SURAH YOUSAF AYAH 61 TO 100
قَالُوا سَنُرَاوِدُ عَنْهُ أَبَاهُ وَإِنَّا لَفَاعِلُونَ (يوسف: 61).
وَقَالَ لِفِتْيَانِهِ اجْعَلُوا بِضَاعَتَهُمْ فِي رِحَالِهِمْ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَعْرِفُونَهَا إِذَا انقَلَبُوا إِلَى أَهْلِهِمْ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَرْجِعُونَ (يوسف: 62).
فَلَمَّا رَجَعُوا إِلَى أَبِيهِمْ قَالُوا يَا أَبَانَا مُنِعَ مِنَّا الْكَيْلُ فَأَرْسِلْ مَعَنَا أَخَانَا نَكْتَلْ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ (يوسف: 63).
قَالَ هَلْ آمَنُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ إِلاَّ كَمَا أَمِنتُكُمْ عَلَى أَخِيهِ مِنْ قَبْلُ فَاللَّهُ خَيْرٌ حَافِظًا وَهُوَ أَرْحَمُ الرَّاحِمِينَ (يوسف: 64).
وَلَمَّا فَتَحُوا مَتَاعَهُمْ وَجَدُوا بِضَاعَتَهُمْ رُدَّتْ إِلَيْهِمْ قَالُوا يَا أَبَانَا مَا نَبْغِي هَذِهِ بِضَاعَتُنَا رُدَّتْ إِلَيْنَا وَنَمِيرُ أَهْلَنَا وَنَحْفَظُ أَخَانَا وَنَزْدَادُ كَيْلَ بَعِيرٍ ذَلِكَ كَيْلٌ يَسِيرٌ (يوسف: 65).
قَالَ لَنْ أُرْسِلَهُ مَعَكُمْ حَتَّى تُؤْتُونِي مَوْثِقًا مِنْ اللَّهِ لَتَأْتُونَنِي بِهِ إِلاَّ أَنْ يُحَاطَ بِكُمْ فَلَمَّا آتَوْهُ مَوْثِقَهُمْ قَالَ اللَّهُ عَلَى مَا نَقُولُ وَكِيلٌ (يوسف: 66).
وَقَالَ يَا بَنِيَّ لاَ تَدْخُلُوا مِنْ بَابٍ وَاحِدٍ وَادْخُلُوا مِنْ أَبْوَابٍ مُتَفَرِّقَةٍ وَمَا أُغْنِي عَنكُمْ مِنْ اللَّهِ مِنْ شَيْءٍ إِنْ الْحُكْمُ إِلاَّ لِلَّهِ عَلَيْهِ تَوَكَّلْتُ وَعَلَيْهِ فَلْيَتَوَكَّلْ الْمُتَوَكِّلُونَ (يوسف: 67).
وَلَمَّا دَخَلُوا مِنْ حَيْثُ أَمَرَهُمْ أَبُوهُمْ مَا كَانَ يُغْنِي عَنْهُمْ مِنْ اللَّهِ مِنْ شَيْءٍ إِلَّا حَاجَةً فِي نَفْسِ يَعْقُوبَ قَضَاهَا وَإِنَّهُ لَذُو عِلْمٍ لِمَا عَلَّمْنَاهُ وَلَكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لا يَعْلَمُونَ (يوسف: 68).
وَلَمَّا دَخَلُوا عَلَى يُوسُفَ آوَى إِلَيْهِ أَخَاهُ قَالَ إِنِّي أَنَا أَخُوكَ فَلاَ تَبْتَئِسْ بِمَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ (يوسف: 69).
فَلَمَّا جَهَّزَهُمْ بِجَهَازِهِمْ جَعَلَ السِّقَايَةَ فِي رَحْلِ أَخِيهِ ثُمَّ أَذَّنَ مُؤَذِّنٌ أَيَّتُهَا الْعِيرُ إِنَّكُمْ لَسَارِقُونَ (يوسف: 70).
قَالُوا وَأَقْبَلُوا عَلَيْهِمْ مَاذَا تَفْقِدُونَ (يوسف: 71).
قَالُوا نَفْقِدُ صُوَاعَ الْمَلِكِ وَلِمَنْ جَاءَ بِهِ حِمْلُ بَعِيرٍ وَأَنَا بِهِ زَعِيمٌ (يوسف: 72).
قَالُوا تَاللَّهِ لَقَدْ عَلِمْتُمْ مَا جِئْنَا لِنُفْسِدَ فِي الأَرْضِ وَمَا كُنَّا سَارِقِينَ (يوسف: 73).
قَالُوا فَمَا جَزَاؤُهُ إِنْ كُنتُمْ كَاذِبِينَ (يوسف: 74).
قَالُوا جَزَاؤُهُ مَنْ وُجِدَ فِي رَحْلِهِ فَهُوَ جَزَاؤُهُ كَذَلِكَ نَجْزِي الظَّالِمِينَ (يوسف: 75).
فَبَدَأَ بِأَوْعِيَتِهِمْ قَبْلَ وِعَاءِ أَخِيهِ ثُمَّ اسْتَخْرَجَهَا مِنْ وِعَاءِ أَخِيهِ كَذَلِكَ كِدْنَا لِيُوسُفَ مَا كَانَ لِيَأْخُذَ أَخَاهُ فِي دِينِ الْمَلِكِ إِلاَّ أَنْ يَشَاءَ اللَّهُ نَرْفَعُ دَرَجَاتٍ مَنْ نَشَاءُ وَفَوْقَ كُلِّ ذِي عِلْمٍ عَلِيمٌ (يوسف: 76).
قَالُوا إِنْ يَسْرِقْ فَقَدْ سَرَقَ أَخٌ لَهُ مِنْ قَبْلُ فَأَسَرَّهَا يُوسُفُ فِي نَفْسِهِ وَلَمْ يُبْدِهَا لَهُمْ قَالَ أَنْتُمْ شَرٌّ مَكَانًا وَاللَّهُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا تَصِفُونَ (يوسف: 77).
قَالُوا يَا أَيُّهَا الْعَزِيزُ إِنَّ لَهُ أَبًا شَيْخًا كَبِيرًا فَخُذْ أَحَدَنَا مَكَانَهُ إِنَّا نَرَاكَ مِنْ الْمُحْسِنِينَ (يوسف: 78).
قَالَ مَعَاذَ اللَّهِ أَنْ نَأْخُذَ إِلاَّ مَنْ وَجَدْنَا مَتَاعَنَا عِنْدَهُ إِنَّا إِذًا لَظَالِمُونَ (يوسف: 79).
فَلَمَّا اسْتَيْئَسُوا مِنْهُ خَلَصُوا نَجِيًّا قَالَ كَبِيرُهُمْ أَلَمْ تَعْلَمُوا أَنَّ أَبَاكُمْ قَدْ أَخَذَ عَلَيْكُمْ مَوْثِقًا مِنْ اللَّهِ وَمِنْ قَبْلُ مَا فَرَّطتُمْ فِي يُوسُفَ فَلَنْ أَبْرَحَ الأَرْضَ حَتَّى يَأْذَنَ لِي أَبِي أَوْ يَحْكُمَ اللَّهُ لِي وَهُوَ خَيْرُ الْحَاكِمِينَ (يوسف: 80).
ارْجِعُوا إِلَى أَبِيكُمْ فَقُولُوا يَا أَبَانَا إِنَّ ابْنَكَ سَرَقَ وَمَا شَهِدْنَا إِلاَّ بِمَا عَلِمْنَا وَمَا كُنَّا لِلْغَيْبِ حافِظِينَ (يوسف: 81).
وَاسْأَلْ الْقَرْيَةَ الَّتِي كُنَّا فِيهَا وَالْعِيرَ الَّتِي أَقْبَلْنَا فِيهَا وَإِنَّا لَصَادِقُونَ (يوسف: 82).
قَالَ بَلْ سَوَّلَتْ لَكُمْ أَنفُسُكُمْ أَمْرًا فَصَبْرٌ جَمِيلٌ عَسَى اللَّهُ أَنْ يَأْتِيَنِي بِهِمْ جَمِيعًا إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْعَلِيمُ الْحَكِيمُ (يوسف: 83).
وَتَوَلَّى عَنْهُمْ وَقَالَ يَا أَسَفَى عَلَى يُوسُفَ وَابْيَضَّتْ عَيْنَاهُ مِنَ الْحُزْنِ فَهُوَ كَظِيمٌ (يوسف: 84).
قَالُوا تَاللَّهِ تَفْتَأُ تَذْكُرُ يُوسُفَ حَتَّى تَكُونَ حَرَضًا أَوْ تَكُونَ مِنْ الْهَالِكِينَ (يوسف: 85).
قَالَ إِنَّمَا أَشْكُو بَثِّي وَحُزْنِي إِلَى اللَّهِ وَأَعْلَمُ مِنْ اللَّهِ مَا لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ (يوسف: 86).
يَا بَنِيَّ اذْهَبُوا فَتَحَسَّسُوا مِنْ يُوسُفَ وَأَخِيهِ وَلاَ تَيْئَسُوا مِنْ رَوْحِ اللَّهِ إِنَّهُ لاَ يَيْئَسُ مِنْ رَوْحِ اللَّهِ إِلاَّ الْقَوْمُ الكَافِرُونَ (يوسف: 87).
فَلَمَّا دَخَلُوا عَلَيْهِ قَالُوا يَا أَيُّهَا الْعَزِيزُ مَسَّنَا وَأَهْلَنَا الضُّرُّ وَجِئْنَا بِبِضَاعَةٍ مُزْجَاةٍ فَأَوْفِ لَنَا الْكَيْلَ وَتَصَدَّقْ عَلَيْنَا إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَجْزِي الْمُتَصَدِّقِينَ (يوسف: 88).
قَالَ هَلْ عَلِمْتُمْ مَا فَعَلْتُمْ بِيُوسُفَ وَأَخِيهِ إِذْ أَنْتُمْ جَاهِلُونَ (يوسف: 89).
قَالُوا أَئِنَّكَ لَأَنْتَ يُوسُفُ قَالَ أَنَا يُوسُفُ وَهذَا أَخِي قَدْ مَنَّ اللَّهُ عَلَيْنَا إِنَّهُ مَنْ يَتَّقِ وَيَصْبِرْ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يُضِيعُ أَجْرَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ (يوسف: 90).
قَالُوا تَاللَّهِ لَقَدْ آثَرَكَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْنَا وَإِنْ كُنَّا لَخَاطِئِينَ (يوسف: 91).
قَالَ لاَ تَثْرِيبَ عَلَيْكُمْ الْيَوْمَ يَغْفِرُ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ وَهُوَ أَرْحَمُ الرَّاحِمِينَ (يوسف: 92).
اذْهَبُوا بِقَمِيصِي هَذَا فَأَلْقُوهُ عَلَى وَجْهِ أَبِي يَأْتِ بَصِيرًا وَأْتُونِي بِأَهْلِكُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ (يوسف: 93).
وَلَمَّا فَصَلَتْ الْعِيرُ قَالَ أَبُوهُمْ إِنِّي لَأَجِدُ رِيحَ يُوسُفَ لَوْلاَ أَنْ تُفَنِّدُونِ (يوسف: 94).
قَالُوا تَاللَّهِ إِنَّكَ لَفِي ضَلاَلِكَ الْقَدِيمِ (يوسف: 95).
فَلَمَّا أَنْ جَاءَ الْبَشِيرُ أَلْقَاهُ عَلَى وَجْهِهِ فَارْتَدَّ بَصِيرًا قَالَ أَلَمْ أَقُلْ لَكُمْ إِنِّي أَعْلَمُ مِنْ اللَّهِ مَا لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ (يوسف: 96).
قَالُوا يَاأَبَانَا اسْتَغْفِرْ لَنَا ذُنُوبَنَا إِنَّا كُنَّا خَاطِئِينَ (يوسف: 97).
قَالَ سَوْفَ أَسْتَغْفِرُ لَكُمْ رَبِّي إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ (يوسف: 98).
فَلَمَّا دَخَلُوا عَلَى يُوسُفَ آوَى إِلَيْهِ أَبَوَيْهِ وَقَالَ ادْخُلُوا مِصْرَ إِنْ شَاءَ اللَّهُ آمِنِينَ (يوسف: 99).
وَرَفَعَ أَبَوَيْهِ عَلَى الْعَرْشِ وَخَرُّوا لَهُ سُجَّدًا وَقَالَ يَاأَبَتِ هَذَا تَأْوِيلُ رُؤْيَاي مِنْ قَبْلُ قَدْ جَعَلَهَا رَبِّي حَقًّا وَقَدْ أَحْسَنَ بِي إِذْ أَخْرَجَنِي مِنْ السِّجْنِ وَجَاءَ بِكُمْ مِنْ الْبَدْوِ مِنْ بَعْدِ أَنْ نَزَغَ الشَّيْطَانُ بَيْنِي وَبَيْنَ إِخْوَتِي إِنَّ رَبِّي لَطِيفٌ لِمَا يَشَاءُ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْعَلِيمُ الْحَكِيمُ (يوسف: 100).
(12:61) They said: “We will surely try to prevail over our father to send him. Be sure we Shall do so.”
(12:62) And Joseph said to his servants: “Put surreptitiously in their packs the goods they had given in exchange for corn.” Joseph did so expecting that they would find it when they returned home. Feeling grateful for this generosity, they might be inclined to return to him.
(12:63) When they returned to their father they said: “Father! We have been denied further supply of corn. So send with us our brother that we may bring the supplies. We shall be responsible for his protection.”
(12:64) The father said: “Shall I trust you with regard to him as I had trusted you earlier with regard to his brother? Allah is the Best Protector and is the Most Merciful.”
(12:65) And when they opened their things they found that their goods had been given back to them. Thereupon they cried: “Father! What else would we desire? Look, even our goods have been given back to us, so we shall go now and bring supplies for our family, we shall protect our brother, and bring another camel-load of corn. That additional supply will be easily secured.”
(12:66) Their father said: “I shall never send him with you until you give me a solemn promise in the name of Allah that you will bring him back to me, unless you yourselves are surrounded.” Then after they had given him their solemn promise, he said. “Allah watches over what we have said.”
(12:67) And he enjoined them: “My sons! Do not enter the city by one gate; rather enter it by different gates. I can be of no help to you against Allah. Allah’s command alone prevails. In Him have | put my trust and in Him should all those who have faith put their trust.”53
53. Prophet Jacob’s great concern over this journey of his sons was due to the fact that his youngest son, Benjamin, was to accompany them. He was anxious about his safety because he had already had a bad experience of his son Joseph. Naturally his heart must have been
full of such misgivings that it might be his last meeting with his other beloved son. Though he had full trust in Allah and was patiently resigned to His will, but, as a human being, advised his sons to take certain precautionary measures. In order to understand the significance of this precautionary measure of entering the capital by different gates, we should have a glimpse of the political conditions of that period. As the Israelites lived on the Eastern frontier of Egypt as independent clans, they were looked at with suspicion like all frontier people. Therefore Prophet Jacob feared that if they entered the city in a group, they might be taken for a gang of suspects, especially during that time of famine. Thus there was an apprehension of some severe action being taken against them as if they had come there for organized robbery. That was why he gave them this allowance that if under such adverse circumstances there was any trouble, he would not accuse them of breach of the pledge for the safety of Benjamin.
(12:68) And it so happened that when they entered the city (by many gates) as their father had directed them, this precautionary measure proved ineffective against Allah’s will. There was an uneasiness in Jacob’s soul which he so tried to remove.
Surely he was possessed of knowledge owing to the knowledge that We bestowed upon him. But most people do not know the truth of the matter.
54. “Most of mankind do not know” how Prophet Jacob was able to hold the balance between trust in Allah and adoption of precautionary measures. This was because Allah had favored him with the real knowledge. That was why he took all those measures which were
dictated by common sense, deep thinking and experience.
He admonished them for their ill treatment with their brother Joseph so that they should not dare repeat it in the case of Benjamin. He took a solemn pledge from them in the name of Allah that they would take
good care of the safety of their step brother. Then he advised them to be on their guard against the dangerous political situation and to enter the capital by different gates so as not to give cause for alarm and suspicion. In short, as far as it was humanly possible, he took all the precautionary measures to avoid every possible risk. On the other hand, he always kept this thing in view and expressed it that no human precautionary measure could avert the enforcement of Allah’s will. And that the real protection was Allah’s protection, and that one should not rely on the precautionary measures but on the favor of Allah. Obviously only that person who has the real knowledge can keep such a balance in his words and deeds, who knows what kind of efforts are demanded of his human faculties bestowed by Allah for the solution of worldly problems, who also realizes that it is Allah alone Who has the power to make them a success or a failure. This is what most people do not understand.
Some of them rely merely on their efforts and measures and discard trust in Allah, while there are others who rely merely on trust in Allah and do not adopt any practical measure to solve their problem.
(12:69) When they presented themselves before Joseph, he took his brother aside to himself and said: “Verily I am your own brother Joseph; so do not grieve over the manner they have treated you.”
55. The entire story of their reunion after a separation of twenty years or so has been summed up in this brief sentence. In all probability Prophet Joseph might have told him the story of the vicissitudes that ultimately had led to his high rank, and Benjamin in his turn might have related the story of the ill treatment of the heartless step brothers. Then Prophet Joseph might have reassured him that he would not be allowed to go back with them but remain with him. It is also possible that the plan to retain him there, without disclosing the
secret of Prophet Joseph’s identity, would have then been thought out and decided upon.
(12:70) Then, while Joseph was having their provisions loaded, he put his drinking cup in his brother’s saddlebag.**And then a herald cried: “Travelers, you are thieves.”56
56. In all probability, Prophet Joseph put the cup in his brother’s pack with his knowledge and consent, as may be inferred from the preceding verse. Obviously, Prophet Joseph desired to free his brother from the oppression of the cruel step brothers and he himself was
reluctant to go back with them. But this could not be done directly and openly without disclosing his own identity, which was not then expedient under the circumstances.
Therefore both the brothers might have thought out this plan, though this would have put the younger brother in an embarrassing situation for the time being because of his involvement in a case of theft. But they had adopted this plan because afterwards both the brothers could clear it easily by disclosing the real matter.
57. There is nothing in this verse nor in the succeeding verses to show that Prophet Joseph took his servants in his confidence in regard to this matter, and instructed them to bring a false accusation against the travelers. The simple explanation of the incident may be this.
The cup might have been quietly and secretly put in the pack. Afterwards when the servants did not find it, they might have come to the inevitable conclusion that it must have been stolen by the travelers who were staying there.
(12:72) The officials said: “We have lost the king’s cup.” (And their chief added): “He who brings it shall have a camel-load of provisions, I guarantee that.”
(12:73) They said: “By Allah, you certainly know that we did not come to act corruptly in this land, nor are we those who steal.”
(12:74) The officials said: “If you are lying, what will be the penalty for him who has stolen?”
(12:75) They replied: “He in whose saddlebag the cup is found, he himself shall be its recompense.” Thus do we punish the wrong doers.58
58. It should be kept in mind that these people were the descendants of Prophet Abraham. Therefore they put forward his law regarding a thief, that is, the thief should be made the bondsman of the one whose goods he had stolen.
(12:76) Then Joseph began searching their bags before searching his own brother’s bag. Then he brought forth the drinking-cup from his brother’s bag. Thus did We contrive to support Joseph.59 He had no right, according to the religion of the king (i.e. the law of Egypt), to take his brother, unless Allah so willed.60 We exalt whomsoever We will over others by several degrees. And above all those who know is the One Who truly knows.
59. Now let us consider the question: How did Allah directly support Prophet Joseph with His plan? It is obvious that the plan of placing the cup in Benjamin’s pack was thought out and executed by Joseph himself. And it is also obvious that the royal servants checked their
packs as a matter of routine for such is the procedure that is generally followed on such occasions. There is nothing in this passage that might be called supernatural support by Allah except that the servants asked the brothers to prescribe the punishment for the thief, and they answered that he should be made a bondsman. The sentence that follows also confirms this interpretation.
60. Had Allah willed it, He would not have removed the flaw in the plan of Prophet Joseph. It was this: he could seize his brother according to his plan only by the help of the king’s law, but it was not worthy of a Prophet of Allah to apply that un-Islamic law to his own personal case. For he had taken political power in his hands in order to establish gradually the Islamic law and not to enforce and keep the king’s law in vogue. Had Allah willed it, He would have left no other course for His Prophet except to have resort to the un-Islamic law. But He did not will it so because He did not like to tarnish the fair name of His Prophet.
Therefore he made the servants inquire from the brothers (an unusual thing) about the punishment of a thief and they stated the law of Prophet Abraham. Thus not only was the flaw removed, but also no room was left for the brothers to raise any objection against this
on the plea that they were not Egyptians, and therefore the law of the land could not be applied against them. As has already been pointed out, this was the support of Allah to which He has referred in the two subsequent verses as a token of His favor and a sign of the perfection of His knowledge.
The favor of Allah was that He saved Prophet Joseph from applying the un-Islamic law of the king of Egypt to his personal case, for he was liable to do so under the stress of human weakness. And there can be no greater favor for one than this that Allah Himself should arrange to guard his high moral position. It should, however, be noted that such a high rank is awarded only to those who prove themselves to be righteous in very hard trials.
By removing the flaw in his plan, Allah showed that His knowledge was far superior to the knowledge of those, whom (like Prophet Joseph) He had endowed with knowledge. In this connection, there are some other points worthy of consideration and we will deal with them briefly.
(1) Generally the words are translated like this: Joseph could not seize his brother by the law of the king, or Joseph was not authorized to seize his brother according to the law of the king. In other words, it means: He could not do this, as there was no provision for it in the
king’s law. Whereas it means this: He ought not to have seized him by the king’s law, as it did not behoove him to do so. This version is open to two objections. Firstly, this is against the Quranic usage which usually means, it did not behoove him, it was not right for him and he ought not to have done this. For instance, this is what it means in the following verses.
Indeed, Islam alone is the right way in the sight of Allah. (Surah Aal-Imran, Ayat 18). Whosoever will adopt any other way than the way of Islam, it shall not be accepted. (Surah Aal-Imran, Ayat 85).
Secondly, such a version is meaningless, for there could have been no reason why he had not the power to seize him for theft according to the law of the king. Can there be any kingdom without having a law for taking action against a thief?
(2) As the Quran uses the word which connotes the king’s way of life in addition to the king’s law, it helps to understand the meaning of the sentence under discussion. For it is obvious that the Prophet was sent to establish the way of Allah and not the un-Islamic way of the king. Though by that time he had only partially succeeded in this mission, it was not proper and worthy of a Prophet to adopt the way of the king for his own personal case.
Though there was no legal hindrance in his way to seize his brother according to the king’s law, nevertheless, it was inappropriate for him, as a Prophet, to adopt the king’s way which he had hitherto scrupulously avoided as far as his own person was concerned. Thus it is
clear that its appropriate interpretation will be this: It did not behoove Joseph to seize his brother by the king’s law.
(3) Besides this, by using the word for the law of the land, Allah has denoted the vast comprehension of the word deen and this cuts at the root of the conception of deen of those people who confine the scope of the message of the Prophets to mere worship of One Allah and believe that it has nothing to do with the cultural, political, social, judicial, legal and other mundane affairs of life. Or, they opine that, if at all it has any concern with those matters, it is merely to give some instructions of an optional nature in regard to these, and leave it to the believers to adopt these or their own man made laws, because, they think, there is no harm even in adopting the latter course. This erroneous conception of deen, which has been in vogue among the Muslims for a long time, has been responsible for rendering them neglectful of making exertions for the establishment of the Islamic way of life. As a result of this misconception of deen, they became reconciled to un-Islamic ways of unbelief and ignorance. Nay, they considered this misconception of theirs to be the pattern set by Prophet Joseph and became willing helpers and servants of these un-Islamic systems.
Whereas this verse categorically refutes this misconception by declaring that the law of the land is as much a part of the deen of Allah as Salat, Hajj, Fast, and Zakat are. Therefore, the demand of the acceptance of ad-deen made in (Ayat 19 and Ayat 85 of Surah Aal-Imran), that is, “Indeed, Islam alone is the right way, in the sight of Allah” and “Whosoever will adopt any other way than the way of Islam, it shall not be accepted”, includes laws as well as Salat and other obligatory duties prescribed by Allah. Therefore the exclusion of this part of deen from any system would incur the displeasure of Allah.
(4) The above interpretation, however, is open to one objection. It does, at least, imply that an un-Islamic way was in vogue in Egypt at the time, when Prophet Joseph was, even according to the present commentator, the supreme head of the country. It is, therefore, a
proof that that Prophet himself was enforcing the un-Islamic law of the king. What difference, then, could it have made, if Prophet Joseph had followed, in his personal case too, the system of law of the king which he himself was enforcing instead of the system of law of Prophet Abraham? Most certainly this would have made a vast difference because it would have compromised his position as a Prophet, because he was trying to establish the Islamic Way of life, which naturally could have been accomplished gradually in course of time, during which the king’s law would have inevitably remained in vogue. The same thing
happened in Arabia during the mission of the Prophet (peace be upon him) in Al-Madinah, which took nine years to establish the Islamic system in its entirety. During that period, several un-Islamic laws remained in vogue. For instance, drinking, interest, the un-Islamic
laws of inheritance and marriage and some wrong ways of trade, etc. had to continue for some time. Likewise the civil and penal codes of Islam took some time for their complete introduction. So there is nothing strange in this that the king’s law continued to be in vogue
during the first nine years or so of Prophet Joseph’s reign. But the continuance of the un- Islamic law of the king during the period of transition is no argument to prove that Allah’s Prophet was sent to follow the way of the king and not to establish the way of Allah.
(12:77) They said: “No wonder that he steals for a brother of his stole before.”61 But Joseph kept his reaction to himself without disclosing the truth to them. He merely said to himself: “You are an evil lot. Allah knows well the truth of the accusation that you are making against me (to my face).”
61. As regards to the question why it was not worthy of Prophet Joseph to apply the king’s law to his personal case, its best answer is again found in the practice of the Prophet (peace be upon him). During the interim period, when the laws of ignorance had not yet been replaced by Islamic laws, other Muslims went on drinking wine and taking interest as before, but the Prophet (peace be upon him) never practiced any of these things. Likewise some un- Islamic laws of marriage, such as taking in marriage of real sisters at one and the
same time, were practiced, but the Prophet (peace be upon him) never practiced any such thing. Thus it is clear, that there was a difference between leaving in vogue some un-Islamic laws during the period of the evolution of the Islamic law and practicing the same. Had Prophet Joseph applied the king’s law to his own case, it would have meant that he had lent his seeming sanction to that law. But it is obvious that a Prophet, who is sent to eliminate the ways of ignorance cannot follow these even under the temporary leave that is given to others.
Their position and dissociated themselves from Benjamin, declaring that he was a thief like his brother Joseph. It is obvious that this was a false accusation the clever brothers had invented on the spot. But it is an instance of the malice these brothers bore to their two step brothers, and is also the answer to the question why Prophet Joseph desired to keep his brother with him.
(12:78) They said: “O powerful chief (al-aziz) 62 His father is an age-stricken man, (and in order that he may not suffer) seize one of us in his stead. We indeed consider you an excellent person.”
62. The use of the title Al-Aziz, ruler of the land, with which they addressed Prophet Joseph has given rise to the confusion that he held the same office as the husband of Zuleikha held before him. Then this misunderstanding let the commentators to the invention of further
comments, such as. Al-Aziz had died and Prophet Joseph was appointed in his place, and Zuleikha was rejuvenated by a miracle and was married to him by the king. They have not stopped at this. They have, somehow or other, discovered even the conversation that took
place between Prophet Joseph and Zuleikha in the first night of their marriage. In fact, all this is mere fiction, for, as has already been pointed out, the word Al-Aziz was the Arabic translation or equivalent of some Egyptian title, and was not the designation of any particular office. It was merely a title used for the high ones in Egypt like “His Excellency” or “Your Excellency”, etc. As regards to the said marriage, this fiction has been built on the story of Prophet Joseph’s marriage in the Bible and the Talmud. According to these, he was
married with Asenath, the daughter of Poti-pherah. As the name of the husband of Zuleikha was Potiphar, the two names got confused together. Accordingly, when the story was handed down from the traditions of the Israelites from one commentator to the other, the
name Potiphar got interchanged with Poti-pherah because the two were so like each other in sound. Consequently, the daughter in the story was replaced by wife. Then Potiphar was killed in order to facilitate the marriage. Then the only remaining difficulty, that is, the
disparity of their ages, was gotten over with the help of a miracle. She was rejuvenated so completely as to enable her to become the worthy wife of the ruler of the land.
(12:79) Joseph said: “Allah forbid that we should seize any except him with whom we found our good. Were we to do so, we would surely be one of the wrong-doers.”
63. The use of the words “with whom we have found our property” instead of the word thief is very significant. Prophet Joseph avoided the use of the word thief for his brother because he was not really a thief. This is called touriyah, that is, to put a cover over a reality
or to hide a reality. Such a practice is allowed by the Muslim law under certain conditions and with certain limitations. It may be practiced not to gain any selfish end, but to ward off some evil or to protect and save an oppressed person from some oppressor, provided that no other course might have been left except saying something against the truth or of having a resort to a deceitful device. It is obvious that in such a case, a righteous person will not tell a blunt lie or resort to an open deceit. Instead, he will say something or do something that
might not be strictly truthful or strictly right, yet at the same time is not a blunt lie, so that he might hide the reality to ward off the evil. Such a practice is lawful, legally and morally, provided that it is not practiced to gain some personal or selfish ends but to ward off a
greater evil with a lesser evil. Accordingly, Prophet Joseph scrupulously fulfilled all the conditions in this case. He placed the cup in the pack of his brother with his consent, but he did not ask his servants to make a search of his pack and accuse him of theft. After this, when the servants brought the brothers before him as suspects, he quietly rose from his seat and began to make a search of their packs. Then afterwards, when the brothers requested that one of them should be taken instead of Benjamin, he answered them back in their own
words that he would detain only that person in whose possession the cup was found and none else.
Instances of such a practice during his campaigns are found in the life history of the Prophet (peace be upon him). And this cannot be regarded as morally objectionable according to any moral or legal standard.
(12:80) Then, when they had despaired of Joseph they went to a corner and counselled together. The eldest of them said: “Do you not know that your father has taken a solemn promise from you in the name of Allah, and you failed in your duty towards Joseph? So I will not depart from this land until my father permits me, or Allah pronounces His judgement in my favor. He is the best of those who judge.”
(12:81) So go back to your father and tell him: “Father! Your son has certainly been guilty of stealing. We did not see him stealing but testify according to what we know, and obviously we had no power to keep watch over that what is altogether hidden from us.
(12:82) You may inquire of the dwellers of the city where we were, and of the people of the caravan with whom we travelled. We are altogether truthful in what we say.”
(12:83) The father heard the narration and said: “(All that is untrue). But your souls have made it easy for you to engage in a heinous act.“ So, I will be graciously patient even at this. Allah may well bring them all back to me. He is All-Knowing, All-Wise.”
64. That is, you readily believed that my son, whom I know to be of a noble character, had committed the theft of a cup. You have behaved in his case just as you behaved in the case of his elder brother. You made away with him and then pretended, without any pangs of
conscience, that a wolf had devoured him and now, with the same ease, you tell me that the other brother has committed a theft.
(12:84) Then he turned his back to them, and said: “O my grief for Joseph!” His eyes whitened with grief and he was choked up with sorrow trying to suppress his grief.
(12:86) He said: “I will address my sorrow and grief only to Allah, and I know from Allah what you do not know.
(12:87) My sons! Go and try to find out about Joseph and his brother and do not despair of Allah’s mercy. Verily only the unbelievers despair of Allah’s mercy.”
(12:88) On going to Egypt they presented themselves to Joseph and said to him: “O chief! We and our family are struck with distress and have brought only a paltry sum. So give us corn in full measure, and give it to us in charity. Allah rewards those who are charitable.”
65. That is, it will be charitable of you if you give us that much grain as we require to fulfill our needs, because the goods we have brought for its barter are of less value than of the grain we require.
(12:89) When Joseph heard this (he could not hold himself and said): “Do you remember what you did to Joseph and his brother when you were ignorant?”
(12:90) They exclaimed: “Are you indeed Joseph?” He said: “Yes, I am Joseph and this is my brother. Allah has surely been gracious to us. Indeed whoever fears Allah and remains patient, Allah does not allow the reward of such people to go to waste.”
(12:91) They said: “We swear by Allah! Indeed Allah has chosen you in preference to us and we were truly guilty.”
(12:92) He replied: “No blame lies with you today. May Allah forgive you. He is the Most Merciful of all those that are merciful.
(12:93) Take this shirt of mine and throw it over my father’s face. He will regain his sight. And bring to me all your family.”
َ(12:94) And as the caravan set out (from Egypt), their father said (in Canaan): “Indeed I smell the fragrance of Joseph.66 I say so although you may think that I am doting.”
66. This is an instance of the extraordinary powers the Prophets possess. Prophet Jacob perceived in Canaan the smell of Prophet Joseph’s shirt from such a distant place as Egypt as soon as the caravan started on the journey. At the same time it also shows, by contrast, that these powers of the Prophets are not inherent or personal characteristics but are bestowed on them by Allah as and when He wills. That is why Prophet Jacob could not perceive the smell of the clothes of Prophet Joseph as long as Allah did not will it, when he had been living in Egypt.
In this connection, it should also be noted that in contrast to the Quran which represents Prophet Jacob as a great Prophet who was able to perceive the smell of Prophet Joseph from such a long distance, the Bible represents him as an ordinary uncultured father. According
to Genesis 45: 26-27, when they told him, saying: Joseph is yet alive and he is governor over all the land of Egypt, Jacob’s heart fainted, for he believed them not, and only when he saw the wagons which Joseph
(12:95) They said: “Surely you are still in your same old craze.”67
67. This remark shows that no member of his family except Prophet Joseph appreciated the true worth of Prophet Jacob. He himself was aware of the low state of their mental and moral condition. And it is one of the ironies of fate that the majority of the great personalities who made history got very little appreciation at home.
(12.96) And when the bearer of good news came he threw Joseph’s shirt over Jacob’s face, whereupon he regained his sight, and said: “Did I not tell you that I know from Allah what you do not know?”
(12:97) They said: “Father! Pray for the forgiveness of our sins; we were truly guilty.”
(12:98) He said: “I shall pray to my Lord for your forgiveness, for He, and indeed He alone, is Ever Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
(12:99) And when they went to Joseph,68 he took his parents aside and said (to the members of his family): “Enter the city now, and if Allah wills, you shall be secure.”
68. It is worthwhile to take notice of the total number of Prophet Jacob’s family members that migrated to Egypt with him, for it is closely connected with the problem that is raised concerning the total number of the Israelites who emigrated from there some five hundred
years after this. According to the Bible, the total number of the family members was 70, including Prophet Joseph and his two sons, and excluding those daughters-in-law who did not belong to the family of Prophet Jacob. But according to the census figures given in Numbers, their number was about two million when they were counted in the wilderness of Sinai in the second year, after they come out of the land of Egypt. The problem is this: how is it possible that these three score and ten souls of his house had multiplied into two million souls during five hundred years or so? It is obvious that no family can multiply to such a large number in five hundred years merely by the generative process. Thus the only other way in which their number could have been increased was proselytism. And there are sound reasons to believe that this must have been so. The Israelites were the descendants of Prophets. They had migrated to Egypt because of the power Prophet Joseph enjoyed there. And we have seen that he made full use of every opportunity he got for carrying out the work of the mission of Prophethood.
Therefore it may reasonably be expected that the Israelites would have done their very best to convert the Egyptians to their faith of Islam during the five centuries of their power in Egypt. As a result of this the Egyptian converts to Islam would not only have changed their religion but also their culture so as to make them look quite different from the other Egyptians and look like the Israelites. Naturally the non Muslim Egyptians would have declared them to be foreigners just as the Hindus treat the Indian Muslims of today. By and by they themselves would have accepted this position and become members of the Israelite nationality. Afterwards, when the Egyptian nationalists began to persecute the alien Israelites, the Muslim Egyptians were also made a target of their tyranny. So when the Israelites migrated from Egypt, they, too, left their country along with them and began to be counted among them.
The above mentioned explanation is confirmed by the Bible also. For instance, it says “that when they left Egypt, the children of Israel journeyed from Remases to Suceoth….and a mixed multitude went up also with them….” (Exodus 12: 37-38) and “the mix multitude that
was among them fell a lusting”. (Numbers 11: 4). Then by and by these non-Israelite converts to Islam began to be called the stranger. “One ordinance shall be both for you of the congregation, and also for the stranger that sojourneth with you, an ordinance forever in your generations: as ye are, so shall the stranger be before the Lord. One law and the one manner shall be for you, and for the stranger that sojourneth with you.” (Numbers 15: 15-16).
“And I charged your judges at that time, saying: Hear the causes between your brethren, and judge righteously between every man and his brother, and the stranger that is with him.” (Deut. 1: 16). Now it is not an easy thing to find out the exact term which was applied in the
original Scriptures to the Egyptian converts to Islam, and which was afterwards changed into the stranger by the translators.
(12:100) And after they had entered the city, Joseph raised his parents to the throne69 beside himself, and they (involuntarily) bowed in prostration before him.70 Joseph said: “Father! This is the fulfilment of the vision I had before one that My Lord has caused to come true. He was kind to me when He rescued me from the prison, and brought you from the desert after Satan had stirred discord between me and my brothers. Certainly my Lord is Subtle in the fulfilment of His will; He is AllKnowing, All-Wise.
69. According to the Talmud, “when Joseph learned that his father was upon the way, he gathered together his friends and officers, and soldiers of the realm, attired in rich garments, and formed a great company to meet Prophet Jacob on the way and escort him to Egypt. Music and gladness filled the land, and all the people, the women and the children, assembled on the house tops to view the magnificent display.” (H. Polano, p. 111).
70. The interpretation of this verse has given rise to some serious misunderstandings, which are against the very fundamentals of the divine guidance. So much so that some people have gone to the extreme of making it lawful to prostrate before kings and saints as a mark of respect. Others more strict on this point have explained it away, saying, “In the former divine laws, it was unlawful only to prostrate in worship before others than Allah, though it was permissible to prostrate before others if it was done without the intention of worship, but now in the divine law given to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) it has been made absolutely unlawful.
Such misunderstandings as these have resulted from taking the words in this verse to mean “to perform sajadah” in the technical sense in which it is now used in the Islamic code, that is, “lying flat in such a way that the hands, the knees and the forehead touch the ground,”
whereas the word sujjadan has been used here in its literal meaning of sajud “to bow down”.
The parents and brothers of Prophet Joseph bowed down before him in accordance with the ancient custom among the people of the age, (and the custom is still in vogue among some people), who used to bow down before others to show their gratitude, or welcome them, or
merely to salute them by placing their hand on the breast. There are many instances of this in the Bible. and when he (Abraham) saw them (the three men) corning towards him, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself towards the ground.” (Please refer
to Arabic translation: Gen. 18: 32). Further on it says that when the children of Heth gave a field and a cave as a burying place for Sarah, Prophet Abraham was so grateful to them that “he stood up and bowed himself to the people of the land, even to the children of Heth,”
(Gen. 23: 7) and “Abraham bowed down himself before the people of the land.” (Gen. 23: 12). In both cases the words `bowed down’ have been translated into (Sajada). These and other like instances in the Bible are a conclusive proof of the fact that in this (verse 100), the Quran has not used the word in its technical Islamic sense but in its literal sense.
Besides, those commentators are absolutely wrong who suppose that in the former laws, sajadah in the present Islamic sense was allowed as a mark of respect laws. For instance, during the Babylonian captivity of the Children of Israel, king Ahasuerus promoted Haman above all the princes and commanded all his servants to bow and reverence him, but Mordecai, who was a holy and righteous man among the Jews, bowed not, nor did him reverence. (Esther3: 1-2). The Talmud has elaborated this point in a way that is worth reading:
The servants of the king said to Mordecai: “Why wilt thou refuse to bow before Haman, transgressing thus the wishes of the king? Do we not bow before him?” “Yea are foolish,” answered Mordecai, “aye, wanting in reason. Listen to me. Shall a mortal, who must return
to dust be glorified? Shall I bow down before one born of woman, whose days are short? When he is small he cries and weeps as a child; when he grows older sorrow and sighing are his portion; his days are full of wrath and anger, and at the end he returns to dust. Shall I bow to one like to him? No, I prostrate myself before the Eternal God, who lives forever. To Him the great Creator and Ruler of the Universe, and to no other will I bow.” (The Talmud Selections by H. Polano, p. 172).
This speech which was made by a believer from among the Israelites a thousand years before the revelation of the Quran, is conclusive on the point. Thus there is absolutely no room for the performance of sajadah before any other than Allah.