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


وَقَالَ الْمَلِكُ إِنِّي أَرَى سَبْعَ بَقَرَاتٍ سِمَانٍ يَأْكُلُهُنَّ سَبْعٌ عِجَافٌ وَسَبْعَ سُنبُلاَتٍ خُضْرٍ وَأُخَرَ يَابِسَاتٍ يَا أَيُّهَا الْمَلأُ أَفْتُونِي فِي رُؤْيَايَ إِن كُنتُمْ لِلرُّؤْيَا تَعْبُرُونَ

Waqala almaliku innee ara sabAAa baqaratin simanin yakuluhunna sabAAun AAijafun wasabAAa sunbulatin khudrin waokhara yabisatin ya ayyuha almalao aftoonee fee ruyaya in kuntum li(l)rruya taAAburoon(a)

And the king said: I saw seven fat cows which seven lean ones are devouring and seven green corn-ears and seven others dry. O’ chiefs! Give me an answer in regard to my vision, if a vision you are at all able to interpret.


قَالُواْ أَضْغَاثُ أَحْلاَمٍ وَمَا نَحْنُ بِتَأْوِيلِ الأَحْلاَمِ بِعَالِمِينَ

Qaloo adghathu ahlamin wama nahnu bitaweeli alahlami biAAalimeen(a)

They said: medleys of nightmare! And in the interpretation of nightmare we are not skilled.


وَقَالَ الَّذِي نَجَا مِنْهُمَا وَادَّكَرَ بَعْدَ أُمَّةٍ أَنَاْ أُنَبِّئُكُم بِتَأْوِيلِهِ فَأَرْسِلُونِ

Waqala allathee naja minhuma wa(i)ddakara baAAda ommatin ana onabbiokum bitaweelihi faarsiloon(i)

Then the one of the two, who was saved, now at length remembered and said: I shall declare to you interpretation thereof; so send me forth.


يُوسُفُ أَيُّهَا الصِّدِّيقُ أَفْتِنَا فِي سَبْعِ بَقَرَاتٍ سِمَانٍ يَأْكُلُهُنَّ سَبْعٌ عِجَافٌ وَسَبْعِ سُنبُلاَتٍ خُضْرٍ وَأُخَرَ يَابِسَاتٍ لَّعَلِّي أَرْجِعُ إِلَى النَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَعْلَمُونَ

Yoosufu ayyuha a(l)ssiddeequ aftina fee sabAAi baqaratin simanin yakuluhunna sabAAun AAijafun wasabAAi sunbulatin khudrin waokhara yabisatin laAAallee arjiAAu ila a(l)nnasi laAAallahum yaAAlamoon(a)

Yousuf-AS O’ saint! Give an answer to us in regard to seven fat cows which seven lean ones are devouring and seven green corn-ears and seven others dry. Perchance I may return to the people; perchance they may learn.


قَالَ تَزْرَعُونَ سَبْعَ سِنِينَ دَأَبًا فَمَا حَصَدتُّمْ فَذَرُوهُ فِي سُنبُلِهِ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً مِّمَّا تَأْكُلُونَ

Qala tazraAAoona sabAAa sineena daaban fama hasadtum fatharoohu fee sunbulihi illa qaleelan mimma takuloon(a)

He said: you shall sow seven years as usual and what you reap leave in its ears, except a little of it which you may eat.


ثُمَّ يَأْتِي مِن بَعْدِ ذَلِكَ سَبْعٌ شِدَادٌ يَأْكُلْنَ مَا قَدَّمْتُمْ لَهُنَّ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً مِّمَّا تُحْصِنُونَ

Thumma yatee min baAAdi thalika sabAAun shidadun yakulna ma qaddamtum lahunna illa qaleelan mimma tuhsinoon(a)

Thereafter will come seven hard years which will devour what you have laid up beforehand for them, except a little which you shall preserve.


ثُمَّ يَأْتِي مِن بَعْدِ ذَلِكَ عَامٌ فِيهِ يُغَاثُ النَّاسُ وَفِيهِ يَعْصِرُونَ

Thumma yatee min baAAdi thalika AAamun feehi yughathu a(l)nnasu wafeehi yaAAsiroon(a)

Thereafter will come another year when people will have rain and when they will press grapes.


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

Allah-SWT has his own system. When Prophet Yousuf-AS tried to approach the king for his freedom, Satan made the steward forgetful. But when the time for his release came Allah-SWT made arrangements out of thin air. The King had a strange dream. He woke up in anxiety and summoned all the astronomers and soothsayers of his Court and recounted it. He said he had seen seven healthy oxen being eaten up by seven lean ones and seven green corn-ears with seven dry ones. He demanded an interpretation from them but they were perplexed and could not comprehend it. They declared his dream as stray thoughts which should simply be ignored. But the King was not satisfied. Also present in this gathering was the steward who had once met Prophet Yousuf-AS in the prison. Suddenly he remembered how true his interpretations had proven, and how wise and sagacious he was. He sought the King's permission to visit a noble and righteous person, who was in prison inspite of being innocent; who was an institution of knowledge and could properly interpret the King's dream. The King made arrangements for the steward and after so many years he stood before the Prophet-AS ' again and said: "O' truthful! I have erred for I had forgotten what you had asked of me; but whatever you had said in the interpretation of our dreams proved to be true. Once again your guidance is needed for the King had a strange dream which no one can interpret." According to the Commentators dreams sometimes depict corresponding events just as the deeds and characters of people shall assume corresponding shapes on the Day of Judgement.


Interpretation of Dreams Vary with People

The interpretations of dreams also vary with the characters of people. 'Allamah ibn-e-Sirin"RUA a well known master in this field, once gave two opposite interpretations to a similar dream seen by two different persons. They had dreamt that they were calling out Azan. One was told that he would gain great fame and a Government job and the other would be defamed and prosecuted. A listener later questioned the ‘Allamah in privacy about the disparity in the two interpretations. He clarified that it was because of the contrast in their characters. Azan, in a dream, is merely interpreted as an exposure of ones inner self and qualities. Since the former was a man of wisdom and character, when his qualities would become known he would certainly find fame and a rank in the society. While the latter was a dacoit, and when exposed, he would certainly be prosecuted. Hence the dream of a king or a common man may be similar but their interpretations will vary.


The Accomplished must give Advice to People for their Betterment

Prophet Yousuf-AS not only interpreted the King's dream but also gave an excellent plan. He said that the seven healthy oxen represented seven years bringing in grain and harvest in abundance. The same was denoted by the seven green corn. The lean oxen, on the other hand, meant seven years of famine and the same was indicated by the dry corn-ears. The eating up of the fat oxen by the lean ones meant that the grain produced in the first seven years would be consumed in the following seven famine stricken years.


He also gave a unique advice to be conveyed to the King. He said that the King must make people work extremely hard in the first seven years. In order to avoid deterioration of grain due to long storage, it must be stored in its stalks and cleaned only on as required basis. The famine would be so severe that everything would be threatened with extinction. However, they must save sufficient seeds, for after the famine there will be a lot of rainfall making tillage possible once again. Fruits would be produced in such abundance that people would extract and drink their juices instead of eating them. These suggestions emanated from the Knowledge of Prophethood. He gave a wonderful administrative advice and suggested the way of conserving resources. Moreover, he also gave the glad tiding of a productive year ahead. When the king heard this interpretation, he could not help admiring the sagacity of the interpreter because all his wizards had failed to comprehend the matter.