Qur'anic Exegesis

فَلَمَّا دَخَلُوۡا عَلٰی یُوۡسُفَ اٰوٰۤی اِلَیۡہِ اَبَوَیۡہِ وَ قَالَ ادۡخُلُوۡا مِصۡرَ اِنۡ شَآءَاللّٰہُ اٰمِنِیۡنَ﴿ؕ۹۹﴾وَ رَفَعَ اَبَوَیۡہِ عَلَی الۡعَرۡشِ وَ خَرُّوۡا لَہٗ سُجَّدًاۚ وَ قَالَ یٰۤاَبَتِ ہٰذَا تَاۡوِیۡلُ رُءۡیَایَ مِنۡ قَبۡلُ۫ قَدۡ جَعَلَہَا رَبِّیۡ حَقًّاؕ وَ قَدۡ اَحۡسَنَ بِیۡۤ اِذۡ اَخۡرَجَنِیۡ مِنَ السِّجۡنِ وَ جَآءَ بِکُمۡ مِّنَ الۡبَدۡوِ مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِ اَنۡ نَّزَغَ الشَّیۡطٰنُ بَیۡنِیۡ وَ بَیۡنَ اِخۡوَتِیۡ ؕاِنَّ رَبِّیۡ لَطِیۡفٌ لِّمَا یَشَآءُ ؕاِنَّہٗ ہُوَ الۡعَلِیۡمُ الۡحَکِیۡمُ﴿۱۰۰﴾ رَبِّ قَدۡ اٰتَیۡتَنِیۡ مِنَ الۡمُلۡکِ وَ عَلَّمۡتَنِیۡ مِنۡ تَاۡوِیۡلِ الۡاَحَادِیۡثِۚ فَاطِرَ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضِ۟ اَنۡتَ وَلِیّٖ فِی الدُّنۡیَا وَ الۡاٰخِرَۃِ ۚتَوَفَّنِیۡ مُسۡلِمًا وَّ اَلۡحِقۡنِیۡ بِالصّٰلِحِیۡنَ﴿۱۰۱﴾

Then when these people came over to Joseph, he gave his parents[119] a special place near him and said: "Stay in Egypt, if God wills, with peace."[120] [After reaching his house,] he made his parents sit on the throne[121] and everyone bowed before him in prostration.[122] Joseph said: "Father! This is the interpretation of my dream that I saw earlier. My Lord made it a reality. He has been very gracious to me when He took me out of the prison and brought all of you here from the village even though Satan had spread mischief between me and my brothers. In reality, whatever my Lord desires, He creates very subtle means for it. Indeed, He alone is knowledgeable and wise. Lord! You granted me a share in political authority and taught me from the knowledge of interpreting words. O Creator of the Heavens and the Earth! You are my guardian in this world and the next. Make me die on Islam and include me among your righteous people."[123] (99-101)

ذٰلِکَ مِنۡ اَنۡۢبَآءِ الۡغَیۡبِ نُوۡحِیۡہِ اِلَیۡکَۚ وَ مَا کُنۡتَ لَدَیۡہِمۡ اِذۡ اَجۡمَعُوۡۤا اَمۡرَہُمۡ وَ ہُمۡ یَمۡکُرُوۡنَ﴿۱۰۲﴾

This tale is from among the news of the unknown. We are revealing it to you [O Prophet!] You were not present at that time when the brothers of Joseph had firmly decided and they were conspiring [against him]. (102)

وَ مَاۤ اَکۡثَرُ النَّاسِ وَ لَوۡ حَرَصۡتَ بِمُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ﴿۱۰۳﴾وَ مَا تَسۡـَٔلُہُمۡ عَلَیۡہِ مِنۡ اَجۡرٍؕ اِنۡ ہُوَ اِلَّا ذِکۡرٌ لِّلۡعٰلَمِیۡنَ﴿۱۰۴﴾ وَ کَاَیِّنۡ مِّنۡ اٰیَۃٍ فِی السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضِ یَمُرُّوۡنَ عَلَیۡہَا وَ ہُمۡ عَنۡہَا مُعۡرِضُوۡنَ﴿۱۰۵﴾وَ مَا یُؤۡمِنُ اَکۡثَرُہُمۡ بِاللّٰہِ اِلَّا وَ ہُمۡ مُّشۡرِکُوۡنَ﴿۱۰۶﴾اَفَاَمِنُوۡۤا اَنۡتَ اۡتِیَہُمۡ غَاشِیَۃٌ مِّنۡ عَذَابِ اللّٰہِ اَوۡ تَاۡتِیَہُمُ السَّاعَۃُ بَغۡتَۃً وَّ ہُمۡ لَا یَشۡعُرُوۡنَ﴿۱۰۷﴾

In spite of this, a vast majority of these people will not accept faith however much you may desire.[124] You are not asking for any reward for this service [so that they are trying to evade you]. This is only a reminder for the people of the world. [They demand a sign from you. In reality] there are so many signs in the earth and the heavens on which they pass by and pay no heed. Most of them believe in God by associating partners with Him. Then [by trusting the partners they associate with God] have they become content that a torment visit them from God or the Day of Judgement suddenly descend on them and they are absolutely unaware of it? (103-107)

قُلۡ ہٰذِہٖ سَبِیۡلِیۡۤ اَدۡعُوۡۤا اِلَی اللّٰہِ۟ؔ عَلٰی بَصِیۡرَۃٍ اَنَا وَ مَنِ اتَّبَعَنِیۡ ؕوَ سُبۡحٰنَ اللّٰہِ وَ مَاۤ اَنَا مِنَ الۡمُشۡرِکِیۡنَ﴿۱۰۸﴾

Tell them clearly: "This is my way; I call towards God with full understanding – me also and those who follow me. And [listen] God is exalted [from the filth of polytheism][125] and I am not from among the polytheists." (108)

وَ مَاۤ اَرۡسَلۡنَا مِنۡ قَبۡلِکَ اِلَّا رِجَالًا نُّوۡحِیۡۤ اِلَیۡہِمۡ مِّنۡ اَہۡلِ الۡقُرٰیؕ اَفَلَمۡ یَسِیۡرُوۡا فِی الۡاَرۡضِ فَیَنۡظُرُوۡا کَیۡفَ کَانَ عَاقِبَۃُ الَّذِیۡنَ مِنۡ قَبۡلِہِمۡؕ وَ لَدَارُ الۡاٰخِرَۃِ خَیۡرٌ لِّلَّذِیۡنَ اتَّقَوۡاؕ اَفَلَا تَعۡقِلُوۡنَ﴿۱۰۹﴾حَتّٰۤی اِذَا اسۡتَیۡـَٔسَ الرُّسُلُ وَ ظَنُّوۡۤا اَنَّہُمۡ قَدۡ کُذِبُوۡا جَآءَہُمۡ نَصۡرُنَاۙ فَنُجِّیَ مَنۡ نَّشَآءُ ؕوَلَا یُرَدُّ بَاۡسُنَا عَنِ الۡقَوۡمِ الۡمُجۡرِمِیۡنَ﴿۱۱۰﴾لَقَدۡ کَانَ فِیۡ قَصَصِہِمۡ عِبۡرَۃٌ لِّاُولِی الۡاَلۡبَابِؕ مَا کَانَ حَدِیۡثًا یُّفۡتَرٰی وَ لٰکِنۡ تَصۡدِیۡقَ الَّذِیۡ بَیۡنَ یَدَیۡہِ وَ تَفۡصِیۡلَ کُلِّ شَیۡءٍ وَّ ہُدًی وَّ رَحۡمَۃً لِّقَوۡمٍ یُّؤۡمِنُوۡنَ﴿۱۱۱﴾

[They are amazed that a human being has been sent to them as God's messenger.] Before you also [O Prophet!] whoever We sent as messengers were human beings who lived in these settlements; We would send Our revelations to them. Then have these people not walked about in the land so that they could have seen [with their eyes] the fate of those who were before them. In reality, the abode of the Hereafter is far better for those who are God-conscious. Then do you not understand? [The way they are asking to hasten the torment, those before them also did the same thing.] Until when their messengers lost hope in them and they too thought that they were lied to [about the torment], Our help came to the messengers. Then they were saved whom We wanted [to be saved] and Our torment cannot be warded off from the wrongdoers. There is a great lesson to be learnt by people of intellect in their accounts. This Qur'an is not something concocted; in fact, it substantiates what is before it and is a detail of everything [essential for guidance] and is a guidance and mercy for those who believe.[126] (109-111)

(Translated from Al-Bayan by Dr Shehzad Saleem)

[119]. Ie., his father and step mother who was also her paternal aunt. It is specified by the Bible that his real mother had passed away.

[120]. This is a sentence of greeting. When they arrived, Joseph (sws) welcomed them by coming out of the city and escorted them with such splendour into the city that it became a festive occasion.

[121]. This does not refer to the royal throne but to the throne on which Joseph (sws) would sit to fulfil his state responsibilities.

[122]. Prostration here does not refer to the one which is done before God; it refers to bending down in the form of kneeling. Showing respect for elders in this manner is a very ancient tradition. In Arabic, the word سَجَدَis commonly used in this meaning. It is specified by the Bible and the Talmud that the ceremonial prostration was also prohibited in the shari'ah of the Israelites the way it is in ours. How did the incident mentioned here take place? Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

Joseph (sws) shared his throne with his parents as a mark of respect. The rest of the people must have sat where common people generally sit. It seems that after this Joseph (sws) appeared and as was the custom his courtiers and attendees bowed before him in respect. Such was the aura created that these people too spontaneously bowed in respect. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 4, 254)

[123]. Exalted be God! What superb conduct and character. He has neither expressed any complaint or rebuke nor his superiority or pre-eminence. On the contrary, he has expressed his gratitude to His Lord and an acknowledgement of His favours; in fact, in order to assure his brothers he stated that in fact it was Satan who had distanced both. He finally ended his speech by praying to God to grant him perseverence on His worship and to include him among the righteous. This conversation of Joseph (sws) is the best example of the character and conduct the Qur'an wants to instill in its followers.

[124]. Ie., they will not accept faith in spite of the fact that the Prophet (sws) is narrating to him a tale which in itself is a proof that he is a prophet of God because he could never have known it. He was not present when this incident took place but he has narrated it in such an accurate manner that if people are fair, they can correct the version of the Bible which not only has historical mistakes but has also suppressed important parts of the account which can rightly be termed as its real essence. The verse says that whatever the Prophet (sws) has reported about this account is correct word by word and befits the splendour and majesty of the characters of such celebrated prophets of God as Jacob (sws) and Joseph (sws) and is also in accordance with sense and nature. If his opponents compare the Prophet's account with that of the Bible and the Talmud, they will cry out themselves that it has been originally revealed to him by God and is not an extract of the Bible or the Talmud.

[125]. This refers to the filth which is a necessary consequence of every polytheistic belief and a logical outcome of polytheism.

[126]. Ie., guidance with regards to the beginning and mercy with regards to the end.

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