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12:1  Alif Lām. Rā. These are the verses of the Book that clearly shows [the truth].
12:2  We have revealed it as a discourse in Arabic so that you may understand.
12:3  In revealing this Qur'ān We relate to you the best of narratives. Before it you were among those who are unaware [of revelation].
12:4  Joseph said to his father: 'Father, I saw in a dream eleven stars, as well as the sun and the moon; I saw them prostrate themselves before me.'
12:5  'My son,' he replied, 'do not relate your dream to your brothers, lest they plot some evil against you. Satan is indeed man's open enemy.
12:6  Even thus will your Lord make you His chosen one, and will impart to you some understanding of the real meaning of statements. He will perfect His favour to you and to the House of Jacob, as He perfected it to your forefathers, Abraham and Isaac. Your Lord is certainly All- Knowing, Wise.'
12:7  Surely in Joseph and his brothers there are signs for those who inquire.
12:8  They said [to one another]: 'Truly, Joseph and his brother are dearer to our father than we, even though we are many. Surely our father is in manifest error.
12:9  Kill Joseph, or cast him away in some faraway land, so that you have your father's attention turned to you alone. After that you will [repent and] be righteous people.'
12:10  One of them said: 'Do not kill Joseph, but rather — if you must do something — cast him into the dark depths of this well. Some caravan may pick him up.'
12:11  [Thereupon] they said [to their father]: 'Father, why do you not trust us with Joseph, when we are indeed his well- wishers?
12:12  Send him with us tomorrow, that he may enjoy himself and play. We will certainly take good care of him.'
12:13  He answered: 'It certainly grieves me that you should take him with you; and I dread that the wolf may eat him when you are heedless of him.'
12:14  They said: 'If the wolf were to eat him when we are so many, then we should surely be lost.'
12:15  And when they went away with him, they resolved to cast him into the depth of the well. We revealed [this] to him: 'You will tell them of this their deed at a time when they shall not know you.'
12:16  At nightfall they came to their father weeping,
12:17  and said: 'Father, we went off racing and left Joseph behind with our belongings, and the wolf devoured him. But you will not believe us even though we are saying the truth.'
12:18  And they produced his shirt stained with false blood. He said: 'No, but your minds have tempted you to evil. Sweet patience! It is to God alone that I turn for support in this misfortune that you have described.'
12:19  And there came a caravan; and they sent their water-drawer, and he let down his bucket into the well — [and when he saw Joseph] he cried: 'What good luck. Here is a boy!' They concealed him with a view to selling him; but God had full knowledge of what they were doing.
12:20  And they sold him for a paltry price, a few silver coins. Thus low did they value him.
12:21  The man from Egypt who bought him said to his wife: Be kind to him. He may well be of use to us, or we may adopt him as our son.' Thus We established Joseph in the land, and We imparted to him some under- standing of the real meaning of statements. God always prevails in whatever be His purpose; though most people may not know it.
12:22  And when he attained his full manhood, We bestowed on him wisdom and knowledge. Thus do We reward those who do good.
12:23  She in whose house he was living tried to seduce him. She bolted the doors and said, 'Come.' He said: 'God protect me. Goodly has my master made my stay here. Those who do wrong come to no good.'
12:24  She truly desired him, and he desired her. [He would have succumbed] had he not seen a clear sign from his Lord. Thus We averted from him evil and indecency. He was truly one of Our faithful servants.
12:25  And they both rushed to the door. She tore his shirt from behind. And at the door they met her husband. She said: 'What ought to be the punishment of someone who had evil designs on your wife other than that he should be thrown in prison or some grievous punishment.'
12:26  [Joseph] said: 'It was she who sought to seduce me.' One of her own household testified: 'If his shirt has been torn from the front, then she is speaking the truth and he is lying.
12:27  But if it has been torn from behind, then she is lying, and he is speaking the truth.'
12:28  When [her husband] saw that Joseph's shirt was torn from behind, he said to her: 'This is indeed [an instance] of the guile of you, women. Your guile is awesome indeed!'
12:29  'Joseph, let this pass! And you, woman, ask forgiveness for your sin. You have been seriously at fault.'
12:30  In the city, women were saying: 'The Chief Minister's wife is trying to seduce her slave lad, as she is passionately in love with him. We see that she is clearly going astray.'
12:31  When she heard of their malicious talk, she sent for them, and prepared for them a sumptuous repast, and handed each one of them a knife and said [to Joseph]: 'Come out and present yourself to them.' When they saw him, they were amazed at him, and they cut their hands, exclaiming: 'God preserve us! This is no mortal man! This is none other than a noble angel.'
12:32  Said she: 'This is he on whose account you have been me! Indeed I have tried to seduce him, but he guarded his chastity. Now, however, if he does not do what I bid him, he shall certainly be thrown in prison, and shall indeed be humiliated.'
12:33  [Joseph] said: 'My Lord, I would sooner be put in prison than comply with what they are inviting me to do. Unless You turn away their guile from me, I may yield to them and lapse into folly.'
12:34  His Lord answered his prayer and warded off their guile from him. It is He alone who hears all and knows all.
12:35  Yet for all the evidence they had seen, they felt it right to put him in jail for a time.
12:36  Two young men went to prison with him. One of them said: 'I saw myself [in a dream] pressing wine.' The other said: And I saw myself [in a dream] carrying bread on my head, and birds were eating of it.' 'Tell us the meaning of these dreams, for we can see that you are a man of virtue.'
12:37  [Joseph] answered: 'Your food which is provided for you will not have come to you before I have informed you of the real meaning of [your dreams]. That is part of the knowledge which my Lord has imparted to me. I have left the faith of people who do not believe in God, and who deny the truth of the life to come.
12:38  I follow the faith of my forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It is not for us to associate any partners with God. This is part of God's grace which He has bestowed on us and on all mankind, but most people do not give thanks.
12:39  My two prison companions! Which is better: [to believe] in diverse lords, or to believe in God, the One who holds sway over all that exists?
12:40  Those you worship instead of Him are nothing but names you and your fathers have invented, and for which God has given no sanction from on high. All judgement rests with God alone. He has ordained that you should worship none but Him. This is the true faith, but most people do not know it.
12:41  My two prison companions! One of you will give his lord wine to drink. The other will be crucified, and the birds will eat from his head. The matter on which you have sought to be enlightened has thus been decided.'
12:42  And [Joseph] said to the one whom he believed would be released: 'Remember me in the presence of your lord.' But Satan caused him to forget to mention Joseph to his lord, and so he remained in prison for several years.
12:43  And the King said: 'I saw [in a dream] seven fat cows being devoured by seven emaciated ones, and seven green ears of wheat next to seven others dry and withered. Tell me the meaning of my vision, my nobles, if you are able to interpret dreams.'
12:44  They replied: 'This is but a medley of dreams, and we have no deep knowledge of the real meaning of dreams.'
12:45  At that point, the man who had been released from prison suddenly remembered [Joseph] after all that time and said: 'I will tell you the real meaning of this dream, so give me leave to go.'
12:46  'Joseph, man of truth, tell us of the seven fat cows being devoured by seven emaciated ones, and seven green ears of wheat next to seven others dry and withered, so that I may return to the people [of the court], and that they would come to know.'
12:47  He replied: 'You shall sow for seven consecutive years, but let the grain you harvest remain in its ear, except for the little which you may eat.
12:48  Then after that there will come seven hard years which will devour all that you have laid up for them, except a little of what you have kept in store.
12:49  Then after that there will come a year of abundant rain, in which the people will be able to press [oil and wine].
12:50  The King said: 'Bring this man before me.' But when the [King's] envoy came to him, Joseph said: 'Go back to your lord and ask him about the women who cut their hands. My Lord has full knowledge of their guile.'
12:51  The King asked [the women]: 'What was the matter with you when you tried to seduce Joseph?' The women said: 'God save us! We did not perceive the least evil on his part.' The Chief Minister's wife said: Now has the truth come to light. It was I who tried to seduce him. He has indeed told the truth.
12:52  From this he will know that I did not betray him behind his back, and that God does not bless with His guidance the schemes of those who betray their trust.
12:53  And yet, I am not trying to claim to be free of sin. Indeed man's soul does incite him to evil, except for those upon whom God has bestowed His mercy. My Lord is Much- Forgiving, Merciful.'
12:54  And the King said: 'Bring him before me. I will choose him for my own.' And when he had spoken to him, the King said: 'You shall henceforth be in a position of high standing with us, invested with all trust.'
12:55  Joseph replied: 'Give me charge of the store- houses of the land. I am able to look after them with wisdom.'
12:56  Thus did We establish Joseph in the land, free to do what he willed. We bestow Our mercy on whom We will, and We never fail to give their reward to those who do good
12:57  But as for those who believe in God and keep away from evil, the reward of the life to come is much better indeed.
12:58  Joseph's brothers arrived and presented themselves before him. He immediately knew them, but they did not recognize him.
12:59  And when he had given them their provisions, he said: 'Bring me that brother of yours from your father's side. Do you not see that I give just measure and that I am the best of hosts?
12:60  But if you do not bring him, you shall never again receive from me a single measure [of provisions], nor shall you come near me.'
12:61  They said: 'We shall endeavour to persuade his father to let him come. We will make sure to do so.'
12:62  Joseph said to his servants: 'Place their merchandise in their camel- 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, any [further] grain is henceforth denied us. Therefore, send our brother with us so that we may obtain our full measure [of grain]. We will take good care of him.'
12:64  He replied: 'Am I to trust you with him in the same way as I trusted you with his brother in the past? But God is the best of guardians; and of all those who show mercy He is the Most Merciful.'
12:65  When they opened their camel- packs, they discovered that their merchandise had been returned to them. 'Father,' they said, 'what more could we desire? Here is our merchandise: it has been returned to us. We will buy provisions for our people, and we will take good care of our brother. We will receive an extra camel-load: that should be an easy load.'
12:66  He said: 'I will not send him with you until you give me a solemn pledge before God that you will indeed bring him back to me, unless the worst befalls you.' When they had given him their solemn pledge, [Jacob] said: 'God is witness to all that we say.'
12:67  And he added: 'My sons, do not enter [the city] by one gate, but enter by different gates. In no way can I be of help to you against God. Judgement rests with none but God. In Him have I placed my trust, and in Him alone let all those who trust place their trust.'
12:68  And when they entered as their father had bidden them, it did not profit them in the least against God. It was but a wish in Jacob's soul which he had thus fulfilled. He was endowed with knowledge which We had given him. But most people do not know it.
12:69  And when they presented themselves before Joseph, he drew his brother to himself, and said: 'I am your brother. Do not grieve over their past deeds.'
12:70  And when he had given them their provisions, he placed the [King's] drinking- cup in his brother's camel-pack. Then an announcer called out: 'You people of the caravan! You are surely thieves.'
12:71  Turning back towards them, they said: 'What is it that you have lost?'
12:72  'We have lost the King's goblet,' they answered. 'Whoever brings it shall have a camel-load [of grain as a reward]. I pledge my word for it.'
12:73  They said: 'By God, you know that we have not come to commit any evil deed in this land, and that we are no thieves.'
12:74  [The Egyptians] said: 'But what shall be the punishment for this deed, if you are proved to be lying?'
12:75  They replied: 'He in whose camel-pack it is found shall be enslaved in punishment for it. Thus do we punish the wrongdoers.'
12:76  Thereupon, [Joseph] began to search their bags before the bag of his brother, and then took out the drinking-cup from his brother's bag. Thus did We contrive for Joseph. He had no right under the King's law to detain his brother, had God not so willed. We do exalt [in knowledge] whom We will, but above everyone who is endowed with knowledge there is One who knows all.
12:77  [Joseph's brothers] said: 'If he has stolen — well, a brother of his had stolen previously.' Joseph kept his secret to himself and revealed nothing to them, saying [within himself]: 'You are in a far worse position, and God knows best what you are speaking of.'
12:78  They said: 'Chief Minister, this lad has a father who is very old. Take one of us instead of him. We see that you are indeed a generous man.'
12:79  He answered: 'God forbid that we should take any other than the man with whom we found our property; for then we would be wrongdoers.'
12:80  When they despaired of [moving] him, they withdrew to begin earnest consultations among themselves. The eldest of them said: 'Do you not recall that your father took from you a pledge in God's name, and that previously you were at fault with respect to Joseph? I shall not depart from this land until my father gives me leave or God judges for me. He is certainly the best of judges.'
12:81  Go back to your father and say: 'Father, your son has stolen. We testify only to that which we know. We cannot guard against the unforeseen.
12:82  You may ask the [people of the] town where we were, and the caravan with which we travelled. We are certainly telling the truth.'
12:83  He said: 'No, but your minds have tempted you to evil. Sweet patience! God may well bring them all back to me. He is All- Knowing, Wise.'
12:84  He then turned away from them and said: 'Oh, woe is me for Joseph!' His eyes became white with grief, and he was burdened with silent sorrow.
12:85  They said: 'By God, you will continue to remember Joseph until you wither away or until you are dead.'
12:86  He said: 'It is only to God that I complain and express my grief. For I know of God what you do not know.
12:87  My sons, go and seek news of Joseph and his brother; and do not despair of God's mercy; for none but unbelievers can ever despair of God's mercy.'
12:88  When they presented themselves before [Joseph] again, they said: 'Exalted one! Hardship has befallen us and our people, and so we have brought but little merchandise. Give us our full measure [of grains], and be charitable to us. Indeed God rewards those who are charitable.'
12:89  He said: 'Do you know what you did to Joseph and his brother, when you were still unaware?'
12:90  They said: 'Why — is it indeed you who are Joseph?' He replied: 'I am Joseph, and this is my brother. God has indeed been gracious to us. If one remains God-fearing and patient in adversity, God will not fail to reward those who do good.'
12:91  They said: 'By God! Most certainly has God raised you high above us, and we were indeed sinners.'
12:92  He replied: 'None shall reproach you today. May God forgive you. He is indeed the Most Merciful of those who show mercy.
12:93  Now go and take this shirt of mine and lay it over my father's face, and he will recover his sight. Then come back to me with all your family.'
12:94  As the caravan set out, their father said [to the people around him]: 'I feel the breath of Joseph, though you will not believe me.'
12:95  They replied: 'By God! You are still lost in your old illusions.'
12:96  But when the bearer of good news arrived [with Joseph's shirt], he laid it over his face; and he regained his sight. He said: Did I not say to you that I know from God something that you do not know?'
12:97  [His sons] said: 'Father, pray to God to forgive us our sins, for we were sinners indeed.'
12:98  He said: 'I shall pray to God to forgive you. He is certainly Most Forgiving, Most Merciful.'
12:99  When they all presented themselves before Joseph, he drew his parents to himself, saying: 'Enter Egypt in peace, if it so pleases God.'
12:100  And he raised his parents to the highest place of honour, and they fell down on their knees, prostrating themselves before him. He said: 'Father, this is the real meaning of my dream of long ago. My Lord has made it come true. He has been gracious to me, releasing me from prison, and bringing you all from the desert after Satan had sown discord between me and my brothers. My Lord is gracious in whatever way He wishes. He is All-Knowing, truly Wise.'
12:101  'My Lord, You have given me power and imparted to me some understanding of the real meaning of statements. Originator of the heavens and the earth! You are my guardian in this world and in the life to come. Let me die as one who has surrendered himself to You, and admit me among the righteous.'
12:102  That is an account which We have now revealed to you, speaking of things that have been beyond your perception. You were not present when they [i.e. Joseph's brothers] resolved upon their plans and completed their schemes.
12:103  Yet however strongly you may desire it, most people will not believe.
12:104  You ask no recompense from them for it. It is but God's reminder to all mankind.
12:105  Yet many are the signs in the heavens and the earth which they pass by, paying no heed to them.
12:106  And most of them do not even believe in God without also associating partners with Him.
12:107  Do they feel confident that the overwhelming scourge of God's punishment will not fall upon them, or that the Last Hour will not come upon them suddenly, taking them unaware.
12:108  Say: 'This is my way. I call [all mankind] to God on the basis of sure knowledge, I and all those who follow me. Limitless is God in His glory. I am not one of those who associate partners with Him.'
12:109  Even before your time, We only sent [as messengers] men to whom We gave Our revelations, choosing them from among their people. Have they not travelled the land and seen what was the end of those [unbelievers] who lived before them? Better indeed is the life to come for those who remain God-fearing. Will you not, then, use your reason?
12:110  When at length [Our] messengers lost all hope and thought that they were denied, Our help came to them, saving those whom We willed [to be saved] . Never can Our [mighty] punishment be averted from people who are guilty.
12:111  Indeed their stories give a lesson to those who are endowed with understanding. This [revelation] could not possibly be an invented discourse. It is a confirmation of earlier revelations, an explanation of all things, as well as guidance and mercy for people who believe.