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12. Surah Ysuf سورة يوسف

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This Surah (Revealed) Meccan, except for verses 1, 2, 3 and 7, which are Medinese; it consists of 111 verses, and was revealed after sūrat Hūd.(Ysuf)
 
Ayah   12:1   الأية الأولي
بِسْم ِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
Ayah First   1   الأية الأولي
Tafseer
 
Alif lām rā: God knows best what He means by these [letters]. Those, verses, are the verses of the Book, the Qurān (the genitive annexation carries the meaning of [partitive] min, from) that makes plain, the one that manifests truth [distinguishing it] from what is falsehood.
 
Ayah   12:2   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
We have revealed it as an Arabic Qurān, in the language of the Arabs, so that you, O people of Mecca, might understand, comprehend its meaning.
 
Ayah   12:3   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
We will relate to you the best of narratives in what We have revealed, in Our revealing, to you this Qurān, though (wa-in: in is softened, in other words [understand it as] wa-innahu) prior to it you were of the heedless.
 
Ayah   12:4   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
Mention, when Joseph said to his father, Jacob: O my father (read yā abati to indicate the omitted yā of genitive annexation [sc. of yā abī]; or read yā abata to indicate that an alif, originally a yā, has been 242 omitted) I saw, in my sleep, eleven planets and the sun and the moon, I saw them ([repeated] for emphasis) prostrating themselves before me (sājidīn: this plural form is used to describe [the act of] prostration, which is an attribute associated with rational beings).
 
Ayah   12:5   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
He said, O my son, do not relate your vision to your brothers, lest they plot against you some plot, [lest] they scheme to kill you, out of envy, knowing that the interpretation [of the dream] is that they represent the [eleven] planets, your mother, the sun and your father, the moon. Truly Satan is to man a manifest foe, [one] of evident enmity.
 
Ayah   12:6   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
Thus, in the way that you have seen, will your Lord prefer you, choose you, and teach you the interpretation of events, the interpretation of visions, and perfect His grace upon you, with prophethood, and upon the House of Jacob [upon] his sons as He perfected it, with prophethood, formerly on your fathers Abraham and Isaac. Truly your Lord is Knower, of His creatures, Wise, in what He does with them.
 
Ayah   12:7   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
Verily in, the tale of, Joseph and his brethren who were eleven are signs, lessons, for those who inquire, about their tale.
 
Ayah   12:8   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
Mention, when they, that is, [when] some of Josephs brothers, said, to some of the others: Surely Joseph (la-Yūsufu is the subject) and his brother, his full brother Benjamin, are dearer (ahabbu is the predicate) to our father than we are, though we be a [hardy] band, a group. Lo! our father is in plain aberration, in manifest error, for preferring those two to us.
 
Ayah   12:9   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
Kill Joseph or cast him away into some land, that is, into some distant land, so that your father might be solely concerned with you, so that he might turn [his attention] to you and not be distracted by anyone else, and that thereafter, that is, after killing Joseph or casting him away, you might be a righteous folk, by repenting.
 
Ayah   12:10   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
One of them, namely, Judah, said, Do not kill Joseph, but cast him, throw him, into the bottom of a well (ghayābat al-jubb is the darkest recess of a well; a variant reading has the plural [ghayābāt]), so that some caravan might pick him up, if you are to do anything, of what you desire, in the way of separating [Joseph from us]: so content yourselves with this [solution].
 
Ayah   12:11   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
They said, O father, what is wrong with you that you do not trust us with Joseph? We are indeed his wellwishers, we are indeed only looking out for his best interests.
 
Ayah   12:12   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
Send him forth with us tomorrow, to the desert, to frolic and play (read [first person plural] narta wa-nalab, that we might frolic and play, or [third person plural] yarta wa-yalab, that he might frolic and play), in other words, so that we might be spirited and roam freely. Surely we shall take good care of him.
 
Ayah   12:13   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
243 He said, Lo! It grieves me that you should go with him, that is, your departure [with him grieves me], because I would be separated from him, and I fear lest the wolf devour him (al-dhib here represents the genus, for their land had many wolves in it), while you are heedless of him, distracted [by something else].
 
Ayah   12:14   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
They said, Truly if (la-in: the lām here is for oaths) the wolf were to devour him, when we are [so hardy] a band, a group, then we indeed are losers!, incapable [of anything]. Thus, he sent him off with them.
 
Ayah   12:15   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
So when they went off with him, and agreed, resolved, to put him into the bottom of the well (the response of lammā, when, has been omitted, in other words [understand it as being] faalū dhālika, they did [just] that) by taking off his shirt after having beaten him, humiliated him and desiring to kill him and lowering him in a bucket [into the well]. When he reached half-way down the well, they flung him [from the bucket] so that he would [fall and] die, but he fell into the water and took refuge near a rock. They then called to him and he responded, thinking that they had [decided to have] mercy on him. They then wanted to smash his head with a rock, but Judah prevented them. And We revealed to him, in the well, through true revelation (wahy haqīqa) he was 17 years of age or just under in order to reassure his heart: Truly you shall inform them, after this day, of this affair, [this] deed, of theirs when they are unaware, of [who] you [are] (wa-hum lā yashurūna is a circumstantial qualifier referring to the action of informing).
 
Ayah   12:16   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
And they came to their father in the evening, weeping.
 
Ayah   12:17   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
They said, O father, we went competing, shooting, and left Joseph by our things, our clothes, and the wolf ate him. But you would never believe us, even though we speak the truth, before you, you would still have accused us [of lying] in this story, because of your adoration of Joseph, so how much more so when you think ill of us?
 
Ayah   12:18   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
And they came with false blood on his shirt (alā qamīsihi has the status of an accusative [of the verb], because it is an adverbial qualifier, meaning fawqa [qamīsihi]): they slaughtered a lamb and dabbed it [his shirt] with its blood but they forgot to tear it [the shirt] and they said that it was his blood. He, Jacob, said, when he saw that it [the shirt] was undamaged and realised that they were lying: Nay, but your souls have beguiled you into something, and so you did it to him. Yet comely patience!, without any anxiety! (fasabrun jamīlun is the predicate of a missing subject such as amrī, my course]). And God is the One Whose succour is sought in that [predicament] which you describe, that which you mention of Josephs affair.
 
Ayah   12:19   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
And there came a caravan travellers going from Midian to Egypt, who stopped near to Josephs well and they sent their water-drawer, the one who goes down to the water [source] to draw from it, and he let down his bucket, into the well and Joseph clung to it and he pulled him out, and when he saw him: he said, Good news! (a variant reading [of yā bushrā] has yā bushrāya: this [vocative] call is figurative, in other words [it is to be understood as] Come [O good news], now is your time!) This is a young boy. His brothers became aware of this and came to him, and they hid him, that is, they disguised his real status, claiming that he was, as [a piece of] merchandise, by saying, This is a slave of ours: he is a runaway; but Joseph did not say anything, fearing that they might kill him. But God knew well what they were doing.
 
Ayah   12:20   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
244 Then they sold him they [the caravan] purchased him from them for a very low, a diminished, price, a handful of dirhams, 20 or 22; for they, that is, his brothers, set small store by him. So the caravan brought him to Egypt, where the one who had bought him sold him for 20 dinars, two pairs of sandals and two robes.
 
Ayah   12:21   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
And he of Egypt who purchased him, Potifar, the Court Officer (Qitfīr al-azīz), said to his wife, Zulaikha (Zulaykhā), Give him an honourable place, [an honourable] residence with us. Maybe he will be useful to us, or we may adopt him as a son for he was chaste. Thus, just as We delivered him from being killed and from the well, and softened the Court Officers heart for him, We established Joseph in the land, the land of Egypt, until he attained what [status] he attained, that We might teach him the interpretation of events, the interpretation of visions (wa-li-nuallimahu min tawīlil-ahādīth is a supplement to an implied [missing part] connected to makkannā, We established, in other words, [an implied] li-numallikahu, so that We might give him kingship; or else the wāw [of wa-li-nuallimahu, that We might teach him] is [to be understood as being] extra). Gods way [always] prevails, exalted be He, nothing being beyond Him, but most people and they are the disbelievers do not know, this.
 
Ayah   12:22   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
And when he reached his prime which was at 30 or 33 years of age We gave him [power of] judgement, wisdom, and knowledge, understanding in [matters of] religion, before his call to prophethood. Thus, just as We rewarded him, We reward those who are virtuous, to [the good] of their souls.
 
Ayah   12:23   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
And she, in whose house he was namely Zulaykhā attempted to seduce him, that is, she asked him to lie with her, and she closed the doors, of the house. And she said, to him: Come! (hayta laka: the lām [of laka] is for clarification; a variant reading has hīta laka or haytu laka). God forbid!, I seek refuge with God from this, he said. Truly he, who bought me, is my lord, my master, who has given me an honourable place, [an honourable] residence, and so I cannot betray him with regard to his family. Truly, evildoers, fornicators, never prosper.
 
Ayah   12:24   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
And she certainly desired him, she sought sexual intercourse with him, and he would have desired her [too], he would have sought the same, had it not been that he saw the proof of his Lord: Ibn Abbās said, Jacob was made to appear before him, and he struck his [Josephs] breast, whereupon his [sexual] desire withdrew [from his body] through his fingernails (the response to lawlā, had it not been, has been omitted:
 
Ayah   understood to be] la-jāmaahā, he would have lain with her). So it was, that We made him see the proof, that We might ward off from him evil, betrayal, and lewdness, [the act of] fornication. Truly he was of Our devoted servants, in terms of obedience (mukhlisīn: a variant reading has mukhlasīn, in other words, chosen/purified [servants]).
 
Ayah   12:25   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
And they raced to the door: Joseph making for it in order to escape, while she, in order to grab hold of him, caught hold of his garment and pulled him towards her, and she tore his shirt from behind, whereupon they encountered her master, her husband, at the door. She, composed herself and then, said, What is to be the requital of him who intends evil, [who intends] fornication, against your folk, but that he should be imprisoned, locked up in a jail, or [suffer] a painful chastisement?, by having him beaten.
 
Ayah   12:26   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
He, Joseph, said, declaring himself innocent [of the charge]: It was she who attempted to seduce me. And 245 a witness of her own folk testified, her paternal cousin it is reported that he was still [a child] in the cradle and he said: If his shirt has been torn from the front, then she speaks the truth, and he is of the liars;
 
Ayah   12:27   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
but if his shirt has been torn from behind, then she has lied, and he is of the truthful.
 
Ayah   12:28   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
So when he, her husband, saw that his shirt was torn from behind, he said: Indeed this that is, your saying: What is to be the requital of him who intends to the end [of the verse, Q. 12:25] is of the guile of you, O, women. Verily your guile is great.
 
Ayah   12:29   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
Then he said: O, Joseph, ignore this, matter and do not mention it [to anyone], lest it be broadcast; and you, O Zulaykhā, ask forgiveness for your sin: surely you have been of the erring, the sinful; but the tale was reported and became public.
 
Ayah   12:30   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
And some of the women in the city, the city of Egypt, said, The Court Officers wife has been seducing her boy, her servant. Indeed he has smitten her heart with love, (hubban is for specification, in other words, [her] love of him has entered her hearts pericardium (shaghāfa qalbihā), that is, its inner casing). Lo! we see her to be in plain aberration, that is, in error evident, in her love of him.
 
Ayah   12:31   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
And when she heard of their machinations, their backbiting of her, she sent for them and prepared for them a repast (muttaka is food that requires cutting with a knife, since one leans upon it (ittikā): this [repast] was utruj, citron). She then gave each one of them a knife and said, to Joseph: Come out before them! And when they saw him, they were in awe of, they exalted, him and cut their hands, with the knives, without feeling any pain, because their hearts were so engrossed by Joseph, and they exclaimed: God preserve us! in exaltation of him This, namely, Joseph, is no human being: this is but a noble angel!, on account of his all-encompassing beauty, which is [a characteristic] not usually found among humankind. In the Sahīh [of al-Bukhārī], it is [reported] that one half of all beauty was given to him.
 
Ayah   12:32   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
She, the wife of the Court Officer, said, when she saw what happened to them, This is he on whose account, for the love of whom, you blamed me (alladhī lumtunnanī fīhi is an explication of her excuse). Indeed I did attempt to seduce him, but he withheld himself, he refused. Yet if he does not do what I bid him, he verily shall be imprisoned, and verily shall be of those brought low, those abased. The women said to him: Obey your mistress!.
 
Ayah   12:33   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
He said, My Lord, prison is dearer to me than that to which they are urging me. And if You do not fend off their wiles from me, then I shall tend, I shall incline, towards them and become of the ignorant, the sinful: this is intended as a supplication, which is why God, exalted be He, then says:
 
Ayah   12:34   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
So his Lord answered him, his supplication, and He fended off their wiles from him. Truly He is the Hearer, of words, the Knower, of deeds. 246
 
Ayah   12:35   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
Then it seemed, it appeared, [good] to them, after they had seen the signs, indicating Josephs innocence, that they should imprison him for a while, until such time as people ceased to talk of him. He was thus imprisoned.
 
Ayah   12:36   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
And there entered the prison with him two youths, two young men [servants] of the king, one of whom was his cup-bearer, the other, his food-taster. They noticed that he interpreted dreams and so they said, Let us try him. One of them, the cup-bearer, said: I dreamed that I was pressing wine, that is, grapes. The other, the food-taster, said: I dreamed that I was carrying on my head bread whereof the birds were eating. Tell us, inform us [of], its interpretation, for indeed we see you as being among the virtuous.
 
Ayah   12:37   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
He said, to them both, in order to inform [them] that he knew how to interpret dreams: The food, with which you are provided, shall not come to you, while you are asleep, but I shall tell you the interpretation thereof, while you are conscious, before it, the interpretation thereof, comes to you. This is from that which my Lord has taught me herein is an incitement for them to believe, which he reinforces with the following words: Lo! I have forsaken the creed, the religion, of a folk who do not believe in God and who moreover (hum, they [is repeated] for emphasis) are disbelievers in the Hereafter.
 
Ayah   12:38   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
And I follow the creed of my fathers, Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. It never was, right, for us to associate anything (min shayin: min is extra) with God on account of our [God-given] immunity [from error]. That, affirmation of [Gods] Oneness, is from Gods bounty to us and to mankind; but most people and these are the disbelievers do not give thanks, to God, and so they associate others with Him.
 
Ayah   12:39   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
He [Joseph] then explicitly calls them to faith, saying: O my two fellow-prisoners!, inmates [of the prison]: Are several lords better, or, is, God, the One, the Almighty, better? (an interrogative meant as an affirmative).
 
Ayah   12:40   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
You do not worship, apart from Him, that is, other than Him, anything but [mere] names that you have named, that you have named for idols, you and your fathers. God has not revealed any warrant, any definitive argument or proof, regarding them, regarding worship of them. Judgement, decree, belongs only to God, alone. He has commanded that you worship none but Him. That, affirmation of [Gods] Oneness, is the upright, the straight, religion, but most people and these are the disbelievers do not know, the punishment in which they shall end up, and so they ascribe partners [to God].
 
Ayah   12:41   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
O fellow-prisoners! As for one of you, that is, the cup-bearer, he will depart after three [days] and, he shall serve his lord, his master, wine to drink, as usual; and as for the other, he will depart after three [days] and, he will be crucified so that the birds will eat from his head: this is the interpretation of both your dreams. They said, We never dreamed a thing!; he said, decided, concluded, is the matter regarding which you sought opinion, about which you enquired, whether you spoke truthfully or were lying.
 
Ayah   12:42   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
Then he said to the one whom he deemed, [whom] he was certain, would be saved of the two and this 247 was the cup-bearer: Mention me to your lord, your master, and say to him, There is a young man in jail who has been wrongly imprisoned. So he [the cup-bearer] departed, but Satan caused him, that is, the cupbearer, to forget the mention, of Joseph, before his master, so that he, Joseph, stayed, he remained, in prison for some years: it is said [that he remained] for seven years, or for twelve.
 
Ayah   12:43   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
And the king, the king of Egypt al-Rayyān b. al-Walīd said, I saw in [a dream] seven fat kine being devoured, being swallowed up, by seven lean ones, of kine (ijāf is the plural of ajfā), and seven green ears of corn and others, that is seven [other] ears of corn, dry, that had wound themselves around the green ones and risen above them. O courtiers! Give me [your] opinion about my vision: expound for me its interpretation, if you can interpret visions, then interpret it for me.
 
Ayah   12:44   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
They said, this is, A jumble, a mixture, of dreams! And we are not knowledgeable in the interpretation of dreams.
 
Ayah   12:45   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
And he of the two who was released, that is, of the two young men, namely, the cup-bearer, remembering (iddakara: the original tā [of tadhakkara] has been changed to a dāl and assimilated with the dhāl), after a time, [after] a period of time, the predicament of Joseph, said, I will inform you of its interpretation; so send me forth, so they sent him forth and he came to Joseph, and said:
 
Ayah   12:46   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
O, Joseph, O truthful one, one given to truth, give us your opinion concerning seven fat kine that are devoured by seven lean ones, and [concerning] seven green ears of corn and [seven] others dry, that I may return to the people, that is, to the king and his courtiers, so that they might know, its interpretation.
 
Ayah   12:47   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
He said, You shall sow that is, [go ahead and] sow seven years consecutively and this was the interpretation of the seven fat ones but that which you reap, leave it in the ear, lest it spoil, except for a little which you eat: thresh it.
 
Ayah   12:48   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
Then after that, in other words, after the seven fertile [years], there shall come seven hard, barren and unyielding, years the interpretation of the seven lean ones which shall devour what you set aside for them, of grain sown during the fertile years, in other words, you shall eat [all] this during these [seven hard years], all except a little which you have preserved, stored.
 
Ayah   12:49   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
Then after that, in other words, after the seven barren years, there shall come a year in which the people will be granted relief, through rain, and in which they will press [fruit], grapes, and other [seeds], because of its [that years] fertility.
 
Ayah   12:50   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
And the king, after the messenger had come to him and informed him of its [the dreams] interpretation, said: Bring him to me!, that is, the one who interpreted it. And when the messenger came to him, that is, [to] Joseph, and summoned him in order to depart [from the prison], he said with the intention of manifesting his innocence Return to your lord and ask him, to inquire: What of, [what was] the case 248 with, the women who cut their hands? Surely my lord, my master, has knowledge of their guile; he [the messenger] thus returned and informed the king, who then summoned them [the women].
 
Ayah   12:51   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
He said, What was your business, women, when you solicited Joseph?, did you find on his part any inclination towards you?: God preserve us! they said. We know of no evil in him. The Court Officers wife said, Now the truth is out, [now] it has become clear; it was I who attempted to seduce him and he is indeed of the truthful, in his saying, It was she who attempted to seduce me [Q. 12:26]. Joseph was then informed of this and he said:
 
Ayah   12:52   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
That, plea of innocence, is so that he, the Court officer, may know I did not betray him, with regard to his family, in his absence (bil-ghayb is a circumstantial qualifier), and that truly God does not guide [to success] the guile of the treacherous; he [Joseph] then humbled himself before God and said:
 
Ayah   12:53   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
Yet I do not exculpate my own soul, of slipping into error; verily the soul, as such, is ever inciting to evil, except that whereon, meaning the person [upon whom], my Lord has mercy, and so protects [from sin]. Truly my Lord is Forgiving, Merciful.
 
Ayah   12:54   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
And the king said, Bring him to me, that I may use him for myself, that I may make him mine exclusively, with none to share [him with me]. The messenger came to him [to Joseph] and said, Respond to the king!, and so he got up and bid farewell to [his] fellow-prisoners and prayed for them. He then washed himself, put on some good clothes and entered upon him. And when he had spoken with him, he said, to him: Indeed you are on this day in our presence established and trustworthy, a person of status, entrusted over our affair, so what do you think we should do? He said, Gather food [stocks] and sow abundantly in these fertile years, then store the corn in its ears. People [from far and wide] will come to you and ask you to supply them [with provisions]. He [the king] said, Whom can I delegate this [task] to?
 
Ayah   12:55   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
He, Joseph, said, Place me in charge of the storehouses of the land, the land of Egypt. I am indeed a skilled custodian, one worthy of custodianship thereof, and knowledgeable in such affairs it is also said [that he meant]:
 
Ayah   I am indeed] a [competent] scribe and accountant.
 
Ayah   12:56   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
Thus, in the same way that We were graceful towards Him by delivering him from prison, We established Joseph in the land, the land of Egypt, that he may settle in it wherever he wished, after [having suffered] hardship and imprisonment. According to the story, the king crowned him, gave him a signet-ring to wear, and appointed him in place of the Court officer, whom he removed from his position, and who later died; and so he [the king] made him [Joseph] take the latters spouse as a wife. He [Joseph] discovered that she was [still] a virgin and she bore him two children. He [Joseph] established justice in Egypt and people became subject to him. We confer Our mercy on whomever We will and We do not waste the wage of the virtuous.
 
Ayah   12:57   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
Yet the wage of the Hereafter is better, than the wage of this world, for those who believe and are Godfearing. And so the years of drought arrived and afflicted the land of Canaan and Syria. 249
 
Ayah   12:58   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
And Josephs brothers came except for Benjamin in order to secure provisions, when they found out that the [new] Court officer of Egypt was providing food at its [fair] price; and they entered to him, and he recognised them, to be his brothers, but they did not recognise him, not knowing who he was, because it had been a long time since they had seen him, and because they supposed that he had died. They spoke to him in Hebrew and he said to them, as if reproaching them: What brings you to my land? They replied, [We have come] for supplies. He said, You might be spies! They said, God forbid! He said, So where are you from? They said, From the land of Canaan, our father is Jacob, the prophet of God. He said, Does he have children other than you? They said, Yes. We used to be twelve, but the youngest of us passed away: he perished in the wild. He was the most beloved to him [our father] from among us; only his full brother remains, and so he keeps him by his side, in order to comfort himself with him in place of the other. He [Joseph] commanded that they be given lodging and treated well.
 
Ayah   12:59   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
And when he had equipped them with their provision, [when] he had given them the full measure [of food], he said, Bring me a brother of yours from your father, namely, Benjamin, that I might know that you have been truthful in what you said. Do you not see that I give the full measure, that I complete it, without any fraud, and that I am the best of hosts?
 
Ayah   12:60   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
But if you do not bring him to me, there will be no measure, that is, no provisions, for you with me; and do not come near [me] (wa-lā taqrabūn is [either] a prohibition, or a supplement to the [syntactical] locus of fa-lā kayla, in other words, and you shall be denied [the measure] and will not [be allowed to] come near [me]).
 
Ayah   12:61   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
They said, We will try to tempt his father away from him, that is, we will try our hardest to seek him from him. That we will surely do.
 
Ayah   12:62   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
And he said to his young men (li-fityatihi: a variant reading has li-fityānihi, his servants): Place their merchandise, that [money] with which they bought the supplies, and these were a few dirhams, in their saddlebags, their [supply] sacks, so that they may recognise it when they return to their folk, and empty their sacks, and so come back, to us, deeming it unlawful to retain these [monies].
 
Ayah   12:63   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
So when they went back to their father, they said, O father, the measure will be denied us, unless you send forth our brother to him [to the Court officer]; so send forth our brother with us, that we may obtain the measure (read naktal or yaktal, that he may obtain the measure [for us]). Surely we will guard him well.
 
Ayah   12:64   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
He said, Should I [I will] only trust you with him like I trusted you with his brother, Joseph, before? despite [the fact] that you have done to him what you have done? Yet God is best at guarding (hifzan: a variant reading has hāfizan, a guardian, as a specification, similar to when they say liLlāhi darruhu fārisan, By God, how excellent a horseman he is!); and He is the Most Merciful of merciful ones, and so I hope that He will show favour [to me] by guarding him.
 
Ayah   12:65   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
250 And when they opened their belongings, they found that their merchandise had been restored to them. They said, O father, what [more] should we desire? (mā nabghī: mā is interrogative, that is to say: what greater thing than this can we ask for from the kings generosity?; a variant reading has mā tabghī, what [more] do you desire?, as an address to Jacob for they had mentioned to him his [the kings] generosity towards them). Here is our merchandise restored to us. And we shall get provisions for our family, we shall obtain supplies for them, namely, food, and guard our brother, and we shall receive an extra camels load, because of our brother; that will be an easy measure, for the king [to grant us], given his munificence.
 
Ayah   12:66   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
He said, I will not send him with you until you give me a [solemn] pledge, a covenant, in the name of God, by your swearing an oath, that assuredly you will bring him back to me, unless you are besieged, such that you die, or are overwhelmed and thus unable to bring him back. They agreed to this. And when they gave him their [solemn] pledge, to this effect, he said, God shall be Guardian, Witness, over what we say, we and you. Thus he sent him with them.
 
Ayah   12:67   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
And he said, O my sons, do not enter, Egypt, by one gate, but enter by separate gates, lest the evil eye smite you. Yet I cannot avail, protect, you, by this that I have said, against God (min Allāhi: min is extra) anything, which He might have decreed against you; this [that I have said] is only out of affection [for you]. Judgement belongs to God, alone. On Him I rely, in Him I trust, and on Him let all the trusting rely.
 
Ayah   12:68   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
God, exalted be He, says: And when they entered in the manner which their father had bidden them, that is, separately, it did not avail them anything (min shayin: min is extra) against God, that is, [against] His decree; it was but a need in Jacobs soul which he [thus] satisfied, and this [need] was his desire to fend off the evil eye [from them], out of affection [for them]. And verily he was possessed of knowledge, because We had taught him; but most of mankind and they are the disbelievers do not know, [about] Gods inspiring His elect.
 
Ayah   12:69   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
And when they entered to Joseph, he took his brother into his arms, saying [to him]: Truly it is me, your brother, therefore do not despair, do not be grieved, at what they did, in the way of envying us. He commanded him not to tell them anything, and he [Joseph] agreed with him that he would devise a trick to keep him [Benjamin] with him.
 
Ayah   12:70   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
And when he had equipped them with their provision, he put the drinking-cup, a golden cup studded with jewels, into the saddlebag of his brother, Benjamin. Then a crier shouted, a herald cried, after they were dismissed from Josephs court: O cameleers, caravan, you are surely thieves!
 
Ayah   12:71   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
They said, after, coming towards them, What is it that you are missing?
 
Ayah   12:72   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
They said, We are missing the kings goblet, [his] cup. And he who brings it shall have a camels load, of food [supplies], and I will guarantee that, the [camels] load.
 
Ayah   12:73   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
251 They said, By God, (taLlāhi is an oath, entailing astonishment) You know very well that we did not come to work corruption in the land, and we are certainly not thieves, that is, we have never stolen [anything].
 
Ayah   12:74   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
They, the crier and his men, said, So, what shall be his requital, that is, the thiefs, if you prove to have been liars?, when you said, we are certainly not thieves, and [if] it is found among your belongings?
 
Ayah   12:75   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
They said, His requital (qālū jazāuhu: the subject, the predicate of which is [the following, man wujida fī rahlihi) shall be [the requital of] him in whose saddlebag it is found, that he be enslaved this is then reiterated by His words: He, the thief, shall be the requital for it, that is, [for] the stolen item, and nothing else: this was the customary practice of the family of Jacob. Thus, [with such] a requital, do we requite those who do evil, through theft. They thus permitted Joseph to have their saddlebags searched.
 
Ayah   12:76   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
And so he began with their sacks, and searched them, before his brothers sack, lest he be accused [of the theft]; then he pulled it, the drinking-cup, out of his brothers sack. God, exalted be He, says: Thus, [through such] contrivance, did We contrive for Joseph, [thus] We taught him how to devise a plot to take his brother; he, Joseph, could not have taken his brother, as a slave, on account of theft, according to the kings law, [according] to the laws of the king of Egypt since his [a thiefs] requital according to his law would have been a beating and a penalty of twice [the value of] the stolen item, but not enslavement unless God willed, for him to be taken according to the law of his father [Jacob]; in other words, he was only able to take him with Gods will, by Gods inspiring him to ask his brothers [about the nature of requital] and their responding according to [what is decreed by] their customary practice. We raise by degrees whom We will (read with a genitive annexation, darajāti man nashā, or [simply] with nunation, darajātin man nashā), in terms of knowledge, as [We did] with Joseph; and above every man of knowledge, from among creatures, is one who knows better, better than him [and so on] until it ends with God, exalted be He.
 
Ayah   12:77   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
They said, If he is stealing, a brother of his stole before, that is, Joseph he had stolen a golden idol from his maternal grandfather and smashed it, lest he worship it. But Joseph kept it secret in his soul and did not disclose it, manifest it, to them (the [suffixed] pronoun [in yubdi-hā, disclose it] refers to the word[s] in his [following] saying); he said, within himself: You are a worse case, than Joseph and his brother, because of your stealing a brother of yours from your father, and your wronging him. And God knows very well what you are describing, [what] you are mentioning with regard to him.
 
Ayah   12:78   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
They said, O Court officer, lo! he has a father, an aged man, who loves him more than we do, and who finds solace in him from [the anguish he feels for] his dead son; and it will grieve him to part with him, so take one of us, enslave him, in his place, instead of him: indeed we see that you are among the virtuous, in [terms of] your actions.
 
Ayah   12:79   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
He said, God forbid (maādhaLlāhi, [lit.] refuge is with God, is in the accusative because it is a verbal noun, the verb having been omitted and placed in a genitive annexation with its direct object, in other words, [understand it as] naūdhu biLlāhi, we seek refuge with God) that we should take anyone save him with whom we found our property he did not say [save] him who stole [our property], being careful not to lie; for then truly if we were to take anyone other than him we would be evildoers.
 
Ayah   12:80   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
252 So when they despaired of [moving] him, they withdrew to confer privately [together] (najiyyan is a verbal noun that can be used to refer to one person or more, in other words [understand it as meaning] yunājī baduhum badan, one conferring with the other). The most senior of them, in years Reuben or, [the most senior of them] in opinion Judah, said: Are you not aware that your father has taken a solemn pledge, a covenant, from you by God, concerning your brother, and formerly (wa-min qablu mā: the mā is extra) you failed regarding Joseph? (but it [the mā] is also said to be relating to the verbal action, [in other words it is] a subject, the predicate of which is min qabl, formerly). So I will never leave, part with, this land, the land of Egypt, until my father permits me, to return to him, or God judges for me, through the deliverance of my brother; and He is the best, the fairest, of judges.
 
Ayah   12:81   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
Go back to your father and say, O our father, your son has indeed stolen and we testified, against him, only regarding what we knew, from the certainty of having seen the [kings] cup in his saddlebag; we could not have guarded against the Unseen, that which was hidden from us, when we gave our pledge: had we known that he would steal, we would not have taken him [with us to Egypt].
 
Ayah   12:82   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
And ask the city in which we were namely Egypt in other words, send forth [someone] to ask its people, and the caravan, the men of the caravan, with which we approached and these were a group of Canaanites. Surely we speak the truth , in what we say. So they went back to him and told him as much.
 
Ayah   12:83   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
Nay, he said, but your souls have beguiled you into, have adorned [for you], something, and you did it: he accused them because of what had happened with them before concerning Joseph. Yet comely patience, will be my [course of] patience! It may be that God will bring them, Joseph and his two brothers, all [back] to me. Indeed He is the Knower, of my predicament, the Wise, in His actions.
 
Ayah   12:84   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
And he turned away from them, no longer addressing them, and said, Alas, my grief for Joseph! (yā asafā: the [final] alif [of asafā] has taken the place of the [possessive] yā of genitive annexation [sc. yā asafī], in other words [it means] yā huznī [O my sorrow]). And his eyes turned white, their dark colour was effaced and became white on account of his tears, with grief, for him, such that he was [filled] with suppressed agony, anguished and grief-stricken, but not manifesting his grief.
 
Ayah   12:85   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
They said, By God, you will never cease remembering Joseph until you are consumed, on the verge of perishing, on account of your illness (it [haradan, consumed] is a verbal noun equally [applicable] to one person or more) or you are of those who perish, [of] the dead.
 
Ayah   12:86   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
He said, to them: I complain of my anguish (bathth is) severe grief, which cannot be endured unless it is proclaimed [yubaththu] to others and grief only to God, not to any other than Him, for it is worth complaining to Him; and I know from God what you do not know, [and that is] that Josephs dream is true and that he is alive. Then he said:
 
Ayah   12:87   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
O my sons, go and enquire about Joseph and his brother, seek news of them, and do not despair of Gods [gracious] Spirit, His mercy. Indeed none despairs of the [gracious] Spirit of God save the disbelieving folk: 253 and so they departed to Egypt [to look] for Joseph.
 
Ayah   12:88   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
And so when they entered to him, they said, O Court officer, misfortune, hunger, has befallen us and our family; and we have come with reject merchandise, refused by any person who sees it, because of its worthlessness it consisted of counterfeit dirhams or something else so fill up, complete, for us the measure and be charitable to us, by overlooking the worthlessness of our merchandise; truly God requites the charitable, He rewards them: he [Joseph] thus took pity on them and he was overtaken by compassion [for them] and removed the partition between them and himself.
 
Ayah   12:89   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
Then, he said, to them, in rebuke: Do you realise what you did to Joseph, in the way of beating [him] and selling [him] and otherwise, and his brother, oppressing him, after having separated him from his brother, while you were ignorant?, of where the affair of Joseph will lead?
 
Ayah   12:90   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
They said after recognising him by his noble traits cautiously [inquiring]: Is it really (read a-innaka, either pronouncing both hamzas, or by not pronouncing the second, but in both cases inserting an alif) you, Joseph?. He said, I am [indeed] Joseph, and this is my brother. God has truly shown favour, He has been gracious, to us, by bringing [us] together. Verily if one fears, [if] one fears God, and endures, what happens to him, God does not waste the wage of those who are virtuous, in this [respect] (the overt noun [almuhsinīn, the virtuous] has replaced the [third person] pronominalisation).
 
Ayah   12:91   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
They said, By God, truly God has preferred you over us, with kingship and in other ways, and indeed we (wa-in: in is softened, in other words [it is understood as] innā, indeed we) have been erring, sinful towards you and treated you disgracefully.
 
Ayah   12:92   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
He said, There shall be no reproach, [no] blame, on you this day he specifically mentions this [day] because it was [the day] when they expected to be reproached, although any other day would have been more appropriate [for them to be reproached on]. God will forgive you, and He is the Most Merciful of the merciful.
 
Ayah   12:93   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
He [Joseph] asked them about his father; and they told him that his eyesight had gone. And so he said: Go with this shirt of mine and this was the shirt of Abraham, the one he wore when he was thrown into the fire; he [Joseph] had it around his neck when he was at the bottom of the well. It [the shirt] had come from Paradise: Gabriel commanded him [Joseph] to send it off [to Jacob] saying that the scent of Paradise lingers in it, and whenever it is cast upon a sufferer, it heals him and lay it on my fathers face, and he will recover his sight; and bring me all your folk.
 
Ayah   12:94   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
And as the caravan set forth, leaving behind the palm fields of Egypt, their father said, to those of his sons and their children present, Truly I sense the scent of Joseph which the east wind had brought to him, with Gods permission, across a distance of three or eight or more days journey; if only you did not think me doting, [if only] you [did not] regard me as foolish, you would believe me.
 
Ayah   12:95   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
254 They said, to him: By God, you are certainly in your misguidance, your error, of old, in your excessive adoration of him, and your [enduring] hope of encountering him [again] despite the length of time [that has passed].
 
Ayah   12:96   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
Then, when (fa-lammā an: an is extra) the bearer of good tidings, Judah, came, with the shirt he had [been the one who] brought the blood-stained shirt, and so now he wished to bring him joy, after he had [previously] brought him grief he laid it, he cast the shirt, on his face and he regained his sight. He said, Did I not say to you, Indeed I know from God what you do not know?
 
Ayah   12:97   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
They said, O our father, ask forgiveness for us of our sins; truly we have been sinful.
 
Ayah   12:98   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
He said, Assuredly I shall ask forgiveness for you of my Lord. Lo! He is the Forgiving, the Merciful: he [Jacob] put off this [plea of forgiveness] until [the last hour] before dawn, in order to be closer to [the likelihood of] it being accepted, or [he put it off] until the eve of Friday. They then departed for Egypt, where Joseph and the senior courtiers came out to meet them.
 
Ayah   12:99   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
And when they entered to Joseph, in his tent, he took his parents, his father and his mother or [and] his maternal aunt into his arms, and said, to them: Enter into Egypt, if God will, in safety, and they entered, and Joseph sat down on his throne.
 
Ayah   12:100   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
And he raised his parents, he seated them next to him, upon the throne, and they fell down, that is, his parents and brothers, prostrating before him a prostration that was [actually] a bowing down, not placing their foreheads down [on the ground]; this was their standard [form of] greeting at that time. Then he said, O father, this is the interpretation of my vision of old. Indeed my Lord has made it true. And indeed He has been gracious to me, since He brought me out of the prison he did not say out of the well, in [a show of] magnanimity, lest his brothers feel ashamed and has brought you from the desert after Satan had incited ill feeling, made trouble, between me and my brethren. Truly my Lord is Subtle in [bringing about] what He will. Truly He is the Knower, of His creatures, the Wise, in His actions. His father [Jacob] remained with him for 24 years, or for 17 years. The duration of his separation [from Joseph] had been 18, or 40, or 80 years. When death approached him, he charged Joseph to take him and bury him by his father [Isaac], and so he [Joseph] himself went and buried him there. He [Joseph] then returned to Egypt and remained [alive] for another 23 years.
 
Ayah   12:101   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
When he was nearing his end, realising that he would not remain [alive] forever, he longed for the everlasting kingdom and said: My Lord, indeed You have given me [something] of sovereignty and You have taught me the interpretation of events, the ability to explain dreams. Originator, Creator, of the heavens and the earth! You are my Protector, Guardian of my best interests, in this world and the Hereafter. Take me [in death] to You in submission [to You] and join me to the righteous, from among my fathers. He lived after that for another week or more. He died at the age of 120 years. The Egyptians were very covetous with regard to his grave; [eventually] they placed him in a marble coffin and buried him at the top of the Nile so that both banks would be blessed [by his body] Glory be to the One Whose Kingdom never ends.
 
Ayah   12:102   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
255 That, which is mentioned of the matter of Joseph, is of the tidings, the tales, of the Unseen, what has been hidden from you O Muhammad (s), which We reveal to you; for you were not with them, with Josephs brothers, when they agreed upon their plan, to plot against him, that is, [when] they resolved upon it, and schemed, against him; in other words, you were not present among them to know their story and so tell it to others: knowledge of it has come to you through revelation.
 
Ayah   12:103   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
Yet, most people, that is, the people of Mecca, however eager you might be, that they believe, will not believe.
 
Ayah   12:104   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
Nor do you ask them any wage, that you should take, for it, that is, [for] the Qurān it, namely, the Qurān, is but a reminder, an admonition, to all the worlds.
 
Ayah   12:105   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
And how many a sign, indicating the Oneness of God, is there in the heavens and the earth which they pass by, which they witness, but disregard!, not reflecting upon it.
 
Ayah   12:106   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
And most of them do not believe in God, such that they might affirm that He is the Creator and the Sustainer, without ascribing partners, to Him, by worshipping idols; which is why, when crying their [ritual] response to God, they used to say: At Your service, no partner have You, save a partner that belongs to You; You possess him and all that he possesses, meaning it [when they said it].
 
Ayah   12:107   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
Do they deem themselves secure from the coming upon them of a pall, a calamity enveloping them, of Gods chastisement, or the coming of the Hour upon them suddenly, while they are unaware?, of the time of its arrival beforehand?
 
Ayah   12:108   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
Say, to them: This is my way which He explains by saying: I call to, the religion of, God, being upon sure knowledge, plain proof, I and whoever follows me, [whoever] believes in me (man ittabaanī is a supplement to anā, I, the subject, predicated by what preceded [sc. being upon sure knowledge]). So Glory be to God!, [in affirmation] of His being exalted high above having partners, and I am not of the idolaters this [sentence] is also subsumed by the [explanation of] his statement about his way.
 
Ayah   12:109   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
And We did not send before you [any messengers] save men inspired by revelation (yūhā ilayhim: a variant reading has nūhī ilayhim, to whom We revealed) and not angels from among the people of the towns, the principal towns, since they are more knowledgeable and wiser than the people of the desert, who are crude and ignorant. Have they, the people of Mecca, not travelled in the land and seen the nature of the consequence for those who were before them?, that is, how they ended up, when they were destroyed for denying their messengers? And verily the abode of the Hereafter, that is, Paradise, is better for those who are wary, of God. Will they not understand? (read a-fa-lā yaqilūn, or a-fa-lā taqilūn. Will you not understand?), this, O people of Mecca, and so have faith?
 
Ayah   12:110   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
256 Until (hattā indicates the end [result] indicated by [the previous statement] wa-mā arsalnā min qablika illā rijālan, And We did not send before you [any messengers] save men [above, Q. 12:109]), that is, [to whom] Our support waned until, when the messengers despaired and thought, [when] the messengers were certain, that they were denied (read kudhdhibū, to mean [that they were denied] to such an extent that [they believed that] there would not be any [possible acceptance of] faith thereafter; or read kudhibū, to mean that the communities thought that their messengers had been lied to concerning the victory which they had been promised), Our help came to them and whomever We willed We delivered (read fa-nunajjī or fa-nunjī; or fa-nujjiya, as past tense, [whomever We wished] was delivered). And Our wrath, Our chastisement, cannot be averted from the sinning, the idolatrous, folk.
 
Ayah   12:111   الأية
 
Tafseer
 
Verily there is in their stories, that is, the messengers [stories], a lesson for people of pith, possessors of intellect. It, this Qurān, is not a fabricated, an invented, discourse but, it is, a confirmation of what was [revealed] before it, of scriptures, and a detailing, an elucidation, of everything, that one needs for [the proper observance of] religion, and a guidance, from error, and a mercy for a folk who believe: such [folk] are singled out for mention because they are the ones to benefit from it, to the exclusion of others.




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