“We relate unto you (Muhammad) the best of stories through Our Revelations unto you, of this Qur'an. And before this (i.e. before the coming of Divine Inspiration to you), you were among those who knew nothing about it (the Qur'an).” (Surah Yusuf, 12:3)
A Short Introduction
"Verily, in Yusuf (Joseph) and his brethren, there were Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) for those who ask." (Surah Yusuf, 12:7)
The story of Prophet Yusuf (Peace be upon him) is one of the most inspiring and lesson-filled stories in the Qur'an. Not only does the story make an interesting read, but it teaches us vital lessons about many of the issues that we face in our lives today, from sibling rivalry Gealousy), to being treated unfairly by people of authority. We see in this story how a Prophet of Allah deals with these issues, and this story also makes the cut as a very relevant read as it deals with universal issues that are still a problem for Muslims to this day.
Now here is how this chapter is going to work; the story of the Prophet Yusuf (Peace be upon him) will be quoted directly from the Qur'an, and I will interrupt at certain points in the story with a 'real-life lesson' or a 'comment' derived from the Verses that preceded my interruption. And now let's begin the story of Prophet Yusuf (Peace be upon him) and his eleven brothers:
The Story and lts lessons
All the Qur'anic Verses below are from Surah Yusuf.
(4) (Remember) when Yusuf said to his father: "O my father! Verily, I saw (in a dream) eleven stars and the Sun and the moon - I saw tem prostrating themselves to me,"
(5) He (the father) said: "O my son! Relate not your vision to your brothers, lest they arrange a plot against you. Verily! Shaitan is to man an open enemy!
Real-Life Lesson - 1:
In Verse no. 5, Prophet Yusuf's father (Prophet Yaqub Peace be upon him) teaches us two things. Firstly he makes us aware of the existence of jealousy, and secondly he teaches us how to avoid jealousy from others, and that is by not showing off your bounties from Allah or proudly announcing them to the world. He also indicates that jealousy is the work of Shaitan, and that we must avoid Shaitan's traps.
(6) ''Thus will your Lord choose you and teach you the interpretation of dreams (and other things) and perfect His Favour on you and on the offspring of Ya'qub (Jacob), as He perfected it on your fathers, Ibrahim (Abraham) and Ishaque (Isaac) aforetime! Verily, your Lord is All-Knowing, All-Wise."
Real-Life Lesson - 2:
Allah chooses certain people over others to bless with His bounties. The existence of this fact is confirmed in this Verse, we can use this fact in our lives to reduce envy and hatred between ourselves instead of increasing it.
(8) When they said: "Truly, Yusuf (Joseph) and his brother (Benjamin) are loved more by our father than we, but we are 'Usbah (a strong group). Really, our father is in a plain error.
Real-Life Lesson - 3:
I can't count how many times I've heard Muslim kids telling me that 'Really, our father is in a plain error' (of course using a different set of words). So listen to me once right here, your parents do know what's right and what's wrong for you, let your opinion be known, but never disrespect their decision. As you keep reading this story you will understand how costly it can be not to listen to your father. And parents, there is a message for you too here: Don't treat your children differently on the basis of gender or age, you will see the potential consequences of that in the next Verse.
(9) "Kill Yusuf (Joseph) or cast him out to some (other) land, so that the favour of your father may be given to you alone, and after that you will be righteous folk (by intending repentance before committing the sin)."
Real-Life Lesson - 4:
In this Verse you see the sons of a Prophet planning to kill their own brother. That is the power of jealousy. So whatever you do in life, don't get jealous of others, for the mind stops functioning properly if one is jealous.
(10) One from among them said: "Kill not Yusuf (Joseph), but if you must do something, throw him down to the bottom of a well, he will be picked up by some caravan of travellers."
(11) They said: "O our father! Why do you not trust us with Yusuf (Joseph), - when we are indeed his well-wishers?"
(12) "Send him with us tomorrow to enjoy himself and play, and verily, we will take care of him."
(13) He [Ya'qub (Jacob)] said: "Truly, it saddens me that you should take him away. I fear lest a wolf should devour him, while you are careless of him."
(14) They said: "If a wolf devours him, while we are 'Usbah (a strong group) (to guard him), then surely, we are the losers."
(15) So, when they took him away, they all agreed to throw him down to the bottom of the well, and We inspired in him:"Indeed, you shall (one day) inform them of this their affair, when they know (you) not."
(16) And they came to their father in the early part of the night weeping.
(17) They said:"O our father! We went racing with one another, and left Yusuf (Joseph) by our belongings and a wolf devoured him; but you will never believe us even when we speak the truth."
(18) And they brought his shirt stained with false blood. He said: "Nay, but your ownselves have made up a tale. So (for me) patience is most fitting. And it is Allah (Alone) Whose help can be sought against that which you assert."
Real-Life Lesson # 5:
We all go through hard times in our lives, and we cope with it using different methods. So how does a Prophet of Allah who thinks he has lost his son deal with the pain?
He deals with the pain by being patient. This is a very important lesson for Muslims of this day and age to learn. The Muslim nation as a whole is going through a very rough period; one of the ways to deal with the utter hopelessness that exists in our nation is to be patient and to ask for Allah's help.
(19) And there came a caravan of travellers; they sent their water-drawer, and he let down his bucket (into the well). He said: "What good news! Here is a boy." So they hid him as merchandise (a slave). And Allah was the All-Knower of what they did.
(20) And they sold him for a low price, - for a few Dirhams (i.e. for a few silver coins). And they were of those who regarded him insignificant.
(21) And he (the man) from Egypt who bought him, said to his wife: "Make his stay comfortable, may be he will profit us or we shall adopt him as a son." Thus did We establish Yusuf (Joseph) in the land, that We might teach him the interpretation of events. And Allah has full power and control over His Affairs, but most of men know not.
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