The Prophet Joseph – YusufApril 17, 2012
In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Most Merciful
[12.1] AlifLaamRa. Those are the verses of the Clear Book.
[12.2] We have sent it down, an Arabic Koran, in order that you understand.
[12.3] In the sending down of this Koran, We will narrate to you (Prophet Muhammad) the best of narratives, of which you were previously unaware.
[12.4] When Joseph said to his father: ‘Father, I saw eleven planets, and the sun and the moon; I saw them prostrating themselves before me.’
[12.5] He said: ‘O my son, say nothing of this vision to your brothers lest they should cunningly plot against you – indeed, satan is the clear enemy of the human,
[12.6] so your Lord will choose you and teach you the interpretation of visions, and perfect His Favor upon you and upon the House of Jacob, as He perfected it on your fathers Abraham and Isaac before you. Your Lord is Knowing, Wise.
[12.7] Indeed, in Joseph and his brothers there were signs for those who inquire.
[12.8] They said: ‘Joseph and his brother are dearer to our father than ourselves, even though we are many. Truly, our father is obviously wrong.
[12.9] (Let us) kill Joseph, or cast him away in some (far off) land, so that your father’s face will be left for you, and afterwards you will be a righteous nation.’
[12.10] One of them said: ‘No, do not kill Joseph, if you do anything, cast him into a dark pit, a traveler will pick him up.’
[12.11] They said: ‘Father, what is the matter with you, do you not trust us with Joseph? Indeed, we are sincere advisors.
[12.12] Send him with us tomorrow to frolic and play. We will look after him.’
[12.13] He said: ‘It grieves me to let him go with you, for I fear lest the wolf should devour him when you are not paying attention to him.’
[12.14] They said: ‘We are many, if a wolf devours him, then we are losers!’
[12.15] When they went with him, they agreed to put him in the bottom of a well. We revealed to him: ‘You shall tell them of what they did when they are not aware (it is you).’
[12.16] At nightfall, they returned weeping to their father.
[12.17] They said: ‘We went racing and left Joseph with our things. The wolf devoured him, but you will not believe us, though we speak the truth.’
[12.18] And they brought his shirt (stained) with blood, a lie. He said: ‘No, your souls have tempted you to do something. But come sweet patience! The help of Allah is always there to seek against that which you describe.’
[12.19] Thereafter travelers came, and sent their waterman. And when he had let down his pail, (he cried:) ‘Rejoice, a boy!’ Then they concealed him among their merchandise, but Allah knew what they did.
[12.20] Then, they sold him for a trifling price, a number of dirhams, because they considered him to be of little value.
[12.21] The Egyptian that bought him said to his wife: ‘Make his stay honorable. He may benefit us, or take him for our son.’ As such We established Joseph in the land, so that We might teach him the interpretation of visions. Allah prevails in His affairs, though most people do not know.
[12.22] And when he reached maturity, We bestowed on him judgment and knowledge. As such We recompense those who do good.
[12.23] And she, in whose house he was, sought to seduce him and closed the doors saying: ‘Come!’ ‘In Allah is my refuge!’ he replied. ‘My Lord has made my dwelling a good one. Harmdoers never prosper.’
[12.24] She desired him, had he not been shown the proof of his Lord he would have taken her. But We turned him away from evil and abomination, for he was one of Our sincere worshipers.
[12.25] They raced to the door and she tore his shirt from behind. And by the door, they met her husband whereupon she said: ‘What is the recompense of one whose intent is evil against your people other than being imprisoned, or sternly punished!’
[12.26] He (Joseph) said: ‘It was she who sought to seduce me,’ and a witness (an infant) of her people bore witness, saying: ‘If his shirt is torn from the front, she is speaking the truth and he is one of the liars,
[12.27] but, if his shirt is torn from behind, she lied, and he is of the truthful.’
[12.28] And when he saw his shirt torn at the back, he said: ‘This is one of your (women’s) guiles. Your guile, (O woman), is great indeed!
[12.29] Joseph, turn away from this. And you, ask forgiveness for your sin. You are indeed one of the sinners.’
[12.30] Certain women in the city said: ‘The Governor’s wife has sought to seduce her servant. He has made her heart stricken with love for him. Clearly, we perceive her to be in error.’
[12.31] When she heard of their sly whispers, she sent for them and prepared a banquet. To each she gave a knife, (then called Joseph saying:) ‘Come and attend to them.’ When they saw him, they were so taken with him that they cut their hands, and said: ‘Allah save us! This is no mortal, he is no other but a noble angel!’
[12.32] Whereupon she said: ‘Now you see, this is he on whose account you blamed me. Yes, I sought to seduce him, but he was unyielding. If he declines to do what I command, he shall be imprisoned and be one of the humiliated.’
[12.33] He supplicated: ‘Lord, prison is dearer to me than that to which they invite me. Yet if You do not shield me from their guile I shall yield to them and be one of the ignorant.’
[12.34] His Lord answered him and He turned their guile away from him. Indeed, He is the Hearer, the Knower.
[12.35] Then it seemed good to them, even after they had seen the signs, that they should imprison him for some time.
[12.36] Two young men went to prison with him. One of them said: ‘I saw (in a vision) that I was pressing grapes.’ And the other said: ‘I saw (in a vision) that I was carrying bread upon my head, and that birds ate of it. Tell us its interpretation, for we can see you are among the good.’
[12.37] He said: ‘Before any food comes to feed either of you, I will give you its interpretation. That which I will tell you has been taught to me by Allah. I reject the belief of a nation who do not believe in Allah and disbelieve in the Everlasting Life.
[12.38] I follow the creed of my fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It is not for us to associate anything with Allah. Such is the favor of Allah to us, and to mankind. Yet most people do not give thanks.
[12.39] My fellow-prisoners, say which is better, many gods at variance, or Allah the One, the Conqueror?
[12.40] That which you worship, other than Him, are nothing but names which you and your fathers have named and for which Allah has sent down no authority. Judgement rests with Allah alone. He has commanded you to worship none except Him. That is the right religion, yet most people do not know.
[12.41] My fellow-prisoners, one of you will pour wine for his lord whereas the other will be crucified, and birds will peck at his head. The matter you inquired about has been decided.
[12.42] And he said to the one of the two who he knew would be saved: ‘Mention me in the presence of your lord.’ But satan made him forget to mention him to his master, so that he remained in prison for a certain number years.
[12.43] The king said: ‘I saw in a vision seven fatted cows being devoured by seven lean ones; and seven green ears of corn and seven others withered. My counselors, tell me the meaning of my vision, if you can interpret visions.’
[12.44] They said: ‘They are confused nightmares, nor do we know anything of the interpretation of visions.’
[12.45] After all that time, the one of the two who had been saved remembered, he said: ‘I will interpret it for you, so let me go.’
[12.46] (He said:) ‘Joseph, the truthful, tell us of the seven fatted cows that were devoured by seven lean ones – also of the seven green ears of corn and the other seven which were withered, so that I can go back to the people and then they will then know.’
[12.47] He replied: ‘You shall sow for seven years as is your way. Leave in the ear (of corn) you reap, except a little which you eat.
[12.48] Thereafter, seven hard years will come upon you which will consume all but little of that which you have stored.
[12.49] Then, there will come a year in which people are helped, in which the people will press.’
[12.50] The king said: ‘Bring him before me.’ But when the king’s envoy came to him, he said: ‘Go back to your lord and ask him: “What about the women who cut their hands. Indeed, my Lord knows their guile.’
[12.51] ‘What was your business, women,’ he asked, ‘when you solicited Joseph?’ ‘Allah save us!’ they replied. ‘We know no evil against him.’ The Governor’s wife said: ‘The truth has been discovered at last; I solicited him; he is among the truthful.
[12.52] This (I have done) so that he will know I did not secretly betray him, and that Allah does not guide the guile of the treacherous.
[12.53] Yet I do not consider my soul was innocent, surely the soul incites to evil – except to whom my Lord has mercy; indeed, my Lord is Forgiving, the Most Merciful.’
[12.54] The king said: ‘Bring him before me. I will assign him to myself.’ And when he had spoken with him he said: ‘Today, you are firmly established in both our favor and trust.’
[12.55] He (Joseph) said: ‘Give me charge of the storehouses of the land, I am a knowledgeable guardian.’
[12.56] And as such We established Joseph in the land to live wherever he liked. We bestow Our Mercy on whom We will, and We never waste the wage of the righteous.
[12.57] Indeed, the reward of the Everlasting Life is better for those who believe and are cautious.
[12.58] Joseph’s brothers came and presented themselves before him. He recognized them, but they did not know him.
[12.59] And when he had given them their provisions, he said: ‘Bring me a certain brother from your father. Do you not see that I give just measure and am the best of hosts?
[12.60] If you do not bring him to me, you shall receive no measure (of corn) from me, nor shall you come near me (again).’
[12.61] They replied: ‘We will ask our father for him. This we will surely do.’
[12.62] Then he said to his attendants: ‘Put their merchandise in their saddlebags, hopefully they will recognize it when they return to their people. Perhaps they will come back.’
[12.63] When they returned to their father, they said: ‘Father, we have been denied the measure. Send our brother with us and we shall receive our measure. We will indeed look after him.’
[12.64] He replied: ‘Am I to trust you with him as I once trusted you with his brother? Why, Allah is the Best of guardians, and He is the Most Merciful of the Merciful.’
[12.65] When they opened their saddlebags, they found that their merchandise had been given back to them. ‘Father,’ they said ‘what more do we desire? Look, our merchandise has been returned to us. We will receive provisions for our family and we will look after our brother. We shall receive an extra camel-load, that is an easy measure.’
[12.66] He replied: ‘I will never send him with you until you swear by Allah that you will bring him back to me, unless you are prevented.’ And when they had given him their oath, he said: ‘Allah is the Guardian of what we say.’
[12.67] Then he said: ‘My sons, do not enter from one gate. Enter through different gates. I cannot be of any help to you against Allah; judgement belongs to Allah alone. In Him I have put my trust. In Him let all put their trust.’
[12.68] And when they entered from where their father had instructed them, nothing helped them against (the decree of) Allah. It was but a need in Jacob’s soul which he had fulfilled. He possessed knowledge because of what We had taught him, though most people do not know.
[12.69] When they presented themselves before Joseph, he took his brother in his arms, and said: ‘I am your brother. Do not grieve at what they did.’
[12.70] And when he had given them their provisions, he hid a drinking-cup in his brother’s saddlebag. Then a herald called out after them: ‘Cameleers, you are thieves!’
[12.71] They turned back and asked: ‘What have you lost?’
[12.72] ‘We are missing the goblet of the king,’ he replied. ‘Whosoever restores it shall have a camel-load, that I guarantee.’
[12.73] ‘By Allah,’ they said, ‘you know we did not come to do evil in this land. We are not thieves.’
[12.74] They said: ‘What shall be the recompense, if you prove to be lying?’
[12.75] They replied: ‘Its recompense – in whosoever’s saddle bag it is found, he shall be its recompense. As such we punish the harmdoers.’
[12.76] He searched their bags before his brother’s and then took out the goblet from his brother’s bag. As such We directed Joseph. By the king’s law he had no right to seize his brother unless Allah willed otherwise. We raise whom We will in rank; over every knowledgeable person is One who knows.
[12.77] They said: ‘If he is a thief know then that a brother of his has committed theft before him.’ But Joseph kept it secret and did not reveal it to them. He said: ‘You are in a worse position. And Allah knows well what you describe.’
[12.78] They said: ‘Mighty prince, his father is old, advanced in years, take one of us instead of him. We can see you are amongst the good-doers.’
[12.79] He replied: ‘Allah forbid that we should seize any but he with whom our property was found, for then we should be harmdoers.’
[12.80] When they despaired of him, they went in private to confer together. The eldest said: ‘Do you not know that your father took a pledge from you in the Name of Allah, and that you failed before regarding Joseph? I shall never stir from this land until my father gives me leave or Allah makes known to me His judgement: He is the Best of judges.
[12.81] Return, all of you to your father and say to him: ‘Father, your son has committed a theft. We testify only to what we know. How could we guard against the unforeseen?
[12.82] Ask the village where we were and the caravan in which we traveled, we speak the truth.’
[12.83] ‘No’ he (Jacob) said, ‘your souls have tempted you to do something. But come sweet patience. Allah may bring them all to me. He alone is the Knowing, the Wise.’
[12.84] And he turned away and said: ‘Alas for Joseph!’ His eyes turned white with the grief he repressed within him.
[12.85] They said: ‘By Allah, will you not cease to mention Joseph until you are consumed, or are among the perishing?’
[12.86] He replied: ‘I complain to Allah of my anguish and sadness. I know from Allah what you do not know.
[12.87] Go and seek news of Joseph and his brother. Do not despair of the Comfort of Allah, none but unbelievers despair of the Comfort of Allah.’
[12.88] And when they presented themselves before him they said: ‘O mighty prince, we and our people are afflicted with distress. We have brought but little merchandise. Fill up the measure, and be charitable to us; Allah rewards the charitable.’
[12.89] ‘Do you know’ he replied, ‘what you did to Joseph and his brother in your ignorance?’
[12.90] They said: ‘Are you Joseph?’ ‘I am Joseph,’ he answered, ‘and this is my brother. Allah has been gracious to us. Those who keep from evil and are patient, indeed, Allah does not let the wage of the good- doers go to waste.’
[12.91] ‘By Allah,’ they said, ‘Allah has preferred you above us all. We have indeed been sinful.’
[12.92] He replied: ‘Let no reproach be on you this day. Allah will forgive you – He is the Most Merciful of the merciful.
[12.93] Go, take this shirt of mine and cast it over my father’s face, he will recover his sight. Then return to me with all your family.’
[12.94] As the caravan departed, their father said: ‘I smell the scent of Joseph, unless you think I am foolish.’
[12.95] ‘By Allah,’ they said, ‘this is but your old illusion.’
[12.96] And when the bearer of glad tidings arrived, he laid Joseph’s shirt over him, and he saw once again. He said: ‘Did I not tell you that I know from Allah what you do not know?’
[12.97] His sons said: ‘Father, ask forgiveness for our sins. We have indeed been sinners.’
[12.98] He said: ‘I shall ask my Lord to forgive you. He is Forgiving, the Most Merciful.’
[12.99] And when they entered before Joseph, he took his father and mother into his arms and said: ‘Welcome to Egypt, safe, if Allah wills!’
[12.100] He lifted his parents to the throne, and (the others) bowed before him. Joseph said to his father: ‘This is the meaning of my vision of long ago, my Lord has verified it. He has been gracious to me. He brought me out of prison and brought you out of the desert after satan had corrupted (the relationship) between me and my brothers. My Lord is Gentle to whom He will. He alone is the Knower, the Wise.
[12.101] Lord, You have given me the kingdom and taught me to interpret visions. Originator of the heavens and the earth, my Guardian in this world and in the Everlasting Life. Let me die in submission (as a Muslim) and let me join the righteous.’
[12.102] That is of the news We reveal to you of the unseen. You were not present when they agreed upon their plan, scheming.
[12.103] Even though you are so eager, most people will not believe.
[12.104] You shall ask no wage for it. It is nothing except a reminder to all mankind.
[12.105] How many signs in the heavens and earth do they pass by and turn away from.
[12.106] And most of them do not believe in Allah, but they associate others with Him.
[12.107] Do they feel secure that the punishment of Allah will envelop them, or that the Hour will overtake them suddenly when they are unaware?
[12.108] Say: ‘This is my Path. I call to Allah with sure knowledge, I and my followers. Exaltations be to Allah! I am not among the idolaters.’
[12.109] We did not send any before you from the inhabitants of the village, but men to whom a revelation was sent. Have they not traveled in the land and seen what was the end of those before them? Better is the dwelling in the Everlasting Life for those who keep from evil. Do you not understand?
[12.110] And when at length Our Messengers despaired and reckoned that they would be belied, Our help came down to them, saving whom We pleased. Our Might cannot be withheld from the guilty nation.
[12.111] Indeed, in their stories is a lesson for those of understanding. This is no forged tale, rather, it is a confirmation of the previous, a distinguishing of all things, a guidance and a mercy to a nation who believe.