Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Virtues of Surah Yusuf (Lessons/Benefits)


The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, ‘Teach your relatives the recitation of Surah Yusuf, for, any Muslim who recites it or teaches it to his family and slaves, Allah shall ease for him the agony of death, and give him the strength that will prevent him from envying a fellow Muslim’

[Ibn Asakir]

Alhamdulillahi Rabbil Aalameen! We have completed the study of the BEST of narratives revealed by Allah (SWT) - Surah Yusuf. Before moving on to the next chapter, Insha Allah, I wanted to summarize the lessons from Surah Yusuf. 

Alhamdulillah, when I searched for material on the internet, I found an adaption of a friday khutbah given by Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid which explains the fruits that can be taken from the life of prophet Yusuf (may Allah be pleased with him).

This chapter relates the story of one of the noble prophets, peace be upon him, and
includes great admonitions and numerous benefits for the believers, as well as Islaamic
rulings which the scholars of Islaam have extracted from this wonderful story that Allaah
revealed to His Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam.

The story of Prophet Yusuf, peace be upon him, has a distinct, beautiful style, and neither the Jews nor the Christians have anything like it in their books, especially in such detail. The following are some of the extracted benefits:

“Certainly were there in Yusuf and his brothers signs for those who
ask.” [12: 7]

Preceding this verse, Allaah informed us how He showed His prophet, peace be upon
him, a strange dream and how the father of this prophet reacted by instructing his son
not to tell his brothers of that dream; from this we learn that a father should always
direct his children and give special attention to those who appear more interested, are
willing to learn and are talented.

l A good dream is from Allaah, and this is why his father told him not to inform his
brothers about it, because he knew that the dream would come true, and thus he
was afraid of them becoming jealous and harming him.

l It is permissible to conceal a favour which Allaah has bestowed upon a person if he
has good reason to do so; this is why Prophet Yusuf's father instructed him not
to mention the good dream, which was a favour from Allaah, lest his brothers
plot against or envy him.

l Satan can entice brothers to turn against each other and make them enemies of one
l A father should be just between all his children, and if any one of them requires
extra care, the father should attend to him in a way which would not create
hatred between that child and the others.
l Allaah chooses whom He pleases from amongst His slaves and favours them over
others, and this preference is a bounty from Him. For example, Allaah has made
us humans and not objects, believers and not infidels, and so on.
l A good home produces good children. Allaah says in the sixth verse:

“And thus will your Lord choose you and teach you the interpretation of
narratives [i.e. events or dreams] and complete His favour upon you and upon the family
of Ya'qoob, as He completed it upon your fathers before, Ibraaheem and Is-haaq.
Indeed, your Lord is Knowing and Wise.’” [12: 6]

l Jealousy often leads one to harm others, which is evident in how Prophet Yoosuf’s
brothers plotted to harm him. Furthermore, it could even lead to murder.
l Planning to repent after the commission of a sin, whilst preparing to embark upon
it, is not an acceptable form of repentance and will be rejected by Allaah, and
this is what the brothers of Yoosuf, peace be upon him, planned and said as
Allaah says in the ninth verse:

“Kill Yoosuf or cast him out to another land; the countenance [i.e.
attention] of your father will then be only for you, and you will be after that a righteous
people [i.e. you can repent thereafter].” [12: 9]

l If one fears that others may harm him, he should not suggest things to them which
they can use as a pretext to inflict the harm, such as when Yoosuf's father
suggested to his other sons that Yoosuf, peace be upon him, may get eaten by a
wolf, which they later used an excuse, claiming that Yoosuf, peace be upon him,
was indeed eaten by a wolf.
l Allaah made Yoosuf, peace be upon him, steadfast from the beginning of this story,
from when he was thrown in the well. Allaah says in the fifteenth verse:

“But We inspired to him: You will surely inform them [someday] about
this affair of theirs while they do not perceive [your identity].” [12: 15]

l People of insight are able to detect the pretence and falsehood of those who lie.
Allaah says in the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth verses:

“And they came to their father at night, weeping. They said, “O our
father, indeed we went racing each other and left Yoosuf with our possessions, and a
wolf ate him but you would not believe us, even if we were truthful. And they brought
upon his shirt false blood. [Ya’qoob] said, “Rather, your souls have enticed you to
something”” [12: 16-18]

l It is permissible to pass judgment upon having clear evidence, as in the case of
Yoosuf's father judging his other sons when he saw Yoosuf’s shirt without any
trace of a wolf’s bite on it.
l Racing on horses or camels and using bows and arrows is permissible, because these
things help one prepare for Jihaad, and likewise is the case for anything else
which would help one to prepare for Jihaad, and one is allowed to receive a
prize upon winning a contest in these activities. On the other hand, if it is an
activity which does not help in the preparation of Jihaad, then it is prohibited to
receive anything for it. A third type of competition is those in which people
compete without a prize involved, which is permissible generally, but some types
are prohibited regardless of the fact that no prizes are involved, such as cock
fighting, because it involves torturing animals or birds. As for boxing, it is
prohibited because it is centred on striking the opponents face, which is
prohibited; moreover, any competition which involves wearing clothing that
insufficiently covers one's ‘Awrah (i.e., the parts of the body that are
Islaamically required to be covered) is also prohibited.
l It is permissible to inform someone of your suspicions regarding his actions so that
perhaps he may repent and refrain from what he is plotting. Allaah says in the
eighty-third verse, that the father of Yoosuf, peace be upon him, said to his
other sons:

“Rather, your souls have enticed you to something so patience is most
fitting. Perhaps Allaah will bring them to me all together. Indeed, it is He who is the
Knowing, the Wise” [12: 83]

l The difference between ordinary patience and patience which is 'Most Fitting' is
that the latter, which is of a higher calibre, does not include complaining or
l It is recommended to give glad tidings to others. Allaah says in the nineteenth verse:

 “Good news! Here is a boy.” [Yoosuf: 19]

However, tidings could be bad as well as good, as Allaah says:

 “give them tidings of a painful punishment.” [Aal ‘Imraan: 21]

But the most common form of tidings is the good type. Additionally, it is permissible
to give a gift to the bringer of glad tidings, as was the case in the story of Ka’b, may
Allaah be pleased with him, who stayed behind during the Battle of Tabook; so when a
man brought him the news that Allaah had informed His Messenger sallallaahu
'alayhi wa sallam that Ka’b was forgiven, Ka'b may Allaah be pleased with him gave
that man a garment as a gift.

l Enslaving and selling a free person is one of the Great Major sins.
l Allaah bestowed a great favour upon Yoosuf, peace be upon him, by making him
grow up in a powerful and honourable household. Allaah informs us of the
saying of the minister of Egypt in the twenty-first verse where He says:

 “'Make his residence comfortable [i.e., Yoosuf's]. Perhaps he will benefit
us, or we will adopt him as a son.' And thus, We established Yoosuf in the
land.” [Yoosuf: 21]

l Allaah grants wisdom and knowledge to one who grows up in the obedience of
Allaah, as He says in the twenty-second verse:

 “And when he [i.e. Yoosuf] reached maturity, We gave him judgement and
knowledge. And thus We reward doers of good [i.e., righteous].” [Yoosuf: 22]

l It is dangerous to be alone with a woman whom one is Islamically allowed to marry.
Allaah says in the twenty-third verse:

 “And she, in whose house he was, sought to seduce him. She closed the
doors.” [Yoosuf: 23]

l The plot of this woman against Prophet Yoosuf, peace be upon him, was an evil one
and she exploited various means, such as:
 She attempted to seduce him and invited him to her. She initiated the evil, which
usually makes it easier for a man to respond to immorality. This is the reason why
one who resists the seduction of a beautiful and powerful woman will be of those
shaded by the Throne of Allaah on the Day of Resurrection.
He was of her household and not a stranger whose presence would arouse
suspicion among people.
She closed the doors, and no one could see them, which would facilitate
committing immorality.
He was young, which made it so much easier for him to respond to his strong
She was his owner, so he was duty bound to obey her.
He was a slave, who would not fear the spread of a scandal, unlike a free man.
He was a foreigner in her country.
 She was a beautiful and powerful woman.
Her husband had no protective jealousy over her, and even after he discovered
what had happened, he still did not take any action. In fact, all he said was as
Allaah says in the twenty ninth verse:

 “Yoosuf, ignore this [i.e. conceal it and act as if it had not taken
place]. And, [my wife], ask forgiveness for your sin” [Yoosuf: 29]

She sought the help of other women to seduce him.
 She threatened to imprison him.

l Allaah aids the righteous during their hardships and makes them steadfast, as He
says in the twenty-fourth verse:

“He would have inclined to her had he not seen the proof [i.e. sign] of his
Lord.” [Yoosuf: 24]
 There are many stories about what these signs from his Lord
were, but there is not a single authentic narration regarding any of them, so one
should accept them as is - signs with which Allaah protected him from committing
what is prohibited, and prevented him from following his natural human desires.

l One is unable to remain steadfast without the help of Allaah, as He says in the
twenty-fourth verse:

 “And thus [it was] that We should avert from him evil and immorality.
Indeed, he was of Our chosen servants.” [Yoosuf: 24]

l The testimony of a relative is stronger than that of a stranger, as Allaah says in the
twenty-sixth verse:

 “And a witness from her family testified.” [Yoosuf: 26]
Contrary to what is commonly known, the relative was, as Ibn ‘Abbaas may Allaah be pleased with him,
said: "…An old man with a beard."
l The scheming of women is extremely dangerous. Allaah says in the twenty-eighth
which means: “Indeed, your plan is great [i.e. vehement].” [Yoosuf: 28]

l Rumours spread rapidly. Allaah says in the thirtieth verse:

 “And women in the city said, 'The wife of al-’Azeez is seeking to seduce
her slave boy.'” [Yoosuf: 30]

l Prophet Yoosuf, peace be upon him, was extremely handsome - to the extent that he
charmed all the women who saw him. The Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam
said: “Yoosuf was given half the beauty of all of mankind.” Allaah says in the
thirty-first verse:

 “So when she heard of their scheming, she sent for them and prepared for
them a banquet and gave each one of them a knife and said [to Yoosuf], 'Come out
before them.' And when they saw him, they greatly admired him and cut their hands [So
distracted were they at the sight of him] and said, 'Perfect is Allaah [In His ability to
create such beauty]! This is not a man; this is none but a noble angel.'” [Yoosuf: 31]

l Angels are known for extraordinary beauty, and that is why the women resembled
Yoosuf’s beauty to that of the angels, as in the aforementioned verse.
l If a Muslim is in a situation where he can either obey Allaah and suffer, or disobey
Allaah, then it is best for him to persevere through what afflicts him as a result
of obedience. Allaah says in the thirty-third verse:

“He [i.e., Yoosuf] said, “My Lord, prison is more to my liking than that to
which they invite me.” [Yoosuf: 33] So he sought the help of Allaah, as Allaah says at
the end of this verse:

“And if You do not avert from me their plan, I might incline toward them
and [thus] be of the ignorant.’” [Yoosuf: 33]

Man without the help and support of Allaah is extremely weak and helpless.

l Allaah responds to the supplications of the righteous. Allaah says in the thirtyfourth

 “So his Lord responded to him and averted from him their plan. Indeed,
He is the Hearing, the Knowing.” [Yoosuf: 34]

He is All-hearing of the supplication,and All-knowing of the situation of the supplicant.

l Piety reflects on ones face, or else why would the inmates of prophet Yoosuf, peace
be upon him, say as Allaah says in the thirty-sixth verse:

 “We see you to be of those who do good [i.e., pious].” [Yoosuf: 36]
l One who calls people to Allaah and teaches them Islaam should first gain their trust
and then carry out his mission. Allaah says in the thirty-seventh verse:

“He said, “You will not receive food that is provided to you except that I
will inform you of its [i.e., the dream that the fellow inmates of Yoosuf had asked about]
interpretation before it comes to you. That is from what my Lord has taught me. Indeed, I
have left the religion of a people who do not believe in Allaah, and they, in the Hereafter,
are disbelievers.” [Yoosuf: 37]

l The first thing a propagator of Islaam should call to is Islaamic monotheism. Allaah
says in the thirty-eight verse:

 “And I have followed the religion of my fathers, Ibraaheem, Is-haaq and
Ya'qoob. And it was not for us to associate anything with Allaah.” [Yoosuf: 38]

Even though they had asked about the interpretation of a dream, it was incumbent
upon him to first teach them what was more important, just like the Prophet
sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam who answered a man who came asking him about when
the final Hour would occur, his reply was: “What have you prepared for it?” This is
because what is more important than the Hour is how one should prepare for it.

l Interpreting dreams is a form of passing an Islaamic ruling, or Fatwa, and this is
why the Islaamic scholars rule that it is forbidden for one who has no knowledge
of the subject to attempt to interpret.
l It is permissible to use Islaamically lawful means to rescue oneself, as Yoosuf, peace
be upon him, did when he requested his fellow surviving inmate to mention him
to the king, as Allaah says in the forty-second verse:

 “Mention me before your master.” [Yoosuf: 42]
l It is possible for a disbeliever to see a true dream, but rarely.
l Yoosuf, peace be upon him, did not ask for anything in return for interpreting the
dream of the king; he did not ask any recompense for knowledge.
l A good economic plan is to save during times of prosperity and ease for times of
adversity, in order to be able to cope with emergencies, as Yoosuf, peace be upon
him, guided the people to do in verses forty-seven and forty-eight:

“[Yoosuf] said, “You will plant for seven years consecutively; and what
you harvest leave in its spikes, except a little from which you will eat. Then will come
after that seven difficult [years] which will consume what you advanced [i.e. saved] for
them, except a little from which you will store.” [Yoosuf: 47-48]
l How did prophet Yoosuf, peace be upon him, include a fifteenth year when
interpreting the dream, when there was no mention of it in the forty-sixth verse,
where Allaah says:

 “Seven fat cows eaten by seven [that were] lean, and seven green spikes
[of grain] and others [that were] dry.” [Yoosuf: 46]

So this is something that Allaah must have taught him because had it been that the second set of seven years was not followed by a good year, which was the fifteenth year, then the number specified in the verse would not have been seven; so it was a must that the situation would change to a better one after the second set of seven years.

l A person who calls to Allaah and is wrongfully imprisoned should not leave prison
until his case becomes clear and his innocence is evident to people in order to
preserve his reputation and protect himself from scandal. Allaah informs us
about the response of prophet Yoosuf, peace be upon him, to the messenger of
the king when he came informing him that he would be allowed to be set free
after having interpreted the dream for the king, in the fiftieth verse:

 “Return to your master and ask him what is the case of the women who
cut their hands.” [Yoosuf: 50]

Then what happened? Allaah continues to say in the fifty-first verse:

 “[the king] said [to the women], 'What was your condition when you
sought to seduce Yoosuf?' They said, 'Perfect is Allaah [In His ability to create such
purity of character]! We know about him no evil.' The wife of al-’Azeez [i.e., the
minister] said, 'Now the truth has become evident. It was I who sought to seduce him,
and indeed, he is of the truthful.'” [Yoosuf: 51]

So it was after the truth was known and Yoosuf's case cleared that he agreed to come out of the prison – after the king commanded him to do so the second time.

l It is permissible to ask for a position of responsibility if one knows that he is capable
of shouldering it. Yoosuf, peace be upon him, clarified his abilities to the king,
and that in doing so he was asking for the benefit of the community and not a
personal gain, as Allaah says in the fifty-fifth verse:

 “[Yoosuf] said, “Appoint me over the storehouses of the land. Indeed, I
will be a knowing guardian.” [Yoosuf: 55]

l Allaah establishes the righteous upon the earth if they are sincere. Allaah says in the
fifty-sixth and fifty-seventh verses:

 “And thus We established Yoosuf in the land to settle therein wherever he
willed. We touch with Our mercy whom We will, and We do not allow to be lost the
reward of those who do good. And the reward of the Hereafter is better…” [Yoosuf: 56-

l No one will be established unless he is tested, as was the case of our Prophet
Muhammad sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, he was established in Madeenah only
after he had been tested in Makkah.

l Perseverance is of three levels:

During obedience to Allaah.

 In refraining from prohibitions.

Through the decrees of Allaah.

So perseverance has different levels: the first two are the highest and greatest, because
they are willingly performed, and the third level is not something which one does
willingly, as he has no control over the decrees of Allaah and no choice but to
persevere. Regarding this a question arises: which reflects a more perfect
perseverance in the story of Yoosuf, peace be upon him: his perseverance during the
trial of his brothers throwing him into the well, or his persevering through the wife of
the minister attempting to seduce him? Based on the above categorisation, his
perseverance through the attempted seduction reflects a more perfect perseverance.
Thus, Yoosuf, peace be upon him, practiced all three types of perseverance as he
continued to be obedient to his Lord, was just even after attaining authority, and
persevered during the trial of being thrown in the well - as well as when he was faced
with the temptation of fornication.

l Allaah says in the fifty-eighth verse:

 “And the brothers of Yoosuf came [i.e., seeking food], and they entered
upon him; and he recognized them, but he was to them unknown [Due to the change in
his appearance over the years].” [Yoosuf: 58]

But how did he recognise them whilst they could not recognise him? The answer is that he left them at a young age and it was roughly twenty-one years later that they came to him, because he grew up in the minister's house, then he was imprisoned for few years, and then they came after the first seven years of drought. On the other hand, they were older when they threw him in the well and thus their appearance did not change much. Additionally, they did not expect to ever see him again after throwing him in the well while he knew that he would see them again.

l The intelligence of Prophet Yoosuf, peace be upon him, is illustrated when he said to
his brothers, as Allaah says in the fifty-ninth verse:

 “Bring me a brother of yours from your father [i.e. bin Yameen, who had
been kept at home by his father Ya'qoob].” [Yoosuf: 59]

When he had furnished them
with their supplies and gave them what they wanted, he started asking them about where they came from and the number of people in their family, which is normal for someone who is in authority, and thus they informed him that they had a brother back
home with their father, and another who was killed. Upon hearing this from them, he
demanded that they bring their brother who was with the father, in order for him to
believe them, or else they would not receive any supplies. He used this as an excuse as
he missed his brother and wished to see him. It is evident in different parts of the story
that he, peace be upon him, was supported with revelations from Allaah, about
matters which otherwise could not have been known to him.

l A Muslim should be hospitable and supply travellers with their needs. Prophet
Yoosuf, peace be upon him, said as Allaah says at the end of the fifty-ninth

 “ …Do not you see that I give full measure and that I am the best of
accommodators?” [Yoosuf: 59]

This was specifically directed to his brothers, as well as to people in general.

l It is permissible to use lawful trickery to achieve one's Islaamically permissible
objective. Prophet Yoosuf, peace be upon him, commanded his servants to place
food in his brother's bags without them knowing, so that when they returned
home they would think that they had taken the food without payment, which
would encourage them to return to pay for the food – and thus bring their other
brother along with them.

l A believer should not be stabbed twice in the same place, and this is why when
Yoosuf's brothers returned to their father and told him that he requested that
they bring their other brother to him, he replied as Allaah says in the sixtyfourth

 “Should I entrust you with him except [under coercion] as I entrusted you
with his brother before?” [Yoosuf: 64]

 A believer should be clever and aware, draw lessons from what happens to him, and aim to prevent it from recurring.

l Relying on Allaah is what prevents evil from taking place, and that is what Yoosuf's
father Prophet Ya’qoob, peace be upon him, did which is apparent from his
saying, as Allaah tells us, at the end of the sixty-fourth verse:

 “ …But Allaah is the best guardian, and He is the most merciful of the
merciful.” [Yoosuf: 64]

l Being kind and generous to people is a means of attracting them and winning their
hearts. Prophet Yoosuf’s brothers said to their father about the generosity of
Yoosuf, peace be upon him, as Allaah says in the sixty-fifth verse:

 “O our father, what [more] could we desire? This is our merchandise
returned to us. And we will obtain supplies [i.e. food] for our family and protect our
brother and obtain an increase of a camel’s load; that is an easy measurement [i.e.,
obtained by us with ease].” [Yoosuf: 65]

l It is recommended for a person to take a pledge from another with whom he is
about to deal if he thinks that there is a risk in trusting him, and that is why
Prophet Ya’qoob, peace be upon him, said to his sons when they requested that
he allow them to take their other brother to see Yoosuf, peace be upon him, as
Allaah says in the sixty-sixth verse:

 “[Ya'qoob] said, 'Never will I send him with you until you give me a
promise [i.e. oath] by Allaah that you will bring him [back] to me.'” [Yoosuf: 66]

l A person is excused by Allaah if he is forced to do something that is wrong, which is
extracted from the saying Ya'qoob, peace be upon him, when he said to his sons,
as Allaah says in the sixty-sixth verse:

 “ …unless you should be surrounded [i.e. overcome by
enemies].” [Yoosuf: 66]

 He wanted them to come back with their brother if conditions were normal, but if they were overpowered by circumstances beyond their control, then they were excused.

l Declaring reliance on Allaah after concluding an agreement increases its blessings
and reminds both parties of what they have committed themselves to do, and
thus Prophet Ya’qoob, peace be upon him, said at the end of the sixty-sixth
verse, as Allaah says:

 “… And when they had given their promise, he said, 'Allaah, over what
we say, is Witness.'” [Yoosuf: 66]

l Utilising means to prevent the effect of the evil eye is permissible, as Prophet
Ya’qoob, peace be upon him, said to his children in the sixty-seventh verse,
where Allaah says:

 “And he said, “O my sons, do not enter from one gate but enter from
different gates.” [Yoosuf: 66]

His children were male, numerous and handsome, all of which could invite an evil eye, and thus them not showing up at one time from the same place was better for them.

l A Muslim should avoid matters that may cause others to be suspicious of him, and
thus another reason for them not to enter collectively from the same door at the
same time was that people may have thought that they intended evil, since at
that time, cities had gates which closed and opened at certain times, and so if
eleven men were to all enter at the same time, people might have thought that
they were a gang intending destruction.
l Utilising all possible worldly means does not stop the decree of Allaah from
occurring, and when ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allaah be pleased with him, was asked
about the hoopoe bird which is given a great attribute by Allaah in being able to
detect water underground, yet a small child is able to trap it, he replied:
“Precaution does not protect against that which has been decreed.” Nonetheless,
we must utilise all worldly means. Prophet Ya’qoob, peace be upon him, said as
in the sixty-eighth verse, where Allaah says:

 “And when they entered from where their father had ordered them, it did
not avail them against Allaah at all except [it was] a need [i.e. concern] within the soul of
Ya'qoob, which he satisfied. And indeed, he was a possessor of knowledge because of
what We had taught him, but most of the people do not know.” [Yoosuf: 66]

 It is more likely for something disliked to occur if means are not utilised. Moreover, utilizing means does not contradict reliance on Allaah.

l One should be generous to his blood brother. Prophet Yoosuf, peace be upon him,
brought his blood brother close to himself and gave each two of his other
brothers (from a different mother) a room; he gave his blood brother a room to
himself, and said to him, as Allaah says in the sixty-ninth verse:

 “Indeed, I am your brother so do not despair over what they used to do
[ie., to me].” [Yoosuf: 69]

l Prophet Yoosuf, peace be upon him, used lawful trickery to keep his brother. Allaah
says in the seventy and seventy-first verses:

 “So when he [i.e. Yoosuf] had furnished them with their supplies, he put
the [gold measuring] bowl into the bag of his brother. Then an announcer called out, 'O
caravan, indeed you are thieves'. They [i.e., the brothers] said while approaching them,
'What is it you are missing?'” [Yoosuf: 70-71]

l It is permissible for one to give a fee in return for someone finding a lost item for
him, or to hire someone to carry out a task, even if the task is unspecified - as
long as the fee is specified. Allaah says in the seventy-second verse:

 “They [i.e., the workers of Yoosuf] said, 'We are missing the measure of
the king. And for he who produces it is [the reward of] a camel’s load.'” [Yoosuf: 72]

l After this, Yoosuf, peace be upon him, progressively led his brothers into a trap by
asking, as mentioned in the seventy-fourth verse:

 “Then what would be its recompense [i.e., the punishment for
theft]?” [Yoosuf: 74]

So he led them to state the punishment themselves, which was at that time enslavement of the thief to the owner of what was stolen, which consequently enabled Yoosuf, peace be upon him, to keep his brother with him. His brothers
replied, as Allaah says in the seventy-fifth verse:

 “'Its recompense is that he in whose bag it is found - he [himself] will be
its recompense [a convicted thief was made a slave of the one from whom he had
stolen].'” [Yoosuf: 75]

l When one wishes to do something, he must exert all means and efforts to make it
successful. Allaah says in the seventy-sixth verse:

 “So he began [the search] with their bags before the bag of his brother;
then he extracted it from the bag of his brother.” [Yoosuf: 76]
Had he started with his blood brother’s bag, his trick may have been exposed and discovered, so instead he started with the other brothers and then searched his blood brother’s. Allaah had decreed that he would keep his brother, so He facilitated the matter for him without leaving any room for doubt from his other brothers.

l Honouring pledges is extremely important in Islaam, and a Muslim must have a
sense of responsibility and try his utmost to fulfil whatever he pledges to do.
When the brothers gave up on retrieving their accused brother from Yoosuf,
peace be upon him, they conducted a meeting as Allaah says in the eightieth

 “So when they had despaired of him, they secluded themselves in private
consultation. The eldest of them said, 'Do you not know that your father has taken upon
you an oath by Allaah…?'” [Yoosuf: 80]

The eldest brother felt the responsibility of the pledge that they had given to their father and refused to leave until their father gave them all his permission to return without their younger brother, or until they found a way to solve the problem with the accused brother. This reflects that the brothers had changed from the time they had thrown Yoosuf, peace be upon him, in the well, and that they had repented to Allaah.

l One must provide evidences to prove what he claims if he feels that people do not
believe him, as Yoosuf’s brothers did to their father, as Allaah says in the
eighty-second verse:

 “And ask the city in which we were and the caravan in which we came -
and indeed, we are truthful.” [Yoosuf: 82]
Meaning: ask other sources to confirm our story.

l One must always think good of Allaah as this is one of the implications of Islaamic
Monotheism. Despite Ya’qoob, peace be upon him, being away from his son
Yoosuf, peace be upon him, for more than ten years, he said as Allaah says in the
eighty-third verse:

 “Perhaps Allaah will bring them [i.e., his sons] to me all
together.” [Yoosuf: 83]
l Crying does not contradict having patience. Allaah says about prophet Ya'qoob,
peace be upon him, in the eighty-fourth verse:

 “And he turned away from them and said, 'O my sorrow over Yoosuf!'
and his eyes became white [i.e. he lost his sight] from grief.” [Yoosuf: 84]

A question arises here: what is the difference between crying over a deceased loved one
And wailing? The former is permitted, as the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam cried
over a boy who died whilst in his lap, whereas wailing entails discontentment with the
decree of Allaah, and usually involves tearing one's clothes and slapping one's face;
this is one of the Great Major sins, and the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said:
“One who tears his (or her) clothes and slaps his (or her) face (when afflicted) is not
from us.” Moreover, the consequences of this are severe and entail a painful
punishment in the Hereafter.

l A Muslim should only complain to Allaah and must not complain about the decrees
of Allaah to others, because this is complaining about Allaah. Allaah informs us
about the words of Prophet Ya’qoob, peace be upon him, in the eighty-sixth
verse saying:

 “I only complain of my suffering and my grief to Allaah.” [Yoosuf: 86]

l There is a difference between spying and gathering information by asking or
listening to people speaking in public gatherings in order to achieve something
beneficial, which is generally permissible.
l It is prohibited to feel despair and give up on the mercy of Allaah because it
contradicts Islaamic Monotheism.
l Allaah supports the oppressed, even if this support comes after a while. He grants
the oppressed a high rank if he perseveres and is pious. Yoosuf’s brothers came
to him humiliated and begging for food after they had treacherously conspired
against him. Allaah says in the eighty-eighth verse:

 “They said, ‘O ‘Azeez [i.e., prophet Yoosuf, who was at that time the
minister in charge of supplies], adversity has touched us and our family, and we have
come with goods poor in quality, but give us full measure and be charitable to us. Indeed,
Allaah rewards the charitable.” [Yoosuf: 88]

l One should not take revenge from those who have harmed him and should try to
stop agonies which befall others whenever he can. Prophet Yoosuf, peace be
upon him, could have taken revenge from his brothers for having thrown him in
the well, but instead he sympathized with their situation and revealed his true
identity to them, he stated in the eighty ninth and ninetieth verses as Allaah

 “He said, “Do you know what you did with Yoosuf and his brother when
you were ignorant?” They said, 'Are you indeed Yoosuf?' He said, 'I am Yoosuf, and this
is my brother… '” [Yoosuf: 89-90]

l Allaah greatly rewards one who combines patience and piety in himself, as Yoosuf,
peace be upon him, said as Allaah says in the ninetieth verse:

 “ …Indeed, he who fears Allaah and is patient, then indeed, Allaah does
not allow to be lost the reward of those who do good.'” [Yoosuf: 90]

l One should not become arrogant and be deceived by the greatness that he achieves;
he must attribute all credit to Allaah, as were the words of Yoosuf, peace be
upon him, as in the above mentioned ninetieth verse:

 “ …He said, “I am Yoosuf, and this is my brother. Allaah has certainly
favoured us… ” [Yoosuf: 90]

l One should forgive when he is able to.
l One should supplicate for the forgiveness of those who have wronged him. Yoosuf,
peace be upon him, said to his brothers as Allaah says in the ninety-second

…May Allaah forgive you… ” [Yoosuf: 92]

l Prophet Yoosuf, peace be upon him, had miracles like all the other prophets of
Allaah, and among them were that his shirt caused his father Ya’qoob, peace be
upon him, to regain his eyesight when it was thrown over his face.
l One who has good news should be the first among the group he is in to reach the
one to whom he is carrying the good news. Allaah says in the ninety-sixth verse:

“And when the bearer of good tidings [He who carried Yoosuf’s shirt from
among the brothers] arrived… ” [Yoosuf: 96]

Furthermore, it is recommended to gift a bringer of good news.

l One should ask his father to ask Allaah to forgive him when he is undutiful towards
him; this is the expiation for undutifulness to one's father. Allaah says in the
ninety-seventh verse:

 “They said, 'O our father, ask for us forgiveness of our sins; indeed, we
have been sinners.'” [Yoosuf: 97]

l One should supplicate during the times in which supplications are more likely to be
answered, and that is why Prophet Ya’qoob, peace be upon him, did not
supplicate for the forgiveness of his sons immediately. Allaah says in the ninetyseventh

“He said, 'I will ask forgiveness for you from my Lord.'” [Yoosuf: 97]

Some scholars have said that he delayed his supplication until the last third of the
night to have a better chance of it being accepted.

l A Muslim is obliged to be dutiful to his parents. Yoosuf, peace be upon him,
honoured his parents and embraced them, as in the ninety-ninth verse:

 “And when they entered upon Yoosuf, he took his parents to himself [i.e.
embraced them].” [Yoosuf: 99]

l A Muslim should comfort the fearful, as Yoosuf, peace be upon him, did with his
parents. Allaah says in verses ninety-nine and one-hundred:

 “'Enter Egypt, Allaah willing, safe [and secure].' And he raised his
parents upon the throne.” [Yoosuf: 99-100]

This is exactly what a fearful person would be seeking, and raising them upon the
throne was as an additional way of honoring them.

l The interpretation of a dream can come true many years from the time it was seen.
l One should acknowledge the favors upon him from Allaah. Allaah says in the one hundredth

“ …He [i.e., Allaah] was certainly good to me [i.e., Yoosuf] when He took
me out of prison and brought you [here] from Bedouin life... ” [Yoosuf: 100]

l One should not try to embarrass others or hurt their feelings, and that is why
Prophet Yoosuf, peace be upon him, did not blame his brothers, which reflects
his lofty manners, instead he said, as Allaah says in the one-hundredth verse:

“ …After Satan had induced [estrangement] between me and my
brothers… ” [Yoosuf: 100]

l The mercy of Allaah is great; He did not cause Yoosuf, peace be upon him, to die
whilst in the well, nor remain imprisoned.
l Allaah can unite people after they lose hope of even meeting again.
l After Allaah perfects His favours upon a believer, he (i.e., a believer) should
supplicate that Allaah causes him to die in the state of Islaam. After Yoosuf,
peace be upon him, had achieved everything he sought in terms of might, power,
wealth and reunion with his family, he said, as Allaah says in the one-hundred
and first verse:

 “'My Lord, You have given me [something] of dominion and taught me of
the interpretation of dreams. Creator of the heavens and earth, You are my protector in
this world and the Hereafter. Cause me to die a Muslim and join me with the
righteous.'” [Yoosuf: 101].

May Allah (SWT) help us to extract the essence present in this beautiful story - Ameen.


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