The story of Hazrat Yusuf (AS) is the most detailed and interesting story in the Holy Quran Detail
The story of Hazrat Yusuf (AS) is the most detailed and interesting story in the Holy Quran
The Holy Quran has mentioned his story in a beautiful chapter entitled "Surah Yusuf"
Hazrat Yusuf (AS) was the son of Hazrat Yaqub (AS).
Hazrat Yusuf (AS) had eleven brothers. He was one of the youngest and possessed excellent character and manners. Hazrat Yusuf (AS) once dreamt that eleven stars and the sun and moon were prostrating to him. He related the dream to his father. His dream related to his father.
Hazrat Yaqub (AS) realised that the dream outlined his son's destiny and greatness and cautioned him not to tell his brothers about the dream. His brothers were jealous of the favour that he enjoyed in their father's eyes and planned to somehow get rid of him. Whenever they took their goats out for grazing they would ask their father if Yusuf (AS) could accompany them. Hazrat Yaqub (AS) always refused, saying that the boy was too young.
When Hazrat Yusuf (AS) reached the age of sixteen, his brothers insisted that he was now old enough to accompany them. With reluctance, their father agreed to let them take him with them. As soon as they were far enough from home, they began to plot about how to dispose of Hazrat Yusuf (AS). Then, they came across a dry well. They removed Hazrat Yusuf's (AS) shirt, and threw him into the well. They heartlessly left him to die of hunger.
On the way back, they slaughtered a goat and stained Hazrat Yusuf's (AS) shirt with its blood. They arrived home weeping and told their father that while they were grazing their sheep, a wolf came and ate their brother. He didn’t believe their story and could do nothing but remain patient and wait for Allah to reunite him with his beloved son. Meanwhile a caravan of traders passing by the well stopped to draw some water. They were surprised to see Prophet Yusuf (AS) come up holding the bucket. They hid him with their merchandise and sold him to some slave traders for a few pieces of silver.
Thus, Hazrat Yusuf (AS) arrived in Egypt. Hazrat Yusuf (AS) was a very handsome young man. The Aziz (Governor of Egypt and Chief Officer of the King), whose name was Fotifaar, offered a price that none could match. He brought Hazrat Yusuf (AS) home and told his wife Zuleikha that they would adopt him as their son.
Zuleikha was so taken by Hazrat Yusuf (AS) beauty that she sought to have an illegal association with him. A Hazrat of Allah could never be part of such an evil deed and Hazrat Yusuf (AS) backed away from the advances of Zuleikha. As he raced for the door she ripped his shirt from behind. At the door they met the Aziz. On seeing her husband, Zulekha tried to blame Yusuf (AS) by claiming that he had tried to lay a hand on her. Before the Aziz could vent his fury on Hazrat Yusuf (AS), a baby spoke up from the cradle, and the Holy Quran says.
“And a witness from her own household testified, "If his shirt is torn from the front, then she speaks the truth and he is of the liars. And if his shirt is torn from behind, then she lies and he is of the truthful ones.”(Surah Yusuf)
The shirt was, of course, torn from behind, and the Aziz was extremely angry with his wife for attempting such an act of indecency. The women of the city heard about Zuleikha's actions and began to gossip and make fun of her. To explain her attraction she decided to let them see Hazrat Yusuf (AS) themselves.
She called forty of them to the palace for a meal. As soon as they all had a knife to cut some fruit, she called Hazrat Yusuf (AS) into the room on some excuse. So dazzled were they by his beauty and presence, that they cut their fingers in their distraction and exclaimed, "This is not a human being - he must be an angel!"
Zuleikha was furious with Hazrat Yusuf (AS) because he had caused her to be ridiculed. In her anger and frustration, she caused him to be imprisoned on false charges of assault.
Due to continued pressure from his wife Zuleikha, the Aziz of Egypt decided to imprison Hazrat Yusuf (AS), despite his innocence. The reason he gave was that people would forget the actions of his wife while Hazrat Yusuf (AS) lay in prison, and her dignity would be restored.
On the same day that Hazrat Yusuf (AS) was put into prison, two other men were also imprisoned. One used to serve the king wine, while the other was the royal cook. Both men had been accused of trying to poison the king. On the following day, the wine-server said to Hazrat Yusuf (AS), "I saw in a dream that I was crushing grapes to make wine for the king". The cook said, "I dreamt that I was carrying some bread in a basket on my head and birds were pecking at the bread".
Both men saw that Hazrat Yusuf (AS) was a noble and pious person and asked him if he could interpret their dreams. Hazrat Yusuf (AS) took this opportunity to preach the religion of Allah to his prison-mates. He promised to tell them the meaning of their dreams and informed them that this was a special power given to him by Allah Before he did so, however, he explained to them how senseless it was to believe in various gods and explained to them about the Oneness of Allah and the Day of Resurrection.
Finally he said, "O my prison-mates! The man who dreamt that he was crushing grapes will soon be released from here and will go back to his previous post. The second one, who carried the bread on his head in the dream, will be executed and the birds will start to eat his brain." Hazrat Yusuf AS) thought of getting himself released from prison through the wine-server, and told him to remind the king of his innocence when he saw him. The dreams of both men came true just as he had foretold. One of the captives was released while the other was hanged. Unfortunately, the wine-server forgot all that Hazrat Yusuf (AS) had told him to convey to the king.
The Holy Qur'an says:“The king dreamt that seven lean cows were eating seven fat ones and that there were seven green ears of corn and seven dry ones. He asked the nobles to tell him the meaning of his dream if they were able to. They replied, "It is a confused dream and we do not know the meaning of such dreams."(Surah Yusuf)
The king was very concerned about the meaning of his dream and even though his wise men thought over it seriously, they could not make sense of it. The king's dream became a means of the liberation of Hazrat Yusuf (AS) from prison. As soon as the wine-server heard about the dream he was reminded of his time in prison and remembered the powers of his cell-mate. He also remembered that Hazrat Yusuf (AS) had asked him to tell the king of his innocence. He approached the king and got his permission to see Hazrat Yusuf (AS).
Hazrat Yusuf (AS) interpreted the dream by the power given to him by Allah Taala. He said, "For seven years the crops will yield abundant food-grain for the people of Egypt. After that there will be a famine for seven years during which all the food-grain lying in the storehouses will be finished and people will starve. Therefore, the people should try to grow as much extra grain as possible so that it would stand them in good stead during the time of famine".
On hearing this very reasonable and sensible interpretation of his dream from the wine-server, the king was delighted. He ordered that Hazrat Yusuf (AS) be brought before him so he could make good use of his wisdom in solving his problems.
Although he had been in the dark dungeon for so long, Hazrat Yusuf (AS) refused to leave the prison until he proved his innocence. He said to the courtiers, "I will not come out of the prison until the king makes enquiries about my case. Tell the king to ask the wives of the noble men about the time when they cut their fingers on seeing me".
The courtiers passed on this message to the king who called the concerned women to him for an explanation. They all confessed the truth and Zuleikha, the wife of the Aziz, also testified that Hazrat Yusuf (AS) was innocent of any guilt. Thus, Prophet Yusuf (AS) was released from the prison with his dignity and honour restored.
The Holy Qur'an says:The king ordered his men to bring Yusuf before him; he wanted to grant him a high office. The king said to him, "From now on you will be an honoured and trusted person amongst us." Yusuf said, "Put me in charge of the treasuries of the land, I know how to manage them."(Surah Yusuf)
When the king met Hazrat Yusuf (AS), he found him to be a wise and broad-minded man. In response to the request of Hazrat Yusuf (AS) as related in the verse above, the king made him in charge of finance and food and ordered his ministers and officials to treat Hazrat Yusuf's (AS) commands as his own.
Hazrat Yusuf (AS) thus became the Aziz of Egypt and began his new duties without delay. He was determined that when the famine arrived, nobody should starve.
The river Nile flooded its banks regularly to provide fertile soil for the growth of food grain and Hazrat Yusuf (AS) was aware that the famine would be caused by the decrease of the water in this river. He decided to make a brief tour of Egypt to assess the best locations where intensive cultivation could be carried out.
He allocated extra money to the farmers in the most fertile areas of the Nile, so that they would be able to grow the maximum amount of grain. He also ordered the construction of huge storehouses, capable of storing several hundred tons of the surplus grain.
During the first seven years, he supplied grain to the people according to their minimum needs, and stored the rest in the newly-built granaries. By the time the seven years were over, the granaries were full. The water level of the Nile fell tremendously and the country was hit by a severe drought. However, due to his foresight and planning, the country did not face a shortage of food.
The famine also extended to the lands of Palestine and Kanaan where Hazrat Yaqub (AS) lived with his sons. One day he called them and said, "My sons! We are in great distress due to the famine. You may go to the Aziz of Egypt whose reputation as a kind and just person has spread everywhere in the country. Leave Binyameen with me for company so that I may not be lonely." As commanded by their father, the brothers of Hazrat Yusuf (AS) set off for Egypt to purchase grain and bring it back to Kanaan.
When his brothers arrived in Egypt, Hazrat Yusuf (AS) was very pleased to see them. They did not recognise him at all, never expecting that he was alive. Hazrat Yusuf (AS) was disappointed not to see his full brother, Binyameen, and asked his brothers to tell him about themselves.
They introduced themselves and told him about their father and mother. Hazrat Yusuf (AS) was relieved to hear that Hazrat Yaqub (AS) was alive, and he welcomed his brothers sincerely. He provided them with enough wheat for their needs and had their money put back in their bags secretly. He also asked them to bring their other brother the next time as proof that they were speaking the truth about their family. The Holy Qur'an narrates this episode in the following words:
“Yusuf's brothers came to him and when they entered his court, he recognised them. They did not know him. And when he gave them the provisions, he said, "Next time, bring me your other brother from your father. As you can see, I give each of you a certain amount of grain, I am a polite host. If you do not bring him, do not come to us for we shall not give you any more grain.”(Surah Yusuf)
On their return home, the brothers related their experiences to their father, praising the generosity and hospitality of Hazrat Yusuf (AS). When they opened their bags they were delighted to see that their money had been returned. Soon they were out of grain and were impatient to go back to Egypt to get more. However, they could not go back without Binyameen, so they tried to convince their father to let him come with them. Hazrat Yaqub (AS) refused to let them take Binyameen, saying that they would do the same thing with him as they did with Hazrat Yusuf (AS).
After repeated promises the brothers finally convinced him that they would sincerely look after Binyameen, so he let him accompany them to Egypt.When they reached Egypt, the brothers proceeded to the court of Hazrat Yusuf (AS) and presented their brother Binyameen to him. Hazrat Yusuf (AS) was extremely happy to see his younger brother and invited all of them to dine with him. Later he gave them all accommodation at his own house, and asked Binyameen to sleep in his room. During the night, Hazrat Yusuf (AS) revealed his identity to Binyameen.
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