THE PROPHETS OF ISLAM Al-Huda Foundation
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was one of the twelve sons of Ya'qub. His
mother's name was Raheel. He had a
younger sister and a brother named Benyamin (Benjamin) from the same mother.
Yusuf was exceptionally handsome and was very dear to his parents.
dream of Yusuf and its interpretation by his father
day Yusuf told his father about a dream he had seen the previous night.
He saw that the sun, the moon and eleven stars bowed down before him.
His father was the prophet of the time and knew the meaning of the dream.
He told him that he would be a prophet of Allah and will be a powerful
king over all, including his parents and his brothers.
treatment of Yusuf by his brothers
of the dream by Ya'qoub did not sit well with his sons who were already
distraught due to their father's special affections for Yusuf.
They decided to get rid of their brother Yusuf.
They threw him in a well and brought his shirt, smothered in sheep's
blood. They put up a false scene
upon entering their home, wailing and crying.
They told their parents that a wolf had devouvered their young brother,
and that they were unable to save him from the terrible fate.
was so grieved at the story and was so saddened by the apparent loss of his son
that he wept profusely all day and all night.
It is said that he lost his eye sight due to excessive crying.
retrieved from the well and sold as a slave
thrown their younger brother in the well, the older brothers stayed around to
see what may happen. A caravan
headed for Egypt stopped at the well, for water and rest.
Seeing a handsome youth in the well they pulled him out and wondered at
his beauty and youth. The brothers
showed up in front of the leader of the caravan and said that the youth was
their slave who had escaped from them and had hidden himself in the well. The leader of the caravan saw the potential of higher sale
value for Yusuf in the slave market of Egypt and he paid a lowly price to his
brothers for legitimising his ownership.
arriving in Egypt, the caravan leader placed Yusuf on the market.
His price increased every day. The
ruler of Egypt heard about the sale of an exceptionally handsome youth in his
city and he came down to see him. He
was stunned at the beauty of the lad and paid the highest price at the bidding.
He took him to his palace to serve his beautiful wife, Zulaikhah who had
in servitude of the Pharaoh of Egypt
served the king and his wife with such honesty and efficiency that he was made
incharge of the ruler's house-hold. It
so happened that Zulaikhah developed infatuation for Yusuf and started to love
him with increasing passion.
story of Zulaikhah's love for Yusuf
fell madly in love with Yusuf, but he took every opportunity to avoid her
advances. At one occasion she was
successful in trapping him into her chamber so that she could be alone with him.
No sooner he realized the wicked designs of the queen than he made for
the door of the chamber. She lunged
after him and was able to grab his shirt from behind.
In the short scuffle that followed, Yusuf's shirt was tom from behind.
Just as he escaped through the chamber door, he bumped into the king
himself. Realizing the acuteness of
her situation, the queen yelled out for help.
The ruler was greatly angered by the rather strange circumstances and
looked at Yusuf demanding an explanation. Yusuf
said that he was innocent, and that Zulaikhah was the guilty one. One of Zulaikhah's own relatives from the house-hold came
forward to clear the matter. He
said that if Yusuf's shirt was tom from front, then he was the aggressor and
culpable for his actions, but if it was tom from behind, then Zulaikhah was
guilty. As Yusuf's shirt was tom
from behind, the ruler found his wife to be culpable for the embarrassing event.
told Yusuf to forget the event, and told his wife to refrain from seeing Yusuf
when alone. However, the story of
the scandel got out of the palace, and spread far and wide.
Women of other nobles maliciously gossiped about this happening.
arranged a party and invited the women of nobility to her palace.
As they were busy cutting and eating fruits, she summoned Yusuf into her
audience. As he arrived in their
presence, the women got totally stunned by his beauty, and many cut their
fingers instead of the fruits in their hands.
They were now convinced over what they had heard about Yusuf and his
beauty. Yusuf prayed to Allah to save him from the wickedness of the queen and
other women of Egypt.
imprisonment of Yusuf
the king leamt about the scandalous involvement of the wives of other nobles in
his kingdom over Yusuf, he considered it best to take Yusuf away from his
palace, and threw him into the prison. However
the supervisor of the prisons noted the purity of character and conduct of Yusuf
and started to treat him with respect. He
made him his deputy in managing the affairs of the prison.
of dreams by Yusuf
so happened that two other young men were thrown in the same prison.
Each one of them saw a dream. One
saw that he was extracting juice from ripe grapes and the other saw that he was
carrying a basket of bread over his head, and birds ate freely from it.
They asked Yusuf if he could interpret their dreams.
He gave them serinon on virtuous conduct and belief on the oneness of
Allah. He then gave them the
interpretation of their dreams. He
told the one who saw himself extracting juice from grapes, that he would be
pardoned for the allegations and would be set free, and that he would return to
his old employment of serving drinks to his master.
He told the other intem that he would be crucified for his deeds, and
birds of prey would feed on his corp after his death.
Yusuf then asked the first prisoner to make a plea for his release as
soon - as he got out of the prison. But
the man forgot his promise.
the king saw a dream over successive nights that got him concerned.
His courtiers and astrologers failed to satisfy him with any plausable
interpretation. At that time, one
of the prisoners who had survived, remembered Yusuf.
He told the ruler that he could find the interpretation of his dreams if
he was allowed to visit Yusuf in the prison.
He was pen-nitted to do so.
greeted Yusuf and narrated the dream to hilin.
The ruler, in his dream, had seen seven fat cows emerging from the river,
followed by seven weak ones. The
weak cows devoured the fat ones. He
then saw seven green and healthy ears of wheat followed by seven dry ones.
The dry ones ate up the green ones.
said that both the dreams had the same interpretation.
The seven fat cows and the seven healthy ears consist of seven years
during which the country would see high productivity.
That would be followed by seven years of femine.
Unless the years of high productivity were managed wisely, the years of
femine would totally destroy the kingdom. He
told the ruler that it would be prudent to save for the years of femine, for the
femine would be wide spread.
ruler carefully listened to the interpretation of his dreams by Yusuf, and he
knew that it must be true. He
called Yusuf back to his court and restored his position with full respect.
Zulaikhah , by now had admitted her mistake.
rises to the highest status in Egypt
ruler made Yusuf the chief administrator of the country's produce.
He gave Yusuf his ring that testified his total authority on his behalf.
Yusuf was only thirty years of age at that time.
He went straight to work and began the implementation of methods to
enhance the produce. He built large
graineries for storage.' He conserved resources over expenditure, in preparation
for the bad times he had predicted.
of Yusuf in Egypt
foretold, femine srtuck the land of Egypt as well as the lands affound Egypt.
The news of the graineries of Egypt had already spread far and wide.
People flocked to Egypt for jobs and food.
Thus Egypt flourished with cheap labor even during the days of wide
spread femine. This was a clear sign of the intelligence and foresight of Yusuf.
Like other lands, femine visited the land of Kin'an as well. Ya'qub sent his sons to Egypt to procure grain.
brothers returned to Egypt with their youngest brother Benyamin, who was his
sibling from the same mother. They
brought the price of the previous cargo, and gifts from their old and ailing
father. The reminiscence of his childhood and separation from his
beloved parents made Yusuf cry. He
revealed his identity to his brothers and sent them back laden with gifts and
grain. He invited them to come and
live in Egypt, as the femine was to last for a few years.
returned to Egypt with their parents as well as other members of their clan.
They bowed to him as subjects do before the king.
This indeed was the true interpretation of the dream that Yusuf had had
as a child. Although his brothers
had reacted to that dream with such cruelty, yet Yusuf paid them back with
sympathy, love and forgiveness.
death of Ya'qub
lived for seventeen years in Egypt before his death.
He called his sons at his death bed and advised them on matters of their
mutual benefit and wished that upon his death that his body should be carried
back to Kin'an for burial near his forefathers.
His wishes were carried out with royal ceremonials.
death of Yusuf
lived for one hundred and ten years. He
was buried in Egypt according to the rituals of the land, and when Musa finally
took the children of Israil out of Egypt, he took the coffin of Yusuf to Kin'an,
to be buried alongside his ancestors
References: al Qur'an: Sura