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Alif L'am Ra. These are the verses of the Book that make things clear
We have revealed this Qur’an in the Arabic language so that you may understand
We relate to you the best of stories through this Qur’an by Our revelation to you (O Muhammad), though before this you were one of those who did not know
This is the narrative of that time, when Joseph said to his father: "O my father! In a dream I saw eleven stars, the sun and the moon - I saw them prostrate themselves before me!"
He replied: "My dear little son! Do not say any thing about this dream to your brothers, lest they plot an evil scheme against you; for Satan is an open enemy to human beings
It will happen, as you have seen in your dream, that you will be chosen by your Lord for His work. He will teach you how to interpret visions, and will perfect His favor upon you and the children of Jacob, as He perfected it upon your forefathers Abraham and Isaac before you. Surely your Lord is Knowledgeable, Wise
Indeed in the story of Joseph and his brothers, there are signs for inquirers
This is how the story begins: his step brothers held a meeting and said to one another: "This Joseph and his brother (Benjamin) are loved more by our father than us, even though we are a group of ten and can help him more than them. In fact, our father is clearly mistaken
Let us kill Joseph or throw him out to some far-off land so that the attention of our father turns exclusively towards us, after that, we may again become righteous people!"
At this one of them said: "Do not kill Joseph, but if you must, throw him into some dark well, so that he may be picked up by some passing by caravan."
After this meeting, they asked their father: "O our father! Why is it that you do not trust us with Joseph, though we are his sincere well-wishers
Send him with us tomorrow, that he may play and enjoy himself. We shall take good care of him."
Their father said: "I will be worried if you take him away, for I fear lest a wolf should eat him up while you are off your guard ."
They said: "If a wolf could eat him despite our number, then surely we would be worthless people!"
When after such persistence they were able to take him away, they resolved to throw him into a dark well. We revealed this (to Joseph) : "A time will come when you will admonish them about this act of theirs, now they do not perceive its consequences."
At nightfall they return to their father, weeping
They said: "Father! We went off to compete in racing with one another, and left Joseph by our belongings, and a wolf ate him ! But you will not believe us even though we are telling the truth."
As proof they brought his shirt stained with false blood. "No!" He cried, "Your souls have tempted you to evil. I need good patience! Allah Alone can help me bear the loss you are speaking of."
On the other side, a caravan passed by, and sent a water carrier who let down his bucket into the well. Seeing Joseph in it, he shouted with joy: "Good news! I found a young boy." They concealed him like trade merchandise. But Allah knew what they did
They (brought him to Egypt and) sold him for a petty price, a few dirhams (silver coins), they had such a low estimation of him
The Egyptian who bought Joseph said to his wife: "Be kind to him. He may prove useful to us, or we may adopt him as a son." Thus We established Joseph in the land and arranged to teach him the understanding of affairs. Allah has full power over His affairs, though most people do not know
When he reached maturity, We bestowed on him wisdom and knowledge. Thus do We reward the righteous
Now, the lady of the house (his master's wife) attempted to seduce him. She bolted the doors and said: "Come!" He replied: "May Allah protect me from this! My lord has provided me with good residence. Should I betray his trust? Such wrongdoers shall not prosper."
She advanced toward him, and he would have advanced towards her had he not seen a sign from his Lord. Thus did We shield him from indecency and immodesty, for he was one of Our chosen, a sincere devotee
They both rushed to the door. In order to stop him she caught his shirt, and as a result she ripped his shirt from behind. At the door they met her husband. Seeing him she cried: "What punishment does someone who intended evil against your wife deserve except imprisonment or a painful chastisement?"
Joseph said: "It was she who attempted to seduce me." At this - one accusing the other - one member of her own family bore witness saying: "If his shirt is ripped from the front, then she is speaking the truth and he is lying
But if it is ripped from behind, then he is speaking the truth and she is lying."
So when he (her husband) saw that Joseph's shirt was ripped from behind, he said to her: "It is one of the tricks of you women! Your trick was mighty indeed!
O Joseph, say no more about this, and you (O my wife) seek forgiveness for your sins, for you were indeed the wrongdoer."
The women of the city began to talk about this incident, saying: "The wife of Al-Aziz has seduced her young slave, for she has fallen madly in love with him. In fact, we see her in manifest error."
When she heard about these remarks, she invited them and prepared for them a banquet, and gave each of them a knife. When they were engaged in cutting fruit, she asked Joseph to come out before them. When they saw him, they were so amazed that they cut their hands and exclaimed spontaneously: "Good Lord! He is no human being; he is but a noble angel."
She said: "Well, this is he about whom you blamed me. No doubt I seduced him, but he escaped. If he doesn’t do what I say, he will certainly be thrown into prison and be disgraced."
Joseph said: "O my Lord! I would rather go to prison than that to which they invite me; and unless You ward off their cunning snare from me, I may, in my youthful folly, feel inclined towards them and become one of the ignorant."
Thereupon his Lord granted his prayer and warded off their cunning snare from him; surely He hears all and knows all
Still, even after all the evidence they had seen (of his innocence and the guilt of their women), they thought it proper to send him to prison for a while
MidEastWeb for Coexistence http:www.mideastweb.org 111 Two young men also entered the prison along with him. One day one of them said: "I saw in a dream that I was pressing wine." The other said: "I saw in a dream that I was carrying bread on my head, of which birds were eating." Tell us the interpretation of these dreams, for we see that you are a man of virtue
Joseph replied: "I will, with Allah’s permission, tell you the interpretation of these dreams before you are served the food you eat, this is part of the knowledge which my Lord has taught me. In fact, I have forsaken the faith of those people who do not believe in Allah and even deny the hereafter
I follow the faith of my forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It is not fitting that we attribute any partners with Allah. It is the grace of Allah on us and on mankind (that He has not made us the servants of anyone else other than Himself), yet most of the people are not grateful.
O my fellow inmates! Tell me what is better; many different lords or one Allah, the Irresistible
Those you serve besides Him are nothing but mere names which you and your forefathers have invented, for which Allah has revealed no sanction. The Command belongs to none but Allah, Who has ordained that you worship none but Him. That is the true faith, yet most of the people do not know
O my fellow inmates! (Here is the interpretation of your dreams), one of you will be released and serve wine to your lord (the king of Egypt); and the other will be crucified and the birds will eat from his head. That's how your cases will be decided concerning which you inquired (that is the answer to your question)."
Then, to the one who he thought would be released, he said: "Mention me to your lord." But Satan made him forget to mention (Joseph) to his lord, so he remained in the prison a few more years
One day the king of Egypt said: "I saw seven fat cows in my dream which were eaten up by seven lean cows, likewise I saw seven green ears of corn and seven others that were dried up. O chiefs! Tell me the meaning of my dream if you can interpret the dreams."
They replied: "Confused nightmares! We are not skilled in the interpretation of dreams."
Thereupon one of the two inmates who was released remembered Joseph after all that time, and he said: "I will tell you its interpretation; just send me to Joseph in the prison."
He came to Joseph in the prison and said: "O Joseph the truthful one! Tell us the meaning of the dream of seven fat cows which are eaten up by seven lean ones and of seven green ears of corn and seven others dried up: so that I may return to the people and let them know the meaning of this dream"
He replied: "You will cultivate for seven consecutive years. During this time you should leave the corn you reap in the ear, except what may be sufficient for your food.
Then, after that period, there will come upon you seven hard years which will eat away all that you had stored except a little which you may have specifically set aside.
After that period will come a year of abundant rain, in which the people will squeeze the juice."
The king said: "Bring this man to me." When the messenger came to Yusuf, he said "Go back to your lord and ask him about the case of the women who cut their hands. Indeed my Rabb has full knowledge of their snare."
The king questioned those women, saying: "What do you say about the incident when you attempted to seduce Yusuf?" They replied: "God forbid! We Know of no evil on his part." The `Aziz’s wife said: "Now that the truth has come to light, it was I who attempted to seduce him. In fact he is absolutely truthful."
Joseph said, "By this inquiry I meant to let him (Al-Aziz) know that I did not betray him in his absence, and that Allah does not let the snare of the treacherous succeed."
Not that I am free from sin - man’s soul is prone to evil, except the one to whom my Lord has shown mercy, certainly my Lord is Forgiving, Merciful
The king said: "Bring him to me; I will take him for my special service." When Joseph had a talk with the King, he said: "From now on, you have an honorable place with us, and you will enjoy our full confidence."
Joseph said: "Place me over all the resources of the land. Certainly I know how to manage; I have the necessary knowledge."
Thus We established Joseph in the land to live therein in any way he wished. We bestow Our mercy on whom We please and We do not let the reward of good people go to waste
Yet the reward in the hereafter will be even better for those who believe and are righteous
Several years later when the famine started and there was no food available outside of Egypt, Joseph’s brothers came to Egypt for food and entered his office. He recognized them but they did not recognize him
When he had given them their due provisions and they were about to leave, he said: "Bring your half brother to me next time. Do you not see that I give full measure and provide the best hospitality
But if you do not bring him, you shall have no grain, nor shall you even come near me again."
They replied: "We shall certainly try our best to bring him from his father. This we will surely do."
Joseph told his servants to put his brother's money into their saddlebags secretly so that they should know about it only when they reach their family, so that they might come back."
When Joseph's brothers returned to their father, they said: "Father! Grain is henceforth denied us unless we take our stepbrother with us; please send our brother with us so that we may get our measure; we take full responsibility for his safety."
He said: "Should I trust you with him as I once trusted you with his brother? Allah is the best protector and He is the Most Merciful of the mercygivers."
When they opened their baggage, they discovered that their money had been returned to them. "Father!" They cried with joy, "What more can we ask for? Here is our money returned back to us. We will buy more food for our family, we will take good care of our brother and obtain an extra camel load of grain. This way, it will be easy to add another camel load of grain."
Jacob replied: "I will never send him with you until you pledge in the name of Allah that you will surely bring him back to me unless you become helpless." And when they had given their pledge, he said: "Allah is the Witness over the pledge you made."
Then he said; "My sons! Do not enter the capital city of Egypt through one gate, enter from the different gates. Not that I can avail you aught against Allah; this advice is just a precaution, because none can accurately judge except Allah. In Him do I put my trust and in Him let all the reliant put their trust."
When avert the fear he had in his heart. Indeed he possessed the knowledge which We had given him, but most people do not know
When they entered to Joseph, he called his brother (Benjamin) alone to himself, and said: "In fact, I am your brother (Joseph), now you need not grieve at what they have been doing."
While Joseph was arranging the loading of their provisions, he put the royal drinking cup into his brother’s pack. Later on a crier called out: "O people of the caravan! You must be thieves."
They turned back and asked: "What have you lost?"
The royal servants said: "We have lost the King’s drinking cup. (The leader of the royal servants added) and the one who brings it, will be awarded a camel-load of corn, I guarantee it."
Joseph’s brothers said: "By Allah! You should know, by our behavior during our stay here, that we did not come here to make mischief in the land and we are no thieves."
The royal servants said: "What should be the punishment of the thief, if you are liars?"
They replied: "The punishment of he in whose pack you find the royal cup will be to make him your bondsman, that’s how we punish wrongdoers."
After this Joseph first began to search the packs of his stepbrothers before the pack of his own brother (Benjamin). Finally he took it out of his brother’s pack. Thus We directed Joseph. He could not seize his brother under the King’s law; but Allah willed otherwise. We exalt in ranks whom We please, He is the One Whose knowledge is far greater than the knowledge of all others
At this accusation, his brothers remarked: "This is not strange if he has committed a theft for his brother also committed a theft before him." Hearing this, Joseph suppressed his feelings and did not reveal anything to them - he simply whispered to himself: "What a bad people you are! You are accusing me of something, the truth of which Allah knows best."
- They said: "O noble prince! He (Benjamin) has a very aged father who may not be able to survive without him, so please take one of us instead of him. We see that you are one of those who do good to others."
Joseph replied: "God forbid that we should seize other than the one with whom we found our property: if we did so then indeed we would be unjust."
When they lost their hope of moving Joseph, they went aside to confer in private. The eldest of them said: "You know that your father had taken a solemn pledge in the name of Allah, and you also know how you fell short of your duty with respect to Joseph. Therefore, I am not going to leave this land until my father gives me permission or Allah decides for me, and He is the best of all judges
Go back to your father and tell him, "father, your son committed theft. We did not see him stealing, we testify only to what we know. How could we guard against the unforeseen
You may enquire from the people of the city where we lodged and the caravan in which we travelled that we are indeed telling the truth."
When they went back and told all this to their father, " No!" Cried their father, " Your souls have contrived a story for you. Well, I will bear this too with good patience. Maybe Allah will bring them all back to me; indeed He is the Knowledgeable, the Wise."
He turned his face away from them, crying: "Alas for Joseph!" His eyes became white with grief, and he became sorely oppressed
They said: "By Allah! It appears that you will not cease to remember Joseph until you ruin your health or kill yourself."
He said: "I complain of my distress and grief to Allah Alone and I know from Allah what you do not know
O my sons! Go and search for Joseph and his brother. Never give up hope of Allah’s mercy; in fact none despairs of Allah’s mercy except the unbelieving people."
When they went back to Egypt and entered Joseph’s office, they said: "Noble prince! We and our family are in great distress, we have hardly any money, please give us full quota and also some charity. Surely Allah rewards the charitable."
Hearing this, Joseph, who could contain himself no longer, replied: "Do you know what you did to Joseph and his brother while acting out of ignorance?"
This took them by surprise, and they cried: "What! Are you really Joseph?" He said: "Yes! I am Joseph and this is my brother. Allah has indeed been gracious to us. In fact as for the righteous and patient; Allah really does not let the reward of the righteous be wasted."
They said: "By Allah! Certainly Allah has preferred you over us. We have indeed been guilty."
Joseph said: "There is no blame on you today. May Allah forgive you! He is the most Merciful of those who show mercy!
Go, take this shirt of mine and cast it over the face of my father, he will recover his sight. Then come back to me with all the members of your family."
When the caravan started (from Egypt) their father (who was in Ken’an) said: "Certainly I feel the scent of Joseph, even though you may think I am out of my mind."
The people, who heard him, said: "By Allah! You are still suffering from your old illusion."
But when the bearer of the good news arrived, he cast the shirt of Joseph over his face and he regained his sight. Then he said: "Didn’t I tell you that I know from Allah what you do not know?"
They said: "Father! Pray for the forgiveness for our sins. We have indeed done wrong."
He replied: "Soon I will ask my Lord for your forgiveness; surely He is the One who is the Forgiving, the Merciful."
When they came to Joseph, he asked his parents to lodge with himself, and said: "Now enter the city. Allah willing, you will live here in peace."
After entering the city he helped his parents to seats on the throne, and they all fell down in prostration before him. "This," said Joseph to his father, "is the interpretation of my dream which I dreamt long before. My Lord has really made it come true. It was His grace that He took me out of prison and brought you all here from the desert even though Satan had stirred up strife between me and my brothers. For sure my Lord fulfills His plan in mysterious ways. Surely He is the One Who is the Knowledgeable, the Wise
O Lord! You have indeed given me a kingdom and taught me the interpretation of dreams. O, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, You are my Protector in this world and in the hereafter, make me die as a Muslim and admit me among the righteous."
O Muhammad, this story which We have revealed to you is a tale of the unseen; for you were not there with (the brothers of Joseph) when they collectively conspired and schemed against him
Yet strive as you may, most men are not going to become believers
even though You do not demand any recompense for this information. This Qur’an is nothing but a reminder for all the people of the worlds
There are many signs in the heavens and the earth which they pass by; yet they pay no attention to them!
As a result most of them who believe in Allah also commit shirk
Do they feel secure that Allah’s scourge will not fall on them, or that the Hour of Doom will not come upon them suddenly while they do not suspect it
Tell them plainly: "This is my way. I invite you to Allah with sure knowledge which I and my followers possess. Glory be to Allah, and I am not one of the pagans."
All the Messengers that We sent before you, O Muhammad, were human beings, to whom We sent Our Revelations after choosing them from the people of their town. Have these unbelievers not traveled through the land and seen what was the end of those who passed away before them? From their destiny you should know that the home of the hereafter is better for those who are righteous. Why don’t you understand
Respite was granted until the Messengers gave up hope of their people and realized that they were being treated as liars, Our help came to them and We delivered those whom We pleased; and Our scourge was not averted from the criminal people
There is a lesson in these stories of former people for the men of common sense. This story of Joseph revealed in the Qur’an is not an invented tale, but a confirmation of previous scriptures - a detailed exposition of all things, and is a guidance and blessing for the people who believe