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Yusuf (Joseph)
as rendered by Abdel Haleem
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Abdel Haleem rendition of Surah Joseph(Yusuf)
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12:1 Alif Lam Ra These are the verses of the Scripture that makes things clear––
12:2 We have sent it down as an Arabic Quran so that you [people] may understand.
12:3 We tell you [Prophet] the best of stories in revealing this Quran to you. Before this you were one of those who knew nothing about them.
12:4 Joseph said to his father, ‘Father, I dreamed of eleven stars and the sun and the moon: I saw them all bow down before me,’
12:5 and he replied, ‘My son, tell your brothers nothing of this dream, or they may plot to harm you––Satan is man’s sworn enemy.
12:6 This is about how your Lord will choose you, teach you to interpret dreams, and perfect His blessing on you and the House of Jacob, just as He perfected it earlier on your forefathers Abraham and Isaac: your Lord is all knowing and wise.’
12:7 There are lessons in the story of Joseph and his brothers for all who seek them.
12:8 The brothers said [to each other], ‘Although we are many, Joseph and his brother are dearer to our father than we are–– our father is clearly in the wrong.’
12:9 [One of them said], ‘Kill Joseph or banish him to another land, and your father’s attention will be free to turn to you. After that you can be righteous.’
12:10 [Another of them] said, ‘Do not kill Joseph, but, if you must, throw him into the hidden depths of a well where some caravan may pick him up.’
12:11 They said to their father, ‘Why do you not trust us with Joseph? We wish him well.
12:12 Send him with us tomorrow and he will enjoy himself and play- we will take good care of him.’
12:13 He replied, ‘The thought of you taking him away with you worries me: I am afraid a wolf may eat him when you are not paying attention.’
12:14 They said, ‘If a wolf were to eat him when there are so many of us, we would truly be losers!’
12:15 Then they took him away with them, resolved upon throwing him into the hidden depths of a well- We inspired him, saying, ‘You will tell them of all this [at a time] when they do not realize [who you are]!’-
12:16 and at nightfall they returned to their father weeping.
12:17 They said, ‘We went off racing one another, leaving Joseph behind with our things, and a wolf ate him. You will not believe us, though we are telling the truth!’
12:18 and they showed him his shirt, deceptively stained with blood. He cried, ‘No! Your souls have prompted you to do wrong! But it is best to be patient: from God alone I seek help to bear what you are saying.’
12:19 Some travellers came by. They sent someone to draw water and he let down his bucket. ‘Good news!’ he exclaimed. ‘Here is a boy!’ They hid him like a piece of merchandise- God was well aware of what they did-
12:20 and then sold him for a small price, for a few pieces of silver: so little did they value him.
12:21 The Egyptian who bought him said to his wife, ‘Look after him well! He may be useful to us, or we may adopt him as a son.’ In this way We settled Joseph in that land and later taught him how to interpret dreams: God always prevails in His purpose, though most people do not realize it.
12:22 When he reached maturity, We gave him judgement and knowledge: this is how We reward those who do good.
12:23 The woman in whose house he was living tried to seduce him: she bolted the doors and said, ‘Come to me,’ and he replied, ‘God forbid! My master has been good to me; wrongdoers never prosper.’
12:24 She made for him, and he would have succumbed to her if he had not seen evidence of his Lord- We did this in order to keep evil and indecency away from him, for he was truly one of Our chosen servants.
12:25 They raced for the door- she tore his shirt from behind- and at the door they met her husband. She said, ‘What, other than prison or painful punishment, should be the reward of someone who tried to dishonour your wife?’
12:26 but he said, ‘She tried to seduce me.’ A member of her household suggested, ‘If his shirt is torn at the front, then it is she who is telling the truth and he who is lying,
12:27 but if it is torn at the back, then she is lying and he is telling the truth.’
12:28 When the husband saw that the shirt was torn at the back, he said, ‘This is another instance of women’s treachery: your treachery is truly great.
12:29 Joseph, overlook this; but you [wife], ask forgiveness for your sin- you have done wrong.’
12:30 Some women of the city said, ‘The governor’s wife is trying to seduce her slave! Love for him consumes her heart! It is clear to us that she has gone astray.’
12:31 When she heard their malicious talk, she prepared a banquet and sent for them, giving each of them a knife. She said to Joseph, ‘Come out and show yourself to them!’ and when the women saw him, they were stunned by his beauty, and cut their hands, exclaiming, ‘Great God! He cannot be mortal! He must be a precious angel!’
12:32 She said, ‘This is the one you blamed me for. I tried to seduce him and he wanted to remain chaste, but if he does not do what I command now, he will be put in prison and degraded.’
12:33 Joseph said, ‘My Lord! I would prefer prison to what these women are calling me to do. If You do not protect me from their treachery, I shall yield to them and do wrong,’
12:34 and his Lord answered his prayer and protected him from their treachery- He is the All Hearing, the All Knowing.
12:35 In the end they thought it best, after seeing all the signs of his innocence, that they should imprison him for a while.
12:36 Two young men went into prison alongside him. One of them said, ‘I dreamed that I was pressing grapes’; the other said, ‘I dreamed that I was carrying bread on my head and that the birds were eating it.’ [They said], ‘Tell us what this means- we can see that you are a knowledgeable man.’
12:37 He said, ‘I can tell you what this means before any meal arrives: this is part of what my Lord has taught me. I reject the faith of those who disbelieve in God and deny the life to come,
12:38 and I follow the faith of my forefathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Because of God’s grace to us and to all mankind, we would never worship anything beside God, but most people are ungrateful.
12:39 Fellow prisoners, would many diverse gods be better than God the One, the All Powerful? [No indeed!]
12:40 All those you worship instead of Him are mere names you and your forefathers have invented, names for which God has sent down no sanction. Authority belongs to God alone, and He orders you to worship none but Him: this is the true faith, though most people do not realize it.
12:41 Fellow prisoners, one of you will serve his master with wine; the other will be crucified and the birds will peck at his head. That is the end of the matter on which you asked my opinion.’
12:42 Joseph said to the one he knew would be saved, ‘Mention me to your master,’ but Satan made him forget to do this, and so Joseph remained in prison for a number of years.
12:43 The king said, ‘I dreamed about seven fat cows being eaten by seven lean ones; seven green ears of corn and [seven] others withered. Counsellors, if you can interpret dreams, tell me the meaning of my dream.’
12:44 They said, ‘These are confusing dreams and we are not skilled at dream-interpretation,’
12:45 but the prisoner who had been freed at last remembered [Joseph] and said, ‘I shall tell you what this means. Give me leave to go.’
12:46 ‘Truthful Joseph! Tell us the meaning of seven fat cows being eaten by seven lean ones, seven green ears of corn and [seven] others withered,
12:47 then I can return to the people to inform them.’ Joseph said, ‘You will sow for seven consecutive years as usual. Store all that you reap, left in the ear, apart from the little you eat.
12:48 After that will come seven years of hardship which will consume all but a little of what you stored up for them;
12:49 after that will come a year when the people will have abundant rain and will press grapes.’
12:50 The king said, ‘Bring him to me,’ but when the messenger came to fetch Joseph, he said, ‘Go back to your master and ask him about what happened to those women who cut their hands- my Lord knows all about their treachery.’
12:51 The king asked the women, ‘What happened when you tried to seduce Joseph?’ They said, ‘God forbid! We know nothing bad of him!’ and the governor’s wife said, ‘Now the truth is out: it was I who tried to seduce him- he is an honest man.’
12:52 [Joseph said, ‘This was] for my master to know that I did not betray him behind his back: God does not guide the mischief of the treacherous.
12:53 I do not pretend to be blameless, for man’s very soul incites him to evil unless my Lord shows mercy: He is most forgiving, most merciful.’
12:54 The king said, ‘Bring him to me: I will have him serve me personally,’ and then, once he had spoken with him, ‘From now on you will have our trust and favour.’
12:55 Joseph said, ‘Put me in charge of the nation’s storehouses: I shall manage them prudently and carefully.’
12:56 In this way We settled Joseph in that land to live wherever he wished: We grant Our mercy to whoever We will and do not fail to reward those who do good.
12:57 The reward of the Hereafter is best for those who believe and are mindful of God.
12:58 Joseph’s brothers came and presented themselves before him. He recognized them- though they did not recognize him-
12:59 and once he had given them their provisions, he said, ‘Bring me the brother [you left with] your father! Have you not seen me giving generous measure and being the best of hosts?
12:60 You will have no more corn from me if you do not bring him to me, and you will not be permitted to approach me.’
12:61 They said, ‘We shall do all we can to persuade his father to send him with us, indeed we shall.’
12:62 Joseph said to his servants, ‘Put their [traded] goods back into their saddlebags, so that they may recognize them when they go back to their family, and [be eager to] return.’
12:63 When they returned to their father, they said, ‘Father, we have been denied any more corn, but send our brother back with us and we shall be given another measure. We shall guard him carefully.’
12:64 He said, ‘Am I to entrust him to you as I did his brother before? God is the best guardian and the Most Merciful of the merciful.’
12:65 Then, when they opened their packs, they discovered that their goods had been returned to them and they said, ‘Father! We need no more [goods to barter]: look, our goods have been returned to us. We shall get corn for our household; we shall keep our brother safe; we shall be entitled to another camel-load of grain- an extra measure so easily achieved!’
12:66 He said, ‘I will never send him with you, not unless you swear by God that you will bring him back to me if that is humanly possible.’ Then, when they had given him their pledge, he said, ‘Our words are entrusted to God.’
12:67 He said, ‘My sons, do not enter all by one gate- use different gates. But I cannot help you against the will of God: all power is in God’s hands. I trust in Him; let everyone put their trust in Him,’
12:68 and, when they entered as their father had told them, it did not help them against the will of God, it merely satisfied a wish of Jacob’s. He knew well what We had taught him, though most people do not.
12:69 Then, when they presented themselves before Joseph, he drew his brother apart and said, ‘I am your brother, so do not be saddened by their past actions,’
12:70 and, once he had given them their provisions, he placed the drinking-cup in his brother’s pack. A man called out, ‘People of the caravan! You are thieves!’
12:71 and they turned and said, ‘What have you lost?’
12:72 They replied, ‘The king’s drinking-cup is missing,’ and, ‘Whoever returns it will get a camel-load [of grain],’ and, ‘I give you my word.’
12:73 They said, ‘By God! You must know that we did not come to make mischief in your land: we are no thieves.’
12:74 They asked them, ‘And if we find that you are lying, what penalty shall we apply to you?’
12:75 and they answered, ‘The penalty will be [the enslavement of] the person in whose bag the cup is found: this is how we punish wrongdoers.’
12:76 [Joseph] began by searching their bags, then his brother’s, and he pulled it out from his brother’s bag. In this way We devised a plan for Joseph- if God had not willed it so, he could not have detained his brother as a penalty under the king’s law- We raise the rank of whoever We will. Above everyone who has knowledge there is the One who is all knowing.
12:77 [His brothers] said, ‘If he is a thief then his brother was a thief before him,’ but Joseph kept his secrets and did not reveal anything to them. He said, ‘You are in a far worse situation. God knows best the truth of what you claim.’
12:78 They said, ‘Mighty governor, he has an elderly father. Take one of us in his place. We can see that you are a very good man.’
12:79 He replied, ‘God forbid that we should take anyone other than the person on whom we found our property: that would be unjust of us.’
12:80 When they lost hope of [persuading] him, they withdrew to confer with each other: the eldest of them said, ‘Do you not remember that your father took a solemn pledge from you in the name of God and before that you failed in your duty with regard to Joseph? I will not leave this land until my father gives me leave or God decides for me- He is the best decider-
12:81 so go back to your father and say, “Your son stole. We can only tell you what we saw. How could we guard against the unforeseen?
12:82 Ask in the town where we have been; ask the people of the caravan we travelled with: we are telling the truth.”’
12:83 Their father said, ‘No! Your souls have prompted you to do wrong! But it is best to be patient: may God bring all of them back to me- He alone is the All Knowing, the All Wise,’
12:84 and he turned away from them, saying, ‘Alas for Joseph!’ His eyes went white with grief and he was filled with sorrow.
12:85 They said, ‘By God! You will ruin your health if you do not stop thinking of Joseph, or even die.’
12:86 He said, ‘I plead my grief and sorrow before God. I have knowledge from God that you do not have.
12:87 My sons, go and seek news of Joseph and his brother and do not despair of God’s mercy- only disbelievers despair of God’s mercy.’
12:88 Then, when they presented themselves before Joseph, they said, ‘Mighty governor, misfortune has afflicted us and our family. We have brought only a little merchandise, but give us full measure. Be charitable to us: God rewards the charitable.’
12:89 He said, ‘Do you now realize what you did to Joseph and his brother when you were ignorant?’
12:90 and they cried, ‘Could it be that you are Joseph?’ He said, ‘I am Joseph. This is my brother. God has been gracious to us: God does not deny anyone who is mindful of God and steadfast in adversity the rewards of those who do good.’
12:91 They said, ‘By God! God really did favour you over all of us and we were in the wrong!’
12:92 but he said, ‘You will hear no reproaches today. May God forgive you: He is the Most Merciful of the merciful.
12:93 Take my shirt and lay it over my father’s face: he will recover his sight. Then bring your whole family back to me.’
12:94 Later, when the caravan departed, their father said, ‘You may think I am senile but I can smell Joseph,’
12:95 but [people] said, ‘By God! You are still lost in that old illusion of yours!’
12:96 Then, when the bearer of good news came and placed the shirt on to Jacob’s face, his eyesight returned and he said, ‘Did I not tell you that I have knowledge from God that you do not have?’
12:97 The [brothers] said, ‘Father, ask God to forgive our sins- we were truly in the wrong.’
12:98 He replied, ‘I shall ask my Lord to forgive you: He is the Most Forgiving, the Most Merciful.’
12:99 Later, when they presented themselves before Joseph, he drew his parents to him- he said, ‘Welcome to Egypt: you will all be safe here, God willing’-
12:100 and took them up to [his] throne. They all bowed down before him and he said, ‘Father, this is the fulfilment of that dream I had long ago. My Lord has made it come true and has been gracious to me- He released me from prison and He brought you here from the desert- after Satan sowed discord between me and my brothers. My Lord is most subtle in achieving what He will; He is the All Knowing, the Truly Wise.
12:101 My Lord! You have given me authority; You have taught me something about the interpretation of dreams; Creator of the heavens and the earth, You are my protector in this world and in the Hereafter. Let me die in true devotion to You. Join me with the righteous.’
12:102 This account is part of what was beyond your knowledge [Muhammad]. We revealed it to you: you were not present with Joseph’s brothers when they made their treacherous plans.
12:103 However eagerly you may want them to, most men will not believe.
12:104 You ask no reward from them for this: it is a reminder for all people
12:105 and there are many signs in the heavens and the earth that they pass by and give no heed to-
12:106 most of them will only believe in God while also joining others with Him.
12:107 Are they so sure that an overwhelming punishment from God will not fall on them, or that the Last Hour will not come upon them suddenly when they least expect it?
12:108 Say, ‘This is my way: based on clear evidence, I, and all who follow me, call [people] to God- glory be to God!- I do not join others with Him.’
12:109 All the messengers We sent before you [Muhammad] were men to whom We made revelations, men chosen from the people of their towns. Have the [disbelievers] not travelled through the land and seen the end of those who went before them? For those who are mindful of God, the Home in the Hereafter is better. Do you [people] not use your reason?
12:110 When the messengers lost all hope and realized that they had been dismissed as liars, Our help came to them: We saved whoever We pleased, but Our punishment will not be turned away from guilty people.
12:111 There is a lesson in the stories of such people for those who understand. This revelation is no fabrication: it is a confirmation of the truth of what was sent before it; an explanation of everything; a guide and a blessing for those who believe.


   


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