Qur'anic Exegesis

یُوۡسُفُ اَیُّہَا الصِّدِّیۡقُ اَفۡتِنَا فِیۡ سَبۡعِ بَقَرٰتٍ سِمَانٍ یَّاۡکُلُہُنَّ سَبۡعٌ عِجَافٌ وَّ سَبۡعِ سُنۡۢبُلٰتٍ خُضۡرٍ وَّ اُخَرَ یٰبِسٰتٍ ۙ لَّعَلِّیۡۤ اَرۡجِعُ اِلَی النَّاسِ لَعَلَّہُمۡ یَعۡلَمُوۡنَ ﴿۴۶﴾قَالَ تَزۡرَعُوۡنَ سَبۡعَ سِنِیۡنَ دَاَبًا ۚ فَمَا حَصَدۡتُّمۡ فَذَرُوۡہُ فِیۡ سُنۡۢبُلِہٖۤ اِلَّا قَلِیۡلًا مِّمَّا تَاۡکُلُوۡنَ ﴿۴۷﴾ثُمَّ یَاۡتِیۡ مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِ ذٰلِکَ سَبۡعٌ شِدَادٌ یَّاۡکُلۡنَ مَا قَدَّمۡتُمۡ لَہُنَّ اِلَّا قَلِیۡلًا مِّمَّا تُحۡصِنُوۡنَ ﴿۴۸﴾ثُمَّ یَاۡتِیۡ مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِ ذٰلِکَ عَامٌ فِیۡہِ یُغَاثُ النَّاسُ وَ فِیۡہِ یَعۡصِرُوۡنَ ﴿۴۹﴾

[He went and said:] "Joseph! O man of your words,[66] tell us about the seven fat cows that are being devoured by seven lean ones and about the green ears of corn and the other seven which are dry that I may go back to those people so that [instead of wildly conjecturing] they also come to know [the interpretation of this dream]." Joseph said: "For seven years continuously you will sow. So, from the crop you harvest except for a little that you may take and eat leave the rest in its ears [so that it does not become stale]. After this, seven very harsh years will follow which will consume the corn you had stored for those years except for a small quantity from what you were able to preserve.[67] After this, a year will come in which the pleading of people will be answered [in the form of abundant rain][68] and they will squeeze grapes in it.[69] (46-49)

وَقَالَ الۡمَلِکُ ائۡتُوۡنِیۡ بِہٖ ۚ فَلَمَّا جَآءَہُ الرَّسُوۡلُ قَالَ ارۡجِعۡ اِلٰی رَبِّکَ فَسۡـَٔلۡہُ مَا بَالُ النِّسۡوَۃِ الّٰتِیۡ قَطَّعۡنَ اَیۡدِیَہُنَّ ؕ اِنَّ رَبِّیۡ بِکَیۡدِہِنَّ عَلِیۡمٌ ﴿۵۰﴾قَالَ مَا خَطۡبُکُنَّ اِذۡ رَاوَدۡتُّنَّ یُوۡسُفَ عَنۡ نَّفۡسِہٖ ؕ قُلۡنَ حَاشَ لِلّٰہِ مَا عَلِمۡنَا عَلَیۡہِ مِنۡ سُوۡٓءٍ ؕ قَالَتِ امۡرَاَتُ الۡعَزِیۡزِ الۡـٰٔنَ حَصۡحَصَ الۡحَقُّ ۫ اَنَا رَاوَدۡتُّہٗ عَنۡ نَّفۡسِہٖ وَ اِنَّہٗ لَمِنَ الصّٰدِقِیۡنَ ﴿۵۱﴾

[When this interpretation was related in the royal court,] the king said: "Bring him to me." But when the messenger came to Joseph [to bring him to the king], he said: "Go back to your master and ask him: 'What was the matter of the women who had cut their hands?'[70] My Lord is fully aware of their deception." The king [called them and] asked: "What overtook you when you had tried to tempt Joseph?"[71] Each of them bore witness: "Ḥashalillah, we did find even a semblance of vice in him." The wife of 'Aziz also spoke up: "Now the truth has become evident. It is I who had tried to tempt him. No doubt, he is absolutely truthful." (50-51)

ذٰلِکَ لِیَعۡلَمَ اَنِّیۡ لَمۡ اَخُنۡہُ بِالۡغَیۡبِ وَ اَنَّ اللّٰہَ لَا یَہۡدِیۡ کَیۡدَ الۡخَآئِنِیۡنَ ﴿۵۲﴾وَ مَاۤ اُبَرِّیُٔ نَفۡسِیۡ ۚ اِنَّ النَّفۡسَ لَاَمَّارَۃٌۢ بِالسُّوۡٓءِ اِلَّا مَا رَحِمَ رَبِّیۡ ؕ اِنَّ رَبِّیۡ غَفُوۡرٌ رَّحِیۡمٌ ﴿۵۳﴾

[Joseph said:] "My intent in this was that 'Aziz comes to know that I did not secretly betray him and God does not let the intrigue of those succeed who betray.[72] I am not absolving my soul because the soul is prone to evil except when my Lord shows mercy.[73] Indeed, my Lord is very Forgiving and Ever Merciful." (52-53)

وَ قَالَ الۡمَلِکُ ائۡتُوۡنِیۡ بِہٖۤ اَسۡتَخۡلِصۡہُ لِنَفۡسِیۡ ۚ فَلَمَّا کَلَّمَہٗ قَالَ اِنَّکَ الۡیَوۡمَ لَدَیۡنَا مَکِیۡنٌ اَمِیۡنٌ ﴿۵۴﴾قَالَ اجۡعَلۡنِیۡ عَلٰی خَزَآئِنِ الۡاَرۡضِ ۚ اِنِّیۡ حَفِیۡظٌ عَلِیۡمٌ ﴿۵۵﴾

The king said: "Bring him to me; I will make him exclusive to myself."[74] Then when he talked to him [he was so impressed that] he said to him: "Now you will be a man of authority among us and you shall be trusted."[75] Joseph said: "Consign the treasures of this land to me because I am one who protects and also has knowledge."[76] (54-55)

وَ کَذٰلِکَ مَکَّنَّا لِیُوۡسُفَ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ ۚ یَتَبَوَّاُ مِنۡہَا حَیۡثُ یَشَآءُ ؕ نُصِیۡبُ بِرَحۡمَتِنَا مَنۡ نَّشَآءُ وَ لَا نُضِیۡعُ اَجۡرَ الۡمُحۡسِنِیۡنَ ﴿۵۶﴾وَ لَاَجۡرُ الۡاٰخِرَۃِ خَیۡرٌ لِّلَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا وَ کَانُوۡا یَتَّقُوۡنَ ﴿۵۷﴾

In this way, We gave Joseph authority in that country; he can pick a position for himself anywhere there.[77] We bless whomsoever We want with Our mercy and We do not waste the reward of those who are thorough.[78] The reward of the Hereafter however is much more than this for those who accept faith and keep fearing [God]. (56-57)

وَ جَآءَ اِخۡوَۃُ یُوۡسُفَ فَدَخَلُوۡا عَلَیۡہِ فَعَرَفَہُمۡ وَ ہُمۡ لَہٗ مُنۡکِرُوۡنَ ﴿۵۸﴾وَ لَمَّا جَہَّزَہُمۡ بِجَہَازِہِمۡ قَالَ ائۡتُوۡنِیۡ بِاَخٍ لَّکُمۡ مِّنۡ اَبِیۡکُمۡ ۚ اَلَا تَرَوۡنَ اَنِّیۡۤ اُوۡفِی الۡکَیۡلَ وَ اَنَا خَیۡرُ الۡمُنۡزِلِیۡنَ ﴿۵۹﴾فَاِنۡ لَّمۡ تَاۡتُوۡنِیۡ بِہٖ فَلَا کَیۡلَ لَکُمۡ عِنۡدِیۡ وَ لَا تَقۡرَبُوۡنِ ﴿۶۰﴾قَالُوۡا سَنُرَاوِدُ عَنۡہُ اَبَاہُ وَ اِنَّا لَفٰعِلُوۡنَ ﴿۶۱﴾

[Many years after this] the brothers of Joseph came to Egypt[79] and also came to his presence;[80] so, he recognized them but they did not recognize him.[81] [Then at the time of their departure] when he had their provisions prepared, he said to them: "[When you comeagain,] bring to me your step brother as well. Do you not see that I give grain in full measure and am also a very good host? But if you do not bring him to me, then neither will I have grain for you nor should you come near me."[82] They said: "We will try to convince his father about him and we shall definitely do this."[83] (58-61)

وَ قَالَ لِفِتۡیٰنِہِ اجۡعَلُوۡا بِضَاعَتَہُمۡ فِیۡ رِحَالِہِمۡ لَعَلَّہُمۡ یَعۡرِفُوۡنَہَاۤ اِذَا انۡقَلَبُوۡۤا اِلٰۤی اَہۡلِہِمۡ لَعَلَّہُمۡ یَرۡجِعُوۡنَ ﴿۶۲﴾فَلَمَّا رَجَعُوۡۤا اِلٰۤی اَبِیۡہِمۡ قَالُوۡا یٰۤاَبَانَا مُنِعَ مِنَّا الۡکَیۡلُ فَاَرۡسِلۡ مَعَنَاۤ اَخَانَا نَکۡتَلۡ وَ اِنَّا لَہٗ لَحٰفِظُوۡنَ ﴿۶۳﴾قَالَ ہَلۡ اٰمَنُکُمۡ عَلَیۡہِ اِلَّا کَمَاۤ اَمِنۡتُکُمۡ عَلٰۤی اَخِیۡہِ مِنۡ قَبۡلُ ؕ فَاللّٰہُ خَیۡرٌ حٰفِظًا ۪ وَّ ہُوَ اَرۡحَمُ الرّٰحِمِیۡنَ ﴿۶۴﴾

Joseph asked his servants: "[Secretly] place back in their saddle packs the goods they have given in lieu of the grain. The purpose of this is that when they reach their families they recognize [that their own goods have been returned to them] so that they may come again."[84] Then when they returned to their father, they said: "Father! We have been denied grain [in future]. So, let our brother [Benjamin] also go along with us that we [are able to prove our truthfulness and] bring grain; we promise to protect him." The father replied: "Should I trust you in his matter the way I trusted you earlier in the matter of his brother? So, God is the best of guardians and of all those who show mercy, He is the most merciful."[85] (62-64)

وَ لَمَّا فَتَحُوۡا مَتَاعَہُمۡ وَجَدُوۡا بِضَاعَتَہُمۡ رُدَّتۡ اِلَیۡہِمۡؕ قَالُوۡا یٰۤاَبَانَا مَا نَبۡغِیۡ ؕہٰذِہٖ بِضَاعَتُنَا رُدَّتۡ اِلَیۡنَاۚ وَنَمِیۡرُ اَہۡلَنَا وَنَحۡفَظُ اَخَانَا وَ نَزۡدَادُ کَیۡلَ بَعِیۡرٍؕ ذٰلِکَ کَیۡلٌ یَّسِیۡرٌ﴿۶۵﴾قَالَ لَنۡ اُرۡسِلَہٗ مَعَکُمۡ حَتّٰی تُؤۡتُوۡنِ مَوۡثِقًا مِّنَ اللّٰہِ لَتَاۡتُنَّنِیۡ بِہٖۤ اِلَّاۤ اَنۡیُّحَاطَ بِکُمۡۚ فَلَمَّاۤ اٰتَوۡہُمَ وۡثِقَہُمۡ قَالَ اللّٰہُ عَلٰی مَا نَقُوۡلُ وَکِیۡلٌ﴿۶۶﴾

[After that,] when they opened their luggage, they say that their goods had been returned to them. [Seeing this,] they cried out: "Father! What more do we need. [Look!] Our goods have been returned to us. Now we will go, bring supplies for our family,[86] protect our bother and procure more than a camel-load of grain.[87] The grain [that we have brought this time] is not enough."[88] The father replied: "I shall never send him with you until you promise me in God's name that you shall definitely bring him back to me, except if you are stranded somewhere." So, when they give him their word [on his insistence], he said: "This pact that we are making, God is its protector." (65-66)

وَ قَالَ یٰبَنِیَّ لَا تَدۡخُلُوۡا مِنۡۢبَابٍ وَّاحِدٍ وَّ ادۡخُلُوۡا مِنۡ اَبۡوَابٍ مُّتَفَرِّقَۃٍ ؕوَ مَاۤ اُغۡنِیۡعَنۡکُمۡ مِّنَ اللّٰہِ مِنۡ شَیۡءٍؕ اِنِ الۡحُکۡمُ اِلَّا لِلّٰہِؕ عَلَیۡہِ تَوَکَّلۡتُۚ وَعَلَیۡہِ فَلۡیَتَوَکَّلِ الۡمُتَوَکِّلُوۡنَ﴿۶۷﴾وَ لَمَّا دَخَلُوۡا مِنۡ حَیۡثُ اَمَرَہُمۡ اَبُوۡہُمۡ ؕمَا کَانَ یُغۡنِیۡ عَنۡہُمۡ مِّنَ اللّٰہِ مِنۡ شَیۡءٍ اِلَّا حَاجَۃً فِیۡ نَفۡسِ یَعۡقُوۡبَ قَضٰہَاؕ وَاِنَّہٗ لَذُوۡ عِلۡمٍ لِّمَا عَلَّمۡنٰہُ وَ لٰکِنَّ اَکۡثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا یَعۡلَمُوۡنَ﴿۶۸﴾

[Then when they were about to depart,] he directed them: "My sons! Do not enter together [the capital of Egypt] through the same gate; but go through separate gates.[89] [I know this is only a scheme] and I can be of no benefit to you against God. All authority belongs to God. I have trusted Him and all those who want to trust should trust Him." Thus when they entered the city from where their father had directed them, then surely [had something been ordained for them from God] this could not have been of avail to them against God; except that it was only a desire in the heart of Jacob which he fulfilled.[90] Indeed, he had the knowledge We had taught him, but most people do not know.[91] (67-68)

وَ لَمَّا دَخَلُوۡا عَلٰی یُوۡسُفَ اٰوٰۤی اِلَیۡہِ اَخَاہُ قَالَ اِنِّیۡۤ اَنَا اَخُوۡکَ فَلَا تَبۡتَئِسۡ بِمَا کَانُوۡا یَعۡمَلُوۡنَ﴿۶۹﴾فَلَمَّا جَہَّزَہُمۡ بِجَہَازِہِمۡ جَعَلَ السِّقَایَۃَ فِیۡرَحۡلِ اَخِیۡہِ ثُمَّ اَذَّنَ مُؤَذِّنٌ اَیَّتُہَا الۡعِیۡرُ اِنَّکُمۡ لَسٰرِقُوۡنَ﴿۷۰﴾قَالُوۡا وَاَقۡبَلُوۡا عَلَیۡہِمۡ مَّا ذَا تَفۡقِدُوۡنَ﴿۷۱﴾قَالُوۡا نَفۡقِدُ صُوَاعَ الۡمَلِکِ وَ لِمَنۡ جَآءَبِہٖ حِمۡلُ بَعِیۡرٍ وَّ اَنَا بِہٖ زَعِیۡمٌ﴿۷۲﴾قَالُوۡا تَاللّٰہِ لَقَدۡ عَلِمۡتُمۡمَّا جِئۡنَا لِنُفۡسِدَ فِی الۡاَرۡضِ وَ مَا کُنَّا سٰرِقِیۡنَ﴿۷۳﴾قَالُوۡا فَمَا جَزَآؤُہٗۤ اِنۡ کُنۡتُمۡ کٰذِبِیۡنَ﴿۷۴﴾قَالُوۡا جَزَآؤُہٗ مَنۡوُّجِدَ فِیۡ رَحۡلِہٖ فَہُوَ جَزَآؤُہٗ ؕ کَذٰلِکَ نَجۡزِی الظّٰلِمِیۡنَ﴿۷۵﴾فَبَدَاَ بِاَوۡعِیَتِہِمۡ قَبۡلَ وِعَآءِ اَخِیۡہِثُمَّ اسۡتَخۡرَجَہَا مِنۡ وِّعَآءِ اَخِیۡہِ ؕکَذٰلِکَ کِدۡنَا لِیُوۡسُفَؕ مَا کَانَ لِیَاۡخُذَ اَخَاہُ فِیۡ دِیۡنِ الۡمَلِکِ اِلَّاۤ اَنۡ یَّشَآءَ اللّٰہُؕ نَرۡفَعُ دَرَجٰتٍ مَّنۡ نَّشَآءُ ؕوَ فَوۡقَ کُلِّ ذِیۡ عِلۡمٍ عَلِیۡمٌ﴿۷۶﴾

And when these people reached Joseph's presence, he gave his brother a special place near himself. [Then sometime in seclusion] he told him: "I am your brother [Joseph]. So, do not grieve on what they have been doing."[92] Then [at the time of their departure] when he had their provisions prepared, he placed his cup [as a token of love] in the belongings of his brother.[93] After this, [it happened from God that exactly at that time] a caller called: "O People of the Caravan! You are thieves indeed." They turned back and asked him: "What have you lost?" They replied: "We are not able to find the king's goblet." [Their officer said:] "And he who brings it will get a camel-load of grain; I take responsibility of this." Joseph's brothers said: "By God! You know that we have not come here to create disorder in the land and we are not those who steal." They said: "If you are proven wrong, then what is the punishment of the thief?" They replied: "The punishment from whose belongings the stolen thing is located is that he himself shall be kept back as his punishment."[94] Thus do We punish such unjust people.[95] At this, that person began searching their bags before the bag of Joseph's brother. Then [the goblet of the king was not found,[96] but] he extracted [the cup] from the bag of his brother [that Joseph had placed in it]. In this way, We schemed for Joseph [to hold back his brother because] he was not authorized to hold back his brother according to law of the king[97] except if God willed.[98] We raise the status of whomsoever We want[99] and in reality there is a knowledgeable being above every other knowledgeable person.[100] (69-76)

قَالُوۡۤا اِنۡیَّسۡرِقۡ فَقَدۡ سَرَقَ اَخٌ لَّہٗ مِنۡقَبۡلُ ۚ فَاَسَرَّہَا یُوۡسُفُ فِیۡ نَفۡسِہٖ وَ لَمۡ یُبۡدِہَا لَہُمۡۚ قَالَ اَنۡتُمۡ شَرٌّ مَّکَانًاۚ وَ اللّٰہُ اَعۡلَمُ بِمَا تَصِفُوۡنَ﴿۷۷﴾قَالُوۡا یٰۤاَیُّہَا الۡعَزِیۡزُ اِنَّ لَہٗۤ اَبًا شَیۡخًا کَبِیۡرًا فَخُذۡ اَحَدَنَا مَکَانَہٗ ۚاِنَّا نَرٰىکَ مِنَ الۡمُحۡسِنِیۡنَ﴿۷۸﴾قَالَ مَعَاذَ اللّٰہِ اَنۡنَّاۡخُذَ اِلَّا مَنۡوَّجَدۡنَا مَتَاعَنَا عِنۡدَہٗۤ ۙاِنَّاۤ اِذًا لَّظٰلِمُوۡنَ﴿۷۹﴾فَلَمَّا اسۡتَیۡـَٔسُوۡا مِنۡہُ خَلَصُوۡا نَجِیًّاؕ قَالَ کَبِیۡرُہُمۡ اَلَمۡ تَعۡلَمُوۡۤا اَنَّ اَبَاکُمۡ قَدۡ اَخَذَ عَلَیۡکُمۡ مَّوۡثِقًا مِّنَ اللّٰہِ وَ مِنۡقَبۡلُ مَا فَرَّطۡتُّمۡ فِیۡ یُوۡسُفَۚ فَلَنۡ اَبۡرَحَ الۡاَرۡضَ حَتّٰی یَاۡذَنَ لِیۡۤ اَبِیۡۤ اَوۡ یَحۡکُمَ اللّٰہُ لِیۡ ۚوَ ہُوَ خَیۡرُ الۡحٰکِمِیۡنَ﴿۸۰﴾اِرۡجِعُوۡۤا اِلٰۤی اَبِیۡکُمۡ فَقُوۡلُوۡا یٰۤاَبَانَاۤ اِنَّ ابۡنَکَ سَرَقَۚوَ مَا شَہِدۡنَاۤ اِلَّا بِمَا عَلِمۡنَا وَ مَا کُنَّا لِلۡغَیۡبِ حٰفِظِیۡنَ﴿۸۱﴾وَ سۡـَٔلِ الۡقَرۡیَۃَ الَّتِیۡ کُنَّا فِیۡہَا وَ الۡعِیۡرَ الَّتِیۡۤ اَقۡبَلۡنَا فِیۡہَا ؕوَاِنَّا لَصٰدِقُوۡنَ﴿۸۲﴾قَالَ بَلۡ سَوَّلَتۡ لَکُمۡ اَنۡفُسُکُمۡ اَمۡرًاؕ فَصَبۡرٌ جَمِیۡلٌؕ عَسَی اللّٰہُ اَنۡیَّاۡ تِـیَنِیۡبِہِمۡ جَمِیۡعًاؕ اِنَّہٗ ہُوَ الۡعَلِیۡمُ الۡحَکِیۡمُ﴿۸۳﴾

When the brothers [saw this,] they said: "If he has stolen, [then this is no matter of amazement;] before this, one of his brothers has also been guilty of stealing.[101] [This was totally a false accusation,] but Joseph kept it in his heart and did not express it to them. The only thing he said in his heart was: "Very wicked are you people and God well knows whatever you are saying." They said: "' 'Aziz! He has a very old father; so, in his place keep one of us; we see that you are a very virtuous person." Joseph said: "God forbid that we should seize someone else than the person with whom we have found our thing.[102] In such a case, we will be regarded as very unjust." When after hearing this answer of his they lost hope, they went in seclusion in order to consult one another. An elder[103] among them said: "Do you not know that your father has taken a strong promise from you in the name of God and before this, the mistake you have committed regarding Joseph is also known to you? Hence I am not going to leave this land until my father permits me or God passes a judgement for me and He is the best of judges.[104] Go back to your father and tell him: 'Father! Your son has committed a theft and We have only said what has come to our knowledge. We are not guardians of the unseen. Ask the people of that settlement where we have stayed and the caravan with which we came. We are absolutely truthful.'" Their father [heard this story; then] said: "No! In fact, your heart has made up an excuse.[105] So, graceful patience is better. Hopefully God will bring all of them to me.[106] Indeed, He is all knowing and wise." (77-83)

وَتَوَلّٰی عَنۡہُمۡ وَ قَالَ یٰۤاَسَفٰی عَلٰی یُوۡسُفَ وَ ابۡیَضَّتۡ عَیۡنٰہُ مِنَ الۡحُزۡنِ فَہُوَ کَظِیۡمٌ﴿۸۴﴾قَالُوۡا تَاللّٰہِ تَفۡتَؤُا تَذۡکُرُ یُوۡسُفَ حَتّٰی تَکُوۡنَ حَرَضًا اَوۡ تَکُوۡنَ مِنَ الۡہٰلِکِیۡنَ﴿۸۵﴾قَالَ اِنَّمَاۤ اَشۡکُوۡا بَثِّیۡ وَ حُزۡنِیۡۤ اِلَی اللّٰہِ وَ اَعۡلَمُ مِنَ اللّٰہِ مَا لَا تَعۡلَمُوۡنَ﴿۸۶﴾یٰبَنِیَّ اذۡہَبُوۡا فَتَحَسَّسُوۡا مِنۡ یُّوۡسُفَ وَ اَخِیۡہِ وَ لَا تَایۡـَٔسُوۡا مِنۡ رَّوۡحِ اللّٰہِؕ اِنَّہٗ لَا یَایۡـَٔسُ مِنۡ رَّوۡحِ اللّٰہِ اِلَّا الۡقَوۡمُ الۡکٰفِرُوۡنَ﴿۸۷﴾

[After saying this,] he turned away his face from them and said: "Alas O Joseph!"[107] and his eyes turned white due to grief[108] and he was in a lot of anguish – The sons said: "By God! You will only keep remembering Joseph until you become miserable with woe or pass away."[109] He said: "I complain of my worry and sorrow to God alone[110] and know from God what you do not. My Sons! Go and search for Joseph and his brother and do not lose hope in God's mercy.[111] Only the disbelievers lose hope in God's mercy." (84-87)

فَلَمَّا دَخَلُوۡا عَلَیۡہِ قَالُوۡا یٰۤاَیُّہَا الۡعَزِیۡزُ مَسَّنَا وَ اَہۡلَنَا الضُّرُّ وَ جِئۡنَا بِبِضَاعَۃٍ مُّزۡجٰىۃٍ فَاَوۡفِ لَنَا الۡکَیۡلَ وَ تَصَدَّقۡ عَلَیۡنَاؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ یَجۡزِی الۡمُتَصَدِّقِیۡنَ﴿۸۸﴾ قَالَ ہَلۡ عَلِمۡتُمۡ مَّا فَعَلۡتُمۡ بِیُوۡسُفَ وَ اَخِیۡہِ اِذۡ اَنۡتُمۡ جٰہِلُوۡنَ﴿۸۹﴾قَالُوۡۤا ءَاِنَّکَ لَاَنۡتَ یُوۡسُفُؕ قَالَ اَنَا یُوۡسُفُ وَ ہٰذَاۤ اَخِیۡ ۫قَدۡ مَنَّ اللّٰہُ عَلَیۡنَاؕ اِنَّہٗ مَنۡ یَّـتَّقِ وَ یَصۡبِرۡ فَاِنَّ اللّٰہَ لَا یُضِیۡعُ اَجۡرَ الۡمُحۡسِنِیۡنَ﴿۹۰﴾قَالُوۡا تَاللّٰہِ لَقَدۡ اٰثَرَکَ اللّٰہُ عَلَیۡنَا وَ اِنۡکُنَّا لَخٰطِئِیۡنَ﴿۹۱﴾قَالَ لَا تَثۡرِیۡبَ عَلَیۡکُمُ الۡیَوۡمَؕ یَغۡفِرُ اللّٰہُ لَکُمۡ۫ وَ ہُوَ اَرۡحَمُ الرّٰحِمِیۡنَ﴿۹۲﴾اِذۡہَبُوۡا بِقَمِیۡصِیۡہٰ ذَا فَاَلۡ قُوۡہُ عَلٰی وَجۡہِ اَبِیۡ یَاۡتِ بَصِیۡرًاۚ وَ اۡتُوۡنِیۡ بِاَہۡلِکُمۡ اَجۡمَعِیۡنَ﴿۹۳﴾

Then when [the next time] they came to Joseph, they [imploringly] said: "O 'Aziz! We and our family are in great affliction and we have come with a small amount.[112] So, [be gracious to us and] give us the grain in full and give us in charity; indeed, God nicely rewards those who give in charity."[113] [Hearing their pleading, Joseph could not restrain himself;] he said: "Do you know that when you were overwhelmed with frenzy what did with Joseph and his brother?" [In amazement,] they cried out: "Are you really Joseph?" He replied: "Yes, I am Joseph, and this is my brother. God has been gracious to us. In reality, those who fear God and remain steadfast, certainly get their reward because God does not waste the reward of those who are thorough in their deeds."[114] They said: "By God! God has given you superiority over us and there is no doubt that it was we who were wrongdoers." Joseph said: "Now there is no blame on you. May God forgive you. Of all those who show mercy, He is the most merciful. [Go and] take this shirt of mine and put it on the face of my father; his eyesight will be restored[115] and bring all your family to me. (88-93)

وَ لَمَّا فَصَلَتِ الۡعِیۡرُ قَالَ اَبُوۡہُمۡ اِنِّیۡ لَاَجِدُ رِیۡحَ یُوۡسُفَ لَوۡلَاۤ اَنۡ تُفَنِّدُوۡنِ﴿۹۴﴾قَالُوۡا تَاللّٰہِ اِنَّکَ لَفِیۡ ضَلٰلِکَ الۡقَدِیۡمِ ﴿۹۵﴾فَلَمَّاۤ اَنۡ جَآءَ الۡبَشِیۡرُ اَلۡقٰىہُ عَلٰی وَجۡہِہٖ فَارۡتَدَّ بَصِیۡرًاۚ قَالَ اَلَمۡ اَقُلۡ لَّکُمۡۚۙ اِنِّیۡۤ اَعۡلَمُ مِنَ اللّٰہِ مَا لَا تَعۡلَمُوۡنَ﴿۹۶﴾قَالُوۡا یٰۤاَبَانَا اسۡتَغۡفِرۡ لَنَا ذُنُوۡبَنَاۤ اِنَّا کُنَّا خٰطِئِیۡنَ﴿۹۷﴾قَالَ سَوۡفَ اَسۡتَغۡفِرُ لَکُمۡ رَبِّیۡ ؕاِنَّہٗ ہُوَ الۡغَفُوۡرُ الرَّحِیۡمُ﴿۹۸﴾

When this caravan departed [from Egypt,] their father [in Canaan] said [to his family]: "If you do not say that I have become senile, I can feel the fragrance of Joseph."[116] People said: "By God! You are still with your old insanity." Then when it happened that the giver of glad tidings arrived,[117] he placed the shirt on Jacob's face; then suddenly his eyesight returned. At this, he said: "Did I not tell you that I know from God what you do not know." The brothers of Joseph cried out: "Father! Pray for the forgiveness of our sins; we were indeed wrongdoers." He said: "I will soon[118] pray to my Lord for your forgiveness. Indeed, He alone forgives and is ever-merciful." (94-98)

[66]. It is evident from this style of address that he did not merely regard Joseph (sws) to be a person who interpreted dreams. On the contrary, because of his experiences in jail, he knew that Joseph (sws) was an embodiment of truthfulness and veracity who had this skill too.

[67]. Joseph (sws) not only told them the interpretation of the dream but also guided them to a practical suggestion to combat the seven years of drought. It is evident from this how different the view of the Qur'an is from mystic religions regarding future planning.

[68]. The actual word is: يُغَاثُ. It is from غُوْث. However, as its consequence, it can be translated as rain. But it has been translated literally so that a comprehensive picture of the all-embracing affects of drought on people is portrayed. The implication is that it will be such an extra-ordinary year that people will cry out and be forced to plead and beg the Almighty until finally their pleadings will be answered.

[69]. The actual word is: يَعْصِرُوْنَ. Some other expression could have been used in its place but since the questioner was the king's wine server this word was chosen as it creates special eloquence in the discourse.

[70]. If somone else was in place of Joseph (sws), he would have immediately gone along as soon as he knew that he was being freed. However, he insisted that first that matter must be investigated into on the basis of which he was wrongly jailed. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

... If one deeply analyzes this statement of Joseph (sws) it becomes evident that he did not like to be freed and become closer to the king merely on the basis of a temporary benefit of the doubt expressed by the king about him. He gave absolving himself from the blame cast on him the most importance and such was his trust on his own truthfulness and on his Lord that he did not the slightest care how many lies his adversaries could fabricate to prove him to be a criminal. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 4, 224)

[71]. It is evident from this sentence that by that time the truth had become evident to the king to a great extent. He knew that the women were the real culprits. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

... In reality, truth requires patience for its manifestation. If a person adheres to truthfulness and shows the befitting patience that is needed for it, the time definitely comes when everything around him bears witness to his veracity. So much so, even his enemies ... vouch for thim. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 4, 224)

[72]. Joseph (sws) here has stated the reason for insisting on investigating the matter. The opportunity for this must probably have arisen when he was told the results of the investigation in jail.

[73]. The actual words are: إِلاَّ مَا رَحِمَ رَبِّي. The letter مَاhere connotes time. The translation takes this aspect into account.

[74]. This should not be any cause for wonder. The way Joseph (sws) superbly deciphered the dream, the effective measure he suggested to combat the drought portrayed in the dream, his refusal to be freed unless the allegations against him were cleared and as a result the confession of 'Aziz's wife and other women – any one of these issues, in the words of Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi was sufficient to make the king a great admirer of Joseph (sws); yet if all these three points came to his knowledge at the same time it was but natural for him to become, in absentia, a fan of Joseph (sws). He thus declared that he was making Joseph (sws) his trusted assistant.

[75]. This is an offer by the king to Joseph (sws) for the highest post in his government. He made it to him after he had conversed with him and seen his knowledge, intelligence and competence. Yet the form in which Joseph (sws) was to accept this offer was left to his discretion by the king.

[76]. The greatest challenge at hand was to manage the country during the drought predicted by Joseph (sws). The greatest desire of the king too must have been efficient management of it. Thus Joseph (sws) presented his opinion before the king keeping this in consideration. This is almost the same demand of authority which in a parliamentary form of government is held by the prime minister. The Bible records:

Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you.You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you."So Pharaoh said to Joseph, "I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt."Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his finger and put it on Joseph's finger. He dressed him in robes of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck.He had him ride in a chariot as his second-in-command, and people shouted before him, "Make way!" Thus he put him in charge of the whole land of Egypt.Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, "I am Pharaoh, but without your word no one will lift hand or foot in all Egypt."(Genesis: 41, 39-44)

Here it should be kept in mind that the use of the word Pharaoh for this king is an error made by the compilers of the Bible. This king was from the fifteenth family of kings who in history are known as the shepherd kings (Hyskos Kings). They were Arabs by lineage and in about 2000 BC had gone to Egypt from Palestine and Syria and had taken hold of its reins of government. Arab historians call them 'Amaliq. The researchers of current times say that king Apophis from among the shepherd kings is the one being referred to. The word Pharaoh was a religious term in Egypt and these people did not believe in the Egyptian religion. Thus this name is used for Coptic kings who ended the rule of the Shepherd kings sometime in 1500 BC and replaced them.

[77]. Ie., wherever he can, he can stay and whichever part of the kingdom he wants to visit, it is his kingdom; he can run the empire any way he wants and pass orders for whomsoever he wants at whichever place he deems fit. In short, this is an expression of the comprehensive authority invested in Joseph (sws) by the decree of the king.

[78]. The implication is that in this world also the Almighty necessarily rewards them in some form or the other for their thoroughness.

[79]. It is evident from the succeeding verses that his brothers had also come to Egypt to buy grain. The prophecy of the drought made by Joseph (sws) had begun and was rampant not only in Egypt but also its neighbouring countries like Syria and Palestine. However, because of the effective measure taken by Joseph (sws) in advance, Egypt was not only self-sufficient in its food needs, it was also providing for the needs of the neighbouring countries. It had allowed them to come and purchase grain.

[80]. Since the brothers of Joseph (sws) belonged to a different country, they must have needed to seek permission. It was probably for this reason that they came to him.

[81]. It is not unlikely that the brothers were unable to recognize Joseph (sws). When they had thrown him in the well, he was just seventeen years old and by then he was thirty eight. In twenty years, people change a lot. In verse 90 ahead, there is an indication that they did see the reflection of their brother in him but they soon dismissed this notion because they could not even imagine someone who had been thrown in the well was now in charge of the kingdom of Egypt.

[82]. If food is rationed, the general way adopted is that every needy person is given food on the basis of the number of his family members. They must have obtained grain for their brother Benjamin also. This gave Joseph (sws) the opportunity to insist on bringing him over the next time to prove his identity though on that visit he allowed them to take grain for him as well. He told them that if they did not bring him, they would be regarded as liars and hence were not even to try to come back to him.

[83]. Ie., they will try their best. It is evident from this sentence the excuse they had in mind: if they were not able to bring him, it would only be because their father did not give them permission: this was fully possible because of what they had done to Joseph (sws).

[84]. He said this so that any shortage of goods did not cause a hindrance in their return.

[85]. The implication is that he has experienced trusting them earlier; hence if he sent Benjamin, it would only be by trusting God and not them.

[86]. The actual words are: نَمِيْرُ أَهْلَنَا. The clause to which they are co-ordinated is suppressed because of contextual indication. It has been revealed in the translation.

[87]. It is evident from this that the way the grain was rationed: the needy from abroad could obtain one camel-load each of grain.

[88]. Readers may consider the eloquence of these sentences: the Qur'an has cited what they said in the words of Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi,their joy is readily evident from every sentence they uttered.

[89]. He said this because if all the eleven tribal strongmen enter the city together in the form of a group, they may regarded as suspicious and the people of the city may be led to think that in this period of drought they have come to loot them.

[90]. This is an explanation of the relationship between a human scheme and a divine plan: the latter is nevertheless inevitable. No human scheme can change it. A person can only go about practically implementing the idea that comes to his mind. Nothing beyond this is in his control. A true believer must always keep this in mind.

[91]. Ie., he had the knowledge which tells a person that God's will prevails over everything. However, in spite of this, it is the duty of a person to undertake essential measures because at times God's will is dependent on a person's planning, yet many people do not know this.

[92]. The implication is that the days of his sorrow have ended. By the grace of God, he will now see comfort and relief. So, he should not worry. These people will not be able to harm him now.

[93]. Just as in his first meeting Joseph (sws) had placed the goods given by his brothers in their camel packs, in a similar way he placed the cup in the belongings of Benjamin without informing him. The purpose was that when he opened them after he returned to his home he would feel overjoyed and at the same time show it as a sign of his brother's authority to his father.

[94]. Ie., he will be detained as a slave.

[95]. This could also be a custom of their land. It is not necessary to regard it as a directive of the Abrahamic religion. Abraham (sws) never attained political authority in this land, hence it is not plausible that the shari'ah given to him had directives related to crime and punishment.

[96]. The reason for this is that a cup (السِّقَايَة) was placed in the belongings of Benjamin for which a feminine pronoun is used. On the contrary, the royal guards were trying to locate the king's goblet (صُوَاعَ المَلِكِ). Thus one can see in the verse a masculime pronoun is used for it and for what was found in the belongings a feminine pronoun is used.

[97]. After regaining his brother, Joseph (sws) was not prepared to undertake the danger of consigning him back to his unjust brothers on their return trip. After all, they could have done anything to him. For this, it was essential to stop him from going with them. At that stage, he did not want to reveal himself and it was also not possible to stop him without any reason as per the law of the land. In spite of having all powers, it was only befitting for him to act according to the law in whatever measure he undertook. The Qur'an says that at that instance the Almighty helped him and precisely at the time when he had placed his cup in Benjamin's belongings and the brothers were about to depart, the king's goblet got misplaced somewhere and could not be found in spite of a search to locate it. The guards suspected the brothers who were about to leave to have stolen it. As a result, a situation arose in which they were forced to leave their brother Benjamin behind. This was a divine scheme which manifested itself in the same way as at times such extra-ordinary accidental happenings come to our notice and we are not able to know how they materialized. Joseph (sws) and his brothers were only silent observers of this event. No doubt, as a result, Benjamin had to face a temporary blame, yet he knew that very soon this stain would be washed. Thus he too remained reassured and did not express any anxiety.

[98]. And from His power create a situation in which without violating the law Benjamin is detained.

[99]. This is a reference to Joseph (sws). The implication is that he is made to reach such a high rank that the Lord of the universe schemes for this.

[100]. Ie., the eternal God Whose knowledge is true knowledge. Thus only He knows whichever thing can appear at whatever time in whichever shape and what is seemingly impossible for human beings is very much a possibility for Him.

[101]. This they said to hide their embarassment. They had already stated earlier that they were not thieves. Now when they saw that the cup had been recovered from their brother's bag, they immediately fabricated a tale and dissociated themselves from him and dragged their other brother too in this blame. Obviously, the impression they wanted to give by this was that he was not their real brother and that he was their step brother and that he had inherited this evil trait from his parents. It is evident from this how much malice and meanness was hidden in their hearts for Joseph (sws).

[102]. The precaution exercised by Joseph (sws) must be kept in mind: when he was forced to speak, he did not say: "He who has stolen our thing." On the contrary, he just said: "He with whom we have found our thing." This is an excellent example of a veiled lie which cannot be ethically objected to.

[103]. The word used for him is كَبِيْرُهُمْ and not أكبرهم. According to linguistic aspects, this word is also used for those who are big in knowledge and wisdom. Thus if Judas is implied by it, then it is quite likely. It is specified in the Bible that it was he who had given this suggestion.

[104]. It is evident that this brother was better than the others. He probably was the one who had suggested not to kill Joseph (sws). Thus, his honour did not permit him to come to the father as the culprit guilty of losing his second brother.

[105]. Ie., the fact that Benjamin was in fact guilty of stealing even though they could have said there that they knew their brother; he never stole; they could have said maybe the cup had been placed by someone else or that it was mistakenly packed in his belongings. Furthermore, even after reaching their father, they did not say that Benjamin had been accused of stealing. On the contrary, they vehemently said that his son was guilty of stealing.

[106]. Jacob (sws) regarded the dream seen by Joseph (sws) very early on as divine glad tidings. Hence he was convinced that Joseph (sws) was alive and would meet him and his dream would be fulfilled. This is an expression of his conviction.

[107]. Though it was the matter of Benjamin that was at hand at that time, but Jacob (sws) was reminded of Joseph (sws). Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

It is not strange that the current incident revived the sorrow of losing Joseph (sws) in Jacob's heart. In the first place, the nature of what befell Benjamin was very different from what happened to Joseph (sws). Secondly, the deep affection Jacob (sws) had for Joseph (sws) was not merely because he was his son; the real reason for this were his outstanding abilities. So profound were they that Jacob (sws) was attached to him to such an extent that the rest of the brothers became jealous of him. Ultimately, it was because of this jealousy that Joseph (sws) had to pass through very severe trials at their hands. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 4, 224)

[108]. It is a common observation that the intense sorrow and profuse crying cause the pupil and eye lashes to lose their blackness and the redness of the eyes also slowly starts to vanish. This is a portrayal of this situation.

[109]. This apparently seems to be a sentence that expresses sympathy. However, deliberation shows that this too has an underpinning of jealousy in it – the very jealousy which was the basis of all their measures. They thought that after killing Joseph (sws) they would have the exclusive attention of their father. However, they observed that whatever they had obtained as a result had also been snatched away from them and the father had nothing to do when he was alone but to wail and cry for Joseph (sws).

[110]. This only is befitting for a true believer. He expresses his sorrow and grief before God alone because all his hopes are pinned on Him and he knows that these pleadings will finally stir the mercy of God.

[111]. It is evident from this sentence that just as Jacob (sws) had not believed their statement in the matter of Joseph (sws), he also did not believe them in what they said about Benjamin.

[112]. The actual words are: بِضَاعَةٍ مُزْجَاةٍ. Ie., such a trivial amount that no will accept it. It seems from this that instead of cash they had taken something in kind which was not in demand there.

[113]. It is evident from this where need and necessity can take people with such pride and arrogance.

[114]. It is this reality for the explanation of which the whole account has been related to the Quraysh of Makkah.

[115]. This is a matter of great amazement and not easy to comprehend. Imam Amin Ahsan Islahi writes:

Why did Joseph (sws) send his shirt that had touched his bodyas a sign? And how did this give rise to the effect in the shirt that Jacob's eyesight was restored? Neither can everyone solve this question nor can everyone understand its answer. They relate to emotions and the emotions too of such noble souls: on the one hand is Jacob (sws) and on the other is Joseph (sws). We masses can say nothing in such matters except that the marvels of the effects of such pure emotions manifest themselves in such amazing forms that intellect is unable to decipher them. (Amin Ahsan Islahi,Tadabbur-i Qur'an, vol. 4, 224)

[116]. Jacob (sws) was a prophet of God. The senses and faculties of the individuals God chooses as His prophets and messengers should not be considered analogous to our senses and faculties. God makes them aware of a matter whenever He intends and in whichever way He desires. Thus there too Joseph (sws) remained in Egypt for more than 20 years and Jacob (sws) never felt his fragrance. However, at that time his faculty of smell became so enhanced that that when Joseph's shirt began its journey from Egypt, Jacob (sws) could feel its fragrance.

[117]. The actual words are: فَلَمَّا أَنْ جَآءَ البَشِيْرُ. Before the wordأَنْa verb is supressed. It has been expressed in the translation.

[118]. The actual word is: سَوْفَ. This indicates that Jacob (sws) had promised to pray for them in a thorough way and at a specific time. He did not put them off by saying: "Go, may God forgive you."

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