سورة يوسف   

Surah Name: Yousuf-AS Meaning: Joseph

  • Revealed at Makkah
  • • Surah Yousuf-AS is a Makkan Surah. It is one of those historical facts, which the Quran has revealed for the guidance of mankind. The incident this Surah describes is the only one revealed in a single go. Selected segments of other historical events have been quoted where needed in order to illustrate the character of various people and the consequences drawn thereupon. Since the main aim of the Quran is character-building and not merely recounting history, the historical events have also been referred to in the same context. It has also been clarified that knowledge of these events is not required merely for its own sake. Rather, they should be remembered as well as conveyed to others so as to warn people for their reformation. With this aim, recording of history becomes a preferred art. The style should be the same as that of Surah Yousuf-AS. It should neither be so lengthy as to exhaust the reader, nor so short as to mar comprehension. This Surah was revealed when the Jews demanded of the Holy Prophet-SW to answer them as to why the Ban! Israil had shifted from Syria to Egypt, and what the story of Prophet Yousuf-AS was. These answers were given in the Torah also, but the Holy Prophet-SW had never attended any school nor had listened to any rabbi. It was intended to be a test for him-SW. But Allah-SWT , the Most Gracious, revealed the entire event to His-SWT Beloved Prophet-SW, unveiling even those facts that were not mentioned in the Torah. It contains history, admonition, counselling, and describes the results borne on actions. Above all, it endorsed the Prophethood of the Holy Prophet-SW in a miraculous manner.
  • Total Number of Rukū / Sections 12
  • Total Number of Āyāt / Parts 111
  • Sūrah / Chapter number 12
  • Rukū / Section 12 contains Āyāt / Parts 7
  • Siparah/ Volume 12 & 13


وَكَأَيِّن مِّن آيَةٍ فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ يَمُرُّونَ عَلَيْهَا وَهُمْ عَنْهَا مُعْرِضُونَ 

Wakaayyin min ayatin fee a(l)ssamawati wa(a)lardi yamurroona AAalayha wahum AAanha muAAridoon(a)

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


وَمَا يُؤْمِنُ أَكْثَرُهُمْ بِاللّهِ إِلاَّ وَهُم مُّشْرِكُونَ

Wama yuminu aktharuhum bi(A)llahi illa wahum mushrikoon(a)

And most of them do not believe in Allaah-SWT except as associators.


أَفَأَمِنُواْ أَن تَأْتِيَهُمْ غَاشِيَةٌ مِّنْ عَذَابِ اللّهِ أَوْ تَأْتِيَهُمُ السَّاعَةُ بَغْتَةً وَهُمْ لاَ يَشْعُرُونَ 

Afaaminoo an tatiyahum ghashiyatun min AAathabi Allahi aw tatiyahumu a(l)ssaAAatu baghtatan wahum la yashAAuroon(a)

Are they then secure against this, that there may come upon them an overwhelming of Allah-SWT's torment, or that there may come upon them the Hour all of a sudden while they perceive not?


قُلْ هَـذِهِ سَبِيلِي أَدْعُو إِلَى اللّهِ عَلَى بَصِيرَةٍ أَنَاْ وَمَنِ اتَّبَعَنِي وَسُبْحَانَ اللّهِ وَمَا أَنَاْ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ 

Qul hathihi sabeelee adAAoo ila Allahi AAala baseeratin ana wamani ittabaAAanee wasubhana Allahi wama ana mina almushrikeen(a)

Say you-SW  : this is my way; I call to Allaah-SWT resting upon an insight-I, and whoever follows me. Hallowed be Allaah-SWT ! And I am not of the associators.


وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ إِلاَّ رِجَالاً نُّوحِي إِلَيْهِم مِّنْ أَهْلِ الْقُرَى أَفَلَمْ يَسِيرُواْ فِي الأَرْضِ فَيَنظُرُواْ كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ وَلَدَارُ الآخِرَةِ خَيْرٌ لِّلَّذِينَ اتَّقَواْ أَفَلاَ تَعْقِلُونَ

Wama arsalna min qablika illa rijalan noohee ilayhim min ahli alqura afalam yaseeroo fee alardi fayanthuroo kayfa kana AAaqibatu allatheena min qablihim waladaru alakhirati khayrun lillatheena ittaqaw afala taAAqiloon(a)

And We-SWT sent not before you any save men unto whom We-SWT revealed from among the people of the towns. Have then they not travelled about in the land? Have they observed how has been the end of those before them? And surely the abode of the Akhirah is best for the Allaah-SWT -fearing. Do you not then reflect?


حَتَّى إِذَا اسْتَيْأَسَ الرُّسُلُ وَظَنُّواْ أَنَّهُمْ قَدْ كُذِبُواْ جَاءهُمْ نَصْرُنَا فَنُجِّيَ مَن نَّشَاء وَلاَ يُرَدُّ بَأْسُنَا عَنِ الْقَوْمِ الْمُجْرِمِينَ 

Hatta itha istayasa a(l)rrusulu wathannoo annahum qad kuthiboo jaahum nasrunafanujjiya man nashao wala yuraddu basuna AAani alqawmi almujrimeen(a)

Respited were they until when the Messengers-AS had despaired and imagined that they were deluded, there came unto them Our-SWT succour; and whosoever We-SWT willed was delivered. And Our-SWT Wrath is not warded off from a sinning people.


لَقَدْ كَانَ فِي قَصَصِهِمْ عِبْرَةٌ لِّأُوْلِي الأَلْبَابِ مَا كَانَ حَدِيثًا يُفْتَرَى وَلَـكِن تَصْدِيقَ الَّذِي بَيْنَ يَدَيْهِ وَتَفْصِيلَ كُلَّ شَيْءٍ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةً لِّقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ 

Laqad kana fee qasasihim AAibratun liolee alalbabi ma kana hadeethan yuftarawalakin tasdeeqa allathee bayna yadayhi watafseela kulli shayin wahudan warahmatan liqawmin yuminoon(a)

Assuredly in their stories is a lesson for men of understanding. It is not a discourse concocted but a confirmation of what went before it. And a detailing of everything, and a guidance and a Mercy to a people who believe.


In The Name of Allah-SWT the Most Gracious, The Most Merciful

If these people are not accepting the truth, it is nothing unusual. Allah-SWT ’s Greatness is reflected by the heavens, and across the earth in each and every particle. The ruins of the settlements of the defiant folk also demonstrate the grave outcome of disbelief. These people frequently pass by these ruins and are also aware of the Signs of Allah-SWT's Greatness present in nature all around them. Yet they do not wish to pay heed. Even if they are logically humbled into accepting the existence of Allah-SWT , they ascribe partners to Him-SWT in many of His-SWT Attributes and thus invite doom. These ignorant and heedless people might consider accepting the faith only when their death starts looming over their heads or they see Allah-SWT ’s doom. Embracing Islam then would be of no avail to them.


Islam, a Religion of Sound Mind

The Holy Prophet-SW must tell them that his way is to invite people to the One and the Only Allah-SWT , Whose Unity and Greatness is supported by logical and recorded evidence. His-SWT Message is also in harmony with sound reasoning and sane mind. In other words, Islam is not a religion based on mere rituals and their hypothetical results. Rather, it is a religion comprising articles of faith and worships founded on logic and spiritual insight: "And this indeed is the practice of my followers, (the Companions-RAU) whose bosoms are cumulations of Prophetic treasures and who are the soldiers of Allah-SWT '. These words of the Holy Prophet-SW have been reported by Hadhrat ibn-e-Mas'ud-RAU. This Hadith includes all Muslims who invite to the true faith with prudence and insight, without any additions or subtractions. They do not promote any specific cult to satisfy their vested interests or personal fancies. This Hadith refers especially to those knowledgeable ones whose hearts are enlightened with the Barakah of the Holy Prophet-SWT and who enjoy spiritual insight. Allah-SWT is above any partnership and the Holy Prophet-SW announces his exoneration from any form of polytheism, no matter how insignificant or trivial it might be.


Prophethood for Men only

Allah-SWT informs the Holy Prophet-SW that even before him, He-SWT had deputed many men as Prophets-AS to various settlements, who were blessed with Revelation. And there is nothing unusual in his raising that the infidels may feel amazed. It also becomes clear in this Ayah that Prophethood had only been conferred upon the male. The term Wahi (revelation) with reference to Hadhrat Maryam-AS, Prophet Musa-AS’'’s  mother or Prophet Ibrahim-AS ‘s wife Sarah-AS does not mean the Wahi of Prophethood, but the revelation of knowledge from Allah-SWT upon His-SWT devoted servants and the Aulia. Prophethood involves fieldwork and was not to be assigned to a gender enjoined to remain veiled.


People must learn a lesson from the ruins of those settlements, where Prophets-AS were raised. They conveyed to their dwellers Allah-SWT ’s Message, which they rejected and were ultimately destroyed. And it is an established fact that even if the pious have to suffer in this world, they will surely be rewarded amply in the Akhirah, and will enjoy the best and eternal abode. All this can be easily perceived if one has a sane mind.


And if the infidels are wondering why their denial has not yet invoked the promised doom, they must know the eternal rule that Allah-SWT , the Most Merciful, allows maximum respite to humans. The preceding nations were also given enough respite, so much so that their Prophets-AS began to wonder whether they would be punished at all! In that case, they thought, the deniers would find a rationale to reject their Prophethood. It was then that Allah-SWT sent His-SWT Succour unto His-SWT Prophets-AS and the respite came to an end. Whereas Allaah-SWT rescued His-SWT Prophets-AS and their followers, none could save the non believers from the catastrophe ordained for them.


This Book is not a book of fabricated stories, but is verified by the preceding Divine Books and explains the same beliefs and Message. It dwells at length on all spheres of human activity, be it faith, worships, morality, mutual dealings or politics. It goes beyond discussion and provides excellent guidance over each and every aspect of human life. This Book is an embodiment of Mercy, for it shows the path of deliverance from the turmoils of this life and of the Akhirah. It also teaches the manners of seeking Allah-SWT ’s Nearness. Naturally all these blessings are for those fortunate souls who believe in this Book.


Date of completion of translation of Surah 12 = 22 Ramadhan 1410 AH. 18 April 1990 CE