THE PROPHET YUSUF

 

Prophet Yusuf's Dream Comes True (as)

PROPHET YUSUF (AS) IS REUNITED WITH HIS FAMILY

When Prophet Ya'qub (as) received the news, along with the evidence to support it, that Yusuf (as) was alive, the lie that his brothers had kept concealed for so long came to light. They had told their father that he had been killed and eaten by wolves, whereas Yusuf (as) was actually still alive. When this emerged, his children begged Prophet Ya'qub (as) to forgive them:

They said, "Our father, may we be forgiven for all the many wrongs that we have done. We were indeed greatly mistaken men." He said, "I will ask my Lord to pardon you. He is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful." (Surah Yusuf: 97-98)

On close inspection, Prophet Ya'qub (as) said he would seek forgiveness not immediately but at a later time. Why should Prophet Ya'qub (as) not have sought forgiveness for his children straight away? The wisdom in this may have been that he wished to see what their subsequent behaviour and attitude would be. He may have wanted to see whether they had really abandoned the error of their ways and were truly sincere. For that reason, it may be that he would pray for them when he had formed that opinion (Allah knows best, of course).

Yet as is made clear at the end of the verse, Prophet Ya'qub (as) also reminded them of Allah's compassionate and forgiving nature. He did that so that they might hope for forgiveness from Allah and turn to Him in sincere repentance.

The subsequent developments are related in the Qur'an in these terms:

Then when they entered into Yusuf's presence, he drew his parents close to him and said, "Enter Egypt safe and sound, if Allah wills." (Surah Yusuf: 99)

The first thing Prophet Yusuf (as) did when he met his family was to hold them to his breast and remind them that they were safe. It can be seen from this verse that embracing someone is a sincere expression of love. Reassuring someone that they are safe is a delicate gesture that allows them to relax. It must have been exceedingly reassuring for these people who had come on a long journey and experienced many vicissitudes to know that they were now comfortable and secure. This is exemplary behaviour for believers to follow. Putting a guest, a stranger or someone under one's roof at ease by assuring them that they are free to enjoy the safety and comfort of one's land or home is a beautiful gesture to which attention is drawn in the Qur'an.

Neither were the hospitality and subtlety of Prophet Yusuf (as) limited to this. The respect that Yusuf (as) showed his parents is described as follows in the Qur'an:

He raised his parents up onto the throne. They fell prostrate in front of him... (Surah Yusuf: 100)

Sitting his mother and father on a throne is a delightful expression of respect. They were older than him, and furthermore his father was a prophet whom Allah had strengthened with knowledge. They displayed great humility in the face of Yusuf's respectful behaviour (as).

Careful examination reveals that despite the fact that Prophet Yusuf (as) was their son and that they were much older than him, they treated him with great humility. It is stated in the verse that his family prostrated themselves before him. This must have been a widespread demonstration of respect according to the customs of the time, there is of course no implication of "worship" here. Among ignorant people in such circumstances pride enters into the equation and the parties involved hesitate to behave in a sincere and respectful manner. In ignorant societies people strongly avoid any expression of respect such as bowing, particularly to anyone who happens to be younger than them. However, the behaviour of Prophet Yusuf (as) and his family was based on respect, love and humility. This is a clear illustration of what a believing family should be like.

In this climate then, Prophet Yusuf (as) described everything that had befallen him and revealed the flawless workings of Allah's plan:

. "My father, truly this is now the interpretation of the dream I had. My Lord has made it all come true; and He was kind to me by letting me out of prison and brought you from the desert when satan had caused dissent between me and my brothers. My Lord is kind to anyone He wills. He is indeed All-Knowing and All-Wise." (Surah Yusuf: 100)

It will be recalled that Prophet Yusuf (as) had dreamt of eleven stars, the sun and moon prostrating themselves before him. The fact that years later his position was such that his mother, father and brothers showed him great esteem and bowed down before him out of respect, and the fact that his brothers in particular came into his presence when they had need of him was the fulfilment of that dream.

Further scrutiny again reveals that while Prophet Yusuf (as) was explaining all this, he called on Allah and praised His name, and he also explained that the events so far undergone by him and his family had all taken place as part of Allah's plan. This is the kind of exemplary understanding and speech that a believer should adopt.

Another characteristic of Prophet Yusuf (as) that is noteworthy here is the way in which he saw the positive side of everything and interpreted everything in a favourable manner. For example, he said that Allah had done him a kindness and freed him from the dungeon. This is very literally the kind of attitude befitting a believer, and proof that he looked at things with a positive and optimistic expectation. Prophet Yusuf (as) thus made it clear that he was on the side of Allah and avoided any kind of speech or behaviour that was negative or unappreciative of anything Allah creates. The fact that he said, "My Lord is kind to anyone He wills. He is indeed All-Knowing and All-Wise" is a demonstration of this. In this way, Prophet Yusuf (as) sets an example to all of the faithful.

Conclusion

THE SINCERE PRAYER OF PROPHET YUSUF (as)

Throughout this book we have discussed how exceedingly devoted to Allah Prophet Yusuf (as) was, how well protected he was by Him, and how often he called upon and gave thanks to Him. This can be seen in the following verse in which Allah inspires him with the following words:

"My Lord, You have granted power to me on earth and taught me the true meaning of events. Originator of the heavens and earth, You are my Friend in this world and the Next. So take me as a Muslim at my death and join me to the people who are righteous." (Surah Yusuf: 101)

As we have seen, Prophet Yusuf (as) was aware that all the attributes he possessed, both the material benefits and his knowledge and reason, had been given to him by Allah . Those who deny true religion, on the other hand, believe that they acquire everything through their own efforts, thus magnifying themselves in their own eyes and displaying ingratitude for Allah's blessings.

Prophet Yusuf's prayer (as) as recorded in the above verse is another expression of his faith and fear of Allah. Despite being a prophet chosen by Allah, he wishes to die as a believer and join the community of the righteous. Nothing is taken for granted with respect to his position in the hereafter. He has a genuine fear of Allah and calls upon Him in his need.

This is the kind of understanding and behaviour befitting a believer. Those who regard themselves as worthy of the Garden, who claim that as beloved servants of Allah they will definitely be saved in the hereafter, and who belittle other people in their pride, are in a heedless state. The true believer, on the other hand, is always submissive in the face of Allah , is always mindful of jeopardising His good pleasure, and acts with the humility this awareness brings with it.

The duty of every Muslim is to be a sincere, submissive, devout and humble believer, just like Prophet Yusuf (as) and to pray with all sincerity, "So take me as a Muslim at my death and join me to the people who are righteous."

Throughout this book we have been examining the life of Prophet Yusuf (as) in the light of the details given in the Qur'an. Our only reliable source of knowledge about his life is that provided for us by Allah. Beyond that, we have absolutely no right to add or subtract even a single word. Allah has in fact indicated this, revealing that everything that has been related regarding Prophet Yusuf (as) actually consists of unknown things. The story of Prophet Yusuf (as) concludes with these words:

This is news of the Unseen which We reveal to you. You were not with them when they decided what to do and devised their scheme. (Surah Yusuf: 102)

In revealing this information to us, Allah both teaches us important wisdom, which we can use in our own lives, and has also made it easier for us to take the prophets of the past as role models by allowing us to become acquainted with them. With the exception of true dreams (which as we have seen from the evidence of Prophet Yusuf's own life, are not ordinary or everyday occurrences), we have no opportunity of actually seeing Prophet Yusuf (as), Prophet Ya'qub (as) or any other prophet while we remain in this world. However, careful reading of the Qur'an and deep consideration of the lives of the prophets, seeing the environment they lived in and their exemplary behaviour clearly in our minds' eye and striving to understand it, may allow us to become acquainted with the prophets and to make use of their superior perceptiveness, spirituality and nearness to Allah.

Everyone who reads this book must therefore reflect upon it carefully. They must consider the wisdom of the prophets Ya'qub (as) and Yusuf (as) and work out how to make that wisdom part of their daily lives. If a person abandons hope in the face of the troubles and woes that befall him, or if he says, "This is going to be very difficult to put right, there is nothing we can do," when he sees the plight of Muslims, then we should know that this is terrible heedlessness. We should remember the patience, determination and firm, unshakeable faith in Allah of Prophet Yusuf (as), who was thrown down a well, then sold cheaply as a slave, slandered, imprisoned for no crime and abandoned there for years. That is how to rid oneself of defeatism and despair. We must remember that in spite of the calamitous events that befell Prophet Yusuf (as) that seemed to be so great on the surface, he was freed from them in a moment by the generosity and mercy of Allah, and secured a great blessing.

Never forget that in the present day, just like in the time of Prophet Yusuf (as), there is a flawless Divine plan operating in every single event, and that Allah creates everything that happens under His good auspices and wisdom. Do not forget that Allah has power over all things, and that He always helps those who have faith and are sincerely devoted to Him, who devoutly seek to serve Him and follow His Messenger (saas). He gives believers blessings at times when they are least expected, and helps them in unforeseen ways. A human being's sole duty is to worship Allah on the basis of these truths, and to live his life accordingly.


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This website is based on the works of Harun Yahya.