Surah yousuf In Arabic
الر ۚ تِلْكَ آيَاتُ الْكِتَابِ الْمُبِينِ ﴿1﴾ إِنَّا أَنْزَلْنَاهُ قُرْآنًا عَرَبِيًّا لَعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ ﴿2﴾ نَحْنُ نَقُصُّ عَلَيْكَ أَحْسَنَ الْقَصَصِ بِمَا أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ هَٰذَا الْقُرْآنَ وَإِنْ كُنْتَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِ لَمِنَ الْغَافِلِينَ ﴿3﴾ إِذْ قَالَ يُوسُفُ لِأَبِيهِ يَا أَبَتِ إِنِّي رَأَيْتُ أَحَدَ عَشَرَ كَوْكَبًا وَالشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ رَأَيْتُهُمْ لِي سَاجِدِينَ ﴿4﴾ قَالَ يَا بُنَيَّ لَا تَقْصُصْ رُؤْيَاكَ عَلَىٰ إِخْوَتِكَ فَيَكِيدُوا لَكَ كَيْدًا ۖ إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ لِلْإِنْسَانِ عَدُوٌّ مُبِينٌ ﴿5﴾ وَكَذَٰلِكَ يَجْتَبِيكَ رَبُّكَ وَيُعَلِّمُكَ مِنْ تَأْوِيلِ الْأَحَادِيثِ وَيُتِمُّ نِعْمَتَهُ عَلَيْكَ وَعَلَىٰ آلِ يَعْقُوبَ كَمَا أَتَمَّهَا عَلَىٰ أَبَوَيْكَ مِنْ قَبْلُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْحَاقَ ۚ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ ﴿6﴾ لَقَدْ كَانَ فِي يُوسُفَ وَإِخْوَتِهِ آيَاتٌ لِلسَّائِلِينَ ﴿7﴾ إِذْ قَالُوا لَيُوسُفُ وَأَخُوهُ أَحَبُّ إِلَىٰ أَبِينَا مِنَّا وَنَحْنُ عُصْبَةٌ إِنَّ أَبَانَا لَفِي ضَلَالٍ مُبِينٍ ﴿8﴾ اقْتُلُوا يُوسُفَ أَوِ اطْرَحُوهُ أَرْضًا يَخْلُ لَكُمْ وَجْهُ أَبِيكُمْ وَتَكُونُوا مِنْ بَعْدِهِ قَوْمًا صَالِحِينَ ﴿9﴾ قَالَ قَائِلٌ مِنْهُمْ لَا تَقْتُلُوا يُوسُفَ وَأَلْقُوهُ فِي غَيَابَتِ الْجُبِّ يَلْتَقِطْهُ بَعْضُ السَّيَّارَةِ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ فَاعِلِينَ ﴿10﴾ قَالُوا يَا أَبَانَا مَا لَكَ لَا تَأْمَنَّا عَلَىٰ يُوسُفَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَنَاصِحُونَ ﴿11﴾ أَرْسِلْهُ مَعَنَا غَدًا يَرْتَعْ وَيَلْعَبْ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ ﴿12﴾ قَالَ إِنِّي لَيَحْزُنُنِي أَنْ تَذْهَبُوا بِهِ وَأَخَافُ أَنْ يَأْكُلَهُ الذِّئْبُ وَأَنْتُمْ عَنْهُ غَافِلُونَ ﴿13﴾ قَالُوا لَئِنْ أَكَلَهُ الذِّئْبُ وَنَحْنُ عُصْبَةٌ إِنَّا إِذًا لَخَاسِرُونَ ﴿14﴾ فَلَمَّا ذَهَبُوا بِهِ وَأَجْمَعُوا أَنْ يَجْعَلُوهُ فِي غَيَابَتِ الْجُبِّ ۚ وَأَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْهِ لَتُنَبِّئَنَّهُمْ بِأَمْرِهِمْ هَٰذَا وَهُمْ لَا يَشْعُرُونَ ﴿15﴾ وَجَاءُوا أَبَاهُمْ عِشَاءً يَبْكُونَ ﴿16﴾ قَالُوا يَا أَبَانَا إِنَّا ذَهَبْنَا نَسْتَبِقُ وَتَرَكْنَا يُوسُفَ عِنْدَ مَتَاعِنَا فَأَكَلَهُ الذِّئْبُ ۖ وَمَا أَنْتَ بِمُؤْمِنٍ لَنَا وَلَوْ كُنَّا صَادِقِينَ ﴿17﴾ وَجَاءُوا عَلَىٰ قَمِيصِهِ بِدَمٍ كَذِبٍ ۚ قَالَ بَلْ سَوَّلَتْ لَكُمْ أَنْفُسُكُمْ أَمْرًا ۖ فَصَبْرٌ جَمِيلٌ ۖ وَاللَّهُ الْمُسْتَعَانُ عَلَىٰ مَا تَصِفُونَ ﴿18﴾ وَجَاءَتْ سَيَّارَةٌ فَأَرْسَلُوا وَارِدَهُمْ فَأَدْلَىٰ دَلْوَهُ ۖ قَالَ يَا بُشْرَىٰ هَٰذَا غُلَامٌ ۚ وَأَسَرُّوهُ بِضَاعَةً ۚ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ بِمَا يَعْمَلُونَ ﴿19﴾ وَشَرَوْهُ بِثَمَنٍ بَخْسٍ دَرَاهِمَ مَعْدُودَةٍ وَكَانُوا فِيهِ مِنَ الزَّاهِدِينَ ﴿20﴾ وَقَالَ الَّذِي اشْتَرَاهُ مِنْ مِصْرَ لِامْرَأَتِهِ أَكْرِمِي مَثْوَاهُ عَسَىٰ أَنْ يَنْفَعَنَا أَوْ نَتَّخِذَهُ وَلَدًا ۚ وَكَذَٰلِكَ مَكَّنَّا لِيُوسُفَ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلِنُعَلِّمَهُ مِنْ تَأْوِيلِ الْأَحَادِيثِ ۚ وَاللَّهُ غَالِبٌ عَلَىٰ أَمْرِهِ وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ ﴿21﴾ وَلَمَّا بَلَغَ أَشُدَّهُ آتَيْنَاهُ حُكْمًا وَعِلْمًا ۚ وَكَذَٰلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُحْسِنِينَ ﴿22﴾ وَرَاوَدَتْهُ الَّتِي هُوَ فِي بَيْتِهَا عَنْ نَفْسِهِ وَغَلَّقَتِ الْأَبْوَابَ وَقَالَتْ هَيْتَ لَكَ ۚ قَالَ مَعَاذَ اللَّهِ ۖ إِنَّهُ رَبِّي أَحْسَنَ مَثْوَايَ ۖ إِنَّهُ لَا يُفْلِحُ الظَّالِمُونَ ﴿23﴾ وَلَقَدْ هَمَّتْ بِهِ ۖ وَهَمَّ بِهَا لَوْلَا أَنْ رَأَىٰ بُرْهَانَ رَبِّهِ ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ لِنَصْرِفَ عَنْهُ السُّوءَ وَالْفَحْشَاءَ ۚ إِنَّهُ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا الْمُخْلَصِينَ ﴿24﴾ وَاسْتَبَقَا الْبَابَ وَقَدَّتْ قَمِيصَهُ مِنْ دُبُرٍ وَأَلْفَيَا سَيِّدَهَا لَدَى الْبَابِ ۚ قَالَتْ مَا جَزَاءُ مَنْ أَرَادَ بِأَهْلِكَ سُوءًا إِلَّا أَنْ يُسْجَنَ أَوْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ ﴿25﴾ قَالَ هِيَ رَاوَدَتْنِي عَنْ نَفْسِي ۚ وَشَهِدَ شَاهِدٌ مِنْ أَهْلِهَا إِنْ كَانَ قَمِيصُهُ قُدَّ مِنْ قُبُلٍ فَصَدَقَتْ وَهُوَ مِنَ الْكَاذِبِينَ ﴿26﴾ وَإِنْ كَانَ قَمِيصُهُ قُدَّ مِنْ دُبُرٍ فَكَذَبَتْ وَهُوَ مِنَ الصَّادِقِينَ ﴿27﴾ فَلَمَّا رَأَىٰ قَمِيصَهُ قُدَّ مِنْ دُبُرٍ قَالَ إِنَّهُ مِنْ كَيْدِكُنَّ ۖ إِنَّ كَيْدَكُنَّ عَظِيمٌ ﴿28﴾ يُوسُفُ أَعْرِضْ عَنْ هَٰذَا ۚ وَاسْتَغْفِرِي لِذَنْبِكِ ۖ إِنَّكِ كُنْتِ مِنَ الْخَاطِئِينَ ﴿29﴾ وَقَالَ نِسْوَةٌ فِي الْمَدِينَةِ امْرَأَتُ الْعَزِيزِ تُرَاوِدُ فَتَاهَا عَنْ نَفْسِهِ ۖ قَدْ شَغَفَهَا حُبًّا ۖ إِنَّا لَنَرَاهَا فِي ضَلَالٍ مُبِينٍ ﴿30﴾ فَلَمَّا سَمِعَتْ بِمَكْرِهِنَّ أَرْسَلَتْ إِلَيْهِنَّ وَأَعْتَدَتْ لَهُنَّ مُتَّكَأً وَآتَتْ كُلَّ وَاحِدَةٍ مِنْهُنَّ سِكِّينًا وَقَالَتِ اخْرُجْ عَلَيْهِنَّ ۖ فَلَمَّا رَأَيْنَهُ أَكْبَرْنَهُ وَقَطَّعْنَ أَيْدِيَهُنَّ وَقُلْنَ حَاشَ لِلَّهِ مَا هَٰذَا بَشَرًا إِنْ هَٰذَا إِلَّا مَلَكٌ كَرِيمٌ ﴿31﴾ قَالَتْ فَذَٰلِكُنَّ الَّذِي لُمْتُنَّنِي فِيهِ ۖ وَلَقَدْ رَاوَدْتُهُ عَنْ نَفْسِهِ فَاسْتَعْصَمَ ۖ وَلَئِنْ لَمْ يَفْعَلْ مَا آمُرُهُ لَيُسْجَنَنَّ وَلَيَكُونًا مِنَ الصَّاغِرِينَ ﴿32﴾ قَالَ رَبِّ السِّجْنُ أَحَبُّ إِلَيَّ مِمَّا يَدْعُونَنِي إِلَيْهِ ۖ وَإِلَّا تَصْرِفْ عَنِّي كَيْدَهُنَّ أَصْبُ إِلَيْهِنَّ وَأَكُنْ مِنَ الْجَاهِلِينَ ﴿33﴾ فَاسْتَجَابَ لَهُ رَبُّهُ فَصَرَفَ عَنْهُ كَيْدَهُنَّ ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ ﴿34﴾ ثُمَّ بَدَا لَهُمْ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا رَأَوُا الْآيَاتِ لَيَسْجُنُنَّهُ حَتَّىٰ حِينٍ ﴿35﴾ وَدَخَلَ مَعَهُ السِّجْنَ فَتَيَانِ ۖ قَالَ أَحَدُهُمَا إِنِّي أَرَانِي أَعْصِرُ خَمْرًا ۖ وَقَالَ الْآخَرُ إِنِّي أَرَانِي أَحْمِلُ فَوْقَ رَأْسِي خُبْزًا تَأْكُلُ الطَّيْرُ مِنْهُ ۖ نَبِّئْنَا بِتَأْوِيلِهِ ۖ إِنَّا نَرَاكَ مِنَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ ﴿36﴾ قَالَ لَا يَأْتِيكُمَا طَعَامٌ تُرْزَقَانِهِ إِلَّا نَبَّأْتُكُمَا بِتَأْوِيلِهِ قَبْلَ أَنْ يَأْتِيَكُمَا ۚ ذَٰلِكُمَا مِمَّا عَلَّمَنِي رَبِّي ۚ إِنِّي تَرَكْتُ مِلَّةَ قَوْمٍ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَهُمْ بِالْآخِرَةِ هُمْ كَافِرُونَ ﴿37﴾ وَاتَّبَعْتُ مِلَّةَ آبَائِي إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْحَاقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ ۚ مَا كَانَ لَنَا أَنْ نُشْرِكَ بِاللَّهِ مِنْ شَيْءٍ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ مِنْ فَضْلِ اللَّهِ عَلَيْنَا وَعَلَى النَّاسِ وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَشْكُرُونَ ﴿38﴾ يَا صَاحِبَيِ السِّجْنِ أَأَرْبَابٌ مُتَفَرِّقُونَ خَيْرٌ أَمِ اللَّهُ الْوَاحِدُ الْقَهَّارُ ﴿39﴾ مَا تَعْبُدُونَ مِنْ دُونِهِ إِلَّا أَسْمَاءً سَمَّيْتُمُوهَا أَنْتُمْ وَآبَاؤُكُمْ مَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ بِهَا مِنْ سُلْطَانٍ ۚ إِنِ الْحُكْمُ إِلَّا لِلَّهِ ۚ أَمَرَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ ﴿40﴾ يَا صَاحِبَيِ السِّجْنِ أَمَّا أَحَدُكُمَا فَيَسْقِي رَبَّهُ خَمْرًا ۖ وَأَمَّا الْآخَرُ فَيُصْلَبُ فَتَأْكُلُ الطَّيْرُ مِنْ رَأْسِهِ ۚ قُضِيَ الْأَمْرُ الَّذِي فِيهِ تَسْتَفْتِيَانِ ﴿41﴾ وَقَالَ لِلَّذِي ظَنَّ أَنَّهُ نَاجٍ مِنْهُمَا اذْكُرْنِي عِنْدَ رَبِّكَ فَأَنْسَاهُ الشَّيْطَانُ ذِكْرَ رَبِّهِ فَلَبِثَ فِي السِّجْنِ بِضْعَ سِنِينَ ﴿42﴾ وَقَالَ الْمَلِكُ إِنِّي أَرَىٰ سَبْعَ بَقَرَاتٍ سِمَانٍ يَأْكُلُهُنَّ سَبْعٌ عِجَافٌ وَسَبْعَ سُنْبُلَاتٍ خُضْرٍ وَأُخَرَ يَابِسَاتٍ ۖ يَا أَيُّهَا الْمَلَأُ أَفْتُونِي فِي رُؤْيَايَ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ لِلرُّؤْيَا تَعْبُرُونَ ﴿43﴾ قَالُوا أَضْغَاثُ أَحْلَامٍ ۖ وَمَا نَحْنُ بِتَأْوِيلِ الْأَحْلَامِ بِعَالِمِينَ ﴿44﴾ وَقَالَ الَّذِي نَجَا مِنْهُمَا وَادَّكَرَ بَعْدَ أُمَّةٍ أَنَا أُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِتَأْوِيلِهِ فَأَرْسِلُونِ ﴿45﴾ يُوسُفُ أَيُّهَا الصِّدِّيقُ أَفْتِنَا فِي سَبْعِ بَقَرَاتٍ سِمَانٍ يَأْكُلُهُنَّ سَبْعٌ عِجَافٌ وَسَبْعِ سُنْبُلَاتٍ خُضْرٍ وَأُخَرَ يَابِسَاتٍ لَعَلِّي أَرْجِعُ إِلَى النَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ ﴿46﴾ قَالَ تَزْرَعُونَ سَبْعَ سِنِينَ دَأَبًا فَمَا حَصَدْتُمْ فَذَرُوهُ فِي سُنْبُلِهِ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا مِمَّا تَأْكُلُونَ ﴿47﴾ ثُمَّ يَأْتِي مِنْ بَعْدِ ذَٰلِكَ سَبْعٌ شِدَادٌ يَأْكُلْنَ مَا قَدَّمْتُمْ لَهُنَّ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا مِمَّا تُحْصِنُونَ ﴿48﴾ ثُمَّ يَأْتِي مِنْ بَعْدِ ذَٰلِكَ عَامٌ فِيهِ يُغَاثُ النَّاسُ وَفِيهِ يَعْصِرُونَ ﴿49﴾ وَقَالَ الْمَلِكُ ائْتُونِي بِهِ ۖ فَلَمَّا جَاءَهُ الرَّسُولُ قَالَ ارْجِعْ إِلَىٰ رَبِّكَ فَاسْأَلْهُ مَا بَالُ النِّسْوَةِ اللَّاتِي قَطَّعْنَ أَيْدِيَهُنَّ ۚ إِنَّ رَبِّي بِكَيْدِهِنَّ عَلِيمٌ ﴿50﴾ قَالَ مَا خَطْبُكُنَّ إِذْ رَاوَدْتُنَّ يُوسُفَ عَنْ نَفْسِهِ ۚ قُلْنَ حَاشَ لِلَّهِ مَا عَلِمْنَا عَلَيْهِ مِنْ سُوءٍ ۚ قَالَتِ امْرَأَتُ الْعَزِيزِ الْآنَ حَصْحَصَ الْحَقُّ أَنَا رَاوَدْتُهُ عَنْ نَفْسِهِ وَإِنَّهُ لَمِنَ الصَّادِقِينَ ﴿51﴾ ذَٰلِكَ لِيَعْلَمَ أَنِّي لَمْ أَخُنْهُ بِالْغَيْبِ وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَهْدِي كَيْدَ الْخَائِنِينَ ﴿52﴾
الجزء ﴿ 13 ﴾
وَمَا أُبَرِّئُ نَفْسِي ۚ إِنَّ النَّفْسَ لَأَمَّارَةٌ بِالسُّوءِ إِلَّا مَا رَحِمَ رَبِّي ۚ إِنَّ رَبِّي غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ ﴿53﴾ وَقَالَ الْمَلِكُ ائْتُونِي بِهِ أَسْتَخْلِصْهُ لِنَفْسِي ۖ فَلَمَّا كَلَّمَهُ قَالَ إِنَّكَ الْيَوْمَ لَدَيْنَا مَكِينٌ أَمِينٌ ﴿54﴾ قَالَ اجْعَلْنِي عَلَىٰ خَزَائِنِ الْأَرْضِ ۖ إِنِّي حَفِيظٌ عَلِيمٌ ﴿55﴾ وَكَذَٰلِكَ مَكَّنَّا لِيُوسُفَ فِي الْأَرْضِ يَتَبَوَّأُ مِنْهَا حَيْثُ يَشَاءُ ۚ نُصِيبُ بِرَحْمَتِنَا مَنْ نَشَاءُ ۖ وَلَا نُضِيعُ أَجْرَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ ﴿56﴾ وَلَأَجْرُ الْآخِرَةِ خَيْرٌ لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَكَانُوا يَتَّقُونَ ﴿57﴾ وَجَاءَ إِخْوَةُ يُوسُفَ فَدَخَلُوا عَلَيْهِ فَعَرَفَهُمْ وَهُمْ لَهُ مُنْكِرُونَ ﴿58﴾ وَلَمَّا جَهَّزَهُمْ بِجَهَازِهِمْ قَالَ ائْتُونِي بِأَخٍ لَكُمْ مِنْ أَبِيكُمْ ۚ أَلَا تَرَوْنَ أَنِّي أُوفِي الْكَيْلَ وَأَنَا خَيْرُ الْمُنْزِلِينَ ﴿59﴾ فَإِنْ لَمْ تَأْتُونِي بِهِ فَلَا كَيْلَ لَكُمْ عِنْدِي وَلَا تَقْرَبُونِ ﴿60﴾ قَالُوا سَنُرَاوِدُ عَنْهُ أَبَاهُ وَإِنَّا لَفَاعِلُونَ ﴿61﴾ وَقَالَ لِفِتْيَانِهِ اجْعَلُوا بِضَاعَتَهُمْ فِي رِحَالِهِمْ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَعْرِفُونَهَا إِذَا انْقَلَبُوا إِلَىٰ أَهْلِهِمْ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ ﴿62﴾ فَلَمَّا رَجَعُوا إِلَىٰ أَبِيهِمْ قَالُوا يَا أَبَانَا مُنِعَ مِنَّا الْكَيْلُ فَأَرْسِلْ مَعَنَا أَخَانَا نَكْتَلْ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ ﴿63﴾ قَالَ هَلْ آمَنُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ إِلَّا كَمَا أَمِنْتُكُمْ عَلَىٰ أَخِيهِ مِنْ قَبْلُ ۖ فَاللَّهُ خَيْرٌ حَافِظًا ۖ وَهُوَ أَرْحَمُ الرَّاحِمِينَ ﴿64﴾ وَلَمَّا فَتَحُوا مَتَاعَهُمْ وَجَدُوا بِضَاعَتَهُمْ رُدَّتْ إِلَيْهِمْ ۖ قَالُوا يَا أَبَانَا مَا نَبْغِي ۖ هَٰذِهِ بِضَاعَتُنَا رُدَّتْ إِلَيْنَا ۖ وَنَمِيرُ أَهْلَنَا وَنَحْفَظُ أَخَانَا وَنَزْدَادُ كَيْلَ بَعِيرٍ ۖ ذَٰلِكَ كَيْلٌ يَسِيرٌ ﴿65﴾ قَالَ لَنْ أُرْسِلَهُ مَعَكُمْ حَتَّىٰ تُؤْتُونِ مَوْثِقًا مِنَ اللَّهِ لَتَأْتُنَّنِي بِهِ إِلَّا أَنْ يُحَاطَ بِكُمْ ۖ فَلَمَّا آتَوْهُ مَوْثِقَهُمْ قَالَ اللَّهُ عَلَىٰ مَا نَقُولُ وَكِيلٌ ﴿66﴾ وَقَالَ يَا بَنِيَّ لَا تَدْخُلُوا مِنْ بَابٍ وَاحِدٍ وَادْخُلُوا مِنْ أَبْوَابٍ مُتَفَرِّقَةٍ ۖ وَمَا أُغْنِي عَنْكُمْ مِنَ اللَّهِ مِنْ شَيْءٍ ۖ إِنِ الْحُكْمُ إِلَّا لِلَّهِ ۖ عَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلْتُ ۖ وَعَلَيْهِ فَلْيَتَوَكَّلِ الْمُتَوَكِّلُونَ ﴿67﴾ وَلَمَّا دَخَلُوا مِنْ حَيْثُ أَمَرَهُمْ أَبُوهُمْ مَا كَانَ يُغْنِي عَنْهُمْ مِنَ اللَّهِ مِنْ شَيْءٍ إِلَّا حَاجَةً فِي نَفْسِ يَعْقُوبَ قَضَاهَا ۚ وَإِنَّهُ لَذُو عِلْمٍ لِمَا عَلَّمْنَاهُ وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ ﴿68﴾ وَلَمَّا دَخَلُوا عَلَىٰ يُوسُفَ آوَىٰ إِلَيْهِ أَخَاهُ ۖ قَالَ إِنِّي أَنَا أَخُوكَ فَلَا تَبْتَئِسْ بِمَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ ﴿69﴾ فَلَمَّا جَهَّزَهُمْ بِجَهَازِهِمْ جَعَلَ السِّقَايَةَ فِي رَحْلِ أَخِيهِ ثُمَّ أَذَّنَ مُؤَذِّنٌ أَيَّتُهَا الْعِيرُ إِنَّكُمْ لَسَارِقُونَ ﴿70﴾ قَالُوا وَأَقْبَلُوا عَلَيْهِمْ مَاذَا تَفْقِدُونَ ﴿71﴾ قَالُوا نَفْقِدُ صُوَاعَ الْمَلِكِ وَلِمَنْ جَاءَ بِهِ حِمْلُ بَعِيرٍ وَأَنَا بِهِ زَعِيمٌ ﴿72﴾ قَالُوا تَاللَّهِ لَقَدْ عَلِمْتُمْ مَا جِئْنَا لِنُفْسِدَ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَمَا كُنَّا سَارِقِينَ ﴿73﴾ قَالُوا فَمَا جَزَاؤُهُ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ كَاذِبِينَ ﴿74﴾ قَالُوا جَزَاؤُهُ مَنْ وُجِدَ فِي رَحْلِهِ فَهُوَ جَزَاؤُهُ ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ نَجْزِي الظَّالِمِينَ ﴿75﴾ فَبَدَأَ بِأَوْعِيَتِهِمْ قَبْلَ وِعَاءِ أَخِيهِ ثُمَّ اسْتَخْرَجَهَا مِنْ وِعَاءِ أَخِيهِ ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ كِدْنَا لِيُوسُفَ ۖ مَا كَانَ لِيَأْخُذَ أَخَاهُ فِي دِينِ الْمَلِكِ إِلَّا أَنْ يَشَاءَ اللَّهُ ۚ نَرْفَعُ دَرَجَاتٍ مَنْ نَشَاءُ ۗ وَفَوْقَ كُلِّ ذِي عِلْمٍ عَلِيمٌ ﴿76﴾ قَالُوا إِنْ يَسْرِقْ فَقَدْ سَرَقَ أَخٌ لَهُ مِنْ قَبْلُ ۚ فَأَسَرَّهَا يُوسُفُ فِي نَفْسِهِ وَلَمْ يُبْدِهَا لَهُمْ ۚ قَالَ أَنْتُمْ شَرٌّ مَكَانًا ۖ وَاللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا تَصِفُونَ ﴿77﴾ قَالُوا يَا أَيُّهَا الْعَزِيزُ إِنَّ لَهُ أَبًا شَيْخًا كَبِيرًا فَخُذْ أَحَدَنَا مَكَانَهُ ۖ إِنَّا نَرَاكَ مِنَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ ﴿78﴾ قَالَ مَعَاذَ اللَّهِ أَنْ نَأْخُذَ إِلَّا مَنْ وَجَدْنَا مَتَاعَنَا عِنْدَهُ إِنَّا إِذًا لَظَالِمُونَ ﴿79﴾ فَلَمَّا اسْتَيْأَسُوا مِنْهُ خَلَصُوا نَجِيًّا ۖ قَالَ كَبِيرُهُمْ أَلَمْ تَعْلَمُوا أَنَّ أَبَاكُمْ قَدْ أَخَذَ عَلَيْكُمْ مَوْثِقًا مِنَ اللَّهِ وَمِنْ قَبْلُ مَا فَرَّطْتُمْ فِي يُوسُفَ ۖ فَلَنْ أَبْرَحَ الْأَرْضَ حَتَّىٰ يَأْذَنَ لِي أَبِي أَوْ يَحْكُمَ اللَّهُ لِي ۖ وَهُوَ خَيْرُ الْحَاكِمِينَ ﴿80﴾ ارْجِعُوا إِلَىٰ أَبِيكُمْ فَقُولُوا يَا أَبَانَا إِنَّ ابْنَكَ سَرَقَ وَمَا شَهِدْنَا إِلَّا بِمَا عَلِمْنَا وَمَا كُنَّا لِلْغَيْبِ حَافِظِينَ ﴿81﴾ وَاسْأَلِ الْقَرْيَةَ الَّتِي كُنَّا فِيهَا وَالْعِيرَ الَّتِي أَقْبَلْنَا فِيهَا ۖ وَإِنَّا لَصَادِقُونَ ﴿82﴾ قَالَ بَلْ سَوَّلَتْ لَكُمْ أَنْفُسُكُمْ أَمْرًا ۖ فَصَبْرٌ جَمِيلٌ ۖ عَسَى اللَّهُ أَنْ يَأْتِيَنِي بِهِمْ جَمِيعًا ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْعَلِيمُ الْحَكِيمُ ﴿83﴾ وَتَوَلَّىٰ عَنْهُمْ وَقَالَ يَا أَسَفَىٰ عَلَىٰ يُوسُفَ وَابْيَضَّتْ عَيْنَاهُ مِنَ الْحُزْنِ فَهُوَ كَظِيمٌ ﴿84﴾ قَالُوا تَاللَّهِ تَفْتَأُ تَذْكُرُ يُوسُفَ حَتَّىٰ تَكُونَ حَرَضًا أَوْ تَكُونَ مِنَ الْهَالِكِينَ ﴿85﴾ قَالَ إِنَّمَا أَشْكُو بَثِّي وَحُزْنِي إِلَى اللَّهِ وَأَعْلَمُ مِنَ اللَّهِ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ ﴿86﴾ يَا بَنِيَّ اذْهَبُوا فَتَحَسَّسُوا مِنْ يُوسُفَ وَأَخِيهِ وَلَا تَيْأَسُوا مِنْ رَوْحِ اللَّهِ ۖ إِنَّهُ لَا يَيْأَسُ مِنْ رَوْحِ اللَّهِ إِلَّا الْقَوْمُ الْكَافِرُونَ ﴿87﴾ فَلَمَّا دَخَلُوا عَلَيْهِ قَالُوا يَا أَيُّهَا الْعَزِيزُ مَسَّنَا وَأَهْلَنَا الضُّرُّ وَجِئْنَا بِبِضَاعَةٍ مُزْجَاةٍ فَأَوْفِ لَنَا الْكَيْلَ وَتَصَدَّقْ عَلَيْنَا ۖ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَجْزِي الْمُتَصَدِّقِينَ ﴿88﴾ قَالَ هَلْ عَلِمْتُمْ مَا فَعَلْتُمْ بِيُوسُفَ وَأَخِيهِ إِذْ أَنْتُمْ جَاهِلُونَ ﴿89﴾ قَالُوا أَإِنَّكَ لَأَنْتَ يُوسُفُ ۖ قَالَ أَنَا يُوسُفُ وَهَٰذَا أَخِي ۖ قَدْ مَنَّ اللَّهُ عَلَيْنَا ۖ إِنَّهُ مَنْ يَتَّقِ وَيَصْبِرْ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُضِيعُ أَجْرَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ ﴿90﴾ قَالُوا تَاللَّهِ لَقَدْ آثَرَكَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْنَا وَإِنْ كُنَّا لَخَاطِئِينَ ﴿91﴾ قَالَ لَا تَثْرِيبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْيَوْمَ ۖ يَغْفِرُ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ ۖ وَهُوَ أَرْحَمُ الرَّاحِمِينَ ﴿92﴾ اذْهَبُوا بِقَمِيصِي هَٰذَا فَأَلْقُوهُ عَلَىٰ وَجْهِ أَبِي يَأْتِ بَصِيرًا وَأْتُونِي بِأَهْلِكُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ ﴿93﴾ وَلَمَّا فَصَلَتِ الْعِيرُ قَالَ أَبُوهُمْ إِنِّي لَأَجِدُ رِيحَ يُوسُفَ ۖ لَوْلَا أَنْ تُفَنِّدُونِ ﴿94﴾ قَالُوا تَاللَّهِ إِنَّكَ لَفِي ضَلَالِكَ الْقَدِيمِ ﴿95﴾ فَلَمَّا أَنْ جَاءَ الْبَشِيرُ أَلْقَاهُ عَلَىٰ وَجْهِهِ فَارْتَدَّ بَصِيرًا ۖ قَالَ أَلَمْ أَقُلْ لَكُمْ إِنِّي أَعْلَمُ مِنَ اللَّهِ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ ﴿96﴾ قَالُوا يَا أَبَانَا اسْتَغْفِرْ لَنَا ذُنُوبَنَا إِنَّا كُنَّا خَاطِئِينَ ﴿97﴾ قَالَ سَوْفَ أَسْتَغْفِرُ لَكُمْ رَبِّي ۖ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ ﴿98﴾ فَلَمَّا دَخَلُوا عَلَىٰ يُوسُفَ آوَىٰ إِلَيْهِ أَبَوَيْهِ وَقَالَ ادْخُلُوا مِصْرَ إِنْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ آمِنِينَ ﴿99﴾ وَرَفَعَ أَبَوَيْهِ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ وَخَرُّوا لَهُ سُجَّدًا ۖ وَقَالَ يَا أَبَتِ هَٰذَا تَأْوِيلُ رُؤْيَايَ مِنْ قَبْلُ قَدْ جَعَلَهَا رَبِّي حَقًّا ۖ وَقَدْ أَحْسَنَ بِي إِذْ أَخْرَجَنِي مِنَ السِّجْنِ وَجَاءَ بِكُمْ مِنَ الْبَدْوِ مِنْ بَعْدِ أَنْ نَزَغَ الشَّيْطَانُ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَ إِخْوَتِي ۚ إِنَّ رَبِّي لَطِيفٌ لِمَا يَشَاءُ ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْعَلِيمُ الْحَكِيمُ ﴿100﴾ رَبِّ قَدْ آتَيْتَنِي مِنَ الْمُلْكِ وَعَلَّمْتَنِي مِنْ تَأْوِيلِ الْأَحَادِيثِ ۚ فَاطِرَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ أَنْتَ وَلِيِّي فِي الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةِ ۖ تَوَفَّنِي مُسْلِمًا وَأَلْحِقْنِي بِالصَّالِحِينَ ﴿101﴾ ذَٰلِكَ مِنْ أَنْبَاءِ الْغَيْبِ نُوحِيهِ إِلَيْكَ ۖ وَمَا كُنْتَ لَدَيْهِمْ إِذْ أَجْمَعُوا أَمْرَهُمْ وَهُمْ يَمْكُرُونَ ﴿102﴾ وَمَا أَكْثَرُ النَّاسِ وَلَوْ حَرَصْتَ بِمُؤْمِنِينَ ﴿103﴾ وَمَا تَسْأَلُهُمْ عَلَيْهِ مِنْ أَجْرٍ ۚ إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا ذِكْرٌ لِلْعَالَمِينَ ﴿104﴾ وَكَأَيِّنْ مِنْ آيَةٍ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ يَمُرُّونَ عَلَيْهَا وَهُمْ عَنْهَا مُعْرِضُونَ ﴿105﴾ وَمَا يُؤْمِنُ أَكْثَرُهُمْ بِاللَّهِ إِلَّا وَهُمْ مُشْرِكُونَ ﴿106﴾ أَفَأَمِنُوا أَنْ تَأْتِيَهُمْ غَاشِيَةٌ مِنْ عَذَابِ اللَّهِ أَوْ تَأْتِيَهُمُ السَّاعَةُ بَغْتَةً وَهُمْ لَا يَشْعُرُونَ ﴿107﴾ قُلْ هَٰذِهِ سَبِيلِي أَدْعُو إِلَى اللَّهِ ۚ عَلَىٰ بَصِيرَةٍ أَنَا وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَنِي ۖ وَسُبْحَانَ اللَّهِ وَمَا أَنَا مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ ﴿108﴾ وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِنْ قَبْلِكَ إِلَّا رِجَالًا نُوحِي إِلَيْهِمْ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْقُرَىٰ ۗ أَفَلَمْ يَسِيرُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ فَيَنْظُرُوا كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ ۗ وَلَدَارُ الْآخِرَةِ خَيْرٌ لِلَّذِينَ اتَّقَوْا ۗ أَفَلَا تَعْقِلُونَ ﴿109﴾ حَتَّىٰ إِذَا اسْتَيْأَسَ الرُّسُلُ وَظَنُّوا أَنَّهُمْ قَدْ كُذِبُوا جَاءَهُمْ نَصْرُنَا فَنُجِّيَ مَنْ نَشَاءُ ۖ وَلَا يُرَدُّ بَأْسُنَا عَنِ الْقَوْمِ الْمُجْرِمِينَ ﴿110﴾ لَقَدْ كَانَ فِي قَصَصِهِمْ عِبْرَةٌ لِأُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ ۗ مَا كَانَ حَدِيثًا يُفْتَرَىٰ وَلَٰكِنْ تَصْدِيقَ الَّذِي بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ وَتَفْصِيلَ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةً لِقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ ﴿111﴾
Transliteration In English
Bismillaahir Rahmaanir Raheem
- Alif-Laaam-Raa; tilka Aayaatul Kitaabil Mubeen
- Innaaa anzalnaahu quraanan ‘Arabiyyal la ‘allakum ta’qiloon
- Nahnu naqussu ‘alaika ahsanal qasasi bimaaa awhainaaa ilaika haazal quraana wa in kunta min qablihee laminal ghaafileen
- Iz qaala Yoosufu li abeehi yaaa abati innee ra aytu ahada ‘ashara kawkabanw wash shamsa walqamara ra aytuhum lee saajideen
- Qaala yaa bunaiya laa taqsus ru’yaaka ‘alaaa ikhwatika fayakeedoo laka kaidaa; innash Shaitaana lil insaani ‘aduwwum mubeen
- Wa kazaalika yajtabeeka rabbuka wa yu’allimuka min ta’weelil ahaadeesi wa yutimmu ni’matahoo ‘alaika wa ‘alaaa Aali Ya’qooba kamaaa atammahaa ‘alaaa abawaika min qablu Ibraaheema wa Ishaaq; inna Rabbaka ‘Aleemun hakeem (section 1)
- Laqad kaana fee Yoosufa wa ikhwatiheee Aayaatul lissaaa’ileen
- Iz qaaloo la Yoosufu wa akhoohu ahabbu ilaaa Abeenaa minnaa wa nahnu ‘usbatun; inna abaanaa lafee dalaalim mubeen
- Uqtuloo Yoosufa awitra hoohu ardany yakhlu lakum wajhu abeekum wa takoonoo mim ba’dihee qawman saaliheen
- Qaalaa qaaa’ilum minhum laa taqtuloo Yoosufa wa alqoohu fee ghayaabatil jubbi yaltaqithu badus sai yaarati in kuntum faa ‘ileen
- Qaaloo yaaa abaanaa maa laka laa ta’mannaa ‘alaa Yoosufa wa innaa lahoo lanaa sihoon
- Arsillhu ma’anaa ghadany yarta’ wa yal’ab wa innaa lahoo la haafizoon
- Qaala innee la yahzununeee an tazhaboo bihee wa akhaafu any ya’kulahuz zi’bu wa antum ‘anhu ghaafiloon
- Qaaloo la in akalahuzzi’bu wa nahnu ‘usbatun innaaa izal lakhaasiroon
- Falammaa zahaboo bihee wa ajma’ooo anyyaj’aloohu fee ghayaabatil jubb; wa awhainaaa ilaihi latunabbi ‘annahum bi amrihim haaza wa hum laa yash’uroon
- Wa jaaa’ooo abaahum ‘ishaaa ‘any yabkoon
- Qaaloo yaaa abaanaaa innaa zahabnaa nastabiqu wa taraknaa Yoosufa ‘inda mataa’inaa fa akalahuz zi’b, wa maaa anta bimu’minil lanaa wa law kunnaa saadiqeen
- Wa jaaa’oo ‘alaa qameesi hee bidamin kazib qaala bal sawwalat lakum anfusukum amraa; fasabrun jameel; wallaahul musta’aanu ‘alaa maatasifoon
- Wa jaaa’at saiyaaratun fa-arsaloo waaridahum fa adlaa dalwah; qaala yaa bushraa haaza ghulaam; wa asarroohu bi-daa’ah; wallaahu ‘aleemun bimaa ya’maloon
- Wa sharawhu bisamanim bakhsin daraahima ma’doo datinw wa kaanoo feehi minaz zaahideen (section 2)
- Wa qaalal lazish taraahu mim Misra limra atiheee akrimee maswaahu ‘asaaa any-yanfa’anaaa aw nattakhizahoo waladaa; wa kazaalika mak-kannaa li-Yoosufa fil ardi wa linu’allimahoo min ta’weelil ahaadees; wallaahu ghaalibun ‘alaaa amrihee wa laakinna aksaran naasi laa ya’lamoon
- Wa lammaa balagha ashuddahooo aatainaahu hukmanw wa ‘ilmaa; wa kazaa lika najzil muhsineen
- Wa raawadat hul latee huwa fee baitihaa ‘an nafsihee wa ghallaqatil abwaaba wa qaalat haita lak; qaala ma’aazal laahi innahoo rabbeee ahsana maswaay; innahoo laa yuflihuz-zaalimoon
- Wa laqad hammat bihee wa hamma bihaa law laaa ar ra-aa burhaana rabbih; kazaalika linasrifa ‘anhu sooo’a walfahshaaa’; innahoo min ‘ibaadi nal mukhlaseen
- Wastabaqal baaba wa qaddat qameesahoo min duburinw wa alfayaa saiyidahaa ladal baab; qaalat maa jazaaa’u man araada bi ahlika sooo’an illaaa any-yusjana aw azaabun ‘aleem
- Qaala hiya raawadatnee ‘an nafsee wa shahida shaahidum min ahlihaa in kaana qameesuhoo qudda min qubulin fasadaqat wa huwa minal kaazibeen
- Wa in kaana qameesuhoo qudda min duburin fakazabat wa huwa minas saadiqeen
- Falammaa ra-aa qamee sahoo qudda min duburin qaala innahoo min kaidikunna inna kaidakunna ‘azeem
- Yoosufu a’rid ‘an haaza wastaghfiree li zanbiki innaki kunti minal khaati’een (section 3)
- Wa qaala niswatun fil madeenatim ra atul’Azeezi turaawidu fataahaa ‘an nafsihee qad shaghafahaa hubbaa; innaa lana raahaa fee dalaalim mubeen
- Falammaa sami’at bimak rihinna arsalat ilaihinna wa a’tadat lahunna muttaka anw wa aatat kulla waahidatim min hunna sikkeenanw wa qaala tikh ruj ‘alaihinna falammaa ra aynahooo akbarnahoo wa qatta’na aydiyahunna wa qulna haasha lillaahi maa haaza basharaa; in haazaaa illaa malakun kareem
- Qaalat fazaalikunnal lazee lumtunnanee feeh; wa laqad raawattuhoo ‘an nafsihee fasta’sam; wa la’il lam yaf’al maaa aamuruhoo la yusjananna wa la yakoonan minas saaghireen
- Qaala rabbis sijnu ahabbu ilaiya mimma yad’oo naneee ‘ilaihi wa illaa tasrif ‘annee kaidahunna asbu ilaihinna wa akum minal jaahileen
- Fastajaaba lahoo rabbuhoo fasarafa ‘anhu kaidahunn; innahoo huwas Samee’ul ‘Aleem (section 4)
- Summa badaa lahum min ba’di maa ra-awul Aayaati layasjununnahoo hatta heen
- Wa dakhala ma’a hussijna fata-yaan; qaala ahaduhumaaa inneee araaneee a’siru khamranw wa qaalal aakharu inneee araaneee ahmilu fawqa ra’see khubzan ta’kulut tairu minhu; nabbi’naa bi ta’weelih; innaa naraaka minal muhsineen
- Qaala laa ya’teekumaa ta’aamun turzaqaaniheee illaa nabba’tukumaa bi ta’weelihee; qabla any ya’ti yakumaa; zaalikumaa mimmaa ‘allamanee rabbee; innee taraktu millata qawmil laa yu’minoona billaahi wahum bil aakhirati hum kaafiroon
- Wattaba’tu millata aabaaa’eee Ibraaheema wa Ishaaqa wa Ya’qoob; maa kaana lanaaa an nushrika billaahi min shai’; zaalikamin fadlil laahi ‘alainaa wa ‘alan naasi wa laakinna aksaran naasi laa yashkuroon
- Yaa saahibayis sijni ‘a-arbaabum mutafarriqoona khayrun amil laahul waahidul qahhaar
- Maa ta’budoona min doonihee illaaa asmaaa’an sam maitumoohaaa antum wa aabaaa’ukum maaa anzalal laahu bihaa min sultan; inilhukmu illaa lillaah; amara allaa ta’budooo illaaa iyyaah; zaalikad deenul qaiyimu wa laakinna aksaran naasi laa ya’lamoon
- Yaa saahibayis sijni ammaaa ahadukumaa fa yasqee rabbahoo khamranw wa ammal aakharu fa yuslabu fata’kulut tairu mir ra’sih; qudiyal amrul lazee feehi tastaftiyaan
- Wa qaala lillazee zanna annahoo najim minhumaz kurnee ‘inda rabbika fa-ansaahush Shaitaanu zikra Rabbihee falabisa fis sijni bid’a sineen (section 5)
- Wa qaalal maliku inneee araa sab’a baqaraatin simaaniny ya’kuluhunna sab’un ‘ijaafunw wa sab’a sumbulaatin khudrinw wa ukhara yaabisaat; yaaa ayuhal mala-u aftoonee fee ru’yaaya in kuntum lirru’yaa ta’buroon
- Qaalooo adghaasu ahlaa minw wa maa nahnu bi ta’weelil ahlaami bi’aalimeen
- Wa qaalal lazee najaa minhumaa waddakara ba’da ummatin ana unabbi’ukum bi ta’weelihee fa-arsiloon
- Yoosufu ayyuhas siddeequ aftinaa fee sab’i baqaraatin simaaniny ya’kuluhunna sab’un ‘ijaafunw wa sabi’i sumbulaatin khudrinw wa ukhara yaabisaatil la’alleee arji’u ilan naasi la’allahum ya’lamoon
- Qaala tazra’oona sab’a sineena da aban famaa hasattum fazaroohu fee sumbu liheee illaa qaleelam mimmaa ta’kuloon
- Thumma ya’tee mim ba’di zaalika sab’un shidaaduny ya’kulna maa qaddamtum lahunna illaa qaleelam mimma tuhsinoon
- Thumma ya’tee mim ba’di zalika ‘aamun feehi yughaa sun naasu wa feehi ya’siroon(section 6)
- Wa qaalal maliku’toonee bihee falammaa jaaa’ahur rasoolu qaalar-ji ilaa rabbika fas’alhu maa baalun niswatil laatee qatta’na aydiyahunn; inna Rabbee bikaidihinna ‘Aleem
- Qaala maa khatbukunna iz raawattunna Yoosufa ‘annafsih; qulna haasha lillaahi maa ‘alimnaa ‘alaihi min sooo’; qaalatim ra atul ‘Azeezil ‘aana hashasal haqq, ana raawat tuhoo ‘an nafsihee wa innahoo laminas saadiqeen
- Zaalika liya’lama annee lam akhunhu bilghaibi wa annal laaha laa yahdee kaidal khaaa’ineen (End Juz 12)
- Wa maa ubarri’u nafsee; innan nafsa la ammaaratum bissooo’i illaa maa rahima Rabbee; inna Rabbee Ghafoorur Raheem
- Wa qaalal maliku’ toonee biheee astakhlishu linafsee falammaa kallamahoo qaala innakal yawma ladainaa makeenun ameen
- Qaalaj ‘alnee ‘alaa khazaaa’inil ardi innee hafeezun ‘aleem
- Wa kazaalika makkannaa li Yoosufa fil ardi yatabawwa’u minhaa haisu yashaaaa’; nuseebu birahmatinaa man nashaaa’u wa laa nudee’u ajral muhsineen
- Wa la ajrul Aakhirati khairul lillazeena aamanoo wa kaanoo yattaqoon (section 7)
- Wa jaaa’a ikhwatu Yoosufa fadakhaloo ‘alaihi fa’arafahum wa hum lahoo munkiroon
- Wa lammaa jahhazahum bijahaazihim qaala’ toonee bi akhil lakum min abeekum; alaa tarawna anneee oofil kaila wa ana khairul munzileen
- Fa il lam taatoonee bihee falaa kaila lakum ‘indee wa laa taqraboon
- Qaaloo sanuraawidu ‘anhu abaahu wa innaa lafaa’iloon
- Wa qaala lifityaanihij ‘aloo bidaa’atahum fee rihaalihim la’allahum ya’rifoonahaaa izan qalabooo ilaaa ahlihim la’allahum yarji’oon
- Falammaa raja’ooo ilaaa abeehim qaaloo yaaa abaanaa muni’a minnal kailu fa arsil ma’anaaa akhaanaa naktal wa innaa lahoo lahaafizoon
- Qaala hal aamanukum ‘alaihi illaa kamaa amintukum ‘alaaa akheehi min qabl; fal laahu khairun haafizanw wa Huwa arhamur Raahimeen
- Wa lammaa fatahoo mataa ‘ahum wajadoo bidaa’atahum ruddat ilaihim qaaloo yaaa abaanaa maa nabghee; haazihee bida ‘atunaa ruddat ilainaa wa nameeru ahlanaa wa nahfazu akhaanaa wa nazdaadu kaila ba’eer; zaalika kailuny yaseer
- Qaala lan ursilahoo ma’akum hattaa tu’tooni mawsiqam minal laahee lataa tunnanee biheee illaaa ai yuhaata bikum falammaaa aatawhu mawsiqahum qaalal laahu ‘alaa maa naqoolu Wakeel
- Wa qaala yaa baniyya laa tadkhuloo mim baabinw waa hidinw wadkhuloo min abwaabim mutafarriqah; wa maaa ughnee ‘ankum minal laahi min shai’in; inil hukmu illaa lillaahi ‘alaihi tawakkaltu wa ‘alaihi fal yatawakkalil Mutawakkiloon
- Wa lammaa dakhaloo min haisu amarahum aboohum maa kaana yughnee ‘anhum minal laahi min shai’in illaa haajatan fee nafsi Ya’qooba qadaahaa; wa innahoo lazoo ‘ilmil limaa ‘allamnaahu wa laakinna aksaran naasi laa ya’lamoon (section 8)
- Wa lammaa dakhaloo ‘alaa Yoosufa aawaaa ilaihi akhaahu qaala inneee ana akhooka falaa tabta’is bimaa kaanoo ya’maloon
- Falammaa jahhazahum bijahaazihim ja’alas siqaayata fee rahli akheehi summa azzana mu’azzinun ayyatuhal’eeru innakum lasaariqoon
- Qaaloo wa aqbaloo ‘alaihim maazaa tafqidoon
- Qaaloo nafqidu suwaa’al maliki wa liman jaaa’a bihee himlu ba’eerinw wa ana bihee za’eem
- Qaaloo tallaahi laqad ‘alimtum maa ji’na linufsida fil ardi wa maa kunnaa saariqeen
- Qaaloo famaa jazaaa’u hooo in kuntum kaazibeen
- Qaaloo jazaaa’uhoo manw wujida fee rahlihee fahuwa jazaaa’uh; kazaalika najziz zaalimeen
- Fabada-a bi-aw’iyatihim qabla wi’aaa’i akheehi summas takhrajahaa minw wi ‘aaa’i akheeh; kazaalika kidnaa li Yoosuf; maa kaana liyaakhuza akhaahu fee deenil maliki illaaa any yashaaa’al laah; narfa’u darajaatim man nashaaa’; wa fawqa kulli zee ‘ilmin ‘Aleem
- Qaaloo iny yasriq faqad saraqa akhul lahoo min qabl; fa asarrahaa Yoosufu fee nafsihee wa lam yubdihaa lahum; qaala antum sharrum makaananw wallaahu a’lamu bimaa tasifoon
- Qaaloo yaaa ayyuhal ‘Azeezu inna lahooo aban shaikhan kabeeran fakhuz ahadanaa makaanahoo innaa naraaka minal muhsineen
- Qaala ma’aazal laahi an naakhuza illaa manw wajadnaa mataa’anaa ‘indahoo innaaa izal lazaalimoon (section 9)
- Falammas tay’asoo minhu khalasoo najiyyan qaala kabeeruhum alam ta’lamoon anna abaakum qad akhaza ‘alaikum mawsiqam minal laahi wa min qablu maa farrattum fee Yoosufa falan abrahal arda hattaa yaazana leee abeee aw yahkumal laahu lee wa huwa khairul haakimeen
- Irji’ooo ilaaa abeekum faqooloo yaaa abaanaaa innab naka saraq; wa maa shahidnaaa illaa bimaa ‘alimnaa wa maa kunnaa lilghaibi haafizeen
- Was’alil qaryatal latee kunnaa feehaa wal’eeral lateee aqbalnaa feehaa wa innaa lasaadiqoon
- Qaala bal sawwalat lakum anfusukum amran fasabrun jameelun ‘asal laahu any yaa tiyanee bihim jamee’aa; innahoo Huwal ‘Aleemul Hakeem
- Wa tawallaa ‘anhum wa qaala yaaa asafaa ‘alaa Yoosufa wabyaddat ‘aynaahu minal huzni fahuwa kazeem
- Qaaloo tallaahi tafta’u tazkuru Yoosufa hattaa takoona haradan aw takoona minal haalikeen
- Qaala innamaaa ashkoo bassee wa huzneee ilal laahi wa a’lamu minal laahi maa laa ta’lamoon
- Yaa baniyyaz haboo fatahassasoo miny Yoosufa wa akheehi wa laa tai’asoo mir rawhil laahi innahoo laa yai’asu mir rawhil laahi illal qawmul kaafiroon
- Falammaa dakhaloo ‘alaihi qaaloo yaaa ayyuhal ‘Azeezu massanaa wa ahlanad durru wa ji’naa bibidaa ‘timmuzjaatin fa awfi lanal kaila wa tasaddaq ‘alainaa innal laaha yajzil mutasaddiqeen
- Qaala hal ‘alimtum maa fa’altum bi Yoosufa wa akheehi iz antum jaahiloon
- Qaaloo ‘a innaka la anta Yoosufu qaala ana Yoosufu wa haazaaa akhee qad mannal laahu ‘alainaa innahoo mai yattaqi wa yasbir fa innal laaha laa yudee’u ajral muhsineen
- Qaaloo tallaahi laqad aasarakal laahu ‘alainaa wa in kunnaa lakhaati’een
- Qaala laa tasreeba ‘alaikumul yawma yaghfirul laahu lakum wa Huwa arhamur raahimeen
- Izhaboo biqameesee haazaa fa alqoohu ‘alaa wajhi abee yaati baseeranw waatoonee bi ahlikum ajma’een (section 10)
- Wa lammaa fasalatil ‘eeru qaala aboohum innee la ajidu reeha Yoosufa law laaa an tufannidoon
- Qaaloo tallaahi innaka lafee dalaalikal qadeem
- Falammaaa an jaaa’albasheeru alqaahu ‘alaa wajhihee fartadda baseeran qaala alam aqul lakum inneee a’lamu minal laahi maa laa ta’lamoon
- Qaaloo yaaa abaanas taghfir lanaa zunoobanaa innaa kunnaa khaati’een
- Qaala sawfa astaghfiru lakum Rabbeee innahoo Huwal Ghafoorur Raheem
- Falammaa dakhaloo ‘alaa Yoosufa aawaaa ilaihi abawaiyhi wa qaalad khuloo Misra inshaaa’al laahu aamineen
- Wa raf’a abawaihi ‘alal ‘arshi wa kharroo lahoo sujjadaa; wa qaala yaaa abati haaza taaweelu ru’yaaya min qablu qad ja’alahaa Rabbee haqqaa; wa qad ahsana beee iz akhrajanee minas sijni wa jaaa’a bikum minal badwi mim ba’di an nazaghash Shaitaanu bainee wa baina ikhwatee; inna Rabbee lateeful limaa yashaaa’; innahoo Huwal ‘Aleemul Hakeem
- Rabbi qad aataitanee minal mulki wa ‘allamtanee min taaweelil ahaadees; faati ras samaawaati wal ardi Anta waliyyee fid dunyaa wal Aakhirati tawaffanee muslimanw wa alhiqnee bissaaliheen
- Zaalika min ambaaa’il ghaibi nooheehi ilaika wa maa kunta ladaihim iz ajma’ooo amrahum wa hum yamkuroon
- Wa maa aksarun naasi wa law harasta bimu’mineen
- Wa maa tas’aluhum ‘alaihi min ajr; in huwa illaa zikrul lil’aalameen (section 11)
- Wa ka ayyim min Aayatin fis samaawaati wal ardi yamurroona ‘alaihaa wa hum ‘anhaa mu’ridoon
- Wa maa yu’minu aksaru hum billaahi illaa wa hum mushrikoon
- Afa aminooo an taatiya hum ghaashiyatum min ‘azaabil laahi aw taatiyahumus Saa’atu baghtatanw wa hum laa yash’uroon
- Qul haazihee sabeeleee ad’ooo ilal laah; ‘alaa baseera tin ana wa manit taba’anee wa Subhaanal laahi wa maaa ana minal mushrikeen
- Wa maaa arsalnaa min qablika illaa rijaalan nooheee ilaihim min ahlil quraa; afalam yaseeroo fil ardi fa yanzuroo kaifa kaana ‘aaqibatul lazeena min qablihim; wa la Daarul Aakhirati Khairul lillazeenat taqaw; afalaa ta’qiloon
- Hattaaa izas tai’asar Rusulu wa zannooo annahum qad kuziboo jaaa’ahum nas runaa fanujjiya man nashaaa’u wa laa yuraddu baasunna ‘anil qawmil mujrimeen
- Laqad kaana fee qasasihim ‘ibratul li ulil albaab; maa kaana hadeesany yuftaraa wa laakin tasdeeqal lazee baina yadihi wa tafseela kulli shai’inw wa hudanw wa rahmatal liqawminy yu’minoon (section 12)
In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.
- Lam. Ra. These are verse of the Scripture that maketh plain.
- Lo! We have revealed it, a Lecture in Arabic, that ye may understand.
- We narrate unto thee (Muhammad) the best of narratives in that We have inspired in thee this Qur’an, though aforetime thou wast of the heedless.
- When Joseph said unto his father: O my father! Lo! I saw in a dream eleven planets and the sun and the moon, I saw them prostrating themselves unto me.
- He said: O my dear son! Tell not thy brethren of thy vision, lest they plot a plot against thee. Lo! Satan is for man an open foe.
- Thus thy Lord will prefer thee and will teach thee the interpretation of events, and will perfect His grace upon thee and upon the family of Jacob as He perfected it upon thy forefathers, Abraham and Isaac. Lo! thy Lord is Knower, Wise.
- Verily in Joseph and his brethren are signs (of Allah’s Sovereignty) for the inquiring.
- Verily in Joseph and his brethren are signs (of Allah’s Sovereignty) for the inquiring.
- (One said): Kill Joseph or cast him to some (other) land, so that your father’s favour may be all for you, and (that) ye may afterward be righteous folk.
- One among them said: Kill not Joseph but, if ye must be doing, fling him into the depth of the pit; some caravan will find him.
- They said: O our father! Why wilt thou not trust us with Joseph, when lo! we are good friends to him?
- Send him with us to-morrow that he may enjoy himself and play. And lo! we shall take good care of him.
- He said: Lo! in truth it saddens me that ye should take him with you, and I fear less the wolf devour him while ye are heedless of him.
- They said: If the wolf should devour him when we are (so strong) a band, then surely we should have already perished.
- Then, when they led him off, and were of one mind that they should place him in the depth of the pit, We inspired in him: Thou wilt tell them of this deed of theirs when they know (thee) not.
- And they came weeping to their father in the evening.
- Saying: O our father! We went racing one with another, and left Joseph by our things, and the wolf devoured him, and thou believest not our saying even when we speak the truth.
- And they came with false blood on his shirt. He said: Nay, but your minds have beguiled you into something. (My course is) comely patience. And Allah it is Whose help is to be sought in that (predicament) which ye describe.
- And there came a caravan, and they sent their waterdrawer. He let down his pail (into the pit). He said: Good luck! Here is a youth. And they hid him as a treasure, and Allah was Aware of what they did.
- And they sold him for a low price, a number of silver coins; and they attached no value to him.
- And he of Egypt who purchased him said unto his wife: Receive him honourably. Perchance he may prove useful to us or we may adopt him as a son. Thus we established Joseph in the land that We might teach him the interpretation of events. And Allah was predominant in His career, but most of mankind know not.
- And And when he reached his prime We gave him wisdom and knowledge. Thus We reward the good.
- And she, in whose house he was, asked of him an evil act. She bolted the doors and said: Come! He said: I seek refuge in Allah! Lo! he is my lord, who hath treated me honourably. Lo! wrong-doers never prosper.
- She verily desired him, and he would have desired her if it had not been that he saw the argument of his Lord. Thus it was, that We might ward off from him evil and lewdness. Lo! he was of Our chosen slaves.
- And they raced with one another to the door, and she tore his shirt from behind, and they met her lord and master at the door. She said: What shall be his reward, who wisheth evil to thy folk, save prison or a painful doom?
- (Joseph) said: She it was who asked of me an evil act. And a witness of her own folk testified: If his shirt is torn from before, then she speaketh truth and he is of the liars.
- And if his shirt is torn from behind, then she hath lied and he is of the truthful.
- So when he saw his shirt torn from behind, he said: Lo! this is of the guile of you women. Lo! the guile of you is very great.
- O Joseph! Turn away from this, and thou, ( O woman), ask forgiveness for thy sin. Lo! thou art of the faulty.
- And women in the city said: The ruler’s wife is asking of her slave-boy an ill-deed. Indeed he has smitten her to the heart with love. We behold her in plain aberration.
- And when she heard of their sly talk, she sent to them and prepared for them a cushioned couch (to lie on at the feast) and gave to every one of them a knife and said (to Joseph): Come out unto them! And when they saw him they exalted him and cut their hands, exclaiming: Allah Blameless! This is no a human being. This is not other than some gracious angel.
- She said: This is he on whose account ye blamed me. I asked of him an evil act, but he proved continent, but if he do not my behest he verily shall be imprisoned, and verily shall be of those brought low.
- He said: O my Lord! Prison is more dear than that unto which they urge me, and if Thou fend not off their wiles from me I shall incline unto them and become of the foolish.
- So his Lord heard his prayer and fended off their wiles from him. Lo! He is Hearer, Knower.
- And it seemed good to them (the men-folk) after they had seen the signs (of his innocence) to imprison him for a time.
- And two young men went to prison with him. One of them said: I dreamed that I was pressing wine. The other said: I dreamed that I was carrying upon my head bread whereof the birds were eating. Announce unto us the interpretation, for we see thee of those good (at interpretation).
- He said: The food which ye are given (daily) shall not come unto you but I shall tell you the interpretation ere it cometh unto you. This is of that which my Lord hath taught me. Lo! I have forsaken the religion of folk who believe not in Allah and are disbelievers in the Hereafter.
- And I have followed the religion of my fathers, Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. It never was for us to attribute aught as partner to Allah. This is of the bounty of Allah unto us (the seed of Abraham) and unto mankind; but most men give not thanks.
- O my fellow-prisoners! Are divers lords better, or Allah the One, Almighty?
- Those whom ye worship beside Him are but names which ye have named, ye and your fathers. Allah hath revealed no sanction for them. The decision rests with Allah only, Who hath commanded you that ye worship none save Him. This is the right religion, but most men know not.
- O my two fellow-prisoners! As for one of you, he will pour out wine for his lord to drink; and as for the other, he will be crucified so that the birds will eat from his head. Thus is the case judged concerning which ye did inquire.
- And he said unto him of the twain who he knew would be released: Mention me in the presence of thy lord. But Satan caused him to forget to mention it to his lord, so he (Joseph) stayed in prison for some years.
- And the king said: Lo! I saw in a dream seven fat kine which seven lean were eating, and seven green ears of corn and other (seven) dry. O notables! Expound for me my vision, if ye can interpret dreams.
- They answered: Jumbled dreams! And we are not knowing in the interpretation of dreams.
- And he of the two who was released, and (now) at length remembered, said: I am going to announce unto you the interpretation, therefore send me forth.
- (And when he came to Joseph in the prison, he exclaimed): Joseph! O thou truthful one! Expound for us the seven fat kine which seven lean were eating and the seven green ears of corn and other (seven) dry, that I may return unto the people, so that they may know.
- He said: Ye shall sow seven years as usual, but that which ye reap, leave it in the ear, all save a little which ye eat.
- Then after that will come seven hard years which will devour all that ye have prepared for them, save a little of that which ye have stored.
- Then, after that, will come a year when the people will have plenteous crops and when they will press (wine and oil).
- And the king said: Bring him unto me. And when the messenger came unto him, he (Joseph) said: Return unto thy lord and ask him what was the case of the women who cut their hands. Lo! my Lord knoweth their guile.
- He (the king) (then sent for those women and) said: What happened when ye asked an evil act of Joseph? They answered: Allah Blameless! We know no evil of him. Said the wife of the ruler: Now the truth is out. I asked of him an evil act, and he is surely of the truthful.
- (Then Joseph said: I asked for) this, that he (my lord) may know that I betrayed him not in secret, and that surely Allah guideth not the snare of the betrayers.
- I do not exculpate myself. Lo! the (human) soul enjoineth unto evil, save that whereon my Lord hath mercy. Lo! my Lord is Forgiving, Merciful.
- And the king said: Bring him unto me that I may attach him to my person. And when he had talked with him he said: Lo! thou art to-day in our presence established and trusted.
- He said: Set me over the storehouses of the land. Lo! I am a skilled custodian.
- Thus gave We power to Joseph in the land. He was the owner of it where he pleased. We reach with Our mercy whom We will. We lose not the reward of the good.
- And the reward of the Hereafter is better, for those who believe and ward off (evil).
- And Joseph’s brethren came and presented themselves before him, and he knew them but they knew him not.
- And when he provided them with their provision he said: Bring unto me a brother of yours from your father. See ye not that I fill up the measure and I am the best of hosts?
- And if ye bring him not unto me, then there shall be no measure for you with me, nor shall ye draw near.
- They said: We will try to win him from his father: that we will surely do.
- He said unto his young men: Place their merchandise in their saddlebags, so that they may know it when they go back to their folk, and so will come again.
- So when they went back to their father they said: O our father! The measure is denied us, so send with us our brother that we may obtain the measure, surely we will guard him well.
- He said: Can I entrust him to you save as I entrusted his brother to you aforetime? Allah is better at guarding, and He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy.
- And when they opened their belongings they discovered that their merchandise had been returned to them. They said: O our father! What (more) can we ask? Here is our merchandise returned to us. We shall get provision for our folk and guard our brother, and we shall have the extra measure of a camel (load). This (that we bring now) is a light measure.
- He said: I will not send him with you till ye give me an undertaking in the name of Allah that ye will bring him back to me, unless ye are surrounded. And when they gave him their undertaking he said: Allah is the Warden over what we say.
- And he said: O my sons! Go not in by one gate; go in by different gates. I can naught avail you as against Allah. Lo! the decision rests with Allah only. In Him do I put my trust, and in Him let all the trusting put their trust.
- And when they entered in the manner which their father had enjoined, it would have naught availed them as against Allah; it was but a need of Jacob’s soul which he thus satisfied; and lo! he was a lord of knowledge because We had taught him; but most of mankind know not.
- And when they went in before Joseph, he took his brother unto him, saying: Lo! I, even I, am thy brother, therefore sorrow not for what they did.
- And when he provided them with their provision, he put the drinking-cup in his brother’s saddlebag, and then a crier cried: O camel-riders! Lo! ye are surely thieves!
- They cried, coming toward them: What is it ye have lost?
- They said: We have lost the king’s cup, and he who bringeth it shall have a camel-load, and I (said Joseph) am answerable for it.
- They said: By Allah, well ye know we came not to do evil in the land, and are no thieves.
- They said: And what shall be the penalty for it, if ye prove liars?
- They said: The penalty for it! He in whose bag (the cup) is found, he is the penalty for it. Thus we requite wrong-doers.
- Then he (Joseph) began the search with their bags before his brother’s bag, then he produced it from his brother’s bag. Thus did We contrive for Joseph. He could not have taken his brother according to the king’s law unless Allah willed. We raise by grades (of mercy) whom We will, and over every lord of knowledge there is one more knowing.
- They said: If he stealeth, a brother of his stole before. But Joseph kept it secret in his soul and revealed it not unto them. He said (within himself): Ye are in worse case, and Allah knoweth best (the truth of) that which ye allege.
- They said: O ruler of the land! Lo! he hath a very aged father, so take one of us instead of him. Lo! we behold thee of those who do kindness.
- He said: Allah forbid that we should seize save him with whom we found our property; then truly we should be wrong-doers.
- So, When they despaired of (moving) him, they conferred together apart. The eldest of them said: Know ye not how your father took an undertaking from you in Allah’s name and how ye failed in the case of Joseph aforetime? Therefore I shall not go forth from the land until my father giveth leave or Allah judgeth for me. He is the Best of Judges.
- Return unto your father and say: O our father! Lo! thy son hath stolen. We testify only to that which we know; we are not guardians of the Unseen.
- Ask the township where we were, and the caravan with which we travelled hither. Lo! we speak the truth.
- (And when they came unto their father and had spoken thus to him) he said: Nay, but your minds have beguiled you into something. (My course is) comely patience! It may be that Allah will bring them all unto me. Lo! He, only He, is the Knower, the Wise.
- And he turned away from them and said: Alas, my grief for Joseph! And his eyes were whitened with the sorrow that he was suppressing.
- They said: By Allah, thou wilt never cease remembering Joseph till thy health is ruined or thou art of those who perish!
- He said: I expose my distress and anguish only unto Allah, and I know from Allah that which ye know not.
- Go, O my sons, and ascertain concerning Joseph and his brother, and despair not of the Spirit of Allah. Lo! none despaireth of the Spirit of Allah save disbelieving folk.
- And when they came (again) before him (Joseph) they said: O ruler! Misfortune hath touched us and our folk, and we bring but poor merchandise, so fill for us the measure and be charitable unto us. Lo! Allah will requite the charitable,
- He said: Know ye what ye did unto Joseph and his brother in your ignorance?
- They said: Is it indeed thou who art Joseph? He said: I am Joseph and this is my brother. Allah hath shown us favour. Lo! he who wardeth off (evil) and endureth (findeth favour); for lo! Allah loseth not the wages of the kindly.
- They said: By Allah, verily Allah hath preferred thee above us, and we were indeed sinful.
- He said: Have no fear this day! May Allah forgive you, and He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy.
- Go with this shirt of mine and lay it on my father’s face, he will become (again) a seer; and come to me with all your folk.
- When the caravan departed their father had said: Truly I am conscious of the breath of Joseph, though ye call me dotard.
- (Those around him) said: By Allah, lo! thou art in thine old aberration.
- Then, when the bearer of glad tidings came, he laid it on his face and he became a seer once more. He said: Said I not unto you that I know from Allah that which ye know not?
- They said: O our father! Ask forgiveness of our sins for us, for lo! we were sinful.
- He said: I shall ask forgiveness for you of my Lord. Lo! He is the Forgiving, the Merciful.
- And when they came in before Joseph, he took his parents unto him, and said: Come into Egypt safe, if Allah will!
- And he placed his parents on the dais and they fell down before him prostrate, and he said: O my father! This is the interpretation of my dream of old. My Lord hath made it true, and He hath shown me kindness, since He took me out of the prison and hath brought you from the desert after Satan had made strife between me and my brethren. Lo! my Lord is tender unto whom He will. He is the Knower, the Wise.
- O my Lord! Thou hast given me (something) of sovereignty and hast taught me (something) of the interpretation of events – Creator of the heavens and the earth! Thou art my Protecting Guardian in the world and the Hereafter. Make me to die muslim (unto Thee), and join me to the righteous.
- This is of the tidings of the Unseen which We inspire in thee (Muhammad). Thou wast not present with them when they fixed their plan and they were scheming.
- And though thou try much, most men will not believe.
- Thou askest them no fee for it. It is naught else than a reminder unto the peoples.
- How many a portent is there in the heavens and the earth which they pass by with face averted!
- And most of them believe not in Allah except that they attribute partners (unto Him).
- Deem they themselves secure from the coming on them of a pall of Allah’s punishment, or the coming of the Hour suddenly while they are unaware?
- Say: This is my Way: I call on Allah with sure knowledge. I and whosoever followeth me – Glory be to Allah! – and I am not of the idolaters.
- We sent not before thee (any messengers) save men whom We inspired from among the folk of the townships – Have they not travelled in the land and seen the nature of the consequence for those who were before them? And verily the abode of the Hereafter, for those who ward off (evil), is best. Have ye then no sense? –
- Till, when the messengers despaired and thought that they were denied, then came unto them Our help, and whom We would was saved. And Our wrath cannot be warded from the guilty.
- In their history verily there is a lesson for men of understanding. It is no invented story but a confirmation of the existing (Scripture) and a detailed explanation of everything, and a guidance and a mercy for folk who believe.
[From Holy Quran Translation by Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall]
الۗرٰ ۣ تِلْكَ اٰيٰتُ الْكِتٰبِ الْمُبِيْنِ
With the exception of four verses, Surah Yusuf is wholly a Makki Surah. In this Surah, the story of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) has been described with continuity and order. Then, the story of Sayyidna Yusuf appears in this Surah alone. It has not been repeated anywhere else in the whole Quran as such (with the exception of Surah Al-An’ am – 6:84 – and Surah Al-Mu’min or Ghafir – 40:34 – where only the name of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) has been mentioned as a Messenger of Allah, in ap¬propriate context). This is particular with the story of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) otherwise the stories and events concerning all blessed prophets have been introduced in the entire Qur’an with great wisdom, part by part, and repeatedly too.
The truth of the matter is that world history and past experiences teach human beings what to do with their lives in the future. These have a natural effect of their own which acts better on minds and hearts as compared to the pull of formal education. This effect is deeper and fairly effortless. Therefore, in the Holy Qur’an, which has been sent for all peo-ples of the world as their last testament, a marked portion of the entire history of the peoples of the world – a portion that serves as the master prescription for the betterment of the present and ultimate human condi¬tion – has been taken up electively and pragmatically.
Furthermore, even this portion of world history has been introduced by the Holy Qur’ an, with its unique and inimitable style, in a manner that its read¬er simply does not get the impression that he or she was reading some book of history. In fact, whatever part of a certain story serves the need of driving home a lesson or tendering a good counsel on any given occa¬sion, it is just that part which finds mention in that setting. And should there be the need to allude to that particular part once again on some other occasion, it was repeated. Therefore, consideration was not given to sequential order in the narration of events in the story. At some places the earlier part of the story comes later, and the later part finds mention earlier. This special style of the Qur’ an carries a standing rule of guidance that reading or remembering world history and its past events is not an end by itself. Instead of that, the purpose of every human being should be to draw some lesson from every story and to cull and deduce some good advice from every information.
It is well-known that the human speech is classified into two forms: Descriptive (khabar) and imperative (insha’ ). According to the knowledgeable scholars, it is the later form (i.e. imperative) that is the essential ob¬jective. Description in itself is not an end. A wise man ought to learn an imperative from every description, and make use of it for correcting and reforming himself.
That the story of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) has been narrated in a se¬quence could be because historiography is a discipline. It has particular rules of guidance for its practitioners. For instance, the narration should not be so brief as to make its understanding impossible, nor should it be so long as would make reading and remembering it difficult – which be-comes clear from the Qur’ anic treatment of this story.
According to some narrations, another reason for this could lie in what the Jews had said to the Holy Prophet”. To test him, they had asked him: If you are a true prophet, tell us why did the family of Ya` qub move from Syria to Egypt and what had actually happened to Yusuf (عليه السلام) ? It was in answer to that that this whole story was revealed. It was a miracle of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ، and certainly a great proof of his pro¬phethood – for he was simply an Ummiyy, one who was not taught by anyone, who had never read a book and who had lived in Makkah practi¬cally his whole life, yet, he narrated all events mentioned in the Torah correctly. In fact, he told them of what was not mentioned in the Torah. There are many injunctions and instructions which emerge from these narrations which will appear later in this commentary.
In the first of the set of verses cited above, the words: الٓرٰ ` Alif Lam Ra’ are isolated letters (al-Huruf al-Muqatta at) of the Holy Qur’an. About these, it is the universal verdict of the majority of Sahabah and Tabi` in that they are a secret between Allah Ta’ ala, the speaker, and the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ، the addressee – which a third person cannot understand, nor is it appropriate for one to exert and insist on finding it out.
After that it was said: تِلکَ آیٰتُ الکِتٰبِ المُبِین (These are the verses of the en-lightening Book). That is, these are verses of the Book which delineate the delimitations and restrictions of what is lawful and unlawful, includ¬ing those of other things in all departments of human life, and thus gives people a simple, straight and moderate system of living, as promised in the Torah, and as already known to the Jews.
اِنَّآ اَنْزَلْنٰهُ قُرْءٰنًا عَرَبِيًّا لَّعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُوْنَ
The statement made in verse 2 following immediately is: إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ قُرْآنًا عَرَبِيًّا لَّعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ (Surely, We have sent it down, an Arabic Qur’ an, so that you may understand).
It is indicative of the situation that those who had asked to be informed of what had happened to Sayyidna ~Yusuf (عليه السلام) were the Jews of Arabia. So, Allah Ta’ ala revealed this story in their language so that they may ponder over it and attest to the veracity of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and tune their lives in the light of the injunctions and instructions which emerge from this story.
This is the reason why the word: لَعلَّ (la’alla) has been brought in here in the sense of ` so that’ because the mindset of these addressees was already known – that they would, despite having the benefit of very clear verses before them, still doubt and delay their acceptance of truth.
قَالَ يٰبُنَيَّ لَا تَقْصُصْ رُءْيَاكَ عَلٰٓي اِخْوَتِكَ فَيَكِيْدُوْا لَكَ كَيْدًا ۭ اِنَّ الشَّيْطٰنَ لِلْاِنْسَانِ عَدُوٌّ مُّبِيْنٌ
The response given by Sayyidna Ya` qub X11 appears in verses 5 and 6 in the following words: قَالَ يَا بُنَيَّ لَا تَقْصُصْ رُؤْيَاكَ عَلَىٰ إِخْوَتِكَ فَيَكِيدُوا لَكَ كَيْدًا ۖ إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ لِلْإِنسَانِ عَدُوٌّ مُّبِينٌ ` He said, ‘My son, do not relate your dream to your brothers lest they [ by finding out your greatness to come ] should devise against you a plan. Surely, Satan is an open enemy for mankind …’ [ for He se¬duces people to take such action for the sake of worldly wealth and pow¬er ].
Worth mentioning here are some religious issues which emerge from these verses:
The Nature of Dreams: Status and Kinds
First comes the nature of dreams and the status of events and infor¬mation released by them. In Tafsir Mazhari, Qadi Thana’ullah (رح) has said: ` The reality of a dream is that, when the human self – as a re¬sult of sleep or unconsciousness – is freed from the management of the ac¬tive body, it comes to see some shapes through the faculty of imagina-tion. This is what a dream is. Then, it has three kinds, two out of which are totally false, having no substance and base – while one, in terms of its being, is correct and true. But, even in this correct kind, some other contingents may occasionally intermingle and thereby make it defective and unreliable.
To explain this in detail, it can be said that the different shapes, im¬ages, situations and events one sees in a dream come in two modes. Sometimes, what one sees while awake returns to him transformed in a dream. And sometimes, it so happens that the Shatian would make his in-put, introducing some forms, situations and events into a person’s mind which would either be pleasing or terrifying. Both these kinds are false. They have no substance or reality, nor can they be interpreted in any ac¬tual sense. Out of these two, the first kind is Self-Suggestion (Hadith An-Nafs) and the other, The Seductive Input of the Shaitan (Taswil Ash-Shaitan).
The third kind, correct and true, is a kind of ‘Ilham الحام (mode of inspir¬ing) which is activated to warn a servant of Allah or to give him glad tid¬ings. In other words, out of His unseen treasures, Allah Ta’ ala would put things in one’s mind and heart.
In a Hadith, the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) is reported to have said: ` The dream of a believer is a dialogue in which he has the honour of talking to his Rabb.’ This Hadith has been reported by al-Tabarani with a sound chain of authorities. (Mazhari)
Explaining this, Sufis say that everything, before it comes to exist in this world, has a particular form in another universe called ‘ alam-al-mi¬thal’,( The world of autonomous images’ – Henrv Corbin.) a universe where, not only the substantial objects and physical re¬alities, but also the attributes and non-corporal meanings, have particu¬lar shapes and forms. When the human self is freed from the concerns of body management while dreaming, it sometimes gets connected to the universe of ` alam-al-mithal’. There one would see the representative forms. Then, these forms are shown from the universe of the Unseen.
At times, it would so happen that temporary disturbances would cause false imaginings mix up with the real, therefore, it becomes difficult for the interpreters to interpret the dream soundly. However, when free of dis¬cordant elements, they are real. But, even among these, some dreams cannot be interpreted because the actuality of the event is not clear. In such a case too, should the interpretation be wrong, the event itself ends up being different. Therefore, only those dreams will become a true ‘I1ham (inspiration) from Allah, and a proven reality, which originate from the command of Allah with the condition that no discordant ele¬ments have intermingled with them and that it has been interpreted correctly too.
All dreams of the blessed prophets are like that. Therefore, their dreams too have the status of Wahy (revelation). The dreams of common believing Muslims are not free of many a probability. Therefore, they are not a binding argument or proof for anyone. Sometimes, their dreams get mixed up with temperamental or self-oriented elements. On other oc-casions, the after effects of sins overtake a true dream in the form of dark and murky silhouettes making it unreliable. Then, there could be oc¬casions when it becomes difficult to spell out a correct interpretation from given parameters.
The three kinds of dreams mentioned here have been reported from the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) . He said that there are three kinds of dreams. (1) The Satanic in which the mind sees forms and shapes released by the Shaitan. (2) That which one keeps seeing while awake. These present themselves before one in a dream. (3) The third kind, which is correct and true, is the forty-sixth part of the ingredients of prophethood (Nu¬buwwah), that is, it is an ‘Ilham (inspiration) from Allah Ta’ ala.
The Meaning of Dream being a part of Nubuwwah: An Explanation
In this kind, which is true and correct and which has been declared to be a part of prophethood in authentic prophetic Traditions, the narra¬tions of Hadith differ. In some, it has been identified as the fortieth part, while in some others, the forty-sixth. There are other narrations as well in which its being the forty-ninth, fiftieth and seventieth part has been reported. All these narrations have been compiled together in Tafsir al-Qurtubi where, following the investigative judgment of Ibn ` Abd al-Barr, it has been established that there is no contradiction among them, in fact, each narration is correct in its place. As for the numerical variation in determining the parts, it depends upon the different attend¬ing conditions of those seeing the dream. Whoever is armed with the quality of truth, trust, honesty and is perfect of faith shall be the one whose dream will be the fortieth part of Nubuwwah. And whoever ranks somewhat lesser in these qualities, his will be the forty-sixth or fiftieth part of it, and whoever is still lesser, his dream will be the seventieth part of Nubuwwah.
Worth pondering here is what does a true dream being a part of pro¬phethood mean? Tafsir Mazhari has explained it by saying that the pro¬cess of revelation to Sayyidna Muhammad al-Mustafa (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) as a Prophet of Allah continued for twenty three years. During the first biannual, this Divine revelation kept coming to him in the form of dreams. During the remaining forty five biannuals, it was communicated to him through the angel, Jibra’il al-Amin (عليه السلام) . Accounted for in this manner, true dreams turn out to be the fortieth part of the prophetic revelation. As for narrations where numbers vary on the lower or higher side, they either carry ap¬proximative statements, or stand dropped for lack of sound authority.
Imam al-Qurtubi explains this by saying that there are occasions when one sees things in dreams which do not lie within his control. For example, one may see that he is flying high in the skies, or he may see things from the Unseen having access to which was not within one’s con¬trol. If so, this cannot become possible through any means other than Divine support and inspiration itself – which, in reality, is an intrinsic attribute of prophethood. Therefore, it was declared to be a part of prophet-hood.
Refuting the Deception of the Qadiyani Dajjal [ Imposter ]
What has been stated above has led some people to run into a miser-able error because they have taken the survival and continuity of this ` part’ of prophethood in the world as the very survival and continuity of prophethood itself! This is against definite, categorical and absolute statements of the Holy Qur’an and against countless sound and authen¬tic Ahadith, and squarely against the collective belief of the entire Mus¬lim Ummah in the finality of prophethood (the ` Aqidah of Khatm Nubuv¬wat). In this exercise in deception, they have failed to realize that the presence of a part of something does not mean the presence of that thing in full. If there is a single nail or strand of hair belonging to a person present anywhere, no sane human being can say that the person is present here. Think of the many parts of a machine. If someone has one part, or a screw of that machine present with him and he goes about declaring that he has such and such machine with him, the whole world would dis¬miss him as a liar or fool.
True dreams, as expressly explained in Hadith, are, without any doubt, a part of Nubuwwah – but not Nubuwwah itself. What we know as Nubuwwah or prophethood has already ended with the Last of Prophets, Sayyidna Muhammad al-Mutafa (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) .
It appears in the Sahih of Al-Bukhari that the Holy Prophet said:
لَم يَبقَ مِنَ النَّبُوَّۃِ اِلَّا المُبَشِّرَاتِ
That is, (in future) no part of the Nubuwwah will remain ex¬cept Al-Mubashshirat.
When the noble Sahabah (رض) asked for the meaning of Al-Mubashshirat, he said: ‘True dreams.’ This proves that there is no Nubuwwah or pro¬phethood of any kind or form for anyone anymore. What remains of it is only a small part which is called Al-Mubashshirat or true dreams.
The Dream of a Sinning Disbeliever may also be True at times
It stands proved from the Qur’an and Hadith, and from experience, that sinners, even disbelievers, could see dreams which are true. In the Surah Yusuf itself, mentioned there are the dreams of two prison mates of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) which were true, and similarly, the dream of the king of Egypt which was true – though, the three of them were not Mus¬lims. This was in the Qur’an. Mentioned in the Hadith is the dream of Kisra (Cyrus) who had dreamt about the coming of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) that dream turned out to be true, though Kisra was not a Muslim. The paternal aunt of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ، ` Atikah, had seen a true dream about the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) while she was still a disbeliever. In addition to that, the dream of the disbelieving King of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, which was interpreted by Sayyidna Daniyal (Daniel) (عليه السلام) was a true dream.
This tells us that the simple instance of someone seeing a true dream and the event taking place as seen cannot become a proof of the dreamer being pious and righteous, even Muslim. However, it is correct to say that this is how the customary practice of Allah operates – that the dreams seen by true and good people are generally true. The dreams seen by sinners are generally from the category of self-suggestions and Shaitanic inputs – but, occasionally, the opposite could also happen.
In short, true dreams, as made clear in Hadith, have no place in the lives of Muslims at large except that they can be either glad tidings, or warning, for them. They are no binding argument in any matter, neither for their own selves, nor for others. Some people, unaware of this truth, fall a victim to all sorts of scruples after having seen such dreams. Some of them would start taking these as a sign of having become a saint or so¬mething like that. Others would tend to give what they get out of these dreams the status of the injunctions of the Shari’ ah. All these ap¬proaches are baseless. Specially so, when we already know that there is every likelihood that both kinds of imaginings, self-suggested or shaitan -induced, can get profusely intermingled with true dreams.
Relating Dreams to Everyone is not Correct:
- In verse 5:… قَالَ يَا بُنَيَّ (He said, ‘O my son …’ ), Sayyidna Yaqub (عليه السلام) has prohibited Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) from relating his dream to his broth¬ers. This tells us that a dream should not be related before a person who is not a well-wisher, nor before a person who is no expert in the interpretation of dreams.
According to Jami` al-Tirmidhi, the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said: A true dream is one of the forty parts of Nubuwwah. And a dream stays in suspension until related to someone. When related, and interpreted by the listener, it actualizes as interpreted. Therefore, one should not relate the dream to anyone, except to a person who is knowing and wise, or is, at least, a friend and a well-wisher.
As also referred to earlier, it appears in Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said: A dream is of three kinds: (1) Glad tidings from Allah; (2) self-suggestions; (3) shaitanic inputs. Therefore, should a person see a certain dream about which he feels good, then, he can relate it to others, if he wishes to do so. And, should he see something bad in it, let him not tell anyone about it. Instead, he should rise and offer Salah. The Hadith of Sahih Muslim also says: If one sees a bad dream, he should blow his breath three times towards his left side and seek the pro¬tection of Allah against its evil and tell no one about it. If this is done, the dream will not cause any harm. The reason is that some dreams are composed of shaitanic seductions. They will stand removed with this ac¬tion. And, if the dream is true, the evil part of it – it can be hoped – will also be eliminated through this action.
- As for the sense of the interpretation of a dream remaining hinged to it, Tafsir Mazhari explains it by saying that some matters of destiny are not absolutely pre-decided, instead, they remain in a state of suspen¬sion, that is, if something was done, the impending misfortune will go away – and if it was not done, it will come. This is known as contingent or conditional destiny. In a situation like that giving a bad interpreta¬tion makes things turn bad while a good interpretation makes it come out good. Therefore, in the Hadith from Tirmidhi mentioned above, relat¬ing a dream to a person who is not wise, or a well-wisher, has been pro¬hibited. And there could also be another reason for this. When someone hears a bad interpretation of the dream seen, one finds himself over¬whelmed by the thought that he is going to be hit by some misfortune. And it appears in Hadith that Allah Ta’ ala said: اَنَا عِندَ ظَنِّ عَبدِی بِی that is, ` I am with the opinion of My servant about Me.’ In other words, ` whatever a servant of Mine believes Me to be, just that I become for him.’ So, when one ends up believing that misfortune is going to come from Allah Ta’ ala, then, true to the customary practice of Allah, the coming of that misfortune becomes due against him.
- Regarding the instruction given in the verse that something sug¬gesting pain and misfortune seen in a dream should not be related to anyone, Hadith narrations seem to indicate that this is not a legal prohi¬bition. It is only an advice based on affection and sympathy. This should not be taken as something made unlawful by the Shari` ah. Therefore, if related to someone, this will be no sin – because it appears in authentic Ahadith that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) at the time of the Battle of Uhud – said: I have seen in a dream that my sword, Zulfaqar, has broken and I saw some cows being slaughtered, the interpretation of which was the Shahadah of Sayyidna Hamzah (رض) and many other Muslim mujahidin, a grave misfortune indeed. But, he had related this dream before the Sahabah. (Qurtubi)
- This verse also tells us that it is permissible to disclose the evil trait or intention of a person about to cause harm to a Muslim. Being an effort to offset an evil design, this action is not included under Ghibah or backbiting. For example, if a person finds out that A is planning to com¬mit theft in the house of B, or intends to kill him, then, he should fore-warn B. This does not fall under the purview of Ghibah which is Haram. This is what was done by Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) when he had disclosed to Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) that there was a danger to his life at the hands of his brothers.
- If a person is blessed by Allah, and he apprehends that his addres¬see will be jealous against him, he should not mention the blessings of wealth, status, and things like that before that person. The Holy Proph¬et (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) has said:
To make your objectives succeed, seek help from keeping them secret – because, every holder of blessing is envied in this world.
- From this verse and from the later in which the plan and execu¬tion of killing or throwing Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) in a well has been men¬tioned, it becomes evident that the brothers of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) were no prophets or messengers of Allah, otherwise, they would have not stooped to the act of conspiring to kill him, then to put him out of their way by lowering him down in a desolate well, and ultimately, to disobey their father – because, the blessed prophets (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) have to be free of all sins, and protected from them. Their reference as ` prophets’ in the book of al-Tabari is not correct. (Qurtubi)
وَكَذٰلِكَ يَجْتَبِيْكَ رَبُّكَ وَيُعَلِّمُكَ مِنْ تَاْوِيْلِ الْاَحَادِيْثِ وَيُـــتِمُّ نِعْمَتَهٗ عَلَيْكَ وَعَلٰٓي اٰلِ يَعْقُوْبَ كَمَآ اَتَمَّــهَا عَلٰٓي اَبَوَيْكَ مِنْ قَبْلُ اِبْرٰهِيْمَ وَاِسْحٰقَ ۭ اِنَّ رَبَّكَ عَلِيْمٌ حَكِيْمٌ
Expertise in the Interpretation of Dreams is Bestowed by Allah on whom He wills
In the sixth verse, Allah Ta ا ala has promised some blessings for Sayy¬idna Yusuf (عليه السلام) : (1) كَذَٰلِكَ يَجْتَبِيكَ رَبُّكَ (And in the like manner your Lord will choose you …) that is, H-e will choose him for His blessings and fa¬vours, something which manifested itself when wealth, recognition and power came into his hands in the country of Egypt. (2) وَيُعَلِّمُكَ مِن تَأْوِيلِ الْأَحَادِيثِ – (and teach you the interpretation of events …). The word: الْأَحَادِيثِ : ‘al-ahadith’ here means the dreams of people. It means that Allah Ta’ ala will teach him how to interpret dreams. This also tells us that interpret¬ing dreams is a standing area of expertise which is bestowed by Allah Ta` ala on a chosen few – everyone is not fit to have it.
It appears in Tafsir al-Qurtubi that ` Abdullah ibn Shaddad ibn al-Had said that the interpretation of this dream of Sayyidna ~Yusuf actualized after forty years. This tells us that an instant actualization of an interpretation is not necessary either.
(3) As for the third promise: وَيُتِمُّ نِعْمَتَهُ عَلَيْكَ (and will perfect His bounty upon you), it refers to the bestowal of Nubuwwah (prophethood) upon him. And this is what has been alluded to in the later sentences: كَمَا أَتَمَّهَا عَلَىٰ أَبَوَيْكَ مِن قَبْلُ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْحَاقَ (as He has perfected it, earlier, upon your father, Ibrahim and Ishaq). That which has been said here also indicates that the skill of interpreting dreams as given to Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) was also taught to Sayyidna Ibrahim and Ishaq (عليهما السلام) ، peace be on them both.
At the end of the verse, it was said: إِنَّ رَبَّكَ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ (Surely, your Lord is All-Wise, All-Knowing). So He is. For Him, teaching an art to someone is not difficult, nor does He, as His wisdom would have it, teach this art to just anyone. Instead of that, He elects someone, in His wisdom, and lets him have this expertise.
لَقَدْ كَانَ فِيْ يُوْسُفَ وَاِخْوَتِهٖٓ اٰيٰتٌ لِّلسَّاۗىِٕلِيْنَ
In the first of the fourteen verses cited above (7), a notice of warning has been served to the effect that the story of Yusuf, peace be on him, should not be taken as a common story – because, in it, there are great signs of the perfect power of Allah Ta’ ala, and His instructions, both for those who have asked and for those who would seek guidance through it.
The statement made here could be explained by saying that the signs referred to here are for the Jews who had put the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) to test by asking him to relate this story to them. When, according to a narration, the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) was in Makkah al-Mu` azzamah, the news about him reached Madinah. The Jews living there sent a group of their men to Makkah to make investigations and test his claim to prophethood. Therefore, the question they asked of him was put in a somewhat vague manner, that is, ` if you are a true prophet of Allah, tell us about the prophet one of whose sons was taken from Syria to Egypt, an event which had caused his father to become blind due to constant weeping during his absence.
The Jews had chosen to ask about this event because it was not wide¬ly known, nor did anyone in Makkah was aware of it. That was a time when there was no member of the people of Book living in Makkah, one from whom some part of this story as appearing in the Torah and Injil could be ascertained. So, it was following this very question that the entire Surah Yusuf was revealed, a Surah which relates the whole story of Sayyidna Ya` qub and Yusuf (عليهما السلام) – and does it in such details as do not appear even in Torah and Injil. Therefore, when the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) described it, it was an open miracle shown at his blessed hands.
Alternately, this verse could also mean that this event in itself – aside from the question asked by the Jews – was full of great signs of the perfect power of Allah Ta’ ala and that, in it, there were major elements of Divine guidance, and instructions and injunctions. One could imagine the destiny of a child who was thrown in a pit when the power of Allah took over, carried him from one stage to the other guarding him all along, from his childhood to his youth. Then, Allah Ta’ ala has blessed him with a divine colour as He would do with His special servants for he stood steadfast as His servant against trials which would make obedi¬ence difficult. It is all the more difficult when one is young and chal¬lenged by opportunities. But, here is he, armed with the fear of Allah. He holds his ground, controls his self from desiring the undesirable and walks out clean from the stranglehold of temptation. Then, the story tells us how Allah rewards a person who takes to righteousness and fear of Allah as his conscious and determined way of life, how He makes him rise higher than his adversaries in power and recognition, and how they stand subdued before him finally. These are lessons and truths, all pointing to the great signs of the Divine power which can be realized by anyone who would care to look and find out. (Qurtubi & Mazhari)
This verse mentions the brothers of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) . The reference is to the twelve sons of Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) ، including Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) . Every son from among them had their children. Their families prospered. Since the title by which Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) was known was Isra’il, therefore, all these twelve families were identified as Bani Isra’il (the children of Isra’il).
Out of these twelve sons, the eldest ten were from the first blessed wife of Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) ، Sayyidah Layya, daughter of Layyan. After her death, Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) married her sister, Rahil (See editorial note on page 156. ) (Rach¬el). She became the mother of his two sons, Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) and Benyamin (Benjamin). Therefore, Benyamin was the only real brother of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) . The rest of the ten were his half-brothers from the father’s side. Ralil, the mother of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) ، had died during his childhood at the time of the birth of Benyamin. (Qurtubi)
اِذْ قَالُوْا لَيُوْسُفُ وَاَخُوْهُ اَحَبُّ اِلٰٓي اَبِيْنَا مِنَّا وَنَحْنُ عُصْبَةٌ ۭ اِنَّ اَبَانَا لَفِيْ ضَلٰلٍ مُّبِيْنِۨ
From the second verse (8), begins the story of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) which tells that the brothers of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) saw that their father, Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) loved Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) unusually more than them who were older than him. Therefore, this made them envy him. And it is also possible that they had somehow found out about the dream of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) which may have led them to become un¬comfortable at the prospect of his coming rise in status, and which may have made them envious of him. They talked about it among themselves: We see that our father loves Yusuf and his brother Benyamin much more than us, although we are ten of us and older than them. We have the ability and group strength to manage the affairs of the family while they both are small children who cannot do much. Our father should have noticed this and we are the ones he should have been loving more. But, what he is doing is open injustice. Therefore, you should either kill Yusuf, or throw him away into some far out spot of land from where he could not come back.
In this verse, these brothers have referred to themselves as: عُصبَۃً (` usbah). This word is used in the Arabic for a group from five to ten. As for their remark about their father: إِنَّ أَبَانَا لَفِي ضَلَالٍ مُّبِينٍ (Surely, our father is in clear error), the word: ضَلَال (dalal) appearing here lexically means the error of straying. But, at this place, dalal ضَلَال or error does not mean relig¬ious error. If so, such a connotation would have made all of them Kafirs (disbelievers) – because, Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) is an exalted prophet of Allah Ta` ala and such a thought in his case is an absolute Kufr.
And about the brothers of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) ، it has been men¬tioned in the Qur’an itself that they, later on, admitted their crime and requested their father to pray for their forgiveness which he accepted to do. This makes it obvious that their mistake was forgiven. Now, this can become possible only when all of them are believers – otherwise, the pray¬er for the forgiveness of a disbeliever is not permissible. This is the rea¬son why there is no difference of opinion about their being believers, although ` Ulama’ do differ about these brothers being prophets. This tells us that the word: ضَلَال (dalal: error) has been uttered at this place in the sense that he does not treat brothers equally in the matter of their rights.
اقْــتُلُوْا يُوْسُفَ اَوِ اطْرَحُوْهُ اَرْضًا يَّخْلُ لَكُمْ وَجْهُ اَبِيْكُمْ وَتَكُوْنُوْا مِنْۢ بَعْدِهٖ قَوْمًا صٰلِحِيْنَ
The third verse (9) describes how the brothers exchanged opinions among themselves. Some suggested that Yusuf be killed. Others opted for throwing him into a desolate pit so that the thorn in their side could be removed and they could thus become the sole recipients of their father’s attention. As for the sin they would be earning for themselves by killing or throwing him in a pit that was something which could be taken care of later when they could repent for what they did and thus become righteous. This is the meaning of the sentence: وَتَكُونُوا مِن بَعْدِهِ قَوْمًا صَالِحِين (and after that you may become a righteous people) according to some reports. And the verse could also be taken to mean that things will come out right for them after the killing of Yusuf because that focus of the father’s attention on Yusuf (عليه السلام) will not be there anymore, or that they would, once they have apologized to their father after the killing of Yusuf, become normal as they were.
This proves that these brothers of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) were not prophets because, in this case, they had committed many major sins, such as, the intention to kill someone innocent, disobedience to their father and causing pain to him, contravention of pledge, conspiracy, and things like that. Such sins, according to the Muslim consensus, cannot be committed by the noble prophets, may peace be upon them all, even before they are ordained to be one.
قَالَ قَاۗىِٕلٌ مِّنْهُمْ لَا تَـقْتُلُوْا يُوْسُفَ وَاَلْقُوْهُ فِيْ غَيٰبَتِ الْجُبِّ يَلْتَقِطْهُ بَعْضُ السَّـيَّارَةِ اِنْ كُنْتُمْ فٰعِلِيْنَ
Mentioned in the fourth verse (10) is that, hearing this whole conver¬sation, one of these brothers advised that Yusuf should not be killed. If something has to be done, let him be thrown into some pit of a well where he could remain alive so that when wayfarers stop at this well, they would take him out and away. Thus, it would serve their purpose while they would not have to take the trouble of traveling with him to some far out place. Some caravan passing this way would itself do this for them by taking him away to some distant destination.
The giver of this advice was their eldest brother, Yahuda (Judah). Some narrations report that Ruebel (Rueben) was the eldest and it was he who gave this advice. And this is the same person mentioned later, that is, he was the one who, when Benyamin, the younger brother of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) was detained in Egypt, came forward and said: How am I going to face my father when I go to him without him with me, therefore, I am not going back to Canaan.
The expression used in this verse is: غَيَابَتِ الْجُبِّ (ghayabatil jubb: bot¬tom of a pit). Literally, ghayabah means everything which hides someth¬ing in or makes it disappear. Therefore, a grave is also called ghayabah. And jubb refers to a well without raised sidings.
Another word: يَلْتَقِطْهُ (yaltaqithu) appearing in the next sentence: يَلْتَقِطْهُ بَعْضُ السَّيَّارَةِ (so that some wayfarer picks him up) needs explanation. This word: اِلتِقَاط (iltiqat) is a derivation from: لُقطَہ (luqtah). The word: لُقطَہ (luqtah) refers to something left or dropped which is found by someone with-out having the desire to have it. If it is inert, it is called لُقطَہ luqtah, and if it is live, it is identified as laqit (لَقیط) in the terminology of Muslim jurists. A human being will be called لَقیط laqit when he or she is a child, not rational and pubert. It is from this word that Al-Qurtubi proves that, when Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) was thrown in the pit of a well, he was a non-pubert child. In addition to that, the saying of Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) fear lest a wolf should devour him (13) ‘ also indicates his being a child – because, the likelihood of being eaten up by a wolf can only be imagined in the case of a child. As reported by Ibn Jarir, Ibn al-Mundhir and Ibn Abi Shaiybah, the age of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) was seven years at that time.
Some rules about the disposal of something owned by an unknown person (lugtah)
At this place, Imam Al-Qurtubi has given details of Islamic legal injunctions relating to ‘luqtah’ and ` laqit’ for which this is not the appropri¬ate occasion. However, it is necessary to understand a matter of princi¬ple operative in this connection. Islam has a system of its own in which the protection of the life and property of common people, the upkeep and cleanliness of walkways and streets, and similar other civic duties, have not been left in the sole charge of the departments of the government. In-stead of that, it has made everyone obligated to the duty of keeping them safe and clean. The Hadith has sternly warned those who make things difficult for passersby by crowding or lingering or depositing or throwing their belongings on public walkways and streets. It says: ` The Jihad of a person who blocks or clogs the passageway of Muslims is not acceptable.’ Similarly, there is the instance of thorns or nails or broken glass or rocks and things like that which may be lying on walkways and which pose a danger of hurting others. Islam has not made their removal from public thoroughfare the sole responsibility of a city council or municipal board. Instead of that, it has made every believing Muslim responsible for it. Of course, it does that in a mode of persuasion and great reward and thawab has been promised for those who do so.
If, on this principle, the property lost by a person is found by some-one, his Islamic legal responsibility does not remain simply limited to not stealing it – it goes much beyond that. In fact, it also becomes his responsibility that he must pick it up as an article of trust, keep it safe, make an announcement, look for the owner and, when he finds him and his description of the lost property before him makes him sure that the lost property does belong to him, then, he should give it to him. And when, despite his announcement and search, the owner remains un¬traced and, given the general valuation and status of the lost property, one becomes convinced that its owner is not going to look for it anymore, then, one has two choices. If he himself is poor, he may use it personally; if not, he should give it in charity to those poor and needy. However, in both these situations, the lost property thus used shall be taken as sada¬qah (charity) from the owner. The thawab for it shall reach the owner – as if, it was deposited in his name in the Treasury of the Heavens.
These are golden principles of public service and social self-help. The responsibility of putting them in regular practice has been placed on every individual of an Islamic society. Only if Muslims would under-stand their religion and start acting in accordance with it, they will be noticed by the whole world with surprise as to how do they accomplish things so easily and so effectively, things which big departments of governments fail to accomplish at the cost of millions and billions.
قَالَ اِنِّىْ لَيَحْزُنُنِيْٓ اَنْ تَذْهَبُوْا بِهٖ وَاَخَافُ اَنْ يَّاْكُلَهُ الذِّئْبُ وَاَنْتُمْ عَنْهُ غٰفِلُوْنَ
When the brothers of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) requested their father that he should send Yusuf with them on a recreational outing, Sayyidna Ya’qub (عليه السلام) told them that he did not favour sending him out for two rea¬sons: (1) He remains uncomfortable without him in sight and (2) he ap¬prehends that, in the wilderness out there, it might so happen that they become neglectful at some time and a wolf might eat him up.
The apprehension of Sayyidna Ya’qub may have been caused either due to the abundance of wolves in Canaan, or because he had seen in a dream that he is standing on top of a hill and Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) is there on the slope downhill. All of a sudden ten wolves surround him and try to attack him. But, one of the wolves came forward to rescue him from the rest. Once released, Sayyidna Yusuf عليه السلام took refuge inside the terrain.
The interpretation of that dream manifested later when it turned out that the ten wolves were these ten brothers and the wolf which defended Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) and saved him from being killed was his elder brother, Yahuda (Judah). And the depth of the pit was the interpreta¬tion of his hiding under the land.
In a narration from Sayyidna ` Abdullah ibn ` Abbas (رض) ، it has been reported that Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) ، because of this dream, felt the danger of an unfortunate situation coming at the hands of these brothers. Thus, in fact, they were the ones he had alluded to as wolves – but, in consider¬ation of his wisdom, he did not lay the truth bare. (Qurtubi)
قَالُوْا لَىِٕنْ اَكَلَهُ الذِّئْبُ وَنَحْنُ عُصْبَةٌ اِنَّآ اِذًا لَّخٰسِرُوْنَ
After hearing what Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) said, those brothers countered it by saying that his apprehension was strange in view of the presence of a strong group of the ten of them to protect Yusuf. If a wolf could be expected to eat up Yusuf despite their being there to guard him, it would render their very presence around him totally senseless. If so, they could not be taken as good for anything.
Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) acting with the elegance of a great prophet he was, did not say it plainly before his children that it was they about whom he feared a foul play because, firstly it would have been a painful statement to make against all of them and, secondly, there was the dan¬ger that such a statement from the father would have increased the en-mity of the brothers to higher proportions – that is, if they somehow abandoned their idea of killing him now, they might have done so at some later occasion under some other excuse. For this reason, he allowed them to go. But, he did make sure that the brothers give him a solemn pledge that they would see that no harm comes to Yusuf. As added pre-caution, he entrusted him with his elder brother Ruebel (Rueben) or Yahuda (Judah) so that they specially take care of his needs there and see that he returns soon and safe. The brothers lifted Yusuf up on their shoulders, and kept doing so one by one. Sayyidna Yaqui followed them upto a certain distance to bid them farewell.
When these people, as described by Al-Qurtubi following historical narrations, disappeared from the sight of Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) ، the brother on whose shoulders Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) was perched threw him down on the ground. He started walking by himself. But, being too small, he could not keep pace with them and tried to seek help from another brother. He remained cold. So did every brother he went to for help. They told him that he better call for help those eleven stars, the Sun and the Moon he had seen prostrating to him – they should help him.
From here, Al-Qurtubi concludes that the brothers had somehow found out about the dream of Sayyidna Yusuf ill. That dream became the cause of their extreme hostility.
Finally, Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) appealed to Yahuda as his elder broth¬er telling him about his plight. He was weak and small and needed pro¬tection, at least for the sake of their old father to whom they had given the pledge to help him. Yahuda was moved and he told him that until he was alive, he would not let these brothers hurt him.
Thus, when Allah Ta` ala put mercy in the heart of Yahuda and the ability to do what was right, he told the other brothers of his that killing someone sinless was an extremely grave sin, therefore, they should fear Allah and take the innocent child back to his father. However, to make things easy on them, they could take a pledge from him that he would not complain to him in any way about their behaviour.
The brothers told Yahuda: We know what you mean. You wish to rise higher than us in the sight of our father. So, you better listen to us. If you do anything to resist our intention, we shall kill you too. When Yahuda realized that he alone could do nothing against his nine broth¬ers, he told them: Well, if you have decided to get rid of this child, then, listen to me carefully. There is an old well nearby with a lot of wild growth in it and now a home for many lethal crawlers. Put him in that well. If a snake or scorpion bites and kills him there, you shall have what you are looking for. Thus, you shall remain free of the blame of shedding his blood by your own hands. And, in case, he still remains alive, then, may be there comes a caravan this way, lowers its bucket to draw water from it and finds him instead. It is likely that they would take him away with them to some other country in which case too you would have achieved your objective.
فَلَمَّا ذَهَبُوْا بِهٖ وَاَجْمَعُوْٓا اَنْ يَّجْعَلُوْهُ فِيْ غَيٰبَتِ الْجُبِّ ۚ وَاَوْحَيْنَآ اِلَيْهِ لَتُنَبِّئَنَّهُمْ بِاَمْرِهِمْ ھٰذَا وَهُمْ لَا يَشْعُرُوْنَ
From here, Al-Qurtubi concludes that the brothers had somehow
To this, all brothers agreed – as stated in the ninth of the present verses (15) cited above in the following words:
فَلَمَّا ذَهَبُوا بِهِ وَأَجْمَعُوا أَن يَجْعَلُوهُ فِي غَيَابَتِ الْجُبِّ ۚ وَأَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْهِ لَتُنَبِّئَنَّهُم بِأَمْرِهِمْ هَـٰذَا وَهُمْ لَا يَشْعُرُونَ
` So, when they went with him and were determined to put him in the bottom of a pit (which they did). And We revealed to him (Yusuf), You will (one day) tell them of this deed of theirs while they will not recognize (you).’
Here, the word: وَأَوْحَيْنَا (And We revealed) is the principal clause of the preceding conditional clause: فَلَمَّا ذَهَبُوا (when they went). The letter: (and) at this place in the former is za’idah i.e. has no meaning (Qurtubi). The sense is: When the brothers did finally decide to throw Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) into the pit of the well, Allah Ta’ aa revealed to Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) words of comfort for him in which he has been given the glad tidings that some time in the future he will meet his brothers and that it will be a time when he would be free of any need of help from these brothers, rather, would have an upper-hand over them. And by virtue of these changed circumstances, he would be in a position to take account of their unjust treatment meted out to their younger brother while they themselves would be unaware of the whole matter.
Imam Al-Qurtubi says that there could be two possible situations in this connection: (1) That the revelation came to him after he was thrown in the pit of the well and that it was to give him comfort in that state and to give him the good news that he would be delivered soon from this ordeal. (2) That Allah Ta’ ala had, much before he was thrown into the pit of the well, oriented Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) with conditions and events he would face through a revelation in which he was also told that he would come out of this death-trap safely and that particular conditions will unravel when he would have the opportunity to admonish these brothers who would not even recognize him at that time as their own brother, Yusuf.
According to Tafsir Mazhari, this revelation which came to him dur¬ing the time of his childhood was not the commonly recognized wahy or revelation sent to prophets – because, that is conferred on them at the age of forty. In fact, this was a revelation similar to that which was sent to the mother of Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) . The usual channel of revelation as received by prophets started when Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) had reached Egypt and attained maturity – as stated in the Qur’an: وَلَمَّا بَلَغَ أَشُدَّهُ آتَيْنَاهُ حُكْمًا وَعِلْمًا (And when he reached at the prime of his age, We gave him wisdom and knowledge – 22). And Ibn Jarir, Ibn Abi Hatim and others have taken this revelation to be nothing but prophetic, though in an exceptional way, as was the case of Sayyidna ` Isa (عليه السلام) who was invested with pro¬phethood during his childhood. (Mazhari)
Sayyidna ` Abdullah ibn ` Abbas رضی اللہ تعالیٰ عنہما has said: After he had reached Egypt, Allah Ta` ala had forbidden Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) through a revela¬tion that he should not report his circumstances back to his home. (Qurtubi) This was the reason why a prophet of Allah like Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) did not – even after having been released from the prison and later hav¬ing the reins of the government of Egypt in his hands – make an effort to find a way through which he could have provided relief to his old and afflicted father by sending to him a message that he was safe and set.
Who knows or could know the wisdom of Allah ja’lla thana’uhu hidden behind this arrangement? Perhaps, of the many considerations, it may also be His will that Sayyidna Ya` gub (عليه السلام) be sounded out that such boundless love for someone other than Allah was not ideally fa¬vour-worthy – and that by making those brothers come to Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) in need, the purpose may be to mildly censure him too for his conduct.
At this point, Imam Al-Qurtubi and other commentators have described the event of the lowering of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) into the pit of the well. When his brothers started doing that, he clung to the outer edge of the well. They took his shirt out and tied his hands with it. At that time, Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) pleaded for mercy from his brothers once again. But, once again, he got the same answer: Call those eleven stars who prostrate to you, let them help you. Then, they put him in a bucket and lowered him down into the well. When he was down as far as half the depth of the well, they cut off the rope releasing the bucket for a free fall. But, Allah being the protector of His prophet, saved him when he re¬mained unhurt as he fell into the water. There was a protruding rock close to him. Safe and sound, he sat on it. According to some narrations, a command was given to Sayyidna Jibra’il (عليه السلام) who put him on the rock.
Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) remained in that well for three days. Hiding away from others, his brother, Yahuda, brought food and water for him every day and lowered it down to him through a bucket.
قَالُوْا يٰٓاَبَانَآ اِنَّا ذَهَبْنَا نَسْتَبِقُ وَتَرَكْنَا يُوْسُفَ عِنْدَ مَتَاعِنَا فَاَكَلَهُ الذِّئْبُ ۚ وَمَآ اَنْتَ بِمُؤْمِنٍ لَّنَا وَلَوْ كُنَّا صٰدِقِيْنَ
The brothers, then, said:
يَا أَبَانَا إِنَّا ذَهَبْنَا نَسْتَبِقُ وَتَرَكْنَا يُوسُفَ عِندَ مَتَاعِنَا فَأَكَلَهُ الذِّئْبُ ۖ وَمَا أَنتَ بِمُؤْمِنٍ لَّنَا وَلَوْ كُنَّا صَادِقِينَ
Father, we went running races and left Yusuf with our belong¬ings and the wolf ate him up. And you will never believe us, even though we are telling the truth.
Some rules about racing
In Ahkam al-Qur’an, Ibn al-‘Arabi has said: Running races against each other is legitimate in the Shari’ah. It is a good habit which comes handy in Jihad. Therefore, the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ، as proved by authentic Ahadith, has personally participated in such running of races. Also proved is making horses run against each other (not to be confused with institutionalized horse-racing with bets, as clarified later). Out of the noble Companions, Sayyidna Salamah ibn al-Akwa` ran a one-on-one race against a person and won it.
That the racing of horses as such is permissible stands proved from the verse under reference and from Hadith reports cited above. In addi¬tion to the racing of horses, mutual competition in racing and archery and in other fields is also permissible, and equally permissible is the giv¬ing of awards from a third party to the winner in this mutual competi-tion. But, fixing an amount of money in a bilateral agreement that the loser will pay it to the winner is gambling or Qimar which has been de¬clared Haram or unlawful by the Holy Qur’an. Today, none of the prevail¬ing forms of horse racing is free from gambling and Qimar. Therefore, all of them are Haram, impermissible and unlawful.
Mentioned in the previous verses was that the brothers of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) ، after talking to each other back and forth, finally put him down in a desolate well and returned to their father telling him that he has been eaten up by a wolf. From verse 18, the story onwards has been taken up in the following words:
وَجَاۗءُوْ عَلٰي قَمِيْصِهٖ بِدَمٍ كَذِبٍ ۭ قَالَ بَلْ سَوَّلَتْ لَكُمْ اَنْفُسُكُمْ اَمْرًا ۭ فَصَبْرٌ جَمِيْلٌ ۭ وَاللّٰهُ الْمُسْتَعَانُ عَلٰي مَا تَصِفُوْنَ
وَجَاءُوا عَلَىٰ قَمِيصِهِ بِدَمٍ كَذِبٍ ; (And they came with fake blood on his shirt) that is, the brothers of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) came back with his shirt they had smeared in fake blood so that they could make their father believe that he has been eaten up by a wolf.
But, Allah Ta’ ala had His way of exposing their lie. He made them neglect something else they should have done besides smearing the shirt with fake blood. Had they also torn the shirt, it would proved his being eaten up by a wolf. Here they were coming with an intact shirt smeared with the blood of a kid goat and trying to deceive their father. After see¬ing this shirt totally unscratched, Sayyidna Ya’qub (عليه السلام) said: My sons, certainly wise was this wolf who ate Yusuf in a way that his shirt was not torn from anywhere.
Thus, their deceit was exposed before Sayyidna Ya’qub (عليه السلام) and he said:
بَلْ سَوَّلَتْ لَكُمْ أَنفُسُكُمْ أَمْرًا ۖ فَصَبْرٌ جَمِيلٌ ۖ وَاللَّـهُ الْمُسْتَعَانُ عَلَىٰ مَا تَصِفُونَ
Rather, your inner desires have seduced you to something. So, patience is best. And it is Allah whose help is sought against what you describe.
- Sayyidna Ya’qub (عليه السلام) has used the intact shirt as evidence to es¬tablish that the brothers of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) were lying. This tells us that a Qadi or judge should also keep an eye on circumstantial evidence alongwith the claims and arguments of the parties concerned (Qurtubi).
Al-Mawardi has said: The legendary shirt of Yusuf (عليه السلام) is a wonder of the world in its own way. Three great events of prophetic annals are con¬nected with his shirt: (I) The first event relates to the smearing of the shirt with fake blood, cheating a father and the evidence of the shirt which established the lie. (II) The second event relates to Zulaikha in which it is the shirt of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) which appears as the conclu¬sive evidence. (III) The third event relates to the return of Sayyidna Ya` qub’s eyesight in which it is the shirt of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) which stands out as the cause of that miracle.
- Some ` Ulama have said that the comment: بَلْ سَوَّلَتْ لَكُمْ أَنفُسُكُمْ أَمْرًا (Rather, your inner desires have seduced you to something 18) made at this time before his sons was also made at the time when Benyamin, the real brother of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) ، was detained in Egypt having been charged with theft. When his brothers reported this incident to Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) ، he said: بَلْ سَوَّلَتْ لَكُمْ أَنفُسُكُمْ (Rather, your inner desires have se¬duced you to something – 83). Worth pondering here is that Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) had made both these comments as based on his opinion. The first of them turned out to be true; the other was not – because, in this, the brothers were not to be blamed. This tells us that a wrong personal opinion is possible even from prophets initially – though, later on, they are not left to stand by that wrong opinion by means of Divine revelation.
According to Al-Qurtubi, it proves that an error of opinion can be committed by the highest of the high. Therefore, every man or woman of opinion should take his or her opinion as suspect, and should not become so rigid about it as not to be ready to listen or entertain what others have to say.
وَجَاۗءَتْ سَيَّارَةٌ فَاَرْسَلُوْا وَارِدَهُمْ فَاَدْلٰى دَلْوَهٗ ۭ قَالَ يٰبُشْرٰي ھٰذَا غُلٰمٌ ۭ وَاَسَرُّوْهُ بِضَاعَةً ۭ وَاللّٰهُ عَلِيْمٌۢ بِمَا يَعْمَلُوْنَ
There is No Chance or Accident in Divine Arrangements
It is said in verse 19: وَجَاءَتْ سَيَّارَةٌ فَأَرْسَلُوا وَارِدَهُمْ فَأَدْلَىٰ دَلْوَهُ (And there came some wayfarers and sent one of them to go for water. So, he let down his bucket). The word: سَيَّارَةٌ (sayyara) means wayfarers or a caravan. Wrid (وارِد) is a person who moves ahead of the caravan as its vanguard. Such a person is responsible for taking care of the needs of the caravan, water being one of them. Idla أَدْلَىٰ ) means to lower the bucket into the well to draw water. The sense is that a caravan passed by this part of land by chance. According to Tafsir al-Qurtubi, this caravan was coming from Syria on its way to Egypt. Having lost its bearing, it strayed into this desolate place and sent some of his men to bring water from the well.
That the Syrian caravan lost its regular route, reached that exact spot and decided to send their water-carrier to that deserted well is a se¬quence of events which is referred to by people as accidental. But, the knower of the secret of the creation knows that all these events are chains of a system which is breathtakingly coordinated and formidable. It is but the Creator of ~suf, and his Protector, who moves the caravan away from its set route and brings it here and sends its men to this de¬serted well. This is a mirror of all other states and events which common people see as accidental happenings – and philosophers as contingents – all of which is based on an unawareness of how the system of the uni¬verse really works. Otherwise, in creation, there is no chance or accident (which Einstein, though no formal believer, did concede: ` God does not play dice!’ ). However, the most true Creator of the universe is known by the majesty of His unique state of being. He is, as the Qur’ an declares:
فَعَّالٌ لِّمَا يُرِيدُ
Doer of what He intends – 85:16
His wisdom works in unimaginable ways when He creates conditions and circumstances which do not seem to synchronize with the obvious se¬quence of events. When this happens, one fails to comprehend the real¬ity, and takes what he does not understand as something accidental.
However, their man whose name has been identified as Malik ibn Du` bar reached that well, lowered his bucket which Yusuf saw as Divine help coming down. He took hold of the rope. Up it came with no water but with the shining face of someone whose instant mystique of beauty and signs of forthcoming spiritual excellence were no less impressive than the real greatness he was going to achieve in the future. Intrigued, surprised and flushed with delight, the man looked at this young, handsome and promising child coming suddenly face to face before him emerg¬ing from the depths of a well and making him exclaim: يَا بُشْرَىٰ هَـٰذَا غُلَامٌ (What a good news! This is a boy). In the Hadith concerning the Night of Mi` raj (the Ascent to the Heavens) appearing in the Sahih of Muslim, the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) has been reported to have said: ` When I met Yusuf (عليه السلام) ، I saw that Allah Ta’ ala has blessed him with half of the beauty of the whole world, while the other half has been spread over the rest of it.’
Following immediately after is the statement: وَأَسَرُّوهُ بِضَاعَةً (And they kept him hidden as merchandise). It means that Malik ibn Du’bar, when he first saw this boy, did exclaim taken by surprise. But, an afterthought over the matter made him decide not to let this be known. Instead, he thought, he would keep him hidden from others so that he could sell him for good money later. He did not want the caravan to know about it for the whole caravan would then be claiming a share in the money so ac¬quired.
However, the expression could also mean that the brothers of Sayyid¬na Yusuf (عليه السلام) ، by concealing the truth of the matter, themselves made him into merchandise. This is as it appears in some narrations where it is said that Yahuda used to carry food to Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) every day while he was in the well. On the third day, when he did not find him there, he returned to his brothers and told them about it. Together, they went there, made investigations, and found him with the people of the caravan. They told them: This boy is our slave. He has escaped and you have done something bad by detaining him in your possession. Malik ibn Du’bar and his companions were scared lest they be taken as thieves. Therefore, they started talking about a deal to purchase him from the brothers. Thus, the verse would come to mean that the brothers of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) themselves made him into merchandise and sold him out.
After that it was said: وَاللَّـهُ عَلِيمٌ بِمَا يَعْمَلُونَ (while Allah was aware of what they were ‘doing). The sense is that Allah Ta’ ala, in His perfect knowl¬edge, was fully aware of what the legendary brothers of Yusuf would do, and also that which will be done by the people of the caravan who would buy him. Allah Ta’ a1a had all power to undo the designs of both, but it was under His own wise considerations that He let these designs carry on.
In this sentence, according to Ibn Kathir, there is an element of guid¬ance for the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) as well. It tells him that nothing his people are doing to him, or will do in the future, is outside the scope of Allah’s knowledge and power. He could, if He so willed, change everything and everyone outright. But, wisdom demanded that they be allowed to show their power at this time. Finally, by making him overcome them, it will be truth itself seen triumphant over them – as was done in the case of Yusuf (عليه السلام) .
وَشَرَوْهُ بِثَمَنٍۢ بَخْسٍ دَرَاهِمَ مَعْدُوْدَةٍ ۚ وَكَانُوْا فِيْهِ مِنَ الزَّاهِدِيْنَ
Verse 20 begins with the words: وَشَرَوْهُ بِثَمَنٍ بَخْسٍ دَرَاهِمَ مَعْدُودَةٍ (And they sold him for a paltry price, for a few silver-coins, and they were disinterested in him). In Arabic, the word: شِرَا (shira’ ) is used for buying and sell¬ing both. The probability of both meanings exists here. If the pronoun is reverted back to the brothers of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) ، it will mean sell¬ing – and if applied to the people of the caravan, it would mean buying. Thus, the sense would be: ` the brothers of Yusuf sold him – or, the people of the caravan bought him – for a paltry price, that is, for a counted few dirhams in return.’
Al-Qurtubi says: The Arab traders used to transact deals involving big amounts by weight while, for amounts not more than forty, they would go by count. Therefore, the word: مَعْدُودَةٍ (ma` dudah: few) used with: دِرَاھُم (darahim: plural of dirham: silver-coins) tells us that the count of dirhams was less than forty. Ibn Kathir, citing the authority of Sayyidna ` Abdullah ibn Masud (رض) ، has written that the deal was closed at twenty dirhams which the ten brothers had divided among themselves at the rate of two dirhams per person. As for the exact amount of dirhams, reported there are other narrations as well which put them as twenty two and forty. (Ibn Kathir)
In the last sentence of the verse: وَكَانُوا فِيهِ مِنَ الزَّاهِدِينَ (and they were dis¬interested in him), the word: الزَّاهِدِينَ (az-zahidin) is the plural of zahid which is a derivation from zuhd. Literally, zuhd means indifference, dis¬interestedness. In usage, the lack of interest in and the avoidance of wealth and property in worldly life is referred to as zuhd. The meaning of the verse is that the brothers of Yusuf (عليه السلام) were really not interested in any financial gain for themselves in this matter. Their real purpose was to separate Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) from their father. Therefore, they struck a deal for a very few dirhams.
وَقَالَ الَّذِي اشْتَرٰىهُ مِنْ مِّصْرَ لِامْرَاَتِهٖٓ اَكْرِمِيْ مَثْوٰىهُ عَسٰٓى اَنْ يَّنْفَعَنَآ اَوْ نَتَّخِذَهٗ وَلَدًا ۭ وَكَذٰلِكَ مَكَّنَّا لِيُوْسُفَ فِي الْاَرْضِ ۡ وَلِنُعَلِّمَهٗ مِنْ تَاْوِيْلِ الْاَحَادِيْثِ ۭ وَاللّٰهُ غَالِبٌ عَلٰٓي اَمْرِهٖ وَلٰكِنَّ اَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُوْنَ
Described in the previous verses was an early account of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) as to how the people from the caravan took him out of the well, and how his brothers made him out to be their escaped slave and traded him for a few dirhams. First of all, they did not know the value and station of their great brother. Secondly, their real purpose was not to make money by selling him – they wanted to remove him away from his father. Therefore, they did not stop at simply selling him because they felt the danger that the caravan may somehow leave him behind as a result of which he may somehow reach their father and tell him all about their conspiracy. So, according to a report from Tafsir authority, Mujahid, these people waited for the caravan to leave with him for Egypt. When the caravan actually departed, they went with the caravan upto a certain distance warning them on the way that he is in the habit of running away, therefore, they should not leave him free to move around, better still, they should tie him up. Thus, the caravan, unaware of the precious ` merchandise’ they were carrying with them, took him in that condition as far as Egypt. (Tafsir Ibn Kathir)
The part of the story as taken up onwards in the present verses shows the eloquent brevity of the Qur’an when sections of the story which can be understood independently have not been necessarily de-scribed. For instance, the trip of the caravan through various stages en-route Egypt and the actual selling of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) there. All this has been skipped. Stated from here is:
وَقَالَ الَّذِي اشْتَرَاهُ مِن مِّصْرَ لِامْرَأَتِهِ أَكْرِمِي مَثْوَاهُ
And the one who bought him from Egypt said to his wife, ‘Make his stay graceful …’.
According to Tafsir al-Qurtubi, when the caravan reached Egypt and offered him for sale, people vied with each other with increasing bids which rose to gold, to musk and to silk equal to his weight.
But, Allah Tahad destined this human treasure to go to the most powerful authority of the time in Egypt, the Aziz of Misr. He beat all the bids and bought Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) .
As we already know from the statement of the Holy Qur’ an, all these things happening were nothing accidental. Instead, they were parts of the formidable plan put into action by the most exalted Lord Himself. That Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) will be bought in Egypt by the highest of the high in that country was certainly a call of destiny. According to Ibn Ka¬thir, this man who bought Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) in Egypt was what we may call the Finance Minister of Egypt. His name has been cited as Qitfir, or ` Itfir. The King of Egypt at that time was Ruiyyan ibn Usayd, an Amalkite (who, later on, embraced Islam at the hands of Sayyidna Yusuf عليه السلام) and died as a Muslim during the lifetime of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) (Mazhari). The name of the wife of the Aziz of Egypt who had bought him has been given as Ra’eel, or Zulaikha. So, the Aziz of Misr, called Qitfir (Potiphar), instructed his wife to provide good lodging for Yusuf, not to treat him like common slaves and see that good arrange¬ments are made for him.
Sayyidna Abdullah ibn Masud (رض) said: ` Three men turned out to be the best physiognomists of the world: (1) The Aziz of Misr who discov¬ered the inner excellence of Yusuf (عليه السلام) from his outer appearance and gave those instructions to his wife; (2) the daughter of Sayyidna Shu’ayb (عليه السلام) who told her father about Sayyidna Musa يَا أَبَتِ اسْتَأْجِرْهُ ۖ إِنَّ خَيْرَ مَنِ اسْتَأْجَرْتَ الْقَوِيُّ الْأَمِي (0 my father, retain him on wages. Surely, the best one for you to employ is the one who is strong and trustworthy – 28:26); (3) The third person is Sayyidna Abu Bakr (رض) عنہ who chose Sayyidna ` Umar to be the Khalifah after the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) . (Ibn Kathir)
The next sentence of the verse is: وَكَذَٰلِكَ مَكَّنَّا لِيُوسُفَ فِي الْأَرْضِ (And thus We established Yusuf in the land …). Given here is the good news of what would happen in the future, that is, Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) who has entered the House of the Aziz of Misr at this time as a slave shall soon be the highest ranking man in the country of Egypt when the power of governance comes into his hands.
In the statement which follows immediately after, that is: وَلِنُعَلِّمَهُ مِن تَأْوِيلِ الْأَحَادِيثِ (so that We should teach him the interpretation of events), if the letter واؤ (waw) appearing at the beginning of the sentence is taken as: عَطَف (` atf : conjunctive), a sentence will be considered as understood which will mean that ` We established Yusuf (عليه السلام) in the land so that he brings forth peace in the world through equity and justice, works towards the economic and social betterment of the people of the country, and so that We teach him to put things right where they belong. The general sense of the later is something which is inclusive of the comprehension of Di-vine revelation, its implementation in practice, and the acquisition of all supportive areas of knowledge, and the correct interpretation of dreams as well.
Verse 21 ends with the statement: وَاللَّـهُ غَالِبٌ عَلَىٰ أَمْرِهِ (And Allah is power¬ful in (enforcing) His command … ). In other words, it means that Allah Ta` ala is powerful and fully in control over what He wills and when He does so will, all outward chains of causes in this world start falling in line with His will – as said the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) in a Hadith: ` When Allah Ta` ala intends to do something, He makes all worldly causes ready to act accordingly.’ But, says the last part of the sentence: وَلَـٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ that is, most of the people do not understand this reality. They have their eyes on obvious causes. These they take to be everything and keep going after them all the time. That there is the Causer of all Causes and the Holder of Absolute Power over everything is a thought they would seldom pay heed to.
وَلَمَّا بَلَغَ اَشُدَّهٗٓ اٰتَيْنٰهُ حُكْمًا وَّعِلْمًا ۭ وَكَذٰلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُحْسِنِيْنَ
In the first sentence of the second verse (22), it is said: وَلَمَّا بَلَغَ أَشُدَّهُ آتَيْنَاهُ حُكْمًا وَعِلْمًا (And when he reached at the prime of his age, We gave him wis¬dom and knowledge … ).
At what age did he reach the prime of his age? In this, commentators differ. Sayyidna Ibn ‘Abbas, Mujahid and Qatadah رحمۃ اللہ علیہم say that his age was thirty three years. Dalhhak jw SII ,~ ~j puts it at twenty, and Hasan al-Basri (رح) at forty. However, all of them agree that the bestowing of wisdom and knowledge upon him referred to at this place means the bestowal of Nubuwwah, the station of prophethood. This also tells us that Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) was invested with Nubuw¬wah much later than his arrival in Egypt – and the Wahy (revelation) sent to him while he was in the depth of the well was not the Wahy (revelation) technically identified with Nubuwwah. Instead of that, it was a revelation in the literal sense which can also be sent to non-prophets – as it has appeared in the case of the mother of Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) ، and about Sayyidah Maryam.
In the second sentence of the second verse (22), it was said: وَكَذَٰلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُحْسِنِينَ (and this is how We reward those good in deeds). The sense is that delivering Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) from elimination and making him reach the office of power and honour was an outcome of his righteous¬ness, fear of Allah and good deeds. This was something not restricted to his person alone. In fact, whoever acts the way he did, shall receive the blessings of Allah in the same fashion.
وَرَاوَدَتْهُ الَّتِيْ هُوَ فِيْ بَيْتِهَا عَنْ نَّفْسِهٖ وَغَلَّقَتِ الْاَبْوَابَ وَقَالَتْ هَيْتَ لَكَ ۭ قَالَ مَعَاذَ اللّٰهِ اِنَّهٗ رَبِّيْٓ اَحْسَنَ مَثْوَايَ ۭ اِنَّهٗ لَا يُفْلِحُ الظّٰلِمُوْنَ
Moving to verse 23, the words of the text are:
وَرَاوَدَتْهُ الَّتِي هُوَ فِي بَيْتِهَا عَن نَّفْسِهِ وَغَلَّقَتِ الْأَبْوَابَ وَقَالَتْ هَيْتَ لَكَ
And she, in whose house he was, seduced him away from his (resisting) self and bolted the doors, and said, ‘come on!’.
From the first verse, we know that this woman was the wife of the ` Aziz of Misr. But, at this place, the Holy Qur’an has elected to bypass the possibility of mentioning her by a brief expression as the wife of ` Aziz. Instead, it has chosen to use the expression: الَّتِي هُوَ فِي بَيْتِهَا (in whose house he was). The hint given here is that the efforts of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) to save himself from falling into sin were further complicated by the fact that he lived in the house of this very woman, under her protection, and as such, disapproving and discarding her verbal advance was no easy task.
The Strongest Defence Against Sin is the Seeking of Protection from Allah Himself
How was he able to do that? There was an outward cause to this. When Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) found himself surrounded from all sides, he took the ultimate recourse. So, like a prophet he was, first of all, he sought the protection of Allah. He said: قَالَ مَعَاذَ اللَّـهِ (May Allah save me! ). We see that he did not place his sole trust in his determination and re-solve to hold out against the invitation to sin – he sought the refuge of Allah first. And it is obvious that anyone who enjoys the protection of Allah can never be moved away from the right path by anyone. It was only after having that coverage, that he started acting as a prophet would, with wisdom and earnest good counsel. Addressing Zulaikha di¬rectly and personally, he advised her that she too should fear Allah and give up her intention. He said:
إِنَّهُ رَبِّي أَحْسَنَ مَثْوَايَ ۖ إِنَّهُ لَا يُفْلِحُ الظَّالِمُونَ
Surely, he is my master. He has given me a good lodging. Sure¬ly, the wrongdoers do not prosper.
As obvious, it means: Your husband, the ` Aziz of Misr is my master who has raised and supported me and has given me a good home to live in. He is my benefactor. How can I even think of violating his honour? This is great injustice and those who commit injustice never prosper. Im¬plied therein was a lesson for Zulaikha too who was told: When I know his rights on me for having been my master and caretaker for a lesser time than you, then, being his wedded wife of years, you should certainly know his rights on you much more than I do.
At this place, Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) has called the ` Aziz of Misr his Rabb – though, it is not permissible to use this word for anyone other than Allah Ta’ ala. The reason is that words like this create either a sus¬picion of Shirk, or a resemblance with those who commit Shirk. Therefore, the use of such words has been prohibited in the Shari` ah of Islam. It appears in a Hadith of Sahih Muslim: ` Let no slave call his master his Rabb and let no master call his slave his عبد abd or servant.’ But, this is a unique characteristic of the Islamic Shari` ah where, alongwith the prohi¬bition of Shirk, everything else in which there is the least doubt that they may become the conduits of Shirk has also been prohibited. In the religious codes of past prophets, though Shirk has been strictly blocked but there was no restriction placed on the sources and inlets of Shirk. This was the reason why depiction of images was not prohibited in past religious codes. But in the Shari` ah of Islam, being valid upto the Last Day, full attention was given to protect it from being affected by Shirk. So, the sources and mediums of Shirk, such as, image and words – which arouse suspicion of Shirk were also prohibited. However, the saying of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) :إِنَّهُ رَبِّي (Surely, he is my master), was correct in its place.
And it is also possible that the pronoun in: إِنَّهُ (innahu) reverts to Allah Ta` la which would mean that Sayyidni Yusuf (عليه السلام) had called Allah his Rabb and it was He who, in the real sense, gave him good lodg¬ing, and that disobedience to Him was the greatest injustice, and that the unjust never prosper.
Some commentators, Suddiyy, Ibn Ishaq and others have reported that during the course of this privacy, Zulaikha started praising his looks with the purpose of softening his resistance. She said: How beauti¬ful are your hair! Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) said: After death, these hair will be the first to part away from my body. Then, she said: How beautiful are your eyes! He said: After death, they will become water and flow down my face. Once again, she said: How beautiful is your face! Thereupon, he said: All this will be eaten up by the earth below. He was look¬ing ahead. This was his concern for the ‘Akhirah. Allah Ta’ ala had set it upon him in the prime of his youth and that made all charms of mortal life turn into dust before him. It is true that the concern for ‘Akhirah is something which can keep every human being protected from every evil wherever he or she may be. May Allah bless us all with this concern.
وَلَقَدْ هَمَّتْ بِهٖ ۚ وَهَمَّ بِهَا لَوْلَآ اَنْ رَّاٰ بُرْهَانَ رَبِّهٖ ۭ كَذٰلِكَ لِنَصْرِفَ عَنْهُ السُّوْۗءَ وَالْفَحْشَاۗءَ ۭ اِنَّهٗ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا الْمُخْلَصِيْنَ
Mentioned in the previous verse was the great trial and test of Sayy¬idna Yusuf (عليه السلام) in that the wife of the ` Aziz of Misr bolted the doors and tried to invite him to sin assembling together in that effort all circum¬stantial temptations to attract and to make him become indulgent. But, Almighty Allah kept this righteous young person standing steadfast in such severe trial. The details of what transpired have been given in this verse. Said here is that Zulaikha was busy persuing her obsessive thought any way, but emerging in the heart of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) too, there was some non-voluntary tilt towards her as would be the natural consequence in such a situation. But, it was exactly at that time that Allah Ta` ala brought before Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) . His argument and proof, because of which, that non-voluntary tilt, rather than increase, actually died out totally – and, beating the pursuit, he ran.
In this verse, the word: ھَم (hamm : thought) has been attributed to Zulaikha and Sayyidna Yusuf عليه السلام both as in: وَلَقَدْ هَمَّتْ بِهِ وَهَمَّ بِهَا (And she desired him. And he had desired her). And we know that the ` hamm’ or thought of Zulaikha was that of sin. This could have raised a doubt that the ` thought’ of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) may also have been of a similar na¬ture – and this is, based on the consensus of the entire Muslim Ummah, contrary to the great station of a Nabiyy (prophet) and Rasul. The rea¬son is that the majority of the Muslim Ummah holds the standard belief that the noble prophets, may peace be upon them all, are protected against all sorts of sins, minor or major. As for a major sin, it can neither be committed by them intentionally, nor is it possible through inadvertence or mistake. However, the probability that a minor sin could be com¬mitted through inadvertence or mistake does exist – but, on this too, the noble prophets, may peace be upon them all, are not allowed to remain – instead, they are warned and made to move away from it. (Musamarah)
Besides the fact that this question of the ` Ismah of Anbiya’ (the state of being under Divine protection with which prophets are blessed) stands settled and proved under the authority of the Qur’an and Sunnah, it is also necessary, rationally too – because, should there remain the pro¬bability of a committal of sin by the Anbiya’ (علیہم السلام) ، there remains no way one could place trust in the Din (religion) and Way (revelation) brought by them, and that their very coming into the world with a Divine Book revealed to them becomes totally fruitless. Therefore, Allah Ta` ala has kept every prophet of His totally ma` sum from every sin (ma` sum: technically, sinless or infallible; literally, protected by Allah).
So, speaking generally, it stands established that the ` thought’ which crossed the mind of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) was not a thought to be counted in the degree of sin. For details, we should understand that the word: ھَمّ (hamm: thought) in the Arabic language is used to convey two meanings: (1) Intend and be determined to do something; (2) a simple scruple in the heart or the appearance of a thought beyond one’s control. In the first situation, it is included under sin, and is accountable. However, should someone, after having made the intention, were to leave off this sin at his own choice just because of the fear of Allah, then, accord¬ing to the Hadith, Allah Ta’ ala replaces the sin and enters a good deed in his or her Book of Deeds. And in the second situation – that is, in the event there comes a simple scruple and non-voluntary thought, without any intention to put the thought into practice, for instance, a normal turn of thought towards cool water during the fasts of summer which is natural and experienced by almost everyone, though there is no inten¬tion there to go about drinking water while fasting. So, a thought like that is neither within one’s control, nor is there any accountability and sin in it.
In a Hadith of the Sahih of Al-Bukhari, the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) has been reported to have said: ` Allah Ta` ala has forgiven the scruple and thought of sin for my Ummah – if not put into practice.’ (Qurtubi) And in the Sahihayn (the two Sahihs, that is, Al-Bukhari and Muslim), it has been reported on the authority of Sayyidna Abu Hurayrah (رض) that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said: ` Allah Ta’ ala says to the angels: When My servant intends to do good, write a good deed in his or her Book of Deeds just be-cause of that intention. And when he or she has completed this deed, write down ten good deeds. And if a servant intends to do a sin, then leaves it off due to the fear of Allah, write one good deed in his or her Book of Deeds in lieu of that sin. And if he or she does fall into that sin, write it as one sin only.’ (Ibn Kathlr)
Al-Qurtubi has, in his Tafsir, proved the use of the word: ھَمّ (‘hamm’: thought) covering both these meanings through evidences from Arab usage and poetry.
This tells us that the word: ھَمّ ` hamm’ appearing in this verse has been attributed to both Zulaikha and Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) but there is a big difference between the ھَمّ ` hamm’ or thought of both. The former is included under sin while the other has the status of a non -voluntary scruple which is not included under sin. The descriptive style of the Holy Qur’an is itself a testimony to this – because, had their ھَمّ ` hamm’ or thought been identical, it would have been sufficient to say it in a dual form, such as: وَلَقَدْ هَمَّا that is, the two of them desired, which was brief too. But, leaving this option aside, , the ` hamm’ or thought of both was described separate from each other: هَمَّتْ بِهِ ۖ وَهَمَّ بِهَا (And she certainly desired him. And he had desired her). Then, added to the هَمَّ ` hamm’ or thought of Zulaikha was the word of emphasis: لَقَدْ (laqad). With the هَمَّ ` hamm’ or thought of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) ، the emphasis of the letters: لَام (lam) and: قَد (qad) is not there. This tells us that, through this particular expression, the purpose is to emphasize that the هَمَّ ` hamm’ or thought of Zulaikha was of some other nature while that of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) ، of some other.
According to a Hadith in the Sahih of Muslim, when this test was faced by Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) ، the angels submitted before Allah Ta ala: This sincere servant of Yours is thinking of sin, though he knows its curse fully well. Allah Ta ala said: You wait. If he commits this sin, write what he has done in his Book of Deeds. And if he abstains from commit¬ting it, do not record it a sin, instead, enter a good deed in his Book of Deeds – because, he has surrendered his desire only out of fear for Me (which is doing good at its best) (Qurtubi)
To sum up, it can be said that the thought or tilt generated in the heart of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) was simply at the level of a non-voluntary scruple, which is not included under sin. Then, by acting against this scruple, his rank with Allah Ta ala rose much higher.
At this stage, some commentators have also pointed out to another construction of the verse. According to them, the statement: لَوْلَا أَن رَّأَىٰ بُرْهَانَ رَبِّهِ ‘ Of (Had he not seen the proof from his Lord) which succeeds is really supposed to precede, in which case, the verse would mean that Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) would have also desired her had he not seen the proof from his Lord – but, because he had seen the proof from his Lord, he remained safe from this ھَمّ ` hamm’ or thought. Thematically, this too is correct. But, some other commentators have declared this construction as contrary to the rules of the Arabic grammar. Thus, considering this aspect, the first Tafsir is weightier as it makes the Taqwa and chastity of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) rise to much higher levels since he, despite the human in¬stinct, managed to stay safe from sin.
As for the statement: لَوْلَا أَن رَّأَىٰ بُرْهَانَ رَبِّهِ ‘ (Had he not seen the proof from his Lord) at the end, its principal clause is understood and it means: Had he not seen the proof from his Lord, he would have remained in¬dulged in that thought, but after having seen the proof from his Lord, that non-voluntary thought and scruple too was eliminated from his heart.
The Holy Qur’ an does not clarify as to what was that بُرھَانَ ` burhan’ or proof from his Lord which appeared before him. Therefore, statements of commentators differ in this matter. Sayyidna Abdullah ibn Said ibn Ju¬bayr (رض) ، Mujahid, Muhammad ibn Sirin, Hasan al-Basri رحمۃ اللہ علیہم and others have said that Allah Ta’ ala made the face of Sayyidna Yaqub (عليه السلام) appear miraculously before him in that private quarter showing him with his finger in his mouth and warning him. Some commentators say that it was the face of the ` Aziz of Misr which was presented before him. Some others have said: When Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) looked towards the ceiling, he saw the following verse of the Qur’ an written there: لَا تَقْرَبُوا الزِّنَىٰ ۖ إِنَّهُ كَانَ فَاحِشَةً وَسَاءَ سَبِيلًا that is, do not go (even) near adultery because it is a grave act of immodesty and a very evil way (for human society). Some other commentators have said that Zulaikha had an idol in her house. When she threw a curtain on this idol, Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) asked the reason for it. She said: This is my object of worship. I cannot dare commit sin before it. Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) said: My Rabb, the object of my worship certainly deserves that far more modesty be shown before Him for no curtain can stop His seeing. Finally, there are commentators who have said that the station of the prophet he was on and the knowl¬edge of the Divine he had was itself the proof from his Lord.
After reporting all these sayings, what has been said by the Imam of Tafsir, Ibn Jarir, has been adjudged authoritatively as most-favoured and doubt-free. And he has said: As much as the Holy Qur’ an has to tell should be what has to be considered sufficient. In other words, Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) saw something which made the scruple in his heart go away. To determine this precisely, there could be all those probabilities men¬tioned by the commentators – but, none of these can be held as certain absolutely. (Ibn Kathir)
At the end of the verse it was said: كَذَٰلِكَ لِنَصْرِفَ عَنْهُ السُّوءَ وَالْفَحْشَاءَ ۚ إِنَّهُ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا الْمُخْلَصِين (This We did to turn away from him evil and lewdness). Here, the word: السُّوءَ evil) means minor sin (Saghirah) and: الْفَحْشَاءَ (al-fahsha’: lewdness) means major sin (Kabirah). (Mazhari)
Noteworthy here is that the text mentions ` turning away evil and lewdness from Sayyidna Yusuf’ (عليه السلام) – and not ` Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) from evil and lewdness.’ The hint implied here is that Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) was, because of his great station of prophethood, already removed from this sin as far as he was personally concerned, but evil and immodesty had encircled him. So Allah broke that trap apart. These words of the Holy Qur’ an are also a testimony proving that Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) did not succumb to even the minor-most sin and the thought which went ac-cross his heart was not included under sin, otherwise the relevant ex¬pression would have been: ` We saved Yusuf (عليه السلام) from sin’ – and not: ` Turn away from him evil and lewdness.’
Said in the last sentence is: إِنَّهُ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا الْمُخْلَصِين (Surely, he is among Our chosen slaves). The word: مُخْلَصِين (mukhlasin) is the plural of mukhlas which means chosen. It means that Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) is among the chosen servants of Allah who has been appointed to the mis¬sion of prophethood to work for the betterment of the creation of Allah. Such people have Allah’s own security shield around them so that they would not fall a victim to any evil. The Shaytan has himself admitted that he cannot touch the chosen servants of Allah. He said: فَبِعِزَّتِكَ لَأُغْوِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ ﴿٨٢﴾ إِلَّا عِبَادَكَ مِنْهُمُ الْمُخْلَصِين That is, by Your honour and power, I shall put all those humans on the wrong track, except Your servants, the ones cho¬sen by You – 15:40.
In some readings (Qira’at), this word has appeared as: مُخْلَصِين (mukh¬lsin) as well. Mukhlis means a person who obeys and worships Allah with Ikhlas (for which there is no word in English. The nearest is sincer¬ity which must be genuine, unalloyed, pure and totally honest). Ikhlas means that, in this obedience to Allah and in this worship of Him, there should be no intrusion of worldly or personal desires, interests, love of recognition and office and things like that. If so, the verse would mean: Whoever is mukhlis (absolutely sincere) in his ` Aural (deed) and ` Ibadah (worship), Allah Ta` ala will help him in remaining safe from sins.
In this verse, Allah Ta` ala has chosen to use two words: سُّوءَ (su’ ) and: فَحْشَاءَ (fahsha’ ). Literally, su’ means evil and it refers to minor (saghirah) sins. And fahsha’ means lewdness or immodesty and refers to major (ka¬birah) sins. This tells us that Allah Ta` ala kept Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) protected from both kinds of sins, saghirah and kabirah.
Also clarified here is that the ‘hamm’ or thought attributed to Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) in the Qur’an was simply a ` hamm’ or thought at the level of non-voluntary scruple, which is included neither under Kabirah sin, nor under Saghirah – in fact, is excused.
وَاسْتَبَقَا الْبَابَ وَقَدَّتْ قَمِيْصَهٗ مِنْ دُبُرٍ وَّاَلْفَيَا سَيِّدَهَا لَدَا الْبَابِ ۭ قَالَتْ مَا جَزَاۗءُ مَنْ اَرَادَ بِاَهْلِكَ سُوْۗءًا اِلَّآ اَنْ يُّسْجَنَ اَوْ عَذَابٌ اَلِيْمٌ
Described in the previous verses was the time when the wife of the Aziz of Misr was busy enticing Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) into sin, and he, on his part, was trying to stay away from it. But, there was the natural struggle with that non-voluntary thought too. So, to help his honourable prophet, Allah Ta ala showed a miracle, made something appear before him which drove even that thought out from his heart – whether that ` thing’ be the face of his father, Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) ، or some verse out of the Divine revelation.
Told in the present verse (25) is that Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) ، once he saw this ` proof from his Lord,’ ran away from that. private enclave and dashed for the door to get out from there. The wife of the ` Aziz of Misr ran after him to hold him back and, by grabbing his shirt, she tried to stop him from getting out. But, when he did not stop – being determined not to – the shirt was torn from behind him. However, Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) did come out of the door, and so did Zulaikha behind him. Historical accounts mention that the door was locked from the inside. When Sayyid¬na Yusuf (عليه السلام) ran and reached the door, this lock opened up by itself and dropped down.
When they both came out of the door, they saw the ` Aziz of Misr standing face to face. His wife was unnerved. In order to wriggle out of the awkward situation, and to put the blame on Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) ، she said: at can be the punishment of the one who intended evil with your wife except that he be imprisoned, or (given) a painful chastisement?
Injunctions and Rulings
The following rules and guiding principles have been deduced from the verses cited above:
- From verse 25 beginning with the words: وَاسْتَبَقَا الْبَابَ (And they raced towards the door … ), we learn that a place where there is a danger of getting involved in sin must be abandoned outright – as was practically demonstrated by Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) by running away from there.
- In matters requiring obedience to Divine injunctions, one should not, to the best of one’s ability, let his efforts in that direction taper off – even if a tangible result from them does not seem to be coming out. Re¬sults rest in the hands of Allah Ta` ala. One’s job is to channel and devote his or her effort and ability in the way of Allah – and proving one’s iden-tity as a servant of Allah is the purpose. This is what was done by Sayy¬idna Yusuf (عليه السلام) . All doors were closed, even locked, as reported in histor¬ical narrations. Yet, he spent out his maximum strength in running towards the door. In a situation like that, help and support from Allah jalla thana’uh is witnessed frequently when a servant of Allah has done his best, it transpires that He would also arrange the causes for His ser¬vant to succeed. However, should the situation be otherwise and one fails to achieve formal success as we know it, then, for a devoted servant of Allah, even this failure is no less than success (for this is the prefer¬ence of his Lord).
It is said about a righteous elder confined to prison that he would, on every Friday take his bath, wash his clothes, get ready for Jumu’ah pray¬er, walk upto the door of the prison, and once there, he would say: ` Ya Al¬lah, this much was what was within my power. at is beyond that is in Your control.’ Who knows, given the limitless mercy of Allah Ta ala, his spiritual yearning would have caused the prison gate to open with the command of Allah and he would have been enabled to perform the Salah of Jumu’ah. But, Allah, in His wisdom, bestowed upon this righteous dev¬otee such high spiritual station as would pale out a thousand workings of the supernatural (karamah). The gate of the prison did not open be-cause of his continuous effort to offer his Salah of Jumu’ah. But, he did not lose heart. He kept doing the same thing every Jumu’ah. This is spir¬itual fortitude called by Sufi masters as superior to Karamah.
- It stands proved (from verse 26) that, should a person be accused falsely by someone, speaking out in defence is the way of the prophets (the Sunnah of the Anbiya’ ). Remaining silent at that time, and letting oneself be declared to be a criminal, is no act of piety or trust in Allah (tawakkul).
- The fourth problem concerns the word:..~a (shahid) (in verse 26). When this word is used in common juristic matters and cases, it denotes a person who relates an event as seen by him in a disputed case. In this verse, the person who has been referred to by the word, ` shahid,’ has not related any event, or any personal observation about it – instead of that, what has been hinted at is a sort of device to arrive at a decision. Techni-cally, that could not be called a ` shahid’ or witness.
But, it is obvious that all these terms have been employed by later scholars and jurists for the convenience of understanding and teaching. They are neither the terms of the Holy Qur’ an, nor is it bound by them. The Holy Qur’ an has called this person a ` shahid’ (witness) in the sense that the way the statement of a ` witness makes it easy for a judge to ar¬rive at a decision, and proves that one of the parties in the case is in the right, the same benefit became available through the statement of this child.
Initially, his miraculous speech itself was sufficient proof to ab¬solve Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) from the blame. Then, there were the signs given by him. In the ultimate analysis, they too are nothing but the proof of the absolvement of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) from the blame. There-fore, saying that he appeared as a witness in favour of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) will be correct – though, he did not declare Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) to be true, rather, had mentioned both probabilities. And, in addition to that, he had even supposedly taken Zulaikha to be true in a situation in which the likelihood of her being true was not certain – in fact, there ex¬isted the other probability too, because the possibility of the shirt being torn from the front existed in both situations. And then, he had admitted the truthfulness of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) only in a situation wherein there could have been no other probability other than this. But, finally, the outcome of this strategy was but to prove the innocence of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) .
- In arriving at judgments of disputed cases, circumstantial evi¬dence can be taken into consideration – as was demonstrated here when this ` shahid’ declared that the shirt torn from the backside was an evi¬dence that Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) was running and Zulaikha was trying to stop him. In this matter, there is an agreement of all jurists that signs and indicators should definitely be used to determine the truth, as was done here. But, besides that, only signs and indicators cannot be given the status of sufficient proof. In this event relating to Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) too, that which really proves the innocence of Sayyidna is the miraculous speech of the child. As for the signs and indicators which have been mentioned there, they serve to confirm the matter.
قَالَ هِىَ رَاوَدَتْنِيْ عَنْ نَّفْسِيْ وَشَهِدَ شَاهِدٌ مِّنْ اَهْلِهَا ۚ اِنْ كَانَ قَمِيْصُهٗ قُدَّ مِنْ قُبُلٍ فَصَدَقَتْ وَهُوَ مِنَ الْكٰذِبِيْنَ
Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) ، because of his prophetic gentleness, may not have, perhaps, disclosed her secret. But, when she took the first step and presented a charge sheet of false accusation against him, he was com¬pelled to tell the truth: هِيَ رَاوَدَتْنِي عَن نَّفْسِي (It was she who sought to seduce me).
The matter was dense and delicate. For the ` Aziz of Misr, it was diffi¬cult to decide as to who should be taken as being true. That was no occa¬sion for evidence and proof. But, Allah, great is whose majesty, has His own ways of saving His honourable servants from sin and keeping them unaffected and protected from it. He would do the same for them during their worldly life when He would arrange to save them from being dis¬graced, even if it would take a miracle to do that. Usually, on such occa¬sions, infant children have been chosen to unfold truth, infants who are not expected to talk customarily. But, by giving them power of speech miraculously, Allah Ta’ ala would arrange for the acquittal of His favoured servants from accusations levelled against them. This happened when people started accusing Sayyidah Maryam falsely. Allah Tad gave a day old infant, Sayyidna ` Isa (عليه السلام) ، the ability to speak and it was through his tongue that He had the sanctity of his blessed mother mani¬fested – a very special manifestation of His power indeed. Similarly, when another accusation of this nature was made under the umbrella of a major conspiracy against Jurayj, a pious elder among the Bani Israil, it was a new-born child who testified to his innocence. When Pharaoh got suspicious about Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) ، the small daughter of the per¬sonal lady hair-styler of the wife of the Pharaoh was given the power of speech and it was she who saved Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) during his childhood from being hurt by the Pharaoh.
Similarly, in this event relating to Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) ، according to a narration of Sayyidna ` Abdullah ibn ` Abbas and Abu Hurairah (رض) ، Allah Ta’ ala bestowed that power of speech upon a small child – and that too in one of the finest ways of wisdom. This small child was lying in a cradle in this house. There was no way it could have occurred to anyone that this child would have watched their movements and understood what they were doing – and then, would be able to even go on to describe it in some manner. But, Allah is absolutely powerful. When He decides to highlight the greatness of those who strive in the mission of their obe¬dience to Him, He is quite capable of demonstrating before the whole world that every particle of this universe works as His secret service which knows every criminal inside out and keeps a record of his or her crime and when the time comes, it speaks out the truth. Think of the Resurrection, the awesome plain of the Hashr when, at the time of the accounting of deeds, human beings will, goaded by their old worldly hab¬it, refuse to admit their crimes, then, their very hands and feet and skins and surroundings will be called upon to stand as witnesses against them. Each such witness shall lay each and everything done by them bare before the unimaginably huge multitude gathered together on that fateful day of Al-Mahshar. That would be the time when human beings will find out that their hands and feet and the walls and doors of their homes inside, and the security arrangement outside these, none of them, not even one, were their own. In fact, all of them were secret agents of Allah, the Rabb of all Power.
In sum, this small child, who was lying in the cradle oblivious of everything in the world around him, was made to speak out – as a mira¬cle of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) precisely at the time when the ` Aziz of Misr, being on the horns of a dilemma, did not know what to do.
Furthermore, if this child could have only said that Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) is free of any blame and it is Zulaikha who is at fault, then, even that much would have been no less than a miracle, and a formidable proof of the innocence of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) . But, Allah Ta ala had this child say something farsighted which would separate truth from false-hood decisively. What the child said was: See the shirt of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) . If it is torn up from the front, then the word of Zulaikha is true and that of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) could be otherwise. And if the shirt is torn up from the back, then there remains just no other probability but that Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) was running away from her and Zulaikha wanted to stop him.
Apart from being a miracle of speech manifested by a child, this was something which could be understood by everyone around on its own. So, when the direction was followed, it was observed that the shirt was torn up from the back. Thus, the innocence of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) stood proved openly from physical signs as well.
The explanation of the ` shahid’ or witness of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) given here – that he was a small child blessed with the power of speech as a miracle – stands proved from a Hadith of the Holy Prophet t. This Hadith has been reported by Imam Abmad in his Musnad, Ibn Hibban in his Sahih and Hakim in Mustadrak. They have rated this Hadith as Sahih (sound). In this Hadith, it is said: ` Allah Ta` ala has blessed four children the power of speech while still in their cradle.’ These four are the same as mentioned earlier. (Mazhari) However, in some narrations, other explanations of ` shahid’ or witness have also been reported. But, Tafsir authorities such as Ibn Jarir, Ibn Kathir and others have declared the first Tafsir to be the weightier one.
يُوْسُفُ اَعْرِضْ عَنْ ھٰذَا ۫وَاسْتَغْفِرِيْ لِذَنْۢبِكِ ښ اِنَّكِ كُنْتِ مِنَ الْخٰطِــِٕيْنَ
So, after having pointed out to Zulaikha her error, the ` Aziz of Misr said to Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) : يُوسُفُ أَعْرِضْ عَنْ هَـٰذَا :’O Yusuf, ignore this matter’ – that is, do not speak about it before others so there be no disgrace because of this. Then he addressed Zulaikha and said: وَاسْتَغْفِرِي لِذَنبِكِ ۖ إِنَّكِ كُنتِ مِنَ الْخَاطِئِين (and you [ 0 woman ] seek forgiveness for your sin. Surely, you were of the sinners). This obviously means that she should seek forgiveness from her hus-band. And it could also mean that she should seek forgiveness from Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) for it was she who made the error and put the blame on him.
At this point, it is very surprising that a husband, who finds out an open proof of such immodesty and breach of trust on the part of his wife, would not be agitated, rather, go on talking with perfect peace of mind – unusual indeed, given the compulsion of human nature in such circum¬stances. Imam Al-Qurtubi has said that one of the reasons for this may be that the ` Aziz of Misr was someone lacking that kind of a sense of shame. And it is also possible that the way Allah Ta’ ala supernaturally arranged to save Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) first from sin and then from dis¬grace – in the same way, it was also a part of this arrangement that He did not let the ` Aziz of Misr become all agitated in anger. Otherwise, as customary, this would have been an occasion where one is likely to go to physical assault without bothering to investigate first, not to say much about verbal aggression, which would be rather elementary. If the ` Aziz of Misr, affected by common human response, were to be enraged, it is possible that he might have committed something, physically or verbal¬ly, something which would have been against the august status of Sayy¬idna Yusuf (عليه السلام) . These are the wonders of Divine Power which openly prove how those who stand steadfast in obedience to their most true Lord are protected at every step they take in His way. And the honour of creating what is there at its best goes only to Allah.
In the verses which will follow, mentioned there is another event which is connected with the story narrated earlier. There it has been said that this event, despite the effort to keep it concealed, spread around among women in the families of the courtiers. These women started blaming the wife of the ` Aziz of Misr. Some commentators have said that these were five women, all wives of officials close to the “Aziz of Misr. (Qurtubi, Mazhari)
These women were talking among themselves. They were saying: Look, how regrettable it is that the wife of the ` Aziz of Misr, despite enjoy¬ing a status so high, had become enamoured with her young slave and was looking for the fulfillment of what she wanted from him. In this, we think, she is in a grave error. The word used in the verse (30) is: فَتَاھَا (fate ha: translated as ` her youthful slave’ ). Fata’ denotes someone youthful. In customary usage, a boy slave when small is called a ghulam. If in his youth, the boy is called fata, and the girl, fata. Here, Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) has been referred to as the slave of Zulaikha either because that which is owned by the husband is also customarily called as that which is owned by the wife; and/or because Zulaikha had taken Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) from her husband as gift. (Qurtubi)
فَلَمَّا سَمِعَتْ بِمَكْرِهِنَّ اَرْسَلَتْ اِلَيْهِنَّ وَاَعْتَدَتْ لَهُنَّ مُتَّكَاً وَّاٰتَتْ كُلَّ وَاحِدَةٍ مِّنْهُنَّ سِكِّيْنًا وَّقَالَتِ اخْرُجْ عَلَيْهِنَّ ۚ فَلَمَّا رَاَيْنَهٗٓ اَكْبَرْنَهٗ وَقَطَّعْنَ اَيْدِيَهُنَّ ۡ وَقُلْنَ حَاشَ لِلّٰهِ مَا ھٰذَا بَشَرًا ۭ اِنْ ھٰذَآ اِلَّا مَلَكٌ كَرِيْمٌ
Having explained the linkage of verse before the beginning of the pre-sent verses, we can now turn to the explanation of individual verses.
Said in verse 32 was: فَلَمَّا سَمِعَتْ بِمَكْرِهِنَّ أَرْسَلَتْ إِلَيْهِنَّ (So, when she heard of their crafty comments, she extended an invitation to them).
Here, Zulaikha refers to the talking of women as their ` makr’ or craftiness – though they had obviously planned no trick against her. But, since they spoke ill about her secretly, it was identified as ` makr.’ As for the expression: وَأَعْتَدَتْ لَهُنَّ مُتَّكَأً which follows immediately and has been translated as ` and arranged for them a comfortable place’ is inclusive of the comfort of special pillows for hand and back rest placed there for re¬laxation.
Then, it was said: وَآتَتْ كُلَّ وَاحِدَةٍ مِّنْهُنَّ سِكِّينًا (and gave everyone a ‘knife). It means when these women came in and sat down, different foods and fruits were served, some of which needed a knife to peel and cut, there-fore, also given to each one of them was a sharp knife. The obvious pur¬pose of this was to cut fruits. But, concealed in her heart was what comes next – that is, these women will lose their senses at the sight of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) and would go on to cut their hands with the knife.
After having made all these arrangements, to Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) ، who was in some other quarter of the house, Zulaikha said: وَقَالَتِ اخْرُجْ عَلَيْهِنَّ (come in before them). Since, Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) was not aware of her vain intention, he came out into this sitting.
That which happened then has been described in:
فَلَمَّا رَأَيْنَهُ أَكْبَرْنَهُ وَقَطَّعْنَ أَيْدِيَهُنَّ وَقُلْنَ حَاشَ لِلَّـهِ مَا هَـٰذَا بَشَرًا إِنْ هَـٰذَا إِلَّا مَلَكٌ كَرِيمٌ
So when they saw him, they found him great and [ were so bewildered that they ] cut their hands [ that is, when cutting their fruit, they saw this object of wonder, the knife uncon-sciously ran over their hand – as it occasionally happens when one’s thought is diverted to something else ] and said, ‘Oh God! He is no human being. He is but a noble angel.’ [ by which they meant that one exuding such light can only be an angel ].’
قَالَ رَبِّ السِّجْنُ اَحَبُّ اِلَيَّ مِمَّا يَدْعُوْنَنِيْٓ اِلَيْهِ ۚ وَاِلَّا تَصْرِفْ عَنِّيْ كَيْدَهُنَّ اَصْبُ اِلَيْهِنَّ وَاَكُنْ مِّنَ الْجٰهِلِيْنَ
And some words of the Holy Qur’an which appear later (33) also support it, for example: يَدْعُونَنِي (yad unani: these women invite me) and: كَيْدَهُنَّ (kaidahunna: their guile) where the statement of some women has been mentioned in the plural form.
When Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) saw that these women were also support¬ing Zulaikha and there remained no other visible way to stay safe against their guile, he turned to his ultimate resort, to Allah jalla tha¬na’uh, and before Him, he said:
رَبِّ السِّجْنُ أَحَبُّ إِلَيَّ مِمَّا يَدْعُونَنِي إِلَيْهِ ۖ وَإِلَّا تَصْرِفْ عَنِّي كَيْدَهُنَّ أَصْبُ إِلَيْهِنَّ وَأَكُن مِّنَ الْجَاهِلِينَ
My Lord, the prison is dearer to me than what these women in¬vite me to. And unless You turn their guile away from me, I shall get inclined towards them and shall be among the ignor¬ant.
Here, the statement of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) that ` the prison is dearer to me’ does not reflect any desire or wish to be detained in a prison, in-stead of that, it is an expression which shows that he would find it easier to face this temporal hardship as compared to that of falling in sin. Ac-cording to some narrations, when Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) was confined to the prison, a revelation from Allah Ta ala told him: You have put yourself into the prison by what you yourself had said: السِّجْنُ أَحَبُّ إِلَيَّ (the pri¬son is dearer to me) and had you asked for wellbeing (‘afiyah), you would have been blessed with perfect well-being.
From here we come to know that, to stay safe from a major hardship, saying in prayer that one better be subjected to some minor hardship in lieu of it is not appropri¬ate. Instead of doing that, one should, when under the threat of any hardship, problem or distress, pray to Allah Ta` ala for nothing but ` afiyah (wellbeing). Therefore, the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) prohibited a man from praying for sabr (patience) saying that sabr is done when one faces dis¬tress and hardship. So, rather praying to Allah for sabr, pray for ` afiyah. (Tirmidhi) The uncle of the Holy Prophet “, Sayyidna ` Abbs (رض) asked him: Teach me a prayer I should make. He said: Pray for ` afiyah (well-be¬ing) from your Rabb. Sayyidna ` Abbas* says when he, after a period of time, once again asked him to be advised of some du ‘he should be mak¬ing, he said: Pray to Allah Ta` ala for ` afiyah in dunya and ‘akhirah. (Mazhari from Tabarani)
As for the saying of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) : ` And unless you do not turn their guile away from me, I shall get inclined towards them,’ this is not contrary to the concept of the ` Ismah of prophethood (a prophet’s state of being Divinely protected from sin) – because the very outcome of ` Ismah is that Allah Ta ala would, by arranging to keep a person safe from sin as a creational imperative, protect him from falling into it. Though Sayy¬idna Yusuf (عليه السلام) had this desired cover by virtue of his being a prophet, yet he was compelled to make this du’ because of the great awe he had for Him in his heart. This also tells us that no one can, without the help and support of Allah Ta ala, stay safe from sin. And it also makes it clear that every act of sin is caused by ignorance (jahalah), the opposite of which is knowledge ( ‘ilm), and ` Ilm (knowledge) demands abstention from sins. (Qurtubi)
وَدَخَلَ مَعَهُ السِّجْنَ فَتَيٰنِ ۭ قَالَ اَحَدُهُمَآ اِنِّىْٓ اَرٰىنِيْٓ اَعْصِرُ خَمْرًا ۚ وَقَالَ الْاٰخَرُ اِنِّىْٓ اَرٰىنِيْٓ اَحْمِلُ فَوْقَ رَاْسِيْ خُبْزًا تَاْكُلُ الطَّيْرُ مِنْهُ ۭ نَبِّئْنَا بِتَاْوِيْـلِهٖ ۚ اِنَّا نَرٰىكَ مِنَ الْمُحْسِنِيْنَ
Mentioned in the verses cited above is a supplementary event relat¬ing to the story of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) . It has been repeatedly stressed that the Holy Qur’ an is no book of history, or of stories and tales. When a story or historical event is mentioned in it, the sole objective is to pro-vide some lesson, good counsel or crucial guidance on various facets of human life. In the entire Qur’ an and throughout the events relating to many prophets, it is the story of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) alone which has been described by the Qur’ an continuously – otherwise, it has considered it sufficient to mention some necessary part of an historical event where¬ver appropriate.
If you would look at the story of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) from the begin¬ning to the end, there are hundreds of lessons to learn, good advices to heed to and important elements of guidance to follow during various stages of human life. This supplementary story too has its graces of guid¬ance in abundance.
The event as it took shape was that, despite the complete absolve¬ment of Sayyidna Yusuf عليه السلام from the blame, and the strong establishment of his moral integrity, it was to put an end to the disgrace of people talking about them that the ` Aziz of Misr and his wife decided to send Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) to the prison for some time – which, in reality, was the fulfillment of the du’a’ and wish of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) ، because, for him, it had become extremely difficult to defend his chastity while living in the home of the ` Aziz of Misr.
When Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) arrived at the prison, two other sen¬tenced criminals were also admitted there. One of them was the cup-bearer of the king while the other was a cook. Citing major Tafsir authorities, Ibn Kathir has written that these two were arrested on the charge that they had tried to poison the king through food or drink. The case was under investigation, therefore, they were kept in prison.
When Sayyidna Yusuf عليه السلام came into the prison, it was because of his prophetic morals, mercy and affection that he used to show concern about all of his fellow inmates and took care of them whenever needed. If anyone became sick, he would call on him and do whatever had to be done for him. For anyone he found sad or distressed, he would have appropriate words of comfort. To lift his spirits, he would gently tell him to observe patience and made the hope of freedom come alive into his heart. He would think of bringing comfort to others at the cost of his own discomfort. For whole nights he would remain engaged in the ` Ibadah (worship) of Allah Ta ala. Seeing his endearing ways, all inmates of the prison became convinced of his high spiritual status. Even the offic¬er-in-charge of the prison was impressed. He said: Had it been in my power, I would have let you go. Now, this much I can do that you will face no inconvenience here.
Some Notes to Wonder About
When the officer-in-charge of the prison, or some of the inmates, told Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) that they loved him very much, he said: For God’s sake, do not love me – because whenever I have been loved by anyone, I have suffered one way or the other. When I was a child, my paternal aunt loved me. As a result, I was blamed for theft. Then, my father loved me. This made me do a term of detention in a well at the hands of my brothers, then came slavery and expulsion from home country. When the wife of the ` Aziz loved me, I landed into this prison. (Ibn Kathir, Mazhari)
These two prisoners who went to the prison along with Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) said to him one day that they thought he was a man of piety and good deeds, therefore, they would like to ask him to give an interpre¬tation of their dream. Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas (رض) and some other leading authorities in Tafsir have said that they had really seen these dreams.
Sayyidna ` Abdullah ibn Mas’ ud (رض) has said that there was no dream. They had simply made it up to test the spiritual excellence and veracity of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) .
However, one of them, that is, the royal cup-bearer, said: ` I have seen myself (in dream) pressing wine,’ and the other, that is, the cook, said: ` I have seen myself carrying bread on my head of which the birds are eat¬ing.’ Then, they requested him to interpret the dreams for them.
Here, Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) has been requested to interpret the dreams. But he, before answering this question, and following his intrin¬sic prophetic way, begins with the task of Tabligh and invitation to be¬lieve and have faith. And by following the principle of Da’wah and by act¬ing wisely, he first tried to create in their hearts a base of confidence inhim. To achieve this, he talked about his particular miracle through which he tells them about the food which they receive from their homes, or from somewhere else, and much before it arrives, he is able to tell them the kind, the taste, the quantity and the time of arrival of the food – and that the food turns out to be exactly as predicted:
Injunctions and Rulings
Worth pondering on are many Ahkam, Masa’il, useful lessons and elements of guidance that emerge from the verses under reference. They are as given below:
- Consider the confinement of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) into a prison which is the notorious turf of criminals and bad characters. But, he treat¬ed them too with his characteristic good morals and social graces, as a re¬sult of which, all of them became enamoured with him. This tells us that it is the duty of reformers that they should, by dealing with sinners and criminals with compassion and concern, bring them closer, let them be-come familiar, connected, and reliant on them. Also necessary is that they should not betray any attitude of hatred or distaste for them at any step.
- From the statement: إِنَّا نَرَاكَ مِنَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ (We see you are a man of good deeds), we find out that the interpretation of a dream should be sought particularly from persons one trusts in as righteous, good in deeds and sympathetic.
- The third thing we learn here is about the ideal conduct of those who carry the da’wah of truth and serve people by working for their moral and social betterment. In this connection, their first duty is to bring round people created by Allah to put their trust in them through their good morals and conduct, and their intellectual and practical excel-lences – whether they have to unfold and express some of those excel¬lences, as was done by Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) on this occasion when he not only talked about his miracle but also mentioned his being a member of the House of Prophets. Such a statement of personal excellence – if it is based on the intention to serve people to become better and not to prove one’s personal rank – will not be considered as the ` self-praise’ which has been prohibited in the Holy Qur’an: فَلَا تُزَكُّوا أَنفُسَكُمْ that is, do not talk about the purity of your own self. (Tafsir Mazhari)
- Pointed to here is an important principle of communication and correction (Tabligh and Irshad). It is the duty of the carrier of a Call (Da` i) and reformer (Muslih) that he should, at all times and under all circumstances, keep his constant mission of Da’wah and Tabligh come first of all he does. In other words, if someone comes to him for someth¬ing, he should not forget his real mission – as was done by Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) when these prisoners came to him to ask for an interpreta¬tion of their dreams. At that time, before answering their request for the interpretation of their dreams, he gave them the gift of right guidance through his Tabligh and Irshad. Please do not take Da’wah and Tabligh as something which takes place in a conference, or on a pulpit or stage alone. This job is done far more effectively through personal contacts and private exchanges.
- Another aspect of this very effort of telling people what is right and seeking their betterment through it (Irshad and Islah) is: Whatever is said in this connection should be said with the strategy of wisdom in a way that it goes into the heart of the addressee. This is how it was done by Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) . He succeeded in showing to them that the excel¬lences he had were the direct outcome of his disengagement with disbe¬lief and adoption of Islam as his faith. After that he described the draw-backs and shortcomings of Kufr and Shirk in a soft manner which appeals to the heart.
- Another problem resolved here is about how bad news should be handled. If, that which has to be communicated to an addressee happens to be painful or repugnant, yet it be necessary that it be disclosed, then, it should be presented before the addressee, as far as possible, in a way that it brings the least discomfort to him. This is as it was when the death of one person was destined as interpreted on the basis of his dream, but Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) kept it ambiguous. He did not make it precise and fixed by telling him that he will be the one to be hanged. (Ibn Kathir, Mazhari)
- It will be recalled that Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) had sought his release from the prison when he asked the acquitted prisoner: Mention me before your master. This tells us that making someone a medium of effort in order to get out of some difficulty is not against the principle of Tawak¬kul (Trust in Allah).
Another view of this problem is that Allah Ta` ala does not like His great prophets making efforts to achieve everything permissible and go on to make a human being the medium of their release. This is so because the absence of any medium between them and Allah Ta ala spells out the true identity of prophets. Perhaps, that was why this prisoner forgot about the message given by Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) which made him stay in the prison for many more years. In a Hadith too, the Holy Prophet has pointed out in this direction.
وَقَالَ الْمَلِكُ ائْتُوْنِيْ بِهٖ ۚ فَلَمَّا جَاۗءَهُ الرَّسُوْلُ قَالَ ارْجِعْ اِلٰي رَبِّكَ فَسْـــَٔـلْهُ مَا بَالُ النِّسْوَةِ الّٰتِيْ قَطَّعْنَ اَيْدِيَهُنَّ ۭ اِنَّ رَبِّيْ بِكَيْدِهِنَّ عَلِيْمٌ
وَقَالَ الْمَلِكُ ائْتُونِي بِهِ (And the king said, ‘Bring him to me.’ ). It means that the king gave the order that Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) be taken out of the prison and be produced before him in his court. So, some emissary of the king ar¬rived at the prison with the message of the king.
Obviously, this was an occasion which should have been welcomed by Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) . He had been in the prison for a long time, re¬stricted and helpless. He wished to be released. When the message of the king arrived at the prison that he was wanted by the king, he should have welcomed it and got himself ready to go. But, Allah Ta` ala bestows upon His Messengers a very high moral station which other people just cannot comprehend.
The answer he gave to the emissary of the king was:
قَالَ ارْجِعْ إِلَىٰ رَبِّكَ فَاسْأَلْهُ مَا بَالُ النِّسْوَةِ اللَّاتِي قَطَّعْنَ أَيْدِيَهُنَّ إِنَّ رَبِّي بِكَيْدِهِنَّ عَلِيمٌ
‘Go back to your lord and ask him, ` What about the women who cut their hands?’ Surely, my Lord knows their guile well.’
Here, by asking this question, the objective is to find out if he is still held in doubt about what had happened then and if he is still taken to be at some fault in that matter.
Also noteworthy at this stage is that Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) is, in the present context, talking about the women who had cut their hands – he has not mentioned the wife of the ` Aziz who was the main cause of what had happened. In this conduct of his, there was consideration for the right of his master’s house where he lived and where he was brought up, something elementally respected by a person of natural gentleness in him. (Qurtubi)
Then, not any less important was his real purpose, the need to be exonerated from blame conclusively. If proof was needed, it could have come from those women as well. And it would have not brought much of a disgrace on them. Had they confessed to what was the truth, they would have been, at the most, charged for having given false advice only. This would have been contrary to the case of the wife of the ` Aziz for, if she was made a target of the investigations, it would have proved far more disgraceful for her. And, along with this, Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) said: إِنَّ رَبِّي بِكَيْدِهِنَّ عَلِيمٌ (Surely, my Lord knows their guile well). He said this so that the king too will get to know the truth of the matter – which is a delicate approach to register his innocence in it.
On this occasion, reported in the Sahih of Al-Bukhari and the Jami’ of Tirmidhi, following a narration of Sayyidna Abu Hurairah (رض) ، there is a Hadith of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) in which he said: If I had been in a pri¬son for so long, as Yusuf (عليه السلام) had been, and had I then been summoned for release, I would have accepted it immediately.
And in a report from Imam al-Tabari, the words are: The patience, forbearance and many other noble traits of his character are astonish¬ing. When he was asked to give an interpretation of the dream of the king while still being in prison, had I been in his place, I would have, before giving the interpretation, placed a condition that I should be taken out of the prison before I could give an interpretation of that dream. Again, when the emissary of the king brought in the message of his re-lease, had I been in his place, I would have immediately started walking towards the gate of the prison. (Qurtubi)
It should be noted that the purpose in this Hadith is to praise the pa¬tience, forbearance and the many noble traits of the character of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) . But, by comparing the response of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) in the present situation which he supposedly attributed to himself, he seems to be saying that had he been there in his place, he would have not elected to delay his release. If this is taken to mean that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) is calling the conduct of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) better and, in the case of his own august person, he is saying that had he been in his place, he would have not been able to match that preferred conduct, rath¬er, would have settled for the less preferred, it is obviously not upto the station of the one who is called the foremost among prophets, may peace be upon them all. To answer that, it may be said that he is, no doubt, the foremost among prophets, but the precedence of some other prophet in a certain part of his conduct would not be considered contrary to it.
In addition to that, as said in Tafsir al-Qurtubi, it is also possible that the modus operandi employed by Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) is an outstanding proof of his patience, forbearance and noble traits of character – and is highly commendable at its place. But, the pragmatic method of doing things which the Holy Prophet attributed to himself was partic-ularly appropriate to and better for educating his community and offer¬ing to its teeming masses the best course of action likely to bring nothing but good to them. The reason in the present setting is that the tempera¬ment of kings changes. Placing trust in them is not a wise thing to do. On an occasion such as this, putting conditions or delaying the process is not the appropriate thing to do for common people. The probability remains that the king may change his opinion and one is left to rot in that prison, as it had long been the practice. As for Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) ، he is a prophet of Allah. As such, he could have been given to understand by Allah Ta ala that the delay he would cause would not go against his interest in any way. But, others do not enjoy that degree of closeness to Allah. The Holy Prophet was mercy for all the worlds. In his tempera¬ment and taste, he had an elemental rapport with the entire creation of Allah. He always preferred to make things easier and better for the great masses of people. To him this was more important. Therefore, he said: If he had the opportunity, he would have not delayed. Allah knows best.
قَالَ مَا خَطْبُكُنَّ اِذْ رَاوَدْتُّنَّ يُوْسُفَ عَنْ نَّفْسِهٖ ۭ قُلْنَ حَاشَ لِلّٰهِ مَا عَلِمْنَا عَلَيْهِ مِنْ سُوْۗءٍ ۭ قَالَتِ امْرَاَتُ الْعَزِيْزِ الْــٰٔنَ حَصْحَصَ الْحَقُّ ۡ اَنَا رَاوَدْتُّهٗ عَنْ نَّفْسِهٖ وَاِنَّهٗ لَمِنَ الصّٰدِقِيْنَ
When the royal emissary delivered to Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) the order of his release and invited him to see the king, he asked him to first have his case investigated through the women who had cut their hands. His approach was based on many wise considerations. Allah Ta ala bestows on His prophets a perfect faith, He also gives them matching intelligence and insight into matters and conditions they have to face. From the tenor of the royal message, Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) had deduced that the king of Egypt was going to confer some honour on him after his release from the prison. At that time, wisdom demanded that the reality of the misconduct for which he was blamed and because of which he was confined into the prison must become fully clear before everyone concerned and no one remains in doubt about his innocence. If this was not done, the outcome would be that people would stop talking for a while because of the royal honour bestowed on him, but these doubts would keep tick¬ing in their hearts making them think that he was the person who had violated the honour of his master. That such conditions could emerge in royal courts and the king becomes influenced by such popular thoughts is not a possibility too far out. Therefore, he considered it necessary that this matter should be straightened out and cleaned up before his release.
A gist of this appears in verse قَالَ مَا خَطْبُكُنَّ إِذْ رَاوَدتُّنَّ يُوسُفَ عَن نَّفْسِهِ that is, the king called for the women who had cut their hands and asked them: ` What was your case, 0 women, when you seduced ~suf?’ This question of the king tells us that he, on his part, had become certain that the party at fault was not Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) . He took those women to be at fault, therefore, he said: ` when you seduced Yusuf (عليه السلام) .’ After that, the answer given by the women appears as follows:
قُلْنَ حَاشَ لِلَّـهِ مَا عَلِمْنَا عَلَيْهِ مِن سُوءٍ ۚ قَالَتِ امْرَأَتُ الْعَزِيزِ الْآنَ حَصْحَصَ الْحَقُّ أَنَا رَاوَدتُّهُ عَن نَّفْسِهِ وَإِنَّهُ لَمِنَ الصَّادِقِينَ ﴿51﴾
They said, ‘God forbid, we know of no evil in him.’ The govern¬or’s wife (also present there) said, ‘Now, the truth has come to light. I did seduce him, and he is of the truthful.’
Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) had not named the wife of the governor, the ` Aziz of Misr, as part of the investigations, but that is how things happen when Allah jalla thana’uh decides to honour someone – people would rise and speak up, come forward and tell the truth, without let or hindrance or demur. So it was on this occasion. The wife of the governor found the courage. She herself proclaimed the truth.
Upto this point, in what you have heard about Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) ، there is good guidance for our lives and solutions of many problems as well. Eight of such rulings have appeared under our comments on Verses 36-42. An additional six which come out from the present verses are being given below.
- Allah Ta ala Himself manages things for His favoured servants by releasing unseen arrangements which help them achieve their objectives – for He does not like them to become indebted to anyone else created by Him. This was the reason why the message of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) given to the prisoner-to-be-released in which he was asked to mention him to the king was made to be forgotten. Later, in its place, a very spe¬cial arrangement was made through the workings of the unseen which was designed to serve two objectives at the same time, that Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) would not become indebted to anyone’s favour to start with, and that the main purpose of his release from the prison would stand achieved with full honour and dignity waiting for him.
To set this unseen plan in motion, the king of Egypt was made to see a disturbing dream, the interpretation of which proved to be beyond the abilities of the experts he had at his court. So, driven by need, recourse had to be made to Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) . (Ibn Kathir)
- Prophetic conduct is a mirror of high morals. Consider the behavi¬our of the prisoner who was released. Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) had simply asked him to mention his name to the king. But he was unable to do even this much for him. As a result of his neglect, he had to spend seven more years in the prison. Now the same prisoner returns to him after seven years carrying a job of his own, that of finding out the interpreta¬tion of the same king’s dream, the king to whom he had been asked to mention Sayyidna Yusuf’s name and which he did not. In a situation like that, it was natural that he should have admonished him, even become angry at him for not having done something so insignificant. But, Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) acted in accord with his prophetic morals when he, not to say much about an admonition, did not even mention the episode itself. (Ibn Kathir & Qurtubi)
- Anbiya and ` Ulama’ have a dual duty. They should naturally be concerned about the attitude of people towards their ‘Akhirah. They have to help them out with good counsel in this crucial matter by shield¬ing them from deeds which will become their punishment in the ‘Akhi¬rah. Then, along with it, they should also keep a constant watch on the economic condition of Muslims so that they do not suffer – as was done by Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) . On this occasion, he did not consider it suffi¬cient to simply give the interpretation of the dream. Instead, he gave a wise and well-meaning advice as well. He suggested to them that they should leave the entire wheat crop in the ears only taking out what was needed so that the grain so stored would not go bad in later years.
- An ` Alim whose guidance is relied upon by Muslims should also watch out that he is not suspected by people – even though such a suspi¬cion be totally unfounded. Efforts should be made to stay safe from this too – because suspicion, whether from ignorance or misunderstanding, does interfere with the work of da’wah and teaching they carry out, and goes on to lighten the effect of what is said. (Qurtubi) The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) has said: Stay away even from places and occasions of blame. It means that one should try to stay away from places and occasions where and when someone gets an opportunity to put a blame on the next person. This rule applies to Muslims generally. Those who are prominent among them, the ` Ulama’ particularly, they have to observe twice as much precaution. The example of the Holy Prophet is before us. He was Divinely protected from all defects and sins. He too made a point to observe this precaution. Once, when one of his blessed wives was pass¬ing by a small side-street of Madinah with him, some Companion ap¬peared before them. While he was still some distance away from them, the Holy Prophet told him that such and such wife of his was with him. He did this so that the onlooker does not fall into some doubt that the lady going there was a stranger. In the present situation, Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) ، despite orders for his release and the invitation to see the king, tried well before his release that any doubts people may have should be removed.
- If someone is obligated to a person, because of his rights on him and is, as such, deserving of respect, then, should there come a situation in which, under inevitable circumstances, some sort of action has to be taken against that person, in that case too, giving due consideration to the right and respect of that person, to the best of one’s ability, is the duty of a thorough gentleman. This is as it was done by Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) to secure his absolvement from the blame. It will be recalled that while referring his matter for investigations, he had not named either the ` Aziz of Misr, or his wife. He had simply mentioned the women who had cut their hands. (Qurtubi) – because, he could still achieve his objective.
Taught here are the highest and noblest traits of character. We can see that Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) had suffered the loss of his freedom for seven or twelve years in the prison but, when he was released, the tak¬ing of revenge was a far cry, he did not even bear by the idea that some-one would be put to the least inconvenience on his account – as particu¬larly taken into consideration in the verse: لِيَعْلَمَ أَنِّي لَمْ أَخُنْهُ بِالْغَيْبِ (so that he may know that I did not betray him in his absence – 52).
ذٰلِكَ لِيَعْلَمَ اَنِّىْ لَمْ اَخُنْهُ بِالْغَيْبِ وَاَنَّ اللّٰهَ لَايَهْدِيْ كَيْدَ الْخَاۗىِٕنِيْنَ
In the second (52) of the two verses cited above, Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) has himself pointed out to two considerations implied in the way he acted and in the option of delaying his release.
The first consideration was: ذٰلِكَ لِيَعْلَمَ اَنِّىْ لَمْ اَخُنْهُ بِالْغَيْبِ. It means: I delayed my release so that the ` Aziz of Misr comes to know for sure that I did not betray him in any way during his absence.
He was so concerned about making the ` Aziz of Misr become assured of his innocence because he thought it would be terrible if the ` Aziz of Misr continues to harbour doubts in his heart against him and suffer more from them when unable to say much after the royal honour has been conferred on him. If so, he would be displeased with the honour given to him and far more painful would be the silence he would have to maintain. Since, he had been his master when he lived with him, his pain was too much to bear for Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) ، intrinsically gentle as he was. Then, it was equally obvious that once the ` Aziz of Misr came to believe in his innocence, people will stop talking by themselves.
The second consideration he mentions is: وَاَنَّ اللّٰهَ لَايَهْدِيْ كَيْدَ الْخَاۗىِٕنِيْنَ , that is, he asked for investigations to be made in order that people may know that Allah does not lead the guile of betrayers to success.
This statement could be taken to mean that an investigation would expose the betrayal of the betrayers and people would stand warned that betrayers are finally disgraced leaving a lesson for others to stay away from doing things like that in the future. Also possible here is another meaning, that is, had Sayyidna ~suf~ received the royal honours in the same climate of doubt, it may have occured to all watchers that it was not impossible to betray and be honoured at the same time. This would have distorted their faith in fidelity and would have driven away the distaste for betrayal from their hearts. However, it was because of these two considerations that Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) did not favour his leaving the prison immediately after having received the message of his release. In fact, there was a touch of royal elegance in his manner when he demanded that his case be investigated first.
وَمَآ اُبَرِّئُ نَفْسِيْ ۚ اِنَّ النَّفْسَ لَاَمَّارَةٌۢ بِالسُّوْۗءِ اِلَّا مَارَحِمَ رَبِّيْ ۭ اِنَّ رَبِّيْ غَفُوْرٌ رَّحِيْمٌ
Claiming Purity for one’s own Self is not proper except under special Conditions
Stated in the previous verse (52) was the statement of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) that he did not favour his release from the prison before he has been exonerated through a full investigation of the blame imputed to him so that the governor and the king of Egypt can arrive at full certain¬ty that he was not guilty of any betrayal and that the blame was totally unfounded. In this statement, the reference to his freedom from blame and his purity of conduct was being made as based on an inevitable ne¬cessity – which outwardly gave the impression of a pronouncement of per¬sonal integrity and purity – and that was something not welcome in the sight of Allah Ta` ala as is proved from the words of the Holy Qur’an where it is said: أَلَمْ تَرَ إِلَى الَّذِينَ يُزَكُّونَ أَنفُسَهُم ۚ بَلِ اللَّـهُ يُزَكِّي مَن يَشَاءُ (Have you not seen those who claim sanctity for themselves? In fact, Allah sanctifies whom¬soever He wills – 4:49). Again, in Surah An-Najm, it was said: فَلَا تُزَكُّوا أَنفُسَكُمْ ۖ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَنِ اتَّقَىٰ (Do not claim sanctity for your selves; He knows best who it is that guards against evil – 53:32).
It was for this reason that Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) has, in the present verse (53), not allowed his plea of innocence in this matter to remain un¬qualified. As evident, he has stressed upon the reality that by saying what he is saying he has no intention to claim any piety or purity for himself. The truth of the matter is that human self, by nature, keeps pulling everyone to what is bad – except those who are blessed with mercy from the Lord who would make them immunely pure against the evil instigations of their self. They are the blessed prophets. The Qur’an calls such immunized selves: نَفس مُطمَیٔنہ (the self or soul at peace) (Al-Fair: 89:27). Thus, the substance of what Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) said was: In a trial of such magnitude, my remaining safe from sin was no personal achievement of mine. In fact, this was a result of the mercy and help of Allah Ta ala alone. Had He not removed evil desires from my heart, I would have become like the rest of human beings who would be prone to surrender before their desires.
According to some narrations, Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) said this sen¬tence because a kind of ` thought’ did, after all, emerge in his heart – though, limited to a non-voluntary scruple – but, was an unwelcome slip anyway considering the elegant station of prophethood with which he was blessed. Therefore, he expressly confessed that he did not totally ab¬solve his inner self from blame.
The Three States of Human Self
In this verse (53), a problem which needs to be considered is that it declares every human self as often inciting to evil: أَمَّارَةٌ بِالسُّوءِ (ammara¬tum-bis-su ). This is as it appears in a Hadith in which the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) has been reported to have asked the Sahabah (رض) what do you think about a companion who, if you treat him nicely, feed him, clothe him, still he would throw you in all sorts of troubles – and if you insult him, and keep him hungry and naked, he would do what is good for you? The Sahabah (رض) said: Ya Rasul Allah, there just cannot be a companion worse than him in this whole world! He said: By Him in whose hands rests my life, yourself inside you is such a companion. (Qurtubi) And it ap¬pears in another Hadith: Your greatest enemy is your own self which not only disgraces you by getting you involved in evil deeds, but also makes you run into all sorts of troubles.
However, the cited verse and Hadith narrations given above tell us that human self does usually demand the doing of what is bad from us. But, in Sarah Al-Qiyamah, this very human self has been given the honour of being called by the sobriquet: لَوَّامَہ (lawwamah : reproaching) placing it at a level that the Lord of All Honour has sworn by it: وَلَا أُقْسِمُ بِالنَّفْسِ اللَّوَّامَةِ لَا أُقْسِمُ بِيَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ (I do swear by the day of Judgment and I do swear by the reproaching self – 75:1, 2). Then, in Sarah Al-Fajr, by calling this very human self: نفس مظمیٔنہ (mutma’innah: at peace), glad tidings of Jannah have been given: يَا أَيَّتُهَا النَّفْسُ الْمُطْمَئِنَّةُ ارْجِعِي إِلَىٰ رَبِّكِ (0 self at peace, come back to your Lord … 89:27, 28). Thus, the human self has been called as inciting to evil at one place, as reproaching at another, and as being at peace at yet another.
To explain, it can be said that the human self when on its own does incite to evil deeds and is called: عَمَّارہ Ammarah. But, when one does not fol¬low its dictates because of the fear of Allah and ‘Akhirah, his or her self becomes لَوَّامہ Lawwamah, that is, hates evil deeds, repents from them and seeks forgiveness – as is true in the case of the righteous people of the Muslim Ummah at large. And when someone keeps striving hard against his or her self, and brings it to a state where the very urge to turn to evil deeds does not remain there anymore, then, that self be-comes what is called: مظمیٔنہ Mutma’innah (the self at peace). Righteous people can arrive at this state through spiritual strivings. Still, there is no cer-tainty that this state will continue forever. But, the prophets of Allah, may peace be upon them all, are Divinely blessed with such self at peace without any previous striving – and it always remains constant at that state. Thus, it is in terms of three states of human self that three kinds of acts have been attributed to it.
At the end of the verse (53), it was said: إِنَّ رَبِّي غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ (Certainly, my Lord is the Most-Forgiving, Very-Merciful) which has a hint in the word: غَفُورٌ Ghafur: Most-Forgiving. When the self that incites to evil deeds ( ‘Ammarah) is ashamed of its doings, repents, corrects and becomes the reproaching self (Lawwamah), then, certainly great is the forgiveness of Allah – He will forgive. The word: رَحِیم (Rahim : Very-Merciful) indicates that a person who is blessed with a self at peace (Mutma’innah), that too is nothing but a result of the mercy of Allah.
وَقَالَ الْمَلِكُ ائْتُوْنِيْ بِهٖٓ اَسْتَخْلِصْهُ لِنَفْسِيْ ۚ فَلَمَّا كَلَّمَهٗ قَالَ اِنَّكَ الْيَوْمَ لَدَيْنَا مَكِيْنٌ اَمِيْنٌ
In the next verse (54) which begins with the words: وَقَالَ الْمَلِكُ ائْتُونِي بِهِ (Bring him to me …), it has been said, when the king of Egypt investigat¬ed about the event, as requested by Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) ، Zulaikha and all other women concerned with it confessed to the truth. The king, then, ordered that Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) be brought to him so that he can ap¬point him as his personal adviser. According to the royal order, Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) was brought with full honours from the prison to the royal court. When he got an idea of his full potential by talking to him, the king said: ` Today you are with us firmly accommodated and trusted.’
Imam al-Baghawi reports: When the emissary of the king arrived again at the prison to convey the invitation of the king to Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) ، he prayed for all inmates of the prison, took a ritual bath and donned a new dress. When he arrived at the royal court, the du a’ he made was:
حَسبِي رَبَّي مِن دُنيَایَ و حَسبِي رَبِّی مِن خَلقِہِ عَزّ جَارُہ وجَلَّ ثَنَأٰیٌہ ۔ وَلَا اِلٰہَ غَيرُہ
For me sufficient is my Lord against my world and, for me, suf¬ficient is my Lord against the whole creation. Mighty is he who comes under His protection; and most sublime is His praise; and there is no deity worthy of worship other than Him.
When he reached inside the court, he turned to Allah again, prayed again in the same spirit and greeted the court in Arabic saying: اَلسلامُ عَلَیکُم وَ رَحمَۃ اللہِ (Peace on you and the mercy of Allah). For the king, the prayer he made was in Hebrew. The king, though he knew many lan¬guages, was not aware of Arabic and Hebrew. It was Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) who told him that the Salam was in Arabic and the Du a’, in Hebrew.
It also appears in a narration that the king talked to Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) in many different languages and Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) replied to him in the language spoken by him, adding Arabic and Hebrew as two additional languages which the king did not know. This episode greatly increased respect for Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) in the heart of the king.
After that, the king wished to hear him give the interpretation of his dream directly before him. In response, Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) first described before him particular details of his dream which he himself had not told anyone about, and then told him the interpretation as he had wished.
The king was astonished. Though, it was not so much about the interpretation given. What made him really wonder was how could he find out all those details. After that, the king sought his counsel on what should he do next. The advice given by Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) was: During the first seven years of expected heavy rains, you should have arrangements made so that cultivation and crops yield their highest. This could be done by giving incentives to people to make sure that their maximum land areas come under cultivation and crops turn out plentiful and let them keep storing one fifth of their total produce with them. Thus, the people of Egypt would have stored with them enough for the seven years of famine and you would not have to worry on their account. Keep whatever supply of grains comes to the government through fixed taxes or state lands stored for those coming from outside the country – because, this famine will be wide-spread. People living in adjoining countries would need your help. At that time, you may come to the help of many a deprived people around you by giving it to them. Even if you were to put an ordinary price on it, you can be sure of collecting in the government treasury the amount of wealth that had never been there. The king was immensely pleased with this advice, but did wonder how would such a stupendous plan be managed, and who would do that.
قَالَ اجْعَلْنِيْ عَلٰي خَزَاۗىِٕنِ الْاَرْضِ ۚ اِنِّىْ حَفِيْظٌ عَلِيْمٌ
Thereupon, Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) said: اجْعَلْنِي عَلَىٰ خَزَائِنِ الْأَرْضِ ۖ إِنِّي حَفِيظٌ عَلِيمٌ that is, ` appoint me to the treasures of the land (which includes the produce of the land) for I am indeed a knowledgeable keeper (fully capable of conserving and guarding it, and aware of where to spend and how much to spend). (Qurtubi & Mazhari)
In the two words appearing here (hafiz and alim), Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) has combined together all functional virtues a genuine Finance Minister should have. To make it simple, it can be said that the chief trustee and manager of a national treasury needs to do two things: (1) He should not allow government property to be wasted, in fact, should collect, conserve and protect it fully. Then, he should see to it that it is not spent on non-deserving people, or on false heads of expenditure. (2) Then, he should not fall short in spending what has to be spent and where it has to be spent and, at the same time, he should not spend more than the quantum of the need. Thus, the word: حَفِیظ (hafiz : keeper) is the full guarantee of the first need, and the word: عَلِیم (` alim : knowl¬edgeable), that of the second.
Though the king of Egypt was personally attached to Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) because of his many excellences, honesty and wisdom, but he did not actually hand over the office of the Finance Ministry to him. Howev¬er, he did make him stay with him as his honoured guest for a year.
After the passage of one year, not only that he appointed him to be the Finance Minister, but also entrusted to him the management of the rest of his state affairs. Perhaps, he thought that giving such major office to him without first getting acquainted with his manners, morals and habits by keeping him close to him at his house was not appropri¬ate.
Some commentators have written, when Qitfir (Potiphar), the hus¬band of Zulaikha died during this period, the king of Egypt arranged her marriage with Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) . Then, he said to her: Is it not better than what you had wished? Zulaikha confessed to her being at fault, giv¬ing her excuse for having done what she did.
Allah jalla thana’uh granted them a life full of honour and comfort. According to historical narrations, they were also blessed with two sons, named Ifra’im and Mansha.
According to some narrations, after the marriage, Allah Ta’ ala had put in the heart of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) more love for Zulaikha than she ever had for him. So much so that there came a time when Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) complained to her: Why is it that you do not love me as much as you did before? Zulaikha told him: Through you I am now blessed with the love of Allah Ta’ ala. With this in view, other relationships and thoughts seem to have dimmed out. This episode has been described, along with some other details, in Tafsir al-Qurtubi and Mazhari.
Many teachings and guidelines which appear as part of the story of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) ، and are good for all human beings, have been talked about earlier. Some others are being mentioned as follows:
Rulings and Guidelines
- In the saying of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) (And I do not ab¬solve my inner self of blame – 53), there is good guidance for the servants of Allah who fear Him and are righteous, pious and abstaining. They should realize that they should not, when they have the Taufiq of re-maining safe from some sin, wax proud about it, never taking those in¬volved with sins as low and inferior. Instead of that, they should ponder over the saying of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) ، let it go into their heart and be-come its fixed response – that is, ` this is no personal achievement of ours; it is only Allah Ta` ala whose grace stopped our inner self, which incites to evil, overcome us – otherwise, this self of man would often pull him to-wards deeds which are evil.’
Seeking a Government Office is Not Permissible – Except under particular Conditions
- From: اجْعَلْنِي عَلَىٰ خَزَائِنِ الْأَرْضِ (Appoint me to (supervise) the treasures of the land – 54), we learn that the seeking of an office or position with the government is permissible under particular conditions – as was done by Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) when he sought to be appointed to supervise and manage the treasures of the land.
But, in the light of details regarding this matter, when it is known about a particular office that no one else would be able to manage it well – and one’s honest self-assessment indicates that he will be able to dis¬charge the responsibilities of that office well enough, and that there is, in it, no danger of getting involved in some sin – then, this would be a sit-uation in which taking the initial step of seeking the office is also permis¬sible, subject to the condition that the reason for doing this should not be the love of recognition, power and wealth. Instead, the main purpose be-hind this should be to serve Allah’s creation genuinely and to carry to them their rights with justice and equity – as it was with Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) whose sole purpose was no other but this. But, wherever such a situation does not prevail, the Holy Prophet has prohibited the seek¬ing of any government office on one’s own. And he did not give an office to anyone who himself made a request for it.
It appears in a Hadith of Sahih Muslim that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said to Sayyidna ` Abd-ur-Rahman ibn Samurah (رض) : Never seek an office (of authority or responsibility) because even if you get it by asking for it, the support of Allah Ta’ ala, through which you could stay safe from slips and errors, will not be there. And if you get an office without the asking and seeking, help and support of Allah Ta` ala will be there, because of which, you will be able to fulfill the rights of that office as due.
Similarly, according to another Hadith of Sahih Muslim, someone requested the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) that he be appointed to a certain office. To him, he said:
اِنَّا لَن نَّستعمِلَ علی مَن اَرادَہ
` We would not give our office to a person who asks for it.’
The Seeking of Office by Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) was based on a Wise and Benign Consideration
But, the case of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) is different. He knew that the king of Egypt is a disbeliever. So is his staff. The country was going to be hit by a famine. At that time, selfish people would have no mercy for the creation of Allah and millions would die of hunger. There was no one around who could be relied upon to do justice with the rights of common people. Therefore, he himself made a request for that office of responsibil¬ity – though, he had to support his request by pointing out to some areas of his expertise, as a matter of necessity, of course, so that the king be-comes satisfied and entrusts the office with him.
Even today, if someone feels that there is an office of government for which there is no one available, specially someone who would discharge the responsibilities of that office as due – and his honest self-assessment assures that he would be able to discharge the responsibilities of that of¬fice as due – then, it is permissible for him, in fact, it is obligatory (wajib) on him to seek that office. But, this will not be to satisfy his own desire for recognition, power or wealth. Instead, it has to be for the purpose of serving people, a mission which relates to the intention and plan in the heart, something which is all too open before Allah Ta ala. (Qurtubi)
That the rightly-guided Khulafa’, may Allah be pleased with them all, assumed the responsibilities of the office of Khilafah was because they knew that no one else would be able to discharge that responsibility at that time as due. The differences attributed to Sayyidna ` Ali, Sayyidna Mu` awiyah, Sayyidna Husain, Sayyidna ` Abdullah ibn Zubayr (رض) and others 9 were all based on that conviction. Everyone of them thought that he would be the one to discharge the responsibilities of Khilafah at that time with more wisdom and strength and better than others. None of them was motivated to seek recognition, power or wealth as his principal aim.
Is It Permissible to Accept an Office of a Kafir Government?
- Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) accepted to serve under the king of Egypt, though he was a disbeliever. This tells us that accepting an office of government headed by a disbelieving or sinning ruler is permissible under particular conditions.
But, Imam al-Jassas, while commenting on the verse: فَلَنْ أَكُونَ ظَهِيرًا لِّلْمُجْرِمِينَ (never shall I be a help to those who sin – 28:17), has written: In the light of this verse, it is not permissible to help the unjust and the dis¬believing. And it is obvious that, accepting an office in their government amounts to becoming a part of their function and providing help to them. Such help has been declared as Haram (forbidden) in many verses of the Holy Qur’an.
As for the position of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) in this matter, not only that he accepted the office, in fact, asked for it. According to the re¬spected Tafsir authority, Mujahid, the reason for this was that the king of Egypt had become a believer, a Muslim, at that time. Since there is no proof in the Qur’an and Sunnah which could support this proposition, the majority of commentators have given another reason for his action. According to them, Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) had already found out about the king of Egypt that he would not interfere in the performance of his du-ties. He will not compel him to enforce laws contrary to his faith. He will give him full rights to act in accordance with his discretion and in line with the law of truth.
With such rights and powers in hand when one is not compelled to obey a law counter to his Shari` ah, it is possible that one may serve under someone unjust and disbelieving – though, the re¬pugnance of having to help and cooperate with that unjust and disbeliev¬ing person remains where it initially was. But, there are circumstances in which it is not possible to remove such a person from the office of power held by him. Then, on the other hand, if there be a strong appre¬hension that by not accepting the office under that person, rights of many servants of Allah will be wasted, or that they may be oppressed, then, this would be a situation of compulsion, and there is this much room for cooperation in the matter. This stands proved from the conduct of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) which is covered by the provision that one would not have to commit something which goes against the Shari` ah one be¬lieves in – because, this will not be helping him in his sin, though, it may do so as a remote cause. But, as for the remote causes of help, there is room in the Shari` ah under given conditions. Details have been described by Muslim jurists. Many righteous elders among the Sahabah and Tabi` in have faced such conditions and it stands proved that they, under such conditions, have accepted to work on offices given by oppressive rul¬ers. (Qurtubi & Mazhari)
` Allama Al-Mawardi, in his book about the political implications of re¬ligious law has said: Some commentators, on the basis of what Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) did in this matter, have ruled the accepting of office with rul¬ers who do not believe and are unjust as permissible, subject to the condi¬tion that one does not have to do anything against the Shari` ah. Other commentators have ruled that it is not permissible even with this condi¬tion attached, because this too supports and promotes people who are un¬just and oppressive. They give many interpretations of what Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) did. The substance is that this conduct of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) was particular to his person, or to his Shari` ah. Now, it is not per¬missible for others. However, the majority of Muslim scholars and jurists have gone by the first proposition and ruled it as permissible. (Qurtubi)
According to Tafsir Al-Bahr Al-Muhit, when it is known that, should the learned and the righteous refuse to accept such office, rights of peo¬ple will be wasted and justice will not be done, then, accepting such of¬fice is permissible, in fact, it is an act of thawab – subject to the condition that, while working on it, one is not compelled to do things which are against the Shari` ah.
A Functional Statement of Some Personal Ability is Not Included under Self-Sanctification prohibited by the Holy Qur’ an
- The saying of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) إِنِّي حَفِيظٌ عَلِيمٌ (I am a knowledge-able keeper) proves that mentioning some personal qualities, expertise or ability when there is a need to do that is not included under self-sanc¬tification which has been prohibited in the Holy Qur’ an – of course, sub¬ject to the condition that such mentioning is not prompted by pride, arro¬gance or boastfulness.
وَجَاۗءَ اِخْوَةُ يُوْسُفَ فَدَخَلُوْا عَلَيْهِ فَعَرَفَهُمْ وَهُمْ لَهٗ مُنْكِرُوْنَ
Mentioned in the previous verses was how Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) was blessed by Allah Ta ala with full control over the country of Egypt. Described in the verses cited above is the coming of the brother of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) to procure food grains. As a corollary, it was also mentioned that the brothers who came to Egypt were ten in number. The younger brother, the real brother of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) was not with them on this trip.
The details of the story in between were not given by the Qur’an since they can be understood contextually.
The details described by Ibn Kathir with reference to Tafsir author¬ities, Suddiyy, Muhammad ibn Ishaq and others, even if borrowed from historical and Israelite reports, may be acceptable in a certain measure since indicators in this direction are available in the sequential arrange¬ment of the Qur’ an itself.
The authorities cited above have said that following the ministerial authority of Egypt having come into the hands of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) ، the first seven years were, true to the interpretation of the dream, years of great prosperity and well-being for the entire country. Crops were abundant and matching were the efforts to produce and conserve. After that, the second part of this very dream unfolded itself. Came the famine which continued for full seven years. Since, at that time, Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) knew in advance that this famine will continue for seven years without any break, therefore, he made arrangements to have the stock of grains present in the country stored very carefully during the initial year of the famine and saw to it that it remained preserved and protected fully and satisfactorily.
As for the local people of Egypt, food grain sufficient for their need was stored with them well ahead of the time. When famine spread and people living in areas around Egypt started coming there, Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) set up a working system of selling grains to them according to which he would not give to one person more than one camel-load of grain. Its quantity, according to al-Qurtubi, was one Wasaq, that is, sixty Sa` which, according to our weight, comes to approximately 1, 953 grams.
Such was his concern for this responsibility that he himself used to oversee the sale of foodgrains. As said earlier, this famine was not limit¬ed to Egypt only. It was spread out to areas far away. The land of Can’aan, a part of Palestine – the homeland of Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) with one of its cities still surviving by the name Khalil, known for the resting places of blessed prophets Ibrahim, Ishaq, Yaqub and Yusuf (علیہم السلام) – even this could not escape the ravages of the famine. Naturally, the family of Sayyidna Ya’qab (عليه السلام) became anxious. That was a time when news had gone around that Egypt was the place where food grains could be procured on payment. Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) had also come to know that the king of Egypt was a man of mercy and would let those who needed it have it. So, he asked his sons too to go and get some grains from Egypt.
And as they had also come to know that one person is not given more than a camel-load of grains, it was decided to send all sons on the trip. But, the youngest brother, Benyamin, the real brother of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) with whom Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) had become very attached since the disappearance of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) was held back by the father for his comfort and care.
Traveling from Can’aan, the ten brothers reached Egypt. Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) appeared in his royal robe as the master of the land before his brothers who had sold him as a seven year old child to the people of the caravan – an event over which, at that time, according to Sayyidna ` Abdullah ibn ` Abbas, forty years had passed. (Qurtubi, Mazhari)
It is obvious that the passage of such a long time would cause great changes in the looks of a person. It could have never occurred to them that a child once sold as a slave could become the king or minister of some country. Therefore, the brothers of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) did not recognize him. But, Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) did. Therefore, this is what the expression: فَعَرَفَهُمْ وَهُمْ لَهُ مُنكِرُونَ (He recognized them, while they were not to recognize him – 58) appearing in the opening verse means – for in the Arabic language, the real meaning of the word: اِنکَار (inkar) is ` to take as stranger.’ Therefore, the word: مُنکِرُون (munkirun) in the text comes to mean ` unable to recognize.’
About the recognizing of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) ، Ibn Kathir has said, on the authority of Suddiyy: When these ten brothers reached the court, Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) interrogated them as is done with suspicious people so that they would state the truth clearly. First of all, he asked them: You are not residents of Egypt. You speak Hebrew. How did you get here? They said: There is a great famine in our country. We have heard about you, therefore, we are here to get some grain. Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) asked again: How do we know that you are telling the truth, and that you are not an enemy spy? Then, all brothers said: God forbid, we can never do that. We are the sons of the Prophet of Allah Ya` qub (عليه السلام) who lives in Canaan.
وَلَمَّا جَهَّزَهُمْ بِجَهَازِهِمْ قَالَ ائْتُوْنِيْ بِاَخٍ لَّكُمْ مِّنْ اَبِيْكُمْ ۚ اَلَا تَرَوْنَ اَنِّىْٓ اُوْفِي الْكَيْلَ وَاَنَا خَيْرُ الْمُنْزِلِيْنَ
The purpose of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) in asking these questions was to make his brothers open up and relate events fully. So, then he asked: Does your father have any child other than you? They said: We were twelve brothers out of whom one of the younger brothers disappeared in the forest. Our father loved him most. After him, he became attached to his younger real brother and that is why he did not send him along with us on this trip so that he can be a source of his comfort.
After having heard what they said, Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) gave orders that they be lodged as royal guests and given grains according to set rules.
Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) had established a standing rule of procedure while distributing grains. He would not give more than one camel-load of grains to one person at one time. But, once this was consumed as calcu¬lated, he would allow it to be given a second time.
Having found out all those details from his brothers, it was only natu¬ral that he would think about a second visit by them. For this purpose in sight, one obvious arrangement he made was to tell his brothers:
ائْتُونِي بِأَخٍ لَّكُم مِّنْ أَبِيكُمْ ۚ أَلَا تَرَوْنَ أَنِّي أُوفِي الْكَيْلَ وَأَنَا خَيْرُ الْمُنزِلِينَ
Bring to me your step brother from your father’s side. Do you not see that I give full measure and I am the best of hosts? – 59
وَقَالَ لِفِتْيٰنِهِ اجْعَلُوْا بِضَاعَتَهُمْ فِيْ رِحَالِهِمْ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَعْرِفُوْنَهَآ اِذَا انْقَلَبُوْٓا اِلٰٓى اَهْلِهِمْ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُوْنَ
Ibn Kathir has described several possibilities as to why Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) acted the way he did: (1) It occurred to him that, perhaps they may not have anything other than the cash and jewelry they had brought. If so, they would be unable to come for the grains again. (2) Per¬haps, he could not bear by the idea of taking the price of foodstuff from his father and brothers, therefore, he paid the amount due from his pocket and had it deposited in the royal treasury, and returned their cash and jewelry back to them. (3) He knew when their cash and jewelry is found in their supplies back home and his father learns about it, then he, being a prophet of Allah, would consider what has been thus found to be a trust of the Egyptian Treasury and would certainly have it returned, therefore, the return of their brothers would become more as¬sured.
However, it can be said briefly that Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) made all these arrangements so that his brothers could keep coming to him in the future and that he could also meet his younger real brother.
From this event relating to Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) ، we learn that, should the economic condition of a country worsen to the limit that the failure of the government to check the decline may cause people to be-come deprived of the basic necessities of life, then, the government is jus¬tified in taking over the regulation and control of such supplies and it could also fix an appropriate price of food grains. Muslim jurists have ex¬plained this provision in details.
A Special Note:
There is something which strikes as unusual in this story of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) . We see that his exalted father, the prophet of Al¬lah, Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) was so affected by his separation that con¬stant weeping made him lose his eyesight. Then, on the other hand, we have Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) ، a prophet and messenger of Allah like him, one who naturally loved his father and knew his rights on him fully well. But, during this long period of forty years, how was it that it did not occur to him even once that his father must be missing him miserably and that it would be nice to let him know about his wellbeing through some source. The sending of such information was not too far out a propo¬sition even when he had reached Egypt as a slave. Then, once he was in the home of the ` Aziz of Misr, he had the freedom, comfort and time to do that. It was not so difficult to send a message to his home through some source. For that matter, this could have been done when he was in the prison as well. Who does not know that messages from inside those walls can be delivered anywhere, near or far? Then, came the time when Allah Ta’ ala took him out of the prison with all honours and the author¬ity over the land of Egypt became his own. That was a time when he should have presented himself before his father as his primary task. And had it been against some state consideration, he could have at the least sent an emissary to comfort his father, something ordinary given the status he had.
But, Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) has not been reported to have even intended to do that. Not to say much about his intention, when his broth¬ers came to procure food grains, he sent them back without telling them about the real situation.
These are conditions which cannot be imagined about an ordinary human being. How was it possible for an exalted messenger of Allah to bear by this situation?
The only answer to this surprising silence which kept returning to me was that may be Allah Ta’ ala, in His infinite wisdom, had stopped Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) from exposing himself. This was found authentically clarified in Tafsir al-Qurtubi that Allah Ta` a1a had, through a Way (revelation), stopped Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) from sending any news about himself to his home.
It is Allah alone who knows the workings of His infinite wisdom. To comprehend it all is humanly impossible. But, once in a while, there may be something one could see through. Here too, as it appears, the real con¬sideration of wisdom was to complete the trial of Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) .
This was the reason why, at the very initial stage of the event, when Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) had realized that his son, Yusuf (عليه السلام) ، was not eaten up by a wolf but that it was some trick of his brothers, the natural demand of the situation was that he should have visited the place of the reported incident and made necessary investigations. But, as Allah Ta ala would have it, he was unable to think on those lines. Then, after a long passage of time, he also said to his brothers: ` Go and search for Yusuf (عليه السلام) and his brother.’ When Allah Ta ala wills to do something, this is the way He would put all its causes together.
فَلَمَّا رَجَعُوْٓا اِلٰٓى اَبِيْهِمْ قَالُوْا يٰٓاَبَانَا مُنِعَ مِنَّا الْكَيْلُ فَاَرْسِلْ مَعَنَآ اَخَانَا نَكْتَلْ وَاِنَّا لَهٗ لَحٰفِظُوْنَ
The verses appearing above carry the remaining segment of the event, that is, when the brothers of Yusuf (عليه السلام) returned home with food-grains from Egypt, they told their father about what had happened there, specially about the condition imposed by the ` Aziz of Misr that they would receive food grains in the future only if they would bring their younger brother with them. So they requested their father to let Benya¬min also accompany them in order that they may receive food grains in the future as well. Then, they would be there to protect this brother of theirs at its best with assurance that they would see to it that he faces no inconvenience during the trip.
Their father asked them if they wanted him to trust them with Ben¬yamin as he had done before with their brother, Yusuf (عليه السلام) . The drive of his remark makes it obvious that he did not trust their word. He had trusted them once, and suffered – for they had promised in the same words spoken earlier that they would guard him.
This much was an answer to what they had said. But, he had the need of the family in sight, and because he was blessed with the quality of trust in the Divine dispension of matters, he talked about the reality as he knew it saying, in effect, that man has no control over his gain or loss unless Allah Ta ala Himself so wills. And when He wills it, it cannot be diverted or averted by anyone. Therefore, it is incorrect to place one’s trust in the created beings of Allah in this matter and equally inappropri¬ate is the dependence on their complaints to settle it.
At this stage, verse 65 opens with the words:
وَلَمَّا فَتَحُوا مَتَاعَهُمْ وَجَدُوا بِضَاعَتَهُمْ رُدَّتْ إِلَيْهِمْ ۖ قَالُوا يَا أَبَانَا مَا نَبْغِي ۖ هَـٰذِهِ بِضَاعَتُنَا رُدَّتْ إِلَيْنَا ۖ وَنَمِيرُ أَهْلَنَا وَنَحْفَظُ أَخَانَا وَنَزْدَادُ كَيْلَ بَعِيرٍ ۖ ذَٰلِكَ كَيْلٌ يَسِيرٌ
And when they opened their baggage, they found their capital given back to them. They said, “Our father, what else do we want? Here is our capital given back to us, and we shall bring food to our family, protect our brother and add the measure of one camel more. That is an easy measure.”
It will be noticed that, prior to this verse, the brothers of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) were talking about what had happened to them on their jour¬ney, before they had opened their baggage. After that, when they opened the baggage and saw that their entire capital with which they had paid for the food grains was present inside the baggage, they realized that this was not done by mistake, in fact, their capital had been returned to them. Therefore, they said: رُدَّتْ إِلَيْنَا (given back to us). Then, to their father they said: مَا نَبْغِي (what else do we want?) that is, ` the grains are here and what we paid for it has also been returned to us. Now we should definitely go back there in peace with our brother because the way we have been treated shows that the ` Aziz of Misr is kind to us. We should have no apprehensions. It is the time that we go and bring food-grains for the family and take care of our brother too. That we shall get an additional load of grains in the name of our brother will help – because, whatever we have brought in the present trip is much less than our needs and is likely to be consumed soon.
One sense of the sentence: مَا نَبْغِي (ma nabghi) spoken by the brothers of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) is practically the same as given immediately above, that is, ` what else do we want?’ And if, in this sentence, the letter: مَا (ma : not) is taken in the sense of negation, it could also mean that the sons of Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) told their father: Now that we have the price of the grain with us, we do not want anything from you. You just send our brother with us.
قَالَ لَنْ اُرْسِلَهٗ مَعَكُمْ حَتّٰى تُؤْتُوْنِ مَوْثِقًا مِّنَ اللّٰهِ لَتَاْتُنَّنِيْ بِهٖٓ اِلَّآ اَنْ يُّحَاطَ بِكُمْ ۚ فَلَمَّآ اٰتَوْهُ مَوْثِقَهُمْ قَالَ اللّٰهُ عَلٰي مَا نَقُوْلُ وَكِيْلٌ
After hearing what they said, their father answered: لَنْ أُرْسِلَهُ مَعَكُمْ حَتَّىٰ تُؤْتُونِ مَوْثِقًا مِّنَ اللَّـهِ لَتَأْتُنَّنِي بِهِ (I shall never send Benyamin with you until you give me a pledge in the name of Allah that you will definitely bring him back to me – 66). But, could someone with the ability to see reality ever miss to realize that man, no matter how strong he may be, is, after all, depen¬dent and helpless before the all-pervading power of Allah jalla thana’uhu – how then, and on what basis, would he give a pledge to bring back someone safe? The reason is that he does not have the absolute power and control to accomplish it. Therefore, when Sayyidna Ya` qub عليه السلام asked his sons to give him a pledge, he added an exception to it by saying: إِلَّا أَن يُحَاطَ بِكُمْ ` unless you are overpowered (by circumstances).’ Early Tafsir authority, Mujahid explains it as: unless all of you are killed. Another early Tafsir authority, Qatadah says that it means: unless you become totally helpless and overpowered.
In the last sentence of verse 66, it was said: فَلَمَّا آتَوْهُ مَوْثِقَهُمْ قَالَ اللَّـهُ عَلَىٰ مَا نَقُولُ وَكِيلٌ (So, when they gave him their pledge, he said, “Allah is watchful over what we say” ), that is, when his sons gave the pledge as desired on solemn oaths to satisfy their father, then, Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) told them that the giving and taking of solemn oaths being undertaken by them is something which ultimately rests with Allah Ta ala alone. It is with His taufiq only that one person can keep the other protected and thus become enabled to fulfill his pledge. Otherwise, man is helpless. He has nothing under his personal control.
There are many elements of guidance and injunctions for people in the verses explained above. Please take note of them and keep them in mind.
Notes of Guidance
- If children make mistakes, relations should not be cut off with them. One should, rather, think of ways to reform their conduct. The mistakes made by the brothers of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) were serious.
They were sins, major and grave:
(1) They lied to their father and made him agree to send Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) for an outing with them.
(2) They gave a pledge to their father, then broke it.
(3) They treated their young and innocent brother cruelly.
(4) They caused extreme pain to their father and did not care much about it.
(5) They conspired to kill an innocent human being.
(6) They sold a free human being forcibly and unjustly.
These were extreme and severe crimes which demanded that Sayyidna Ya’ qub (عليه السلام) once he had understood that they had lied and wasted the life of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) knowingly, should have severed his relationship with these sons, or turned them out of his house. But, Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) did not do that, rather, let them keep living with him, even sent them to Egypt to bring back food grains from there. On top of this came the situation when they had another opportunity to prevail upon their father once again in the case of their youngest brother and on this occasion too he yielded to them and allowed them to take his young son with them.
This tells us that should one’s children fall into sin or make mis¬takes, it is the responsibility of the father to seek their correction through appropriate education and training, and as long as there is hope of betterment, let him not severe his relationship with them. This was what Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) did – and finally, all of them were ashamed of their wrongdoings, turned away from sins and lived a reformed life. However, should there remain no hope of betterment in their condition, and parents realize that maintaining relationship with them poses a danger to the religious upbringing of others, then, under that condition, severing relationship with them is more appropriate.
- Promoted here are two great qualities of character, good dealings and good manners – of which Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) was a mirror. Despite such serious crimes committed by his sons, he kept dealing with them in a manner that they faced no qualms of conscience when they made their second request to take their younger brother with them.
- Another instruction inferred from here is that it is appropriate to admonish a wrongdoer in the interest of his betterment. This would amount to telling him that his behavior demanded that the plea made by him should be rejected, but then, he should be given the feeling that he is being given a fresh chance by forgoing what has gone before – so that his sense of shame returns to him later and he becomes totally repen¬tant. This is what Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) did in the first instance. He made a caustic reference to their past record: ` Shall I trust you about Benyamin as I had trusted you earlier about Yusuf?’ But, after having warned them pointedly, he realized their penitence from their apparent condition, placed his trust in Allah and handed over his young son into their custody.
- Placing one’s trust, in the real sense, in the promise or protection of a human being is wrong. The real trust should be in Allah Ta` ala. He alone is the real mover and maker of things and He alone is the causer of causes. To bring forth causes and to give them effect is what lies but in His control. Therefore, Sayyidna Ya’ qub (عليه السلام) said: فَاللہ خیر حَافظا (Well, Allah is the best guardian).
According to a saying of Ka’b al-Ahbar, since Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) this time, did not simply trust the word of his sons, instead, entrusted the matter with Allah Ta’ ala, therefore, Allah Ta’ ala said: ` By My hon¬our, now I shall send both of your sons back to you.’
- If some property or thing belonging to someone else is found in our baggage, and strong indications prove that he has tied it up in our baggage with the specific intention of giving it to us, then, keeping it and using it is permissible – as was the case with this ` capital’ which came out from the baggage of the brothers of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) ، and where strong indications proved that it did not happen as a result of some oversight or forgetfulness, in fact, it was given back intentionally. That is why, Sayyidna Ya’ qub (عليه السلام) did not give instructions that these articles of value be returned. But, in case there is a doubt that it has come to us, perhaps by oversight or forgetfulness, then, using it without making ne¬cessary inquiries from the owner is not permissible.
- No one should be asked to give a pledge on oath, the fulfillment of which does not lie fully in his control – as it was, when Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) took a pledge on oath from his sons that they would bring back Ben¬yamin safe and sound, he exempted from it the situation in which they may become totally helpless or become themselves subjected to near-death circumstances.
Therefore, when the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) asked the noble Companions (رض) to give him a pledge of their obedience to him, then, he himself added a restriction to it, that is, the restriction of ability. Thus, the pledge stipulated: ` we shall obey you fully – as far as it is within our ability and control.’
- That the brothers of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) have been asked to give a pledge that they would bring Benyamin back shows that کَفَالۃ بِالنَفس (Kafalah bin-nafs) is permissible. Being a technical term of Islamic Law, it means that it is correct to tender a personal bail or guarantee for the due appearance of a person involved in a case on its hearing date in the court.
The view of Imam Malik (رح) differs in this respect. According to him, it is only financial guarantee that is allowed in Shari` ah. He does not hold the personal bail (Kafalah bin-nafs) as permissible. ,
وَقَالَ يٰبَنِيَّ لَا تَدْخُلُوْا مِنْۢ بَابٍ وَّاحِدٍ وَّادْخُلُوْا مِنْ اَبْوَابٍ مُّتَفَرِّقَةٍ ۭ وَمَآ اُغْنِيْ عَنْكُمْ مِّنَ اللّٰهِ مِنْ شَيْءٍ ۭ اِنِ الْحُكْمُ اِلَّا لِلّٰهِ ۭعَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلْتُ ۚ وَعَلَيْهِ فَلْيَتَوَكَّلِ الْمُتَوَكِّلُوْنَ
In the present verses, the second visit of the brothers of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) ، this time accompanied by their younger brother, has been mentioned. On that occasion, Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) had told them to keep in mind that they were eleven of them going there, so they should not enter Egypt collectively from one single gate of the city of their desti¬nation. Instead of that, once they have reached the outer wall of the city, they should disperse and enter there from different gates.
The reason for this advice was his apprehension that all of them were young and, masha’Allah, healthy, tall, handsome and impressive. He was concerned about them lest people find out that they were sons of the same father, and brothers to each other. May be they are affected by someone’s evil eye which may bring them some harm. Or, their coming in all together may make some people envy them, or may even cause some pain to them.
Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) did not give them this advice the first time they went to Egypt. He did so on the occasion of their second trip. The re¬ason for this, perhaps, is that they had entered Egypt on their first visit as common travellers and in a broken down condition. No one knew them, nor was there any danger that someone would take any special no¬tice of their general condition. But, it so happened that, during their very first trip, the master of Egypt gave them an unusual welcome which introduced them to state functionaries and city people. Now there did exist the danger that someone may cast an evil eye on them, or that some people start envying them for being an imposing group of visitors. Apart from it, the fact that the younger son, Benyamin, was with them this time, became the cause of the father’s added attention.
The Effect of the Evil Eye is True
This tells us that human beings affected by the evil eye, or its caus¬ing pain or loss to another human being, animal etc., is true. It cannot be dismissed as ignorance, superstition or fancy. Therefore, Sayyidna Ya` qub was concerned about it.
The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) has also confirmed its truth. It appears in a Hadith: ` The evil eye makes a human being enter the grave, and a camel enter a petty pot.’ Therefore, things from which the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) has sought refuge, and from which he has directed his Ummah to seek refuge, include: مِن کُلِّ عين لامّۃ that is, ` I seek refuge from the evil eye.’ (Qurtubi)
Well-known is the event related to Sayyidna Sahl ibn Hunayf (رض) ، one of the noble Companions. It is said that there was an occasion when he took off his shirt to get ready to go for a bath. ` Amir ibn Rabi` ah hap¬pened to cast a glance at the bright tint and healthy look of his body. The spontaneous remark he made was: ` Until this day, I have never seen a body as handsome as this!’ No sooner did these words escape his mouth, an instant high temperature seized Sayyidna Sahl ibn Hunayf. When the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) was informed about it, the treatment he suggested was that ` Amir ibn Rabi’ah should make Wudu’, collect the water from Wudu’ in some utensil, and let this water be poured on the body of Sahl ibn Hunayf. When it was done as ordered, the temperature dropped down immediately. He became fully fit, and left on the expedition he was going with the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) who, follow¬ing this event, also gave a gentle warning to ` Amir ibn Rabi` ah by telling him:
علام يقتل أحدکم أخاہ، الَّا برّکت، انَّ العين حق.
` Why would someone kill his brother? (When you saw his body) you could have made Wudu’ for barakah. It is true that the evil eye leaves its effect.’
This Hadith also tells us that, should someone notice something unusual about the person or property of somebody else, let him make Wudu’ for him that Allah Ta’ ala blesses him with barakah in it. According to some narrations, one should say:. مَاشَاءَ اللہُ لا قُوَّۃَ اِلَّا بِاللہ (Masha’Allahu laquw¬wata ilia billah : Whatever Allah will – there is no power but with Him). This removes the effect of the evil eye. This also tells us that, should someone become affected by a person’s evil eye, the pouring of water used by that person in washing his face, hands and feet (in Wudu) will help eliminate the effect of the evil eye.
Al-Qurtubi has said that there is a consensus of all ` Ulama’ of the Muslim Ummah among Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jama` ah on the truth of the evil eye as affecting and causing harm.
Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) ، on the one hand, because of the apprehension of the evil eye, or envy, advised his sons that they should not enter all to¬gether from one single gate of the city. On the other hand, he considered it necessary to speak out about the reality behind it – the heedlessness towards which in such matters would usually cause many from among the masses to fall easy victims to superstition or baseless scruples. The real fact is that the effect of the evil eye over one’s person or property is a kind of mesmerism (or an induced state as in hypnosis, though not neces¬sarily in sleep or pre-set clinical conditions).
This would be more like a harmful medicine or food which makes one sick; or, excessive heat or cold which make some diseases show up. The effective measures demon¬strated by the evil eye or mesmerism are one of the customary causes which would, through the power of the eye or mind, make its effects man¬ifest. The truth is that they themselves have no real effectiveness of their own. Instead, all universal causes operate under the perfect power, will and intention of Allah Ta’ ala. No favourable measures taken against what has been Divinely destined can prove beneficial, nor can the harmfulness of some harmful measure become effective. Therefore, it was said:
وَمَا أُغْنِي عَنكُم مِّنَ اللَّـهِ مِن شَيْءٍ ۖ إِنِ الْحُكْمُ إِلَّا لِلَّـهِ ۖ عَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلْتُ ۖ وَعَلَيْهِ فَلْيَتَوَكَّلِ الْمُتَوَكِّلُونَ
And I cannot help you in any way against (the will of) Allah. Sovereignty belongs to none but Allah. In Him I place my trust, and in Him should trust those who trust – 67.
It means: I know that the necessary precautions I have ordered you to take so as to help you remain protected against the evil eye cannot avert the will and intention of Allah Ta` ala. What works here is but the command of Allah. However, one has been asked to do what is physically possible. Therefore, I have given this advice. But, I place my trust, not on these physical arrangements, but in Allah alone. And it is imperative for everyone that he or she should trust in and rely on Him alone – never placing one’s trust in physical and material means.
The reality which Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) was talking about became all too visible in this trip as well. By chance it so happened that all meas¬ures taken to bring Benyamin back home safely just failed and he was detained in Egypt. As a consequence of which, Sayyidna Yaqub (عليه السلام) received another severe shock. That the measure taken by him failed, as categorically mentioned in the next verse, had a purpose behind it. It means that this measure failed in terms of the essential objective, that is, the safe return of Benyamin back home – though, the measure taken to keep them protected against the evil eye or envy did succeed, because no such incident showed up during this trip. But, the unforeseen inci-dent Divine destiny had in store for them was a factor not noticed by Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) nor could he do anything to counter it. However, despite this visible failure, it was the barakah (blessing) of his tawakkul (trust) that this second shock turned out to be an antidote for the first one, and resulted in the happy reunion with both his sons, Yusuf and Benyamin, safely and honourably.
Onwards from here, it was said in verse 69:
وَلَمَّا دَخَلُوا عَلَىٰ يُوسُفَ آوَىٰ إِلَيْهِ أَخَاهُ ۖ قَالَ إِنِّي أَنَا أَخُوكَ فَلَا تَبْتَئِسْ بِمَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ
And when they came to Yusuf, he lodged his brother [ Benya¬min ] with himself. He said, “Behold, I am your [ lost ] brother! So do not grieve for what they have been doing.”.
According to Tafsir authority, Qatadah, the arrangement made by Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) was that two brothers were lodged in one room. This left Benyamin alone. He was asked to stay with him. When alone with him, Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) disclosed his identity to his younger brother and told him that he was his real brother, Yusuf. He comforted him and asked him not to worry about what their brothers have been doing until that time.
Rulings and Points of Guidance
Some injunctions and rulings come out from verses 67 and 68. These are given below:
- The effect of the evil eye is true. To try to stay safe from it is per¬missible in Shari` ah, and is commendable, just as one tries to stay safe from harmful foods and actions.
- To stay safe from being envied by people, it is correct to conceal from them any special personal blessings and attributes one may have.
- To employ physical and material means to stay safe from harmful effects is neither against Tawakkul (trust in Allah), nor against the status of prophets.
- If one person apprehends likely harm or hurt coming to the other person, it is better to let him know about the danger and suggest how to stay safe from it – as done by Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) .
- When someone finds some personal excellence or blessing enjoyed by another person appear unusual to him and there be the danger that he may be affected by the evil eye, then, it becomes obligatory (wajib) on the beholder that he should, after noticing it, say: بَارکَ اللہ (barakallah: may Allah bless) or: مَا شَاء اللہ (masha’Allah : whatever Allah will), so that the other person remains safe from any possible harm.
- Employing all possible means to stay safe from the evil eye is per¬missible. One of them is to seek its treatment through a dua’ (prayer) or تَعویز ta` widh (spoken or written words seeking the protection of Allah) – as was done by the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) who, seeing the weakness of the two sons of Sayyidna Ja’far ibn Abi Talib, allowed him to have them be treated through ta` widh etc.
- The ideal approach of a wise Muslim to whatever he does is that he must place his real trust in Allah Ta’ ala to begin with but, at the same time, he should not ignore physical and material means. Let him not fall short in employing whatever permissible means he can possibly assemble together to achieve his purpose, – as was done by Sayyidna Yaqub (عليه السلام) . And the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) too has taught us to do so. The Sage Rumi has expressed this prophetic teaching in the following line: بر توکَّل زانوۓ اشتر بہ بند that is, ‘Tie the leg of your camel and trust in Allah’. This is how prophets place their trust in Allah, and this was the blessed way of our Rasu1 (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) .
- A question arises here that Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) made efforts to call his younger brother, even insisted on it. And when he came, he even disclosed his identity before him. But, he neither thought of calling his father, nor took any steps to inform him about his well-being while in Egypt. The reason for this is the same as described earlier. There is no doubt that he did have many opportunities during those forty years when he could have sent a message to his father about himself. But, whatever happened in this matter was Divine decree communicated through the medium of Wahy (revelation). Allah Ta’ ala would have not given him the permission to tell his father about himself – because he was yet to be tested once again through his separation from his son, Ben¬yamin. It was to complete this Divine arrangement that all these situa¬tions were created.
فَلَمَّا جَهَّزَهُمْ بِجَهَازِهِمْ جَعَلَ السِّقَايَةَ فِيْ رَحْلِ اَخِيْهِ ثُمَّ اَذَّنَ مُؤَذِّنٌ اَيَّــتُهَا الْعِيْرُ اِنَّكُمْ لَسٰرِقُوْنَ
The present verses describe how Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) arranged to have his real brother, Benyamin, stay on with him. All brothers were given grains according to rules. The grains for each brother was loaded on his camel, separately and by name.
In the supply of grain loaded on the camel for Benyamin, a bowl was concealed. This bowl has been called: سِقَایَہ (siqayah) at one place, and: صُوَاعَ الْمَلِكِ (suwa’ al-malik) at another. The word: سِقَایَہ (siqayah) means a bowl used to drink water from, and: صُوَاعَ (suwa’ ) too is a utensil similar to it. That it has been attributed to ` malik’ or king shows the additional feature that this bowl had some special value or status. According to some narrations, it was made of a precious stone similar to emerald. Oth¬ers say that it was made of gold, or silver. However, this bowl hidden in Benyamin’s baggage was fairly precious besides having some special con¬nection with the king of Egypt – whether he used it himself, or had it de-clared to be the official measure of grains.
In the second sentence of verse 70, it is said:
ثُمَّ أَذَّنَ مُؤَذِّنٌ أَيَّتُهَا الْعِيرُ إِنَّكُمْ لَسَارِقُونَ
Then, an announcer shouted out, “0 people of the caravan, you are thieves.”
Here, the word: (thumma ثُمَّ : translated as ` then’ ) shows that this public announcement was not made instantly. Instead, a temporary delay was allowed for the caravan to leave. The announcement was made after that to offset the likelihood of anyone sensing a foul play. After all, this proclaimer identified the caravan of the brothers of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) as the thieves.
The answer given by the announcers was:
قَالُوا نَفْقِدُ صُوَاعَ الْمَلِكِ وَلِمَن جَاءَ بِهِ حِمْلُ بَعِيرٍ وَأَنَا بِهِ زَعِيمٌ
We are missing the measuring- bowl of the king, and whoever brings it back shall deserve a camel-load, and I stand a surety for it.
The question which emerges here is: Why did Sayyidna (عليه السلام) opt for this excuse to detain Benyamin with him, especially when he knew that his separation was already shocking for his father. Now, how could he bear by giving him another shock by detaining his other brother?
The other question which arises here is far more important because it involves things like accusing innocent brothers of theft and concealing something in their baggage secretly to cause them disgrace later. These are impermissible acts. Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) was a prophet of Allah. It is difficult to visualize how would he have gone along with them.
Some commentators, such as al-Qurtubi and others, have stated: When Benyamin recognized Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) and was at peace, he requested his brother not to send him back along with his brothers. In-stead, he pleaded, he should let him stay with him. First, Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) made the excuse that his staying behind will shock their father. Then, he had no way of making him stay with him other than that blame him of theft, arrest him for it and thus keep him with him. Benyamin was so disgusted with the ways of his brothers that he was ready to go through all this.
But, even if this event were taken as correct, the heart-break caused for his father, the disgrace inflicted on all his brothers and dubbing them as thieves cannot become permissible simply because of the pleasure of Benyamin. That some commentators have interpreted the charge of theft levelled on them by the announcer as being without the knowledge and permission of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) is not valid. This is a claim without any proof and, given the anatomy of the event, incoherent too. Similar is the case of another interpretation where it has been stated that these brothers stole Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) from his father, and sold him, therefore, they were called ` thieves.’ This too is a long-drawn explanation.
Therefore, the correct answer to these questions is what has been given by al-Qurtubi and Mazhari. They have said: Whatever has been done and said in this connection was neither the outcome of Benyamin’s wish, nor that of the initiative of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) himself. Instead of all that, all these happenings were the manifestation of the infinite wisdom of Allah alone under whose command they came to be what they were and being completed through them was the process of the trial and test of Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) hint towards this answer appears in this verse (76) of the Qur’an itself which says: ذَٰلِكَ كِدْنَا لِيُوسُفَ : ` This is how We planned for Yusuf (to detain his brother).’
In this verse, Allah Ta’ ala has very clearly attributed this excuse and plan to Himself. So, when all these things took shape as Divinely com¬manded, calling them impermissible becomes meaningless. They would be like the incident of the dismantling of the boat and the killing of the boy in the event relating to Sayyidna Musa and Al-Khadir (عليهما السلام) . Obviously, these were sins, therefore, Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) registered his disapproval of them. But, al-Khadir was doing all this with Divine assent and permission under particularly expedient considera¬tions, therefore, he was not committing any sin.
فَبَدَاَ بِاَوْعِيَتِهِمْ قَبْلَ وِعَاۗءِ اَخِيْهِ ثُمَّ اسْتَخْرَجَهَا مِنْ وِّعَاۗءِ اَخِيْهِ ۭ
Said in verse 75 was: فَبَدَأَ بِأَوْعِيَتِهِمْ قَبْلَ وِعَاءِ أَخِيهِ , that is, to cover up the real plan, the state officials first searched through the baggage of all broth¬ers. They did not open Benyamin’s baggage first lest that causes any doubts.
Then, as said in the first sentence of the next verse (76): ثُمَّ اسْتَخْرَجَهَا مِن وِعَاءِ أَخِيهِ , Benyamin’s baggage was opened up last of all and recovered from it was the ` bowl of the king.’ At that sight, all brothers were put to shame. They started chiding Benyamin for having disgraced them.
After that, it was said: كَذَٰلِكَ كِدْنَا لِيُوسُفَ ۖ مَا كَانَ لِيَأْخُذَ أَخَاهُ فِي دِينِ الْمَلِكِ إِلَّا أَن يَشَاءَ اللَّـهُ , that is, ` this is how We planned for Yusuf.’ He could have not ar¬rested his brother under the Egyptian Imperial Law because, according to their law of theft, there was a corporal punishment for the thief after which he was to be released against the payment of twice the cost of the stolen property. But, here, he had already found out the law of theft oper¬ative in the Shari’ah of Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) . According to this law, de¬taining Benyamin with him became correct and valid. So, also granted through the wisdom and will of Allah Ta’ ala was this wish of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) .
Said in the last sentence of the verse is: نَرْفَعُ دَرَجَاتٍ مَّن نَّشَاءُ ۗ وَفَوْقَ كُلِّ ذِي عِلْمٍ عَلِيمٌ (We elevate in ranks whom so We will [ as, in this event, the ranks of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) were elevated over his brothers ]. And above every man who has knowledge, there is someone more knowledgeable).
It means that Allah has given precedence to some over others in terms of knowledge. Take the highest of the high in knowledge, there is someone more knowledgeable than him. And if there is someone with a knowledge which is superior to the knowledge of the best among the crea¬tion of Allah, then, we have the ‘Ilm of Allah jalla thana’uh which is the highest of all forever.
Rulings and points of guidance
Some injunctions and rulings deduced from the present verses are given below:
The statement: وَلِمَن جَاءَ بِهِ حِمْلُ بَعِيرٍ (and whoever brings it back shall deserve a camel-load) in verse 72 proves that it is valid to make a gener¬al announcement that a particular award or remuneration will be paid to anyone who performs a particular act. This is very much like the cur-rent custom of announcing rewards for the arrest of absconding crimi¬nals or for the return of lost properties. Though, this form of transaction does not fall under the juristic definition of Ijarah (hiring), but, in the light of this verse, the justification for this also stands proved. (Qurtubi)
- The words: وَأَنَا بِهِ زَعِيمٌ (and I stand surety for it) appearing at the end of verse 72 tell us that one person can become the guarantor of financial rights on behalf of another person. The related ruling, according to the majority of Muslim jurists, provides that the creditor has the authority to recover his property from the person legally in debt, or from the guar¬antor, as he chooses. However, if it is recovered from the guarantor, the guarantor would have the right to recover from the person legally in debt whatever cash or property has been taken from him. (Qurtubi)
- The sentence: كَذَٰلِكَ كِدْنَا لِيُوسُفَ (This is how We planned for Yusuf) in verse 76 tells us that it is permissible, for a valid reason recognized by Shari’ ah, to change the form of a transaction in a way that it brings a change in its legal status. According to the terminology of the fuqaha’ (jurists) it is called ‘Hilah Shar` iah’ (i.e. a lawful device to avoid a real hardship). However, the condition is that such an action should not cause the invalidation of the injunctions of the Shari’ ah. If so, all such devices are, by the consensus of Muslim jurists, Haram and unlawful – for example, finding an excuse to avoid paying Zakah, or to embark on an unnecessary journey before or during Ramadan simply to seek an excuse for not fasting. This is universally Haram. The hunt for such excuses and devices has brought Divine punishment on some nations, and the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) has prohibited the use of such stratagems. The entire Muslim Ummah agrees that they are Haram, forbidden and unlawful. Acting upon them does not go on to make whatever is done as permissible. In fact, what falls on the doer is a twofold sin – firstly, that of the original impermissible act; secondly, that of the impermissible device which amounts, in a way, to cheating Allah and His Rasul. That all such hiyal or strategems are impermissible has been proved by Imam Al-Bukhari in his Kitab al Hiyal.
قَالُوْٓا اِنْ يَّسْرِقْ فَقَدْ سَرَقَ اَخٌ لَّهٗ مِنْ قَبْلُ ۚ فَاَسَرَّهَا يُوْسُفُ فِيْ نَفْسِهٖ وَلَمْ يُبْدِهَا لَهُمْ ۚ قَالَ اَنْتُمْ شَرٌّ مَّكَانًا ۚ وَاللّٰهُ اَعْلَمُ بِمَا تَصِفُوْنَ
It was stated in the previous verses that, while in Egypt, a royal bowl was concealed in the baggage of Benyamin, the younger brother of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) . Then, by recovering it as planned, a charge of theft was levelled against him.
As in the first of the verses cited above, when the stolen property was recovered from Benyamin’s baggage before the brothers of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) ، they were so ashamed that they said in irritation: إِن يَسْرِقْ فَقَدْ سَرَقَ أَخٌ لَّهُ مِن قَبْلُ , that is, if he has committed a theft, it is not much of a sur¬prise, for he had a brother who, like him, had committed a theft before. The sense was that he was not their real brother. He was their step brother. And he had a real brother who had also committed a theft.
On this occasion, the brothers of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) accused him too of a theft, which refers to an event which took place during his child-hood when the way a conspiracy was hatched here to blame Benyamin for theft, a similar conspiracy was staged against Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) at that time with him being totally unaware of it. As for his brothers, they were fully aware of the fact that he was totally free from this blame. But, being angry with Benyamin on this occasion, they have made out that event too as of theft and have put its blame on his broth¬er, Yusuf (عليه السلام) .
What was that event? Reports differ about it. Referring to Muhammad ibn Ishaq and Tafsir authority, Mujahid, Ibn Kathir has reported that soon after the birth of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) ، Benyamin was born. This birth of his became the cause of his mother’s death. When both Yusuf and Benyamin were left without their mother, they were raised by their paternal aunt. Allah Ta’ ala had blessed Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) from his very childhood with such an attractive personality that whoever saw him became deeply attached to him. His paternal aunt was no exception. She would not let him disappear from her sight at any time. On the other hand, no different was the condition of his father who was very fond of him. But, being a minor child, it was necessary that he be kept under the care of a woman. Therefore, he was put under the care of his paternal aunt. When he had learnt how to walk, Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) thought of having him come to live with him. When he talked to his pa¬ternal aunt, she showed her reluctance to let him go. After that, having been under compulsion, she somehow handed Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) over to his father, but she did make a plan to take him back. She had an antique waist-band which had come to her as the legacy of Sayyidna Ishaq (عليه السلام) and was highly valued. Sayyidna Yusuf’s paternal aunt tied this band on his waist underneath his dress.
After he had gone, she spread the news around that her waist-band has been stolen by someone. When searched for, it turned out to be with young Yusuf (عليه السلام) . According to the Shari` ah of Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) ، the pa¬ternal aunt now had the right to keep him as her slave. When Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) saw that the paternal aunt has become the owner of Yusuf (عليه السلام) on the authority of the religious law of the land, he handed young Yusuf (عليه السلام) over to her. Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) kept living with her as long as she was alive.
This was the event in which the blame of theft was imputed to Sayy¬idna Yusuf (عليه السلام) following which the truth came to light and everybody found that he was free of even the least doubt of theft. It was the love of his paternal aunt for him that had made her conspire to keep him. The brothers knew this truth all too well. Given this reason, it did not behove them that they would attribute theft to him. But, of the series of excesses inflicted on Sayyidna Yusuf ill by his brothers, this too was the last.
Now in the second sentence of the first verse (77) it was said: فَأَسَرَّهَا يُوسُفُ فِي نَفْسِهِ وَلَمْ يُبْدِهَا لَهُمْ that is, Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) heard what his broth¬ers had to say and kept it in his heart for they still seemed to be after him and were now blaming him for theft. But, he kept his reaction to himself and did not let his brothers know that he had heard what they had said and was affected by it in any way.
Said in the next and last sentence of the verse was: قَالَ أَنتُمْ شَرٌّ مَّكَانًا ۖ وَاللَّـهُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا تَصِفُونَ that is, ` Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) said (in his heart): ` You are even worse in position (as you accuse your brother of theft, falsely and knowingly). And Allah knows best of what you allege (whether what you are saying is true or false).’ The first sentence has been uttered in the heart. The other sentence may possibly have been said publicly as his response to what his brothers had said.
اِرْجِعُوْٓا اِلٰٓى اَبِيْكُمْ فَقُوْلُوْا يٰٓاَبَانَآ اِنَّ ابْنَكَ سَرَقَ ۚ وَمَا شَهِدْنَآ اِلَّا بِمَا عَلِمْنَا وَمَا كُنَّا لِلْغَيْبِ حٰفِظِيْنَ
Then, in verse 81, it was said: ارْجِعُوا إِلَىٰ أَبِيكُمْ , that is, the oldest brother said: I am going to stay here. You all go back to your father and tell him that his son has committed a theft, and that whatever we are saying is what we have seen with our own eyes, and that the stolen property was recovered from his baggage before us.
As for the last sentence of verse 81: وَمَا كُنَّا لِلْغَيْبِ حَافِظِينَ (and we could not guard against the unseen), it means that ` the pledge we had given to you to bring back Benyamin definitely was given in terms of outwardly vis¬ible circumstances. We did not know what we did not see and control – thus how could we know that he would steal and be arrested for it leav¬ing us helpless in this matter.’ The sentence could also mean that ` we did our best to keep Benyamin protected seeing that he does nothing which would put him in trouble. But, this effort of ours could be within the limits of our outwardly visible circumstances. That this thing would happen to him, in absence of our vigilance and knowledge, was someth¬ing we did not know about.’
Since the brothers of Yusuf (عليه السلام) had deceived their father earlier, and knew that their father would never be satisfied with their statement mentioned above, and he would never believe in what they would tell him, therefore, for additional emphasis, they said: `(and if you do not be¬lieve us), you can check with the people of the town in which we have been (that is, the city in Egypt). And you can also check with the caravan which has come from Egypt to Canaan with us. And we are true in what we are saying.’
At this point, the question – why would Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) bear by such a heartless treatment with his father – reappears in Tafsir Mazhari. This question has also been taken up earlier in our comments on this Surah where it has been said that it was surprising that Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) did not tell his father about himself, then detained his brother too, then his brothers made repeated visits to Egypt and he never told them about himself nor sent some message to his father. Tafsir Mazhari an¬swers all these doubts by saying:
اِنَّہُ عَمِلَ ذٰلِکَ بِامرِ اللہِ تَعَالٰی لِيَزِيدَ فِي بِلآءِ يَعقُوبَ
That is, Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) did that with the command of Allah Ta` ala so that (the cycle of) the test and trial of Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) reaches its completion.
Rules and Principles
- The statement: وَمَا شَهِدْنَا إِلَّا بِمَا عَلِمْنَا (and we do not testify except what we know) appearing in verse 82 proves that human transactions and contracts are based on apparently known circumstances. They do not cover things which no one knows. The pledge to protect Benyamin which the brothers of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) had given to their father was relat-ed to things which were in their control. As for the incident that he was accused of theft and arrested for it, it was a different matter which does not affect the pledge as such.
- Deduced from the same verse, there is another ruling which ap¬pears in Tafsir al-Qurtubi. It says: This sentence proves that testimony depends on knowledge. No matter how this knowledge is acquired, testi¬mony can be given in accordance with it. Therefore, the way an event can be testified by having seen it with one’s own eyes, similarly, it can be testified by having heard it from someone reliable and worthy of trust – subject to the condition that he does not conceal the truth of the matter, instead, states plainly that he has not seen it personally but has heard it from such and such reliable person. It is on the basis of this principle that Maliki jurists have ruled the testimony of a blind person as permis¬sible.
- The present verses also prove that should a person be true, right and proper, but the situation is such that others may suspect him to be otherwise, then, he must remove that shadow of doubt so that those who see him do not fall into the sin of (unwarranted) suspicion – as in this event relating to Benyamin, there came up an occasion of accusation and doubt because of a past event in the life of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) . Therefore, in order to make things clear, the testimony of the people of the city, and the caravan, was presented in support.
The Holy Prophets (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) has, by his personal conduct, af¬firmed it positively. On his way back from his Masjid, when he was going through an alley with Ummul-Mu’minin, Sayyidah Safiyyah (رض) he noticed two persons appearing at the head of the alley. They were still at some distance, but the Holy Prophet told them that he was with Safiyyah hint Huyayy. They said: Ya Rasul Allah, can anyone have any suspicion about you? Then, he said: Yes, the shaitan keeps seeping through the human body, may be it drops a doubt in somebody’s heart. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim) [ Qurtubi ]
وَتَوَلّٰى عَنْهُمْ وَقَالَ يٰٓاَسَفٰى عَلٰي يُوْسُفَ وَابْيَضَّتْ عَيْنٰهُ مِنَ الْحُزْنِ فَهُوَ كَظِيْمٌ
Said in verse 84 was: وَتَوَلَّىٰ عَنْهُمْ وَقَالَ يَا أَسَفَىٰ عَلَىٰ يُوسُفَ وَابْيَضَّتْ عَيْنَاهُ مِنَ الْحُزْنِ فَهُوَ كَظِيمٌ :` And he turned away from them and said, “How sad I am about Yusuf’ and his eyes turned white with sorrow and he was suppressing (his anger and grief).’ It means that, after this second shock, Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) closed this chapter of talking to his sons about this matter, and turned to his Lord with his plaint before Him as to how sad he was about Yusuf. at happened was that this constant crying at his separa¬tion from Yusuf (عليه السلام) caused his eyes to turn white from sorrow. The sense is that he lost his eyesight, or it became very weak. Tafsir authority, Muqatil has said that this state of Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) continued for six years when his eyesight had nearly gone. In the last sentence of the verse, it was said: فَهُوَ كَظِيمٌ which can be explained by saying that he became silent, speechless, unable to share his pain with anyone else. The word: كَظِيمٌ (kazim) has been derived from: کَظم (kazm) which means to be choked up or filled. Thus, the sense would be that his heart was all filled up with sorrow and his tongue was tied for he would not talk about his grief to anyone.
Therefore, the word: کَظم (kazm) is also taken in the sense of sup-pressing anger – in a way that anger, despite having one’s heart filled with it, does not become the motivating factor of doing something, by word of mouth or movement of hand, as demanded by one’s anger. It ap¬pears in Hadith:
وَ مَن یَّکظِمِ الغَیظَ یَاجُرہُ اللہُ
That is, ` whoever suppresses his anger (and does not act as it demands despite having the ability to do so), Allah will reward him.’
It is said in another Hadith that, on the day of Resurrection (Al-Hashr), Allah Ta` ala will bring such people before the whole multitude of people and would give them the option to take whichever of the blessings of Jannah (Paradise) they liked.
At this point, Imam Ibn Jarir has reported a Hadith according to which, at a time of distress, reciting or prompting to recite: إِنَّا لِلَّـهِ وَإِنَّا إِلَيْهِ رَاجِعُونَ (Inna lil-lahi wa inna ilaihi rajiun : To Allah we belong and to Him we are to return) is one of the distinguishing characteristics of this Ummah, and this Kalimah is highly effective in delivering one from the suffering of sorrow. We can understand why it has been called the distinguishing characteristic of the Ummah of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) since Sayy¬idna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) ، when choked with deadly sorrow and shock, did not say this Kalimah, instead, he said: (How sad I am about Yusuf). In his Shu` abul-‘Iman, Al-Baihaqi has also reported this Hadith as based on a narration of Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas (رض) .
Why Was Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) So Deeply Attached To Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) ?
At this stage, we notice that Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) had extraordinary love for Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) . He was so affected by his disappearance that, during this whole period of his separation from him which has been reported to be forty years in some narrations while eighty in some oth¬ers, he kept weeping continuously, so much so that he lost his eyesight. Apparently, this does not measure upto his spiritual majesty as a proph¬et that he would love his children so much and that much. On the other hand, the Holy Qur an says: إِنَّمَا أَمْوَالُكُمْ وَأَوْلَادُكُمْ فِتْنَةٌ:` Your wealth and your children are a fitnah (trial) – 64:15.’ And, as for the spiritual majesty of the noble prophets, may peace be upon them all, the Holy Qur’ an has this to say: إِنَّا أَخْلَصْنَاهُم بِخَالِصَةٍ ذِكْرَى الدَّارِ: that is, We have made them special to specialize in the remembrance of the Home (of ‘Akhirah) – 38:46.’ Malik ibn Dinar (رح) explains its meaning by saying that: We have taken out the love of dunya from their hearts and, in its place, We have filled their hearts with nothing but the love of Akhirah. Their only criterion, in taking or leaving something, is Akhirah.
From the sum-total of what has been said here, there rises a difficul¬ty before us as to how could Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) allow himself to be so consumed with his love for Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) and how could that be explained as correct.
In his Tafsir (Mazhari), Qadi Thana’ullah Panipati (رح) has, with reference to this difficulty, reported a special research of Hadrat Mujad¬did Alf Thani, the gist of which is that, no doubt, the love of dunya and its enjoyment is blameworthy. Categorical statements of the Qur’ an and Hadith prove that. But, the love of things of dunya which relate to ‘Akhi-rah is, in reality, included under the love of ‘Akhirah. The excellences of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) were not limited to his physical beauty alone. Also to be taken into account are his prophetic chastity and high morals. So, given an overall view, love for him was not the love of what wordly life has to offer. In fact and in reality, this was nothing but the love for rah itself.
In the comment quoted above, it is worth noticing that this love, though not the love of dunya really, yet it did have a certain worldly touch. For this reason, this love became the source of the trial and test of Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) ، for which he had to undergo the unbearable shock of a forty-year separation from him. Then, the chains of this event, from the beginning to the end, show that things kept taking shape as determined by Allah Ta’ ala which made this shock stretch longer and longer. Otherwise, at the very start of the event, it would have not been possible for a father who loved his son so intensely that he would simply listen to what his other sons told him and elect to keep sitting home and not do anything about it.
In fact, if he had immediately visited the site of the in¬cident and made necessary inquiries and investigations, he would have known the truth of the matter on the spot. But, things happened in a way as Allah would have them, so it just did not occur to him. After that, Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) was stopped, through revelation, from sending to his father any news about himself – to the limit that he took no initiative in this direction even after his ascension to power in Egypt. Then, more trying were events which happened concerning the repeated visits of his brothers to Egypt. Even at that time, he said nothing to his brothers about himself, nor did he try to send some note of information to his father. Instead of doing all that, he detained yet another brother through a secret plan, thus inflicting yet another shock on his father. All these ac¬tions cannot possibly issue forth from a great prophet such as Sayyidna Yusuf unless and until he had not been prohibited from doing so through the medium of Wahy (revelation). Therefore, al-Qurtubi and other commentators have declared this entire range of actions taken by Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) as directly prompted by Divine revelation. The Qur’ anic statement: كَذَٰلِكَ كِدْنَا لِيُوسُفَ (This is how We planned for Yusuf -76) also indicates in this directon. Allah knows best.
يٰبَنِيَّ اذْهَبُوْا فَتَحَسَّسُوْا مِنْ يُّوْسُفَ وَاَخِيْهِ وَلَا تَايْـــــَٔـسُوْا مِنْ رَّوْحِ اللّٰهِ ۭ اِنَّهٗ لَا يَايْـــــَٔـسُ مِنْ رَّوْحِ اللّٰهِ اِلَّا الْقَوْمُ الْكٰفِرُوْنَ
Verse 87 begins with the order given by Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) : بَنِيَّ اذْهَبُوا فَتَحَسَّسُوا مِن يُوسُفَ وَأَخِيهِ (0 my sons, go and search for Yusuf and his brother …).
It was after the passage of such a long time that Sayyidna Ya’ qub (عليه السلام) asked his sons to ` go and search for Yusuf and his brother’ – and not to lose hope in finding them. Before this, he had never given an order of this nature. All these things were subservient to the Divine destiny. Meeting them earlier than that was not so destined. Therefore, no such action was taken either. And now, the time to meet had arrived. Therefore, Allah Ta’ ala put in his heart the way-out appropriate to it.
And the direction in which the search was to be made was turned to-wards nowhere but Egypt itself – which was known and definite in the case of Benyamin. But, there was no obvious reason, given the outward conditions, to look for Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) in Egypt. But, when Allah Ta’ ala intends to do something, He arranges to put together appropriate causes for its execution. Therefore, this time, he instructed his sons to go to Egypt once again for the purpose of this search. Some commentators have said that Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) ، by noticing that the ` Aziz of Misr had treated them unusually the first time when he had returned their capital by putting it within their baggage, had got the idea that this ` Aziz seems to be someone very noble and generous, perhaps he may be Yusuf (عليه السلام) himself.
Points of Guidance
Patience in Pain is Obligatory on Every Muslim
Imam Al-Qurtubi has said: The event relating to Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) proves that it is Wajib on every Muslim when faced with distress or pain in the case of his person, children, family or property that he or she should seek redress from it by resorting to patience (sabr) at its best and by becoming resigned to and content with the decree of Allah Ta’ ala – and follow the example of Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) and other blessed prophets.
The Merit of Swallowing Anger and Pain
Imam Hasan Al-Basri (رح) has said: Out of what one swallows, two are the best in the sight of Allah Ta’ ala: (1) To do Sabr on pain or dis¬tress, and (2) to swallow anger.
Complaining of pain before everyone
In another Hadith from Sayyidna Abu Hurairah (رض) ، the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) has been reported to have said: مِن بَثَّ لَم یَصبِر ، that is, one who goes about narrating his distress before everyone has not observed Sabr.
The Reward for Sabr
Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas (رض) has said: Allah Ta’ ala conferred upon Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) the reward of Shuhada (martyrs in the way of Allah) for this Sabr. And, in this Ummah too, whoever observes Sabr while in distress shall receive a similar reward.
The Reason why Sayyidna Ya` qub I was put to Trial
Imam Al-Qurtubi has given a reason for this severe trial and test of Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) as it appears in some narrations. It is said that one day Sayyidna Yaqub (عليه السلام) was doing his Tahajjud prayers and Sayy¬idna Yusuf (عليه السلام) was sleeping before him. All of a sudden a sound of snor¬ing by Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) caused his attention to be diverted to him. This happened twice, and thrice. Then, Allah Ta’ ala said to His angels: Look, this is My friend, and My favoured servant, see how he, in the mid¬dle of his address and approach to Me, turns his attention to someone other than Me. By My Honour and Power, I shall take these two eyes of his out, the eyes with which he has turned his attention to someone other than Me, and the one to whom he has turned his attention, I shall separate from him for a long time.
How About Looking at Someone During Salah?
Therefore, in a Hadith of Al-Bukhari narrated by Sayyidah ` A’ishah (رض) ، it appears that she asked the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ` How is it to look elsewhere during Salah?’ In reply, he said: ` Through it, the shaitan snatches the Salah of a servant of Allah away from him.’ May Allah sublhanahu wa Ta’ ala keep us protected.
فَلَمَّا دَخَلُوْا عَلَيْهِ قَالُوْا يٰٓاَيُّهَا الْعَزِيْزُ مَسَّنَا وَاَهْلَنَا الضُّرُّ وَجِئْنَا بِبِضَاعَةٍ مُّزْجٰىةٍ فَاَوْفِ لَنَا الْكَيْلَ وَتَصَدَّقْ عَلَيْنَا ۭ اِنَّ اللّٰهَ يَجْزِي الْمُتَصَدِّقِيْنَ
Mentioned in the verses appearing above is the remaining part of the story of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) and his brothers. It tells us that Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) asked his sons to go and search Yusuf (عليه السلام) and his brother. So they travelled to Egypt for a third time – because they knew that Benyamin was there and they had to try to get him released first. As for Sayy¬idna Yusuf (عليه السلام) ، though his presence in Egypt was not known to them but, when the time comes for something to happen, human plans too start falling in place, unconsciously and without an intentional effort. This is confirmed by a Hadith which says: When Allah Ta’ ala intends to do something, He makes its causes get together automatically. Therefore, to search Yusuf (عليه السلام) too, the very travel to Egypt was appropriate, though taken up unconsciously. Then, they needed food grains, after all. And yet another factor was that they hoped to see the ` Aziz of Misr on the pretext of their request for food grains, when they could put forward their plea for the release of Benyamin.
The first verse (88) begins with the words: فَلَمَّا دَخَلُوا عَلَيْهِ قَالُوا (And when they came to him, they said…). It means: When the brothers of Yusuf (عليه السلام) reached Egypt as ordered by their father and met the ` Aziz of Misr, they talked to him in a flattering tone. Presenting their need and helpless¬ness, they told the ` Aziz that they and their family were suffering because of the famine, so much so that they did not have even adequate funds to purchase food grains. Compelled by circumstance, they had brought a capital which was not good enough for that purpose. Thus, their request was that, given his generosity, he should accept whatever they had and give them the full measure of grains as is usually given against things of good value. Not being their right in any way, they pleaded that the grains should be given to them as if given in charity because ` Allah rewards the charitable.’
What was this ` capital of very little worth’? The Qur’an and Hadith have not clarified it. The sayings of the commentators differ. Some say that they were bad dirhams which were not acceptable in the open market. Others say that this comprised of household articles. This expres¬sion – ` capital of very little worth’ – is a translation of the meaning of the word: مُّزْجَاةٍ (‘muzjatin’ ) which really means something which does not move on its own, but has to be moved by someone else forcefully.
When Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) heard these submissive words from his brothers and saw their broken-down condition, he was naturally coming to a point where he would have no option but to disclose the truth as it was. And the drift of events was showing that the restriction placed by Allah Ta` ala on Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) that he would not disclose the truth of the matter about himself was not going to be there anymore for the time had come close when it would be taken back. Based on a narration of Sayyidna Ibn ` Abbas (رض) ، it has been reported in Tafsir al-Qurtubi and Mazhari that Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) had, on this occasion, sent a letter in writing and had addressed it to the ` Aziz of Misr. The letter said:
“From Ya` qub Safi Allah Ibn Ishaq Dhabih Allah Ibn Ibrahim Khalil Allah to the ` Aziz of Misr. After offering praise to Allah: Our entire family is known for hardships and trials. My grandfather, Ibrahim Khalil Allah was tested through the fire of Nimrud. Then, my father, Ishaq was put to a hard test. Then, I was tested through a son of mine whom I held very dear – to the limit that I lost my eyesight when separated from him. After that, there was his younger brother, a source of comfort for me in my grief, whom you arrested on a charge of theft. And let me tell you that we are the progeny of prophets. Never have we committed a theft, nor has there ever been a thief among our children. And peace on you!”
When Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) read this letter, he trembled and broke into tears and decided to let his secret out. To start with, he first asked his brothers if they remembered what they had done with Yusuf and his brother at a time when they were ignorant, unable to distinguish between good and bad, and quite neglectful of acting with foresight.
When his brothers heard his question, they were dumbfounded. What has the ` Aziz of Misr got to do with the story of Yusuf (عليه السلام) ? Then, they recollected the dream seen by young Yusuf (عليه السلام) the interpretation of which was that he would achieve some high rank and they would have to bow down before him. Could it be that this ` Aziz of Misr is none else but Yusuf (عليه السلام) himself? Then, as they exerted and deliberated a little more, they recognized him by some signs. Still, to confirm it further, they asked him:
قَالَ لَا تَثْرِيْبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْيَوْمَ ۭ يَغْفِرُ اللّٰهُ لَكُمْ ۡ وَهُوَ اَرْحَمُ الرّٰحِمِيْنَ
لَا تَثْرِيبَ عَلَيْكُمُ (No reproach upon you), that is, ` not to say much about taking a revenge of your injustices against me, on this day, I would not even blame you for it.’ This much was the good news of forgiveness from his side which he let them hear. Then, he prayed for them before Allah Ta’ ala: يَغْفِرُ اللَّـهُ لَكُمْ ۖ وَهُوَ أَرْحَمُ الرَّاحِمِينَ (May Allah forgive you, and He is the most merciful of all the merciful).
After that, he said: اذْهَبُوا بِقَمِيصِي هَـٰذَا فَأَلْقُوهُ عَلَىٰ وَجْهِ أَبِي يَأْتِ بَصِيرًا وَأْتُونِي بِأَهْلِكُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ : ` Go with this shirt of mine and put it over the face of my father, and he will turn into a sighted man [ which will enable him to come here ]. And bring to me all your family [ so that all of us can get together, be happy, enjoy the blessings given by Allah and be grateful to Him ].’
Points of Guidance
We come to know of many injunctions, rulings, as well as guidelines, which are good to have in life:
- First of all, the use of the expression: تَصَدَّقْ عَلَيْنَا (` tasaddaq ` alaina’: be charitable to us) in verse 88 raises a question as to how would Sada¬qah and Khairat (charity) become Halal (lawful) for the brothers of Sayy¬idna Yusuf (عليه السلام) who are the progeny of prophets? Secondly, even if Sada¬qah could be taken as Halal, how would the act of asking for it become Halal? Even if the brothers of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) were no prophets, he himself certainly was. Why did he not warn them against this error?
A clear enough answer to this is that the word Sadaqah used here does not mean the real Sadaqah. In fact, the request for a concession in the transaction has been given the name of Sadaqah and Khairat – because, they had just never asked for a free supply of grains. Instead, they had offered ` a capital of very little worth.’ And the essence of their request was that this ` capital of very little worth’ be accepted in the spir¬it of remission given in such hard circumstances. Moreover, it is also pos¬sible that the unlawfulness of Sadaqah and Khairat (charity) for the pro¬geny of prophets may be exclusive to the Ummah of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) – as held by Mujahid from among Tafsir authorities. (Bayan a1-Qur’an)
- The last sentence of verse 88: إِنَّ اللَّـهَ يَجْزِي الْمُتَصَدِّقِينَ (Surely, Allah rewards the charitable) tells us that Allah Ta` ala gives good return to those who spend in Sadaqah and Khairat (charity). But, there are details to it, that is, there is a general return for Sadaqah and Khairat which is received by everyone, believer or disbeliever, right here in the present world. That return comes in the form of the removal of disasters and hardships. Then, there is the return which is particularly attached to the ‘Akhirah (Hereafter), that is, the Jannah (Paradise). That is for the believers only. Since the addressee here is the ` Aziz of Misr – and the brothers of Yusuf (عليه السلام) did not know at that time whether or not he was a be¬liever – therefore, they opted for a sentence which was general, and which included the return of the present world, as well as that of the Hereafter. (Bayan al-Qur’an)
Besides, this being an address to the ` Aziz of Misr, the occasion obvi¬ously demanded that the address in this sentence should have been di¬rect, as: ` Allah will give you the best of return.’ But, as his being a believ¬er was not known, therefore, the form of address used was general, and any special return for him was not mentioned. (Qurtubi)
- The sentence: قَدْ مَنَّ اللَّـهُ عَلَيْنَا (Allah has been very kind to us) in verse 90 proves that, should one be in some distress or hardship, then, Allah Ta’ ala delivers one from these and showers him or her with his bless¬ings, now, after that, such a person should not talk about his past hardships anymore. Instead, one should remember nothing but this blessing and favour of Allah Ta` ala which one now has. After having been delivered from distress, and after having been blessed by Divine rewards, to continue crying over past hardships is ingratitude. Such an ungrateful person has been called: کَنُود (kanud) in the Holy Qur’an: إِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ لِرَبِّهِ لَكَنُودٌ (Truly, man is to his Lord, ungrateful – 100:6). The word, kanud, refers to a person who does not remember favours received, but does remember hardships faced.
Therefore, Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) made no mention at this time of the hardships he had to undergo for a long time due to the actions of his brothers. Instead of that, he mentioned the blessings of Allah only.
- The last sentence: إِنَّهُ مَن يَتَّقِ وَيَصْبِرْ, (Surely, whoever fears Allah and ob¬serves patience, then Allah does not waste the reward of the good-doers) in verse 90 tells us that Taqwa, that is, abstention from sins, and Sabr, that is, patience and fortitude, are two qualities which deliver one from every disaster and distress. The Holy Qur’an has said at several places that a person’s prosperity and success depend on these two qualities, for example: وَإِن تَصْبِرُوا وَتَتَّقُوا لَا يَضُرُّكُمْ كَيْدُهُمْ شَيْئًا ، that is, ` if you keep patience and fear Allah, their cunning shall not harm you at all – 3:120.’
A surface view of the verse here may suggest that Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) is claiming to be God-fearing and patient in the sense that it was because of his Taqwa and Sabr that he was blessed with deliverance from difficulties and rewarded with high ranks. But, no one can claim Taqwa for himself. It is prohibited by definite statements in the Holy Qur’an, for example: فَلَا تُزَكُّوا أَنفُسَكُمْ ۖ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِمَنِ اتَّقَىٰ (Therefore do not claim purity for yourself: He knows best who it is that guards against evil – 53:32). But, in reality, there is no claim here. Instead, this is a confession of the bless¬ings and favours of Allah Ta’ ala, for He first gave him the Taufiq of Sabr and Taqwa and then, through it, came all blessings from Him.
The declaration: لَا تَثْرِيبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْيَوْمَ (No reproach upon you today) in verse 92 has been made from the highest level of good morals whereby the oppressor was not only forgiven, but spared from reproach too.
اِذْهَبُوْا بِقَمِيْصِيْ هٰذَا فَاَلْقُوْهُ عَلٰي وَجْهِ اَبِيْ يَاْتِ بَصِيْرًا ۚ وَاْتُوْنِيْ بِاَهْلِكُمْ اَجْمَعِيْنَ
The previous verses about the story of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) have told us about the time when, by the will of Allah, it was appropriate for him to disclose his secret to his brothers. This he did. His brothers sought his forgiveness. He, not only that he forgave them, did not even choose to ad¬monish them for what they had done to him in the past. In fact, he prayed to Allah Ta` la for them. Meeting his father was now his next con¬cern. Given the conditions, he found it better that his father comes to him with the family. But, having come to know that his father had lost his eyesight as a result of his separation from him, that became his first concern. So, he said to his brothers: اذْهَبُوا بِقَمِيصِي هَـٰذَا فَأَلْقُوهُ عَلَىٰ وَجْهِ أَبِي يَأْتِ بَصِيرًا (Go with this shirt of mine and put it over the face of my father, and he will turn into a sighted man – 93). It is obvious that putting someone’s shirt on the face of a person cannot become the physical cause of an eyesight to return. In fact, this was a miracle of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) for he, by the will of Allah, knew that once his shirt was put over the face of his father, Allah Ta` ala will give him his eyesight back.
Tafsir authorities, Dahhak and Mujahid have said that this was the inherent quality of that shirt because it was not like ordinary clothes. Instead, it was brought from Paradise for Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) at the time when he was thrown into the fire naked by Nimrud. Then, this ap¬parel of Paradise remained preserved with Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) . After his death, it passed on to Sayyidna Ishaq (عليه السلام) . After his death, it came to Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) In view of its status as a sacred legacy, he put it inside a tube, sealed it and made Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) wear it round his neck as a Ta` widh (spiritual charm) so that he remains safe against the evil eye. When the brothers of Yusuf (عليه السلام) removed the shirt of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) to deceive their father and he was thrown into the well without it, Sayyidna Jibra’il al-Amin came, and opening the tube hanging round his neck, took this shirt out from it, and made Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) wear it. Since that time, it remained preserved with him. When needed again, it was Jibra’il al-Amin again who advised Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) that this shirt was an apparel of Paradise. It had a unique proper¬ty. If put over the face of a blind person, he becomes sighted. He asked him to send it to his father and he would become a sighted man.
The view of Hadrat Mujaddid Alf Thani (رح) is that the beauty, rather the very existence of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) ، was itself a thing of the Paradise. Therefore, every shirt that touched his body could have this property. (Mazhari)
Said in the last sentence of verse 93 was: وَأْتُونِي بِأَهْلِكُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ that is, ` all of you, my brothers, bring your entire family to me.’ Though, the real pur¬pose was to have his respected father come to him but, here he did not specifically mention his father, instead, talked about bringing the family – perhaps, because he considered that asking his father to be brought to him was contrary to etiquette. However, he was already certain that the sight of his father would return and there would remain no reason which could stop him from coming to him, rather, he would himself want to hon¬our him with his visit. According to a narration reported by Al-Qurtubi, Yahuda (Judah) from among the brothers of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) offered to carry this shirt personally – because, it was he who had carried young Yusuf’ s shirt smeared with fake blood and which brought many shocks for his father, and now, it should be him again who should carry the shirt in his own hands, so that amends could be made for past injustices.
فَلَمَّا دَخَلُوْا عَلٰي يُوْسُفَ اٰوٰٓى اِلَيْهِ اَبَوَيْهِ وَقَالَ ادْخُلُوْا مِصْرَ اِنْ شَاۗءَ اللّٰهُ اٰمِنِيْنَ
About what has been said in the next verse: فَلَمَّا دَخَلُوا عَلَيْهِ (Later, when they came to Yusuf … – 88), it appears in some narrations that Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) had sent with his brothers this time a large supply of clothes and other articles of need all loaded on some two hundred camels, so that the whole family could make good preparations in anticipation of their visit to Egypt. Thus, all set for the trip, when Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) and his entire family set out for Egypt, their number, according to one narration, was seventy two and, according to the other, it was comprised of ninety three men and women.
On the other side, when came the time for their arrival in Egypt, Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) and the people of Egypt came out of the city to re¬ceive them. With them came four thousand soldiers to present a guard of honour. When these guests reached Egypt and entered the home of Sayy¬idna Yusuf (عليه السلام) he lodged his parents with him.
Here, the text refers to ` parents.’ – though, the mother of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) had died during his childhood, but after her death, Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) had married Layya, the sister of his late wife. She was, in her capacity as the maternal aunt of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) ، almost like his own mother, and also as the married wife of his father, was deserv-ing of being called as nothing but his mother.*
*. This interpretation is according to the riwayah where it has been said that the mother of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) had died at the time of Benyamin’s birth. It is on this basis that the present text of the respected author, may the mercy of Allah be upon him, appears to be contradictory to the relevant text on page 38 of Volume V where the name of Sayyidna Yusuf s mother (عليها السلام) has been given as Rabil. But, in reality, there is no authentic riway.ah in this connection. Isra’ili riwayat do exist, but they too are contradictory. The author of Ruh al-Ma` ni has himself said that the Jewish chroniclers do not subscribe to the view that the mother of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليها السلام) had died at the time of Benyamin’s birth. If this riwayah is given credence, no doubt remains. Then, in this situation, by the words: وَرَفَعَ أَبَوَيْهِ (And he raised his parents up on the throne – 100), the reference would be to the real mother of Sayy¬idna Yusuf ill . Ibn Jarir and Ibn Kathir have opted for this as the weightier view. So, commenting on this, Ibn Kathir has said: قال ابن جرير ولم يقم دليل علی موت أمه (أي أم يوسف عليه السلام) وظاهر القرآن يدل علی حيا تھا – Muhammad Taqi Usmani.
At the end of verse 99, the statement: وَقَالَ ادْخُلُوا مِصْرَ إِن شَاءَ اللَّـهُ آمِنِينَ (he said, ‘Enter Egypt, God willing, in peace’ ) means that Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) asked all his family members to enter Egypt by the will of Allah and without any fear or restriction, the sense being that they were free from usual restrictions placed on travellers who enter another country.
وَرَفَعَ اَبَوَيْهِ عَلَي الْعَرْشِ وَخَرُّوْا لَهٗ سُجَّدًا
Verse 100 opens with the words: وَرَفَعَ أَبَوَيْهِ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ (And he raised his parents up on the throne), that is, Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) had his parents sit with him on the royal throne.
After that it was said: وَخَرُّوا لَهُ سُجَّدًا (and they all fell before him in prostration), that is, the parents, and all brothers did sajdah before Sayyidna Yusuf I. Sayyidna ` Abdullah ibn ` Abbas (رض) has said that this prostration of gratitude was for Allah Ta` ala, and not for Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) . Others have said that a Sajdah or Sujud (prostration) as part of ` Ibadah (worship) when done for anyone other than Allah has always been forbidden in the Shari’ah of every prophet. But, the Sajdah of Ta` zim (veneration) was permissible in the religious codes of past proph¬ets – which has been prohibited in the Shari’ ah of Islam on the basis that it is a source of Shirk. This is confirmed by Hadith reports from Al-Bukhari and Muslim that Sajdah (prostration) for anyone other than Allah is not Halal.
And when both his father and mother, and eleven of his brothers, prostrated before him simultaneously, he remembered the dream he had seen in his childhood, and he said: وَقَالَ يَا أَبَتِ هَـٰذَا تَأْوِيلُ رُؤْيَايَ مِن قَبْلُ قَدْ جَعَلَهَا رَبِّي حَقًّا : ` My father, here is the fulfillment of my early dream,’ that ‘the sun and the moon and eleven stars are prostrating to me,’ and I am grateful that ` my Lord has made it come true.’
Rules and Points of Guidance
- When his sons requested Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) to pray to Allah for their forgiveness, he said, ` I shall (soon) pray to my Lord to forgive you.’ He did not make that du’a instantly. He delayed it.
One of the reasons given by commentators for this delay is that he first wanted to check with Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) whether or not he has forgiven them – because, unless the victim of injustice forgives, there is no forgiveness from Allah either. So, this being the state of affairs, the making of a prayer for forgiveness was not appropriate.
Pointed to here is a matter of sound principle – that no violation of the rights of the servants of Allah (Huquq al-ibad) gets to be forgiven unless the holder of the right receives his right back, or forgives it – only verbal repentance for it is not enough.
- According to a narration of Sufyan al-Thawri (رح) when Yahuda brought in the shirt of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) and put it over the face of his father, he asked: How is Yusuf? Yahuda told him that he was the king of Egypt. Sayyidna Yaqub (عليه السلام) said: I am not asking if he is a prince or a pauper. I am asking how is he in his faith and deed. Then he told him about the qualities of his character and how God-fearing and chaste in conduct he was. This is how the noble prophets love and relate to their children. They are more concerned about the state of their spiri¬tual life than they are with the state of their physical comfort. This is the model every Muslim should follow.
- According to Hadrat Hasan (رح) ، when the carrier of the good news arrived with the shirt of his separated son, Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) wished to give him something in reward. But, life was hard, therefore, he apologized that there was no bread baked in the house for seven days and he could not give a material reward. However, he prayed that Allah Ta` ala makes the agony of death easy on him. Al-Qurtubi has said that this prayer was the best reward for him.
- This event also tells us that the giving of a reward to someone who brings a good news is a practice of the blessed prophets. An event relat¬ing to Sayyidna Ka’b ibn Malik (رض) from among the noble Sahabah is well known. He had not participated in the battle of Taber for which he was reproached and punished – though his repentance was later ac-cepted. When the man with the good news of this acceptance came to him, he gave the dress he was wearing to him.
In addition to that, it also proves that inviting friends over meals on occasions of happiness is Sunnah. Sayyidna ` Umar (رض) when he completed his reading of Surah al-Baqarah, shared his happiness with others by inviting them to eat with him for which he slaughtered a camel.
- The sons of Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) once the truth had come out in the open, asked for the forgiveness of their father and brother. This tells us that a person who has caused pain to someone, by word or action, or remains responsible for returning any right owed to him, then, it is oblig¬atory on that person that he must pay back that right immediately, or have it forgiven by him.
Based on a narration of Sayyidna Abu Hurairah (رض) there is a report in the Sahib of Al-Bukhari that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) said: A person who has someone’s financial right due against him, or may have caused pain to him, by word or action, then, he must pay it back today, or get it off his shoulders by seeking forgiveness – before comes the day of Qiyamah where no one would have any property or wealth from which rights could be paid back. Therefore, his good deeds will be given to the victim of injustice and he will be left empty-handed. And if, he has no good deeds in his account, the sins of the other person will be put on his shoulders. May Allah protect us all from this.
Patience and Gratitude:
The Dignified Station of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام)
To pick up the thread of the story, we see that Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) starts telling his parents things which happened to him. This is a point where it would be useful to stop for a while and think. Had someone in our day been subjected to go through all those hardships which were faced by Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) and had he been enabled to meet his par¬ents after such a long trial of separation and disappointment, just ima¬gine where would he begin his tale of woes, how would he cry and make others do the same, and how many days and nights would he spend in recounting the hardships faced by him? But, the two parties, the teller and the listener, are both no less than two messengers and prophets of Allah. Worth observing is their conduct in this matter. Here is the very dear separated son of Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) ، when he meets his father after having gone through the long period of so many hardships, see what he says:
وَقَدْ أَحْسَنَ بِي إِذْ أَخْرَجَنِي مِنَ السِّجْنِ وَجَاءَ بِكُم مِّنَ الْبَدْوِ مِن بَعْدِ أَن نَّزَغَ الشَّيْطَانُ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَ إِخْوَتِي
He favoured me when He released me from the prison and brought you from the countryside after the Satan had caused a rift between me and my brothers – 100.
The hardships faced by Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) can be divided over three stages respectively: (1) The injustices of his brothers; (2) the separation from his parents; (3) the pain of the prison. What this great proph¬et of Allah has done is that, in his statement, he has changed the order of events as they had happened. He started from the prison. Then, he said nothing about how he had entered the prison and how he had suf¬fered there. Rather, talked about how he was released from the prison and mentioned that too with words of gratitude for Allah Ta` ala. As a co¬rollary of his release from the prison and his gratitude to Allah for it, he also told them that he has been in the prison for a certain time.
Worth noticing here is that Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) has mentioned his release from the prison. But, he has not said anything about the prison of the well in which his brothers had thrown him. He did not mention it even functionally, as in ` He released me from the prison – 100.’ The rea¬son is that he had already forgiven the mistake made by his brothers, and had said: لَا تَثْرِيبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْيَوْمَ (No reproach upon you today – 92). There-fore, he did not consider it proper to mention the incident of the well in any form whatsoever, so that his brothers may not be put to shame. (Qurtubi)
After that, he was supposed to dwell on the long and trying separation from his parents, and talk about how they had affected him. But, he set all these things aside. He took up the last part of it and mentioned his meeting with the parents and said so by thanking Allah for it: ` and brought you from the countryside (al-badw) ‘ to this city of Egypt. There is a hint here to the blessing of Allah that He brought Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) from his home in the countryside, where conveniences of living are scarce, to a city with royal honours.
The first stage of the trials of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) has not been men¬tioned yet. This concerns the injustices inflicted by his brothers on him. It is interesting that he sweeps the whole thing away as a handiwork of Satan and makes things come easy even by suggesting that his brothers were not of the kind who would do something like that. It was Satan who deceived them and caused this rift between them.
This is the elegance of prophets. Not only that they would be patient against pain and hardship, but that they would invariably find the occa¬sion to be grateful to Allah under all conditions. Therefore, with proph¬ets, there is no state of being in which they are not grateful to Allah Ta’ ala. This is contrary to what ordinary human beings would do. In their state of being, they would have thousands of blessings of Allah Ta’ ala being showered over them, yet they would not talk about them to anyone. And when they have some hardship overtake them at some time, they would go about crying over it all their lives. The Qur’an has complained about this human mind-set when it says:إِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ لِرَبِّهِ لَكَنُودٌ (that is, human beings are, to their Rabb, very ungrateful -100:6).
After having reduced the tale of his trials in three words, Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) said:إِنَّ رَبِّي لَطِيفٌ لِّمَا يَشَاءُ ۚ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْعَلِيمُ الْحَكِيمُ (Surely, my Lord does what He wills, in a subtle way. Surely, He is the All-Knowing, the All-Wise – 12:100).
رَبِّ قَدْ اٰتَيْتَنِيْ مِنَ الْمُلْكِ وَعَلَّمْتَنِيْ مِنْ تَاْوِيْلِ الْاَحَادِيْثِ
The address of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) in the previous verses was to his respected father. Now, after having achieved an important objective by meeting his parents and brothers, he was at peace to devote himself directly to praising Allah Ta` ala and to supplicating before Him. at he said appears immediately above. The ` salihin’ or ` the righteous’ or moral¬ly the most perfect servants of Allah can be the prophets themselves for they are Divinely protected (ma` sum) against all sins. (Mazhari)
Worth noticing in this du a’ is the prayer for a good end to life. It pre¬sents before us a profile of the typical servants of Allah who have the honour of being accepted in the sight of their Creator. Their attitude is that they may be enjoying the highest possible ranks in this world and in the Hereafter, and they may have all sorts of power and office beneath their feet, yet, they would never wax proud over these. In fact, they keep fearing lest such things around them may be taken away or cut down. So, they keep praying that the physical and spiritual blessings given to them by Allah Ta` ala continue to be with them, even keep increasing, right through the hour of death.
At this stage, the unusual story of Sayyidna Yusuf عليه السلام ، and the subsequent chain of instructions and lessons, as mentioned in the Qur’an, has reached its completion. at happened after that has not been re-ported in the Holy Qur’ an, or in any Marts’ Hadith (with its chain of re-porting authorities ascending to the Holy Prophet himself). Most com-mentators have reported that with reference to historical or Isra’ili narrations.
Based on a narration by Hadrat Hasan (رح) ، it has been reported in Tafsir Ibn Kathir that Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) was seven years old when his brothers had thrown him into a well. Then, he remained separated from his father for eighty years, remained alive for twenty three years after having met his parents, and died at the age of one hun¬dred and twenty years.
As in the narrations of the People of the Book, reports Muhammad ibn Ishaq, the period of separation between Sayyidna Yaqub and Sayyid¬na Yusuf (عليه السلام) was forty years. Then, Sayyidna Ya` qub after his arrival in Egypt, lived in the company of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) for seventeen years. After that, he died.
As in the annals of historians, reports the author of Tafsir al-Qurtubi, Sayyidna Yaqub (عليه السلام) died after having lived for twenty four years in Egypt. Before his death, he ordered Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) that his body should be sent to his home country and that he be buried by the side of his father, Sayyidna Ishaq (عليه السلام) .
Sayyidna Said ibn Jubayr has said that the body of Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) was placed in a coffin made of wood from saul tree and taken to Baytul-Maqdis. For this reason, it became common custom among Jews that they would take their dead from faraway places to Baytul-Maqdis for a burial there. The age of Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) was one hundred and forty seven years when he died.
When Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) entered Egypt with his family, says Sayyidna ` Abdullah ibn Masud (رض) ، they were a total of ninety three men and women – and when this progeny of Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليه السلام) ، that is, the Bani Isra’il, left Egypt with Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) their number was six hundred and seventy thousand1. (Qurtubi & Ibn Kathir)
- As pointed out earlier, this is based on Israelite narrations. Ibn Khaldun, the well-known Muslim historian, has criticized this narration in his Muqaddimah and has urged that the number of Bani Isra it was not that big – (Muhammad Taqi Usmani)
It has been mentioned earlier that, after the death of the former ` Aziz of Misr, the king of Egypt had arranged the marriage of Zulaikha with Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) .
It appears in the Torah and in the historical accounts of the People of the Book that they had two sons, Ifra’im and Mansha, and a girl, Rahma bint Yusuf. Rahma was married to Sayyidna Ayyub (عليه السلام) .Of the progeny of Ifra’im, there was Yusha’ ibn Nun (عليه السلام) who was a companion of Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) . (Mazhari)
Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) died at the age of one hundred and twenty years and he was buried by the bank of the river Nile.
Based on a narration by Sayyidna ` Urwah ibn Zubayr (رح) ، Ibn Ishaq has reported: When Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) was commanded to leave Egypt with the Bani’ Isra’il, it was revealed to him that he should not leave the body of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) in Egypt and he was ordered to take it with him to Syria and bury him close to his ancestors. In obedi-ence to this order, Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) made investigations and suc¬ceeded in locating his burial place. He found his body in a marble coffin which he took with him to Canaan in Palestine. There he buried him beside Sayyidna Ishaq and Sayyidna Ya` qub (عليهما السلام) . (Mazhari)
After Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) ، the Amalkites took over Egypt as the new Pharaohs. As for the Ban’ Isra’il, they lived under them but kept ad¬hering to the Faith of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) . However, they were taken as foreigners and subjected to all sorts of painful discriminations. Finally, Allah Ta` ala delivered them from this punishment through Sayyidna Musa عليه السلام (Tafsir Mazhari)
Rules and Points of Guidance
- From the previous verses (99-100), we learn that paying due respect to parents is obligatory (wajib) – as it stands proved from what Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) did.
- We also learn from here that a prostration of reverence was per¬missible in the religious code of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) which is why his parents and brothers prostrated to him. But, in the Shari’ ah of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ، this Sajdah or Sujud has been declared as a particular mark of ` Ibadah (worship) and it cannot be done before anyone other than Allah. If done, it is حَرَام Haram. The Holy Qur’ an has said: لَا تَسْجُدُوا لِلشَّمْسِ وَلَا لِلْقَمَرِ (prostrate not to the Sun and the Moon … – 41:37). And in Hadith, it is said that Sayyidna Mu` adh (رض) ، when he went to Syria, saw local Chris¬tians prostrating to their parents. After his return from there, he started making a prostration before the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) . He ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)) asked him not to do that. He said: If I were to take prostration before anyone as permis¬sible, I would have told a wife to prostrate before her husband. Similarly, when Sayyidna Salman al-Farisi (رض) wished to prostrate to him, he said:
لَا تَسجُد لِي يَا سَلمانُ وَاسجُد لِلحَيّ الَّذِی لَا يَمُوتُ
Do not prostrate to me, 0 Salman, instead, prostrate to the Ever Living who would never die. (Ibn Kathir)
This tells us that a prostration done as a token of respect for the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) is not permissible. With that being the truth, how can it become permissible if done before a saint, or an elder or pir?
- From: هَـٰذَا تَأْوِيلُ رُؤْيَايَ مِن قَبْلُ (here is the fulfillment of my early dream – 100), we learn that the fulfillment of the interpretation of a dream could sometimes take a long time to materialize – as it was in the present case when it manifested itself after forty, or eighty, years. (Ibn Jarir & Ibn Kathir)
- The words:’ وَقَدْ أَحْسَنَ بِي (He favoured me – 100) said by Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) prove that if a person after having been suffering from a dis¬ease or disaster, finds him or her delivered from it, then, following the traditional way of prophets, he or she must show gratitude to Allah for this deliverance, and forget about any remembrance of that disease or disaster.
- From the statement: إِنَّ رَبِّي لَطِيفٌ لِّمَا يَشَاءُ (Surely, my Lord does what He wills, in a subtle way – 100), we learn that, when Allah Ta` ala intends to do something, He has His subtle ways of arranging things and causes secretly in a manner that no one can get the slightest inkling about it.
- The words of prayer: تَوَفَّنِي مُسْلِمًا (Make me die a Muslim – 101) refer to the prayer of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) in which he has wished to die while adhering to his Belief and Faith (‘Iman and Islam). This tells us that to make a dua’ for death under particular conditions is not prohibited. And as for the prohibition of wishing for death in sound and authentic Aha-dith, the purpose there is to tell people that it is not correct to go about asking for death just because of depression from worldly hardships or simple lack of patience. The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) has said: Let no one ask for death because of some hardship. If one has to say something like that, let him say: ` Ya Allah, keep me alive as long as life is better for me, and give me death when death is better for me.’
ذٰلِكَ مِنْ اَنْۢبَاۗءِ الْغَيْبِ نُوْحِيْهِ اِلَيْكَ ۚ وَمَا كُنْتَ لَدَيْهِمْ اِذْ اَجْمَعُوْٓا اَمْرَهُمْ وَهُمْ يَمْكُرُوْنَ
After a full description of the story of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) ، first to come in the verses cited above is an address to the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) : ذَٰلِكَ مِنْ أَنبَاءِ الْغَيْبِ نُوحِيهِ إِلَيْكَ (That is a part of the reports of the unseen We reveal to you), and that ` you were not there with the brothers of Yusuf (عليه السلام) when they had decided to throw Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) into the well and were making plans for it.’
The purpose of choosing to say this is that the very act of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) in describing this story of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) correctly and in full details is a clear proof of his being a prophet and recipient of reve¬lation. The reason is that this story dates back to thousands of years before his time. Neither was he present there on the scene to have described it as an eye witness, nor was he ever taught by anyone to have consulted books of history, or heard it from a teacher and described it. Therefore, there is no way he could have known it in the manner he did except that it be Divine revelation itself.
At this place, the Holy Qur’an has considered it sufficient to say that ` you were not there1. It has not deemed it necessary to mention that this information did not come to him through another person or book because the whole Arabia knew that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) was an Ummiyy – that is, he did not learn to read and write from anyone. And also known to everyone was that he had lived his whole life in Makkah al-Mu` azzamah. He did make one of his trips to Syria with his uncle Abu Talib, a trip in which he came back home while still ‘enroute. The second trip he made was for business. He finished his work there and returned in a few days. In this trip too, there was no chance of his meeting some scholar or going to an educational institution. Therefore, at this place, it was not consi¬dered necessary to mention it. And at another occasion in the Holy Qur’an this too was further clarified by saying: مَا كُنتَ تَعْلَمُهَا أَنتَ وَلَا قَوْمُكَ مِن قَبْلِ هَـٰذَا ، that is, ` you did not know them (events) before this (the revelation of the Qur’an), neither you nor your people -11:49″
Imam Al-Baghawi has said that the Jews and the Quraysh had joined hands to test the veracity of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) . For this purpose, they had asked the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) to tell them everything about Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) as it had happened to him, if he was true in his claim of prophethood. When he told them what he had learnt through Divine revelation, they still remained sticking to their disbelief and denial. This shocked the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) . Thereupon, said in the next verse was: ‘And most of the people are not going to believe’ – even though, the proofs of his being a prophet were clear, and even if he himself longed for it, or tried his best. The sense of the statement is: ` Your duty is to spread the call and seek the betterment of people. That you succeed in it is not in your control nor is this your responsibility nor should you grieve over it.’
Rules and Guidance
The Difference between the News of the Unseen and the Knowledge of the Unseen
- The statement: ذَٰلِكَ مِنْ أَنبَاءِ الْغَيْبِ نُوحِيهِ إِلَيْكَ (That is a part of the reports of the unseen We reveal to you – 102) has appeared in the same words in verse 44 of Surah Al-` Imran in the context of the story of Sayyidah Mar-yam, that is: ذَٰلِكَ مِنْ أَنبَاءِ الْغَيْبِ نُوحِيهِ إِلَيْكَ (That is a part of the reports of the un¬seen We reveal to you – 3:44). Then, with a slight change, the same state-ment appears in verse 49 of Surah Hud where it is related to the story of Sayyidna Nuh (عليه السلام) : تِلْكَ مِنْ أَنبَاءِ الْغَيْبِ نُوحِيهَا إِلَيْكَ (These are reports from the unseen [ events ] which We reveal to you – 11:49).
From these verses we learn that Allah Ta` ala communicates to his prophets many a news of the unseen through Wahy (revelation). He has particularly blessed our Rasul “, known as the Head of all the messen¬gers, with a special portion of the news from the unseen, which is more than that which has been given to all past prophets. This is the reason why the Holy Prophet has informed the Muslim Ummah of many events due to happen right through the day of Qiyamah, either briefly, or in details. All Al-Hadith given in the Kitab al-Fitan of Hadith books are full of them.
Since common people take the Knowledge of the Unseen (i1m al-Ghayb) only in the sense that a person somehow gets to become aware of the news of the unseen, and this quality is found at its best in the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ، therefore, they think that the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) was ` Alim al-Ghayb (knower of the Unseen). But, the Holy Qur’ an has declared in very clear words that: لَّا يَعْلَمُ مَن فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ الْغَيْبَ إِلَّا اللَّـهُ (No one in the heavens, or on the Earth, knows the unseen except Allah – 27:65) which proves that no one, other than Allah Ta` ala, can be called the ` Alim al-Ghayb or the Knower of the Unseen. The ` Jim of al-Ghayb (the knowledge of the unseen) is the unique attribute of Allah Ta` ala. Taking an apostle, messenger, prophet or angel as a sharer in this attribute amounts to equating him with Allah, and is what the Christians do, who declare a Rascal to be the son of God, and a partner in Godhead. The verses of the Holy Qur’ an quoted here make the truth of the matter very clear. It stands settled that the ilm of al-Ghayb (the knowledge of the unseen) is an exclusive attribute of Allah Ta` ala and the only ` Alim al-Ghayb (the Knower of the Unseen) is Allah jalla thana’uh Himself. However, there are many news of the unseen which Allah Ta` ala does give to his messengers through the medium of Wahy (revelation). This, in the terminology of the Holy Qur’an, is not known as the ilm of al-Ghayb (the knowledge of the unseen). Since common people do not understand this fine difference, they tend to take the news of the unseen as the knowledge of the unseen. This is why when one adheres to the ter¬minology of the Qur’ an and asserts that no one, other than Allah, can claim to know what is unseen, they would prefer to differ, rather than ac¬cept truth as it is.
قُلْ هٰذِهٖ سَبِيْلِيْٓ اَدْعُوْٓا اِلَى اللّٰهِ ۷ عَلٰي بَصِيْرَةٍ اَنَا وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَنِيْ ۭ وَسُبْحٰنَ اللّٰهِ وَمَآ اَنَا مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِيْنَ
In verse 108, the Holy Prophet has been asked to state his position before these people:
قُلْ هَـٰذِهِ سَبِيلِي أَدْعُو إِلَى اللَّـهِ ۚ عَلَىٰ بَصِيرَةٍ أَنَا وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَنِي ۖ وَسُبْحَانَ اللَّـهِ وَمَا أَنَا مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ
“Say, (you believe it or not) ‘This is my way. I call (people) to Allah with full cognition – myself and my followers. And pure is Allah. And I am not among the associators – 108.”
It means that the da’wah of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) is not based on some summary view of things, instead, it is the outcome of insight, rea¬son and wisdom. In this act of ` full cognition,’ the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) has in¬cluded his followers as well. According to Sayyidna ` Abdullah ibn ` Abbas (رض) it refers to the noble Sahabah, may Allah be pleased with them all. They are the soldiers of Allah subhanahu wa Ta’ ala. Sayyidna ` Abdullah ibn Masud (رض) said: The Sahabah of the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) are the best people of this whole Ummah. Their hearts are pure and their knowledge is deep. They are far removed from formality. Allah Ta’ ala has chosen them to accompany and serve their Rasul. You should learn their mo¬rals, habits and ways because they are the ones who are on the straight path.
It is also possible to take the expression: مَنِ اتَّبَعَنِي (and my followers) in the general sense whereby it would mean every person who is doing the duty of conveying the da’wah of the Rasul of Allah to his Ummah right through the last day of the Qiyamah. According to Kalbi and Ibn Zayd, this verse also makes it necessary for one who claims to follow the Holy Prophet صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم that he should spread his da’wah among people and make the teaching of the Qur’ an available to all. (Mazhari)
The last sentence of verse 108 is: سُبْحَانَ اللَّـهِ وَمَا أَنَا مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ (And pure is Allah [ that is, free from Shirk ]. And I am not among the Mushriks [ that is, not of those who practice Shirk ]). Since, a little earlier, mention was made that there are people who, when they profess belief in Allah, would mix it up with Shirk, whether open or padded or concealed. Therefore, he has declared that he has absolutely nothing to do with Shirk. The gist of what has been said here is: My da’wah does not aim at inviting people to become my servants. In fact, I myself am, also a servant of Allah – and it is this kind of servitude, servitude to none but Him, that I invite people to. However, since I am the dai (the original maker of this call), it is obligatory that faith be put in me.
To this, the disbelievers of Makkah used to object. They took the plea that a Rasul or messenger of Allah should not be a human being. He should, rather, be an angel. A reply to this doubt has been given in the next verse
وَمَآ اَرْسَلْنَا مِنْ قَبْلِكَ اِلَّا رِجَالًا نُّوْحِيْٓ اِلَيْهِمْ مِّنْ اَهْلِ الْقُرٰى
where it was said: وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ إِلَّا رِجَالًا نُّوحِي إِلَيْهِم مِّنْ أَهْلِ الْقُرَىٰ : It means that their thinking that it is an angel who should be the messen¬ger and prophet of Allah and that a human being cannot occupy this sta¬tion is baseless and ineffectual. Quite contrary to this, the case is just the reverse – that is, for human beings, a prophet of Allah has always been a human being. Nevertheless, he is distinct from human beings in general in that the Wahy and message of Allah Ta’ ala comes to him di¬rectly. It is never the outcome of an individual effort or act by anyone. It is always Allah Ta` ala Himself who would choose from among his ser-vants the one who, in His knowledge and judgment, is the fittest for this mission. And this selection is based on particular attributes of personal excellence which are not found among human beings at large.
Onwards from here, there is an admonition to those who contravene the instructions given by the maker of the call on behalf of Allah (da` i), and invite the wrath and punishment of Allah upon them. It was said:
أَفَلَمْ يَسِيرُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ فَيَنظُرُوا كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ ۗ وَلَدَارُ الْآخِرَةِ خَيْرٌ لِّلَّذِينَ اتَّقَوْا ۗ أَفَلَا تَعْقِلُونَ
Have they not travelled in the land where they would have seen how was the fate of those before them? And surely the abode of the Hereafter is better for those who fear Allah. Would you, then, still not understand? – 109
And continue to prefer the short-lived comfort of the present world over the everlasting and perfect blessings and comforts of the ‘Akhirah.
Messengers are from Men
- From the word: رِجَالِاً (rijalan : men) in verse 109:
وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ إِلَّا رِجَالًا نُّوحِي إِلَيْهِم مِّنْ أَهْلِ الْقُرَىٰ
And We did not send before you [ messengers ] other than men from the people of the towns – 109,
We learn that messengers are always men. A woman cannot become a nabiyy (prophet) and rasul (messenger).
Imam Ibn Kathir (رح) has reported the consensus of ` Ulama’ that Allah Ta` ala has not made any woman a nabiyy or rasul. Some ` Ulama’ have identified some women as being a nabiyy or prophet, for example, Sayyidah Sarah, the wife of Sayyidna Ibrahim (عليه السلام) ، the mother of Sayyidna Musa (عليه السلام) and Sayyidah Maryam, the mother of Sayyidna ` Isa (عليه السلام) . The reason is that there are particular words in the Holy Qur’ an about these three respected women which give the impression that angels talked to them as Divinely commanded, gave them good news, or they themselves came to know something through the medium of Divine revelation. But the majority of ` Ulama, though they do accept that the words of such verses prove that these respected women had a high spiritual rank in the sight of Allah Ta` ala, but, according to them, these words are not suf¬ficient as proofs of their being prophets and messengers.
Messengers are from Towns
- The expression: أَهْلِ الْقُرَىٰ (men from the people of the towns) appearing in the verse quoted immediately above tells us that Allah Ta` la sends his messengers generally from among those who live in cities and towns. Messengers are not from among those who reside in the country-side and forest lands – because the dwellers of these habitations are gen¬erally rustic, hard and less perfect in comprehension and understanding. (Ibn Kathir, Qurtubi & others)
حَتّٰٓي اِذَا اسْتَيْــــَٔـسَ الرُّسُلُ وَظَنُّوْٓا اَنَّهُمْ قَدْ كُذِبُوْا جَاۗءَهُمْ نَصْرُنَا ۙ فَنُجِّيَ مَنْ نَّشَاۗءُ ۭ وَلَا يُرَدُّ بَاْسُـنَا عَنِ الْقَوْمِ الْمُجْرِمِيْنَ
Mentioned in the previous verses was the sending of prophets who invited people to take the straight path, and also answered there were some doubts about them. Then, people were admonished that they do not take into consideration the sad end they would face as a result of their antagonism towards prophets of Allah. Only if they were to pay some attention and look around and read signs from ruined cities and the history of lost places they pass by, they would find out how harsh has been the sad end of those who had opposed the blessed prophets, and that too, right here in this world. The habitation of the people of Sayyidna Lut (عليه السلام) was overturned upside down. The people of ` Ad and Thamud were destroyed through various punishments. And the punish¬ment of the Hereafter, that is far more severe.
Then, towards the end, they were instructed that the pain and pleas¬ure of the present life is, after all, very short-lived. One’ s real concern should be about the life to come, the ‘Akhirah, the Hereafter, where one shall stay forever, and where the pain, or pleasure, too shall be eternal. So, it was made clear that a good end of life in the ‘Akhirah depends on Taqwa, the fear of Allah and the abstention from sins, and which, in a nutshell, means that one should strictly adhere to all commandments of the Shari` ah.
Since the purpose in the previous verses was to warn people of the time by telling them to take their lesson from what had happened to past prophets and their communities, therefore, in the next verse (110), one of their doubts was removed. The doubt they had was about the warnings of Divine punishment given by the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) . They were hearing about it from him for a long time, but they did not see any pun¬ishment coming upon them. This made them all the more daring. If there was some punishment to come, it would have come by now, they thought. Therefore, it was said that Allah Ta` ala, in His mercy and wis¬dom, would often keep giving respite to erring and sinning people – and this respite, at times, could also become fairly long. That is why contuma¬cious people become more daring and aggressive which causes a certain anxiety to prophets. So, it was said:
حَتَّىٰ إِذَا اسْتَيْأَسَ الرُّسُلُ وَظَنُّوا أَنَّهُمْ قَدْ كُذِبُوا جَاءَهُمْ نَصْرُنَا فَنُجِّيَ مَن نَّشَاءُ ۖ وَلَا يُرَدُّ بَأْسُنَا عَنِ الْقَوْمِ الْمُجْرِمِينَ
(Punishment was often delayed) until when the messengers were in despair and thought that they were wrong in their estimation, Our help came to them, then saved were those whom We willed. And Our punishment is not averted from the guilty – 110).
To explain it in detail, it can be said, that: ` The disbelieving and disobedient people of past communities were given long respites, until when, because of the punishment not coming upon them, the messengers were in despair over the possibility that the punishment of Allah will not come upon such people and truth will not manifest itself in the manner and at the time they had hoped it to be, and thought that, while determining the time of the Divine promise, they were wrong in their estima¬tion – that Allah Ta` ala had not told them of a definite time, and the time was fixed by them as based on particular signs. It was in this state of de¬spair that Our help came to them, that is, the punishment on disbeliev¬ers came as promised, then saved from the punishment were those ‘whom We willed (that is, believers in prophets were saved and disbeliev¬ers were destroyed) because Our punishment is not averted from the guilty,’ instead, it does come upon them, therefore, the disbelievers of Makkah should not be in any doubt about a delay in the punishment due. [ Bayan al-Qur’an: Gist of Tafsir by Maulana Ashraf ` Ali Thanavi ]
The word: (kudhibu : were wrong) in verse 110 has been read as in the well-known reading (Qira’at) of the Qur’an – and the Tafsir (exegesis or explanation) which we have chosen to follow is the one which is most sound and free from doubts. The essential sense of the word: کُذِبُوا (kudhibu) is to find one ‘s estimation or thinking as being wrong, which is a kind of Ijtihadi mistake (as based on personal opinion), and some such Ijtihadi mistake can issue forth from the blessed prophets. However, there is a difference between prophets (علیہم السلام) and other mujtahids, that is, when some Ijtihadi mistake issues forth from the prophets (علیہم السلام) Allah Ta` ala would not let them stay by that mistake, rather, He would make them become aware of it and enable them to see reality clearly. Other mujtahids do not occupy this station.
The event of the Peace Pact of Hudaibiyah associated with the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) is sufficient as proof on this subject – because it has been stated in the Holy Qur’an that this event is based on the dream which was seen by the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) . He had seen that he was doing the Tawaf of the Baytullah with his Sahabah – and the dream of the blessed prophets is also an imperative form of revelation – therefore, the happening of this event became certain. But, in the dream itself, no particular time or duration was identified for it. The Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) ، according to his estimation, thought that it would happen the same year. So, he announced it before his Sahabah and taking a good number of them with him left for Makkah al-Mu` azzamah for their ` Umra. But, the Quraysh confronted them enroute and they could not avail of their intended Tawaf and ` Umra. In fact, the full manifestation (of the dream) came to unfold itself two years later, in the Hijrah year 8, in the form of the Conquest of Makkah. And from this event, it became apparent that the dream he had seen was true and certain. But, the time for it which, by signs or estimation, the Holy Prophet had taken as the time, was not what it actually was – but that mistake was compensated right then.
Similarly, the expression: قَد کُذِبُو (qad kudhibu : were wrong) in the verse under reference also carries the same sense, that is, the punish¬ment which was to come upon the disbelievers was delayed while the prophets had estimated a time for it in their minds. When this punish¬ment did not come at that time, they thought that they had made a mis-take in determining the time for it. This Tafsir has been reported from Sayyidna ` Abdullah ibn ` Abbas. ` Allama Al-Tibi has said that this report is Sahih (sound) because it has been mentioned in the Sahih of Al-Bukhari. (Mazhari)
In some readings (Qira’aat) of the Qur’an, this word has appeared with a doubled sound on the letter: ذَال (dhal), that is: قَد کُذِّبُوا (qad kudhd¬hibu) as well. This word has been derived from the verbal noun: تَکذِیب (takdhib:falsification). Given this reading, the sense would be: The prophets had determined an estimated time when the punishment would come, but when the punishment did not come at that time, they had apprehensions about their believers themselves, lest they should not falsifying them on the basis that their statement did not turn out to be true. These were the circumstances under which Allah Ta’ ala made His promise prove true, punishment fell on the deniers, believers were saved from it, and thus, overcome they did.
لَقَدْ كَانَ فِيْ قَصَصِهِمْ عِبْرَةٌ لِّاُولِي الْاَلْبَابِ ۭ مَا كَانَ حَدِيْثًا يُّفْتَرٰى وَلٰكِنْ تَصْدِيْقَ الَّذِيْ بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ وَتَفْصِيْلَ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَّهُدًى وَّرَحْمَةً لِّقَوْمٍ يُّؤْمِنُوْنَ
In the opening statement of the last verse of the Surah, it was said:
لَقَدْ كَانَ فِي قَصَصِهِمْ عِبْرَةٌ لِّأُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ
Surely, in the narratives of these, there is lesson for the people of understanding – 111.
This statement may be pointing to the stories of all prophets (عليهم السلام) in the Qur’an and also to the particular story of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) which has been narrated in this Surah – because, through this later event, it has become absolutely clear that the obedient servants of Allah are supported and helped in so many ways when they are taken out from a deep well and made to sit on a high throne and are rescued from the threat of disgrace all the way to the zenith of the finest in grace and honour, not to mention the practitioners of ill-will and deception who ulti¬mately end up in sheer shame.
Said next is:
مَا كَانَ حَدِيثًا يُفْتَرَىٰ وَلَـٰكِن تَصْدِيقَ الَّذِي بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ
It is not an invented story, rather, a confirmation of what has been before it …,
that is, of the books revealed before it – because, this story of Sayyidna Yusuf (Joseph) (عليه السلام) has been mentioned in the Torah and the Injil as well. And Hadrat Wahb ibn Munabbih says: There is no Scripture which does not have the story of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) in it. (Mazhari)
And in the last sentence of the verse, it is said: وَتَفْصِيلَ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةً لِّقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ , that is, this Qur’ an is ` an elaboration of everything’ (which means that the Qur’ an has details of everything which human beings need in religion – in fields like ` Ibadat (worship of Allah), dealings, mo¬rals, social living, government, politics and many others, including injunctions and instructions about all individual and collective concerns of human life – they are all there).
Then, it was said that this Qur’an is ` guidance and mercy for a peo¬ple who believe.’ The restriction of those who have ‘Iman or Faith has been placed here because its benefit can be enjoyed by only those who be¬lieve. It goes without saying that, though the Qur’an is nothing but mercy and guidance for disbelievers as well, but it is due to their own misconduct and disobedience that this mercy and guidance has become heavy and unwholesome for them.
Shaykh Abu al-Mansur has said: The purpose behind the whole Surah Yusuf and the story of Sayyidna Yusuf (عليه السلام) narrated therein is to comfort the Holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) `. All this is to tell him that his sufferings at the hands of his people have been the lot of past prophets too. But, in the end, Allah Ta` ala enabled his prophets to overcome – and in his case too, this is what was going to happen.
[From Ma’ariful Quran English by Mufti Taqi Uthmani]
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