or reproached after what they had seen. Joseph, peace and blessings be upon him, was endowed with a portion of beauty as has been proven in the narration of El-Isra (the ascension of the Prophet). The wife of EI- Aziz proved undoubtedly that Joseph was loved for his handsome appearance, mannerism, and morality. She confessed that she had sought to seduce him from his true self.
"There before you is the man about whom ye did blame me! I did seek to seduce him from his (true) self but he did firmly save himself guiltless!... And now, if he doth not my bidding, he shall certainly be cast into prison, and (what is more) be of the company of the vilest!" (Yusuf: 32)With this confession it can be seen that the children of Adam are fallible. This confirms that every soul hears evil whispers.
This obliges every Muslim to reconsider what has spread in our society today. Such as using servants, drivers, baby sitters, and maids in our homes. A Muslim should think and ponder over the evil and moral decay that the society will reap from such things.
And in the saying of the ladies;
"The wife of the (great) 'Aziz is seeking to seduce her slave..."(Yusuf: 30) The addition of EI-Aziz in this verse is to show the magnitude of the sinfulness of the incident. People are inclined to listen to the news of those in power.
We deduce from this, that anyone who is in a high position is required to care more about his reputation than others and is to be an example in every matter. But the righteous and God fearing Joseph, who was being prepared by Allah for his message, challenged the power of his lady lord by resorting to Allah to provide him with his mercy, care, and protection and to avert evil from him.
"0 my Lord! The prison is dearer to my liking than that to which they invite me: unless Thou turn away their snare from me, I should feel inclined towards them and join the ranks of the ignorant." (Yusuf: 33)The one who take refuge in Allah and comes under his protection and is truthful in his faith must get from Allah his request.
So his Lord hearkened to him (in his prayer) and turned away from him their snare: Verily He heareth and knoweth (all things). (Yusuf: 34)A Muslim should always seek refuge in Allah and pray with sincerity to Him. A Muslim should not take refuge in human beings like himself, even if such persons do manifest worldly power and strength. They, like himself, are powerless.
If a matter of Allah has already decreed, it cannot be advanced or delayed, and it cannot be repelled by evil or harm, except by the command of Allah.
Joseph chose prison to escape temptation (fitna). This was what Allah decreed in order to remove him from the temptation of the situation. In two Sahih Hadith, the Prophet (PBUH) said:
"There will be seven persons sheltered under the shade of Allah on the day of judgment and there will be no other shade but his shade. " They are:
- A just ruler.
- A young man who passes his youth in worship and service of Allah, the Lord of honor and glory.
- One whose heart is habitually attached to the Mosque.
- Two such persons who love each other for the sake of Allah. They join together for his sake and part for sake.
- A man who is invited for sin by a rich and beautiful woman but declines, saying, I fear Allah.
- One who gives charity in a secret way without making a show, in a way that his left hand does not know what his right hand spent.
- One who remembers Allah in solitude so that his eyes overflow with tears."
The next ordeal of Joseph was his imprisonment. It was plotted by the wife of El-Aziz herself, after of course, the Will of Allah.
The imprisonment of Joseph coincided with the imprisonment of two other young men. It is possible that the two young men were imprisoned with Joseph on the same day because of an incident that happened in the king's palace. So it was a good opportunity for Joseph to be imprisoned. In the midst of those incidents, fabricated accusations and calumnies could easily be leveled against those considered undesirable in order to get rid of them.
Truth imposes itself and knowledge lifts its holder high. Joseph was able to gain the confidence of his companions in prison by his high morality, character, thoughtful judgment and insight. He found solutions to their problems and was entrusted with their secrets. He took it upon himself to advise, guide and call them to monotheism. He also interpreted their dreams which often came to pass.
This is the way of a Muslim, the true Muslim. To be sublime in his affairs, and to take advantage of any opportunity to convey the message for the cause of Allah. A Muslim must have sincerity while conveying the message and be fully certain that Allah is the One beside whom there is no partner.
Now with him there came into prison two young men. One of them saying:
"I see myself (in a dream) pressing wine." Said the other: "I see myself (in a dream) carrying bread on my head, and birds are eating thereof. " "Tell us" (they said) "the truth and meaning thereof: for we see thou art one that doth good (to all)" (Yusuf: 36)He said:
"Because any food comes (in due course) to feed either of you I will surely reveal to you the truth and meaning of this ere it befall you. That is part of the (Duty) which my Lord hath taught me I have (I assure you) abandoned the ways of a people that believe not in Allah and that (even) deny the Hereafter.(Yusuf: 37)
"And I follow the ways of my fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; and never could we attribute any partners whatever to Allah: that (comes) of the grace of Allah to us and to mankind: yet most men are not grateful."(Yusuf: 38) "O my two companions. Of the prison! (I ask you): are man lords differing among themselves better, or Allah the One, supreme and irresistible?" (Yusuf: 39) "Whatever ye worship apart from Him. is nothing but names which ye have named, ye and your fathers, for which Allah hath sent down no authority: the Command is for none but Allah: He hath commanded that ye worship none but Him: that is the right religion, but most men understand not... (Yusuf: 40)
"O my two companions of the prison! As to one of you, he will pour out the wine for his lord to drink; as for the other, he will hang from the cross, and the birds will eat from off his head. (So) hath been decreed that matter whereof ye twain do inquire"...(Yusuf: 41)And of the two, to that one whom he considered about to be saved, he said: "Mention me to thy lord, but Satan made him forget to mention him to his lord: and (Joseph) lingered in prison a few (more) years." (Yusuf: 42) The king of Egypt saw a strange vision that confused and horrified him. This led him to gather all the magicians, soothsayers, and astrologers together. He told them what he had seen. He asked them to interpret the vision, but they were all unable to do so, as this was decreed by Allah.
Then one of the companions of Joseph, who was out of prison at that time told the king about the knowledge of Joseph in the interpretation of dreams. He asked the king to send him to the prison to seek the interpretation of the dream. With that came the release of Joseph from prison and relief from his problems.
Joseph then explained the vision of the king and then drew up a plan. This plan was to be followed in light of difficult circumstances which would soon engulf the country and people.
The king (of Egypt) said: I do see (in vision) seven fat kine, whom seven lean ones devour, and seven green ears of corn, and seven (others) withered. O ye chiefs! Expound to me my vision if it be that ye can interpret visions.
" they said: "A confused medley of dreams: and we are not skilled in the interpretation of dreams." (Yusuf: 43-44)But the man who had been released, one of the two (who had been in prison) and who now remembered him after (so long) a space of time, said:
"I will tell you the truth of its interpretation: Send ye me (therefore)." (Yusuf: 45)"Oh Joseph! " (he said) "Oh man of truth! Expound to us (the dream) of seven fat kine whom seven lean ones devour, and of seven green ears of corn and (seven) others withered: That I may return to the people, and that they may know." (Yusuf: 46) (Joseph) said: "For seven years shall ye diligently sow as is your wont: and the harvest that ye reap, ye shall leave them in the ear, except a little, of which ye shall eat." (Yusuf: 47) "Then will come after that (period) seven dreadful (years), which will devour what ye shall have laid by in advance for diem, (All) except a little which ye shall have (specially) guarded." (Yusuf: 48) "Then will come after that (period) a year in which the people will have abundant water, and in which they will press (wine and oil)." (Yusuf: 49) The king was convinced of the interpretation of his vision. He admired the knowledge of the interpreter, Joseph, and his opinion on the effective course of action to face the forthcoming difficult circumstances. So the king said:
"Bring ye him unto me"
But Joseph refused the King's invitation. The joy of freedom did not preoccupy his mind from requesting investigation of the reason for his imprisonment to prove publicly his innocence. He wanted to regain his dignity and clear his name to those who thought ill of him. Therefore Joseph said to the King's messenger:
"Go thou back to thy lord, and ask him, 'What was the matter with the ladies who cut their hands?â€ť For my Lord is certainly well aware of their snare."(Yusuf: 50) The true believer does not fear reproach in the cause of truth and the innocent hand does not fear to be cut off. The dedication to achieve a good reputation and to live with honor and dignity without any sense of servility and humiliation is the way of a Muslim and his motto.
The request of the imprisoned Joseph struck the ears of the King as a thunder bolt and caused him to recall the incidence from the beginning. He, therefore, ordered an investigation and the involved ladies were question again.
(The king) said (to the ladies): "What was your affair when ye did seed to seduce Joseph?"
The ladies could find only the true answer that could no longer be hidden.
The ladies said: "Allah preserve us! No evil know we against him! Said the 'Aziz's wife: "Now is the truth manifest (to all): it was I who sought to seduce him he is indeed of those who are (ever) true (and virtuous)."(Yusuf: 51)All testified to the purity, chastity, and good morality of Joseph.Â Even the wife of El-Aziz could not but join in the testimony.Â She came out of her embarrassment and sobriety to admit beyond any doubt that she was the one who tried to seduce him as has been mentioned in the verse.
A right with a seeker is never lost. The right to justice that Joseph had lost was regained as a result of his insistence and desire to commit it and to prove it. Thus every right regained if its seeker is truthful and sincere in trying to regain it.
Joseph got out of prison after being proven innocent of that heinous accusation and stood before the king confidently with his head held high. The king was attracted by his speech, the integrity of his opinion, and his eloquence and allowed him the opportunity to stay in his palace.
Therefore when he had spoken to him, he said: "Be assured this day, thou art of high standing with us, invested with all trust." (Yusuf: 54)
Joseph chose the most suitable job which he was most capable of handling and organizing.
This was possible because he was fully acquainted with his own abilities.
"Set me over the store houses of the land: I am a good keeper, knowledgeable." (Yusuf: 55)Because Egypt was to received seven years of fertility to be followed by seven years of famine, there had to be strictness, effective management, and careful planning of resources. Thus Joseph (in the previous verse) placed his role as a guardian before his knowledge. Guardianship may be sufficient without knowledge in the above circumstances. Whereas if knowledge is utilized without guardianship, good will not be achieved in such circumstance.
The solution of some matters requires knowledge, others require experience. Some cannot dispense with either knowledge or experience. In this is a clarification of the relationship between a Muslim, his work, and his position. A Muslim needs to choose what suits his inclinations and desires in so far as he is able to do so. And in doing so, it is permissible for him to praise himself and reveal his qualifications if people are ignorant of them as our Prophet Yusuf (peace and blessings be upon him) did.
With every hardship there is relief and this is confirmed by the saying of Allah the exalted:
"So verily, with every difficulty there is relief: Verily with every difficulty there is relief." (Al-Inshirah: 5-6)One difficulty cannot defeat two reliefs as the messenger of Allah said. To the true believers, the end of fate is to felicity and goodness.
Later, after imprisonment, chastisement, mental and physical humiliation, Joseph was promoted to a position with a high social status.
Thus did We give establish power to Joseph in the land, to take possession therein as, when, or where he pleased. We bestow of Our mercy on whom We please, and We suffer not, to be lost, the reward of those who do good."
"But verily the reward of the Hereafter is the best, for those who believe, and are constant in righteousness." (Yusuf: 56-57)If the righteous and God fearing believer cannot achieve felicity, goodness and happiness in this world will surely achieve them in the Hereafter. Hence, a Muslim must increase his trust and confidence in his Creator and do what is pleasing to his Lord in all spheres of his life.
Joseph's interpretation of the king's vision was fulfilled as the seven fertile years passed and were followed by seven years of famine which engulfed the whole country.
Egypt, due to the skilled management and wise guardian of Joseph, had stored enough during the 1st seven fertile years and was fully prepared for the coming event. This action guaranteed Egypt's prosperity so much so that Egypt became the land to which travelers would come seeking provisions and supplies. Among those who came seeking provisions were Joseph's brothers.
Then came Joseph's brethren: they entered his presence, and he knew them, but they knew him not.Â (Yusuf: 58)They did not know him because they neither expected to meet him again nor did they ever expect that he would hold such a high position as the man who was standing in front of them held.
Joseph worked out a trick to ensure that they would come back to Egypt again and again. He talked to them and obtained some news about them. He then confirmed to them that he would not give them their measure of corn again until they brought their brother Benjamin to confirm the authenticity of the information which they had told him.
Because he trusted their honesty and their father's honesty, he left their I stock which they brought in exchange for the goods they receive in their saddle bags. This was done to make them think that it was placed there by mistake. Thus, encouraging them to return to Egypt to bring the stock back to him even if they did not intend to return for additional provisions.
And when he had furnished them forth with provisions (suitable) for them, he said:
"Bring unto me a brother ye have, of the same father as yourselves, (but a different mother): See ye not that I pay out full measure, and that I do provide the best hospitality?" (Yusuf: 59)"Now if ye bring him not to me, ye shall have no measure (of corn) from me, nor shall ye (even) come near me." (Yusuf: 60) They said:
"We shall try to win him from his father: Indeed we shall do it."(Yusuf: 61)
And (Joseph) told his servants to put their stock trade (with which they had bartered) into their saddle-bags, so they should know it only when they returned to their people, in order that they might come back.(Yusuf: 62) They went back to their father with this ominous news to seek his agreement in allowing their brother to accompany them.
They would use this piece of news as a weapon in their psychological war with their father.
Now 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, that we may get our measure; and we will indeed take every care of him." (Yusuf: 63)Prophet Jacob could only but yield to their request, especially after they had said:
"O our father! What (more can we desire? This our stock trade has been returned to us: so we shall get (more) food for our family; we shall take care of our brother; and add (at the same time) a full camel's load (of grain to our provisions). This is but a small quantity."(Yusuf: 65) This shows us that if a Muslim is provided with proof and evidence during an argument, he should believe and be convinced. He is not to deal with others with suspicion and ill feeling. With this view of dependence and trust in Allah, Jacob took an oath from his sons to bring back their brother unless a matter beyond their power or control befell them. Hence, showing his belief in destiny, its good and its evil. With the kind and merciful heart of an ailing faithful father, Jacob advised his sons prior to their departure. He advised them with that which would benefit them and protect them from evil. And in the ligth of understanding the rule of adopting causes and taking precautions, Jacob advised them with the following:
Further he said:
"O my sons! Enter not all by one gate: enter ye by different gates. Not that I can profit you ought against Allah (with my advice): None can command except Allah: On Him do I put my trust: and let all that trust put their trust on Him." (Yusuf: 67)The sons implemented this advice and entered from where their father commanded. Joseph introduced himself to his brother and asked him to hide this secret until the time came to divulge it. He then confined his brother from among them to let them face a tough ordeal as they had given their father a strong oath to keep and return their brother. The retribution meted out to them was the same kind meted to Joseph. Once they gave their father an oath to take care of Joseph, but they had deliberately and willingly betrayed their trust with their own hands.
They had lost Joseph deliberately and here again they would lose their brother Benjamin whom they had been entrusted with and even had taken an oath to his care and safety. But this time it was not deliberate. However innocent they were this time, as they had no control over the events, with regard to loosing their brother, their first previous wrongful action with Joseph is now causing them the punishment which they had thus far been able to escape. Thus, justice will eventually settle its debts with people. If a culprit escapes its grip for a certain crime without being punished. Later he may be accused of a crime for which he is innocent. Then he will receive the retribution for the crime which he had committed earlier and did not get his due punishment.
The plan of Joseph was to place the great beaker of the King from which he drank into his brothers' saddle bags. When they had traveled some distance, he chased them and called upon them:
"O ye (in) the Caravan! Behold! ye are thieves, without doubt! Said, turning towards them: 'What is it that ye miss?"(Yusuf. 70-71) They said: "We miss the great beaker of the king; for him who produces it, is (the reward of) a camel load; I will be bound by it." (Yusuf: 72) (The brothers) said: "By Allah! Well ye know that we came not to make mischief in the land, and we are no thieves!" (Yusuf: 73) (The Egyptians) said:
"What then shall be the penalty of this, if ye are (proved) to have lied?" (Yusuf: 74)They said:
"The penalty should be that he in whose saddle bag it is found, should be held (as bondman) to atone for the (crime). Thus it is we punish the wrong doers!" (Yusuf: 75)"So he began (die search) with their baggage, before (he came to) the baggage of his brother: at length he brought it out of his brother's baggage. Thus did We plan for Joseph. He could not take his brother by the law of the king except that Allah willed it (so). We raise to degrees (of wisdom) whom we please; but over all endued with knowledge is One, the All Knowing." (Yusuf: 76) A Muslim should always be ready and prepared for any matter and he does not hold accountable anyone except the offender.
"No bearer of burdens can bear the burden of another."(Al-Israa: 15) He believes that no matter how far he has reached through knowledge, high status, or prestige in the sight of people, there are still above his knowledge many steps and above these steps, other steps until they all pour into the infinity of divine knowledge. Therefore a Muslim should not become self conceited by his knowledge or boast about his understanding, but rather he should humble himself truly believing the saying of the Exalted:
"Of knowledge it is only a little that is communicated to you, (O men!)" (Al-Israa: 85)
The sons of Jacob were at a loss when the accusation struck them and they realized that their brother was trapped. They could not find anything with which to defend themselves except separating themselves from the strong relationship between them and their brother.
"If he steals, there was a brother of his who did steal before (him)â€¦"(Yusuf: 77)
The two brothers, Joseph and Benjamin were only their brothers from their father's side. Their mothers were different. Joseph heard this accusation leveled at him and his brother.
â€śâ€¦But these things did Joseph keep locked in his heart, revealing not the secrets to them."(Yusuf: 77) He was not over-pressing a man of haste as he gathered the proofs and evidence that would eventually end the matter and find the culprit. The culprit would be presented with his full record, so clear and precise that he could not evade full confession, remorse, pardon, and repentance to achieve reformation.
Joseph's brothers pleaded strongly to take one of them in the place of Benjamin and to have mercy on their father.
But Joseph responded: He said:
"Allah forbid that we take other than him with whom we found our property: indeed (if we did so), we should be acting wrongfully.â€ť (Yusuf: 79)It is not righteous to capture the innocent in the place of the guilty. This constitutes an injustice which is not in line at all with righteousness.
When the sons of Jacob could not find a way to get Joseph to release their brother from bondage, they got together and discussed their plight. The eldest son became grieved, worried and embarrassed to meet his father due to his feelings of responsibility with regard to his negligence of his two brothers, Joseph and Benjamin, and said:
"Therefore will I not leave this land until my father permits me, or Allah judges for me; and He is the best to judge."(Yusuf: 80) The rest of the brothers returned to their father and told him what had happened.
"Turn ye back to your father, and say, 'O our father! Behold! Thy son committed theft! We bear witness only to what we know, and we could not well guard against the unseen!â€ť Yusuf(: 81)
"Ask at the town where we have been and the caravan in which we returned, and (you will find) we are indeed telling the truth." (Yusuf: 82)
Look at how the truth makes its holder speak. The speech was that of one confident in himself; one not requiring proofs or evidence, nor lots of swearing, blabbing, wrong doing, or arguments to cover up his position.
A believer is not stung on the same spot twice. Hence we find Jacob receiving this piece of news with doubt of their truthfulness.
"Nay, but ye have yourselves contrived a story (good enough) for you so patience is most fitting (for me)â€¦"(Yusuf: 83)And he spoke in the language of a true sincere believer who fully trusted in his Lord's justice.
"â€¦So patience is most fitting (to me) may be Allah will bring them (back) to me (in the end). For He is indeed full of knowledge and wisdom."(Yusuf: 83) That is how he trusted in his Lord and hoped for his bounties and blessings. Jacob turned away from his sons with great suffering of grief, distress and the pain of separation from his sons. When his sons noticed that they said: "Father, have mercy on yourself."
"By Allah! (Never) wilt thou cease to remember Joseph until thou reach the last extremity of illness, or until thou die!" (Yusuf: 85)He answered them saying:
"I only complain of my distraction and anguish to Allah, and I know from Allah that which ye know not." (Yusuf: 86)"O my sons! Go ye and inquire about Joseph and his brother, and never give up hope of Allah's Soothing Mercy: truly no one despairs of Allah's Soothing Mercy, except those who have no faith." (Yusuf: 87)
A true believer resorts only to Allah. He does not complain except to Him. He stands at his door seeking his grace. He is a true believer who trusts in his Lord without any despair. Despair is a form of suspicion of Allah and the unbeliever is the only one who suspects Allah as he doesn't fully know Him or believe in Him.
Joseph's brothers returned to Egypt as it was must for them to return for provisions and supplies. There was also the matter of their eldest brother who took an oath upon himself not to return until his father gave him permission or whatever Allah decreed. Also, there was their brother who was taken forcefully from them.
They went to Joseph asking for his provisions and charity. They explained their condition, the conditions of their family, and father after the absence of their brother who was captured there. The heart of Joseph was full of tenderness, sympathy, compassion, and eagerness for his brothers and his family. The time for divulging his secret finally came. He asked them:
"Know ye how ye dealt with Joseph and his brother, not knowing (what ye were doing)?"(Yusuf: 89)This question stiffed up surprise and astonishment in them for they were the only ones along with Joseph who new the secret.
Hence they all called out:
"Art thou indeed Joseph?" He said, "I am Joseph, and this is my brother: Allah has indeed been gracious to us (all): behold, he that is righteous, never will Allah suffer the reward to be lost, of those who do right." (Yusuf. 90)The response of Joseph was a tough lesson to be learned by his brothers in dealing with others without envy or jealousy. Everyone is destined for that which he has been created for. His brothers were remorseful and heartbroken at what they had done. They confessed to their sin saying:
"By Allah! Indeed has Allah preferred thee above us, and we certainly have been guilty of sin!â€ť (Yusuf: 91)Joseph forgave them saying:
"This day let no reproach be (cast) on you, Allah will forgive you and He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy!" (Yusuf: 92)This was a day of pardon, forgiveness and repentance. A day of reunion, hugging, love, serenity, mercy and repentance. It was the forgiveness, festival where blame and reproach were absent, only forgiveness, satisfaction and repentance were there.
Joseph then gave an order which was instantly followed:
"Go with this my shirt, and cast it over the face of my father: he will come to see (clearly). Then come ye (here) to me together with all your family.(Yusuf: 93) What a shirt! It holds a great significance as it was the evidence presented by his brothers to prove that the wolf had devoured Joseph. It was their father's proof of their deceit. It presented also a clear proof to absolve Joseph of what he had been accused of. Finally, it was the cure to his father's loss of sight and the cure to his father's distress and grief.
The family was reunited and the honorable Joseph climbed up the throne and raised his parents high on it. His brothers stood before him peacefully and they all prostrated in praise and gratitude to Allah. Hence, Joseph's vision which he saw in his childhood was fulfilled.
And he raised his parents high on the throne and they fell down in prostration, (all) before him. He said:
"O my father! this is the fulfillment of my vision of old! Allah hath made it come true! He was indeed good to me when He took me out of prison and brought you (all here) out of the desert, (even) after Satan had sown enmity between me and my brothers." (Yusuf: 100)Glory be to Allah the Exalted in power, the Great and always true are His words.
"...But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you, But Allah knoweth, and ye know not."(Al-Baqara: 216)
Who could ever believer the events which befell Joseph? The casting of him into the well, the falling into the hands of the travelers, his selling in Egypt for the miserable price of a few dirhams, the plot of his lady lord and her plot with a group of ladies, and his imprisonment. Who thought or could put into his mind that these events were the woven strings of a throne or a crown for a new king. A king who was born from the conflicts and sat on that great throne and was magnificently crowned. All of that could not come into being without the decree of the Powerful and the All Mighty Allah.
Verily, when He intends a thing, His Command is, "Be", and it is!"(Ya Sin: 82) Allah holds the causes with his mercy and decrees events with his command which then flow with his wisdom.
Status, prestige and abundant 'bounties did not make Joseph forget the Bestower of bounties and the King of kings, in whose hands are everything. Joseph saw that it was incumbent upon him to be grateful to Allah, the Exalted, what he had showered him with. Hence he turned to him in prayer:
"O my Lord! Thou hast indeed bestowed on me some power, and taught me something of the interpretation of dreams, O thou Creator of the heavens and the earth! Thou art my Protector in this world and in the Hereafter. Take Thou my soul (at death) as one submitting to Thy Will (as a Muslim), and unite me with the righteous."(Yusuf: 101) A Muslim should realize that the actions of this life are the provisions for the Hereafter. Toward this he should zealously prepare himself. Miserable is the one who does not prepare.
Looking closely at this story and pondering over it will reveal that it constitutes a victory for morality and virtue, and a defeat for whims and carnal desires. A victory for forgiveness and pardon and a defeat for jealousy and envy. It also reveals the strength and weakness of human beings. The strength, if a human being returns to the power of his mind and listens to the inspiration of his conscience and if he knows the limits of his humanity and feels wholeheartedly that he is no more than Allah's creature on earth. That he is one who has been created to rule and govern by what Allah has prescribed. And if in his weakness, if he surrenders to his whims and carnal desires and hands over his will to his evil whispering soul he is destine for destruction. This picture is clearly manifested to those who witness it.
There is, in their stories, instruction for men endued with understanding. It is not a tale invented, but a confirmation of what went before it, a detailed exposition of all things, and a Guide and a Mercy to any such as believe.(Yusuf: 111)
MORAL ASPECT OF THE STORY OF YUSUF
The events and the characters of this story backed the positive and negative aspects in the life of a human being with morality and strength of character. The Muslim youth has to choose the straight way for himself. Allah spoke the truth when He said:
"We showed him the Way: whether he be grateful or ungrateful."(Insan or Ad-Dahr: 3) The moral aspects of Islam that this story has manifested are:
- Seeking help from those who are knowledgeable and experienced. Others maybe more knowledgeable and capable than you in solving your problems.
Behold, Joseph said to his father:
"O my father! I did see eleven stars and sun the moon: I saw them prostrate themselves to Me!" (Yusuf: 4)
"Truly Joseph and his brother are loved more by our father than we: but we are a goodly body! Really our father is obviously in error!" (Yusuf: 8)"Slay ye Joseph or cast him out to some (unknown) land, that so the favor of your father may be given to you alone: (There will be time enough) for you to be righteous after that!" (Yusuf: 9)Â
They stained his shirt with false blood. He said:
"Nay, but your minds have made up a tale (that may pass ) with you, (for me) patience is most fitting: against that which ye assert, it is Allah (alone) whose help can be sought." (Yusuf: 18)
"The (Brethren) sold him for a miserable price, for a few dirhams counted out: in such low estimation did they hold him!" (Yusuf: 20)
This was the view held by the people of the caravan, but the one who bought him in Egypt realized his value and virtue.
"The man in Egypt who bought him, said to his wife: "Make his stay (among us) honorable: may be he will bring us much good, or we shall adopt him as a son."(Yusuf: 21)
But she in whose house he was, sought to seduce him and she fastened the doors, and said: "Now come," He said: "Allah forbid! Truly (thy husband) is my lord! He made my sojourn agreeable! Truly to no good come those who do wrong! " (Yusuf: 23)
So when he saw his shirt, - that was torn at the back, (her husband) said: "Behold! It is a snare of you women! Truly, mighty is your snare!"(Yusuf: 28) "O Joseph, pass this over! (O wife), ask forgiveness for thy sin, for truly thou hast been at fault!" (Yusuf: 29)
He said: "O my Lord! The prison is dearer to my liking than that to which they invite me: unless Thou turn away their snare from me, I should feel inclined towards them and join the ranks of the ignorant."(Yusuf: 33) He said:
"I only complain of my distraction and anguish to Allah, and I know from Allah that which ye know not." (Yusuf: 86)
"O my two companions, of the prison! (I ask you): Are many lords differing among themselves better, or Allah the One, Supreme and Irresistible?"(Yusuf: 39) Whatever ye worship apart from Him is nothing but names which ye have named, ye and your fathers, for which Allah hath sent down no authority: the Command is for none but Allah: He hath commanded that ye worship none but Him: that is the right religion, but most men understand not." (Yusuf: 40)
But the man who had been released, one of the two (who had been in prison) and who now remembered him after (so long) a space of time, said: "I will tell you the truth of its interpretation; send ye me (therefore)."(Yusuf: 45) "O Joseph! " Expound to us (the dream) of seven fat kine whom seven lean ones devour, and of seven green ears of corn and (seven) others withered: that I may return to the people, and that they may know." (Yusuf: 46) Joseph responded to his former companion without harshness or reprimanding, even though the companion failed to mention Joseph to his master sooner. Joseph designed a plan for his companion to deal with the coming event in a manner that would not chock him. Moreover his words to his brothers after facing them.
"This day let no reproach be (cast) on you: Allah will forgive you, and He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy! "(Yusuf: 92)
So the king said:
"Bring ye him unto me. " But when the messenger came to him, (Joseph) said: "Go thou back to thy lord, and ask him what was the matter with the ladies who cut their hands?â€ť For my Lord is certainly well aware of their snare."(Yusuf: 50)
(The king) said (to the ladies):
"What was your affair when ye did seek to seduce Joseph?" The ladies said: "Allah preserve us! no evil know we against him! " Said the Aziz's wife: "Now is the truth manifest (to All): it was I who sought to seduce him he is indeed of those who are (ever) true and virtuous)." (Yusuf: 51)
"So the king said: "Bring him unto me; I will take him specially to serve about my own person." Therefore when he had spoken to him, he said: "Be assured this day thou art of high standing with us, invested with all trust."(Yusuf: 54)
"Set me over the store-houses of the land: I am a good keeper, knowledgeable." (Yusuf: 55)
"And (Joseph) told his servants to put their stock-in- trade (with which they had bartered) into their saddle bags, so they should know it only when they returned to their people, in order that they might come back."(Yusuf: 62) So Joseph placed their stock in their saddle bags to secure their return.
Further he said:
"O my sons! Enter not all by one gate: enter ye by different gates. Not that I can profit you ought against Allah (with my advice): None can command except Allah: on Him do I put my trust: and let all that trust, put their trust on Him."(Yusuf: 67)
"When Joseph attained his full manhood, We gave him power and knowledge: thus do We reward those who do right." (Yusuf: 22)
"â€¦We raise to degrees (of wisdom) whom We please: but over all endued with knowledge is One, the All Knowing."(Yusuf: 76)
"Go with this my shirt, and cast it over the face of my father: he will come to see (clearly). Then come ye (here) to me together with all your family."(Yusuf: 93) In Joseph's position towards his family, Allah says:
Then when they entered the presence of Joseph, He provided a home for his parents with himself, and said:
"Enter ye Egypt (all) in safety if it please Allah." (Yusuf: 99)"And he raised his parents high on the throne and they fell down in prostration, (all) before him." (Yusuf: 100)
"O my father! this is The fulfillment of my vision of old! Allah hath made it come true! He was indeed good to me when He took me out of prison and brought you (all here) out of the desert, (even) after Satan had sown enmity between me and my brothers. Verily my Lord is gracious. Allah to whom He wills for verily He is full of knowledge and wisdom." (Yusuf: 100)18. The confession of sin and seeking repentance from Allah with the realization that infallibility is for Allah alone.
Said the Aziz's wife:
"Now is the truth manifest (to all): it was I who sought to seduce him he is indeed of those who are (ever) true (and virtuous)."(Yusuf: 51)Moreover, the confession of Joseph's brothers after he divulged the secret of his true self to them.
"By Allah! Indeed has Allah preferred thee above us, and we certainly have been guilty of sin!â€ť (Yusuf: 91)Peace be upon the Muslim youths who abide by the injunctions and commands of Allah everywhere and who follow the Islamic Law by applying its teachings and principles at all times.
Finally, this has been a cursory glance into Sura Yusuf as it has been related in the Holy Qur'an. I don't claim that it has covered all aspects of the story. It is impossible for me or anyone else to do so. For the Qur'an is an inexhaustible spring. Hence some scholars have said: "The knowledge of the science of Tafsir or Commentary is still a deep sea in which one needs to delve to bring out its invaluable treasures and deduce its wonders and secrets."
The scholars are still standing at its coast sipping from its pure spring and never get satiated. Who is able with his knowledge to encompass the words of the All Mighty, our Lord, the Exalted in Power? Who can perceive its secrets, its nuances, its miracles or allege that he has reached perfection?
Success is from Allah. In Him alone I trust and to Him I turn in repentance.
1. THE HOLY QUR'AN: Text, English Translation of the Meanings and Commentary, Revised & Edited by THE PRESIDENCY OF ISLAMIC RESEARCHES, IFTA, CALL AND GUIDANCE.
2. Al-Mojam Al-Mufahras Li'Alfath Al Qur'anÂ
(The indexed dictionary for Al Qur'an expressions) by Moh'd Foua Abdul Baqi.
3. Safwat Al Tafseer by Moh'd Ali Al-Sabooni.
4. Tayseer Al-Ali AlQadeer Li Ikhtisar Tafseer Ibn Katheer by Moh'd Naseeb Al-Refa'i.
5. Al-Qassas Al-Qur'ani by Adbul Karim Al-Kateeb
6. Al-Shabab Fi Sanatuhum Al-Duwaliyyah
(Youth in their International Year)Â
An Article by Mosa Al-Samadi in the Jordanian Opinion Newspaper.
7. Al Shabab Fi Al-Turath
Al-Islami (Youth In The Islamic Culture)Â
by Al-Ghazali Harb (Article in Al-Darah Magazine No. 3, Year 10).
I apologize for not mentioning the references within this document. This is due to the fact that my work here was intended to be given as a lecture (and not as a published document). However, I have indicated above the references I've used. These references share the credit for the work I've done here.
Dr. Mahmood Shakir Saeed
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