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 5 contains Āyāt / Parts 7
  • Siparah/ Volume 12 & 13


وَدَخَلَ مَعَهُ السِّجْنَ فَتَيَانَ قَالَ أَحَدُهُمَآ إِنِّي أَرَانِي أَعْصِرُ خَمْرًا وَقَالَ الآخَرُ إِنِّي أَرَانِي أَحْمِلُ فَوْقَ رَأْسِي خُبْزًا تَأْكُلُ الطَّيْرُ مِنْهُ نَبِّئْنَا بِتَأْوِيلِهِ إِنَّا نَرَاكَ مِنَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ 

Wadakhala maAAahu a(l)ssijna fatayani qala ahaduhuma innee aranee aAAsiru khamran waqala alakharu innee aranee ahmilu fawqa rasee khubzan takulu a(l)ttayru minhu nabbina bitaweelihi inna naraka mina almuhsineen(a)

And there entered with him two pages in the prison. One of them said: verily I saw myself pressing wine; and the other said: verily I saw myself carrying upon my head bread whereof the birds were eating; declare to us the interpretation thereof, verily we see you of the well-doers.


قَالَ لاَ يَأْتِيكُمَا طَعَامٌ تُرْزَقَانِهِ إِلاَّ نَبَّأْتُكُمَا بِتَأْوِيلِهِ قَبْلَ أَن يَأْتِيكُمَا ذَلِكُمَا مِمَّا عَلَّمَنِي رَبِّي إِنِّي تَرَكْتُ مِلَّةَ قَوْمٍ لاَّ يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللّهِ وَهُم بِالآخِرَةِ هُمْ كَافِرُونَ 

Qala la yateekuma taAAamun turzaqanihi illa nabbatukuma bitaweelihi qabla an yatiyakuma thalikuma mimma AAallamanee rabbee innee taraktu millata qawmin la yuminoona bi(A)llahi wahum bi(a)lakhirati hum kafiroon(a)

He said: no food will come to you for your sustenance but before it comes to you I shall have declared to you the interpretation thereof. That is of what my Rabb-SWT has taught me. Verily I have abandoned the creed of a people who do not believe in Allaah-SWT and who are disbelievers in the Hereafter.


وَاتَّبَعْتُ مِلَّةَ آبَآئِـي إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْحَقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ مَا كَانَ لَنَا أَن نُّشْرِكَ بِاللّهِ مِن شَيْءٍ ذَلِكَ مِن فَضْلِ اللّهِ عَلَيْنَا وَعَلَى النَّاسِ وَلَـكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لاَ يَشْكُرُونَ 

Wa(i)ttabaAAtu millata abaee ibraheema waishaqa wayaAAqooba ma kana lanaan nushrika bi(A)llahi min shayin thalika min fadli Allahi AAalayna waAAala a(l)nnasi walakinna akthara a(l)nnasi la yashkuroon(a)

And I have followed the creed of my fathers, Ibrahim and Ishaq-AS and Ya'qub-AS: it is not for us to associate anything with Allah-SWT . That is of Allaah-SWT ’s Grace upon us and mankind, but most of mankind thank not.


يَا صَاحِبَيِ السِّجْنِ أَأَرْبَابٌ مُّتَفَرِّقُونَ خَيْرٌ أَمِ اللّهُ الْوَاحِدُ الْقَهَّارُ 

Ya sahibayi a(l)ssijni aarbabun mutafarriqoona khayrun ami Allahu alwahidu alqahhar(u)

O my two fellow-prisoners! Are sundry lords better or Allaah-SWT the One, the Subduer?


مَا تَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِهِ إِلاَّ أَسْمَاء سَمَّيْتُمُوهَا أَنتُمْ وَآبَآؤُكُم مَّا أَنزَلَ اللّهُ بِهَا مِن سُلْطَانٍ إِنِ الْحُكْمُ إِلاَّ لِلّهِ أَمَرَ أَلاَّ تَعْبُدُواْ إِلاَّ إِيَّاهُ ذَلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ وَلَـكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ

Ma taAAbudoona min doonihi illa asmaan sammaytumooha antum waabaokum ma anzala Allahu biha min sultanin ini alhukmu illa lillahi amara alla taAAbudoo illaiyyahu thalika a(l)ddeenu alqayyimu walakinna akthara alnnasi la yaAAlamoon(a)

You do not worship besides Him-SWT , but only names you have forged, you and your fathers. Allaah-SWT has not sent down for them any authority. Judgement is but Allah-SWT's; He-SWT has Commanded that you should worship none except Him-SWT . That is the right religion, but most of the mankind know not.


يَا صَاحِبَيِ السِّجْنِ أَمَّا أَحَدُكُمَا فَيَسْقِي رَبَّهُ خَمْرًا وَأَمَّا الآخَرُ فَيُصْلَبُ فَتَأْكُلُ الطَّيْرُ مِن رَّأْسِهِ قُضِيَ الأَمْرُ الَّذِي فِيهِ تَسْتَفْتِيَانِ 

Ya sahibayi a(l)ssijni amma ahadukuma fayasqee rabbahu khamran waammaalakharu fayuslabu fatakulu a(l)ttayru min rasihi qudiya alamru allathee feehi tastaftiyan(i)

O’ my two fellow-prisoners! As for one of you he will pour out wine for his master, and as for the other, he will be crucified, and the birds will eat off his head; this is decreed the affair of which you two enquired.


وَقَالَ لِلَّذِي ظَنَّ أَنَّهُ نَاجٍ مِّنْهُمَا اذْكُرْنِي عِندَ رَبِّكَ فَأَنسَاهُ الشَّيْطَانُ ذِكْرَ رَبِّهِ فَلَبِثَ فِي السِّجْنِ بِضْعَ سِنِينَ 

Waqala lillathee thanna annahu najin minhuma othkurnee AAinda rabbika faansahu a(l)shshaytanu thikra rabbihi falabitha fee a(l)ssijni bidAAa sineen(a)

And he said to one of them, who he imagined would be saved: mention me before your master. But Satan caused him to forget to mention him to his master. So that he stayed in the prison for several years.


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

When Prophet Yousuf-AS arrived in the prison, his fame made the prisoners living in misery anxious to see him. He captured their attention by declaring the excellence Allah-SWT had given him as it is obligatory-for Prophets-AS to invite people towards the straight path by announcing their Prophetic excellences to them.


Proclamation of Excellence by the Aulia

The Aulia announce their extraordinary qualities with the same objective. It is not proper to think that a Wali desires to gain fame by declaring his merits. The author of Tafsir-e-Mazhari quotes the example of Hadhrat Mujaddid Alif ThaniRUA that it was the announcement of his excellence which attracted a very large number of people to benefit from him. And those who spoke against him remained ignorant. Today the open invitation extended by Shaikh Allah Yar KhanRUA's Naqshbandiah Owaisiah Order is globally attracting people out of bars, clubs and casinos, to the peace of the masaajid. The common mistaken belief that Tasawwuf is not to be disclosed pertains only to those matters which are beyond the understanding of common people and cannot benefit them in any way. The declaration of Barakah is not forbidden at all, for if Tasawwuf is a part of Din, it has to be announced and spread. And, Allah-SWT forbid, if it is not, then what is the need to pursue it?


Ridiculing Aulia-RUA is Devastating both for Din and Worldly Life

Shortly After Prophet Yousuf-AS‘s confinement, two young men were admitted in the prison. According to the Commentators one was the royal chef and the other a royal steward. The King suspected them of an attempt to poison his food, and they were to be interrogated. When they heard of Prophet Yousuf-AS‘s reputation, they decided to have some fun. They concocted fake dreams and went to Prophet Yousuf-AS seeking an interpretation. The steward said that he had dreamt of holding a bunch of grapes and the royal cup. He had squeezed the grapes into the royal cup and offered the juice to the King. The chef said that he had dreamt that he was carrying a basket full of eatables on his head and the birds and the crows were eating therefrom. They requested Prophet Yousuf-AS to interpret their dreams, for they had heard much about his piety, and his extraordinary qualities as well as his kind treatment of the down trodden.


Prophet Yousuf-AS said that Allah-SWT had blessed him with a very broad vision and a priceless treasure of knowledge. If they wanted to try; he could even inform them before hand with the details of their daily meals. He could tell them when they would be served with meals and even the after effects thereof. He claimed this just like Prophet 'Isa-AS had announced his capability of knowing what the people had eaten and what they had left over in their homes, as reported in the Quran. Prophet Yousuf-AS said that his knowledge was Allah-SWT's Award because of his belief in Him-SWT , and because of his complete abstinence from the path of the disbelievers.


To Irk Disbelief is a Prerequisite of Faith

In other words, faith requires a feeling of disgust towards disbelief. To believe in Allah-SWT while also thinking that there is nothing wrong with disbelief is not acceptable. Today, those who say that all kinds of ideologies held by various people are correct, are considered enlightened or broad minded. This attitude is incorrect. Rather, it is the darkness of thought to take falsehood as truth. To declare truth as truth and falsehood as falsehood is indeed the real enlightenment. Besides, Prophet Yousuf-AS also spoke of his personal honour. He was a member of the Prophets-AS family in terms of lineage, as well as in beliefs. He added that he followed his ancestors Prophets Ya’qub-AS, Ishaq-AS and IbrahimAS in practice.


Lineage is an Honour only when Beliefs are Pure, not Otherwise

To be of an honourable lineage is indeed a great blessing of Allah-SWT for which one should be grateful to Him-SWT . But family honour would only be valid when the beliefs are sound, otherwise it would be of no consequence. It has also been established that the Prophets-AS always come of noble lineage and notable families so that people do not feel embarrassed following them. Similarly the Spiritual Offices are also given to persons belonging to noble families. Prophet Yousuf-AS said that it did not befit those from noble families, with enlightened bosoms beaming with the light of Prophethood, to even think of ascribing partners to Allah-SWT . This pure belief is a great blessing of Allah-SWT especially showered upon His Prophets-AS, though its doors are open for the entire mankind.


Invitation to Allah-SWT

It is to Him-SWT that the Prophets-AS invite the mankind. His-SWT Favours are unlimited upon His-SWT creation but the majority is ungrateful. They enjoy His-SWT Blessings without showing gratitude. In short, the essence of every engagement and activity is that people be invited to Din. This endeavour should be done using all possible methods. Compared to large public gatherings, private and selective get-togethers with people from various walks of life prove the most effective for such invitation.


Prophet Yousuf-AS enquired of his visitors as to what seemed more logical: To beg from sundry gods or to submit and pray to the One and the Only Allah-SWT ? He-SWT has no equal. He-SWT enjoys supreme control over His-SWT creation whereupon he exercises His-SWT Sovereign Authority at His-SWT free Will. He added that their sundry gods had in fact no existence and even if they physically existed they were only a paltry creation totally unworthy of being worshipped. Yet the people crossed all limits and worshipped imagined names, concocted by their ancestors of which Allah-SWT had never revealed anything. If the forefathers were obedient to Allah-SWT , following in their footsteps is a commendable act, for it indirectly amounts to Allah-SWT's obedience. However, if the ancestors were ignorant, their doctrines carry no value.


It is only Allah-SWT's Doctrines which are to be implemented and obeyed, and it is this adherence to His-SWT Commands that make a deed meritorious. He-SWT has conveyed His-SWT decision through every Messenger-AS that only He-SWT must be worshipped, and none besides Him-SWT . This indeed is the true Din and the straight path. Unfortunately, majority of the people are ignorant of it. Prophet Yousuf-AS then interpreted their dreams and said that in the light of knowledge inspired into his heart by Allah-SWT , one of them would be reinstated on his duty while the other would be crucified until his brain would be gnawed by birds of prey.


The Manner of Preaching must be Beautiful

Prophet Yousuf-AS did not wish to cause unease to anyone so he did not nominate them directly while giving interpretation. He said that one of them was to be reinstated while the other would be punished. It shows that one must always be discreet in the use of words in his speech. Anyway, when the two heard of the interpretation they wailed that they had fabricated the dreams only to test him. The Prophet-AS explained that had they actually dreamt, it would still have been only a dream. And if it was a fabrication, still the words were theirs but what he had told them was out of the know ledge blessed by Allaah-SWT and information over their destiny. This was to happen whether they liked it or not.


Employment of Means is Permissible

Besides, Prophet Yousuf-AS said to the one likely to survive that when taken to the Royal Court he should speak to the King that an innocent person, a servant of Allah-SWT lies in the gaols. He hoped that this might lead him to freedom. It proves that one must employ all permissible and available re-sources.


Iblis Conspires to Vex the Aulia'

When the steward was summoned by the King, the Satan made him forget what Prophet Yousuf-AS had told him to convey. He made no mention of him to the King. This shows that Iblis not only beguiles people but also tries to tease those who work for Allah-SWT . He-SWT in fact operates through those to whose subtle hearts he has an access. So inspite of his attempt. Prophet Yousuf had to spend several more years in jail, for his freedom had been predestined. And only Allah-SWT Knows when events are to take place. Besides, Allah-SWT had not only planned his liberation but also his exoneration and ultimate access to the Throne of Egypt.