THE HOLY QUR'AAN


SURAH 12
Yusuf  (Joseph)

INTRODUCTION:

This Surah consists of 111 verses, 1600 sentences 7,166 letters and 12 Ruku's.

When and Why Revealed?

The subject matter of this Surah indicates that it was revealed during the last stage of the Holy Prophet's residence at Makkah, when the Quraish were considering the question of killing or exiling or imprisoning him. At that time some of the unbelievers put this question (probably at the instigation of the Jews) to test him :"Why did the Israelites go to Egypt?" This question was asked because they knew that their story was not known to the Arabs for there was no mention of it whatever in their traditions and the Holy Prophet had never even referred to it before. Therefore they expected that he would not be able to give any satisfactory answer to this question or would first evade it, and afterwards try to enquire about it from some Jew, and thus he would be totally exposed. But, contrary to their expectations, the tables were turned on them, for Allah revealed the whole story of Prophet Joseph then and there, and the Holy Prophet recited it on the spot. This put the Quraish in a very awkward position because it not only foiled their scheme but also administered a warning to them by aptly applying it to their case, as if to say, "As you are behaving towards this Prophet, exactly in the same way the brothers of Prophet Joseph behaved towards him; so you shall meet with the same end."

Objects of Revelation

From the above it is clear that this Surah was sent down for two objects: The first object was to give the proof of the Prophethood of Muhammad (Allah's peace be upon him), and that too, the one demanded by the opponents themselves so as to prove conclusively that his knowledge was not based on mere hearsay, but was gained through Revelation. This aspect has been stated explicitly in its introductory verses and explained plainly in its concluding portion. The second object was to apply it to the Quraish and warn them that ultimately the conflict between them and the Holy Prophet would end in his victory over them. As they were then persecuting their brother, the Holy Prophet, in the same way the brothers of Prophet Joseph had treated him. The Quraish were told indirectly that they would also fail in their evil designs just as the brothers of Prophet Joseph had failed in his case, even after casting him into the well. This is because none has the power to defeat the Divine will. And just as the brothers of Prophet Joseph had to humble themselves before him, so one day the Quraish shall have to beg forgiveness from their brother whom they were then trying to crush down. This, too, has been made quite plain in v. 7: "Indeed there are signs in this story of Joseph and his brothers for these inquirers from among the Quraish."

 

The fact is that by applying this story to the conflict, the Quran had made a bold and clear prophecy, which was fulfilled literally by the events that happened in the succeeding ten years. Hardly two years had passed after its revelation, when the Quraish conspired to kill the Holy Prophet like the brothers of Prophet Joseph, and he had to emigrate from Makkah to Al-Madinah, where he gained the same kind of power as Prophet Joseph had gained in Egypt. Again, in the end the Quraish had to humble themselves before him just like the brothers of Prophet Joseph, when they humbly requested, "Show mercy to us for Allah rewards richly those who show mercy" (V. 88), and Prophet Joseph generously forgave them, (though he had complete power to wreak vengeance on them,) saying, " today no penalty shall be inflicted on you. May Allah forgive you:He is the greatest of all those who forgive" (V. 92). The same story of mercy was repeated, when after the conquest of Makkah, the crestfallen Quraish stood meekly before the Holy Prophet, who had full power to wreak his vengeance on them for each and every cruelty committed by them. But instead, he merely asked them, "What treatment do you expect from me now?" They replied, "You are a generous brother and the son of a generous brother." At this, he very generously forgave them, saying, "I will give the same answer to your request that Joseph gave to his brothers: today, no penalty shall be inflicted on you: you are forgiven."

Topics of Discussion

Moreover, the Quran does not relate this story as a mere narrative but uses it, as usual, for the propagation of the Message in the following ways:

 

Throughout the narrative the Quran has made it clear that the Faith of Prophets Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph (Allah's peace be upon them all) was the same as that of Prophet Muhammad (Allah's peace be upon him) and they invited the people to the same Message to which Muhammad (Allah's peace be upon him) was inviting them.

Then it places the characters of Prophet Jacob and Prophet Joseph side by side with the characters of the brothers of Joseph, the members of the trade caravan, the court dignitary; Al Aziz of Egypt and his wife, the "ladies" of Egypt and the rulers of Egypt and poses a silent question to the reader, as if to say, "Contrast the former characters moulded by Islam on the bedrock of the worship of Allah and accountability in the Hereafter with the latter moulded by kufr and "ignorance" on the worship of the world and disregard of Allah and the Hereafter, and decide for yourselves which of these two patterns you would choose."

 

The Quran has used this story to bring forth another truth: whatever Allah wills, He fulfils it anyhow, and man can never defeat His plan with his counterplans nor prevent it from happening nor change it in any way whatever. Nay, it often so happens that man adopts some measure to fulfil his own design and believes that he has done that very thing which would fulfil his design, but in the end he finds to his dismay that he had done something which was against his own and conducive to the Divine purpose. When the brothers of Prophet Joseph cast him into the well, they believed that they had once for all got rid of the obstacle in their way but in fact, they had paved the way for the Divine purpose of making him the ruler of Egypt, before whom they would have to humble themselves in the end. Likewise, the wife of Aziz had sent Prophet Joseph to the prison, gloating over the thought that she had wrought her vengeance on him, but, in fact, she had provided for him the opportunity for becoming the ruler of Egypt and for putting herself to the shame of confessing her own sin publicly.

 

And these are not the solitary instances which prove the truth that even if the whole world united to bring about the down fall of the one whom Allah willed to raise high, it could not succeed. Nay, the very "sure and effective" measures that were adopted by the brothers to degrade Joseph were used by Allah for the success of Joseph and for the humiliation and disgrace of his brothers. On the other hand, if Allah willed the fall of one, no measure, howsoever effective, could raise him high: nay, it helped to bring about his fall and the disgrace of those who adopted them.

Moreover, the story contains other lessons for those who intend to follow the way of Allah. The first lesson it teaches is that one should remain within the limits, prescribed by the Divine Law, in one's aims and objects and measures, for success and failure are entirely in the hands of Allah. Therefore if one adopts pure aims and lawful measures but fails, at least one will escape ignominy and disgrace. On the other hand, the one who adopts an impure aim and unlawful measures to achieve it, shall not only inevitably meet with ignominy and disgrace in the Hereafter, but also runs the risk of ignominy and disgrace in this world.

 

The second lesson it teaches is that those who exert for the cause of truth and righteousness and put their trust in Allah and entrust all their affairs to Him, get consolation and comfort from Him, for this helps them face their opponents with confidence and courage and they do not lose heart, when they encounter the apparently terrifying measures of the powerful enemies. They will persevere in their task without fear and leave the results to Allah.

 

But the greatest lesson this story teaches is that if the Believer possesses true Islamic character and is endowed with wisdom, he can conquer a whole country with the strength of his character alone. The marvellous example of Prophet Joseph teaches us that a man of high and pure character comes out successful even under the most adverse circumstances. When Prophet Joseph went to Egypt, he was only a lad of seventeen years, a foreigner, all alone and without any provisions; nay, he had been sold there as a slave. And the horrible condition of the slaves during that period is known to every student of history. Then he was charged with a heinous moral crime and sent to prison for an indefinite term. But throughout this period of affliction, he evinced the highest moral qualities which raised him to the highest rank in the country.

Historical and Geographical Background

The following historical and geographical details will help understand the story: Prophet Joseph was a son of Prophet Jacob and a grandson of Prophet Isaac and a great grandson of Prophet Abraham (Allah's peace be upon them all). The Bible says (and the allusions in the Quran also confirm this) that Prophet Jacob had twelve sons from four wives. Prophet Joseph and his younger brother Benjamin were from one wife and the other ten from the other wives. Prophet Jacob had settled at Hebron (Palestine) where his father Prophet Isaac and before him Prophet Abraham lived and owned a piece of land at Shechem as well.

 

According to the research scholars of the Bible, Prophet Joseph was born in or about 906 B. C. and the incident with which this story begins happened in or about 890 B. C. He was seventeen when he saw the dream and was thrown into the well. This well was near Dothan to the north of Shechem according to Biblical and Talmudic traditions, and the caravan, which took him out of the well, was coming from Gilead (Trans-Jordan), and was on its way to Egypt. At that time Fifteenth Dynasty ruled over Egypt, whose rulers are known in history as the Hyksos kings. They belonged to the Arab race, but had migrated from Palestine and Syria to Egypt in or about 2000 B.C. and taken possession of the country. The Arab historians and the commentators of the Quran have given them the name of Amaliq (the Amalekites), and this has been corroborated by the recent researches made by the Egyptologists. They were foreign invaders who had got the opportunity of establishing their kingdom because of the internal feuds in the country. That is why there was no prejudice in the way of Prophet Joseph's ascendancy to power and in the subsequent settlement of the Children of Israel in the most fertile region of Egypt. They could gain that power and influence which they did, because they belonged to the same race as the foreign rulers of Egypt.

The Hyksos ruled over Egypt up to the end of the fifteenth century B.C., and practically all the powers remained in the hands of the Israelites. The Quran has made a reference to this in v. 20 of Al-Ma'idah: ...He raised Prophets among you and made you rulers..., Then there arose a great nationalist movement which overthrew the power of this dynasty and exiled 250,000 or so of the Amalekites. As a result of this, a very bigoted dynasty of Copts came into power and uprooted everything connected with the Amalekites. Then started that persecution of the Israelites which has been mentioned in connection with the story of Prophet Moses.

 

We also learn from the history of Egypt that the "Hyksos kings" did not acknowledge the gods of Egypt and, therefore, had imported their own gods from Syria, with a view to spreading their own religion in Egypt. This is the reason why the Quran has not called the king who was the contemporary of Prophet Joseph by the title of "Pharaoh," because this title was associated with the religion of the original people of Egypt and the Hyksos did not believe in it, but the Bible erroneously calls him "Pharaoh". It appears that the editors of the Bible had the misunderstanding that all the kings of Egypt were "Pharaohs." The modern research scholars who have made a comparative study of the Bible and the Egyptian history are generally of the opinion that Apophis was the Hyksos king, who was the contemporary of Prophet Joseph.

At that time Memphis was the capital of Egypt, whose ruins are still found on the Nile at a distance of 4 miles south of Cairo. When Prophet Joseph was taken there, he was 17 or 18 years old. He remained in the house of Aziz for three years and spent nine years in prison, and then became the ruler of the land at the age of thirty and ruled over Egypt independently for eighty years. In the ninth or tenth year of his rule he sent for his father, Prophet Jacob, to come from Palestine to Egypt with all the members of his family and, according to the Bible, settled them in the land of Goshen, where they lived up to the time of Prophet Moses. The Bible says that before his death, Prophet Joseph bound his kindred by an oath: "when you return from this country to the house of your forefathers you must take my bones out of this country with you." So he died a hundred and ten years old, and they embalmed him.

 

Though the story of Prophet Joseph as given in the Quran differs very much in its details from that given in the Bible and the Talmud, the Three generally agree in regard to its component parts. We shall explain the differences, when and where necessary, in our Explanatory Notes.

 Maududi

 

  

 

IMPORTANT: Please note that the Digest is based upon these outstanding translations and they have been reproduced here for the benefit of serious readers of the Quraan; the copyrights of these works are held by their respective authors/publishers from whom they can be purchased by anyone interested in acquiring them and we ardently hope that no offence will be taken by their inclusion.

 

 

THE HOLY QUR'AAN


SURAH 12
 YUSUFF (JOSEPH)

 

Bismi Allahi alrrahmani alrraheemi

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful


Section 1.

12 : 1

1. Alif-lam-ra tilka ayatu alkitabi almubeenu

Alif, Lam, Ra. These are the verses of the Scripture which make plain.

12 : 2

2. Inna anzalnahu qur-anan AAarabiyyan laAAallakum taAAqiloona

Verily We have revealed this Qur'aan in Arabic so that you understand it with ease.

12 : 3  

3. Nahnu naqussu AAalayka ahsana alqasasi bima awhayna ilayka hatha alqur-ana wa-in kunta min qablihi lamina alghafileena

 

We narrate to you (O Mohammed) an account of these splendid events because We chose to inspire in you this Qur'aan, though before now you were unaware of them.

(The events surrounding the life of Joseph have been described as splendid because they take into their fold several crucial aspects of human nature : in the brothers of Joseph we encounter conspiracy bred by jealousy; in Joseph we encounter honesty and self-control; in Zulayqa we encounter passion, desire and self surrender ; in her husband we encounter tolerance and lenity; in Pharaoh we encounter sound judgement and diplomacy, all woven into a pattern of unexpected twists and turns, not too dissimilar to patterns which we often behold in our own lives or in the lives of those whom we know quite well).

12 : 4

4. Ith qala yoosufu li-abeehi ya abati innee raaytu ahada AAashara kawkaban waalshshamsa waalqamara raaytuhum lee sajideena

When Joseph said to his father : 'O my father! I saw in my dream eleven stars and the sun and the moon, and I saw them prostrating to me!'

(Joseph's father was Jacob, son of Isaac and grandson of Abraham. He had a total of twelve sons, six from his first wife, four from his second wife and two from his third, - Joseph and Benjamin; the eleven stars in the dream represent his brothers, the sun and the moon his father and mother, or perhaps his aunt because he had lost his mother at a very young age. Prostrating does not mean as in worship but as a mark of deference that was permitted in those days)

12 : 5

5. Qala ya bunayya la taqsus ru/yaka AAala ikhwatika fayakeedoo laka kaydan inna alshshaytana lil-insani AAaduwwun mubeenun

He said : 'O my son! Do not mention this dream to your brothers in case they try to plot against you! Verily Satan is an open enemy of man.

12 : 6

6. Wakathalika yajtabeeka rabbuka wayuAAallimuka min ta/weeli al-ahadeethi wayutimmu niAAmatahu AAalayka waAAala ali yaAAqooba kama atammaha AAala abawayka min qablu ibraheema wa-ishaqa inna rabbaka AAaleemun hakeemun

'Thus will your Lord prefer you and teach you the interpretation of events and will perfect His grace upon you and upon the family of Jacob in the same way as He did on your forefathers Abraham and Isaac before you. Your Lord is Erudite and Wise!' (R)

(Jacob knew at once that Joseph was a Prophet of Allah in the making and destined to receive allegiance from all members of his family, including his step-brothers, because of which he feared jealousy from them resulting in some sort of harm doing. Hence he advised him to keep quiet about the dream, giving him the auspicious news that he was chosen by Allah and through him He would bestow His Grace upon the House of Jacob as He had bestowed it upon his forefathers Isaac and Abraham in the past).



OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:

 

MUHSIN:

1. Alif-Lm-R. [These letters are one of the miracles of the Qur'an, and none but Allh (Alone) knows their meanings].

These are the Verses of the Clear Book (the Qur'n that makes clear the legal and illegal things, legal laws, a guidance and a blessing).

2. Verily, We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur'n in order that you may understand.

3. We relate unto you (Muhammad SAW) the best of stories through Our Revelations unto you, of this Qur'n. And before this (i.e. before the coming of Divine Inspiration to you), you were among those who knew nothing about it (the Qur'n).

4. (Remember) when Ysuf (Joseph) said to his father: "O my father! Verily, I saw (in a dream) eleven stars and the sun and the moon, I saw them prostrating themselves to me."

5. He (the father) said: "O my son! Relate not your vision to your brothers, lest they arrange a plot against you. Verily! Shaitn (Satan) is to man an open enemy!

6. "Thus will your Lord choose you and teach you the interpretation of dreams (and other things) and perfect His Favour on you and on the offspring of Ya'qb (Jacob), as He perfected it on your fathers, Ibrahm (Abraham) and Ishque (Isaac) aforetime! Verily, your Lord is All-Knowing, All-Wise."


012.001
YUSUFALI: A.L.R. These are the symbols (or Verses) of the perspicuous Book.
PICKTHAL: Alif. Lam. Ra. These are verse of the Scripture that maketh plain.
SHAKIR: Alif Lam Ra. These are the verses of the Book that makes (things) manifest.

012.002

YUSUFALI: We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur'an, in order that ye may learn wisdom.
PICKTHAL: Lo! We have revealed it, a Lecture in Arabic, that ye may understand.
SHAKIR: Surely We have revealed it-- an Arabic Quran-- that you may understand.

012.003

YUSUFALI: We do relate unto thee the most beautiful of stories, in that We reveal to thee this (portion of the) Qur'an: before this, thou too was among those who knew it not.
PICKTHAL: We narrate unto thee (Muhammad) the best of narratives in that We have inspired in thee this Qur'an, though aforetime thou wast of the heedless.
SHAKIR: We narrate to you the best of narratives, by Our revealing to you this Quran, though before this you were certainly one of those who did not know.

012.004

YUSUFALI: Behold! Joseph said to his father: "O my father! I did see eleven stars and the sun and the moon: I saw them prostrate themselves to me!"
PICKTHAL: When Joseph said unto his father: O my father! Lo! I saw in a dream eleven planets and the sun and the moon, I saw them prostrating themselves unto me.
SHAKIR: When Yusuf said to his father: O my father! surely I saw eleven stars and the sun and the moon-- I saw them making obeisance to me.

012.005

YUSUFALI: Said (the father): "My (dear) little son! relate not thy vision to thy brothers, lest they concoct a plot against thee: for Satan is to man an avowed enemy!
PICKTHAL: He said: O my dear son! Tell not thy brethren of thy vision, lest they plot a plot against thee. Lo! Satan is for man an open foe.
SHAKIR: He said: O my son! do not relate your vision to your brothers, lest they devise a plan against you; surely the Shaitan is an open enemy to man.

012.006

YUSUFALI: "Thus will thy Lord choose thee and teach thee the interpretation of stories (and events) and perfect His favour to thee and to the posterity of Jacob - even as He perfected it to thy fathers Abraham and Isaac aforetime! for Allah is full of knowledge and wisdom."
PICKTHAL: Thus thy Lord will prefer thee and will teach thee the interpretation of events, and will perfect His grace upon thee and upon the family of Jacob as He perfected it upon thy forefathers, Abraham and Isaac. Lo! thy Lord is Knower, Wise.
SHAKIR: And thus will your Lord choose you and teach you the interpretation of sayings and make His favor complete to you and to the children of Yaqoub, as He made it complete before to your fathers, Ibrahim and Ishaq; surely your Lord is Knowing, Wise.

 

 

Section 2.

12 : 7

 

7. Laqad kana fee yoosufa wa-ikhwatihi ayatun lilssa-ileena

Verily in the story of Joseph and his brothers there are clear signs for those who are seeking the truth!

(The reference here is to the Jewish pedagogues and priests who asked their friends amongst the Meccan idolaters to quiz the Prophet if he could explain to them how the Children of Israel happened to emigrate to Egypt from Canaan, in response to which this Surah was revealed, taking them by surprise as to how an illiterate man who had nothing to do with Judaism could produce such an accurate account of events in total conformity with the Torah and many other Hebrew chronicles).

12 : 8

8. Ith qaloo layoosufu waakhoohu ahabbu ila abeena minna wanahnu AAusbatun inna abana lafee dalalin mubeenin

They said (to each other) : 'Indeed, Joseph and his brother (Benjamin) are dearer to our father than we are though we may be more in numbers than them. It is apparent that our father is entranced by their love.

12 : 9

9. Oqtuloo yoosufa awi itrahoohu ardan yakhlu lakum wajhu abeekum watakoonoo min baAAdihi qawman saliheena

(One of them suggested) : 'Get rid of Joseph or abandon him in the wilderness so that your father's attention may turn on you. Thereafter, you can (repent over it) and become righteous folk!'

12 : 10

10. Qala qa-ilun minhum la taqtuloo yoosufa waalqoohu fee ghayabati aljubbi yaltaqithu baAAdu alssayyarati in kuntum faAAileena

Another among them said : 'Do not slay him but merely cast him in a disused pond so that some passer-by might pick him up - if you must!'

12 : 11

11. Qaloo ya abana ma laka la ta/manna AAala yoosufa wa-inna lahu lanasihoona

They said : 'O our father! Why is it that you never trust us with Joseph though we are his well-wishers?'

12 : 12

12. Arsilhu maAAana ghadan yartaAA wayalAAab wa-inna lahu lahafithoona

'Send him with us tomorrow so that he can have some fun and frolic! And verily we will guard him well.'

12 : 13

13. Qala innee layahzununee an thathhaboo bihi waakhafu an ya/kulahu alththi/bu waantum AAanhu ghafiloona

He said : 'Your taking him along with you is bound to distress me because I fear for his safety lest a wolf should devour him whilst your attention is distracted!'

12 : 14

14. Qaloo la-in akalahu alththi/bu wanahnu AAusbatun inna ithan lakhasiroona

They said : 'If a wolf should devour him in spite of our being so many, then of what use are we to you?'

12 : 15

15. Falamma thahaboo bihi waajmaAAoo an yajAAaloohu fee ghayabati aljubbi waawhayna ilayhi latunabi-annahum bi-amrihim hatha wahum la yashAAuroona

When they took him along, and their consensus was to abandon him inside a disused pond, We inspired in him saying : 'You shall one day remind them of this deed when they do not know who you are!

(It is said that, as Jacob stood watching Joseph go with a throbbing heart and a bated breath, his mind crowded with all sorts of premonitions about the perils of wilderness in a region which was rich with wild life, his brothers carried him on their shoulders until they were beyond the reach of his view. Then they threw him on the ground, made him run from one to the other for help, slapped and kicked him and hurt him without mercy until one of the brothers who always gave them sound advice put his foot down and asked them to quit hurting him and get on with their task.

So they found a suitable spot where there was a concealed pond with a narrow opening, hidden by dense thickets and had a wide base with running water down below. Tying up his hands and feet with a rope they had brought along and making no attempts to disguise their evil intentions, they lowered him into the pond as he struggled to break out of the knots, without success, not even able to scream because his mouth was gagged, and then let go of the rope so that he fell into the water and drowned.

But such was not the intention of Allah who had made other plans for Joseph! At the behest of the Lord, the Archangel arrived in the pond, gathered him up in his arms, sat him upon on a boulder, untied his limbs and gag, removed his shirt and watched over him while the message of Allah was inspired in him not to be afraid, assuring him that one day in the future, those who had thrown him in the well and left him to die would stand before him in dire need of his help, unaware of who he really was, when he would be able to remind them of what they had done!).

12 : 16

16. Wajaoo abahum AAishaan yabkoona

When night fell, they returned to their father weeping, -

12 : 17

17. Qaloo ya abana inna thahabna nastabiqu watarakna yoosufa AAinda mataAAina faakalahu alththi/bu wama anta bimu/minin lana walaw kunna sadiqeena

They said : 'O our father! We went chasing each other in play and left Joseph on his own for a brief while to guard our belongings but a wolf devoured him! We know you will not believe us though we speak the truth!'

12 : 18

 

18. Wajaoo AAala qameesihi bidamin kathibin qala bal sawwalat lakum anfusukum amran fasabrun jameelun waAllahu almustaAAanu AAala ma tasifoona

Even though they brought with them a shirt containing fake blood-stains as proof, he (Jacob) said : 'Nay, but your souls have tempted you into causing mischief! So let patience be my recourse and I seek only Allah's help over the news which you have brought me.'

(When they produced a shirt smeared with blood, which they had prepared by killing one of their goats and staining it with its blood, Jacob was far from convinced that they were speaking the truth because the garment was still in tact and bore no signs of its wearer having been mauled by the wolf, or any other wild beast for that matter).

12 : 19

 

 

19. Wajaat sayyaratun faarsaloo waridahum faadla dalwahu qala ya bushra hatha ghulamun waasarroohu bidaAAatan waAllahu AAaleemun bima yaAAmaloona

And a caravan camped near the pond and they sent their servant to get some water. Upon lowering the pail in the pond he noticed the youngster and exclaimed : 'What luck! There is a little boy here!' And they hid him as if he were a treasure, but Allah was aware of what they did!

12 : 20

 

20. Washarawhu bithamanin bakhsin darahima maAAdoodatin wakanoo feehi mina alzzahideena

And they sold him for a measly price, - a few pieces of silver - and they attached no value to him! (R)

(Once again Divine Will comes into play here. After Joseph spent three full days inside the deserted pond, hungry and scared, alone and forsaken by those who were supposed to take care of him, terrified by the hiss of snakes and crawl of scorpions, the croaking of toads and the rustling of breeze, too young to fully comprehend the true implications of his fearsome ordeal, a trading caravan which was headed from Midian to Egypt quite unexpectedly arrived there, having lost their way, camped not too far from the pond and sent one of their servants to find some water for them.

If the servant had missed the well concealed mouth of the pond and gone elsewhere for the water, Joseph would have probably died inside, either from starvation or from falling a prey to any of the umpteen perils that surrounded him. But as destiny would have it, his feet brought him precisely where Allah had intended him to come and discover a lonesome lad forsaken down below, in desperate need of help, clinging to the pail he had lowered in the pond. Delighted by his least expected find and struck by the 'stray's' handsome features, he carried him back to the camp, holding him gently as if he were a treasure.

It is said that, on the following morning, when the brothers returned to the pond to see what had become of Joseph, they were dismayed that there was no sign of him, alive or dead, and began to search for him in case he returned home and told their father what they had done. However, when they found him with the trading caravan, they said that he was their slave who had run away from home, but if they wanted to buy him from them, they could have him for a few pieces of silver because he was a liar and a thief and they would rather sell him off for a measly sum than take him back.

However, upon reaching Egypt, when the head of the caravan entered him in an auction as a slave, all the Egyptians who saw him, - his handsome features, his supple body, his refreshing innocence and his regal deportment, - wanted to secure him regardless of the price until Potiphar entered the bid and outbade the rest. He being the Minister of Finance to the then ruling Pharaoh, he carried a great deal of weight and hence no one dared to bid against him).


 

OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:

 

MUHSIN:

7. Verily, in Ysuf (Joseph) and his brethren, there were Ayt (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) for those who ask.

8. When they said: "Truly, Ysuf (Joseph) and his brother (Benjamin) are loved more by our father than we, but we are 'Usbah (a strong group). Really, our father is in a plain error.

9. "Kill Ysuf (Joseph) or cast him out to some (other) land, so that the favour of your father may be given to you alone, and after that you will be righteous folk (by intending repentance before committing the sin)."

10. One from among them said: "Kill not Ysuf (Joseph), but if you must do something, throw him down to the bottom of a well, he will be picked up by some caravan of travellers."

11. They said: "O our father! Why do you not trust us with Ysuf (Joseph), - when we are indeed his well-wishers?"

12. "Send him with us tomorrow to enjoy himself and play, and verily, we will take care of him."

13. He [Ya'qb (Jacob)] said: "Truly, it saddens me that you should take him away. I fear lest a wolf should devour him, while you are careless of him."

14. They said: "If a wolf devours him, while we are 'Usbah (a strong group) (to guard him), then surely, we are the losers."

15. So, when they took him away, they all agreed to throw him down to the bottom of the well, and We inspired in him:"Indeed, you shall (one day) inform them of this their affair, when they know (you) not."

16. And they came to their father in the early part of the night weeping.

17. They said:"O our father! We went racing with one another, and left Ysuf (Joseph) by our belongings and a wolf devoured him; but you will never believe us even when we speak the truth."

18. And they brought his shirt stained with false blood. He said: "Nay, but your ownselves have made up a tale. So (for me) patience is most fitting. And it is Allh (Alone) Whose help can be sought against that which you assert."

19. And there came a caravan of travellers; they sent their water-drawer, and he let down his bucket (into the well). He said: "What good news! Here is a boy." So they hid him as merchandise (a slave). And Allh was the All-Knower of what they did.

20. And they sold him for a low price, - for a few Dirhams (i.e. for a few silver coins). And they were of those who regarded him insignificant.

 


0012.007
YUSUFALI: Verily in Joseph and his brethren are signs (or symbols) for seekers (after Truth).
PICKTHAL: Verily in Joseph and his brethren are signs (of Allah's Sovereignty) for the inquiring.
SHAKIR: Certainly in Yusuf and his brothers there are signs for the inquirers.

12.008
YUSUFALI: They said: "Truly Joseph and his brother are loved more by our father than we: But we are a goodly body! really our father is obviously wandering (in his mind)!
PICKTHAL: When they said: Verily Joseph and his brother are dearer to our father than we are, many though we be. Lo! our father is in plain aberration.
SHAKIR: When they said: Certainly Yusuf and his brother are dearer to our father than we, though we are a (stronger) company; most surely our father is in manifest error:

012.009
YUSUFALI: "Slay ye Joseph or cast him out to some (unknown) land, that so the favour of your father may be given to you alone: (there will be time enough) for you to be righteous after that!"
PICKTHAL: (One said): Kill Joseph or cast him to some (other) land, so that your father's favour may be all for you, and (that) ye may afterward be righteous folk.
SHAKIR: Slay Yusuf or cast him (forth) into some land, so that your father's regard may be exclusively for you, and after that you may be a righteous people.

012.010
YUSUFALI: Said one of them: "Slay not Joseph, but if ye must do something, throw him down to the bottom of the well: he will be picked up by some caravan of travellers."
PICKTHAL: One among them said: Kill not Joseph but, if ye must be doing, fling him into the depth of the pit; some caravan will find him.
SHAKIR: A speaker from among them said: Do not slay Yusuf, and cast him down into the bottom of the pit if you must do (it), (so that) some of the travellers may pick him up.

012.011
YUSUFALI: They said: "O our father! why dost thou not trust us with Joseph,- seeing we are indeed his sincere well-wishers?
PICKTHAL: They said: O our father! Why wilt thou not trust us with Joseph, when lo! we are good friends to him?
SHAKIR: They said: O our father! what reason have you that you do not trust in us with respect to Yusuf? And most surely we are his sincere well-wishers:

012.012
YUSUFALI: "Send him with us tomorrow to enjoy himself and play, and we shall take every care of him."
PICKTHAL: Send him with us to-morrow that he may enjoy himself and play. And lo! we shall take good care of him.
SHAKIR: Send him with us tomorrow that he may enjoy himself and sport, and surely we will guard him well.

012.013
YUSUFALI: (Jacob) said: "Really it saddens me that ye should take him away: I fear lest the wolf should devour him while ye attend not to him."
PICKTHAL: He said: Lo! in truth it saddens me that ye should take him with you, and I fear less the wolf devour him while ye are heedless of him.
SHAKIR: He said: Surely it grieves me that you should take him off, and I fear lest the wolf devour him while you are heedless of him.

012.014
YUSUFALI: They said: "If the wolf were to devour him while we are (so large) a party, then should we indeed (first) have perished ourselves!"
PICKTHAL: They said: If the wolf should devour him when we are (so strong) a band, then surely we should have already perished.
SHAKIR: They said: Surely if the wolf should devour him notwithstanding that we are a (strong) company, we should then certainly be losers.

012.015
YUSUFALI: So they did take him away, and they all agreed to throw him down to the bottom of the well: and We put into his heart (this Message): 'Of a surety thou shalt (one day) tell them the truth of this their affair while they know (thee) not'
PICKTHAL: Then, when they led him off, and were of one mind that they should place him in the depth of the pit, We inspired in him: Thou wilt tell them of this deed of theirs when they know (thee) not.
SHAKIR: So when they had gone off with him and agreed that they should put him down at the bottom of the pit, and We revealed to him: You will most certainly inform them of this their affair while they do not perceive.

012.016
YUSUFALI: Then they came to their father in the early part of the night, weeping.
PICKTHAL: And they came weeping to their father in the evening.
SHAKIR: And they came to their father at nightfall, weeping.

012.017

YUSUFALI: They said: "O our father! We went racing with one another, and left Joseph with our things; and the wolf devoured him.... But thou wilt never believe us even though we tell the truth."
PICKTHAL: Saying: O our father! We went racing one with another, and left Joseph by our things, and the wolf devoured him, and thou believest not our saying even when we speak the truth.
SHAKIR: They said: O our father! surely we went off racing and left Yusuf by our goods, so the wolf devoured him, and you will not believe us though we are truthful.

012.018
YUSUFALI: They stained his shirt with false blood. He said: "Nay, but your minds have made up a tale (that may pass) with you, (for me) patience is most fitting: Against that which ye assert, it is Allah (alone) Whose help can be sought"..
PICKTHAL: And they came with false blood on his shirt. He said: Nay, but your minds have beguiled you into something. (My course is) comely patience. And Allah it is Whose help is to be sought in that (predicament) which ye describe.
SHAKIR: And they brought his shirt with false blood upon it. He said: Nay, your souls have made the matter light for you, but patience is good and Allah is He Whose help is sought for against what you describe.

012.019
YUSUFALI: Then there came a caravan of travellers: they sent their water-carrier (for water), and he let down his bucket (into the well)...He said: "Ah there! Good news! Here is a (fine) young man!" So they concealed him as a treasure! But Allah knoweth well all that they do!
PICKTHAL: And there came a caravan, and they sent their waterdrawer. He let down his pail (into the pit). He said: Good luck! Here is a youth. And they hid him as a treasure, and Allah was Aware of what they did.
SHAKIR: And there came travellers and they sent their water-drawer and he let down his bucket. He said: O good news! this is a youth; and they concealed him as an article of merchandise, and Allah knew what they did.

012.020
YUSUFALI: The (Brethren) sold him for a miserable price, for a few dirhams counted out: in such low estimation did they hold him!
PICKTHAL: And they sold him for a low price, a number of silver coins; and they attached no value to him.
SHAKIR: And they sold him for a small price, a few pieces of silver, and they showed no desire for him.

 

Section 3

12 : 21

 

21. Waqala allathee ishtarahu min misra liimraatihi akrimee mathwahu AAasa an yanfaAAana aw nattakhithahu waladan wakathalika makkanna liyoosufa fee al-ardi walinuAAallimahu min ta/weeli al-ahadeethi waAllahu ghalibun AAala amrihi walakinna akthara alnnasi la yaAAlamoona

The man from Egypt who bought him told his wife : 'Take care of him, for he might be useful to us; we might perhaps even adopt him as our own son!' Thus We firmly established Joseph in the land and taught him how to interpret the events. Allah has power over all things, though most of mankind realize it not!

(Thus, by the will of Allah, the beloved son of Jacob, hated by his brothers, abandoned to die and then sold off for a song, fetched the top price in an auction and was bought by one of the richest and influential men in Egypt who took a fancy to him and had no regrets paying such a handsome price for a handsome slave, contemplating adoption rather than servitude as his purpose!)

12 : 22

22. Walamma balagha ashuddahu ataynahu hukman waAAilman wakathalika najzee almuhsineena

When he reached the prime of his life, We bestowed upon him wisdom and knowledge! And thus do We reward the righteous!

(According to some commentators, when he was twenty years of age; according to the others thirty and according to the rest eighteen, which is immaterial; what is important is that, he was given an in-born inclination to walk aright, to pursue the truth, to exert control over himself as well as knowledge about how to interpret events that are sometimes revealed to man through his dreams)

12 : 23

23. Warawadat-hu allatee huwa fee baytiha AAan nafsihi waghallaqati al-abwaba waqalat hayta laka qala maAAatha Allahi innahu rabbee ahsana mathwaya innahu la yuflihu alththalimoona

But the woman in whose house he was living sought to seduce him; she bolted all the doors and said to him : 'Come to me!' But he said : 'I seek refuge in Allah! Verily my host has treated me with honour! Those who sin never batten!'

(Zulayqa, Potiphar's young and sensuous wife, bored of solitude because of his endless preoccupations with the affairs of the state, in full bloom and writhing in raw passion, could not resist the charms of her handsome guest and began to entertain unbecoming thoughts about him, until one day she ran out of patience, bolted all the doors of her mansion which guarded her and tried her utmost to seduce him. But Joseph, despite his tender years and vulnerability, refused to take advantage of her self surrender and betray the trust of a man who gave him shelter in his house and treated him more like family than a slave. Seeking refuge in Allah, shying away from the burden of sin she was trying to load on his shoulder, he pushed her aside and urged her to stop that madness at once).

12 : 24

24. Walaqad hammat bihi wahamma biha lawla an raa burhana rabbihi kathalika linasrifa AAanhu alssoo-a waalfahshaa innahu min AAibadina almukhlaseena

Verily she enticed him, and he too would have succumbed to her temptation, were it not for his awareness of his Lord's clear sign. Thus did We ward off indecency and sinfulness from him, for assuredly he was one of Our cherished slaves!

(In times like that, alone in a secluded mansion, confronted by a young and captivating woman with an unrestrained invitation to plunge into the forbidden sea of passion, it was easy for any young man, also starved of companionship, to embark upon that unforgivable adventure and taint his soul with guilt, but Allah provided him with the strength to decline her unacceptable invitation and thus guard his rectitude, - a prime quality imbibed in every Prophet of Allah).

12 : 25

25. Waistabaqa albaba waqaddat qameesahu min duburin waalfaya sayyidaha lada albabi qalat ma jazao man arada bi-ahlika soo-an illa an yusjana aw AAathabun aleemun

 

And they raced with one another to the door! But she tore his shirt from behind and, upon encountering her husband at the door, said : 'What else can possibly be the punishment for him who tries to take advantage of your wife, except imprisonment or a painful stricture?

(As it is said : hell hath no fury like a woman scorned! The tussle which broke out between them, - she trying to force herself upon him and he trying to ward her off; she trying to chase him and he trying to escape her advances, - finally ended near the door just as her husband arrived from work and caught a glimpse of the unpalatable drama going on in his house behind his back, both of them flushed and out of breath, his shirt torn and its shred clutched in her fist! Understandably, her instinct dictated her to turn the tables on Joseph at once in order to protect herself and she made it sound as if it was she who was being molested and taken advantage of by asking her husband to tell her what better punishment does a man wooing the wife of her master in his absence deserve other than imprisonment!)

12 : 26

26. Qala hiya rawadatnee AAan nafsee washahida shahidun min ahliha in kana qameesuhu qudda min qubulin fasadaqat wahuwa mina alkathibeena

 

Joseph said : 'It was she who tried to seduce me!' And a witness from her household suggested : 'If his shirt is torn from front, she is speaking the truth and he is lying -

12 : 27

27. Wa-in kana qameesuhu qudda min duburin fakathabat wahuwa mina alssadiqeena

'But if it is torn from behind, then the woman is lying and he is speaking the truth!'

12 : 28

28. Falamma raa qameesahu qudda min duburin qala innahu min kaydikunna inna kaydakunna AAatheemun

When he saw that the shirt was torn from behind, he said : 'This is but a ruse of you women and your lure is truly inexorable!

12 : 29

29. Yoosufu aAArid AAan hatha waistaghfiree lithanbiki innaki kunti mina alkhati-eena

 'O Joseph! Ignore this! And O woman! Seek forgiveness for your sin, for verily you are of the sinners!' (R)

(At that stage it became necessary for Joseph to defend himself, not so much to escape the punishment but to impress upon his lord that he was free of blame; that he was not guilty of the crime with which he was being impugned; that he could never dream of betraying him by taking advantage of his wife and that he was the victim and not the target, as she was making it sound.

For Potiphar, it was a difficult decision to make; on one hand was his own wife whom he cherished, young, desirable, alone, vulnerable and accessible; and on the other a youth whom he had bought as a slave and barely known him, equally irresistible, perhaps starved, perhaps immodest, perhaps lecherous, alone with her, aware that her husband was out of her reach and that if he forced her into submitting to his lust, she did not have the means of defending herself or warding him off! So, which one of them was he going to believe, and why?

Once again Divine Will came into play and Joseph was provided with an eye-witness who saw everything which had transpired in that room and came forward with an acid test to determine the truth, apart from giving testimony. He said that, if Joseph's shirt was torn from behind, it stood to reason that he was running away from her and she was chasing him; but if it was torn from front, it meant he was advancing towards her and she was warding him off.

Since it made perfect sense and there was physical evidence present to exonerate him, Potiphar nipped the matter in the bud for the time being by admonishing his wife to seek forgiveness of her Lord for her error and asking Joseph to disregard the incident so that news about it did not spread around and damage his own social status.

Besides the physical evidence of the shirt, there was also other circumstantial evidence which persuaded the husband to reach the conclusion that she was in the wrong and Joseph was in the right, such as he had seen for himself that Joseph came running towards the door while she did seem to be chasing him; she had embellished herself with flashy ornaments and revealing clothes which clearly suggested she was trying to attract his attention while he was clad in the same shirt which he always wore; then there was their body language which gave away the real truth about their inner feelings, not to mention his own assessment of Joseph, however brief it be, who had struck him as too decent and upright a young man to stoop to such a level of depravity.

According to some interpreters, the witness who played such a crucial role in favour of Joseph was a four month old cousin of Zulayqa living in her house at the time, blessed by Allah with the miraculous ability to communicate like a grown up on that occasion and offer such an intelligent test to determine the truth.


OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:

 

MUHSIN:

 

21. And he (the man) from Egypt who bought him, said to his wife: "Make his stay comfortable, may be he will profit us or we shall adopt him as a son." Thus did We establish Ysuf (Joseph) in the land, that We might teach him the interpretation of events. And Allh has full power and control over His Affairs, but most of men know not.

22. And when he [Ysuf (Joseph)] attained his full manhood, We gave him wisdom and knowledge (the Prophethood), thus We reward the Muhsinn (doers of good - see V.2:112).

23. And she, in whose house he was, sought to seduce him (to do an evil act), she closed the doors and said: "Come on, O you." He said: "I seek refuge in Allh (or Allh forbid)! Truly, he (your husband) is my master! He made my stay agreeable! (So I will never betray him). Verily, the Zlimn (wrong and evil-doers) will never be successful."

24. And indeed she did desire him and he would have inclined to her desire, had he not seen the evidence of his Lord. Thus it was, that We might turn away from him evil and illegal sexual intercourse. Surely, he was one of Our chosen, guided slaves.

25. So they raced with one another to the door, and she tore his shirt from the back. They both found her lord (i.e. her husband) at the door. She said: "What is the recompense (punishment) for him who intended an evil design against your wife, except that he be put in prison or a painful torment?"

26. He [Ysuf (Joseph)] said: "It was she that sought to seduce me," - and a witness of her household bore witness (saying): "If it be that his shirt is torn from the front, then her tale is true and he is a liar!

27. "But if it be that his shirt is torn from the back, then she has told a lie and he is speaking the truth!"

28. So when he (her husband) saw his [(Ysuf's (Joseph)] shirt torn at the back; (her husband) said: "Surely, it is a plot of you women! Certainly mighty is your plot!

29. "O Ysuf (Joseph)! Turn away from this! (O woman!) Ask forgiveness for your sin. Verily, you were of the sinful."


 

012.021
YUSUFALI: The man in Egypt who bought him, said to his wife: "Make his stay (among us) honourable: may be he will bring us much good, or we shall adopt him as a son." Thus did We establish Joseph in the land, that We might teach him the interpretation of stories (and events). And Allah hath full power and control over His affairs; but most among mankind know it not.
PICKTHAL: And he of Egypt who purchased him said unto his wife: Receive him honourably. Perchance he may prove useful to us or we may adopt him as a son. Thus we established Joseph in the land that We might teach him the interpretation of events. And Allah was predominant in His career, but most of mankind know not.
SHAKIR: And the Egyptian who bought him said to his wife: Give him an honorable abode, maybe he will be useful to us, or we may adopt him as a son. And thus did We establish Yusuf in the land and that We might teach him the interpretation of sayings; and Allah is the master of His affair, but most people do not know.

012.022

YUSUFALI: When Joseph attained His full manhood, We gave him power and knowledge: thus do We reward those who do right.
PICKTHAL: And And when he reached his prime We gave him wisdom and knowledge. Thus We reward the good.
SHAKIR: And when he had attained his maturity, We gave him wisdom and knowledge: and thus do We reward those who do good.

012.023

YUSUFALI: But she in whose house he was, sought to seduce him from his (true) self: she fastened the doors, and said: "Now come, thou (dear one)!" He said: "Allah forbid! truly (thy husband) is my lord! he made my sojourn agreeable! truly to no good come those who do wrong!"
PICKTHAL: And she, in whose house he was, asked of him an evil act. She bolted the doors and said: Come! He said: I seek refuge in Allah! Lo! he is my lord, who hath treated me honourably. Lo! wrong-doers never prosper.
SHAKIR: And she in whose house he was sought to make himself yield (to her), and she made fast the doors and said: Come forward. He said: I seek Allah's refuge, surely my Lord made good my abode: Surely the unjust do not prosper.

012.024
YUSUFALI: And (with passion) did she desire him, and he would have desired her, but that he saw the evidence of his Lord: thus (did We order) that We might turn away from him (all) evil and shameful deeds: for he was one of Our servants, sincere and purified.
PICKTHAL: She verily desired him, and he would have desired her if it had not been that he saw the argument of his Lord. Thus it was, that We might ward off from him evil and lewdness. Lo! he was of Our chosen slaves.
SHAKIR: And certainly she made for him, and he would have made for her, were it not that he had seen the manifest evidence of his Lord; thus (it was) that We might turn away from him evil and indecency, surely he was one of Our sincere servants.

012.025
YUSUFALI: So they both raced each other to the door, and she tore his shirt from the back: they both found her lord near the door. She said: "What is the (fitting) punishment for one who formed an evil design against thy wife, but prison or a grievous chastisement?"
PICKTHAL: And they raced with one another to the door, and she tore his shirt from behind, and they met her lord and master at the door. She said: What shall be his reward, who wisheth evil to thy folk, save prison or a painful doom?
SHAKIR: And they both hastened to the door, and she rent his shirt from behind and they met her husband at the door. She said: What is the punishment of him who intends evil to your wife except imprisonment or a painful chastisement?

012.026
YUSUFALI: He said: "It was she that sought to seduce me - from my (true) self." And one of her household saw (this) and bore witness, (thus):- "If it be that his shirt is rent from the front, then is her tale true, and he is a liar!
PICKTHAL: (Joseph) said: She it was who asked of me an evil act. And a witness of her own folk testified: If his shirt is torn from before, then she speaketh truth and he is of the liars.
SHAKIR: He said: She sought to make me yield (to her); and a witness of her own family bore witness: If his shirt is rent from front, she speaks the truth and he is one of the liars:

012.027
YUSUFALI: "But if it be that his shirt is torn from the back, then is she the liar, and he is telling the truth!"
PICKTHAL: And if his shirt is torn from behind, then she hath lied and he is of the truthful.
SHAKIR: And if his shirt is rent from behind, she tells a lie and he is one of the truthful.

012.028
YUSUFALI: So when he saw his shirt,- that it was torn at the back,- (her husband) said: "Behold! It is a snare of you women! truly, mighty is your snare!
PICKTHAL: So when he saw his shirt torn from behind, he said: Lo! this is of the guile of you women. Lo! the guile of you is very great.
SHAKIR: So when he saw his shirt rent from behind, he said: Surely it is a guile of you women; surely your guile is great:

012.029
YUSUFALI: "O Joseph, pass this over! (O wife), ask forgiveness for thy sin, for truly thou hast been at fault!"
PICKTHAL: O Joseph! Turn away from this, and thou, (O woman), ask forgiveness for thy sin. Lo! thou art of the faulty.
SHAKIR: O Yusuf! turn aside from this; and (O my wife)! ask forgiveness for your fault, surely you are one of the wrong-doers.
 
 
  

 

Section 4.

12 : 30

30. Waqala niswatun fee almadeenati imraatu alAAazeezi turawidu fataha AAan nafsihi qad shaghafaha hubban inna lanaraha fee dalalin mubeenin

And the women of the town gossiped saying : 'The wife of the Minister is soliciting of her young slave boy sexual favours! His charisma appears to have taken hold of her heart, for quite often we find her in a state of trance!'

(Sadly, no matter how hard the husband tried to keep the unfortunate incident under wraps, news about it somehow broke out and gossip travelled around, casting indecent aspersions upon her and her passion for Joseph, which she could not relish and did not wish it to be branded entirely as lust by them because it was not just lust that drove her to him; she was young; she was pretty; she was lonesome; she was neglected; she had the tender heart of a vulnerable woman; as for him, he too was young; incredibly handsome, unattached, charismatic, unspoilt, untouched and was like a breath of fresh air! So she had fallen in love with him head over heels to such an extent that she was prepared to risk the luxuries of her life for his sake; to trade the security which her husband offered her in return for his loving arms; she was willing to embark on the primrose path in order to solicit his attention and his love; she was, in short, willing to sell her soul to the devil to win him!

Hence, when the loose mouthed women of her town put an unbecoming caption upon the intense love she felt towards him, she set out to correct their thinking; to look at things from her point of view; to feel the passion she felt; to take a dive in the doldrums in which she sank and surfaced; share her experience and at least find out why she did what she did; resist where she capitulated; succeed where she failed; show her how not to be overwhelmed by a man like him; how to avoid his captivating smile; how to keep temptation at bay in his company; how to pluck out her bleeding heart and cast it away somewhere in the voids and how to be a weak woman and yet win the battles which even the strongest of men are known to have lost!).

12 : 31

31. Falamma samiAAat bimakrihinna arsalat ilayhinna waaAAtadat lahunna muttakaan waatat kulla wahidatin minhunna sikkeenan waqalati okhruj AAalayhinna falamma raaynahu akbarnahu waqattaAAna aydiyahunna waqulna hasha lillahi ma hatha basharan in hatha illa malakun kareemun

When she heard about their gossip, she invited the women to a feast and gave them knives to cut their food with and then she said to Joseph : 'Come in front of them!' Upon seeing Joseph, the women gasped at his handsome features and sliced their fingers with their knives from sheer stupefaction and said : 'Praise be to Allah! He is not human! He is nothing short of a Divine angel!'

(So she did the only thing she could; laid out a grand feast for the women of the Egyptian gentry, including those who had been traducing her; set up soft cushions for them to recline on in comfort; got her chefs to prepare a rich meal; gave them sharp knives to cut their meat and their fruit; pressurized Joseph despite his protests to dress up in the special clothes she had secretly bought for him and then invited him into the hall where the women were engrossed in partaking the meal as well as in some pleasant conversation.

His arrival in the room had such a dramatic impact that the tumult of conversation came to an halt and was replaced by gasps of amazement as her guests stared at him with stupefaction, unable to take their eyes off his handsome face, some even slicing their fingers with the sharp knives they held to peel their fruits! Baffled, bewildered, entranced and overwhelmed, they sat motionless until he left the hall and disappeared from sight, deep down their hearts realizing the true predicament of Zulayqa in having to share a luxurious mansion alone with him and not be driven out of her mind; to be so close to him and yet be so far away; to desire him so passionately and yet be deprived of his attention by false modesty and etiquette; to loose her head over him and yet keep her sanity preserved by depriving herself the comfort of his arms because of her loyalty to a man who was too busy in his own affairs to fill her emotional vacuum!)

12 : 32

32. Qalat fathalikunna allathee lumtunnanee feehi walaqad rawadtuhu AAan nafsihi faistAAsama wala-in lam yafAAal ma amuruhu layusjananna walayakoonan mina alssaghireena

She said : 'This is he over whom you have been berating me! I did try to seduce him, - and he resisted my temptations, - but if he does not capitulate to my desire soon, he will surely be behind the bars and face humiliation!'

(Purposely delivering both the confession and the implicit threat within his ear-shot, she made it clear to him that, if he was not prepared to share the comforts of her mansion with her, however illicit be their relationship, he too should prepare himself to share the cold cell of a prison with thieves and murderers for having stolen her heart; if she was going to spend the rest of her life restrained by shackles of grief, he too should spend the rest of his life locked away inside unfrequented dungeons; if she was to endure the humiliation of being an unfaithful wife, he too should suffer the disgrace of treachery, whether or not he was guilty of it

However, it must be said in defence of Zulayqa that her love for him was not altogether a product of wantonness and cupidity; she did love and cherish him from the bottom of her heart; her effort to bind him over with her possessive love in such a blatant manner was an extreme measure because she knew her husband would never let her rush into the arms of another man for as long as he lived, nor would Joseph agree to having an extra-marital affair with her at any cost. As it becomes apparent from events to come, she did sincerely turn repentant to Allah for her evil thoughts and deeds, Who not only forgave her but also answered her endless prayers by making her dream come true, - though not before it was appropriate for her to seek the love of another man).

12 : 33

33. Qala rabbi alssijnu ahabbu ilayya mimma yadAAoonanee ilayhi wa-illa tasrif AAannee kaydahunna asbu ilayhinna waakun mina aljahileena

He said : 'O my Lord! I would rather be in a prison than do what they seek of me! If You do not protect me from their evil designs, I might even capitulate and become a sinner!'

12 : 34

34. Faistajaba lahu rabbuhu fasarafa AAanhu kaydahunna innahu huwa alssameeAAu alAAaleemu

So his Lord answered his prayer and did protect him against the ruse of the women. Verily He hears and He knows.

12 : 35

35. Thumma bada lahum min baAAdi ma raawoo al-ayati layasjununnahu hatta heenin

However, after taking into consideration all the signs, it occurred to the men that he should be put away in a prison for a short while. (R)

(The reason why Joseph had to be put away in prison, at least for a short while, in spite of being guiltless and free of blame was because, acting on the advice offered to her by the other women that probably a taste of prison life might make him think again about her proposition and bring him running into her arms, she lied to her husband that her infatuation with his slave was over; that she hated him and was sorry to have caused embarrassment to everybody over an unworthy cause; that as she was still being traduced by the women in town and the only way of putting an end to the humiliating rumours was to lock up Joseph in prison until the scandal over her affair died down.

But it turned out to be a hasty decision on her part that she regretted later. Far from being disgruntled by prison life, Joseph felt relieved to distance himself from the stormy events which had shaken him up, - the amorous pursuits of Zulayqa, the penetrating eyes of her maids and the shadow of suspicion looming over his head, - and concentrate upon offering worship to Allah, think about his father and brothers, help other prisoners come to terms with their plight, comfort the sick and the afflicted and practice the knowledge about interpretation of events imbibed in him by Allah, which made him popular with his fellow prisoners and earned him the respect even of the guards).


OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:

 

MUHSIN:

30. And women in the city said: "The wife of Al-'Azz is seeking to seduce her (slave) young man, indeed she loves him violently; verily we see her in plain error."

31. So when she heard of their accusation, she sent for them and prepared a banquet for them; she gave each one of them a knife (to cut the foodstuff with), and she said [(to Ysuf (Joseph)]: "Come out before them." Then, when they saw him, they exalted him (at his beauty) and (in their astonishment) cut their hands. They said: "How perfect is Allh (or Allh forbid)! No man is this! This is none other than a noble angel!"

32. She said: "This is he (the young man) about whom you did blame me (for his love), and I did seek to seduce him, but he refused. And now if he refuses to obey my order, he shall certainly be cast into prison, and will be one of those who are disgraced."

33. He said:"O my Lord! Prison is more to my liking than that to which they invite me. Unless You turn away their plot from me, I will feel inclined towards them and be one (of those who commit sin and deserve blame or those who do deeds) of the ignorants."

34. So his Lord answered his invocation and turned away from him their plot. Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.

35. Then it appeared to them, after they had seen the proofs (of his innocence) to imprison him for a time.

 


 

012.030
YUSUFALI: Ladies said in the City: "The wife of the (great) 'Aziz is seeking to seduce her slave from his (true) self: Truly hath he inspired her with violent love: we see she is evidently going astray."
PICKTHAL: And women in the city said: The ruler's wife is asking of her slave-boy an ill-deed. Indeed he has smitten her to the heart with love. We behold her in plain aberration.
SHAKIR: And women in the city said: The chiefs wife seeks her slave to yield himself (to her), surely he has affected her deeply with (his) love; most surely we see her in manifest error.

012.031
YUSUFALI: When she heard of their malicious talk, she sent for them and prepared a banquet for them: she gave each of them a knife: and she said (to Joseph), "Come out before them." When they saw him, they did extol him, and (in their amazement) cut their hands: they said, "Allah preserve us! no mortal is this! this is none other than a noble angel!"
PICKTHAL: And when she heard of their sly talk, she sent to them and prepared for them a cushioned couch (to lie on at the feast) and gave to every one of them a knife and said (to Joseph): Come out unto them! And when they saw him they exalted him and cut their hands, exclaiming: Allah Blameless! This is no a human being. This is not other than some gracious angel.
SHAKIR: So when she heard of their sly talk she sent for them and prepared for them a repast, and gave each of them a knife, and said (to Yusuf): Come forth to them. So when they saw him, they deemed him great, and cut their hands (in amazement), and said: Remote is Allah (from inperfection); this is not a mortal; this is but a noble angel.

012.032
YUSUFALI: She said: "There before you is the man about whom ye did blame me! I did seek to seduce him from his (true) self but he did firmly save himself guiltless!....and now, if he doth not my bidding, he shall certainly be cast into prison, and (what is more) be of the company of the vilest!"
PICKTHAL: She said: This is he on whose account ye blamed me. I asked of him an evil act, but he proved continent, but if he do not my behest he verily shall be imprisoned, and verily shall be of those brought low.
SHAKIR: She said: This is he with respect to whom you blamed me, and certainly I sought his yielding himself (to me), but he abstained, and if he does not do what I bid him, he shall certainly be imprisoned, and he shall certainly be of those who are in a state of ignominy.

012.033
YUSUFALI: He said: "O my Lord! the prison is more to my liking than that to which they invite me: Unless Thou turn away their snare from me, I should (in my youthful folly) feel inclined towards them and join the ranks of the ignorant."
PICKTHAL: He said: O my Lord! Prison is more dear than that unto which they urge me, and if Thou fend not off their wiles from me I shall incline unto them and become of the foolish.
SHAKIR: He said: My Lord! the prison house is dearer to me than that to which they invite me; and if Thou turn not away their device from me, I will yearn towards them and become (one) of the ignorant.

012.034
YUSUFALI: So his Lord hearkened to him (in his prayer), and turned away from him their snare: Verily He heareth and knoweth (all things).
PICKTHAL: So his Lord heard his prayer and fended off their wiles from him. Lo! He is Hearer, Knower.
SHAKIR: Thereupon his Lord accepted his prayer and turned away their guile from him; surely He is the Hearing, the Knowing.

012.035
YUSUFALI: Then it occurred to the men, after they had seen the signs, (that it was best) to imprison him for a time.
PICKTHAL: And it seemed good to them (the men-folk) after they had seen the signs (of his innocence) to imprison him for a time.
SHAKIR: Then it occurred to them after they had seen the signs that they should imprison him till a time.
 
  

  

Section 5.  

12 : 36

36. Wadakhala maAAahu alssijna fatayani qala ahaduhuma innee aranee aAAsiru khamran waqala al-akharu innee aranee ahmilu fawqa ra/see khubzan ta/kulu alttayru minhu nabbi/na bita/weelihi inna naraka mina almuhsineena

 

Two young men joined him in the prison. One of them said : 'I had a dream in which I saw myself squashing grapes,' and the other said : 'I had a dream in which I saw myself carrying loaves of bread on my head and birds were pecking at them!' So give us an interpretation of the dreams, for we hear that you have much insight!'

(Both men were employed by the then ruling Pharaoh of Egypt and both were under suspicion of trying to poison him and locked up in prison pending further investigations).

12 : 37

37. Qala la ya/teekuma taAAamun turzaqanihi illa nabba/tukuma bita/weelihi qabla an ya/tiyakuma thalikuma mimma AAallamanee rabbee innee taraktu millata qawmin la yu/minoona biAllahi wahum bial-akhirati hum kafiroona

He said : 'The food you are given to eat here will not have reached you before I can tell you precisely what it is! This is from the knowledge my Lord has bestowed on me because I have rejected the religion of those who do not believe in Allah nor in the Hereafter, -

12 : 38

38. WaittabaAAtu millata aba-ee ibraheema wa-ishaqa wayaAAqooba ma kana lana an nushrika biAllahi min shay-in thalika min fadli Allahi AAalayna waAAala alnnasi walakinna akthara alnnasi la yashkuroona

'And have followed the religion of my forefathers Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, for I believe that it is not right for us to ascribe partners to Allah. This is a blessing from Allah on the seed of Abraham and on the rest of mankind, although most of mankind do not acknowledge gratitude!

12 : 39

39. Ya sahibayi alssijni aarbabun mutafarriqoona khayrun ami Allahu alwahidu alqahharu

'O my two fellow prisoners! Is it better to have several Lords, or Allah, the One, the Omnipotent?

12 : 40

40. Ma taAAbudoona min doonihi illa asmaan sammaytumooha antum waabaokum ma anzala Allahu biha min sultanin ini alhukmu illa lillahi amara alla taAAbudoo illa iyyahu thalika alddeenu alqayyimu walakinna akthara alnnasi la yaAAlamoona

 

'Those whom you worship instead of Allah are names which you have named, - you and your forefathers - for which you received no warrant from Allah! The judgement is for Allah alone and He commands you to worship no one except Him! This is the true religion, though most of mankind know this not!

(Since Joseph is aware of the interpretation of their dreams, according to which news for one of them is not good, he makes use of the opportunity to impress on them that he does possess certain unique faculties regarding knowledge of the Unseen, giving then an example that he could tell them what they were about to eat before it was served to them; that this knowledge was taught to him by Allah because he had renounced the religion of those who did not believe in Him nor in the Hereafter and followed the religion of his forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who were Prophets of Allah; that he did not think it was appropriate for human beings to assign partners to Him; that he genuinely believed it was better to obey One master than many; that the stone idols whom the ignorant apotheosise as gods were nothing but just a bunch of names given to them by their mortal devotees for which they had received no warrant from the real Lord; that the ultimate judgement belongs to Him alone and His exhortation to His creatures is to worship none but Him, - all in the hope that the one for whom news was not so good was given ample opportunity to consider the right course of action for him before the curtains came rolling down, - whether or not he cared to benefit from it.

12 : 41

41. Ya sahibayi alssijni amma ahadukuma fayasqee rabbahu khamran waamma al-akharu fayuslabu fata/kulu alttayru min ra/sihi qudiya al-amru allathee feehi tastaftiyani

'O my two fellow prisoners! As for one of you, he will pour wine for his lord. But as for the other, he will be crucified and birds of prey will peck at his brain! Thus it has been decided about that which you were asking me!'

(According to some commentators, after listening to the interpretation given to them by him, the prisoners confessed that they never had those dreams and made them up for fun, but Joseph told them that thus has been decreed by Allah and thus it will happen!)

12 : 42

 42. Waqala lillathee thanna annahu najin minhuma othkurnee AAinda rabbika faansahu alshshaytanu thikra rabbihi falabitha fee alssijni bidAAa sineena

And he said to the man who was going to be released from prison : 'Do remind your lord about me!' But Satan caused him to forget to remind his lord about him, so he spent several more years inside the prison! (R)

(Remind the king that he was thrown in prison for a crime he did not commit and has been forgotten by the authorities. It is said by many commentators that by the then Joseph had already spent five years in jail and a further seven years passed away before the time came for him to finally emerge from his ordeal, by the Grace of Allah)


OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:

 

MUHSIN:

 
36. And there entered with him two young men in the prison. One of them said: "Verily, I saw myself (in a dream) pressing wine." The other said: "Verily, I saw myself (in a dream) carrying bread on my head and birds were eating thereof." (They said): "Inform us of the interpretation of this. Verily, we think you are one of the Muhsinn (doers of good - see V.2:112)."

37. He said: "No food will come to you (in wakefulness or in dream) as your provision, but I will inform (in wakefulness) its interpretation before it (the food) comes. This is of that which my Lord has taught me. Verily, I have abandoned the religion of a people that believe not in Allh and are disbelievers in the Hereafter (i.e. the Kan'nin of Egypt who were polytheists and used to worship sun and other false deities).

38. "And I have followed the religion of my fathers[], - Ibrahm (Abraham), Ishque (Isaac) and Ya'qb (Jacob) [<> <>], and never could we attribute any partners whatsoever to Allh. This is from the Grace of Allh to us and to mankind, but most men thank not (i.e. they neither believe in Allh, nor worship Him).

39. "O two companions of the prison! Are many different lords (gods) better or Allh, the One, the Irresistible?

40. "You do not worship besides Him but only names which you have named (forged), you and your fathers, for which Allh has sent down no authority. The command (or the judgement) is for none but Allh. He has commanded that you worship none but Him (i.e. His Monotheism), that is the (true) straight religion, but most men know not.

41. "O two companions of the prison! As for one of you, he (as a servant) will pour out wine for his lord (king or master) to drink; and as for the other, he will be crucified and birds will eat from his head. Thus is the case judged concerning which you both did inquire."

42. And he said to the one whom he knew to be saved: "Mention me to your lord (i.e. your king, so as to get me out of the prison)." But Shaitn (Satan) made him forget to mention it to his Lord [or Satan made [(Ysuf (Joseph)] to forget the remembrance of his Lord (Allh) as to ask for His Help, instead of others]. So [Ysuf (Joseph)] stayed in prison a few (more) years.

 


012.036
YUSUFALI: Now with him there came into the prison two young men. Said one of them: "I see myself (in a dream) pressing wine." said the other: "I see myself (in a dream) carrying bread on my head, and birds are eating, thereof." "Tell us" (they said) "The truth and meaning thereof: for we see thou art one that doth good (to all)."
PICKTHAL: And two young men went to prison with him. One of them said: I dreamed that I was pressing wine. The other said: I dreamed that I was carrying upon my head bread whereof the birds were eating. Announce unto us the interpretation, for we see thee of those good (at interpretation).
SHAKIR: And two youths entered the prison with him. One of them said: I saw myself pressing wine. And the other said: I saw myself carrying bread on my head, of which birds ate. Inform us of its interpretation; surely we see you to be of the doers of good.

012.037

YUSUFALI: He said: "Before any food comes (in due course) to feed either of you, I will surely reveal to you the truth and meaning of this ere it befall you: that is part of the (duty) which my Lord hath taught me. I have (I assure you) abandoned the ways of a people that believe not in Allah and that (even) deny the Hereafter.
PICKTHAL: He said: The food which ye are given (daily) shall not come unto you but I shall tell you the interpretation ere it cometh unto you. This is of that which my Lord hath taught me. Lo! I have forsaken the religion of folk who believe not in Allah and are disbelievers in the Hereafter.
SHAKIR: He said: There shall not come to you the food with which you are fed, but I will inform you both of its interpretation before it comes to you; this is of what my Lord has taught me; surely I have forsaken the religion of a people who do not believe in Allah, and they are deniers of the hereafter:

012.038

YUSUFALI: "And I follow the ways of my fathers,- Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and never could we attribute any partners whatever to Allah: that (comes) of the grace of Allah to us and to mankind: yet most men are not grateful.
PICKTHAL: And I have followed the religion of my fathers, Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. It never was for us to attribute aught as partner to Allah. This is of the bounty of Allah unto us (the seed of Abraham) and unto mankind; but most men give not thanks.
SHAKIR: And I follow the religion of my fathers, Ibrahim and Ishaq and Yaqoub; it beseems us not that we should associate aught with Allah; this is by Allah's grace upon us and on mankind, but most people do not give thanks:

012.039

YUSUFALI: "O my two companions of the prison! (I ask you): are many lords differing among themselves better, or the One Allah, Supreme and Irresistible?
PICKTHAL: O my fellow-prisoners! Are divers lords better, or Allah the One, Almighty?
SHAKIR: O my two mates of the prison! are sundry lords better or Allah the One, the Supreme?

012.040

YUSUFALI: "If not Him, ye worship nothing but names which ye have named,- ye and your fathers,- for which Allah hath sent down no authority: the command is for none but Allah: He hath commanded that ye worship none but Him: that is the right religion, but most men understand not...
PICKTHAL: Those whom ye worship beside Him are but names which ye have named, ye and your fathers. Allah hath revealed no sanction for them. The decision rests with Allah only, Who hath commanded you that ye worship none save Him. This is the right religion, but most men know not.
SHAKIR: You do not serve besides Him but names which you have named, you and your fathers; Allah has not sent down any authority for them; judgment is only Allah's; He has commanded that you shall not serve aught but Him; this is the right religion but most people do not know:

012.041

YUSUFALI: "O my two companions of the prison! As to one of you, he will pour out the wine for his lord to drink: as for the other, he will hang from the cross, and the birds will eat from off his head. (so) hath been decreed that matter whereof ye twain do enquire"...
PICKTHAL: O my two fellow-prisoners! As for one of you, he will pour out wine for his lord to drink; and as for the other, he will be crucified so that the birds will eat from his head. Thus is the case judged concerning which ye did inquire.
SHAKIR: O my two mates of the prison! as for one of you, he shall give his lord to drink wine; and as for the other, he shall be crucified, so that the birds shall eat from his head, the matter is decreed concerning which you inquired.

012.042

YUSUFALI: And of the two, to that one whom he consider about to be saved, he said: "Mention me to thy lord." But Satan made him forget to mention him to his lord: and (Joseph) lingered in prison a few (more) years.
PICKTHAL: And he said unto him of the twain who he knew would be released: Mention me in the presence of thy lord. But Satan caused him to forget to mention it to his lord, so he (Joseph) stayed in prison for some years.
SHAKIR: And he said to him whom he knew would be delivered of the two: Remember me with your lord; but the Shaitan caused him to forget mentioning (it) to his lord, so he remained in the prison a few years.
 

 

Section 6.

12 : 43

43. Waqala almaliku innee ara sabAAa baqaratin simanin ya/kuluhunna sabAAun AAijafun wasabAAa sunbulatin khudrin waokhara yabisatin ya ayyuha almalao aftoonee fee ru/yaya in kuntum lilrru/ya taAAburoona

And then one day the king said : 'I had a dream in which I saw seven fat cows being devoured by seven lean cows; and seven green ears of corn and seven dried ears. O my Courtiers! Explain this to me, - if you know how to interpret dreams!'

12 : 44

44. Qaloo adghathu ahlamin wama nahnu bita/weeli al-ahlami biAAalimeena

They said : 'Confused visions! We are not aware of how to interpret dreams!

12 : 45

45. Waqala allathee naja minhuma waiddakara baAAda ommatin ana onabbi-okum bita/weelihi faarsilooni

One of the two fellow prisoners of Joseph who was released suddenly remembered about him after a long time and he said : 'I will bring you its interpretation, if you let me!'

12 : 46

46. Yoosufu ayyuha alssiddeequ aftina fee sabAAi baqaratin simanin ya/kuluhunna sabAAun AAijafun wasabAAi sunbulatin khudrin waokhara yabisatin laAAallee arjiAAu ila alnnasi laAAallahum yaAAlamoona

He (visited Joseph in prison) and said : 'O Joseph! O you truthful one! Interpret this dream about the seven healthy cows being devoured by seven famished cows and the seven green ears of corn and the other seven arid, so that I may go to my people with the tidings and they may come to know about you!'

12 : 47

47. Qala tazraAAoona sabAAa sineena daaban fama hasadtum fatharoohu fee sunbulihi illa qaleelan mimma ta/kuloona

He said : 'Your people will sow their corn for seven years as usual, but of that which they reap, let them save it in the ear, all except a little you need for your sustenance;

12 : 48

 

48. Thumma ya/tee min baAAdi thalika sabAAun shidadun ya/kulna ma qaddamtum lahunna illa qaleelan mimma tuhsinoona

 

'Then there will come seven harsh years of drought which will use up whatever you have saved, all except a little that you (need for seeding).

12 : 49

49. Thumma ya/tee min baAAdi thalika AAamun feehi yughathu alnnasu wafeehi yaAAsiroona

'Thereafter will come an year of plenitude when your people will have bumper crops and they will be able to extract oils and wine as well.' (R)

(The events that culminated in the long overdue release of Joseph were triggered off by a strange dream which the king had, outlined in verse 43. When he mentioned it to the courtiers and no one was able to offer him a convincing explanation, the person who had once shared the prison cell with Joseph but was later on exonerated and given back his job suddenly remembered about him and told the king what had transpired in the prison. So he gave his servant permission to visit the prisoner and find out what he had to say. Joseph's interpretation of the dream was that the country was heading for seven successive years of drought, represented by the seven lean cows and the seven arid ears of corn, preceded by seven years of bumper crops, represented by the seven  fat cows and the seven green ears of corn, and advised them to be prepared for the drought by storing most of the produce yielded during the preceding seven years except what they needed for survival, and then saving during the following years enough for seeding from that which they had stored, because the years after the drought would be an years of plenitude).


OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:

 

MUHSIN:

43. And the king (of Egypt) said: "Verily, I saw (in a dream) seven fat cows, whom seven lean ones were devouring - and of seven green ears of corn, and (seven) others dry. O notables! Explain to me my dream, if it be that you can interpret dreams."

44. They said: "Mixed up false dreams and we are not skilled in the interpretation of dreams."

45. Then the man who was released (one of the two who were in prison), now at length remembered and said: "I will tell you its interpretation, so send me forth."

46. (He said): "O Ysuf (Joseph), the man of truth! Explain to us (the dream) of seven fat cows whom seven lean ones were devouring, and of seven green ears of corn, and (seven) others dry, that I may return to the people, and that they may know."

47. [(Ysuf (Joseph)] said: "For seven consecutive years, you shall sow as usual and that (the harvest) which you reap you shall leave in ears, (all) - except a little of it which you may eat.

48. "Then will come after that, seven hard (years), which will devour what you have laid by in advance for them, (all) except a little of that which you have guarded (stored).

49. "Then thereafter will come a year in which people will have abundant rain and in which they will press (wine and oil)."

 


012.043
YUSUFALI: The king (of Egypt) said: "I do see (in a vision) seven fat kine, whom seven lean ones devour, and seven green ears of corn, and seven (others) withered. O ye chiefs! Expound to me my vision if it be that ye can interpret visions."
PICKTHAL: And the king said: Lo! I saw in a dream seven fat kine which seven lean were eating, and seven green ears of corn and other (seven) dry. O notables! Expound for me my vision, if ye can interpret dreams.
SHAKIR: And the king said: Surely I see seven fat kine which seven lean ones devoured; and seven green ears and (seven) others dry: O chiefs! explain to me my dream, if you can interpret the dream.

012.044

YUSUFALI: They said: "A confused medley of dreams: and we are not skilled in the interpretation of dreams."
PICKTHAL: They answered: Jumbled dreams! And we are not knowing in the interpretation of dreams.
SHAKIR: They said: Confused dreams, and we do not know the interpretation of dreams.

012.045

YUSUFALI: But the man who had been released, one of the two (who had been in prison) and who now bethought him after (so long) a space of time, said: "I will tell you the truth of its interpretation: send ye me (therefore)."
PICKTHAL: And he of the two who was released, and (now) at length remembered, said: I am going to announce unto you the interpretation, therefore send me forth.
SHAKIR: And of the two (prisoners) he who had found deliverance and remembered after a long time said: I will inform you of its interpretation, so let me go:

012.046

YUSUFALI: "O Joseph!" (he said) "O man of truth! Expound to us (the dream) of seven fat kine whom seven lean ones devour, and of seven green ears of corn and (seven) others withered: that I may return to the people, and that they may understand."
PICKTHAL: (And when he came to Joseph in the prison, he exclaimed): Joseph! O thou truthful one! Expound for us the seven fat kine which seven lean were eating and the seven green ears of corn and other (seven) dry, that I may return unto the people, so that they may know.
SHAKIR: Yusuf! O truthful one! explain to us seven fat kine which seven lean ones devoured, and seven green ears and (seven) others dry, that I may go back to the people so that they may know.

012.047

YUSUFALI: (Joseph) said: "For seven years shall ye diligently sow as is your wont: and the harvests that ye reap, ye shall leave them in the ear,- except a little, of which ye shall eat.
PICKTHAL: He said: Ye shall sow seven years as usual, but that which ye reap, leave it in the ear, all save a little which ye eat.
SHAKIR: He said: You shall sow for seven years continuously, then what you reap leave it in its ear except a little of which you eat.

012.048

YUSUFALI: "Then will come after that (period) seven dreadful (years), which will devour what ye shall have laid by in advance for them,- (all) except a little which ye shall have (specially) guarded.
PICKTHAL: Then after that will come seven hard years which will devour all that ye have prepared for them, save a little of that which ye have stored.
SHAKIR: Then there shall come after that seven years of hardship which shall eat away all that you have beforehand laid up in store for them, except a little of what you shall have preserved:

012.049

YUSUFALI: "Then will come after that (period) a year in which the people will have abundant water, and in which they will press (wine and oil)."
PICKTHAL: Then, after that, will come a year when the people will have plenteous crops and when they will press (wine and oil).
SHAKIR: Then there will come after that a year in which people shall have rain and in which they shall press (grapes).


Section 7.

12 : 50

50. Waqala almaliku i/toonee bihi falamma jaahu alrrasoolu qala irjiAA ila rabbika fais-alhu ma balu alnniswati allatee qattaAAna aydiyahunna inna rabbee bikaydihinna AAaleemun

And the king said : 'Bring him to me!' But when the Royal courier arrived to escort Joseph, he said : 'Return to your lord and ask him about the state of the women who had once sliced their fingers over me! Verily my Lord is aware of their ruse!'

12 : 51

51. Qala ma khatbukunna ith rawadtunna yoosufa AAan nafsihi qulna hasha lillahi ma AAalimna AAalayhi min soo-in qalati imraatu alAAazeezi al-ana hashasa alhaqqu ana rawadtuhu AAan nafsihi wa-innahu lamina alssadiqeena

The king sent for the women and said : 'What happened when you drew Joseph into temptation?' They said : 'Praise be to Allah! We found no evil in him!' And the wife of the Minister said : 'Now that the truth has surfaced, I confess I did try my utmost to seduce him, but verily he turned out to be an upright man!'

12 : 52

52. Thalika liyaAAlama annee lam akhunhu bialghaybi waanna Allaha la yahdee kayda alkha-ineena

Joseph said : 'I have broached upon this topic so that my master comes to know that I never betrayed his trust behind his back and that Allah does not suffer the ruse of the wicked to triumph!

12 : 53

53. Wama obarri-o nafsee inna alnnafsa laammaratun bialssoo-i illa ma rahima rabbee inna rabbee ghafoorun raheemun

'However, I do not entirely absolve myself of blame, for the human wraith does goad men into sinfulness, except he upon whom my Lord shows mercy! Verily my Lord is Magnanimous and Merciful!

(The king was so impressed by Joseph's interpretation, he asked him to be released from prison at once and brought to him. But when the Royal messenger came for him with the auspicious invitation, Joseph wanted his name cleared of all wrong-doing before he stepped out of jail and sought the king to take the testimony of his innocence from the women who had sliced their fingers when they saw him. This brought out the whole matter into the open when all the women, including Zulayqa, gave testimony that Joseph was locked up for something which he did not do and that, despite their efforts to capitulate him, he stood his ground with laudable tenacity and resolve.

Even though Joseph was very particular that his innocence was established and the cloud of suspicion looming above his head, - if any, - was removed and his previous lord and master convinced that he did not betray his trust behind his back by taking advantage of his vulnerable wife's insane obsession, his sense of decency did not allow him to put the entire blame upon her alone. After all, he too was human; he was separated from his loving family; he was left to die by his brothers, then sold into slavery twice; he was lonesome and craving for affection; he might have inadvertently given out wrong signals which were misinterpreted by the love-sick Zulayqa as a shrouded invitation into a life of sin and treachery. If he had, then he hoped that more than the human king, the King of Kings would forgive him, being Magnanimous and Merciful!)

* * *

12 : 54

54. Waqala almaliku i/toonee bihi astakhlishu linafsee falamma kallamahu qala innaka alyawma ladayna makeenun ameenun

The king said : 'Bring him to me so that I might secure his services for myself!' And after talking it through with him he said : 'As of this day you shall dwell in my realm as an honoured and a trusted man!'

12 : 55

55. Qala ijAAalnee AAala khaza-ini al-ardi innee hafeethun AAaleemun

He said : 'Let me take charge of the Royal warehouses, for I happen to be a skilled custodian.'

12 : 56

56. Wakathalika makanna liyoosufa fee al-ardi yatabawwao minha haythu yashao nuseebu birahmatina man nashao wala nudeeAAu ajra almuhsineena

 

Thus We bestowed upon Joseph status in the land and enabled him to live wherever he chose. We bless whom We like with Our mercy and We never cause the righteous deeds of the righteous go a waste!

12 : 57

57. Walaajru al-akhirati khayrun lillatheena amanoo wakanoo yattaqoon

 

And the reward of the Hereafter is even better for those who believe and are content to be righteous (R)

(And thus, by the will of Allah and by His Grace, the righteous deeds of the righteous Joseph were amply rewarded by Allah when he was released from prison with honour and taken to Pharaoh who awarded him a Royal pardon, sought his advice on how best to cope with the crisis ahead, made him the Minister for Internal affairs of Egypt, and as if all that was not enough, sent for Zulayqa who had by then become a widow because of Potiphar's death and united them in holy wedlock - a measure of Allah's clemency towards her by forgiving her past misconduct and allowing her to go into the arms of a man for whom she was prepared to commit adultery and deceive her husband.

It should, however, be noted that Joseph's choice to join Pharaoh's Ministry was not based upon greed for wealth or craving for power. It is, no doubt, wrong to seek a high office for selfish reasons, whether or not one is qualified to fulfil the obligations and responsibilities that go with the job, but in the case of Joseph, the circumstances weighed heavily in his favour. Though only thirty years of age, his life had taught him a great deal on one hand and Allah had taught him much more than that on the other; he had spent many enlightening years in the prison, reflecting on the mysterious ways in which the Lord moves; on the links which keep the Creator in constant contact with His Creation; on frailties of human nature; on sickness of the body and anguish of the soul; on crime and punishment; on sinfulness and innocence; on inequity and justice and many other experiences which go into the making of a man of substance.

Besides, he was also firmly convinced that Allah had a set purpose for creating him and bestowing on him wisdom and knowledge; he distinctly remembered what Jacob had told him when he saw that dream about the planets prostrating before him that Allah has chosen him to bless the House of Jacob in the same way as he blessed Abraham and Isaac; he knew history was still in the process of being written and Egypt was yet to hold and witness many a drama between mortals and the Immortal, between the mighty and the Mightiest, between kings and the King of kings; he was sure there was a role cut out for him to play in the events to come; the issue of Jacob and Benjamin was still outstanding; the twelve stars and the sun and the moon had not yet prostrated before him; the house of Jacob was far from being blessed by Allah and his dream equally far from yielding its propitious outcome! Taking all that into consideration, not to mention his ability to interpret and foresee the progression of events, he and only he was qualified to do what he sought to do.

Commentaries provided by Islamic scholars are full of fascinating details about Joseph's rise to power in Egypt. The ageing Pharaoh was so impressed by his wisdom and ability to govern his land that in due course he handed over reigns of power to him in a public ceremony of investiture and himself receded into the background, beleaguered by senility. Joseph ruled Egypt in his name unopposed and earned for himself the love and admiration of the populace. Preparing the country for the drought became his utmost priority since he realized that along with Egypt, the rest of the region was also going to be hit by it and looked to him for support. He modernized the agricultural mechanism, built colossal warehouses for storing huge quantities of grain and rationed the supply of stocks according to the requirements of each household so that communities from far and wide could also travel to Egypt and obtain their rations. It is said that during the first year of drought, people ran out of cash because every coin in circulation came into the Treasury and nothing went out; during the second year, people exchanged their ornaments to purchase the victuals; in the third year they exchanged their live-stock; in the fourth year they exchanged all their slaves and maids; in the fifth year they exchanged every piece of property which they owned; in the sixth year they sold their children into slavery in order to survive; and in the seventh year, they sold themselves into slavery to the state so that the state fed them. It is claimed that, towards the end of the drought, there were no free men and women in Egypt, no private properties, no ownership of livestock, no slaves and no wealth as such which anyone could claim to be theirs.

Having thus reached the peak of authority and popularity by the grace of Allah when every Egyptian man was his slave, every Egyptian woman his maid, every Egyptian boy his serf, every piece of realty in the realm belonged to him and all the gold and silver and cash sat in the treasury which he controlled, he offered thanks to Allah for giving him so much in return for what was taken away from him and then set out to balance the scales of life that were tilted by the enormity of the drought by releasing all his slaves and returning to them their families, their assets, their live-stock, their wealth and their coins so that in the years that followed, the people of his land could live in comfort and pay tributes to the man who once arrived in the country as a slave, but managed to enslave every free man in the land and then set him free, all because his faith in his Lord was firm; the knowledge given to him sound and the wisdom imbibed in him enlightening).


OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:

 

MUHSIN:

 
50. And the king said: "Bring him to me." But when the messenger came to him, [Ysuf (Joseph)] said: "Return to your lord and ask him, 'What happened to the women who cut their hands? Surely, my Lord (Allh) is Well-Aware of their plot
.'"

51. (The King) said (to the women): "What was your affair when you did seek to seduce Ysuf (Joseph)?" The women said: "Allh forbid! No evil know we against him!" The wife of Al-'Azz said: "Now the truth is manifest (to all), it was I who sought to seduce him, and he is surely of the truthful."

52. [Then Ysuf (Joseph) said: "I asked for this enquiry] in order that he (Al-'Azz) may know that I betrayed him not in secret. And, verily! Allh guides not the plot of the betrayers.[]

53. "And I free not myself (from the blame). Verily, the (human) self is inclined to evil, except when my Lord bestows His Mercy (upon whom He wills). Verily, my Lord is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful."

54. And the king said: "Bring him to me that I may attach him to my person." Then, when he spoke to him, he said: "Verily, this day, you are with us high in rank and fully trusted."

55. [Ysuf (Joseph)] said: "Set me over the storehouses of the land; I will indeed guard them with full knowledge" (as a minister of finance in Egypt, in place of Al-'Aziz who was dead at that time).

56. Thus did We give full authority to Ysuf (Joseph) in the land, to take possession therein, as when or where he likes. We bestow of Our Mercy on whom We please, and We make not to be lost the reward of Al-Muhsinn (the good doers - see V.2:112).

57. And verily, the reward of the Hereafter is better for those who believe and used to fear Allh and keep their duty to Him (by abstaining from all kinds of sins and evil deeds and by performing all kinds of righteous good deeds).

 


012.050
YUSUFALI: So the king said: "Bring ye him unto me." But when the messenger came to him, (Joseph) said: "Go thou back to thy lord, and ask him, 'What is the state of mind of the ladies who cut their hands'? For my Lord is certainly well aware of their snare."
PICKTHAL: And the king said: Bring him unto me. And when the messenger came unto him, he (Joseph) said: Return unto thy lord and ask him what was the case of the women who cut their hands. Lo! my Lord knoweth their guile.
SHAKIR: And the king said: Bring him to me. So when the messenger came to him, he said: Go back to your lord and ask him, what is the case of the women who cut their hands; surely my Lord knows their guile.
012.051
YUSUFALI: (The king) said (to the ladies): "What was your affair when ye did seek to seduce Joseph from his (true) self?" The ladies said: "Allah preserve us! no evil know we against him!" Said the 'Aziz's wife: "Now is the truth manifest (to all): it was I who sought to seduce him from his (true) self: He is indeed of those who are (ever) true (and virtuous).
PICKTHAL: He (the king) (then sent for those women and) said: What happened when ye asked an evil act of Joseph? They answered: Allah Blameless! We know no evil of him. Said the wife of the ruler: Now the truth is out. I asked of him an evil act, and he is surely of the truthful.
SHAKIR: He said: How was your affair when you sought Yusuf to yield himself (to you)? They said: Remote is Allah (from imperfection), we knew of no evil on his part. The chief's wife said: Now has the truth become established: I sought him to yield himself (to me), and he is most surely of the truthful ones.
012.052
YUSUFALI: "This (say I), in order that He may know that I have never been false to him in his absence, and that Allah will never guide the snare of the false ones.
PICKTHAL: (Then Joseph said: I asked for) this, that he (my lord) may know that I betrayed him not in secret, and that surely Allah guideth not the snare of the betrayers.
SHAKIR: This is that he might know that I have not been unfaithful to him in secret and that Allah does not guide the device of the unfaithful.
012.053
YUSUFALI: "Nor do I absolve my own self (of blame): the (human) soul is certainly prone to evil, unless my Lord do bestow His Mercy: but surely my Lord is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful."
PICKTHAL: I do not exculpate myself. Lo! the (human) soul enjoineth unto evil, save that whereon my Lord hath mercy. Lo! my Lord is Forgiving, Merciful.
SHAKIR: And I do not declare myself free, most surely (man's) self is wont to command (him to do) evil, except such as my Lord has had mercy on, surely my Lord is Forgiving, Merciful.
012.054
YUSUFALI: So the king said: "Bring him unto me; I will take him specially to serve about my own person." Therefore when he had spoken to him, he said: "Be assured this day, thou art, before our own presence, with rank firmly established, and fidelity fully proved!
PICKTHAL: And the king said: Bring him unto me that I may attach him to my person. And when he had talked with him he said: Lo! thou art to-day in our presence established and trusted.
SHAKIR: And the king said: Bring him to me, I will choose him for myself. So when he had spoken with him, he said: Surely you are in our presence today an honorable, a faithful one.
012.055
YUSUFALI: (Joseph) said: "Set me over the store-houses of the land: I will indeed guard them, as one that knows (their importance)."
PICKTHAL: He said: Set me over the storehouses of the land. Lo! I am a skilled custodian.
SHAKIR: He said: Place me (in authority) over the treasures of the land, surely I am a good keeper, knowing well.
012.056
YUSUFALI: Thus did We give established power to Joseph in the land, to take possession therein as, when, or where he pleased. We bestow of our Mercy on whom We please, and We suffer not, to be lost, the reward of those who do good.
PICKTHAL: Thus gave We power to Joseph in the land. He was the owner of it where he pleased. We reach with Our mercy whom We will. We lose not the reward of the good.
SHAKIR: And thus did We give to Yusuf power in the land-- he had mastery in it wherever he liked; We send down Our mercy on whom We please, and We do not waste the reward of those who do good.
012.057
YUSUFALI: But verily the reward of the Hereafter is the best, for those who believe, and are constant in righteousness.
PICKTHAL: And the reward of the Hereafter is better, for those who believe and ward off (evil).
SHAKIR: And certainly the reward of the hereafter is much better for those who believe and guard (against evil).


 

  Section 8.

12 : 58

58. Wajaa ikhwatu yoosufa fadakhaloo AAalayhi faAAarafahum wahum lahu munkiroona

And then Joseph's brothers came into town and presented themselves before him. He knew who they were, but they did not know who he was!

(But the scales of his own life, abruptly tilted by the treachery of his step-brothers remained so until the day they too arrived in Egypt in order to barter the merchandise they brought with them in exchange for the much needed grains and stood before him. Even though they themselves had no idea who the man they confronted was, he recognized them at once and knew Allah's promise to him, made on the day when they lured him into the wilderness with the intention of dumping him in the pond and leaving him to die in it was about to come true and he would soon be able to tell them what they had done).

12 : 59

59. Walamma jahhazahum bijahazihim qala i/toonee bi-akhin lakum min abeekum ala tarawna annee oofee alkayla waana khayru almunzileena

And after giving them what they needed, he said : 'Bring me your step-brother from your father! Do you not notice that I have given you your rations in full measure and that I am the best of hosts?'

(When Joseph came face to face with his brothers for the first time after such a long period, he became overwhelmed with grief. The memory of his old father and his brother Benjamin revived with a kick and he became desperate to see them; hold the old man in his arms and cuddle his brother. So he spent some time talking to them about who they were and where they hailed from. Having written off Joseph as dead, or perhaps living in chains somewhere as a slave, it was not even in their wildest imagination that the man who stood there clad in royal garments and speaking to them with such courtesy and kindness was he. Answering his questions, they told him they were from Syria; that their old father Jacob was a Prophet of Allah in Canaan; that they were altogether twelve brothers out of whom one died in the forest as a child, devoured by wolf. When he deliberately questioned them about the remaining eleventh brother, they told him that he was the blood brother of the one who had died in the forest and that, since he was the apple of their father's eye, he never let him drift out of his sight in case he too fell victim to the same plight which had befallen his other son).

12 : 60

60. Fa-in lam ta/toonee bihi fala kayla lakum AAindee wala taqrabooni

'But if you do not bring him to me, you shall get no more provisions nor will you be welcome here!'

12 : 61

61. Qaloo sanurawidu AAanhu abahu wa-inna lafaAAiloona

They said : 'We will urge his father to let him come; that we surely will!'

12 : 62

62. Waqala lifityanihi ijAAaloo bidaAAatahum fee rihalihim laAAallahum yaAArifoonaha itha inqalaboo ila ahlihim laAAallahum yarjiAAoona

Then he said to his men : 'Put their merchandise back in their saddle-bags so that they may find it after they reached home and perhaps return here sooner.'

(Even after the implicit threat that if they failed to bring Benjamin with them next time they came, there would be no more provisions for them, he asked his servants to put the merchandise they brought along to barter in exchange for the grains back in their saddle-bags so that it might prompt them to return to him for more grains quicker. Besides, he was also eager to help his family as much as possible, and without causing either embarrassment to his step-brothers or arousing their suspicions).

12 : 63

63. Falamma rajaAAoo ila abeehim qaloo ya abana muniAAa minna alkaylu faarsil maAAana akhana naktal wa-inna lahu lahafithoona

When they returned to their father, they said : 'O our father! We have been refused future provisions unless we take our brother with us. Let him come so that we might obtain the provisions. And we promise we will guard him well.'

12 : 64

64. Qala hal amanukum AAalayhi illa kama amintukum AAala akheehi min qablu faAllahu khayrun hafithan wahuwa arhamu alrrahimeena

He said : 'Am I to trust you with him as I once trusted you with his brother? Allah is better at guarding and He is the most Merciful of those who have mercy!'

12 : 65

65. Walamma fatahoo mataAAahum wajadoo bidaAAatahum ruddat ilayhim qaloo ya abana ma nabghee hathihi bidaAAatuna ruddat ilayna wanameeru ahlana wanahfathu akhana wanazdadu kayla baAAeerin thalika kaylun yaseerun

And when they unpacked their saddle-bags and found the merchandise which was also returned to them, they said : 'O our father! What more could we wish for? Even our merchandise has been returned to us! Now we can bring rations to suffice our entire household, and we will guard our brother, and we will be given an extra camel load of victuals in return. What we have brought now is but meagre.'

12 : 66

66. Qala lan orsilahu maAAakum hatta tu/tooni mawthiqan mina Allahi lata/tunnanee bihi illa an yuhata bikum falamma atawhu mawthiqahum qala Allahu AAala ma naqoolu wakeelun

He said : 'I will not send him with you until you give me a solemn undertaking in the name of Allah that you would bring him back to me safe, except if you yourselves are restrained.' When they gave him that undertaking, he said : 'Allah is the guardian of all that we say!'

12 : 67

67. Waqala ya baniyya la tadkhuloo min babin wahidin waodkhuloo min abwabin mutafarriqatin wama oghnee AAankum mina Allahi min shay-in ini alhukmu illa lillahi AAalayhi tawakkaltu waAAalayhi falyatawakkali almutawakkiloona

Then he said : 'O my sons! Never enter the town through one gate but enter through different gates, though I cannot shield you from Allah's decision, - and the decision is now (as it always is) in the hands of Allah alone! - In Him do I put my trust and let those who trust put their trust in Him!

(This he suggested in case they fell victim to the evil eye - all the brothers together at long last, - but realized at once that no amount of precautions we take can protect us against the Decree of Allah and corrected himself, which is reiterated by Allah in the next verse).

12 : 68

68. Walamma dakhaloo min haythu amarahum aboohum ma kana yughnee AAanhum mina Allahi min shay-in illa hajatan fee nafsi yaAAqooba qadaha wa-innahu lathoo AAilmin lima AAallamnahu walakinna akthara alnnasi la yaAAlamoona

And when they entered the town in the manner suggested by their father, - he could not have shielded them from Allah's decision even if he had wanted to - it was just an anxiety in Jacob's heart which he thus quelled - and he was a man of knowledge because We had taught him that knowledge, though most of mankind know it not! (R)


OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:

 

MUHSIN:

58. And Ysuf's (Joseph) brethren came and they entered unto him, and he recognized them, but they recognized him not.

59. And when he had furnished them forth with provisions (according to their need), he said: "Bring me a brother of yours from your father; (he meant Benjamin). See you not that I give full measure, and that I am the best of the hosts?

60. "But if you bring him not to me, there shall be no measure (of corn) for you with me, nor shall you come near me."

61. They said: "We shall try to get permission (for him) from his father, and verily, we shall do it."

62. And [Ysuf (Joseph)] told his servants to put their money (with which they had bought the corn) into their bags, so that they might know it when they go back to their people, in order that they might come back.

63. So, when they returned to their father, they said: "O our father! No more measure of grain shall we get (unless we take our brother). So send our brother with us, and we shall get our measure and truly we will guard him."

64. He said: "Can I entrust him to you except as I entrusted his brother [Ysuf (Joseph)] to you aforetime? But Allh is the Best to guard, and He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy."

65. And when they opened their bags, they found their money had been returned to them. They said: "O our father! What (more) can we desire? This, our money has been returned to us, so we shall get (more) food for our family, and we shall guard our brother and add one more measure of a camel's load. This quantity is easy (for the king to give)."

66. He [Ya'qb (Jacob)] said: "I will not send him with you until you swear a solemn oath to me in Allh's Name, that you will bring him back to me unless you are yourselves surrounded (by enemies, etc.)," And when they had sworn their solemn oath, he said: "Allh is the Witness over what we have said."

67. And he said: "O my sons! Do not enter by one gate, but enter by different gates, and I cannot avail you against Allh at all. Verily! The decision rests only with Allh. In him, I put my trust and let all those that trust, put their trust in Him."[]

68. And when they entered according to their father's advice, it did not avail them in the least against (the Will of) Allh, it was but a need of Ya'qb's (Jacob) inner-self which he discharged. And verily, he was endowed with knowledge because We had taught him, but most men know not.

 


012.058
YUSUFALI: Then came Joseph's brethren: they entered his presence, and he knew them, but they knew him not.
PICKTHAL: And Joseph's brethren came and presented themselves before him, and he knew them but they knew him not.
SHAKIR: And Yusuf's brothers came and went in to him, and he knew them, while they did not recognize him.
012.059
YUSUFALI: And when he had furnished them forth with provisions (suitable) for them, he said: "Bring unto me a brother ye have, of the same father as yourselves, (but a different mother): see ye not that I pay out full measure, and that I do provide the best hospitality?
PICKTHAL: And when he provided them with their provision he said: Bring unto me a brother of yours from your father. See ye not that I fill up the measure and I am the best of hosts?
SHAKIR: And when he furnished them with their provision, he said: Bring to me a brother of yours from your father; do you not see that I give full measure and that I am the best of hosts?
012.060
YUSUFALI: "Now if ye bring him not to me, ye shall have no measure (of corn) from me, nor shall ye (even) come near me."
PICKTHAL: And if ye bring him not unto me, then there shall be no measure for you with me, nor shall ye draw near.
SHAKIR: But if you do not bring him to me, you shall have no measure (of corn) from me, nor shall you come near me.
012.061
YUSUFALI: They said: "We shall certainly seek to get our wish about him from his father: Indeed we shall do it."
PICKTHAL: They said: We will try to win him from his father: that we will surely do.
SHAKIR: They said: We will strive to make his father yield in respect of him, and we are sure to do (it).
012.062
YUSUFALI: And (Joseph) told his servants to put their stock-in-trade (with which they had bartered) into their saddle-bags, so they should know it only when they returned to their people, in order that they might come back.
PICKTHAL: He said unto his young men: Place their merchandise in their saddlebags, so that they may know it when they go back to their folk, and so will come again.
SHAKIR: And he said to his servants: Put their money into their bags that they may recognize it when they go back to their family, so that they may come back.
012.063
YUSUFALI: Now when they returned to their father, they said: "O our father! No more measure of grain shall we get (unless we take our brother): So send our brother with us, that we may get our measure; and we will indeed take every care of him."
PICKTHAL: So when they went back to their father they said: O our father! The measure is denied us, so send with us our brother that we may obtain the measure, surely we will guard him well.
SHAKIR: So when they returned to their father, they said: O our father, the measure is withheld from us, therefore send with us our brother, (so that) we may get the measure, and we will most surely guard him.
012.064
YUSUFALI: He said: "Shall I trust you with him with any result other than when I trusted you with his brother aforetime? But Allah is the best to take care (of him), and He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy!"
PICKTHAL: He said: Can I entrust him to you save as I entrusted his brother to you aforetime? Allah is better at guarding, and He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy.
SHAKIR: He said: I cannot trust in you with respect to him, except as I trusted in you with respect to his brother before; but Allah is the best Keeper, and He is the most Merciful of the merciful ones.
012.065
YUSUFALI: Then when they opened their baggage, they found their stock-in-trade had been returned to them. They said: "O our father! What (more) can we desire? this our stock-in-trade has been returned to us: so we shall get (more) food for our family; We shall take care of our brother; and add (at the same time) a full camel's load (of grain to our provisions). This is but a small quantity.
PICKTHAL: And when they opened their belongings they discovered that their merchandise had been returned to them. They said: O our father! What (more) can we ask? Here is our merchandise returned to us. We shall get provision for our folk and guard our brother, and we shall have the extra measure of a camel (load). This (that we bring now) is a light measure.
SHAKIR: And when they opened their goods, they found their money returned to them. They said: O our father! what (more) can we desire? This is our property returned to us, and we will bring corn for our family and guard our brother, and will have in addition the measure of a camel (load); this is an easy measure.
012.066
YUSUFALI: (Jacob) said: "Never will I send him with you until ye swear a solemn oath to me, in Allah's name, that ye will be sure to bring him back to me unless ye are yourselves hemmed in (and made powerless). And when they had sworn their solemn oath, he said: "Over all that we say, be Allah the witness and guardian!"
PICKTHAL: He said: I will not send him with you till ye give me an undertaking in the name of Allah that ye will bring him back to me, unless ye are surrounded. And when they gave him their undertaking he said: Allah is the Warden over what we say.
SHAKIR: He said: I will by no means send him with you until you give me a firm covenant in Allah's name that you will most certainly bring him back to me, unless you are completely surrounded. And when they gave him their covenant, he said: Allah is the One in Whom trust is placed as regards what we say.
012.067
YUSUFALI: Further he said: "O my sons! enter not all by one gate: enter ye by different gates. Not that I can profit you aught against Allah (with my advice): None can command except Allah: On Him do I put my trust: and let all that trust put their trust on Him."
PICKTHAL: And he said: O my sons! Go not in by one gate; go in by different gates. I can naught avail you as against Allah. Lo! the decision rests with Allah only. In Him do I put my trust, and in Him let all the trusting put their trust.
SHAKIR: And he said: O my sons ! do not (all) enter by one gate and enter by different gates and I cannot avail you aught against Allah; judgment is only Allah's; on Him do I rely, and on Him let those who are reliant rely.
012.068
YUSUFALI: And when they entered in the manner their father had enjoined, it did not profit them in the least against (the plan of) Allah: It was but a necessity of Jacob's soul, which he discharged. For he was, by our instruction, full of knowledge (and experience): but most men know not.
PICKTHAL: And when they entered in the manner which their father had enjoined, it would have naught availed them as against Allah; it was but a need of Jacob's soul which he thus satisfied; and lo! he was a lord of knowledge because We had taught him; but most of mankind know not.
SHAKIR: And when they had entered as their father had bidden them, it did not avail them aught against Allah, but (it was only) a desire in the soul of Yaqoub which he satisfied; and surely he was possessed of knowledge because We had given him knowledge, but most people do not know.

 

 Section 9. 

12 : 69

69. Walamma dakhaloo AAala yoosufa awa ilayhi akhahu qala innee ana akhooka fala tabta-is bima kanoo yaAAmaloona

When they came to Joseph, he offered his brother a seat near him and said : 'Verily I am your lost brother so let not their deeds distress you!'

(After the emotional re-union between the two brothers, - the others blissfully unaware about it, - Joseph secretly broke the news to Benjamin that he was none other than his own long lost brother Joseph, which overwhelmed him with joy and he swore that he would never again leave his side. Neither would Joseph, but he did need a convincing excuse to detain him without causing more grief to Jacob who had already suffered enough)

12 : 70

70. Falamma jahhazahum bijahazihim jaAAala alssiqayata fee rahli akheehi thumma aththana mu-aththinun ayyatuha alAAeeru innakum lasariqoona

So, after giving them their full measure, he deliberately concealed a precious goblet inside his brother's saddle-bag and a crier said to them at his behest : 'O travellers! Verily you are thieves!'

(Taking Benjamin into confidence about how he proposed to find that excuse, he hid a precious goblet belonging to the Royal household in his saddle-bag, waited until the caravan which the brothers had accompanied set out, then sent his guards to intercept them with the news and carry out a search, in case they were thieves and it was they who had stolen it).

12 : 71

71. Qaloo waaqbaloo AAalayhim matha tafqidoona

 

 They said, addressing the guards : 'What has been stolen?'

12 : 72

72. Qaloo nafqidu suwaAAa almaliki waliman jaa bihi himlu baAAeerin waana bihi zaAAeemun

The guards said : 'We can't find the royal goblet! Whoever returns it would be given a camel load of extra provisions as reward! And I (said Joseph) vouchsafe the reward!

12 : 73

73. Qaloo taAllahi laqad AAalimtum ma ji/na linufsida fee al-ardi wama kunna sariqeena

They said : 'By Allah! You know that we did not ride into town to cause trouble, nor are we thieves!'

12 : 74

74. Qaloo fama jazaohu in kuntum kathibeena

The guards said : 'What then shall be your punishment, if you turn out to be liars too?'

12 : 75

75. Qaloo jazaohu man wujida fee rahlihi fahuwa jazaohu kathalika najzee alththalimeena

They said : 'The punishment would be to enslave the one in whose possession the goblet is found! This is how thieves are punished where we come from.'

12 :  76

 

76. Fabadaa bi-awAAiyatihim qabla wiAAa-i akheehi thumma istakhrajaha min wiAAa-i akheehi kathalika kidna liyoosufa ma kana liya/khutha akhahu fee deeni almaliki illa an yashaa Allahu narfaAAu darajatin man nashao wafawqa kulli thee AAilmin AAaleemun

So he commenced a search of their saddle-bags before searching the saddle-bag of his own brother and produced the goblet from it - an excuse We gave to Joseph, - for he could not have otherwise detained his brother under the laws of the realm, except if Allah so willed! We elevate in stages those whom We will above the others; above every scholar, there always is a scholar more erudite!

(Under Egyptian Law, anyone who was proven to have stolen property belonging to the others was beaten and forced to pay twice the price of the stolen goods; but under the Syrian Law, if the thief was unable to pay twice the price, he was enslaved for the rest of his life, or until someone else restitutes on his behalf and obtains his release. That was the reason why the brothers were asked to name the punishment so that Benjamin was dealt with according to their Law and detained in slavery rather than the Egyptian Law and subjected to physical punishment).

12 : 77

77. Qaloo in yasriq faqad saraqa akhun lahu min qablu faasarraha yoosufu fee nafsihi walam yubdiha lahum qala antum sharrun makanan waAllahu aAAlamu bima tasifoona

They said : 'If he has stolen, a brother of his had also stolen in the past!' But Joseph buried their accusation deep in his heart without saying anything to them and mused within himself : 'You are even worse than I had thought! Allah knows best the truth about your imputations!'

(In a bid to exonerate themselves of wrong-doing or abetment in the commission of a felony, the wily brothers quickly distanced themselves from both Benjamin as well as Joseph, saying that, if Benjamin was a thief, so was his brother Joseph who had also stolen once in his childhood.

There is a difference of opinion amongst commentators about the allegation of theft to which his brothers referred. According to some commentators, even as a youngster, Joseph had such aversion to idol worship that, while staying with his aunt as her cherished guest, he noticed that the family had hidden a statue of his grandfather in a room and were offering him worship in secret; so he crushed it into pieces when no one was looking and threw them away in the garbage because of which a false imputation of theft was levelled against him by his aunt.

According to other commentators, while living with his aunt for a short while during his childhood, she became so fond of him that she wanted to keep him with her against the wishes of his father. Since there was no other way in which she could do it, she tied a belt around his waist which belonged to Abraham, without his knowledge, and then accused him of theft so that, according to their Shariyyah, she could enslave him and thus force Jacob to give him up.

In either case, the imputation was false, which the brothers knew well, and yet brought it up in that context in order save their own skin).

12 : 78

78. Qaloo ya ayyuha alAAazeezu inna lahu aban shaykhan kabeeran fakhuth ahadana makanahu inna naraka mina almuhsineena

They said : 'O ruler of the realm! He has a father who is extremely old, so hold one of us as prisoner in his place. Verily we acknowledge how gracious you have been!

12 : 79

79. Qala maAAatha Allahi an na/khutha illa man wajadna mataAAana AAindahu inna ithan lathalimoona

He said : 'Allah forbid that we hold anyone else other than him in whose possession our property is found, for then we too would become equal offenders! (R)


OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:

 

MUHSIN:

 

69. And when they went in before Ysuf (Joseph), he betook his brother (Benjamin) to himself and said: "Verily!I am your brother, so grieve not for what they used to do."

70. So when he had furnished them forth with their provisions, he put the (golden) bowl into his brother's bag, then a crier cried: "O you (in) the caravan! Surely, you are thieves!"

71. They, turning towards them, said: "What is it that you have missed?"

72. They said: "We have missed the (golden) bowl of the king and for him who produces it is (the reward of) a camel load; I will be bound by it."

73. They said: "By Allh! Indeed you know that we came not to make mischief in the land, and we are no thieves!"

74. They [Ysuf's (Joseph) men] said: "What then shall be the penalty of him, if you are (proved to be) liars."

75. They [Ysuf's (Joseph) brothers] said: "The penalty should be that he, in whose bag it is found, should be held for the punishment (of the crime). Thus we punish the Zlimn (wrong-doers, etc.)!"

76. So he [Ysuf (Joseph)] began (the search) in their bags before the bag of his brother. Then he brought it out of his brother's bag. Thus did We plan for Ysuf (Joseph). He could not take his brother by the law of the king (as a slave), except that Allh willed it. (So Allh made the brothers to bind themselves with their way of "punishment, i.e. enslaving of a thief.") We raise to degrees whom We please, but over all those endowed with knowledge is the All-Knowing (Allh).

77. They [(Ysuf's (Joseph) brothers] said: "If he steals, there was a brother of his [Ysuf (Joseph)] who did steal before (him)." But these things did Ysuf (Joseph) keep in himself, revealing not the secrets to them. He said (within himself): "You are in worst case, and Allh knows best the truth of what you assert!"

78. They said: "O ruler of the land! Verily, he has an old father (who will grieve for him); so take one of us in his place. Indeed we think that you are one of the Muhsinn (good-doers - see V.2:112)."

79. He said: "Allh forbid, that we should take anyone but him with whom we found our property. Indeed (if we did so), we should be Zlimn (wrong-doers)."

 



012.069
YUSUFALI: Now when they came into Joseph's presence, he received his (full) brother to stay with him. He said (to him): "Behold! I am thy (own) brother; so grieve not at aught of their doings."
PICKTHAL: And when they went in before Joseph, he took his brother unto him, saying: Lo! I, even I, am thy brother, therefore sorrow not for what they did.
SHAKIR: And when they went in to Yusuf. he lodged his brother with himself, saying: I am your brother, therefore grieve not at what they do.
012.070
YUSUFALI: At length when he had furnished them forth with provisions (suitable) for them, he put the drinking cup into his brother's saddle-bag. Then shouted out a crier: "O ye (in) the caravan! behold! ye are thieves, without doubt!"
PICKTHAL: And when he provided them with their provision, he put the drinking-cup in his brother's saddlebag, and then a crier cried: O camel-riders! Lo! ye are surely thieves!
SHAKIR: So when he furnished them with their provisions, (someone) placed the drinking cup in his brother's bag. Then a crier cried out: O caravan! you are most surely thieves.
012.071
YUSUFALI: They said, turning towards them: "What is it that ye miss?"
PICKTHAL: They cried, coming toward them: What is it ye have lost?
SHAKIR: They said while they were facing them: What is it that you miss?
012.072
YUSUFALI: They said: "We miss the great beaker of the king; for him who produces it, is (the reward of) a camel load; I will be bound by it."
PICKTHAL: They said: We have lost the king's cup, and he who bringeth it shall have a camel-load, and I (said Joseph) am answerable for it.
SHAKIR: They said: We miss the king's drinking cup, and he who shall bring it shall have a camel-load and I am responsible for it.
012.073
YUSUFALI: (The brothers) said: "By Allah! well ye know that we came not to make mischief in the land, and we are no thieves!"
PICKTHAL: They said: By Allah, well ye know we came not to do evil in the land, and are no thieves.
SHAKIR: They said: By Allah! you know for certain that we have not come to make mischief in the land, and we are not thieves.
012.074
YUSUFALI: (The Egyptians) said: "What then shall be the penalty of this, if ye are (proved) to have lied?"
PICKTHAL: They said: And what shall be the penalty for it, if ye prove liars?
SHAKIR: They said: But what shall be the requital of this, if you are liars?
012.075
YUSUFALI: They said: "The penalty should be that he in whose saddle-bag it is found, should be held (as bondman) to atone for the (crime). Thus it is we punish the wrong-doers!"
PICKTHAL: They said: The penalty for it! He in whose bag (the cup) is found, he is the penalty for it. Thus we requite wrong-doers.
SHAKIR: They said: The requital of this is that the person in whose bag it is found shall himself be (held for) the satisfaction thereof; thus do we punish the wrongdoers.
012.076
YUSUFALI: So he began (the search) with their baggage, before (he came to) the baggage of his brother: at length he brought it out of his brother's baggage. Thus did We plan for Joseph. He could not take his brother by the law of the king except that Allah willed it (so). We raise to degrees (of wisdom) whom We please: but over all endued with knowledge is one, the All-Knowing.
PICKTHAL: Then he (Joseph) began the search with their bags before his brother's bag, then he produced it from his brother's bag. Thus did We contrive for Joseph. He could not have taken his brother according to the king's law unless Allah willed. We raise by grades (of mercy) whom We will, and over every lord of knowledge there is one more knowing.
SHAKIR: So he began with their sacks before the sack of his brother, then he brought it out from his brother's sack. Thus did We plan for the sake of Yusuf; it was not (lawful) that he should take his brother under the king's law unless Allah pleased; We raise the degrees of whomsoever We please, and above every one possessed of knowledge is the All-knowing one.
012.077
YUSUFALI: They said: "If he steals, there was a brother of his who did steal before (him)." But these things did Joseph keep locked in his heart, revealing not the secrets to them. He (simply) said (to himself): "Ye are the worse situated; and Allah knoweth best the truth of what ye assert!"
PICKTHAL: They said: If he stealeth, a brother of his stole before. But Joseph kept it secret in his soul and revealed it not unto them. He said (within himself): Ye are in worse case, and Allah knoweth best (the truth of) that which ye allege.
SHAKIR: They said: If he steal, a brother of his did indeed steal before; but Yusuf kept it secret in his heart and did not disclose it to them. He said: You are in an evil condition and Allah knows best what you state.
012.078
YUSUFALI: They said: "O exalted one! Behold! he has a father, aged and venerable, (who will grieve for him); so take one of us in his place; for we see that thou art (gracious) in doing good."
PICKTHAL: They said: O ruler of the land! Lo! he hath a very aged father, so take one of us instead of him. Lo! we behold thee of those who do kindness.
SHAKIR: They said: O chief! he has a father, a very old man, therefore retain one of us in his stead; surely we see you to be of the doers of good.
012.079
YUSUFALI: He said: "Allah forbid that we take other than him with whom we found our property: indeed (if we did so), we should be acting wrongfully.
PICKTHAL: He said: Allah forbid that we should seize save him with whom we found our property; then truly we should be wrong-doers.
SHAKIR: He said: Allah protect us that we should seize other than him with whom we found our property, for then most surely we would be unjust.
 


 
Section 10. 

12 : 80

80. Falamma istay-asoo minhu khalasoo najiyyan qala kabeeruhum alam taAAlamoo anna abakum qad akhatha AAalaykum mawthiqan mina Allahi wamin qablu ma farrattum fee yoosufa falan abraha al-arda hatta ya/thana lee abee aw yahkuma Allahu lee wahuwa khayru alhakimeena

Disappointed by his reply, they went aside and conferred with one another. The eldest of them said : 'Do you not remember that your father has taken an undertaking from you in the name of Allah and how you once let him down with regards to Joseph too? I have no intention of budging from here until either my father permits me, or Allah Himself judges for me. And Allah is the best of Judges! -

12 : 81

81. IrjiAAoo ila abeekum faqooloo ya abana inna ibnaka saraqa wama shahidna illa bima AAalimna wama kunna lilghaybi hafitheena

'Go back to your father and say : 'Father! Your son committed theft! We can testify only to that which we know and cannot vouch for the unseen!

12 : 82

82. Wais-ali alqaryata allatee kunna feeha waalAAeera allatee aqbalna feeha wa-inna lasadiqoona

'Ask in the town where we have been and ask the caravan with whom we came back. Verily we speak the truth!'

12 : 83

83. Qala bal sawwalat lakum anfusukum amran fasabrun jameelun AAasa Allahu an ya/tiyanee bihim jameeAAan innahu huwa alAAaleemu alhakeemu

He (Jacob) said : 'Nay, but your souls seem to have tempted you into doing something again. Patience is my best recourse! It may be that Allah will bring us together soon. He is the Erudite and the Wise One!'

12 : 84

84. Watawalla AAanhum waqala ya asafa AAala yoosufa waibyaddat AAaynahu mina alhuzni fahuwa katheemun

Turning away from them, he cried to himself : 'O wretched grief of separation from Joseph!' And his eyes had turned opaque from the grief he was suppressing!

12 : 85

85. Qaloo taAllahi taftao tathkuru yoosufa hatta takoona haradan aw takoona mina alhalikeena

They (his folks and grand-children) said : 'By Allah! You are distressing yourself over the memory of Joseph to such an extent that it is driving you to your grave and perhaps might even kill you!'

12 : 86

86. Qala innama ashkoo baththee wahuznee ila Allahi waaAAlamu mina Allahi ma la taAAlamoona

He said : 'I show my worries and my grief to Allah alone because I know from Allah that which you know not!

(There is a clear indication here that, despite the departure of Joseph from his life so many years ago; despite the lack of news from him or about him during such a lengthy period of suspense and uncertainty; despite the grief he endured and the tears he had shed for him; despite the opaque layers of blindness clouding over in his eyes from the intensity of his grief; despite the seemingly improbable possibilities of a re-union with Joseph; he had never truly lost hope in the kindness and compassion of Allah; his wait for his lost son never came to an end nor his expectations ever subside and turn into total despair. Deep down his heart he remained optimistic that Allah would never take his son away from him forever: that he was out there somewhere waiting to be united with his parents; that the day was not too far when they would be together again; that his son's dream was still waiting to be realized and that Allah's Grace upon the family of Jacob was still outstanding.)

12 : 87

87. Ya baniyya ithhaboo fatahassasoo min yoosufa waakheehi wala tay-asoo min rawhi Allahi innahu la yay-asu min rawhi Allahi illa alqawmu alkafiroona

'O my sons! Go in search of news about Joseph and his brother and do not relinquish hope in the Mercy of Allah! No one relinquishes hopes in Allah except those who do not believe in Him!

12 : 88

88. Falamma dakhaloo AAalayhi qaloo ya ayyuha alAAazeezu massana waahlana alddurru waji/na bibidaAAatin muzjatin faawfi lana alkayla watasaddaq AAalayna inna Allaha yajzee almutasaddiqeena

When they came back to Joseph, they said : 'O ruler! We and our people have been smitten by misfortune and we have brought inadequate funds! Let us have our usual quota of provisions and be charitable to us, for verily Allah rewards those who are charitable!

(Upon seeing his brothers thus stand before him, their hands outstretched, their eyes tearful, their pockets empty, their heads bowed, their faces shrivelled, their throats dry, their knees quivering, begging for his mercy and beseeching him for favours so that they could return home with the much needed grains and feed their parents, one of whom was his own old father, he could no longer stand aloof and prolong their torment. The promise of Allah to him did come true that one day they would thus stand before him for favours without even realizing who he was, imploring him to be charitable towards them! So, at long last, he broke his silence and addressed them with the real truth)

12 : 89

89. Qala hal AAalimtum ma faAAaltum biyoosufa waakheehi ith antum jahiloona

He said : 'Are you aware of what you have done to Joseph and to his brother out of your ignorance?'

(At that point, as he stood there smiling at them, they recognized the captivating smile that belonged to Joseph alone and shot open their eyes with total astonishment and incredulity!)

12 : 90

90. Qaloo a-innaka laanta yoosufa qala ana yoosufu wahatha akhee qad manna Allahu AAalayna innahu man yattaqi wayasbir fa-inna Allaha la yudeeAAu ajra almuhsineena

They said : 'Could it be that you are Joseph?' He said : 'Yes I am Joseph and this is my brother. Allah has been graceful towards us! Whoever fears Allah and is patient, Allah does not let the righteousness of the righteous go a waste!

12 : 91

91. Qaloo taAllahi laqad atharaka Allahu AAalayna wa-in kunna lakhati-eena

They said : 'By Allah! Verily He has preferred you above us, and we were indeed an erring folk!'

(And thus, for the first time in their lives, they had the decency to admit to their errors, concede that they all received from Allah their due desserts; the head upon which they scattered dust now stood wearing a crown; the body on which they inflicted kicks was now wrapped in silks and brocade; the hands from which they had snatched away everything held the sceptre of authority; the face which they had soiled with smears of soot was beaming and radiant; the feet which they had bared and forced to tread upon thorns stood firm under the threshold of fame! But the hands which scattered the dust were now empty and outstretched; the feet which had landed the merciless kicks were covered with blisters; the lips with which they had delivered affronts were now parched from thirst and the stomachs which gorged the share of bread belonging to others were hollow from hunger and starvation! The scores were levelled, the scales were balanced, justice was done, truth was vindicated as it always is and will always be when Allah Himself sits in judgement upon those who defy His justice!)

12 : 92

92. Qala la tathreeba AAalaykumu alyawma yaghfiru Allahu lakum wahuwa arhamu alrrahimeena

He said : 'On this day let there be no recriminations! May Allah forgive you, for He is kindlier than the kindliest!

(How true! To err is human and to forgive Divine!! What else could one have expected from a Prophet of Allah other than magnanimity; what else could Joseph have given to them other than forgiveness and lenity; what other message could he have delivered to them except asking them to trust Him who is kindlier than the kindliest!)

12 : 93

93. Ithhaboo biqameesee hatha faalqoohu AAala wajhi abee ya/ti baseeran wa/toonee bi-ahlikum ajmaAAeena

'Take this shirt and wrap it around my father's face which will restore his sight and then bring your entire household to me.' (R)

(The shirt which was removed from the body of Abraham by the idolaters before they cast him in the fire; the shirt which he was wearing when his brothers kicked him and gagged him and blindfolded him and tied him up and then dumped him in the pond; the shirt which the Archangel removed from his bruised body and hung up so that it emitted a Divine glow and lit up his murky surroundings! It was now Joseph's turn to let his father share the healing power of that celestial garment!)


OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:

 

MUHSIN:

 

80. So, when they despaired of him, they held a conference in private. The eldest among them said: "Know you not that your father did take an oath from you in Allh's Name, and before this you did fail in your duty with Ysuf (Joseph)? Therefore I will not leave this land until my father permits me, or Allh decides my case (by releasing Benjamin) and He is the Best of the judges.

81. "Return to your father and say, 'O our father! Verily, your son (Benjamin) has stolen, and we testify not except according to what we know, and we could not know the unseen!

82. "And ask (the people of) the town where we have been, and the caravan in which we returned, and indeed we are telling the truth."

83. He [Ya'qb (Jacob)] said: "Nay, but your ownselves have beguiled you into something. So patience is most fitting (for me). May be Allh will bring them (back) all to me. Truly He! only He is All-Knowing, All-Wise."

84. And he turned away from them and said: "Alas, my grief for Ysuf (Joseph)!" And he lost his sight because of the sorrow that he was suppressing.

85. They said: "By Allh! You will never cease remembering Ysuf (Joseph) until you become weak with old age, or until you be of the dead."

86. He said: "I only complain of my grief and sorrow to Allh, and I know from Allh that which you know not.

87. "O my sons! Go you and enquire about Ysuf (Joseph) and his brother, and never give up hope of Allh's Mercy. Certainly no one despairs of Allh's Mercy, except the people who disbelieve."

88. Then, when they entered unto him [Ysuf (Joseph)], they said: "O ruler of the land! A hard time has hit us and our family, and we have brought but poor capital, so pay us full measure and be charitable to us. Truly, Allh does reward the charitable."

89. He said: "Do you know what you did with Ysuf (Joseph) and his brother, when you were ignorant?"

90. They said: "Are you indeed Ysuf (Joseph)?" He said: "I am Ysuf (Joseph), and this is my brother (Benjamin). Allh has indeed been gracious to us. Verily, he who fears Allh with obedience to Him (by abstaining from sins and evil deeds, and by performing righteous good deeds), and is patient, then surely, Allh makes not the reward of the Muhsinn (good-doers - see V.2:112) to be lost."

91. They said: "By Allh! Indeed Allh has preferred you above us, and we certainly have been sinners."

92. He said: "No reproach on you this day, may Allh forgive you, and He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy![]

93. "Go with this shirt of mine, and cast it over the face of my father, he will become clear-sighted, and bring to me all your family."

 

012.080
YUSUFALI: Now when they saw no hope of his (yielding), they held a conference in private. The leader among them said: "Know ye not that your father did take an oath from you in Allah's name, and how, before this, ye did fail in your duty with Joseph? Therefore will I not leave this land until my father permits me, or Allah commands me; and He is the best to command.
PICKTHAL: So, When they despaired of (moving) him, they conferred together apart. The eldest of them said: Know ye not how your father took an undertaking from you in Allah's name and how ye failed in the case of Joseph aforetime? Therefore I shall not go forth from the land until my father giveth leave or Allah judgeth for me. He is the Best of Judges.
SHAKIR: Then when they despaired of him, they retired, conferring privately together. The eldest of them said: Do you not know that your father took from you a covenant in Allah's name, and how you fell short of your duty with respect to Yusuf before? Therefore I will by no means depart from this land until my father permits me or Allah decides for me, and He is the best of the judges:
012.081
YUSUFALI: "Turn ye back to your father, and say, 'O our father! behold! thy son committed theft! we bear witness only to what we know, and we could not well guard against the unseen!
PICKTHAL: Return unto your father and say: O our father! Lo! thy son hath stolen. We testify only to that which we know; we are not guardians of the Unseen.
SHAKIR: Go back to your father and say: O our father! surely your son committed theft, and we do not bear witness except to what we have known, and we could not keep watch over the unseen:
012.082
YUSUFALI: "'Ask at the town where we have been and the caravan in which we returned, and (you will find) we are indeed telling the truth.'"
PICKTHAL: Ask the township where we were, and the caravan with which we travelled hither. Lo! we speak the truth.
SHAKIR: And inquire in the town in which we were and the caravan with which we proceeded, and most surely we are truthful.
012.083
YUSUFALI: Jacob said: "Nay, but ye have yourselves contrived a story (good enough) for you. So patience is most fitting (for me). Maybe Allah will bring them (back) all to me (in the end). For He is indeed full of knowledge and wisdom."
PICKTHAL: (And when they came unto their father and had spoken thus to him) he said: Nay, but your minds have beguiled you into something. (My course is) comely patience! It may be that Allah will bring them all unto me. Lo! He, only He, is the Knower, the Wise.
SHAKIR: He (Yaqoub) said: Nay, your souls have made a matter light for you, so patience is good; maybe Allah will bring them all together to me; surely He is the Knowing, the Wise.
012.084
YUSUFALI: And he turned away from them, and said: "How great is my grief for Joseph!" And his eyes became white with sorrow, and he fell into silent melancholy.
PICKTHAL: And he turned away from them and said: Alas, my grief for Joseph! And his eyes were whitened with the sorrow that he was suppressing.
SHAKIR: And he turned away from them, and said: O my sorrow for Yusuf! and his eyes became white on account of the grief, and he was a repressor (of grief).
012.085
YUSUFALI: They said: "By Allah! (never) wilt thou cease to remember Joseph until thou reach the last extremity of illness, or until thou die!"
PICKTHAL: They said: By Allah, thou wilt never cease remembering Joseph till thy health is ruined or thou art of those who perish!
SHAKIR: They said: By Allah! you will not cease to remember Yusuf until you are a prey to constant disease or (until) you are of those who perish.
012.086
YUSUFALI: He said: "I only complain of my distraction and anguish to Allah, and I know from Allah that which ye know not...
PICKTHAL: He said: I expose my distress and anguish only unto Allah, and I know from Allah that which ye know not.
SHAKIR: He said: I only complain of my grief and sorrow to Allah, and I know from Allah what you do not know.
012.087
YUSUFALI: "O my sons! go ye and enquire about Joseph and his brother, and never give up hope of Allah's Soothing Mercy: truly no one despairs of Allah's Soothing Mercy, except those who have no faith."
PICKTHAL: Go, O my sons, and ascertain concerning Joseph and his brother, and despair not of the Spirit of Allah. Lo! none despaireth of the Spirit of Allah save disbelieving folk.
SHAKIR: O my sons! Go and inquire respecting Yusuf and his brother, and despair not of Allah's mercy; surely none despairs of Allah's mercy except the unbelieving people.
012.088
YUSUFALI: Then, when they came (back) into (Joseph's) presence they said: "O exalted one! distress has seized us and our family: we have (now) brought but scanty capital: so pay us full measure, (we pray thee), and treat it as charity to us: for Allah doth reward the charitable."
PICKTHAL: And when they came (again) before him (Joseph) they said: O ruler! Misfortune hath touched us and our folk, and we bring but poor merchandise, so fill for us the measure and be charitable unto us. Lo! Allah will requite the charitable,
SHAKIR: So when they came in to him, they said: O chief! distress has afflicted us and our family and we have brought scanty money, so give us full measure and be charitable to us; surely Allah rewards the charitable.
012.089
YUSUFALI: He said: "Know ye how ye dealt with Joseph and his brother, not knowing (what ye were doing)?"
PICKTHAL: He said: Know ye what ye did unto Joseph and his brother in your ignorance?
SHAKIR: He said: Do you know how you treated Yusuf and his brother when you were ignorant?
012.090
YUSUFALI: They said: "Art thou indeed Joseph?" He said, "I am Joseph, and this is my brother: Allah has indeed been gracious to us (all): behold, he that is righteous and patient,- never will Allah suffer the reward to be lost, of those who do right."
PICKTHAL: They said: Is it indeed thou who art Joseph? He said: I am Joseph and this is my brother. Allah hath shown us favour. Lo! he who wardeth off (evil) and endureth (findeth favour); for lo! Allah loseth not the wages of the kindly.
SHAKIR: They said: Are you indeed Yusuf? He said: I am Yusuf and this is my brother; Allah has indeed been gracious to us; surely he who guards (against evil) and is patient (is rewarded) for surely Allah does not waste the reward of those who do good.
012.091
YUSUFALI: They said: "By Allah! indeed has Allah preferred thee above us, and we certainly have been guilty of sin!"
PICKTHAL: They said: By Allah, verily Allah hath preferred thee above us, and we were indeed sinful.
SHAKIR: They said: By Allah! now has Allah certainly chosen you over us, and we were certainly sinners.
012.092
YUSUFALI: He said: "This day let no reproach be (cast) on you: Allah will forgive you, and He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy!
PICKTHAL: He said: Have no fear this day! May Allah forgive you, and He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy.
SHAKIR: He said: (There shall be) no reproof against you this day; Allah may forgive you, and He is the most Merciful of the merciful.
012.093
YUSUFALI: "Go with this my shirt, and cast it over the face of my father: he will come to see (clearly). Then come ye (here) to me together with all your family."
PICKTHAL: Go with this shirt of mine and lay it on my father's face, he will become (again) a seer; and come to me with all your folk.
SHAKIR: Take this my shirt and cast it on my father's face, he will (again) be able to see, and come to me with all your families.

 

Section 11

 12 : 94

94. Walamma fasalati alAAeeru qala aboohum innee laajidu reeha yoosufa lawla an tufannidooni

As their caravan set out (from Egypt); his father said (to his friends and grand-children) : 'I can almost feel the scent of Joseph in my lungs, if you do not say to me that I am raving again!

12 : 95

95. Qaloo taAllahi innaka lafee dalalika alqadeemi

 

They said : 'By Allah! You are still sunk in the same old stint of self divergence!'

12 : 96

96. Falamma an jaa albasheeru alqahu AAala wajhihi fairtadda baseeran qala alam aqul lakum innee aAAlamu mina Allahi ma la taAAlamoona

When the harbinger arrived with the shirt and wrapped it around his face, his vision was restored at once! He said : 'Did I not tell you that I know from Allah the things about which you have no knowledge?'

(The 'harbinger' was the oldest of the brothers who had sought the privilege of carrying the shirt to their father and watch with his own eyes the miracle of how it restored his eye-sight because all those years ago, when they dumped Joseph in the disused pond, he was the one who had taken off his shirt, soaked it in the blood of a goat and shocked the old man with the sad news about his being devoured by a wolf.

The firm conviction of Jacob in the face of all overwhelming odds that Joseph was still alive, that Allah was constantly guarding over him and that He will bring them all together one day is reasserted once again in his words that he knew it all along that which the others did not know!)

12 : 97

97. Qaloo ya abana istaghfir lana thunoobana inna kunna khati-eena

They said : 'O our father! Seek forgiveness for our sins too, for verily we were sinful!

12 : 98

98. Qala sawfa astaghfiru lakum rabbee innahu huwa alghafooru alrraheemu

He said : 'I will surely seek forgiveness for you of my Lord, for verily He is the most Magnanimous and the most Merciful!

(With that, the brothers were forgiven by those whom they had wronged out of their utter ignorance and selfishness. Allah too forgave them, - as assured by Jacob at the behest of his Lord.

When Jacob set out from Canaan for Egypt, his entire household had comprised of 72 or 73 individuals. However, in course of the following four hundred years until the emergence of Moses, they steadily grew by the Grace and Will of Allah, and at the time of the Exodus, their numbers were said to have been over 600,000, referred to throughout the Qur'aan as the 'Children of Israel').

12 : 99

99. Falamma dakhaloo AAala yoosufa awa ilayhi abawayhi waqala odkhuloo misra in shaa Allahu amineena

When they arrived in the presence of Joseph, he made his parents sit near him and said :'Welcome to Egypt in peace, by the will of Allah!'

12 : 100

100. WarafaAAa abawayhi AAala alAAarshi wakharroo lahu sujjadan waqala ya abati hatha ta/weelu ru/yaya min qablu qad jaAAalaha rabbee haqqan waqad ahsana bee ith akhrajanee mina alssijni wajaa bikum mina albadwi min baAAdi an nazagha alshshaytanu baynee wabayna ikhwatee inna rabbee lateefun lima yashao innahu huwa alAAaleemu alhakeemu

And he raised his parents on the throne whilst the rest of them fell down before him prostrate and he said : 'O my father! This is the interpretation of my dream I had seen in the past. My Lord has made it come true and has shown me kindness by freeing me from prison and bringing all of you here from across the desert in spite of the strife Satan had caused between me and my brothers! Verily my Lord is indulgent towards whom He will and He is Erudite and Wise!

(It should be re-iterated here once again that prostration in this context is a gesture of reverence and not of Worship. Even though Islam forbids prostration before anything or anyone regardless of its motive except before Allah, the traditions prevalent at the time permitted people to express their respect by prostrating before them in the same way as we shake hands with or touch the feet of our peers and priests following a re-union or an auspicious assembly.

It should also be pointed out here by way of a tribute to Joseph's concern for the feelings of others that, though being left to die in the pond was one of the main highlights of his trials and tribulations, he avoided including them in his address to his parents in order to spare their feelings. Having wiped the slates clean and avowed to make a fresh start, there was no longer a need to delve into the past and revive the wounds, especially not whilst they were there under his roof and as his honoured guests.

According to Islamic researchers, Jacob is believed to have lived for well over twentyfour years with Joseph in peace and comfort, watching the rest of his sons also make a new life for themselves. At the time of his death, he asked his coffin to be taken to the Hallowed land in Syria and buried next to his father Isaac, which was carried out by Joseph).

12 : 101

101. Rabbi qad ataytanee mina almulki waAAallamtanee min ta/weeli al-ahadeethi fatira alssamawati waal-ardi anta waliyyee fee alddunya waal-akhirati tawaffanee musliman waalhiqnee bialssaliheena

'O Lord! Verily You have blessed me with authority and some knowledge about interpretation of events (conveyed to men in dreams)! O Creator of the heavens and the earth! You are my Guardian in this world and in the Hereafter, so enable me to die as one who has surrendered to You and enter me in the circle of the righteous!'

(The famous prayer of Joseph is recited as often as possible by Muslims across the world and invariably incorporated in daily worship because of its content as being a prayer for the redemption of the soul and betterment of Hereafter, in which Joseph cries to his Lord to enable him to die as a believer and enter him in the circle of the righteous, as we do, the circle referring to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, all Prophets of Allah.

It is said that Joseph offered this prayer on his way back from Syria after committing the mortal remains of his father and one of his uncles who died around the same time to the earth.

Joseph outlived his father by 33 years before passing into the pages of history! There is a great deal of controversy about where exactly his remains were finally laid to rest, including the view that he was buried at the bottom of the River Nile in a tomb made of marble so that every wave carried with it water sanctified by contact with his grave and reached every household in Egypt.

This brings the momentous events about Joseph to an end, making it crystal clear how the Children of Israel happened to move to Egypt and live there until Moses delivered them from the clutches of one of the most evil Pharaohs to have occupied the throne of Egypt!)

12 : 102

102. Thalika min anba-i alghaybi nooheehi ilayka wama kunta ladayhim ith ajmaAAoo amrahum wahum yamkuroona

These are some events of the past which We inspire in you (O Mohammed) - and you were not present with them when they chartered their course and made their plans!

12 : 103

103. Wama aktharu alnnasi walaw harasta bimu/mineena

Yet most of mankind - no matter how much you wish them to - will not believe!

12 : 104

104. Wama tas-aluhum AAalayhi min ajrin in huwa illa thikrun lilAAalameena

You demand of them no recompense for it because it is nothing but a Reminder to all mankind! (R)


OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:

 

MUHSIN:

94. And when the caravan departed, their father said: "I do indeed feel the smell of Ysuf (Joseph), if only you think me not a dotard (a person who has weakness of mind because of old age)."

95. They said: "By Allh! Certainly, you are in your old error."

96. Then, when the bearer of the glad tidings arrived, he cast it (the shirt) over his face, and he became clear-sighted. He said: "Did I not say to you, 'I know from Allh that which you know not.' "

97. They said: "O our father! Ask forgiveness (from Allh) for our sins, indeed we have been sinners."

98. He said: "I will ask my Lord for forgiveness for you, verily He! Only He is the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful."

99. Then, when they entered unto Ysuf (Joseph), he betook his parents to himself and said: "Enter Egypt, if Allh wills, in security."

100. And he raised his parents to the throne and they fell down before him prostrate. And he said: "O my father! This is the interpretation of my dream aforetime! My Lord has made it come true! He was indeed good to me, when He took me out of the prison, and brought you (all here) out of the bedouin-life, after Shaitn (Satan) had sown enmity between me and my brothers. Certainly, my Lord is the Most Courteous and Kind unto whom He will. Truly He! Only He is the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.

101. "My Lord! You have indeed bestowed on me of the sovereignty, and taught me the interpretation of dreams; The (only) Creator of the heavens and the earth! You are my Wal (Protector, Helper, Supporter, Guardian, etc.) in this world and in the Hereafter, cause me to die as a Muslim (the one submitting to Your Will), and join me with the righteous."

102. This is of the news of the Ghaib (unseen) which We reveal by Inspiration to you (O Muhammad SAW ). You were not (present) with them when they arranged their plan together, and (also, while) they were plotting.

103. And most of mankind will not believe even if you desire it eagerly.

104. And no reward you (O Muhammad SAW) ask of them (those who deny your Prophethood) for it, it(the Qur'n) is no less than a Reminder and an advice unto the 'Alamn (men and jinns).

 


012.094
YUSUFALI: When the caravan left (Egypt), their father said: "I do indeed scent the presence of Joseph: Nay, think me not a dotard."
PICKTHAL: When the caravan departed their father had said: Truly I am conscious of the breath of Joseph, though ye call me dotard.
SHAKIR: And when the caravan had departed, their father said: Most surely I perceive the greatness of Yusuf, unless you pronounce me to be weak in judgment.

012.095
YUSUFALI: They said: "By Allah! truly thou art in thine old wandering mind."
PICKTHAL: (Those around him) said: By Allah, lo! thou art in thine old aberration.
SHAKIR: They said: By Allah, you are most surely in your old error.

012.096
YUSUFALI: Then when the bearer of the good news came, He cast (the shirt) over his face, and he forthwith regained clear sight. He said: "Did I not say to you, 'I know from Allah that which ye know not?'"
PICKTHAL: Then, when the bearer of glad tidings came, he laid it on his face and he became a seer once more. He said: Said I not unto you that I know from Allah that which ye know not?
SHAKIR: So when the bearer of good news came he cast it on his face, so forthwith he regained his sight. He said: Did I not say to you that I know from Allah what you do not know?

012.097
YUSUFALI: They said: "O our father! ask for us forgiveness for our sins, for we were truly at fault."
PICKTHAL: They said: O our father! Ask forgiveness of our sins for us, for lo! we were sinful.
SHAKIR: They said: O our father! ask forgiveness of our faults for us, surely we were sinners.

012.098
YUSUFALI: He said: "Soon will I ask my Lord for forgiveness for you: for he is indeed Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful."
PICKTHAL: He said: I shall ask forgiveness for you of my Lord. Lo! He is the Forgiving, the Merciful.
SHAKIR: He said: I will ask for you forgiveness from my Lord; surely He is the Forgiving, the Merciful.

012.099
YUSUFALI: Then when they entered the presence of Joseph, he provided a home for his parents with himself, and said: "Enter ye Egypt (all) in safety if it please Allah."
PICKTHAL: And when they came in before Joseph, he took his parents unto him, and said: Come into Egypt safe, if Allah will!
SHAKIR: Then when they came in to Yusuf, he took his parents to lodge with him and said: Enter safe into Egypt, if Allah please.

012.100
YUSUFALI: And he raised his parents high on the throne (of dignity), and they fell down in prostration, (all) before him. He said: "O my father! this is the fulfilment of my vision of old! Allah hath made it come true! He was indeed good to me when He took me out of prison and brought you (all here) out of the desert, (even) after Satan had sown enmity between me and my brothers. Verily my Lord understandeth best the mysteries of all that He planneth to do, for verily He is full of knowledge and wisdom.
PICKTHAL: And he placed his parents on the dais and they fell down before him prostrate, and he said: O my father! This is the interpretation of my dream of old. My Lord hath made it true, and He hath shown me kindness, since He took me out of the prison and hath brought you from the desert after Satan had made strife between me and my brethren. Lo! my Lord is tender unto whom He will. He is the Knower, the Wise.
SHAKIR: And he raised his parents upon the throne and they fell down in prostration before him, and he said: O my father! this is the significance of my vision of old; my Lord has indeed made it to be true; and He was indeed kind to me when He brought me forth from the prison and brought you from the desert after the Shaitan had sown dissensions between me and my brothers, surely my Lord is benignant to whom He pleases; surely He is the Knowing, the Wise.

012.101
YUSUFALI: "O my Lord! Thou hast indeed bestowed on me some power, and taught me something of the interpretation of dreams and events,- O Thou Creator of the heavens and the earth! Thou art my Protector in this world and in the Hereafter. Take Thou my soul (at death) as one submitting to Thy will (as a Muslim), and unite me with the righteous."
PICKTHAL: O my Lord! Thou hast given me (something) of sovereignty and hast taught me (something) of the interpretation of events - Creator of the heavens and the earth! Thou art my Protecting Guardian in the world and the Hereafter. Make me to die muslim (unto Thee), and join me to the righteous.
SHAKIR: My Lord! Thou hast given me of the kingdom and taught me of the interpretation of sayings: Originator of the heavens and the earth! Thou art my guardian in this world and the hereafter; make me die a muslim and join me with the good.

012.102
YUSUFALI: Such is one of the stories of what happened unseen, which We reveal by inspiration unto thee; nor wast thou (present) with them then when they concerted their plans together in the process of weaving their plots.
PICKTHAL: This is of the tidings of the Unseen which We inspire in thee (Muhammad). Thou wast not present with them when they fixed their plan and they were scheming.
SHAKIR: This is of the announcements relating to the unseen (which) We reveal to you, and you were not with them when they resolved upon their affair, and they were devising plans.

012.103
YUSUFALI: Yet no faith will the greater part of mankind have, however ardently thou dost desire it.
PICKTHAL: And though thou try much, most men will not believe.
SHAKIR: And most men will not believe though you desire it eagerly.

012.104
YUSUFALI: And no reward dost thou ask of them for this: it is no less than a message for all creatures.
PICKTHAL: Thou askest them no fee for it. It is naught else than a reminder unto the peoples.
SHAKIR: And you do not ask them for a reward for this; it is nothing but a reminder for all mankind.

 

  Section 12.   

12 : 105

105. Wakaayyin min ayatin fee alssamawati waal-ardi yamurroona AAalayha wahum AAanha muAAridoo

And how many portents there are in the heavens and upon the earth which they pass by but without taking any notice!

12 : 106

106. Wama yu/minu aktharuhum biAllahi illa wahum mushrikoona

And among them are many who cannot believe in Allah without assigning partners to Him!

(A sharp address to the idolaters of Mecca who could not bring themselves to worship Allah, surrender to Him without stipulations, accept His message and follow the righteous path prescribed by Him through His messenger as outlined in the Qur'aan, except if they could assign partners to Him and dilute His Oneness).

12 : 107

107. Afaaminoo an ta/tiyahum ghashiyatun min AAathabi Allahi aw ta/tiyahumu alssaAAatu baghtatan wahum la yashAAuroona

Have they become complacent that the wrath of Allah would not land on them, or that the Hour of Doom would not take them unawares?

12 : 108

108. Qul hathihi sabeelee adAAoo ila Allahi AAala baseeratin ana wamani ittabaAAanee wasubhana Allahi wama ana mina almushrikeena

Say to them : 'This is my chosen path! I beckon you to Allah, - I and those with vision who follow in my footsteps! - Glory be to Allah! - and never shall I assign partners to Him!'

(According to most commentators the reference here is primarily to the close associates of the Prophet who helped him promote the Cause of Allah and establish Al-Islam as the only true religion of Allah during his lifetime, and in general to Muslims all over the world who have the ability to assume leadership and set up examples in righteousness and piety for the others to follow).

12 : 109

109. Wama arsalna min qablika illa rijalan noohee ilayhim min ahli alqura afalam yaseeroo fee al-ardi fayanthuroo kayfa kana AAaqibatu allatheena min qablihim waladaru al-akhirati khayrun lillatheena ittaqaw afala taAAqiloona

Never have We sent any messengers before you except men whom We inspired and who were drawn from their own fraternities! Have they not traversed the earth and seen for themselves the plight which befell the others before them? Verily the Abode in the Hereafter is best for those who battle against the forces of evil!. Have you then no sense?

12: 110

110. Hatta itha istay-asa alrrusulu wathannoo annahum qad kuthiboo jaahum nasruna fanujjiya man nashao wala yuraddu ba/suna AAani alqawmi almujrimeena

Whenever messengers despaired over the arrival of Divine chastisement, - and those they warned thought they were lying to them, - Our chastisement did land on them and We saved only those whom We chose to spare! Never can Our wrath be averted from those who persist in solecism!

12 : 111

111. Laqad kana fee qasasihim AAibratun li-olee al-albabi ma kana hadeethan yuftara walakin tasdeeqa allathee bayna yadayhi watafseela kulli shay-in wahudan warahmatan liqawmin yu/minoona

In the stories of those who were doomed, there is a lesson for those who introspect! These are not invented tales but a confirmation of all the existing Scriptures and a detailed exposition of things contained in them. This is a Guidance and a Mercy for those who believe! (R)

(The last verse serves the purpose of an epilogue to the story of Joseph and brings the prologue back into focus by making a summation that this is not a tale invented by the Prophet but a clear revelation from Allah reasserting in the Qur'aan whatever has been asserted in the Scriptures revealed before it. So, how can the readers of these Scriptures impute that it is something which has been cooked up by a man who never knew how to put pen to paper and sign his own name?)


OTHER TRANSLATIONS BY MUHSIN, YUSUFALI, PICKTHAL AND SHAKIR:

 

MUHSIN:

 

105. And how many a sign in the heavens and the earth they pass by, while they are averse therefrom.

106. And most of them believe not in Allh except that they attribute partners unto Him [i.e. they are Mushrikn -polytheists - see Verse 6: 121].

107. Do they then feel secure from the coming against them of the covering veil of the Torment of Allh, or of the coming against them of the (Final) Hour, all of a sudden while they perceive not?

108. Say (O Muhammad SAW): "This is my way; I invite unto Allh (i.e. to the Oneness of Allh - Islmic Monotheism) with sure knowledge, I and whosoever follows me (also must invite others to Allh i.e to the Oneness of Allh - Islmic Monotheism) with sure knowledge. And Glorified and Exalted be Allh (above all that they associate as partners with Him). And I am not of the Mushrikn (polytheists, pagans, idolaters and disbelievers in the Oneness of Allh; those who worship others along with Allh or set up rivals or partners to Allh)."

109. And We sent not before you (as Messengers) any but men, whom We inspired from among the people of townships. Have they not travelled through the earth and seen what was the end of those who were before them? And verily, the home of the Hereafter is the best for those who fear Allh and obey Him (by abstaining from sins and evil deeds, and by performing righteous good deeds). Do you not then understand?

110. (They were reprieved) until, when the Messengers gave up hope and thought that they were denied (by their people), then came to them Our Help, and whomsoever We willed were delivered. And Our Punishment cannot be warded off from the people who are Mujrimn (criminals, disobedients to Allh, sinners, disbelievers, polytheists).

111. Indeed in their stories, there is a lesson for men of understanding. It (the Qur'an) is not a forged statement but a confirmation of the Allh's existing Books [the Taurt (Torah), the Injeel (Gospel) and other Scriptures of Allh] and a detailed explanation of everything and a guide and a Mercy for the people who believe.[]


012.105
YUSUFALI: And how many Signs in the heavens and the earth do they pass by? Yet they turn (their faces) away from them!
PICKTHAL: How many a portent is there in the heavens and the earth which they pass by with face averted!
SHAKIR: And how many a sign in the heavens and the earth which they pass by, yet they turn aside from it.
012.106
YUSUFALI: And most of them believe not in Allah without associating (other as partners) with Him!
PICKTHAL: And most of them believe not in Allah except that they attribute partners (unto Him).
SHAKIR: And most of them do not believe in Allah without associating others (with Him).
012.107
YUSUFALI: Do they then feel secure from the coming against them of the covering veil of the wrath of Allah,- or of the coming against them of the (final) Hour all of a sudden while they perceive not?
PICKTHAL: Deem they themselves secure from the coming on them of a pall of Allah's punishment, or the coming of the Hour suddenly while they are unaware?
SHAKIR: Do they then feel secure that there may come to them an extensive chastisement from Allah or (that) the hour may come to them suddenly while they do not perceive?
012.108
YUSUFALI: Say thou: "This is my way: I do invite unto Allah,- on evidence clear as the seeing with one's eyes,- I and whoever follows me. Glory to Allah! and never will I join gods with Allah!"
PICKTHAL: Say: This is my Way: I call on Allah with sure knowledge. I and whosoever followeth me - Glory be to Allah! - and I am not of the idolaters.
SHAKIR: Say: This is my way: I call to Allah, I and those who follow me being certain, and glory be to Allah, and I am not one of the polytheists.
012.109
YUSUFALI: Nor did We send before thee (as messengers) any but men, whom we did inspire,- (men) living in human habitations. Do they not travel through the earth, and see what was the end of those before them? But the home of the hereafter is best, for those who do right. Will ye not then understand?
PICKTHAL: We sent not before thee (any messengers) save men whom We inspired from among the folk of the townships - Have they not travelled in the land and seen the nature of the consequence for those who were before them? And verily the abode of the Hereafter, for those who ward off (evil), is best. Have ye then no sense? -
SHAKIR: And We have not sent before you but men from (among) the people of the towns, to whom We sent revelations. Have they not then travelled in the land and seen what was the end of those before them? And certainly the abode of the hereafter is best for those who guard (against evil); do you not then understand?
012.110
YUSUFALI: (Respite will be granted) until, when the messengers give up hope (of their people) and (come to) think that they were treated as liars, there reaches them Our help, and those whom We will are delivered into safety. But never will be warded off our punishment from those who are in sin.
PICKTHAL: Till, when the messengers despaired and thought that they were denied, then came unto them Our help, and whom We would was saved. And Our wrath cannot be warded from the guilty.
SHAKIR: Until when the messengers despaired and the people became sure that they were indeed told a lie, Our help came to them and whom We pleased was delivered; and Our punishment is not averted from the guilty people.
012.111
YUSUFALI: There is, in their stories, instruction for men endued with understanding. It is not a tale invented, but a confirmation of what went before it,- a detailed exposition of all things, and a guide and a mercy to any such as believe.
PICKTHAL: In their history verily there is a lesson for men of understanding. It is no invented story but a confirmation of the existing (Scripture) and a detailed explanation of everything, and a guidance and a mercy for folk who believe.
SHAKIR: In their histories there is certainly a lesson for men of understanding. It is not a narrative which could be forged, but a verification of what is before it and a distinct explanation of all things and a guide and a mercy to a people who believe.
 
 
 

 Index

    SURAH 13