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Alif, Lam, Ra. (Only Allah and the Messenger [blessings and peace be upon him] know the real meaning.) These are the Verses of the illumining Book
Verily, We have revealed it as a Qur’an in the Arabic language so that you comprehend (it directly)
(O Beloved!) We relate to you the best narrative by means of this Qur’an which We have revealed to you, though you were unaware (of this story) before this
(Recall) when Yusuf (Joseph) said to his father: ‘O my venerable father! I have seen (in a dream) eleven stars and the sun and the moon. I have seen them prostrating themselves before me.
He said: ‘O my son, do not relate your dream to your brothers, lest they should maneuver a plot against you. Surely, Satan is an open enemy to man
And in the same way, your Lord will choose you (for a divine station) and will teach you how to infer conclusions (i.e., the knowledge of the interpretation of dreams) and will perfect His favour upon you and the House of Ya‘qub (Jacob) as He perfected it upon your fathers (grandfather and great grandfather) Ibrahim (Abraham) and Ishaq (Isaac). Indeed, your Lord is All-Knowing, Most Wise.
Surely, there are (many) signs (in the parable of) Yusuf (Joseph) and his brothers for those who are inquisitive
(Recall) when the brothers of Yusuf (Joseph) said: ‘Certainly, Yusuf (Joseph) and his brother are dearer to our father than we are, whereas we are a stronger party (comprising ten members). No doubt, our father is lost in an evident ecstasy (resulting from deep love for them).
(Now the only solution is:) ‘Kill Yusuf (Joseph), or banish him to some distant, unknown place. (Thus) your father’s attention will be focused purely on you, and after that you will become a group of righteous people (by turning towards Allah in repentance).
A negotiator from amongst them said: ‘Do not kill Yusuf (Joseph), rather lower him down at the bottom of a deep, dark well. Some traveller will pick him up and carry him away. (So do this) if you are (at all) up to (something).
They said: ‘O our father, what has happened to you that you do not trust us in the case of Yusuf (Joseph), whilst we are certainly his well-wishers
Send him with us tomorrow. He will eat lavishly and play and certainly we are his guards.
He said: ‘This idea indeed makes me sad that you take him along, and I am (also) afraid (of this idea) that some wolf may devour him, whilst you are careless of his (safeguard).
They said: ‘If the wolf devours him whilst we, a strong party, too are (present), then we are inept losers.
Then, when they took him along and all agreed to throw him into some deep, dark well, We revealed to him: ‘(O Yusuf [Joseph], do not worry. A time will come when) you will certainly remind them of this affair of theirs, and they will not have the sense (of your exalted station).
And (throwing Yusuf [Joseph] into the well,) they came to their father at night, weeping (deceptively)
They said: ‘O our father, we went racing with one another and left Yusuf (Joseph) with our belongings. Then a wolf devoured him, but you will not believe us even though we are truthful.
And they produced Yusuf’s (Joseph’s) shirt, smeared (also) with false blood. (Ya‘qub [Jacob]) said: ‘(This is not the truth.) But your (jealous, ill-commanding) selves have made (a colossal) task easy and pleasant-looking for you (which you eventually did accomplish). So better it is to be steadfast (over this tragedy), and I seek only Allah’s help against whatever you are narrating.
And (there) came a caravan of travellers. They sent their water-drawer. So he lowered his bucket (into the well) and he exclaimed: ‘Good news! Here is a boy!’ And they hid him, regarding him a valuable trade item. And Allah knows well the activities they were busy doing
And Yusuf’s (Joseph’s) brothers (who had returned to the site showed him as their deserter servant and) sold him (to the same caravan) for a low price—a few dirhams—because the travellers were (already) disinterested in (buying) him. (And later, the travellers took him to Egypt where they sold him.
And the man in Egypt who purchased him (named Qatfir, the finance minister of the King of Egypt Riyan b. Walid, commonly known as ‘Aziz [of Egypt,]) said to his wife (Zulaykha): ‘Make his stay honourable. He may bring us profit, or we may adopt him as a son.’ Thus We established Yusuf (Joseph), and strengthened his position in the land (of Egypt), so that We might teach him how to infer from the events (i.e., the interpretation of dreams). And Allah is the Master of His work, but most people do not know
And when he reached his full manhood, We endowed him with the judgment (of Prophethood) and the knowledge (of the interpretation of dreams). And this is how We bless the pious with reward
And the woman (Zulaykha), in whose house he was putting up, sought intensely to seduce him and she bolted the doors (as well) and said: ‘Come! Make haste! (I ask you.)’ Yusuf (Joseph) said: ‘I seek Allah’s refuge. Surely, he (your husband) is my master. He has kept me most honourably. Indeed, the wrongdoers will not prosper.
(Yusuf [Joseph] refused) but she (Zulaykha) had definitely made up her mind for him. And he too (might) have resolved had he not seen the clear sign of his Lord.* It was (made to happen) like that (in order that) We might keep both affliction and indecency away from him. Assuredly, he was of Our chosen (exalted) servants
And they both ran (one behind the other) towards the door, and she (Zulaykha) tore his shirt from behind, and both found her husband (‘Aziz of Egypt) at the door. She (immediately) said: ‘What can be the punishment for him who intends to commit indecency with your wife, except that he should be put in prison, or (he) be given painful torment?
Yusuf (Joseph) said: ‘(No indeed! In truth) it was she herself who sought to seduce me for her purpose.’ And (in the meanwhile) one of her household (who was an infant) bore witness: ‘If his shirt is torn from the front, then she has spoken the truth and he is of the liars
But if his shirt is torn from behind, then she is a liar and he is of the truthful.
Then, when he (‘Aziz of Egypt) saw his shirt and found it torn from behind, he said: ‘This is the craft of you women. Certainly, your women-craft is highly (dangerous)
O Yusuf (Joseph)! Ignore it and, (O Zulaykha,) ask forgiveness for your sin. Surely, it is you who are of the sinful.
And some women of (the elite class in) the city began to say: ‘The wife of ‘Aziz seeks to seduce her slave-boy for her purpose. The love for him (the slave) has gone deep into her heart. We surely see her in manifest error.
So when she (Zulaykha) heard their deceitful talk, she sent for them and arranged a meeting for them. (She placed fruit before them) and gave each one of them a knife and requested (Yusuf): ‘Walk out before them (so that they may realize the cause of my state of mind).’ So, when they glanced at Yusuf (Joseph and) saw (his dazzling beauty), they began to exalt (the charm of his ecstatic beauty) and (in a dazed state) cut their hands (instead of the fruits served to them). And (having seen him) they exclaimed (spontaneously): ‘God save us! This is not a human being; he must be some exalted angel (i.e., an embodiment of light descending from the transcendent realm of divinity)!
(Zulaykha’s trick worked.) She spoke (at this juncture): ‘It is this (embodiment of light) you have been reproaching me for. It is, no doubt, I who sought to seduce him (under violent urge), but he remained firmly upright and did not yield. And if (even now) he does not do what I bid him, he will surely be put into prison and will certainly be disgraced.
(By now the elite Egyptian women too had agreed to Zulaykha’s viewpoint. Hearing them,) Yusuf (Joseph) submitted: ‘O my Lord! The prison is far dearer to me than what these women are inviting me to. And if You do not turn away their craft from me, I shall incline towards their (words) and shall become of the unwise.
So, his Lord granted him the prayer and removed the women-craft from him. Surely, He is the One Who is All-Hearing, All-Knowing
Then even after seeing the signs of (Yusuf’s [Joseph’s] decency and righteousness), they deemed it appropriate to imprison him for a time (so that the gossip of the episode amongst the people might die down)
And with him, two young men also entered the prison. One of them said: ‘I have seen myself (in a dream) pressing wine (from grapes).’ And the other said: ‘I have seen myself (in a dream) that I am carrying bread on my head, with birds picking at it. O Yusuf (Joseph)! Tell us its interpretation. Surely, we see you as one of the spiritually excellent.
Yusuf (Joseph) said: ‘The food which is served to you (daily) will not have yet come to you when I shall inform both of you about its interpretation before its coming to you. This (interpretation) is of those branches of knowledge that my Lord has taught me. Verily, I have rejected (from the very beginning) the religion of the people who do not believe in Allah, and they deny the Hereafter as well
And I follow the Din (Religion) of my father and forefathers: Ibrahim (Abraham), Ishaq (Isaac) and Ya‘qub (Jacob). And we have no right to associate anything as a partner with Allah. This (belief in the Oneness of Allah) is a (special) bounty of Allah upon us and the people, but most people do not give thanks
O my two companions of the prison! (Say:) Are many separate gods better or One Allah, Who dominates and controls all
(In fact) you worship none besides Allah except a few names which you and your forefathers have forged (on your own). Allah has not sent down any authority for them. Judgment rests with Allah alone. He alone has commanded that you worship none but Him. This is the straight path (true Din [Religion]), but most people do not know
O my two companions of the prison! (The interpretation of the dream of) one of you (is that he) will serve wine to his master (the king), and as for the other, (who has seen bread on his head,) he will be crucified and then birds will pick at his head. The (final) judgment has been given about which you have asked.
And Yusuf (Joseph) said to the one whom he believed to be released: ‘Mention me to your king (he may thus recall that another innocent one is also lying in imprisonment).’ But Satan made him forget to mention (him) to his king, and consequently, Yusuf (Joseph) remained in prison for several years.
And (one day) the king said: ‘I have beheld (in a dream) seven fat cows whom seven lean cows are devouring, and (I have beheld) seven green ears of corn and (seven) others dry. O courtiers! Explain to me the implication of my dream if you know the interpretation of dreams.
They said: ‘These are confused dreams, and we do not know the interpretation of confused dreams.
And one of the two prisoners, who had been released and (now) after a long time remembered (his promise to Yusuf [Joseph]), said: ‘I shall tell you its interpretation; so send me (to Yusuf [Joseph]).
(Reaching the prison, he said:) ‘O Yusuf (Joseph), the embodiment of truth, explain to us the interpretation (of this dream) that there are seven fat cows whom seven lean ones are devouring and there are seven green ears of corn and seven others which are dry, so that I may return to the people (taking the interpretation) and that they may realize (your value and dignity).
Yusuf (Joseph) said: ‘You will cultivate as usual, consecutively for seven years. So whatever you reap, keep it (in storage), leaving the grains in their ears except a small quantity (to thresh) for your (yearly) consumption
Then after this, there will come seven hard years (of drought) which will consume that (store) which you will have laid up for these years except a small quantity (which will fall surplus and) which you will keep in reserve
Then, following this, will come a year during which people will be blessed with (plenty of) rain, and (the yield of fruits will be such as) they will press juices (of fruits that year).
And (hearing this interpretation) the king said: ‘Bring Yusuf (Joseph) to me (immediately).’ So when the messenger reached Yusuf (Joseph), he said to him: ‘Go back to your king and ask him: What is the state of those women (now) who cut their hands? Surely, my Lord knows their craft well.
The king (called all the women including Zulaykha and) asked: ‘What happened to you when you (all) attempted to seduce Yusuf (Joseph) to turn him away from righteousness? (Explain what that affair was.) They all (unanimously) uttered: ‘Allah save us! We have not noticed any evil in Yusuf (Joseph).’ The wife of ‘Aziz (of Egypt, Zulaykha, too) spoke: ‘The truth has now become evident. (The fact is that) it was I who sought to seduce him for my purpose, and it is surely he who is truthful.
(Yusuf [Joseph]) said: ‘I have done this) so that he (‘Aziz of Egypt, who has been my master and benefactor,) may know that I have not betrayed his trust in his absence, and surely Allah lets not the plots of those who betray trusts prove successful
And I do not (claim) absolution of my self. Certainly, the self commands much evil except the one on whom my Lord bestows mercy. Surely, my Lord is All-Forgiving, Ever-Merciful.
And the king said: ‘Bring him to me so that I may appoint him specifically (as an adviser) to me.’ So, when the king had a (one-to-one) dialogue with him, he (felt highly impressed and) said: ‘(O Yusuf [Joseph],) surely from today onward you are a man of authority and trust with us (i.e., you are inducted into the governance of the state).
Yusuf (Joseph) said: ‘(If you really want me to accomplish a special assignment, then) appoint me as (a minister and trustee of) the treasures in the land (of Egypt). Indeed, I am well versed in resource management and resource protection and an expert (in financial management).
This is how We bestowed upon Yusuf (Joseph) the rule over the land (of Egypt so that) he could live therein wherever he desired. We honour with Our mercy whom We will, and We waste not the reward of the pious
And certainly, the reward of the Hereafter is of greater value for those who believe and tread the path of Godwariness
(During the days of famine) Yusuf’s (Joseph’s) brothers came (to Egypt to procure grain) and came to him. So Yusuf (Joseph) recognized them, but they could not recognize him
And when Yusuf (Joseph) had furnished them with their provisions (supplies and material), he said: ‘Bring me (Benjamin) your brother on the father’s side. Do you not see (how) full I measure and I am the best host (too)
So if you do not bring him to me, then (in the future) there will not be any measure (of grain) with me for you, nor will you be able to approach me.
They said: ‘We will solicit his father in connection with sending him and we will certainly do (it).
And Yusuf (Joseph) said to his servants: ‘Put their money (which they paid for grain back) into their sacks so that when they return to their family, they may identify it (that the money is back). It is likely that they may come again (for the very same reason).
So when they returned to their father, they said: ‘O our father, (further provision of) grain for us has been banned (except that Benjamin accompanies us). So send our brother (Benjamin) with us (in order that) we may fetch (more) grain, and we shall certainly be his guards.
Ya‘qub (Jacob) said: ‘Shall I trust you with him (as well) the same way as before this I trusted you with his brother (Yusuf—Joseph)? Then Allah alone is the Best Protector, and He alone is the Most Merciful of all the merciful.
And when they opened their packs, (therein) they found their money (which) had been returned to them. They said: ‘O our respectable father, what else do we want? Here is our money (too) that has been returned to us, and we shall (now be obliged to) fetch grain for our family. And we shall take good care of our brother, and shall bring the load of a camel in addition. This grain (that we have already brought) is a small quantity.
Ya‘qub (Jacob) said: ‘I shall not send him with you at all until you give me a firm promise by swearing a solemn oath by Allah that you shall certainly bring him (back) to me unless you (all) are beset (somewhere or slain). Then, when they gave Ya‘qub (Jacob) the firm promise, he said: ‘Allah is the Guardian to watch over what we are saying.
And he said: ‘O my sons, do not enter (the city) all of you by one gate, but enter (dispersed) through different gates. And I cannot save you by any means from Allah’s (decree) because judgment (i.e., destiny) rests with Allah alone. In Him have I put my trust, and all those who trust must trust in Him alone.
And when they entered (Egypt) in compliance with what their father had commanded, that command could not save them from Allah’s (decree), but it was Ya‘qub’s (Jacob’s) heartfelt desire which he fulfilled and (also take not this desire or strategy as meaningless—for you know it not). Surely, Ya‘qub (Jacob) possessed knowledge as We had blessed (him) with (special) knowledge, but most people do not know (these realities)
And when they came to Yusuf (Joseph), he offered his brother (Benjamin) a seat close to him (and) said (to him quietly): ‘Verily, I am your brother (Yusuf [Joseph]) so feel not aggrieved at what they have been doing.
So when (Yusuf [Joseph]) had provided them with their material, he placed (the king’s) goblet into his brother’s (Benjamin’s) sack. Later a herald called out: ‘O you men of caravan, (halt;) surely, you (seem to be) thieves.
They turned towards them and said: ‘What have you found missing?
They (the servants of the king’s court) said: ‘We are missing the royal goblet, and the man who brings it (after searching) will get a camel’s load of grain as reward and I pledge myself for it.
They said: ‘By Allah, indeed you know well we have not come (here to commit some crime) and create mischief in the land, nor are we thieves.
They (the servants) said: ‘(Decide for yourselves) what the punishment (of the thief) should be if you turn out to be liars.
They said: ‘Its penalty will be that the one from whose sack (the goblet) is found, he himself will be its penalty (i.e., he should be held in retribution). That is how we punish the wrongdoers.
So Yusuf (Joseph) began to search their sacks before his brother’s. Then (at last) he took (the goblet) out of his (real) brother’s (Benjamin’s) sack. That is how We revealed to Yusuf (Joseph) the plan. He could not have held his brother (as a captive) under the law of the king (of Egypt) except (as) Allah wills. We exalt in ranks whom We like. And above every possessor of knowledge is (also) One possessing greater knowledge
They said: ‘If he has committed theft (then there is nothing to wonder at). Indeed, his brother (Yusuf [Joseph]) has also committed theft before. So Yusuf (Joseph) kept it (hidden) in his heart and did not reveal it to them and said (only to himself): ‘Yours is the worst case and Allah knows well whatever you are saying.
They said: ‘O ‘Aziz (of Egypt), his father is an aged, elderly person. So detain any one of us in his stead. Surely, we have seen that you are of the generous (and benevolent) people.
Yusuf (Joseph) said: ‘Allah save us from detaining someone (other) than him with whom we have found our item! Then we shall become of the unjust.
So, when they lost hope about Yusuf (Joseph), they counselled (amongst themselves) in isolation. The eldest (brother) amongst them said: ‘Do you not know that your father took a firm covenant from you in the Name of Allah, and before that (you also know) you committed excesses with respect to Yusuf (Joseph)? So I shall not leave this land at all until my father accords me permission, or Allah gives some judgment in my case, and He is the Best of those who judge
Go you back to your father and say: O our father, your son has surely committed theft (and consequently he has been held). And we bore witness only to what we knew. And we were no guardians of the unseen
And (if you do not believe us, then) you may enquire of (the people of) the town where we have been, and (find out) from the caravan we have travelled with, and we are certainly truthful (in what we are saying).
Ya‘qub (Jacob) said: ‘(It is not so.) In fact, your (ill-commanding) selves have made this affair attractive for you. Now (only) patience is the finest (option). It is likely that Allah brings to me all of them. He is indeed All-Knowing, Most Wise.
Ya‘qub (Jacob) then turned his face away from them and said: ‘Alas! (My dear son) Yusuf (Joseph’s unbearable separation)!’ And his eyes had gone white with grief. And he was suppressing his sorrow
They said: ‘By Allah, you will continue remembering Yusuf ([Joseph] alone) till you get near death or pass away.
He said: ‘I bewail my worry and grief to Allah alone, and I know from Allah what you do not know
O my sons, go and fetch me some news about Yusuf (Joseph) and his brother (from somewhere) and despair not of Allah’s mercy, for indeed only those who reject faith despair of Allah’s mercy.
So when they came back to Yusuf ([Joseph] again), they submitted: ‘O ‘Aziz (of Egypt), a distress has fallen upon us and our family (and we are suffering from a dreadful famine). And we have brought only (this) meager amount. So give us full measure (of grain against it) and (in addition) extend to us (some) charity (as well). Indeed, Allah plenteously rewards those who give away charity.
Yusuf (Joseph) said: ‘Do you remember what you did to Yusuf (Joseph) and his brother? Were you (then) ignorant?
They said: ‘Are you really Yusuf (Joseph)?’ He said: ‘(Yes,) I am Yusuf (Joseph) and here is my brother. Indeed, Allah has been gracious to us. Surely, the one who fears Allah and remains steadfast, then surely Allah does not waste the reward of the pious.
They exclaimed: ‘By Allah, Allah has certainly exalted you above us, and certainly we alone were the sinners.
Yusuf (Joseph) said: ‘No blame (or penalty) lies on you today. May Allah grant you His forgiveness and He is the Most Merciful of all the merciful
Take this shirt of mine and cast it over my father’s face; he will recover his sight. (Then) bring me the whole of your family.
And when the caravan left (Egypt), his father (Ya‘qub [Jacob]) said (whilst sitting in Canaan): ‘If you do not consider me unstable due to senility, I am smelling the fragrance of Yusuf (Joseph).
They said: ‘By Allah, you are certainly in the (same) ecstasy of your (old) love.
But when the bearer of the glad tidings arrived, and he cast that shirt over Ya‘qub’s (Jacob’s) face, his sight returned at that same moment. Ya‘qub (Jacob) said: ‘Did I not say to you that I know from Allah what you do not know?
They said: ‘O our father, seek for us forgiveness (from Allah) for our sins. Indeed, we alone are the sinners.
Ya‘qub (Jacob) said: ‘Soon shall I pray to my Lord for forgiveness for you. Indeed, He alone is Most Forgiving, Ever-Merciful.
Then, when they (all the members of the family) came to Yusuf (Joseph, he presented them a reception outside the city in the form of a royal procession comprising extensive transport arrangements, soldiers and general public, and) he venerated his parents and made them sit beside him, (or embraced them,) and (offering them welcome) said: ‘Enter Egypt, and if Allah so wills (then stay here) with peace and comfort.
And he seated his parents on the throne and they (all) fell down prostrate before Yusuf (Joseph) and Yusuf (Joseph) said: ‘O father, this is the interpretation of (that) dream of mine which I had seen (long) before. (Most commentators state that it took forty years.) And my Lord has surely proved it true. And indeed He did me a (great) favour when He took me out of the prison and brought all of you (here) from the desert after Satan had stirred up discord between me and my brothers. The fact is that my Lord makes easy with (His) plan whatever He wills. Indeed, He alone is All-Knowing, Most Wise
O my Lord! Verily, You granted me dominion and blessed me with the knowledge of the interpretation of dreams. O Creator of the heavens and the earth! You are my Helper in this world and in the Hereafter (as well). Make me die in a state of total submission to (the Din [Religion] of) Islam, and make me join the company of those who are upright.
(O My Esteemed Beloved!) This (narrative) is of the news of the unseen which We are revealing to you, and you were not present with them when they (Yusuf’s [Joseph’s] brothers) were co-working to conclude their conspiracy and were plotting to deceive
And most people will not believe even if you (so ardently) desire
And you do not ask for any reward from them for this (communicating and preaching the Message). This Qur’an is but a reminder to all mankind
And how many a sign is there in the heavens and the earth, which these people pass by, but they are heedless of them
And most of them do not believe in Allah, but that they are polytheists
Have they gone free from this fear that a prevailing calamity of Allah’s torment will come upon them, or the Last Hour will seize them all of a sudden whilst they have no news of it
(O Glorious Beloved!) Say: ‘This is my way. I invite towards Allah. I am (firm and committed to) my vision and insight, I and also he who complies with me. And far Exalted is Allah, and I am not of the polytheists.
And before you We also sent men alone from amongst the inhabitants of (various) towns to whom We sent Revelations. Have they not travelled in the land so that they might (themselves) witness what was the end of those before them? And surely, the home in the Hereafter has far greater value for the Godfearing. Do you not have reason
Until, when the Messengers despaired (of their disobedient people,) and those denying communities developed this scepticism that they were told a lie (i.e., they will not be tormented), Our help reached the Messengers. Then We delivered whom We willed. And Our torment is not averted from the people committed to do evil
Truly, in their stories there is a lesson of warning for men of understanding. This (Qur’an) is not a Revelation that can be forged, but a confirmation of those (revealed Books) which were revealed before it, an explanation of everything and guidance and mercy for those who believe
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