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12:1  ALIF lām rā‘. These are the revelations of the veritable Book
12:2  We have revealed it an Arabic Koran, that you may grow in understanding
12:3  In inspiring you with this Koran We recount to you the best of narratives, though before it you were heedless
12:4  Joseph said to his father: ‘Father, I dreamt of eleven stars and the sun and the moon; I saw them prostrate themselves before me.‘
12:5  My son,‘ he replied, ‘say nothing of this dream to your brothers, lest they plot evil against you: Satan is the sworn enemy of man.
12:6  Even thus shall you be chosen by your Lord. He will teach you to interpret visions, and will perfect His favour to you and to the house of Jacob, as He perfected it to your forefathers Abraham and Isaac before you. Your Lord is all-knowing and wise.‘
12:7  Surely in Joseph and his brothers there are signs for doubting men
12:8  They said to each other: ‘Surely Joseph and his brother¹ are dearer to our father than ourselves, though we are many. Truly, our father is much mistaken
12:9  Kill Joseph, or cast him away in some far-off land, so that you may have no rivals in your father‘s love, and after that be honourable men.‘
12:10  One of the brothers said: ‘Do not kill Joseph; but, if you must, rather cast him into a dark pit. Some caravan will take him up.‘
12:11  They said: ‘Father why do you not trust us with Joseph? Surely we wish him well.
12:12  Send him with us tomorrow, that he may play and enjoy himself. We will take good care of him.‘
12:13  He said: ‘It would much grieve me to let him go with you; for I fear lest the wolf should eat him when you are off your guard.‘
12:14  They said: ‘If the wolf could eat him when we are so many, then we should surely be lost!‘
12:15  So when they took him with them, they together resolved to cast him into a dark pit. We revealed to him Our will, saying: ‘You shall tell them of all this when they will not know you.‘
12:16  At nightfall they returned to their father, weeping
12:17  Father,‘ they said, ‘we went off to compete together, and left Joseph with our packs. The wolf devoured him. But you will not believe us, though we speak the truth.‘
12:18  And they brought him their brother‘s shirt, stained with false blood. ‘No!‘ he cried. ‘Your souls have tempted you to something evil. Sweet patience! God alone can help me bear the loss you speak of.‘
12:19  And a caravan passed by, who sent their water-bearer to the pit. And when he had let down his pail, he cried: ‘Rejoice! Here is a boy!‘ They concealed him as part of their merchandise. But God knew what they did
12:20  They sold him for a trifling price, for a few pieces of silver. They cared nothing for him
12:21  The Egyptian who bought him said to his wife: ‘Be kind to him. He may prove useful to us, or we may adopt him as our son. Thus We established Joseph in the land, and taught him to interpret dreams. God has power to accomplish His will, though most may not know it
12:22  And when he reached maturity We bestowed on him wisdom and knowledge. Thus do We reward the righteous
12:23  The woman in whose house he served attempted to seduce him. She bolted the doors and said: ‘Come!‘ ‘God forbid!‘ he replied. ‘My lord has treated me with kindness. Wrongdoers shall never prosper.‘
12:24  She made for him, and he himself would have succumbed to her had he not seen the sign of his Lord. Thus did We shield him from evil-doing and lechery, for he was one of Our faithful servants
12:25  They both rushed to the door. She tore his shirt from behind. And at the door they met her husband. She said: ‘Shall not the man who wished to violate your wife be thrown into prison or sternly punished?‘
12:26  Joseph said: ‘It was she who attempted to seduce me.‘ ‘If his shirt is torn from the front,‘ said one of her people who was present, ‘she is speaking the truth and he is lying.‘
12:27  And if his shirt is torn from behind, then she is lying and he is speaking the truth.‘
12:28  And when her husband saw that Joseph‘s shirt was rent from behind, he said to her: ‘This is but one of your tricks. Your cunning is great indeed!‘
12:29  Joseph, say no more about this. Woman, ask pardon for your sin. You have assuredly done wrong.‘
12:30  In the city, women were saying: ‘The Prince‘s wife has sought to seduce her servant. She has conceived a passion for him. We can see that she has clearly gone astray.‘
12:31  When she heard of their intrigues, she invited them to a banquet prepared at her house. To each she gave a knife, and ordered Joseph to present himself before them. When they saw him, they were amazed at him and cut their hands, exclaiming: ‘God preserve us! This is no mortal, but a gracious angel.‘
12:32  ‘This is he,‘ she said, ‘on whose account you blamed me. I attempted to seduce him, but he was unyielding. If he declines to do my bidding, he shall be thrown into prison and shall be held in scorn.‘
12:33  Lord,‘ said Joseph, ‘sooner would I go to prison than give in to their advances. Shield me from their cunning, or I shall yield to them and lapse into folly.‘
12:34  His Lord answered his prayer and warded off their cunning from him. Surely He it is who hears all and knows all
12:35  Yet, for all the evidence they had seen, they thought it right to jail him for a time
12:36  Two young men entered the prison with him. One said: ‘I dreamt that I was pressing grapes.‘ And the other: ‘I dreamt I was carrying a loaf upon my head, and the birds came and ate of it. Tell us the meaning of these dreams, for we can see you are a man of virtue.‘
12:37  He said: ‘Whatever food you are provided with, I can divine for you its meaning, even before it reaches you. This knowledge my Lord has given me, for I have left the faith of those that disbelieve in God and deny the life to come
12:38  And I followed the faith of my forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. We are not to serve idols besides God. Such is the grace which God has bestowed on us and on mankind. Yet the larger part of mankind do not give thanks.‘
12:39  ‘Fellow prisoners! Are sundry gods better than God, the One who conquers all
12:40  Those you serve besides Him are nothing but names which you and your fathers have devised and for which God has revealed no sanction. Judgement rests only with God. He has commanded you to worship none but Him. That is the True Religion: but the larger part of mankind have no knowledge.‘
12:41  ‘Fellow prisoners, one of you will serve his lord with wine. The other will be crucified, and the birds will peck at his head. That is the answer to your question.‘
12:42  And he said to the prisoner who he knew would survive: ‘Remember me in the presence of your lord.‘ But Satan made him forget to mention Joseph to his lord, so that he stayed in prison for several years
12:43  The King said: ‘I saw seven fatted cows which seven lean ones devoured; also seven green ears of corn and seven others dry. Tell me the meaning of this vision, my nobles, if you can interpret visions
12:44  They replied: ‘They are but a medley of dreams; nor are we skilled in the interpretation of dreams.‘
12:45  Thereupon the man who had been freed remembered after all that time. He said: ‘I shall bring you what it means. Give me leave to go.‘
12:46  Joseph,‘ he said, ‘man of truth, tell us of the seven fatted cows which seven lean ones devoured; also of the seven green ears of corn and the other seven which were dry: so that I may go back to the people and inform them.‘
12:47  He said: ‘You shall sow for seven consecutive years. Leave in the ear the corn you reap, except a little which you may eat.
12:48  There shall follow seven hungry years which will consume all but a little of what you stored
12:49  Then will come a year of abundant rain, in which the people will press the grape.‘
12:50  He said: ‘Bring this man before me.‘ But when the envoy came to him, Joseph said: ‘Go back to your master and ask him about the women who cut their hands. My master well knows their cunning.‘
12:51  The king questioned the women, saying: ‘What made you attempt to seduce Joseph?‘ ‘God forbid!‘ they said. ‘We know no evil of him.‘ ‘Now the truth must come to light,‘ said the Prince‘s wife. ‘It was I who attempted to seduce him. He has told the truth.‘
12:52  From this,‘ said Joseph, ‘my lord will know that I did not betray him in his absence, and that God does not guide the mischief of the treacherous
12:53  Not that I claim to be free from sin: man‘s soul is prone to evil, except his to whom my Lord has shown mercy. My Lord is forgiving and compassionate.‘
12:54  The king said: ‘Bring him before me. I will choose him for my own.‘ And when he had spoken with him, he said: ‘You shall henceforth dwell with us, honoured and trusted.‘
12:55  Joseph said: ‘Give me charge of the granaries of the land. I know how to husband them wisely.‘
12:56  Thus did We establish Joseph in the land, and he dwelt there as he pleased. We bestow Our mercy on whom We will, and never deny the righteous their reward
12:57  Surely better is the recompense of the life to come for those who believe in God and fear Him
12:58  Joseph‘s brothers came and presented themselves before him. He recognized them, but they knew him not
12:59  And when he had given them their provisions, he said: ‘Bring me a brother of yours from your father. Do you not see that I give just measure and am the best of hosts
12:60  If you refuse to bring him to me, you shall have no measure here, nor shall you come near me.‘
12:61  They replied: ‘We will endeavour to fetch him from his father. This we will surely do.‘
12:62  He said to his servants: ‘Put their silver¹ into their packs, so that they may discover it when they return to their people. Perchance they will come back.‘
12:63  When they returned to their father, they said: ‘Father, corn is henceforth denied us. Send our brother with us and we shall have our measure. We will take good care of him.‘
12:64  He said: ‘Am I to trust you with him as I once trusted you with his brother? But God is the best of guardians: and of all those that show mercy He is the most merciful.‘
12:65  When they opened their packs, they discovered that their silver had been returned to them. ‘Father,‘ they said, ‘what more can we desire? Here is our silver returned to us. We will buy provisions for our people, and take good care of our brother. We should receive an extra camel-load; a camel-load should be easy enough.‘
12:66  He replied: ‘I will not send him with you until you promise in God‘s name to bring him back to me, unless the worst befall you.‘ And when they had given him their pledge, he said: ‘God is the witness of what we say
12:67  My sons, do not enter from one gate; enter from different gates. In no way can I shield you from the might of God; judgement is God‘s alone. In Him I have put my trust. In Him let the trustful put their trust.‘
12:68  And when they entered as their father bade them, he could in no way shield them from the might of God. It was but a wish in Jacob‘s soul which he had thus fulfilled. He was possessed of knowledge which We had given him. But the greater part of mankind have no knowledge
12:69  When they went in to Joseph, he embraced his brother, and said: ‘I am your brother. Do not grieve at what they did.‘
12:70  And when he had provided them with their provisions, he hid a drinking-cup in his brother‘s pack. Then a crier called: ‘Travellers, you are surely thieves!‘
12:71  They turned back to them, and said: ‘What have you lost?‘
12:72  We miss the King‘s drinking-cup,‘ they said. ‘He that brings it shall have a camel-load. I pledge my word for it.‘
12:73  In God‘s name,‘ they said, ‘you know we did not come to do evil in the land. We are no thieves.‘
12:74  They said: ‘What punishment shall be his, if you prove to be lying?‘
12:75  They said: ‘He in whose pack the cup is found shall penalize himself for what he did. Thus do we punish the wrongdoers.‘
12:76  He searched their bags before his brother‘s, and then took out the cup from his brother‘s bag. Thus did We devise it for Joseph: by the king‘s law he had no right to seize his brother: but God willed otherwise. We exalt whom We will to a lofty station: and above those that have knowledge there is One who is all-knowing
12:77  They said: ‘If he has stolen ― know then that a brother of his did steal before him.‘ But Joseph kept his secret and revealed nothing to them. He said: ‘Your deed was worse. God best knows the things you speak of.‘
12:78  They said: ‘Noble prince, he has an aged father; take one of us, instead of him. We can see you are a man of virtue
12:79  He said: ‘God forbid that we should take any but the man with whom our property was found: for then we should surely be unjust.‘
12:80  When they despaired of him, they went aside to confer in private. Their eldest said: ‘Do you not know that your father took from you a pledge in God‘s name, and that long before you did your worst with Joseph? I will not stir from the land until my father gives me leave or God makes known to me His judgement
12:81  He is the best of judges. Return to your father and say to him: Father, your son has stolen. We testify only to what we know: we could not guard against the unforeseen
12:82  Inquire at the city where we lodged, and from the caravan we travelled with. We surely speak the truth."‘
12:83  No!‘ cried their father. ‘Your souls have tempted you to evil. But I will have sweet patience. God may bring them all to me: He alone is all-knowing and wise.‘
12:84  And he turned away from them, crying: ‘Alas for Joseph!‘ His eyes went white with grief, and he was oppressed with silent sorrow
12:85  They said: ‘In God‘s name, will you not cease to remember Joseph until you ruin your health and die?‘
12:86  He said: ‘I complain only to God of my sorrow and sadness; God has made known to me things that you know not
12:87  Go, my sons, and seek news of Joseph and his brother. And do not despair of God‘s spirit; none but unbelievers despair of God‘s spirit.‘
12:88  And when they went in to him, they said: ‘Noble Prince, we and our people are scourged with famine. We have brought but little money. Give us our full measure, and be charitable to us: God surely rewards the charitable.‘
12:89  Do you know,‘ he said, ‘what you did to Joseph and his brother? You are surely unaware.‘
12:90  They said: ‘Can you indeed be Joseph?‘ ‘I am Joseph,‘ he said, ‘and this is my brother. God has been gracious to us. Those that fear God and endure with fortitude, God will not deny the virtuous their reward.‘
12:91  ‘By the Lord,‘ they said, ‘God has exalted you above us all. We have indeed done wrong.‘
12:92  He said: ‘None shall reproach you this day. May God forgive you: of all those that show mercy He is the most merciful.
12:93  Take this shirt of mine and throw it over my father‘s face: he will recover his sight. Then return to me with your people all.‘
12:94  When the caravan departed their father said: ‘I feel the breath of Joseph, though you will not believe me.‘
12:95  ‘By the Lord,‘ they said, ‘you are surely under your old illusion.‘
12:96  And when the bearer of joyful tidings arrived, he threw Joseph‘s shirt over the old man‘s face, and he regained his sight. He said: ‘Did I not tell you, God has made known to me what you know not?‘
12:97  They said: ‘Father, implore forgiveness for our sins. We have indeed done wrong.‘
12:98  He said: ‘I shall implore my Lord to forgive you. He it is who is the Forgiving, the Compassionate One.‘
12:99  And when they went in to Joseph, he embraced his parents and said: ‘Welcome to Egypt, safe, if God wills!‘
12:100  He helped his parents to the throne, and they all fell on their knees and prostrated themselves before him. ‘This,‘ he said to his father, ‘is the meaning of my old vision: my Lord has fulfilled it. He has been gracious to me; He has released me from prison, and brought you out of the desert after Satan had stirred up strife between me and my brothers. My Lord is gracious to whom He will. He alone is all-knowing and wise.‘
12:101  Lord, You have given me authority and taught me to interpret dreams. Creator of the heavens and the earth, my Guardian in this world and in the world to come! Allow me to die a Muslim, and admit me among the righteous.‘
12:102  That which We have now revealed to you¹ is a tale of the unknown. You were not present when they conceived their plan, and when they schemed together
12:103  Yet strive as you may, the greater part of mankind will not believe
12:104  And you demand of them no recompense for this: it is but an Admonition to mankind
12:105  Many are the marvels in the heavens and the earth; yet they pass them by and pay no heed to them
12:106  The greater part of them believe in God only if they can worship other gods besides Him
12:107  Are they confident they will not be overwhelmed by a scourge from God, or that the Hour will not overtake them unawares, without warning
12:108  Say: ‘This is my path. With sure knowledge I call on you to have faith in God, I and all my followers. Glory be to God! I am no idolater.‘
12:109  Nor were those We sent before you other than men We inspired from people of the city. Have they not travelled the land and seen what was the end of those who disbelieved before them? Surely better is the life to come for those that fear God. Can you not understand
12:110  And when the apostles despaired and thought they were denied, Our help came down to them, delivering whom We pleased. The transgressors could not be saved from Our power
12:111  Their annals point a moral to those that are of good sense possessed. This is no invented tale, but a confirmation of what came before it, an explanation of all things, a guide and a blessing to people who believe