بسم الله الرحمان الرحيم
Bismi Allahi alrrahmani alrraheemi
In the name of God, the Gracious, the Compassionate.
In the name of God, the Almighty, the Merciful.
In the name of God, The Most Gracious, The Dispenser of Grace:
In the name of GOD, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. ,
All praise is due to God, the Lord/Cherisher/Sustainer of the Universe and everything therein.
Bismillâhir rahmânir rahîm.
Rahman, Rahim Allah'ın ismiyle
Rahman ve Rahim Allah'ın adıyla...
RAHMÂN, RAHÎM ALLAH ADINA
Rahman ve Rahim olan Allah'ın adıyla
12:1 Alif-lam-ra tilka ayatualkitabi almubeenu
12:1 A1L30R200. These are the signs of the clarifying book.1
12:1 ALR, these are the signs of the clarifying Book.
12:1 Alif. Lam. Ra.1 THESE ARE MESSAGES of a revelation clear in itself and clearly showing the truth:2
See Appendix II.
The participial adjective mubin may denote an attribute of the noun which it qualifies ("clear", "manifest", "obvious", etc.) as well as its function ("making clear" or "manifesting", i.e., the truth), either of which meanings is dictated by its context. In the consensus of authoritative opinion, both these meanings are comprised in the above instance; consequently, a compound phrase is necessary in order to render the term appropriately.
12:1 A.L.R. These (letters) are proofs of this profound scripture.,1
The Quranic initials constitute a major component of a great miracle(Appendix 1).
12:1 A.L.R. Alif–Laam-Ra. (Allah, Lateef the Unfathomable, Raaziq the Provider, states that), These are the messages of a revelation clear in itself and clearly showing the truth.1
This is the 12th Surah of the Qur’an. It has 111 verses. In this Surah, the story of Prophet Joseph (Yusuf) is narrated. As usual, the Qur’an validates certain Biblical accounts while correcting the errors that were intermingled with the passage of time. And the Sublime purpose of the Book, even in historical accounts, consistently remains enlightenment for the reader. Prophet Jacob titled Israel, was the son of Isaac and the grandson of Abraham. Jacob had twelve sons from four wives. Joseph the second youngest and Benjamin (Binyamin), the youngest had the same mother (Rachel). Joseph was born about 1700 BC in Hebron, Palestine, and according to the Bible died at the age of 110. There are two mandatory qualities for being a good leader: Sincerity and Competence.
Note that the Egyptian head of state of Prophet Joseph's era referred as ‘Malik’ (Ruler or King) in the Qur’an and not as Pharaoh, the word that appears erroneously in the book of Genesis. The term Pharaoh came in use only for kings after 1500 BC which historians call the New Kingdom. Prophet Joseph lived around 1700 BC during the Old Kingdom, that of Amalekites. In the story of Moses, the Qur’an uses the term Pharaoh for the Egyptian ruler. Moses lived around 1400 BC during the New Kingdom, that of Pharaohs.
With the Glorious Name of God, the Instant and Sustaining Source of all Mercy and Kindness
12:2 Inna anzalnahu qur-ananAAarabiyyan laAAallakum taAAqiloona
12:2 We have sent it down an Arabic Quran/recitation, perhaps you will reason.2
For an alternative understanding of this verse see 43:3.
12:2 We have sent it down an Arabic revelation, perhaps you will comprehend.
12:2 behold, We have bestowed it from on high as a discourse in the Arabic tongue, so that you might encompass it with your reason.3
This, according to Zamakhshari, is the meaning of la'allakum ta'gilun in the above context. Although they were in the first instance addressed to the Arabian contemporaries of the Prophet, these two verses apply to all people, whatever their origin, who understand the Arabic language. They are meant to impress upon everyone who listens to or reads the Qur'an that its appeal is directed, primarily, to man's reason, and that "feeling" alone can never provide a sufficient basis of faith. (See also 13:37 and 14:4, as well as the corresponding notes.)
12:2 We have revealed it an Arabic Quran, that you may understand.2 ,
Why was the Quran revealed in Arabic? See 41:44 and Appendix 4
12:2 Indeed, We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur’an (in the most eloquent language) so that you might encompass it with your reason. (‘Arabiyyan’ = Most eloquent tongue).
12:3 Nahnu naqussu AAalayka ahsanaalqasasi bima awhayna ilayka hathaalqur-ana wa-in kunta min qablihi lamina alghafileena
12:3 We relate to you the best stories through what We have inspired to you in this Quran; and before it you were of those who were unaware.
12:3 We tell to you the best stories through what We have inspired to you in this Qur'an; and before it you were of those who were unaware.
12:3 In the measure that We reveal4 this Qur'an unto thee, [O Prophet,] We explain it to thee in the best possible way,5 seeing that ere this thou wert indeed among those who are unaware [of what revelation is].6
Or: "By Our having revealed".
At this point in his commentary, Razi draws the reader's attention to 42:52 - "thou didst not know what revelation is, nor what faith [implies]": a passage similar in purport to the closing words of the above verse; hence my addition, between brackets, of the phrase "of what revelation is".
12:3 We narrate to you the most accurate history through the revelation of this Quran. Before this, you were totally unaware.,
12:3 We reveal this Qur’an to you (O Prophet) and explain it in the best possible way, seeing that before this you were unaware of what revelation is.
12:4 Ith qala yoosufu li-abeehi yaabati innee raaytu ahada AAashara kawkaban waalshshamsawaalqamara raaytuhum lee sajideena
An Adventure Starting with a Dream12:4 When Joseph said to his father: "My father, I have seen eleven planets and the sun and the moon, I saw them prostrating before me."3
The dream perhaps has another prophetic meaning besides the one related to Joseph's family. For Joseph and his family, the dream was fulfilled about 2600 years ago with a good ending (12:100). As for the other meaning of the dream, it is still waiting to be fulfilled. Does this allegory give us a clue regarding the number of planets in the solar system? The number of planets in our solar system may ultimately be determined by the conventional definition of astronomers and remain controversial for long time to come. Interestingly, the differences between planets and the controversy around them too resemble the differences between brothers and half brothers and their acceptance and dynamics in the family. The Old Testament narrates the same dream; however, because of transnational errors, the word "planet" in the dream is translated as "star" (Genesis 37:9 ). The story of Joseph starting with his dream when he was seventeen years-old, takes several chapters in Genesis, from chapter 37 to 50, its last chapter.
12:4 When Joseph said to his father: "My father, I have seen eleven planets and the sun and the moon, I saw them prostrating to me."
12:4 LO!7 Thus spoke Joseph unto his father: "O my father! Behold, I saw [in a dream] eleven stars, as well as the sun and the moon: I saw them prostrate themselves before me!"
The particle idh is usually a time-reference, and can in most cases be translated as "when". Occasionally, however, it is used as a corroborative particle meant to draw the reader's (or hearer's) attention to the sudden occurrence of a thing (Mughni, Qamus, Taj al-'Arus ), or-as is often the case in the Qur'an-to a turn in the discourse: and in such instances it is suitably rendered as "lo" or "now".
12:4 Recall that Joseph said to his father, "O my father, I saw eleven planets, and the sun, and the moon; I saw them prostrating before me.",
12:4 Thus spoke Joseph to his father, "O My father! I have seen in a dream eleven stars, and the sun, and the moon. I saw them bowing to me in honor!"
12:5 Qala ya bunayya la taqsusru/yaka AAala ikhwatika fayakeedoo laka kaydan innaalshshaytana lil-insani AAaduwwun mubeenun
12:5 He said, "O my son, do not relate your dream to your brothers, or they will scheme against you. The devil is to human being a clear enemy."
12:5 He said: "O my son, do not tell your vision to your brothers, or they will plan against you. The devil is to man a clear enemy."
12:5 [Jacob] replied: "O my dear son!8 Do not relate thy dream to thy brothers lest [out of envy] they devise an evil scheme against thee; verily, Satan is man's open foe!9
See surah 11, note 65.
As in the Biblical account of Joseph's story, the Qur'an shows that Jacob did not fail to understand the meaning of his son's dream-vision of future greatness, with the eleven stars symbolizing his brothers, and the sun and the moon his parents. But whereas the Bible quotes the father as "rebuking" his son (Genesis xxxvii, 10) in the obvious assumption that the dream was an outcome of wishful thinking, the Qur'an makes it clear that Jacob - who was himself a prophet - at once realized its prophetic quality and its deeper implications.
12:5 He said, "My son, do not tell your brothers about your dream, lest they plot and scheme against you. Surely, the devil is man's worst enemy.,
12:5 Jacob replied, "O My dear son! Do not relate your dream to your brothers lest they plot a scheme against you. Surely, Satan (selfish ego) is man’s open enemy."
12:6 Wakathalika yajtabeeka rabbukawayuAAallimuka min ta/weeli al-ahadeethi wayutimmuniAAmatahu AAalayka waAAala ali yaAAqooba kamaatammaha AAala abawayka min qablu ibraheemawa-ishaqa inna rabbaka AAaleemun hakeemun
12:6 As such, your Lord has chosen you, and He teaches you the interpretation of dreams, and He completes His blessings upon you and upon the descendants of Jacob, as He completed it for your fathers before that, Abraham and Isaac. Your Lord is Omniscient, Wise.4
From Joseph's dream we learn that he will have a bright future. That is, when his jealous brothers were plotting against him, his future was already determined by God. How can God's knowledge of a future event leave any room for free choice? See 57:22. For sleep, see 25:47.
Do we receive symbolic information regarding future events through our dreams? We may infer such a function from these and other episodes reported in this chapter, or we may understand it to be a series of extraordinary events which were created by God specifically to help the Children of Israel in that period. It is obvious that interpretation of dreams was a divinely inspired "knowledge" specifically given to Joseph. However, being the subject of prophetic dreams, as it seems, is not limited to being a messenger of God.
The Book of Genesis of the Old Testament allocates several chapters, from 37 to 50, to the story of Joseph, starting with his dream and the following events. The Quranic story has many parallel lines with the Biblical story; though with some variations.
The Bible contains many references to dreams, especially as a way of divine communication. For instance, Jacob (Genesis 28:12 ; 31:10), Laban (Genesis 31:24 ), Joseph (Genesis 37:9-11 ), Gideon (Judge 7:1), and Solomon (1King 3:5). Abimelech (Genesis 20:3-7 ), Pharaoh's chief butler and baker (Genesis 40:5 ), Pharaoh (Genesis 41:1-8 ), the Midianites (Judge 7:13), Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 2:1 ; 4:10), the wise men from the east (Matthew 2:12 ), and Pilate's wife (Matthew 27:19 ).
12:6 And as such, your Lord has chosen you, and He teaches you the interpretation of the narrations, and He completes His blessings upon you and upon the descendants of Jacob, as He completed it for your fathers before that, Abraham and Isaac. Your Lord is Knowledgeable, Wise.
12:6 For, [as thou hast been shown in thy dream,] even thus will thy Sustainer elect thee, and will impart unto thee some understanding of the inner meaning of happenings,10 and will bestow the full measure of His blessings upon thee and upon the House of Jacob -even as, aforetime, He bestowed it in full measure upon thy forefathers Abraham and Isaac. Verily, thy Sustainer is all-knowing, wise!"
Lit., "sayings". or "tidings" (ahadith). Most of the commentators assume that this refers specifically to Joseph's future ability to interpret dreams; but Razi points out that in this context the term hadith (of which ahadith is the plural) may be synonymous with hadith ("something that newly comes into existence", i.e., "an event" or "a happening"). This is, to my mind, much more convincing than a mere reference to dream-interpretation, the more so as the term ta'wrl is often used in the Qur'an (e.g., in 3:7, 10:39 or 18:78) in the sense of "final meaning", "inner meaning" or "real meaning" of a happening or statement or thing, as distinct from its outward, prima-facie appearance. The use of the particle min ("of") before the term ta'wil indicates that absolute knowledge of what a thing or event implies rests with God alone (cf. 3:7 - "none save God knows its final meaning"), and that even God's elect, the prophets-albeit their vision is much wider than that of ordinary men-are granted only a partial insight into the mysteries of God's creation.
12:6 "Your Lord has thus blessed you, and has given you good news through your dream. He has perfected His blessings upon you and upon the family of Jacob, as He did for your ancestors Abraham and Isaac before that. Your Lord is Omniscient, Most Wise.",
12:6 "Your Lord will elect you and give you outstanding insight into the reality of things. He will perfect His grace upon you, and upon the House of Jacob, as He perfected it upon your forefathers, Abraham and Isaac. Your Lord is Knower, Wise.”
12:7 Laqad kana fee yoosufa wa-ikhwatihi ayatunlilssa-ileena
12:7 It is thus that in Joseph and his brothers are signs for those who seek.
12:7 In Joseph and his brothers are signs for those who seek.
12:7 Indeed, in [the story of] Joseph and his brothers there are messages for all who search [after truth].11
Lit., "those who inquire".
12:7 In Joseph and his brothers there are lessons for the seekers.,
12:7 In the story of Joseph and his brothers there are messages for all with a seeking mind.
12:8 Ith qaloo layoosufu waakhoohu ahabbuila abeena minna wanahnu AAusbatuninna abana lafee dalalin mubeenin
12:8 For they said, "Joseph and his brother are more loved by our father than us, while we are a gang. Our father is clearly misguided."
12:8 For they said: "Joseph and his brother are more loved by our father than us, while we are a numerous group. Our father is clearly misguided."
12:8 NOW [Joseph's brothers] spoke [thus to one another:] "Truly, Joseph and his brother [Benjamin] are dearer to our father than we, even though we are so many.12 Behold, our father is surely suffering from an aberration!"13
Lit., "a company" or "group". Benjamin was Joseph's full brother-both being sons of Jacob's wife Rachel-whereas the other ten were only his half-brothers.
Lit., "is in most obvious error".
12:8 They said, "Joseph and his brother are favored by our father, and we are in the majority. Indeed, our father is far astray.,
12:8 Joseph’s brothers spoke thus to one another, "Joseph and his brother (Benjamin) are more favored by our father even though we are so many. Our father is obviously in error.”
12:9 Oqtuloo yoosufa awi itrahoohuardan yakhlu lakum wajhu abeekum watakoonoo min baAAdihiqawman saliheena
The Evil Whisperer12:9 "Kill Joseph or cast him in the land, then your father's favor will be all yours, and after that you will be a reformed people."
12:9 "Kill Joseph or cast him in the land, so that the face of your father will be only for you, and after that you can be an upright people."
12:9 [Said one of them:] "Slay Joseph, or else drive him away to some [faraway] land, so that your father's regard may be for you alone: and after this is done, you will be [free to repent and to live once again as] righteous people!"14
The phrase interpolated by me within brackets -reflecting the unconscious irony in the attitude of Joseph's brethren-is based on the consensus of most of the classical commentators.
Joseph's Fate Already Decided by God12:9 "Let us kill Joseph, or banish him, that you may get some attention from your father. Afterwards, you can be righteous people."3 ,
12:9 One of them proposed, "Let us slay Joseph or leave him in a distant land. Then your father’s favor will be all for you, and your affairs will be adjusted right for you."
12:10 Qala qa-ilun minhum lataqtuloo yoosufa waalqoohu fee ghayabati aljubbi yaltaqithubaAAdu alssayyarati in kuntum faAAileena
12:10 One amongst them said, "Do not kill Joseph, but if you are going to do anything, then cast him into the bottom of the well, so that anyone traveling by will pick him up."
12:10 One among them said: "Do not kill Joseph, but if you are going to do a thing, then cast him into the bottom of the well, so that anyone traveling by will pick him up."
12:10 Another of them said: "Do not slay Joseph, but -rather - if you must do something - cast him into the dark depths of this well, [whence] some caravan may pick him up."15
Sc., "and take him with them to a faraway land" (cf. the preceding verse). The term jubb - rendered by me as "well" - is usually applied to a desert well simply cut through the earth or through rock and not cased with stone: the implication being that this particular well did not contain enough water to drown Joseph, but was deep enough to hide him from sight.
12:10 One of them said, "Do not kill Joseph; let us throw him into the abyss of the well. Perhaps some caravan can pick him up, if this is what you decide to do.",
12:10 Another of them suggested, "Do not slay Joseph. Rather, if you must do something, cast him into a deep well, and some caravan may pick him up."
12:11 Qaloo ya abana malaka la ta/manna AAala yoosufa wa-innalahu lanasihoona
12:11 They said, "Our father, why do you not trust us with Joseph, we are to him well wishers."
12:11 They said: "Our father, why do you not trust us with Joseph? And we will be giving him advice."
12:11 [On this they agreed; and thereupon] they spoke [thus to their father]: "O our father! Wherefore wilt thou not trust us with Joseph, seeing that we are indeed his well-wishers?
12:11 They said, "Our father, why do you not trust us with Joseph? We will take good care of him.,
12:11 They said, "O Our father! Why do you not trust us with Joseph when we are good friends to him?"
12:12 Arsilhu maAAana ghadan yartaAAwayalAAab wa-inna lahu lahafithoona
12:12 "Send him with us tomorrow to enjoy and play, and we will take care of him."
12:12 "Send him with us tomorrow to enjoy himself and play, and we will take care of him."
12:12 Let him go out with us tomorrow, that he may enjoy himself and play: and, verily, we shall guard him well!"
12:12 "Send him with us tomorrow to run and play. We will protect him.",
12:12 "Send him with us tomorrow that he may enjoy himself and play. We will take good care of him."
12:13 Qala innee layahzununee an thathhaboobihi waakhafu an ya/kulahu alththi/buwaantum AAanhu ghafiloona
12:13 He said, "It saddens me that you should take him, and I fear that the wolf would eat him if you would be absent from him."
12:13 He said: "It saddens me that you should take him, and I fear that the wolf will eat him if you will be absent of him."
12:13 [Jacob] answered: "Behold, it grieves me indeed [to think] that you might take him with you, for I dread lest the wolf devour him at a moment when you are heedless of him!"
12:13 He said, "I worry lest you go away with him, then the wolf may devour him while you are not watching him.",
12:13 Jacob said, "I worry that you take him with you to the wild and some wolf devours him when you are distracted.”
12:14 Qaloo la-in akalahu alththi/buwanahnu AAusbatun inna ithan lakhasiroona
12:14 They said, "If the wolf eats him, while we are a gang, then we are the losers."
12:14 They said: "If the wolf eats him, while we are a numerous group, then we are the losers."
12:14 Said they: "Surely, if the wolf were to devour him notwithstanding that we are so many-then, behold, we ought ourselves to perish!"
12:14 They said, "Indeed, if the wolf devours him, with so many of us around, then we are really losers.",
12:14 They said, "If a wolf devours him in the strong presence (of the ten) of us, will our lives be worth living?"
12:15 Falamma thahaboo bihiwaajmaAAoo an yajAAaloohu fee ghayabati aljubbi waawhaynailayhi latunabi-annahum bi-amrihim hatha wahum layashAAuroona
12:15 So, when they went with him they had agreed to place him at the bottom of the well. We inspired him: "You will inform them of this act of theirs while they will not expect it."5
Consensus (ijma) has been accepted by those who deserted the Quran to be one of the main authorities besides and even above the Quran. As the usage of hadith and sunna in the Quran is prophetic (6:112; 7:185; 8:38; 12:111; 33:38; 45:6), the usage of this word too is prophetic. The word ijma and ijtima are mentioned six times in the Quran and, in all cases, are used to depict the conspiracy of unappreciative opponents of God's message (10:71; 12:102; 20:64; 17:88; 22:73). See 33:38.
12:15 So,when they went with him they had agreed to place him into the bottom of the well. And We inspired to him: "You will inform them of this act of theirs while they will not expect it."
12:15 And so, when they went away with him, they decided to cast him into the dark depths of the well. And We revealed [this] unto him: "Thou wilt yet remind them of this their deed at a time when they shall not perceive [who thou art] !"16
See verses 89-90 of this surah.
Believers are Blessed with God's Assurances12:15 When they went away with him, and unanimously decided to throw him into the abyss of the well, we inspired him: "Some day, you will tell them about all this, while they have no idea.",
12:15 Unanimous in their decision, they led Joseph to cast him into a deep well. When they were placing Joseph in the well, We revealed to him that he would remain secure, and one day he would tell his brothers about what they did. We also revealed to him that it would be a mystery to them as to how Joseph was saved!
12:16 Wajaoo abahum AAishaanyabkoona
12:16 They came to their father at dusk crying.
12:16 Andthey came to their father in the evening, crying.
12:16 And at nightfall they came to their father, weeping,
12:16 They came back to their father in the evening, weeping.,
12:16 After carrying out their plan they came to their father at night weeping.
12:17 Qaloo ya abanainna thahabna nastabiqu wataraknayoosufa AAinda mataAAina faakalahu alththi/buwama anta bimu/minin lana walaw kunna sadiqeena
12:17 They said, "Our father, we went to race and left Joseph by our things, and the wolf ate him! But you would not trust us even if we are truthful."
12:17 They said: "Our father, we went to race and left Joseph by our things, and the wolf ate him! But you would not believe us even if we were truthful."
12:17 [and] said: "O our father! Behold, we went off racing with one another, and left Joseph behind with our things; and thereupon the wolf devoured him! But [we know that] thou wouldst not believe us even though we speak the truth" -
12:17 They said, "Our father, we went racing with each other, leaving Joseph with our equipment, and the wolf devoured him. You will never believe us, even if we were telling the truth.",
12:17 Saying, "O Our father! We went racing with each other, and left Joseph by our belongings. A wolf did eat him up. We fear that you will not believe us even though we speak the truth."
12:18 Wajaoo AAala qameesihibidamin kathibin qala bal sawwalat lakum anfusukumamran fasabrun jameelun waAllahu almustaAAanuAAala ma tasifoona
12:18 They came with his shirt stained in false blood. He said, "You have invented this tale yourselves. Patience is good, and God's help is sought against what you describe."
12:18 Andthey came with his shirt stained in false blood. He said: "You have invented this tale yourselves. So sweet patience, and God is sought for help against what you describe."
12:18 and they produced his tunic with false blood upon it. [But Jacob] exclaimed: "Nay, but it is your [own] minds that have made [so terrible] a happening seem a matter of little account to you!17 But [as for myself,] patience in adversity is most goodly [in the sight of God]; and it is to God [alone] that I pray to give me strength to bear the misfortune which you have described to me."18
Apparently Jacob did not believe the tale of the wolf but, knowing his sons' envy of Joseph, at once realized that it was they themselves who had done grievous harm to him. Nevertheless - as is evident from Jacob's expression of hope in verse 83 of this surah -he was not quite convinced that Joseph was really dead.
Lit., "it is to God that I turn for aid against what you are describing".
12:18 They produced his shirt with fake blood on it. He said, "Indeed, you have conspired with each other to commit a certain scheme. All I can do is resort to a quiet patience. May GOD help me in the face of your conspiracy.",
12:18 And they came with false blood on his shirt. He said, "I do not believe this story; you have made it up. I will remain steadfast in the face of your conspiracy, and God is the One Whose help is sought in the kind of misfortune you describe to me."
12:19 Wajaat sayyaratun faarsaloo waridahumfaadla dalwahu qala ya bushra hathaghulamun waasarroohu bidaAAatan waAllahuAAaleemun bima yaAAmaloona
Joseph is Taken to Egypt12:19 A traveling caravan came and they sent their water-drawer. When he let down his bucket he said, "Good news, there is a boy!" So they hid him as merchandise. God knows what they do.
12:19 Anda traveling caravan came and they sent their man to draw water, but when he drew he said: "Good news, there is a boy!" So they hid him as merchandise. And God is aware of what they did.
12:19 AND THERE CAME a caravan;19 and they sent forth their drawer of water, and he let down his bucket into the well - [and when he saw Joseph] he exclaimed: "Oh, what a lucky find,20 this boy!" And they hid him with a view to selling him: but God had full knowledge of all that they were doing.
According. to the Bible (Genesis xxxvii, 25), they were "Ishmaelites" - i.e., Arabs - who "came from Gilead with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt". (Gilead is the Biblical name for the region east of the Jordan.)
Lit., "O good news!"
Joseph is Taken to Egypt12:19 A caravan passed by, and soon sent their waterer. He let down his bucket, then said, "How lucky! There is a boy here!" They took him along as merchandise, and GOD was fully aware of what they did.,
12:19 There came a caravan, and they sent their water drawer. He let down his rope and pail into the well. He called in excitement, "Oh, what a lucky find! It is a boy!" People of the caravan took him along as treasure. And God was Aware of what they did.
12:20 Washarawhu bithamanin bakhsin darahimamaAAdoodatin wakanoo feehi mina alzzahideena
12:20 They sold him for a low price, a few silver coins, and they regarded him as insignificant.
12:20 Andthey sold him for a low price, a few coins of silver, and they regarded him as insignificant.
12:20 And they sold him for a paltry price - a mere few silver coins: thus low did they value him.
12:20 They sold him for a cheap price - a few dirhams - for they did not have any need for him.,
12:20 They sold him in the market for a low price, a few silver coins. They had little idea of his value.
12:21 Waqala allathee ishtarahumin misra liimraatihi akrimee mathwahu AAasaan yanfaAAana aw nattakhithahu waladan wakathalikamakkanna liyoosufa fee al-ardi walinuAAallimahu minta/weeli al-ahadeethi waAllahu ghalibunAAala amrihi walakinna akthara alnnasila yaAAlamoona
12:21 The one from Egypt who bought him said to his wife: "Make his stay generous, perhaps he will benefit us or we may take him as a son." It was thus that We established Joseph in the land and to teach him the interpretation of dreams. God has full power over matters, but most of the people do not know.6
12:21 Andhe from Egypt who had bought him said to his wife: "Make his stay generous, perhaps he will benefit us or we may take him as a son." And it was thus that We established Joseph in the land and to teach him the interpretation of the narrations. And God has full control over his situation, but most of the people do not know.
12:21 And the man from Egypt who bought him21 said to his wife: "Make his stay [with us] honourable; he may well be of use to us, or we may adopt him as a son. And thus We gave unto Joseph a firm place on earth; and [We did this] so that We might impart unto him some understanding of the inner meaning of happenings.22 For, God always prevails in whatever be His purpose: but most people know it not.
The Qur'an does not mention his name or position; but a later reference to him (in verse 30 below) as al-'aziz ("the great [or "mighty"] one") points to his having been a high official or a nobleman.
See note 10 above.
12:21 The one who bought him in Egypt said to his wife, "Take good care of him. Maybe he can help us, or maybe we can adopt him." We thus established Joseph on earth, and we taught him the interpretation of dreams. GOD's command is always done, but most people do not know.,
12:21 The one who bought him in Egypt said to his wife, "Receive him honorably. Take good care of him. May be he can help us or we can adopt him as a son." We, thus, established Joseph in Egypt and arranged for him proper education and training. He was gifted with a great insight into events. God’s command always prevails although most people do not understand (the Law of Cause and Effect).
12:22 Walamma balagha ashuddahu ataynahuhukman waAAilman wakathalika najzee almuhsineena
Tested with Sexual Temptation12:22 When he reached his maturity, We gave him position and knowledge. It is thus that We reward the good doers.
12:22 Andwhen he reached his independence, We gave him judgement and knowledge. It is thus that We reward the good doers.
12:22 And when he reached full manhood, We bestowed upon him the ability to judge [between right and wrong], as well as [innate] knowledge: for thus do We reward the doers of good.
12:22 When he reached maturity, we endowed him with wisdom and knowledge. We thus reward the righteous.,
12:22 When he reached his prime, We bestowed upon him wisdom and knowledge. This is how We reward the doers of good to others.2
Wisdom and knowledge are granted to all those who benefit people since youth. 28:14
12:23 Warawadat-hu allatee huwa fee baytihaAAan nafsihi waghallaqati al-abwaba waqalat haytalaka qala maAAatha Allahi innahu rabbee ahsanamathwaya innahu la yuflihu alththalimoona
12:23 The woman, in whose house he was staying, attempted to seduce him. She closed the doors and said, "I have prepared myself for you." He said, "I seek refuge with God, He is my Lord, He made good my residence; the wicked do not succeed."7
Joseph is using a statement with multiple meanings. The woman most likely understood it as a reference to her husband. In fact, Joseph, as a monotheist, could not have meant that; with the phrase "my Lord" he meant his Creator. Joseph cannot be referring to the person who purchased him as slave (12: 39,42,50; 6:164; 9:31).
12:23 Andthe woman, in whose house he was staying, attempted to seduce him away from himself. And she closed the doors and said: "I have prepared myself for you." He said: "I seek refuge with God, He is my Lord, He has made good my stay; the wicked do not succeed."
12:23 And [it so happened that] she in whose house he was living [conceived a passion for him and] sought to make him yield himself unto her; and she bolted the doors and said, "Come thou unto me!" [But Joseph] answered: "May God preserve me! Behold, goodly has my master made my stay [in this house]! Verily, to no good end come they that do [such] wrong!"
God Protects the Believers From Sin12:23 The lady of the house where he lived tried to seduce him. She closed the doors and said, "I am all yours." He said, "May GOD protect me. He is my Lord, who gave me a good home. The transgressors never succeed.",4
Joseph worded this statement in such a way that the governor's wife thought that he was talking about her husband, when in fact he was talkingabout God.
12:23 The lady of the house tried to seduce him. She closed the doors and said, "I am all yours." He said, "May God protect me! Truly, He is my Lord and He has bestowed upon me a good moral character and granted me a position of honor. The wrongdoers do not prosper."3
Ahsana Mathwa = An excellent abode = A position of honor = Good moral stature
12:24 Walaqad hammat bihi wahamma biha lawlaan raa burhana rabbihi kathalika linasrifaAAanhu alssoo-a waalfahshaa innahumin AAibadina almukhlaseena
12:24 She desired him and he desired her, had it not been that he saw His Lord's manifest evidence; thus We turned evil and lewdness away from him, as one of Our loyal servants.
12:24 Andshe was obsessed with him, and he did obsess with her - had it not been that he saw the proof of his Lord - it was thus that We turned evil and immorality away from him; he is of Our loyal servants.
12:24 And, indeed, she desired him, and he desired her; [and he would have succumbed] had he not seen [in this temptation] an evidence of his Sustainer's truth:23 thus [We willed it to be] in order that We might avert from him all evil and all deeds of abomination -for, behold, he was truly one of Our servants.24
The interpolated phrase "and he would have succumbed", is, according to Zamakhshari, implied in the above sentence. In his commentary on this verse, he further points out that the moral significance of "virtue" consists in one's inner victory over a wrongful desire, and not in the absence of such a desire. Cf. the well-known saying of the Prophet, recorded, on the authority of Abu Hurayrah, by Bukhari and Muslim: "God, exalted be He, says: 'If a servant of Mine [merely] desires to do a good deed, I shall count this [desire] as a good deed; and if he does it, I shall count it tenfold. And if he desires to commit a bad deed, but does not commit it, I shall count this as a good deed, seeing that he refrained from it only for My sake..."' -i.e., in consequence of a moral consideration (which, in the present instance, is described as "an evidence of God's truth").
Lit., "he was among Our sincere servants".
12:24 She almost succumbed to him, and he almost succumbed to her, if it were not that he saw a proof from his Lord. We thus diverted evil and sin away from him, for he was one of our devoted servants.,
12:24 She desired him, and he would have desired her if he had not known the clear moral values from his Lord, ("Go not near adultery” 17:32.) Obeying Our command saved him from evil and lewdness. He was among Our sincere servants.
12:25 Waistabaqa albabawaqaddat qameesahu min duburin waalfaya sayyidahalada albabi qalat ma jazao manarada bi-ahlika soo-an illa an yusjana aw AAathabunaleemun
12:25 As they rushed towards the door, she tore his shirt from behind; and they found her noble husband at the door. She said, "What is the punishment of he who wanted to molest your family? Is it not that he be jailed or punished painfully?"
12:25 Andas they rushed towards the door, she tore his shirt from behind; and they found her master at the door. She said: "What is the punishment for he who wanted evil for your family? Is it not that he be imprisoned or punished painfully?"
12:25 And they both rushed to the door; and she [grasped and] rent his tunic from behind-and [lo!] they met her lord at the door! Said she: "What ought to be the punishment of one who had evil designs on [the virtue of] thy wife - [what] but imprisonment or a [yet more] grievous chastisement?"
12:25 The two of them raced towards the door, and, in the process, she tore his garment from the back. They found her husband at the door. She said, "What should be the punishment for one who wanted to molest your wife, except imprisonment or a painful punishment?",
12:25 And they raced to the door and in the process, she tore his shirt from behind. They found her husband at the door. She said, "What should be the punishment for one who wanted to molest your wife, except prison or a painful chastisement?"
12:26 Qala hiya rawadatnee AAannafsee washahida shahidun min ahliha in kanaqameesuhu qudda min qubulin fasadaqat wahuwa minaalkathibeena
Circumstantial Evidence Exonerates Joseph12:26 He said, "She is the one who seduced me from myself," and a witness from her family gave testimony: "If his shirt was torn from the front, then she is truthful, and he is the liar."8
This is an example of circumstantial evidence. Circumstantial evidence based on genetic testing is now more reliable than witness testimony.
12:26 He said: "She is the one who seduced me from myself," and a witness from her family gave testimony: "If his shirt was torn from the front, then she is truthful, and he is the liar."
12:26 [Joseph] exclaimed: "It was she who sought to make me yield myself unto her!" Now one of those present, a member of her own household, suggested this:25 If his tunic has been torn from the front, then she is telling the truth, and he is a liar;
Lit., "a present one (shahid) from her household testified" - i.e., suggested a test on these lines. Here, again, the Qur'anic narrative differs from the story as told in the Bible, since according to the latter (Genesis xxxix, 19-20), the husband immediately believed the false accusation and cast Joseph into prison; the episodes related in verses 26-34 of this surah do not appear in the Biblical account.
12:26 He said, "She is the one who tried to seduce me." A witness from her family suggested: "If his garment is torn from the front, then she is telling the truth and he is a liar.,
12:26 Joseph said, "She is the one who tried to seduce me." Now a member of her family came and suggested, "If his shirt is torn from the front, then she is telling the truth, and he is the liar.
12:27 Wa-in kana qameesuhu qudda minduburin fakathabat wahuwa mina alssadiqeena
12:27 "If his shirt is torn from behind, then she is lying, and he is truthful."
12:27 "And if his shirt is torn from behind, then she is lying, and he is truthful."
12:27 but if his tunic has been torn from behind, then she is lying, and he is speaking the truth."
12:27 "And if his garment is torn from the back, then she lied, and he is telling the truth.",
12:27 And if his shirt is torn from the back then she lied, and he is telling the truth.”
12:28 Falamma raa qameesahuqudda min duburin qala innahu min kaydikunna innakaydakunna AAatheemun
12:28 So when he saw that his shirt was torn from behind, he said, "This is from your female scheming, your female scheming is indeed great!"
12:28 So when he saw that his shirt was torn from behind, he said: "This is from your female planning, your female planning is indeed great!"
12:28 And when (her husband] saw that his tunic was torn from behind, he said: "Behold, this is [an instance] of your guile, O womankind! Verily, awesome is your guile!
12:28 When her husband saw that his garment was torn from the back, he said, "This is a woman's scheme. Indeed, your scheming is formidable.,
12:28 When her husband saw the shirt torn from the back, he said, "This is the typical scheme of you women. Your scheming is formidable."4
His discriminatory comment shows his anger, and that women in that society were not viewed well
12:29 Yoosufu aAArid AAan hatha waistaghfireelithanbiki innaki kunti mina alkhati-eena
12:29 "Joseph, turn away from this. You woman, seek forgiveness for your sin; you were of the wrongdoers."
12:29 "Joseph, turn away from this. And you woman, seek forgiveness for your sin; you were of the wrongdoers."
12:29 [But,] Joseph, let this pass!26 And thou, [O wife,] ask forgiveness for thy sin-for, verily, thou hast been greatly at fault!"
Lit., "turn aside from this". According to almost all the commentators, the meaning is, "do not mention this to anyone", the implication being that the husband was prepared to forgive and forget.
12:29 "Joseph, disregard this incident. As for you (my wife), you should seek forgiveness for your sin. You have committed an error.",
12:29 He said, "O Joseph! Forget about what happened. And you O woman! Ask forgiveness. For, you have been greatly at fault."
12:30 Waqala niswatun fee almadeenatiimraatu alAAazeezi turawidu fataha AAannafsihi qad shaghafaha hubban inna lanarahafee dalalin mubeenin
12:30 Some women in the city said, "The wife of the Governor is trying to seduce her young man from himself; she is taken by love. We see her clearly misguided."
12:30 Andsome women in the city said: "The wife of the governor is trying to seduce her young man from himself; she is taken by love. We see her clearly misguided."
12:30 NOW the women of the city spoke [thus to one another]: "The wife of this nobleman is trying to induce her slave-boy to yield himself unto her! Her love for him has pierced her heart; verily, we see that she is undoubtedly suffering from an aberration!27
Lit., "we see her indeed in obvious error".
12:30 Some women in the city gossiped: "The governor's wife is trying to seduce her servant. She is deeply in love with him. We see that she has gone astray.",
12:30 Women in the city started gossiping, "The governor's wife is trying to seduce her servant. She is deeply in love with him. But we see that she adopted the wrong tactics.”
12:31 Falamma samiAAat bimakrihinna arsalatilayhinna waaAAtadat lahunna muttakaan waatat kulla wahidatinminhunna sikkeenan waqalati okhruj AAalayhinna falammaraaynahu akbarnahu waqattaAAna aydiyahunna waqulna hashalillahi ma hatha basharan in hathailla malakun kareemun
Physical Attraction12:31 So when she heard of their scheming, she sent for them and prepared a banquet for them, and she gave each one of them a knife. She said, "Come out to them," so when they saw him they exalted him and cut their hands, and they said, "God be praised, this is not a human, but a blessed controller!"9
12:31 So when she heard of their scheming, she sent for them and prepared a banquet for them, and she gave each one of them a knife. And she said: "Come out to them," so when they saw him they exalted him and cut their hands, and they said: "Praise be to God, this is not a human being, but a blessed angel!"
12:31 Thereupon, when she heard of their malicious talk, she sent for them, and prepared for them a sumptuous repast,28 and handed each of them a knife and said [to Joseph]: "Come out and show thyself to them!" And when the women saw him, they were greatly amazed at his beauty,29 and [so flustered were they that] they cut their hands [with their knives], exclaiming, "God save us! This is no mortal man! This is nought but a noble angel!"
The expression muttaka'-lit., "a place where one reclines [while eating]", i.e., a "cushioned couch" - seems to have been used here tropically to denote a "luxurious [or "sumptuous"] repast".
Lit., "they deemed him [i.e., his beauty] great".
12:31 When she heard of their gossip, she invited them, prepared for them a comfortable place, and gave each of them a knife. She then said to him,"Enter their room." When they saw him, they so admired him, that they cut their hands. They said, "Glory be to GOD, this is not a human being; this is an honorable angel.",5
12:31 When she heard their gossip, she invited them, and prepared comfortable couches for them, and they schemed. She gave a knife to each of the women. Then, she called Joseph, “Come out to them!” And when they saw him they flattered him and ‘cut their hands’ (exhausted their efforts). They exclaimed in their flattery, “Good Lord! This is no mortal man! This is but an angel!”5
The governor's wife and her friends had planned to incite Joseph into behaving indecently. “Cut their hands” = They exhausted their efforts. There is absolutely no mention of the supposed “beauty’ of Joseph, a fabrication adopted by ancient and modern commentators. Secondly, the root word Qat’a in this verse is of very special significance. Did these women chop off their hands? Must the thieves get their hands chopped off? Please see 5:38
12:32 Qalat fathalikunna allatheelumtunnanee feehi walaqad rawadtuhu AAan nafsihi faistAAsamawala-in lam yafAAal ma amuruhu layusjanannawalayakoonan mina alssaghireena
12:32 She said, "This is the one whom you blamed me for, and I have seduced him from himself but he refused. If he does not do as I command him, he will be imprisoned, and he will be one of those disgraced."
12:32 Shesaid: "This is the one whom you blamed me for, and I have seduced him from himself but he refused. And if he does not do as I command him, he will be imprisoned, and he will be one of those disgraced."
12:32 Said she: "This, then, is he about whom you have been blaming me! And, indeed, I did try to make him yield himself unto me, but he remained chaste. Now, however, if he does not do what I bid him, he shall most certainly be imprisoned, and shall most certainly find himself among the despised!30
Lit., "become one of those who are humiliated".
12:32 She said, "This is the one you blamed me for falling in love with. I did indeed try to seduce him, and he refused. Unless he does what I command him to do, he will surely go to prison, and will be debased.",
12:32 The lady of the house said, "This is he about whom you blamed me. I tried to seduce him but he firmly saved himself. Since he thinks he is an angel, and remains adamant against my command, he shall be imprisoned and brought low.6
The women made up allegations against him
12:33 Qala rabbi alssijnu ahabbuilayya mimma yadAAoonanee ilayhi wa-illa tasrifAAannee kaydahunna asbu ilayhinna waakun mina aljahileena
12:33 He said, "My Lord, prison is better to me than what they are inviting me to do. If You do not turn their scheming away from me, I will fall for them and be of the ignorant."
12:33 He said: "My Lord, prison is better to me than what they are inviting me to do. And if You do not turn their plans away from me, I will fall for them and be of the ignorant."
12:33 Said he: "O my Sustainer! Prison is more desirable to me than [compliance with] what these women invite me to: for, unless Thou turn away their guile from me, I might yet yield to their allure31 and become one of those who are unaware [of right and wrong]."
Lit., "incline towards them"; it should, however, be borne in mind that the verb saba combines the concepts of inclination, yearning and amorous indulgence (cf. Lane IV, 1649); hence my rendering.
12:33 He said, "My Lord, the prison is better than giving in to them. Unless You divert their scheming from me, I may desire them and behave like the ignorant ones.",
12:33 He said, "My Lord! Prison is dearer to me than what they invite me to. Unless You help me fend off their schemes, I am afraid of getting intimidated and of behaving like the ignorant ones."
12:34 Faistajaba lahu rabbuhu fasarafaAAanhu kaydahunna innahu huwa alssameeAAu alAAaleemu
12:34 So his Lord responded to him, and He turned away their scheming from him. He is the Hearer, the Knowledgeable.
12:34 So his Lord responded to him, and He turned away their plans from him. He is the Hearer, the Knowledgeable.
12:34 And his Sustainer responded to his prayer, and freed him from the threat of their guile:32 verily, He alone is all-hearing, all-knowing.
Lit., "turned away their guile from him".
12:34 His Lord answered his prayer and diverted their scheming from him. He is the Hearer, the Omniscient.,
12:34 His Lord heard his prayer, and helped Joseph remain steadfast in fending off their schemes. He is the Hearer, the Knower (of all intentions and actions).
12:35 Thumma bada lahum min baAAdi maraawoo al-ayati layasjununnahu hatta heenin
12:35 But it appealed to them, even after they had seen the signs, to imprison him until a time.
12:35 But it appealed to them, even after they had seen the signs, to imprison him for a time.
12:35 For, presently it occurred to the nobleman and his household33 _ [even] after they had seen all the signs [of Joseph's innocence] - that they might as well imprison him for a time.34
Lit., "it occurred to them".
Thus, according to the Qur'an, Joseph was imprisoned not because his master believed him to be guilty, but because, in his weakness, he wanted to appease his wife, "being entirely submissive to her, and behaving like a riding-camel whose reins she held in her hand" (Zamakhshari).
12:35 Later, they saw to it, despite the clear proofs, that they should imprison him for awhile.,
12:35 Later, they (the judges) even after seeing the proofs (of his innocence), decided to put him in prison for a while.
12:36 Wadakhala maAAahu alssijna fatayaniqala ahaduhuma innee aranee aAAsirukhamran waqala al-akharu innee aranee ahmilufawqa ra/see khubzan ta/kulu alttayru minhu nabbi/nabita/weelihi inna naraka mina almuhsineena
In the Prison12:36 With him in the prison entered two young men. One of them said, "I dreamt that I was pressing wine," and the other said, "I dreamt that I was carrying bread on top of my head, and that the birds were eating from it." "Tell us what this means, for we see that you are of the good doers."
12:36 Andwith him in the prison entered two young men. One of them said: "I dreamt that I was pressing alcohol," and the other said: "I dreamt that I was carrying bread on top of my head, and that the birds were eating from it." "Tell us its interpretation, for we see that you are of the good doers."
12:36 NOW two young men happened to go to prison at the same time as Joseph.35 One of them said: "Behold, I saw myself [in a dream] pressing wine." And the other said: "Behold, I saw myself [in a dream] carrying bread on my head, and birds were eating thereof." [And both entreated Joseph:] "Let us know the real meaning of this! Verily, we see that thou art one of those who know well [how to interpret dreams].36
Lit., "entered the prison with him". According to the Biblical account (not contradicted by the Qur'an), they were the King's cup-bearer and baker, both of them imprisoned for unspecified offences.
This is the meaning given by Baghawi, Zamakhshari and Baydawi to the expression al-muhsinin in the above context, adopting the tropical use of the verb ahsana in the sense of "he knew [something]" or "he knew [it] well". Thus, the Qur'an indicates here in its elliptic manner that Joseph's reputation for wisdom and dream-interpretation preceded him to prison.
12:36 Two young men were in the prison with him. One of them said, "I saw (in my dream) that I was making wine," and the other said, "I saw myself carrying bread on my head, from which the birds were eating. Inform us of the interpretation of these dreams. We see that you are righteous.",
12:36 Two young men went to prison with him (for unrelated crimes). One of them (a butler) told his dream, "I saw myself making wine." The other (a baker) said, "I saw myself carrying bread on my head from which birds were eating. Can you tell us what this means? We see that you are a doer of good."
12:37 Qala la ya/teekuma taAAamunturzaqanihi illa nabba/tukuma bita/weelihiqabla an ya/tiyakuma thalikuma mimmaAAallamanee rabbee innee taraktu millata qawmin layu/minoona biAllahi wahum bial-akhiratihum kafiroona
12:37 He said, "There is not any provision of food that will come to you except that I will tell you of its interpretation before it comes. That is from what my Lord has taught me. I have just left the creed of a people who do not acknowledge God, and they are rejecting the Hereafter."
12:37 He said: "No provision of food will come to you, except that I would have informed you both about its interpretation before it comes to you. That is from what my Lord has taught me. I have just left the creed of a people who do not believe in God, and they are rejecting the Hereafter."
12:37 [Joseph] answered: "Ere there comes unto you the meal which you are [daily] fed, I shall have informed you of the real meaning of your dreams,37 [so that you might know what is to come] before it comes unto you: for this is [part] of the knowledge which my Sustainer has imparted to me. "Behold, I have left behind me the ways of people who do not believe in God,38 and who persistently refuse to acknowledge the truth of the life to come;
Lit., "the real meaning thereof".
Joseph wants to avail himself of this opportunity to guide his two fellow-prisoners towards the true faith; and so, while promising that he would explain their dreams presently, he asks them to listen first to a short discourse on the oneness of God.
12:37 He said, "If any food is provided to you, I can inform you about it before you receive it. This is some of the knowledge bestowed upon me by my Lord. I have forsaken the religion of people who do not believe in GOD, and with regard to the Hereafter, they are really disbelievers.,
12:37 He said, "I will tell you the meaning before today's meal is served. But, remember that it is my Lord Who teaches me through revelation. Indeed, I have stayed away from the ways of people who do not believe in God and are disbelievers in the life to come.”
12:38 WaittabaAAtu millata aba-eeibraheema wa-ishaqa wayaAAqooba ma kanalana an nushrika biAllahi min shay-in thalikamin fadli Allahi AAalayna waAAala alnnasiwalakinna akthara alnnasi layashkuroona
12:38 "I followed the creed of my fathers: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It was not for us to set up partners with God at all. That is God's blessings over us and over the people, but most of the people are not thankful."
12:38 "And I have followed the creed of my fathers Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob. It was not for us to set up partners with God at all. That is the blessings of God over us and over the people, but most of the people are not thankful."
12:38 and I follow the creed of my forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It is not conceivable that we should [be allowed to] ascribe divinity to aught beside God: this is [an outcome] of God's bounty unto us and unto all mankind39 -but most people are ungrateful.
Since God is almighty and self-sufficient, it is not for His sake that man is warned not to ascribe divine qualities to aught beside Him: the absolute condemnation of this sin is solely designed to benefit man by freeing him from all superstition, and thus enhancing his dignity as a conscious, rational being.
12:38 "And I followed instead the religion of my ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. We never set up any idols beside GOD. Such is the blessing from GOD upon us and upon the people, but most people are unappreciative.,
12:38 “I follow the Creed of such of my ancestors as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It is not conceivable that we ever ascribe partners to God. This (belief in Monotheism) is the bounty of God upon us and upon all mankind. (It frees us from bondage to superstition and to ‘men of religion’). But the majority of people fail to grasp this point, and thus remain ungrateful.”
12:39 Ya sahibayi alssijniaarbabun mutafarriqoona khayrun ami Allahu alwahidualqahharu
There is no lord Besides God12:39 "O my fellow inmates, are various lords better, or God, the One, the Omniscient?"10
12:39 "Omy fellow inmates, are various lords better, or God, the One, the Supreme?"
12:39 "O my companions in imprisonment! Which is more reasonable:40 [belief in the existence of numerous divine] lords, each of them different from the other"41 -or [in] the One God, who holds absolute sway over all that exists?
Lit., "better", obviously in the sense of "better conforming to the demands of reason".
The expression mutafarrigun connotes plurality às well as separateness-in this context, separateness in respect of qualities, functions and degrees.
12:39 "O my prison mates, are several gods better, or GOD alone, the One, the Supreme?,
12:39 “O My prison mates! Are several masters better, or God, the One, the Dominant?”
12:40 Ma taAAbudoona min doonihi illaasmaan sammaytumooha antum waabaokumma anzala Allahu biha min sultaninini alhukmu illa lillahi amara allataAAbudoo illa iyyahu thalika alddeenualqayyimu walakinna akthara alnnasi layaAAlamoona
12:40 "What you serve besides Him are nothing but names which you have fabricated you and your fathers. God did not send down any authority for such. The judgment is for none but God. He ordered that none be served but He. That is the true system, but most of the people do not know."
12:40 "What you serve besides Him are nothing except names which you have created, both you and your fathers, God has not sent down any authority for such. The judgment is for none except God. He has ordered that none be served except He. That is the true system, but most of the people do not know."
12:40 "All that you worship instead of God is nothing but [empty] names which you have invented42 - you and your forefathers- [and] for which God has bestowed no warrant from on high. Judgment [as to what is right and what is wrong] rests with God alone-[and] He has ordained that you should worship nought but Him: this is the [one] ever-true faith; but most people know it not43
Lit., "names which you have named" -i.e., "figments of your own imagination".
Cf. the last sentence of 30:30.
12:40 "You do not worship beside Him except innovations that you have made up, you and your parents. GOD has never authorized such idols. All ruling belongs to GOD, and He has ruled that you shall not worship except Him. This is the perfect religion, but most people do not know.,
12:40 "Those whom you worship and obey besides Him, are but names that you have fabricated, you and your forefathers. God has revealed no authority for them. All ruling belongs to God alone. And there is no Judge but He. He has commanded that you serve none but Him. That is the Right Religion. But most people are not aware of this fact or disregard it in practice."
12:41 Ya sahibayi alssijniamma ahadukuma fayasqee rabbahu khamranwaamma al-akharu fayuslabu fata/kulu alttayrumin ra/sihi qudiya al-amru allathee feehi tastaftiyani
12:41 "My fellow inmates, one of you will be serving wine for his lord, while the other will be crucified so that the birds will eat from his head. The matter which you have sought is now concluded."
12:41 "Myfellow inmates, one of you will be serving alcohol for his lord, while the other will be crucified so that the birds will eat from his head. The matter which you have sought is now concluded."
12:41 "[And now,] O my companions in imprisonment, [I shall tell you the meaning of your dreams:] as for one of you two, he will [again] give his lord [the King] wine to drink; but as for the other, he will be crucified, and birds will eat off his head. [But whatever be your future,] the matter on which you have asked me to enlighten you has been decided [by God]."
12:41 "O my prison mates, one of you will be the wine butler for his lord, while the other will be crucified - the birds will eat from his head. This settles the matter about which you have inquired.",
12:41 "O My prison mates! The first of you will be the chief wine butler for the King. The other one (the chief baker of the King) will be crucified and birds will eat off his head. Thus is the case decided about what you ask."
12:42 Waqala lillathee thannaannahu najin minhuma othkurnee AAindarabbika faansahu alshshaytanu thikrarabbihi falabitha fee alssijni bidAAa sineena
12:42 He said to the one whom he thought would be saved of them: "Mention me to your lord." But the devil made him forget to mention to his lord, so He remained in prison for a few years.11
The ending of the verse could also be understood as, "When Perverse made him (Joseph) to forget remember his Lord (God), he remained in prison a few more years." Both meanings might be intended at the same time: When asking his friend to remind the King about him, Joseph forgot to remember his Lord (God), and his friend, in turn, forgot to mention him to the king whom he falsely considered "his lord." Verses 12:39 and 12:50 clearly indicate that Joseph was a monotheist, and would never call anyone other than God as his lord.
12:42 Andhe said to the one of them whom he thought would be saved: "Mention me to your lord." But the devil made him forget to mention to his lord, so he remained in prison for a few years.
12:42 And [thereupon Joseph] said unto the one of the two whom he considered saved: "Mention me unto thy lord [when thou art free]!" But Satan caused him to forget to mention [Joseph] to his lord, and so he remained in prison a few [more] years.
12:42 He then said to the one to be saved "Remember me at your lord." Thus, the devil caused him to forget his Lord, and, consequently, he remained in prison a few more years.,6
When Joseph begged his companion to intercede with the king on his behalf, he exhibited dependence on other than God to be saved from theprison. This does not befit a true believer, and such a serious slip costJoseph a few years in the prison. We learn from the Quran that only God can relieve any hardship that might befallus. A true believer trusts in God and depends totally on Him alone (1:5:17, 8:17, 10:107).
12:42 Joseph asked the one whom he thought would be released, “Mention me in the presence of your King.” But Satan (his selfish ways) made him forget to mention it to the King, so Joseph stayed in prison for a few years.
12:43 Waqala almaliku innee arasabAAa baqaratin simanin ya/kuluhunna sabAAun AAijafunwasabAAa sunbulatin khudrin waokhara yabisatinya ayyuha almalao aftoonee fee ru/yaya inkuntum lilrru/ya taAAburoona
King's Dream12:43 The King said, "I continue to dream of seven fat cows which are being eaten by seven thin ones, and seven green pods and others which are dry. O you chiefs, tell me what my vision means if you are able to interpret the visions."12
The Quran refers to the Egyptian leader contemporary of Moses as Pharaoh. However, it refers to Egypt's ruler who appointed Joseph to be his chief adviser as king (malik), not as Pharaoh (12:43). The Old Testament, erroneously refers to the Egyptian king during the time of Joseph as Pharaoh (See Genesis 41:14,25,46 ). Joseph lived approximately in 1600 BC, and according to archeological evidences, Egyptian rulers were not yet called Pharaoh then. The title Pharaoh started with the 18th Dynasty, about a hundred years after Joseph. For the Old Testament account of this story, see Genesis chapter 37 to the end of chapter 50.
12:43 Andthe king said: "I continue to dream of seven fat cows being eaten by seven thin ones, and seven green pods and others which are dry. O you commanders, tell me what my vision means if you are able to interpret the visions."
12:43 AND [one day] the King said:44 Behold, I saw [in a dream] seven fat cows being devoured by seven emaciated ones, and seven green ears [of wheat] next to [seven] others that were withered. O you nobles! Enlighten me about [the meaning of] my dream, if you are able to interpret dreams!"
This king seems to have been one of the six Hyksos rulers who dominated Egypt from about 1700 to 1580 B.C., after having invaded the country from the east by way of the Sinai Peninsula. The name of this dynasty, which was undoubtedly of foreign origin, is derived from the Egyptian hiq shasu or heku shoswet, meaning "rulers of nomad lands", or - according to the late Egyptian historian Manetho - "shepherd kings": all of which points to their having been Arabs who, despite the fact that before their invasion of Egypt they were already well-established in Syria, had to a large extent preserved their bedouin mode of life. This would explain the confidence which the king mentioned in this story was later to place in Joseph, the Hebrew, and the subsequent settlement of the latter's family (and, thus, of what in due course became the Israelite nation) in Egypt: for it must be borne in mind that the Hebrews, too, descended from one of the many bedouin tribes who some centuries earlier had migrated from the Arabian Peninsula to Mesopotamia and later to Syria (cf. surah 7, note 48); and that the language of the Hyksos must have been very akin to Hebrew, which, after all, is but an ancient Arabian dialect.
The King's Dream12:43 The king said, "I saw seven fat cows being devoured by seven skinny cows, and seven green spikes (of wheat), and others shriveled. O my elders, advise me regarding my dream, if you know how to interpret the dreams.",
12:43 And one day the King of Egypt said to his court, "I have dreamed seven fat cows being eaten up by seven lean cows and seven green spikes of wheat and (seven) dry. O My chiefs! Explain to me my vision, if you can interpret dreams.”
12:44 Qaloo adghathu ahlaminwama nahnu bita/weeli al-ahlami biAAalimeena
12:44 They said, "It is nothing but medley dreams; and we are not knowledgeable in the interpretation of dreams."
12:44 They said: "It is nothing except bad dreams; and we are not knowledgeable in the interpretation of dreams."
12:44 They answered: " [This is one of] the most involved and confusing of dreams,45 and we have no deep knowledge of the real meaning of dreams."
Lit., "confusing medleys (adghath) of dreams".
12:44 They said, "Nonsense dreams. When it comes to the interpretation of dreams, we are not knowledgeable.",
12:44 They answered, "Confused nightmares! We are not skilled in interpreting such dreams."7
This king was not a Pharaoh. He is probably the second one of the six Hyksos rulers who dominated Egypt between 1700-1580 BC, after invading the country through the Sinai Peninsula
12:45 Waqala allathee najaminhuma waiddakara baAAda ommatin anaonabbi-okum bita/weelihi faarsilooni
12:45 The one of them who had been saved and remembered after all this time said, "I will tell you of its interpretation, so send me forth."
12:45 Andthe one of them who had been saved and remembered after all this time said: "I will tell you of its interpretation, so let me be sent."
12:45 At that, the one of the two [erstwhile prisoners] who had been saved, and [who suddenly] remembered [Joseph] after all that time,46 spoke [thus]: "It is I who can inform you of the real meaning of this [dream]; so let me go [in search of it]."47
According to almost all the authorities, the noun ummah denotes here "a time" or "a long period of time".
The cup-bearer obviously addresses the assembly as a whole, and not the King alone: hence the plural "you".
12:45 The one who was saved (from the prison) said, now that he finally remembered, "I can tell you its interpretation, so send me (to Joseph).",
12:45 The one who was released (the chief butler) at long last remembered. He said, "I can bring you the meaning, so send me forth."
12:46 Yoosufu ayyuha alssiddeequaftina fee sabAAi baqaratin simaninya/kuluhunna sabAAun AAijafun wasabAAi sunbulatinkhudrin waokhara yabisatin laAAallee arjiAAuila alnnasi laAAallahum yaAAlamoona
12:46 "Joseph, O truth one, explain to us the matter regarding seven fat cows being eaten by seven thin ones, and seven green pods and others which are dry? Then perhaps I may go back to the people so they will know."
12:46 "Joseph, O man of truth, explain to us the matter regarding seven fat cows being eaten by seven thin ones, and seven green pods and others which are dry? Then perhaps I may go back to the people so they will know."
12:46 [And he went to see Joseph in the prison and said to him:] "Joseph, O thou truthful one! Enlighten us about [the meaning of a dream in which] seven fat cows were being devoured by seven emaciated ones, and seven green ears [of wheat appeared] next to [seven] others that were withered - so that I may return [with thy explanation] unto the people [of the court, and] that they may come to know [what manner of man thou art]!"
Joseph Interprets the King's Dream12:46 "Joseph my friend, inform us about seven fat cows being devoured by seven skinny cows, and seven green spikes, and others shriveled. I wish to go back with some information for the people.",
12:46 He said, "Joseph, O You truthful one! Explain for us the seven fat cows being eaten by seven lean ones, and the seven green spikes of wheat and others dry. I wish to go back with information that they may know” (the interpretation and your value).
12:47 Qala tazraAAoona sabAAa sineenadaaban fama hasadtum fatharoohu feesunbulihi illa qaleelan mimma ta/kuloona
12:47 He said, "You will plant regularly for seven years, and whatever you harvest you must leave it in its pods, except for the little that you will eat."
12:47 He said: "You will plant regularly for seven years, and whatever you harvest you must leave it in its pods, except for the little that you will eat."
12:47 [Joseph] replied: "You shall sow for seven years as usual; but let all [the grain] that you harvest remain [untouched] in its ear, excepting only a little, whereof you may eat:
12:47 He said, "What you cultivate during the next seven years, when the time of harvest comes, leave the grains in their spikes, except for what you eat.,
12:47 Joseph told him the meaning and the way to avert the oncoming famine, “Work hard on agriculture for seven seasons. When you harvest the crop, only reap the amount you need. Leave the rest of the grains in the spikes (to store for the ensuing famine).”
12:48 Thumma ya/tee min baAAdi thalikasabAAun shidadun ya/kulna ma qaddamtum lahunna illaqaleelan mimma tuhsinoona
12:48 "Then after that will come seven ones severe in drought, which will consume all that you planted except for what you have stored."
12:48 "Then there will come seven after that which are severe and which will consume all that you plant except for what you have stored."
12:48 for, after that [period of seven good years] there will come seven hard [years] which will devour all that you shall have laid up for them, excepting only a little of that which you shall have kept in store.
12:48 "After that, seven years of drought will come, which will consume most of what you stored for them.,
12:48 “Then after that will come seven dry seasons which will use up all that you have prepared for them, but a little that you have stored up.”
12:49 Thumma ya/tee min baAAdi thalika AAamunfeehi yughathu alnnasu wafeehi yaAAsiroona
12:49 "Then after that will come a calendar year in which the people will have abundant rain and which they will be able to produce once again."
12:49 "Then after that will come a year in which the people will have abundant rain and which they will be able to produce once again."
12:49 And after that there will come a year in which the people will be delivered from all distress,48 and in which they will press [oil and wine as before]."
Or: "will be granted rain"-depending on whether one connects the verbal form yughath with either of the infinitive nouns ghayth ("rain") or ghawth ("deliverance from distress"). Although the crops of Egypt depend entirely on the annual Nile floods, the water-level of the river is, in its turn, contingent upon the quantity of rainfall at its upper reaches.
12:49 "After that, a year will come that brings relief for the people, and they will, once again, press juice.",
12:49 “After that, one year will come with good rains and the crops will be plenty. You will get abundant grain and fruit, and a lot of oil and juice to squeeze.”8
12:50 Waqala almaliku i/toonee bihi falammajaahu alrrasoolu qala irjiAA ilarabbika fais-alhu ma balu alnniswatiallatee qattaAAna aydiyahunna inna rabbeebikaydihinna AAaleemun
12:50 The King said, "Bring him to me." When the messenger came to him, he said, "Go back to your lord and ask him what the matter was regarding the women that cut their hands? My Lord is well aware of their scheming."
12:50 Andthe king said: "Bring him to me." So when the messenger came to him, he said: "Go back to your lord and ask him what was the matter regarding the women who cut their hands? Indeed, my Lord is aware of their plans."
12:50 And [as soon as Joseph's interpretation. was conveyed to him,] the King said: "Bring him before me!" But when the [King's] messenger came unto him, [Joseph] said: "Go back to thy lord and ask him [first to find out the truth] about those women who cut their hands-for, behold, [until now it is] my Sustainer [alone who] has full knowledge of their guile!"
12:50 The king said, "Bring him to me." When the messenger came to him, he said, "Go back to your lord and ask him to investigate the women who cut their hands. My Lord is fully aware of their schemes.",
12:50 And the King said, “Bring him before me!” When the courier came to Joseph, he said, "Return to your King and ask him to find out the case of the women who had exhausted their efforts. Certainly, my Lord knows their plot."9
“Cutting hands” = Exhausting efforts. Joseph asked for investigation before being released to vindicate his character
12:51 Qala ma khatbukunna ithrawadtunna yoosufa AAan nafsihi qulna hasha lillahima AAalimna AAalayhi min soo-in qalatiimraatu alAAazeezi al-ana hashasa alhaqquana rawadtuhu AAan nafsihi wa-innahu lamina alssadiqeena
Governor's Wife Tells the Truth12:51 He said, "What is your plea that you tried to seduce Joseph from himself?" They said, "God forbid that we would do any harm to him." The wife of the Governor said, "Now the truth must be known, I did seek to seduce Joseph from himself and he is of the truthful ones…"
12:51 He said: "What is your plea that you tried to seduce Joseph from himself?" They said: "God be sought! We know of no evil on his part." The wife of the governor said: "Now the truth must be known, I did seek to seduce Joseph from himself and he is of the truthful ones."
12:51 [Thereupon the King sent for those women; and when they came,] he asked: "What was it that you hoped to achieve when you sought to make Joseph yield himself unto you?"49 The women answered: "God save us! We did not perceive the least evil [intention] on his part!" [And] the wife of Joseph's former master50 exclaimed: "Now has the truth come to light! It was I who sought to make him yield himself unto me - whereas he, behold, was indeed speaking the truth!"
Evidently, the King wanted to find out whether they had previously been encouraged by Joseph, or whether he was truly innocent. The noun khatb denotes "something that one has in view" or "desires" or "seeks to obtain"; and so the expression ma khatbukunna (lit., "what was it that you [really] had in view") may be suitably rendered as above.
Lit., "the wife of the great one (al-'aziz)".
12:51 (The king) said (to the women), "What do you know about the incident when you tried to seduce Joseph?" They said, "GOD forbid; we did not know of anything evil committed by him." The wife of the governor said, "Now the truth has prevailed. I am the one who tried to seduce him, and he was the truthful one.,
12:51 The King sent for those women, and asked them, "What happened when you tried to seduce Joseph?" They answered, "Good Lord! We found no evil in him." The wife of the governor (Zelicha, Zulaikha in the Arab history) couldn't hold back, "Now the truth is out. I was the one who tried to make him desire me and he is truthful."
12:52 Thalika liyaAAlama annee lam akhunhubialghaybi waanna Allaha la yahdee kaydaalkha-ineena
12:52 "That is so he knows that I will not betray him while he is not present and that God does not guide the scheming of the betrayers."
12:52 "That is so he knows that I will not betray him while he is not present and that God does not guide the planning of the betrayers."
12:52 [When Joseph learned what had happened, he said:51 "I asked for] this, so that [my former master] might know that I did not betray him behind his back,52 and that God does not bless with His guidance the artful schemes of those who betray their trust.
Some of the commentators (e.g., Ibn Kathir and, among the moderns, Rashid Rida' in Manar XII, 323 f.) regard this and the next verse as a continuation of the woman's confession; but the great majority of the classical authorities, including Tabari, Baghawi and Zamakhshari, attribute the speech that follows unequivocally -and, in my opinion, most convincingly-to Joseph: hence my interpolation at the beginning of this verse.
Lit., "in [his] absence" or "in secret" (bi'l-ghayb).
12:52 "I hope that he will realize that I never betrayed him in his absence, for GOD does not bless the schemes of the betrayers.,
12:52 (When Joseph heard this, he said), "I hope that the governor will realize that I never betrayed him in his absence. And God never leads to success the schemes of betrayers."
12:53 Wama obarri-o nafsee inna alnnafsalaammaratun bialssoo-i illa ma rahimarabbee inna rabbee ghafoorun raheemun
12:53 "I do not make myself free of blame, for the person is inclined to sin, except what my Lord has mercy on. My Lord is Forgiving, Compassionate."
12:53 "And I do not make myself free of blame, for the soul is inclined to sin, except that which my Lord has mercy upon. My Lord is Forgiving, Merciful."
12:53 And yet, I am not trying to absolve myself: for, verily, man's inner self does incite [him] to evil,53 and saved are only they upon whom my Sustainer bestows His grace.54 Behold, my Sustainer is much forgiving, a dispenser of grace!"
Lit., "is indeed wont to command [the doing of] evil"-i.e., is filled with impulses which often conflict with what the mind regards as a moral good. This is obviously a reference to the statement in verse 24 above - "she desired him, and he desired her; [and he would have succumbed,] had he not seen [in this temptation] an evidence of his Sustainer's truth" - as well as to Joseph's prayer in verse 33, "unless Thou turn away their guile from me, I might yet yield to their allure". (See also note 23 above.) Joseph's stress on the weakness inherent in human nature is a sublime expression of humility on the part of one who himself had overcome that very weakness: for, as the sequence shows, he attributes his moral victory not to himself but solely to the grace and mercy of God.
Lit., "except those upon whom...", etc. According to most of the commentators, the pronoun ma (lit., "that which") is here synonymous with man ("he who" or "those who").
12:53 "I do not claim innocence for myself. The self is an advocate of vice, except for those who have attained mercy from my Lord. My Lord is Forgiver, Most Merciful.",
12:53 (Zelicha continued) "I do not claim innocence for myself. The human ‘self’ incites evil except for those who have deserved grace from my Lord. Surely, my Lord is Absolver of imperfections, Merciful.”
12:54 Waqala almaliku i/toonee bihiastakhlishu linafsee falamma kallamahu qalainnaka alyawma ladayna makeenun ameenun
Joseph is Appointed to a Top Position12:54 The King said, "Bring him to me so that I may employ him for myself." So when he spoke to him, he said, "Today you are with us in high rank and trusted."
12:54 Andthe king said: "Bring him to me so that I may employ him to my person." So when he spoke to him, he said: "Today you are with us in a high standing and trusted."
12:54 And the King said: "Bring him unto me, so that I may attach him to my own person." And when he had spoken with him, [the King] said: "Behold, [from] this day thou shalt be of high standing with us, invested with all trust!"
Joseph Attains Prominence12:54 The king said, "Bring him to me, so I can hire him to work for me." When he talked with him, he said, "Today, you have a prominent position with us.",
12:54 The King said, "Bring him to me so that I may appoint him a close adviser to me." And when he had spoken with him, the King decreed, "From today you have a high standing with us, invested with all trust."10
Note the Egyptian head of state of Prophet Joseph's era referred as ‘Malik’ Ruler or King and not as Pharaoh, the word that appears erroneously in the book of Genesis. The term Pharaoh came in use only for kings after 1500 BC which historians call the New Kingdom. Prophet Joseph lived around 1700 BC during the Old Kingdom, that of Amalekites. In the story of Moses, the term Pharaoh is used for the Egyptian ruler. Moses lived around 1400 BC during the New Kingdom, that of Pharaohs
12:55 Qala ijAAalnee AAala khaza-inial-ardi innee hafeethun AAaleemun
12:55 He said, "Make me keeper over the granaries of the land, for I know how to keep records and I am knowledgeable."
12:55 He said: "Appoint me over the granaries of the land, for I know how to keep records and I am knowledgeable."
12:55 [Joseph] replied: "Place in my charge the store-houses of the land; behold, I shall be a good and knowing keeper.55
By making this request, Joseph wanted to assure an efficient build-up of grain reserves during the coming years of plenty, knowing well that they would be followed by seven years of scarcity. It is obvious from the sequence that his request was granted, and that he was able to fulfil the task which he had set himself.
12:55 He said, "Make me the treasurer, for I am experienced in this area and knowledgeable.",
12:55 Joseph replied, "Place in my charge the land resources (the treasury) of the State. I will prove to be a knowledgeable guardian."11
Now that he could personally handle the oncoming drought
12:56 Wakathalika makanna liyoosufafee al-ardi yatabawwao minha haythu yashaonuseebu birahmatina man nashao walanudeeAAu ajra almuhsineena
12:56 Thus, We gave Joseph authority in the land, to travel in it as he pleases. We bestow Our mercy upon whom We please, and We do not waste the reward of the good doers.
12:56 Andit was such that We gave Joseph authority in the land, to travel in it as he pleases. We bestow Our mercy upon whom We please, and We do not waste the reward of the good doers.
12:56 And thus We established Joseph securely in the land [of Egypt]: he had full mastery over it, [doing] whatever he willed. [Thus do] We cause Our grace to alight upon whomever We will; and We do not fail to requite the doers of good.56
I.e., sometimes in this world as well, but invariably in the hereafter, as the sequence shows.
12:56 We thus established Joseph on earth, ruling as he wished. We shower our mercy upon whomever we will, and we never fail to recompense the righteous.,
12:56 Thus, We gave established power to Joseph in the land (of Egypt). He had full mastery over it, ruling as he saw fit. We bestow Our grace according to Our laws, and never waste the reward of the doers of good.
12:57 Walaajru al-akhirati khayrun lillatheenaamanoo wakanoo yattaqoona
12:57 The reward of the Hereafter is better for those who acknowledge and were aware.
12:57 Andthe reward of the Hereafter is better for those who believe and are aware.
12:57 But in the eyes of those who have attained to faith and have always been conscious of Us, a reward in the life to come is a far greater good [than any reward in this world].57
Lit., "for those who have attained to faith...", etc.
12:57 Additionally, the reward in the Hereafter is even better for those who believe and lead a righteous life.,
12:57 And the reward in the life to come is phenomenally better for all those who attain belief and live upright.
12:58 Wajaa ikhwatu yoosufa fadakhalooAAalayhi faAAarafahum wahum lahu munkiroona
Joseph's Brothers Travel to Egypt for Grain12:58 Joseph's brothers came and entered upon him, and he recognized them, but they did not recognize him.
12:58 Andthe brothers of Joseph came and entered upon him, and he recognized them, but they did not recognize him.
12:58 AND [after some years,] Joseph's brothers came [to Egypt]58 and presented themselves before him: and he knew them [at once], whereas they did not recognize him.
Le., to buy wheat from the stores which Joseph had accumulated during the seven years of plenty: for all the countries in the vicinity of Egypt were by now affected by the famine which he had predicted, and Egypt alone had a surplus, the distribution of which he supervised personally (cf. Genesis x1i, 54-57).
12:58 Joseph's brothers came; when they entered, he recognized them, while they did not recognize him.,
12:58 (And after some years) Joseph’s brothers came and presented themselves before him. Joseph recognized them, but they did not know him.12
They came from Can’aan to buy grain as places around Egypt started suffering the drought
12:59 Walamma jahhazahum bijahazihimqala i/toonee bi-akhin lakum min abeekum alatarawna annee oofee alkayla waana khayru almunzileena
12:59 So, when he furnished them with their provisions, he said, "Bring me a step-brother of yours who is from your father. Do you not see that I give full measure of grain and that I am the best of hosts?"13
Joseph was hiding his identity from his brothers. Wouldn't his knowledge about their missing brother give him away? Perhaps, Joseph prepared them for this by letting them talk about their family before; or, it was known by his brothers that he had official records about their family.
12:59 So,when he furnished them with their provisions, he said: "Bring me a brother of yours who is from your father. Do you not see that I give full measure of grain and that I am the best of hosts?"
12:59 And when he had provided them with their provisions, he said: "[When you come here next,] bring unto me that brother of yours from your father's side.59 Do you not see that I have given [you] full measure and have been the best of hosts?
Lit., "a brother of yours from your father"-i.e., their half-brother Benjamin, who was Joseph's full brother (their mother having been Rachel, Jacob's favourite wife), whereas the other ten had different mothers. Benjamin, the youngest of Jacob's children, had not accompanied his brothers on their first journey to Egypt, but they had presumably mentioned him in the course of their conversation with Joseph.
12:59 After he provided them with their provisions, he said, "Next time, bring with you your half-brother. Do you not see that I give full measure, and treat you generously?,
12:59 And when he had given them suitable provisions, he said, “Next time bring to me that brother of yours from your father’s side. Now you have seen that I am just and hospitable.”
12:60 Fa-in lam ta/toonee bihi fala kaylalakum AAindee wala taqrabooni
12:60 "But if you do not bring him to me, then there shall be no measure of grain for you with me, and do not come near me."
12:60 "But if you do not bring him to me, then there shall be no measure of grain for you with me, and do not come near me."
12:60 But if you do not bring him unto me, you shall never again receive a single measure [of grain] from me, nor shall you [be allowed to] come near me!"
12:60 "If you fail to bring him to me, you will get no share from me; you will not even come close.",
12:60 "And if you do not bring him to me, you will get no share from me; you will not even come close."
12:61 Qaloo sanurawidu AAanhu abahuwa-inna lafaAAiloona
12:61 They said, "We will try to get him away from his father, and we shall do it."
12:61 They said: "We will try to get him away from his father, and we shall be successful."
12:61 They answered: "We shall try to persuade his father to part with him, and, verily, we shall do [our utmost]!"
12:61 They said, "We will negotiate with his father about him. We will surely do this.",
12:61 They said, “We will try to persuade his father to let him go. We will surely do that.”
12:62 Waqala lifityanihi ijAAaloo bidaAAatahumfee rihalihim laAAallahum yaAArifoonaha ithainqalaboo ila ahlihim laAAallahum yarjiAAoona
12:62 He said to his servants: "Return their goods back into their bags, so that they will recognize it when they return to their family and they will come back again."
12:62 Andhe said to his servants: "Return their goods into their saddlebags, so that they may recognize it when they return to their family so that they may come back."
12:62 And [Joseph] said to his servants: "Place their merchandise60 in their camel-packs, so that they may find it there when they come home, and hence be the more eager to return.61
I.e., the goods which they had bartered for wheat (Ibn Kathir): a very plausible explanation in view of the fact that barter was the most common form of trade in those ancient times.
Lit., "so that they may perceive them when they come back to their family, [and] that they may return".
12:62 He then instructed his assistants: "Put their goods back in their bags. When they find them upon their return to their family, they may come back sooner.",
12:62 Joseph said to his servants, “Load their barter (the price of wheat) back in their saddlebags, so that they may find it when they go home, and hence be more eager to return.”
12:63 Falamma rajaAAoo ila abeehim qalooya abana muniAAa minna alkaylufaarsil maAAana akhana naktal wa-innalahu lahafithoona
12:63 So when they returned to their father, they said, "Our father, we have been banned from getting anymore measure of grain, so send our brother with us so we may be given a measure of grain, and we will be his guardians."
12:63 So when they returned to their father, they said: "Our father, we have been banned from getting anymore measure of grain, so send our brother with us so we may be given a measure of grain, and we will be his guardians."
12:63 And so, when they returned to their father, [Joseph's brothers] said: "O our father! All grain62 is [to be] withheld from us [in the future unless we bring Benjamin with us]: send, therefore, our brother with us, so that we may obtain our measure (of grain]; and, verily, we shall guard him well!"
Lit., "measure [of grain]", here used metonymically in an allusion to Joseph's words (verse 60).
12:63 When they returned to their father, they said, "Our father, we can no longer get any provisions, unless you send our brother with us. We will take good care of him.",
12:63 When they went back to their father, they said, “O Our father! All grain is to be withheld from us unless you send with us our brother (Benjamin). So send him so that we may obtain the measure, we will guard him well.”
12:64 Qala hal amanukum AAalayhi illakama amintukum AAala akheehi min qablu faAllahukhayrun hafithan wahuwa arhamu alrrahimeena
12:64 He said, "Shall I trust him with you as I trusted you with Joseph before that? God is the best guardian, and He is the Most Compassionate of those who show compassion."
12:64 He said: "Shall I trust him with you as I trusted you with Joseph before that? God is the best guardian, and He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy."
12:64 [Jacob] replied: "Shall I trust you with him in the same way63 as I trusted you with his brother (Joseph] aforetime? [Nay,] but God's guardianship is better [than yours], for He is the most merciful of the merciful!"
Lit., "not otherwise than".
12:64 He said, "Shall I trust you with him, as I trusted you with his brother before that? GOD is the best Protector, and, of all the merciful ones, He is the Most Merciful.",
12:64 Jacob said, "Shall I trust you with him as I trusted you with his brother? God is better at guarding and He is the most Merciful of the merciful."
12:65 Walamma fatahoo mataAAahumwajadoo bidaAAatahum ruddat ilayhim qaloo yaabana ma nabghee hathihi bidaAAatunaruddat ilayna wanameeru ahlana wanahfathuakhana wanazdadu kayla baAAeerin thalikakaylun yaseerun
12:65 So when they opened their bags, they found their goods had been returned to them, and they said, "Our father, what more can we desire, this is our goods returned to us, so we can get more for our family, and be guardians over our brother, and increase a measure of grain to load a camel. That is truly an easy measure!"
12:65 So when they opened their baggage, they found their goods had been returned to them, and they said: "Our father, what more can we desire, these are our goods returned to us, so we can get more for our family, and be guardians over our brother, and increase a measure of grain to load a camel. That is truly an easy measure!"
12:65 Thereupon, when they opened their packs, they discovered that their merchandise had been returned to them; [and] they said: "O our father! What more could we desire? Here is our merchandise: it has been returned to us! [If thou send Benjamin with us,] we shall (again] be able to bring food for our family, and shall guard our brother [well], and receive in addition another camel-load of grain64 That [which we have brought the first time] was but a scanty measure."
It would seem that Joseph used to allot to foreign buyers of grain one camel-load per person.
12:65 When they opened their bags, they found their goods returned to them. They said, "Our father, what more can we ask for? Here are our goods returned to us. We can thus provide for our family, protect our brother, and receive one more camel-load. This is certainly a profitable deal.",
12:65 When they opened their packs, they discovered that their barter had been returned to them. (The grand minister, the Prophet of God, had paid on their behalf.) They said, “O Our father! What more can we ask? We shall bring food for our family and guard our brother. And we shall have the extra measure of a camel load. The first load we have brought is but scant.”
12:66 Qala lan orsilahu maAAakum hattatu/tooni mawthiqan mina Allahi lata/tunnanee bihi illaan yuhata bikum falamma atawhu mawthiqahum qalaAllahu AAala ma naqoolu wakeelun
12:66 He said, "I will not send him with you until you give me a covenant before God that you will bring him back unless you are completely overtaken." So when they gave him their covenant, he said, "God is a guard over what we say."
12:66 He said: "I will not send him with you until you come to me with a covenant to God that you will bring him back unless you are completely overtaken." So when they brought him their covenant, he said: "God is placed in trust over what we say."
12:66 Said [Jacob]: "I will not send him with you until you give me a solemn pledge, before God, that you will indeed bring him back unto me, unless you yourselves be encompassed [by death]!" And when they had given him their solemn pledge, [Jacob] said: "God is witness to all that we say!"
12:66 He said, "I will not send him with you, unless you give me a solemn pledge before GOD that you will bring him back, unless you are utterly overwhelmed." When they gave him their solemn pledge, he said, "GOD is witnessing everything we say.",
12:66 Jacob said, “I will not send him with you until you give me a solemn pledge in the name of God, that you will bring him back to me unless you get surrounded (by circumstances beyond control). And when they gave him their solemn pledge, he said, "God is the witnessing Guardian over all we say."
12:67 Waqala ya baniyya latadkhuloo min babin wahidin waodkhuloo minabwabin mutafarriqatin wama oghnee AAankum mina Allahimin shay-in ini alhukmu illa lillahiAAalayhi tawakkaltu waAAalayhi falyatawakkali almutawakkiloona
Risk Reduction12:67 He said, "My sons, do not enter from one gate, but enter from separate gates; and I cannot avail you anything against God, for the judgment is to God. In Him I put my trust, and in Him those who put their trust should trust."
12:67 Andhe said: "My sons, do not enter from one gate, but enter from separate gates; and I cannot avail you anything against God, for the judgment is to God. In Him I place my trust, and in Him those who place their trust should trust."
12:67 And he added: "O my sons! Do not enter [the city all] by one gate, but enter by different gates.65 Yet [even so,] I can be of no avail whatever to you against [anything that may be willed by] God: judgment [as to what is to happen] rests with none but God. In Him have I placed my trust: for, all who have trust [in His existence] must place their trust in Him alone."
Probably in order not to attract undue attention in the foreign land and possibly fall prey to intrigues. See in this connection note 68 below.
12:67 And he said, "O my sons, do not enter from one door; enter through separate doors. However, I cannot save you from anything that is predetermined by GOD. To GOD belongs all judgments. I trust in Him, and in Him shall all the trusters put their trust.",
12:67 And he said, “O My sons! Do not enter the town all by one gate, but enter by different gates. Yet, I cannot avail you against the Divine laws. (So, handle all situations accordingly.) Rule and law-giving belongs to God alone. In Him I trust, and everyone must place trust in Him since the Divine laws never change."13
17:77, 33:38, 35:43. It is a common misconception that Jacob told his eleven sons to enter by different gates to obviate ‘evil eye’. Historically the brothers had been accused of spying on a previous occasion. The Qur’an consistently rejects all superstition. Genesis 42:9 And Joseph remembered the dreams which he dreamed of them, and said to them, Ye are spies; to see the nakedness of the land ye are come
12:68 Walamma dakhaloo min haythuamarahum aboohum ma kana yughnee AAanhum mina Allahimin shay-in illa hajatan fee nafsi yaAAqooba qadahawa-innahu lathoo AAilmin lima AAallamnahuwalakinna akthara alnnasi layaAAlamoona
12:68 When they entered from where their father had commanded them, it would not have availed them in the least against God, but it was out of a concern in Jacob's person. Since We have taught him, he had certain knowledge; but most people do not know.14
Perhaps, Jacob thought that a crowded group would pull the attention of officers or spies on the Egyptian border. Putting the eggs in different baskets is one of the ways of risk management.
12:68 Andwhen they entered from where their father had commanded them, it would not have availed them in the least against God, but it was out of a concern in the soul of Jacob that he brought out. And he is with knowledge for what We taught him, but most of the people do not know.
12:68 But although66 they entered [Joseph's city] in the way their father had bidden them, this proved of no avail whatever to them against [the plan of] God67 [His request] had served only to satisfy Jacob's heartfelt desire [to protect them]:68 for, behold, thanks to what We had imparted unto him, he was indeed endowed with the knowledge [that God's will must always prevail69 ]; but most people know it not.
As is shown in the sequence, they and their father were to suffer severe distress before their adventures came to a happy conclusion.
Lit., "it (i.e., his request that they should enter the city by different gates] had been but a desire in Jacob's heart (nafs), which he [thus] satisfied". In other words, when he gave his sons this advice, he followed only an instinctive, humanly-understandable urge, and did not really expect that any outward precaution would by itself help them: for, as he himself pointed out on parting, "judgment as to what is to happen rests with none but God". This stress on man's utter dependence on God - a fundamental tenet of Islam - explains why Jacob's advice (which in itself is not relevant to the story) has been mentioned in the above Qur'anic narrative.
This interpolated clause is based on Zamakhshari 's interpretation of the above reference to Jacob's having been "endowed with knowledge".
Jacob Senses Joseph12:68 When they went (to Joseph), they entered in accordance with their father's instructions. Although this could not change anything decreed by GOD, Jacob had a private reason for asking them to do this. For he possessed certain knowledge that we taught him, but most people do not know.,
12:68 When they went, they entered the town as their father instructed. Jacob was quite right that even he (a Prophet of God) could not avail them against the Divine laws. It was a duty that he did (giving the correct advice to his sons), although it could not prevent what was to happen (with Benjamin 12:75-81). He was, by Our instruction, full of knowledge. But most people do not know.
12:69 Walamma dakhaloo AAala yoosufaawa ilayhi akhahu qala innee anaakhooka fala tabta-is bima kanoo yaAAmaloona
12:69 When they entered upon Joseph, he called his brother to himself and said, "I am your brother, so do not be saddened by what they have done."
12:69 Andwhen they entered upon Joseph, he called his brother to himself and said: "I am your brother, so do not be saddened by what they have done."
12:69 AND WHEN [the sons of Jacob] presented themselves before Joseph, he drew his brother [Benjamin] unto himself, saying [to him in secret]: "Behold, I am thy brother! So grieve thou not over their past doings!"70
Thus, contrary to the Biblical account, Joseph is stated here to have disclosed his identity to Benjamin long before he revealed himself to his ten half-brothers. The words "their past doings" obviously refer to their treacherous behaviour towards himself which Joseph had now presumably disclosed to Benjamin.
Back in Egypt12:69 When they entered Joseph's place, he brought his brother closer to him and said, "I am your brother; do not be saddened by their actions.",
12:69 When they met with Joseph, he brought his brother closer to him and said, "I am your brother, do not grieve about what they have been doing to us."
12:70 Falamma jahhazahum bijahazihimjaAAala alssiqayata fee rahli akheehi thummaaththana mu-aththinun ayyatuha alAAeeruinnakum lasariqoona
Joseph Keeps His Brother from the Same Mother12:70 When he furnished them with their provisions, he placed the measuring bowl in his brother's bag. Then a caller cried out: "O you in the caravan, you are thieves!"
12:70 So when he furnished them with their provisions, he placed the measuring bowl in the saddlebag of his brother, then a caller cried out: "O you in the caravan, you are thieves!"
12:70 And [later,] when he had provided them with their provisions, he placed the [King's] drinking-cup in his brother's camel-pack. And [as they were leaving the city,] a herald71 called out: "O you people of the caravan! Verily, you are thieves!72
Lit., "an announcer" (mu'adhdhin) - a noun derived from the verbal form adhdhana ("he announced" or "proclaimed" or "called out publicly").
Commenting on this verse, Razi says: "Nowhere in the Qur'an is it stated that they made this accusation on Joseph's orders; the circumstantial evidence shows rather (al-aqrab ila zahir al-hal) that they did this of their own accord: for, when they had missed the drinking-cup, [these servants of Joseph remembered that] nobody had been near it [except the sons of Jacob], and so it occurred to them that it was they who had taken it." Analogous views are also advanced by Tabari and Zamakhshari in their comments on the last words of verse 76 below. This extremely plausible explanation contrasts sharply with the Biblical account of this incident (Genesis xliv), according to which the false accusation was part of an inexplicable "stratagem" devised by Joseph. If we discard-as we must-this part of the Biblical version, it is far more logical to assume that Joseph, who had been granted by the King full authority over all that belonged to the latter (see verse 56 above), had placed the royal cup as a present in the bag of his favourite brother; and that he did this secretly, without informing his servants, because he did not want anyone, least of all his ten half-brothers, to know his predilection for Benjamin. For a further explanation of this incident and of its ethical relevance within the context of Joseph's story, see note 77 below.
Joseph Keeps His Brother12:70 When he provided them with their provisions, he placed the drinking cup in his brother's bag, then an announcer announced: "The owners of this caravan are thieves.",
12:70 As the camels were being loaded, one of the brothers hid the drinking-cup into his brother’s (Benjamin's) saddlebag. Then a caller cried, "O Camel-riders! You are thieves!"14
12:77. The Qur’an here corrects Genesis which states that it was Joseph who had placed the cup in their pack
12:71 Qaloo waaqbaloo AAalayhim mathatafqidoona
12:71 They said, turning towards them: "What is it you are missing?"
12:71 They said, while coming towards them: "What is it you are missing?"
12:71 Turning towards the herald and his companions, the brothers asked:73 "What is it that you miss?"
Lit., "They said, turning towards them".
12:71 They said, as they came towards them, "What did you lose?",
12:71 They said, coming towards them, "What is it that you have lost?"
12:72 Qaloo nafqidu suwaAAaalmaliki waliman jaa bihi himlu baAAeerin waanabihi zaAAeemun
12:72 He said, "We are missing the measuring bowl of the King, and whoever finds it shall receive a camel-load; I guarantee this."
12:72 They said: "We are missing the measuring bowl of the king, and whoever can produce it, will be given the load of a camel; and I will be bound by this."
12:72 They answered: "We miss the King's goblet; and he who produces it shall receive a camel-load [of grain as reward]!" And [the herald added:] "I pledge myself to this _ [promise]!"
12:72 They said, "We lost the king's cup. Anyone who returns it will receive an extra camel-load; I personally guarantee this.",
12:72 They said, “We have lost the King's cup, and whoever produces it shall have an extra camel-load, and I (the chief royal servant) guarantee that.”
12:73 Qaloo taAllahi laqadAAalimtum ma ji/na linufsida fee al-ardi wamakunna sariqeena
12:73 They said, "By God, you know we did not come to cause corruption in the land, and we are no thieves!"
12:73 They said: "By God, you know we have not come to cause corruption in the land, and we are not thieves!"
12:73 Said [the brothers]: "By God! Well do you know that we have not come to commit deeds of corruption in this land, and that we have not been thieving!"
12:73 They said, "By GOD, you know full well that we did not come here to commit evil, nor are we thieves.",
12:73 They explained, “By God! Well you know that we did not come here to create mischief in the land, and we are not thieves.”
12:74 Qaloo fama jazaohu inkuntum kathibeena
12:74 He said, "What shall be the punishment, if you are not truthful?"
12:74 They said: "What shall be the punishment, if you are not truthful?"
12:74 [The Egyptians] said: "But what shall be the requital of this [deed] if you are [proved to be] liars?"74
Most of the commentators (relying, perhaps on Exodus xxii, 3) assume that this was the customary punishment for theft among the ancient Hebrews. Razi, however, suggests that this last sentence may not be a part of the brothers' answer but a confirmatory remark made by the Egyptian herald, meaning, "[In fact,] thus do we [Egyptians] requite the doers of such wrong".
12:74 They said, "What is the punishment for the thief, if you are liars?",
12:74 The callers asked, "What shall be the penalty for it if you prove liars?"
12:75 Qaloo jazaohu man wujida feerahlihi fahuwa jazaohu kathalika najzee alththalimeena
12:75 They said, "The punishment is that the person who has it in his bag shall himself be held as penalty. It is such that we punish the wicked."
12:75 They said: "The punishment is that he in whose saddlebag it is found will himself serve as the punishment. It is so that we punish the wicked."
12:75 [The brothers] replied: "Its requital? He in whose camel-pack [the cup] is found-he shall be [enslaved as] a requital thereof! Thus do we [ourselves] requite the doers of [such] wrong.*
12:75 They said, "The punishment, if it is found in his bag, is that the thief belongs to you. We thus punish the guilty.",
12:75 The brothers replied, "The penalty for it! He in whose bag the cup is found, he shall be the penalty for it. (The thief will become your slave.) Thus we requite the doers of such wrong (in our land)."
12:76 Fabadaa bi-awAAiyatihim qabla wiAAa-iakheehi thumma istakhrajaha min wiAAa-i akheehi kathalikakidna liyoosufa ma kana liya/khuthaakhahu fee deeni almaliki illa an yashaa AllahunarfaAAu darajatin man nashao wafawqa kulli theeAAilmin AAaleemun
12:76 So he began with their bags before his brother's bag. Then he brought it out of his brother's bag. It was such that We planned for Joseph, for he would not have been able to take his brother under the King's system, except that God wished it so. We raise the degrees of whom We please, and over every one of knowledge is the All Knowledgeable.15
This verse raises the dilemma of choosing between legal and moral alternatives. If laws are based on reason and universal principles, they usually do not create such dilemmas. However, even the best and most just laws, occasionally deny justice in some special cases. Then, a person might find himself in a conundrum: the legal and moral virtue of applying the law consistently, or the moral imperative of suspending the application of the law to bring about justice. Here, we are informed that as an officer of the Egyptian government, Joseph is using the laws of Israel rather than the Egyptian law. This was perhaps illegal, but was it also immoral? Joseph could defend his action by claiming that his illegal action did not harm anyone, and he had a good intention. Indeed, this intentionally good "trick" ends the tragedy and pain of a big family.
12:76 So he began with their bags before the bag of his brother. Then he brought it out of the bag of his brother. It was such that We planned for Joseph, for he would not have been able to take his brother under the system of the king, except that God wished it so. We raise the degrees of whom We please, and over every one of knowledge is the All Knowledgeable.
12:76 Thereupon [they were brought before Joseph to be searched; and] he began with the bags of his half-brothers75 before the bag of his brother [Benjamin]: and in the end he brought forth the drinking Cups76 out of his brother's bag. In this way did We contrive for Joseph [the attainment of his heart's desire]: under the King's law, he would [otherwise] not have been able to detain his brother, had not God so willed. We do raise to [high] degrees [of knowledge] whomever We will - but above everyone who is endowed with knowledge there is One who knows all.77
Lit., "with their bags".
Lit., "he brought it out".
The meaning of this story is now clear: it is a further illustration of the basic doctrine that "judgment [as to what is to happen] rests with none but God" (verse 67 above). Joseph had wanted to keep Benjamin with himself, but under the law of Egypt he could not do this without the consent of his half-brothers, who were the legal guardians of their minor brother; and they -bound as they were by the solemn promise given to their father-would certainly not have agreed to Benjamin's remaining behind. The only other alternative open to Joseph was to disclose his identity to them; but since he was not yet prepared td go so far, he was obliged to allow Benjamin to depart with his brothers. The accidental discovery of his gift, entirely unexpected by Joseph (see note 72 above), changed everything: for now Benjamin appeared to be guilty of theft, and under the law of the land Joseph was entitled to claim him as his slave, and thus to keep him in his house. The words, "In this way did We contrive (kidna) for Joseph [the attainment of his heart's desire]", referring to the incident of the cup, indicate that its final outcome was neither planned nor even foreseen by Joseph.
12:76 He then started by inspecting their containers, before getting to his brother's container, and he extracted it out of his brother's container. We thus perfected the scheme for Joseph; he could not have kept his brother if he applied the king's law. But that was the will of GOD. We exalt whomever we choose to higher ranks. Above every knowledgeable one, there is one who is even more knowledgeable.,
12:76 They were brought before Joseph for the search. He began with the bags of his half-brothers before the bag of his brother (Benjamin). And he finally extracted the cup out of his brother’s bag. We thus perfected the plan for Joseph. He could not have detained his brother under the King's law. But that was the will of God. We raise people in ranks according to Our laws. Yet, above every person of knowledge there is One Who knows all.
12:77 Qaloo in yasriq faqad saraqa akhunlahu min qablu faasarraha yoosufu fee nafsihi walam yubdihalahum qala antum sharrun makanan waAllahuaAAlamu bima tasifoona
12:77 They said, "If he has stolen, there was a brother of his before who also had stolen." Joseph kept this all inside himself, and did not reveal anything to them. He said, "You are in a worse position, and God best knows what you describe."
12:77 They said: "If he has stolen, there was a brother of his before who also had stolen." Joseph kept this all inside himself, and did not reveal anything to them. He said: "You are in an awkward position, and God best knows what you describe."
12:77 [As soon as the cup came to light out of Benjamin's bag, the brothers] exclaimed: "If he has stolen-well, a brother of his used to steal afore-time !"78 Thereupon Joseph said to himself, without revealing his thought to them:79 "You are far worse in this respect, and God is fully aware of what you are saying.80
The reference is obviously to Benjamin's full brother, Joseph. In the absence of any indication that the latter had ever before been accused of theft, it is reasonable to assume that the brothers, unaware of the fact that they were standing before Joseph, simply wanted to vilify him in order to dissociate themselves more effectively from Benjamin, who now appeared to have been convicted of theft.
Lit ., "Joseph concealed it within himself and did not reveal it to them; he said. . .", etc. According to almost all the commentators, the pronoun "it" refers to Joseph's subsequent "saying" or, rather, thought, indicated by the verb "he said" (i.e., within himself); hence my free rendering of this phrase.
Lit., "of what you attribute", i.e., to Joseph and Benjamin-sc., "since you yourselves have stolen Joseph from his father".
12:77 They said, "If he stole, so did a brother of his in the past." Joseph concealed his feelings in himself, and did not give them any clue. He said (to himself), "You are really bad. GOD is fully aware of your accusations.",
12:77 The brothers said, "If he stole, so did his brother in the past." Joseph stayed quiet, revealing nothing. He only said in his heart, "You are in worse case, and God is the Best Knower of what you allege."
12:78 Qaloo ya ayyuhaalAAazeezu inna lahu aban shaykhan kabeeran fakhuth ahadanamakanahu inna naraka mina almuhsineena
12:78 They said, "O Governor, he has an elderly father, so take one of us in his place. Indeed we see you as one of the good doers."
12:78 They said: "O governor, he has an elderly father, so take one of us in his place. Indeed we see you as one of the good doers."
12:78 They said: "O thou great one! Behold, he has a father, a very old man: detain, therefore, one of us in his stead. Verily, we see that thou art a doer of good!"
12:78 They said, "O you noble one, he has a father who is elderly; would you take one of us in his place? We see that you are a kind man.",
12:78 They said to Joseph, "O Noble one! He has an aged father, so take one of us instead of him. We see that you are a doer of good."
12:79 Qala maAAatha Allahi anna/khutha illa man wajadna mataAAanaAAindahu inna ithan lathalimoona
12:79 He said, "God forbid that we would take anyone except he whom we found our belongings with. Indeed, we would then be wrong doers."
12:79 He said: "Refuge is sought with God that we would take anyone except he whom we found our belongings with. Indeed, we would then be wrong doers."
12:79 He answered: "May God preserve us from [the sin of] detaining any other than him with whom we have found our property-for then, behold, we would indeed be evildoers!"
12:79 He said, "GOD forbid that we should take other than the one in whose possession we found our goods. Otherwise, we would be unjust.",
12:79 He answered, “God save us from detaining other than the one with whom we found our goods. Otherwise, we would be unjust.”
12:80 Falamma istay-asoo minhu khalasoonajiyyan qala kabeeruhum alam taAAlamoo anna abakumqad akhatha AAalaykum mawthiqan mina Allahi waminqablu ma farrattum fee yoosufa falan abrahaal-arda hatta ya/thana lee abee aw yahkumaAllahu lee wahuwa khayru alhakimeena
12:80 So when they gave up from him, they held a conference in private. The eldest of them said, "Did you not know that your father has taken a covenant from you before God, and the past, you also failed in your duty with Joseph? I will not leave this land until my father permits me to do so or that God will judge for me. He is the best of judges."
12:80 So when they gave-up from him, they held a conference in private. The eldest of them said: "Did you not know that your father has taken a covenant over you with God, and before this you also failed in your duty with Joseph? I will not leave this land until my father permits me to do so or that God will judge for me. He is the best of judges."
12:80 And so, when they lost all hope of [moving] him, they withdrew to take counsel [among themselves]. The eldest of them said: "Do you not remember81 that your father has bound you by a solemn pledge before God - and how, before that, you had failed with regard to Joseph? Hence, I shall not depart from this land till my father gives me leave or God passes judgment in my favour:82 for He is the best of all judges.
Lit., "know" -but since this expression denotes here remembrance rather than knowledge in the proper sense of the word, it can be suitably translated as above.
I.e., "enables me to win back my brother Benjamin".
12:80 When they despaired of changing his mind, they conferred together. Their eldest said, "Do you realize that your father has taken a solemn pledge from you before GOD? In the past you lost Joseph. I am not leaving this place until my father gives me permission, or until GOD judges for me; He is the best Judge.,
12:80 So, when they lost hope, they conferred in private. The eldest among them said, “Do you not know that your father took a solemn pledge from you in God’s name, and how you failed in the case of Joseph before? I shall not go from this place until my father gives leave or God judges for me. He is the Best of deciders.”
12:81 IrjiAAoo ila abeekum faqooloo yaabana inna ibnaka saraqa wama shahidnailla bima AAalimna wama kunnalilghaybi hafitheena
12:81 "Return to your father, and tell him: "Our father, your son has stolen, and we did not witness except what we learned, and we could not know the unseen!"
12:81 "Return to your father, and tell him: "Our father, your son has stolen, and we did not witness except what we learned, and we could not know the unseen!"
12:81 [And as for you others,] return to your father and say: `O our father! Behold, thy son has stolen-but we [can] bear witness to no more than what has become known to us;83 and [although we gave you our pledge,] we could not guard against something that [lay hidden in the future and, hence,] was beyond the reach of our perception.84
I.e., the finding of the King's cup in Benjamin's bag (Baghawi and Zamakhshari).
Lit., "We were not guardians over that which was beyond the reach of [our] perception": i.e., "at the time when we gave you our pledge regarding Benjamin; we did not know that he would steal" (Zamakhshari).
12:81 "Go back to your father and tell him...,
12:81 (He told the rest of the brothers), “Return to your father and say, ‘O Our father! Your son has committed theft. We bear witness only to what we know. And we could not guard against the unseen.
12:82 Wais-ali alqaryata allatee kunnafeeha waalAAeera allatee aqbalna feehawa-inna lasadiqoona
12:82 "Ask the people of the town which we were in, and the caravan which we have returned with. We are being truthful."
12:82 "And ask the people of the town which we were in, and the caravan which we have returned with. We are being truthful."
12:82 And ask thou in the town in which we were [at the time], and of the people of the caravan with whom we travelled hither, and [thou wilt find that] we, are indeed telling the truth!"'
Back In Palestine12:82 `You may ask the community where we were, and the caravan that came back with us. We are telling the truth.' ",
12:82 Ask the township where we were, and the caravan we came with. We are certainly telling the truth.’"
12:83 Qala bal sawwalat lakum anfusukumamran fasabrun jameelun AAasa Allahu anya/tiyanee bihim jameeAAan innahu huwa alAAaleemu alhakeemu
12:83 He replied: "No, you lured yourself to commit this work. So patience is good; perhaps God will bring them all to me. He is the Knowledgeable, the Wise."16
Reading the father's answer immediately after reading the recommended message of the big brother is an intriguing and economic style of narrating a story. Through this technique, the repetition of what the message of the big brother in verses 81-82 was, and an introductory statement such as "When they returned to Palestine they reported their situation according to what the recommendation of their older brother was," are avoided. The conversation among the brothers while they were in Egypt, with the 83rd verse, suddenly jumps over three dimensions (place, time, and context) and transforms into a conversation between them and their father in Palestine. See 20:47; 26:16.
12:83 He said: "No, for it is your own souls that have conspired you to this. So patience is most fitting, perhaps God will bring them all to me. He is the Knowledgeable, the Wise."
12:83 [AND WHEN they returned to their father and told him what had happened,] he exclaimed: "Nay, but it is your [own] minds that have made [so terrible] a happening seem a matter of little account to you! But [as for myself,] patience in adversity is most goodly; God may well bring them all [back] unto me:85 verily, He alone is all-knowing, truly wise!"
I.e., Benjamin and the eldest son (who had remained in Egypt) as well as Joseph, of whose alleged death Jacob was never fully convinced (cf. note 17).
12:83 He said, "Indeed, you have conspired to carry out a certain scheme. Quiet patience is my only recourse. May GOD bring them all back to me. He is the Omniscient, Most Wise.",
12:83 Jacob said, "Nay, you have made up yet another story good enough only for you. But I resort to decent forbearance. May God bring them all to me! He, only He, is the Knower, the Wise."
12:84 Watawalla AAanhum waqala yaasafa AAala yoosufa waibyaddat AAaynahumina alhuzni fahuwa katheemun
Father is Stricken With Psychosomatic Blindness12:84 He turned away from them and said, "Oh, my grief over Joseph." His eyes turned white from sadness, and he became blind.
12:84 Andhe turned away from them and said: "Oh, my sorrow over Joseph." And his eyes turned white from sadness, and he became blind.
12:84 But he turned away from them and said: "O woe is me for Joseph!"-and his eyes became dim86 from the grief with which he was filled.
Lit., "white": i.e., dim with the tears that filled them (Razi). Although Jacob was now deprived of three of his sons, his grief for Joseph was the most acute because he was the only one of the three of whom Jacob did not know whether he was dead or alive.
12:84 He turned away from them, saying, "I am grieving over Joseph." His eyes turned white from grieving so much; he was truly sad.,
12:84 Then Jacob turned away from them saying, “Ah, my grief for Joseph!” His eyes glistened with tears but he suppressed his grief.”15
Jacob worried more about Joseph since he had no news of him yet. Many exponents at this point have ventured into strange guesswork. They report that Prophet Jacob became blind, crying incessantly for eighty years grieving for Joseph! The Bible relates that Jacob lived to be 147 years old. Even so, it is not befitting of a Prophet of God, or even an ordinary person, to turn blind with grief and weep incessantly for 80 years. The whiteness of his eyes in this verse clearly refers to his eyes glistening with tears momentarily. And then he controlled his grief
12:85 Qaloo taAllahi taftaotathkuru yoosufa hatta takoona haradanaw takoona mina alhalikeena
12:85 They said, "By God, will you never cease to remember Joseph until you become ill or you are dead!"
12:85 They said: "By God, you will never cease to remember Joseph until you become senile or become dead!"
12:85 Said [his sons]: "By God! Thou wilt never cease to remember, Joseph till thou art broken in body and spirit or art dead!"
12:85 They said, "By GOD, you will keep on grieving over Joseph until you become ill, or until you die.",
12:85 His sons said, "By God! You will never cease remembering Joseph until your health is ruined or you perish."
12:86 Qala innama ashkoo baththee wahuzneeila Allahi waaAAlamu mina Allahi ma lataAAlamoona
12:86 He said, "I merely complain my grief and sorrow to God, and I know from God what you do not know."
12:86 He said: "I merely complain my grief and sorrow to God, and I know from God what you do not know."
12:86 He answered: "It is only to God that I complain of my deep grief and my sorrow: for I know, from God, something that you do not know.87
Namely, that "judgment as to what is to happen rests with none but God", and that "all who have 'trust [in His existence] must place their trust in Him alone" (verse 67): the twin ideas which underlie the whole of this surah, and which Jacob now seeks to impress upon his sons. In addition to this, his remembrance of Joseph's prophetic dream (verse 4) and his own conviction at the time that his beloved son would be elected by God for His special grace (verse 6), fills Jacob with renewed hope that Joseph is still alive (Razi and Ibn Kathir): and this explains the directives which he gives his sons in the next sentence.
12:86 He said, "I simply complain to GOD about my dilemma and grief, for I know from GOD what you do not know.,
12:86 . He said, "I present my distress and anguish only to God and I know from God what you know not."
12:87 Ya baniyya ithhaboo fatahassasoomin yoosufa waakheehi wala tay-asoo min rawhi Allahiinnahu la yay-asu min rawhi Allahi illaalqawmu alkafiroona
12:87 "My sons, go and inquire about Joseph and his brother, and do not give up from God's Spirit. The only people who would give up from God's Spirit are the ingrates of acknowledgment."17
12:87 "Mysons, go and inquire about Joseph and his brother, and do not despair from the spirit of God. The only ones who would despair from the spirit of God are the people who are rejecters."
12:87 [Hence,] O my sons, go forth and try to obtain some tidings of Joseph and his brother; and do not lose hope of God's life-giving mercy:88 verily, none but people who deny the truth can ever lose hope of God's life-giving mercy.
According to most of the commentators, especially Ibn `Abbas (as quoted by Tabari and others), the term rawh is here synonymous with rahmah ("grace" or "mercy"). Since it is linguistically related to the noun ruh ("breath of life" or "spirit"), and has also the metonymic significance of "rest" (rahah) from grief and sadness (Taj al-'Arus), the most appropriate rendering would seem to be "life-giving mercy".
12:87 "O my sons, go fetch Joseph and his brother, and never despair of GOD's grace. None despairs of GOD's grace except the disbelieving people.",
12:87 “O My sons! Go and find Joseph and his brother and never despair God’s grace. None but the disbelievers (in His attributes) despair the grace of God.”
12:88 Falamma dakhaloo AAalayhi qalooya ayyuha alAAazeezu massana waahlanaalddurru waji/na bibidaAAatin muzjatinfaawfi lana alkayla watasaddaq AAalayna innaAllaha yajzee almutasaddiqeena
The Family Secret is Unveiled12:88 So when they entered upon him, they said, "O Governor, we have been afflicted with harm, us and our family, and we have come with poor goods to trade, so give us a measure of grain, and be charitable towards us, for God does reward the charitable."
12:88 So when they entered upon him, they said: "O governor, we have been afflicted with harm, us and our family, and we have come with poor goods to trade, so give us a measure of grain, and be charitable towards us, for God rewards the charitable."
12:88 [AND THE SONS of Jacob went back to Egypt and to Joseph;] and when they presented themselves before him, they said: "O thou great one! Hardship has visited us and our folk, and so we have brought but scanty merchandise;89 but give us a full measure [of grain], and be charitable to us: behold, God rewards those who give in charity!"
I.e., goods which they intended to barter for grain (see note 60 above).
Israel Goes to Egypt12:88 When they entered (Joseph's) quarters, they said, "O you noble one, we have suffered a lot of hardship, along with our family, and we have brought inferior goods. But we hope that you will give us full measure and be charitable to us. GOD rewards the charitable.",
12:88 When they came before Joseph, they said, “O Noble one! We have suffered a lot of hardship along with our family. We bring only inferior barter to pay. So give us the full measure, and be charitable to us. God rewards the charitable.”
12:89 Qala hal AAalimtum mafaAAaltum biyoosufa waakheehi ith antum jahiloona
12:89 He said, "Do you know what you have done with Joseph and his brother, during your ignorance?"
12:89 He said: "Do you know what you have done with Joseph and his brother, while you were ignorant?"
12:89 Replied he: "Do you remember90 what you did to Joseph and his brother when you were still unaware [of right and wrong]?"91
Lit., "know" (see note 81).
By coupling his own name with that of Benjamin he possibly hinted at his brothers' early envy and hatred of the two sons of Rachel (cf. verse 8 of this surah and the corresponding note 12); alternatively, the mention of Benjamin may have been due to the readiness with which they accepted the "evidence" of the latter's guilt (verse 77).
12:89 He said, "Do you recall what you did to Joseph and his brother when you were ignorant?",
12:89 As he granted the request, Joseph said, “Do you remember what you did to Joseph and his brother in your ignorance?”
12:90 Qaloo a-innaka laanta yoosufa qalaana yoosufu wahatha akhee qad manna AllahuAAalayna innahu man yattaqi wayasbir fa-inna Allahala yudeeAAu ajra almuhsineena
12:90 They said, "Are you indeed Joseph?" He said, "I am Joseph, and this is my brother. God has been gracious to us. For anyone who reveres and is patient, then God will not waste the reward of the good doers."
12:90 They said: "Are you indeed Joseph?" He said: "I am Joseph, and this is my brother. God has been gracious to us. For anyone who reverences and is patient, God will not waste the reward of the good doers."
12:90 They exclaimed: "Why - is it indeed thou who art Joseph?" He answered: "I am Joseph, and this is my brother. God has indeed been gracious unto us. Verily, if one is92 conscious of Him and patient in adversity behold, God does not fail to requite the doers of good!"
Lit., "whoever is...", etc.
12:90 They said, "You must be Joseph." He said, "I am Joseph, and here is my brother. GOD has blessed us. That is because if one leads a righteous life, and steadfastly perseveres, GOD never fails to reward the righteous.",
12:90 They exclaimed, “What? Is it really you who are Joseph?” He answered, “I am Joseph and this is my brother. God has been Gracious to us. If one empowers himself against evil, and is steadfast, God never wastes the reward of such doers of good.”
12:91 Qaloo taAllahi laqad atharakaAllahu AAalayna wa-in kunna lakhati-eena
12:91 They said, "By God, God has indeed preferred you over us and we were wrongdoers."
12:91 They said: "By God, God has indeed preferred you over us and we have been wrongdoers."
12:91 [The brothers] said: "By God! Most certainly has God raised thee high above us, and we were indeed but sinners!"
12:91 They said, "By GOD, GOD has truly preferred you over us. We were definitely wrong.",
12:91 They said, “By God! God has exalted you above us, and we were at fault.”
12:92 Qala la tathreeba AAalaykumualyawma yaghfiru Allahu lakum wahuwa arhamu alrrahimeena
12:92 He said, "There is no blame on you this day, may God forgive you, and He is the most Compassionate of those who show compassion."18
What a beautiful example of clemency!
12:92 He said: "There is no blame on you this day, may God forgive you, and He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy."
12:92 Said he: "No reproach shall be uttered today against you. May God forgive you your sins: for He is the most merciful of the merciful!
12:92 He said, "There is no blame upon you today. May GOD forgive you. Of all the merciful ones, He is the Most Merciful.,
12:92 Joseph said, “There is no blame on you this day! May God forgive you, and He is the Most Merciful of the merciful.”
12:93 Ithhaboo biqameesee hathafaalqoohu AAala wajhi abee ya/ti baseeran wa/tooneebi-ahlikum ajmaAAeena
12:93 "Take this shirt of mine and cast it over my fathers face, and he will become with sight; and bring to me all your family."
12:93 "Take this shirt of mine and cast it over the face of my father, and he will have sight; and bring to me all your family."
12:93 [And now] go and take this tunic of mine and lay it over my father's face, and he will recover his sight.93 And thereupon come [back] to me with all your family."
Lit., "he will become seeing [again]"-i.e., "he will cease to weep for me and the dimness of his sight caused by unhappiness and constant weeping will disappear on learning that I am alive": thus may be summed up Razi's explanation of the above sentence. According to him, there is no compelling reason to assume that Jacob had become really blind from grief. -The phrase "lay it over my father's face" could also be rendered as "lay it before my father", since the term wajh (lit., "face") is often used in classical Arabic to denote, metonymically, one's whole personality, or whole being.
12:93 "Take this shirt of mine; when you throw it on my father's face, his vision will be restored. Bring your whole family and come back to me.",7
This marks the beginning of the Children of Israel in Egypt. Moses led them out of Egypt a few centuries later.
12:93 Now, go and take this royal shirt of mine and show it to my father. He will see the reality of things. Then, bring all your family to me.
12:94 Walamma fasalati alAAeeru qalaaboohum innee laajidu reeha yoosufa lawla antufannidooni
12:94 When the caravan departed, their father said, "I do indeed feel the scent of Joseph, except that you may think me senile."
12:94 Andwhen the caravan departed, their father said: "I do indeed feel the scent of Joseph, except that you may think me senile."
12:94 AND AS SOON as the caravan [with which Jacob's sons were travelling] was on its way,94 their father said [to the people around him]: "Behold, were it not that you might consider me a dotard, [I would say that] I truly feel the breath of Joseph [in the air]!"
Lit., "had departed", i.e., from Egypt.
12:94 Even before the caravan arrived, their father said, "I can sense the smell of Joseph. Will someone enlighten me?",
12:94 As soon as the caravan departed from Egypt, their father (Jacob) began saying, “I do scent the presence of Joseph even though you may call me senile.”
12:95 Qaloo taAllahi innakalafee dalalika alqadeemi
12:95 People said, "By God, you are back to your old misguidance."
12:95 They said: "By God, you are back to your old misguidance."
12:95 They answered: "By God! Thou art indeed still lost in thy old aberration!"
12:95 They said, "By GOD, you are still in your old confusion.",
12:95 They said, “By God! You are still in your old confusion.”
12:96 Falamma an jaa albasheeru alqahuAAala wajhihi fairtadda baseeran qalaalam aqul lakum innee aAAlamu mina Allahi ma lataAAlamoona
12:96 Then, when the bearer of good news came, he cast it over his face and his sight was restored. He said, "Did I not tell you that I know from God what you do not know?"
12:96 Then, when the bearer of good news came, he cast it over his face and he regained sight. He said: "Did I not tell you that I know from God what you do not know?"
12:96 But when the bearer of good tidings came [with Joseph's tunic], he laid it over his face; and he regained his sight, [and] exclaimed: "Did I not tell you, `Verily, I know, from God, something that you do not know'?"95
See verse 86 above.
12:96 When the bearer of good news arrived, he threw (the shirt) on his face, whereupon his vision was restored. He said, "Did I not tell you that I knew from GOD what you did not know?",
12:96 (The caravan arrived in Can’aan.) The bearer of the good news came and cast (Joseph’s royal shirt) over his (Jacob’s) face, he was delighted and his eyes saw the reality. He said, “Did I not tell you that I know from God what you do not know?”
12:97 Qaloo ya abanaistaghfir lana thunoobana inna kunnakhati-eena
12:97 They said, "Our father, ask forgiveness for our sins, indeed we have been wrong."
12:97 They said: "Our father, ask forgiveness for our sins, indeed we were wrongdoers."
12:97 [His sons] answered: "O our father! Ask God to forgive us our sins, for, verily, we were sinners."
12:97 They said, "Our father, pray for our forgiveness; we were wrong indeed.",
12:97 They said, “O Our father! Ask forgiveness for us, for we trailed behind in your obedience, we were at fault.”
12:98 Qala sawfa astaghfiru lakum rabbeeinnahu huwa alghafooru alrraheemu
12:98 He said, "I will ask forgiveness for you from my Lord, He is the Forgiving, the Compassionate."19
This does not justify the idea of intercession of a messenger. It is normal for those to ask someone to pray for their forgiveness, if their act or crime negatively affects that person.
12:98 He said: "I will ask forgiveness for you from my Lord, He is the Forgiving, the Merciful."
12:98 He said: "I shall ask my Sustainer to forgive you: He alone is truly forgiving, a true dispenser of grace!"
12:98 He said, "I will implore my Lord to forgive you; He is the Forgiver, Most Merciful.",
12:98 Jacob answered, “I shall ask forgiveness for you from my Lord. He is Forgiving, Merciful.”
12:99 Falamma dakhaloo AAala yoosufaawa ilayhi abawayhi waqala odkhuloo misrain shaa Allahu amineena
Dream is Fulfilled; Family Reunion in Egypt12:99 Then, when they entered upon Joseph, he took his parents to him and he said, "Enter Egypt, God willing, in security."
12:99 So when they entered upon Joseph, he took his parents to him and he said: "Enter Egypt, God willing, in security."
12:99 AND WHEN they [all arrived in Egypt and] presented themselves before Joseph, he drew his parents unto himself,96 saying, "Enter Egypt! If God so wills, you shall be secure [from all evil]!"
According to the Biblical account - not contradicted by the Qur'an - Joseph's mother Rachel had died while giving birth to Benjamin. We may, therefore, assume that the "mother" implied in the term "parents" was another of Jacob's wives, who had brought up Joseph and Benjamin; this would be in consonance with the ancient Arabian custom of applying the designation "mother" to a foster-mother.
In Egypt12:99 When they entered Joseph's quarters, he embraced his parents, saying, "Welcome to Egypt. GOD willing, you will be safe here.",
12:99 And when they came in before Joseph, he respectfully greeted his parents, “Welcome to Egypt! God willing, you will be in safety and peace here.”
12:100 ورفع ابويه على العرش وخروا له سجدا وقال ياابت هاذا تاويل رءياى من قبل قد جعلها ربى حقا وقد احسن بى اذ اخرجنى من السجن وجاء بكم من البدو من بعد ان نزغ الشيطان بينى وبين اخوتى ان ربى لطيف لما يشاء انه هو العليم الحكيم
12:100 WarafaAAa abawayhi AAala alAAarshiwakharroo lahu sujjadan waqala ya abati hathata/weelu ru/yaya min qablu qad jaAAalaha rabbee haqqanwaqad ahsana bee ith akhrajanee mina alssijniwajaa bikum mina albadwi min baAAdi an nazagha alshshaytanubaynee wabayna ikhwatee inna rabbee lateefun limayashao innahu huwa alAAaleemu alhakeemu
12:100 He raised his parents on the throne, and all fell in prostration before Him. He said, "My father, this is the interpretation of my old dream. My Lord has made it true, and He has been good to me that he took me out of prison and brought you out of the wilderness after the devil had placed a rift between me and my brothers. My Lord is kind to whom He wills. He is the Knowledgeable, the Wise."
12:100 And he raised his parents upon the throne, and they fell in prostration to Him. And he said: "My father, this is the interpretation of my vision from before. My Lord has made it true, and He has been good to me that he took me out of prison and brought you out of the wilderness after the devil had made bitterness between me and my brothers. My Lord is Kind to whom He wills. He is the Knowledgeable, the Wise."
12:100 And he raised his parents to the highest place of honour;97 and they [all] fell down before Him, prostrating themselves in adoration.98 Thereupon [Joseph] said: "O my father! This is the real meaning of my dream of long ago, which my Sustainer has made come true.99 And He was indeed good to me when He freed me from the prison, and [when] He brought you [all unto me] from the desert after Satan had sown discord between me and my brothers. Verily, my Sustainer is unfathomable in [the way He brings about] whatever He wills:100 verily, He alone is all-knowing, truly wise!
Lit., "onto the throne (al-'arsh)", in the metaphorical sense of this word.
According to `Abd Allah ibn `Abbas (as quoted by Razi), the personal pronoun in "before Him" relates to God, since it is inconceivable that Joseph would have allowed his parents to prostrate themselves before himself.
The fulfilment of Joseph's childhood dream consisted in the high dignity with which he was now invested and in the fact that his parents and his brothers had come from Canaan to Egypt for his sake: for "no reasonable person can expect that the fulfilment of a dream should be an exact replica of the dream itself" (Razi `, alluding to the symbolic prostration of the eleven stars, the sun and the moon mentioned in verse 4 of this surah).
As regards my rendering of latif as "unfathomable", see surah 6, note 89. In the present instance, this term supplies a further accent, as it were, on the theme "judgment as to what is to happen rests with none but God" (verse 67).
12:100 He raised his parents upon the throne. They fell prostrate before him. He said, "O my father, this is the fulfillment of my old dream. My Lord has made it come true. He has blessed me, delivered me from the prison, and brought you from the desert, after the devil had driven a wedge between me and my brothers. My Lord is Most Kind towards whomever He wills. He is the Knower, the Most Wise.",
12:100 He raised his parents upon the throne of honor. All those present bowed to him in respect (to let his parents see the honor God had given their son). Joseph said, “O My father! This is how my Lord has made my dream come true. He has been very kind to me, since He freed me from the prison, and He has brought you here from the village. Satan (selfishness of my brothers) had sown enmity between us brothers. My Lord is Unfathomable in the ways He carries out His will. For, He is the Knower, the Wise.”
12:101 Rabbi qad ataytanee mina almulkiwaAAallamtanee min ta/weeli al-ahadeethi fatira alssamawatiwaal-ardi anta waliyyee fee alddunyawaal-akhirati tawaffanee musliman waalhiqneebialssaliheena
12:101 "My Lord, you have given me sovereignty and taught me the interpretations of events and utterances. Initiator of the heavens and earth, you are my protector in this world and the Hereafter. Take me as one who has peacefully surrendered, and join me with the good doers."
12:101 "My Lord, You have given me sovereignty and taught me the interpretation of the narrations. Initiator of the heavens and the earth, You are my protector in this world and the Hereafter. Let me die as one who has submitted, and join me with the good doers."
12:101 "O my Sustainer! Thou hast indeed bestowed upon me something of power,101 and hast imparted unto me some knowledge of the inner meaning of happenings.102 Originator of the heavens and the earth! Thou art near unto me in this world and in the life to come: let me die as one who has surrendered himself unto Thee, and make me one with the righteous!"
Lit., "of dominion", indicating that absolute power and absolute dominion belong to God alone.
See note 10 on verse 6 of this surah.
12:101 "My Lord, You have given me kingship and taught me the interpretation of dreams. Initiator of the heavens and the earth; You are my Lord and Master in this life and in the Hereafter. Let me die as a submitter, and count me with the righteous.",
12:101 (Then, Joseph prayed,) “O My Lord! You have bestowed on me some power, and have granted me the insight into events. O You Originator of the heavens and earth! You are my Protecting Friend in this world and the Hereafter. Help me remain committed to Your commands until the last breath, and unite me with those who develop their ‘self’ by doing good to the society.”
12:102 Thalika min anba-i alghaybinooheehi ilayka wama kunta ladayhim ithajmaAAoo amrahum wahum yamkuroona
12:102 That is from the news of the unseen that We inspire to you. You were not amongst them when they arranged their plan and were scheming.
12:102 Thatis from the news of the unseen that We inspire to you. You were not among them when they arranged their plan and were scheming.
12:102 THIS ACCOUNT of something that was beyond the reach of thy perception We [now] reveal unto thee, [O Prophet:] for thou wert not with Joseph's brothers103 when they resolved upon what they were going to do and wove their schemes [against him].
Lit., "with them".
12:102 This is news from the past that we reveal to you. You were not present when they made their unanimous decision (to throw Joseph in the well), as they conspired together.,
12:102 (O Prophet Muhammad) These are the chapters of the Unseen (history) that We reveal to you. You were not there when the brothers of Joseph decided together and were making their schemes.
12:103 Wama aktharu alnnasiwalaw harasta bimu/mineena
Majority of People are Unappreciative12:103 Most people will not acknowledge, even if you wish eagerly.
12:103 And most of the people, even if you are diligent, will not believe.
12:103 Yet - however strongly thou mayest desire it -most people will not believe [in this revelation],
12:103 Most people, no matter what you do, will not believe.,
12:103 Yet, most of these people will not believe even as you compassionately so desire.
12:104 Wama tas-aluhum AAalayhi min ajrinin huwa illa thikrun lilAAalameena
12:104 Though you do not ask them for a wage for it; it is but a reminder to the worlds.
12:104 And you are not asking them for any wage, it is but a reminder to the worlds.
12:104 although thou dost not ask of them any reward for it: it is but [God's] reminder unto all mankind.
12:104 You are not asking them for any money; you simply deliver this reminder for all the people.,
12:104 Although you ask them no reward for it. It is but a Reminder for the worlds (all peoples).
12:105 Wakaayyin min ayatin fee alssamawatiwaal-ardi yamurroona AAalayha wahum AAanhamuAAridoona
12:105 How many a sign in the heavens and the earth do they pass by, while they are turning away from it.
12:105 And how many a sign in the heavens and the earth do they pass by, while they are turning away from it.
12:105 But [then] -how many a sign is there in the heavens and on earth which they pass by [unthinkingly], and on which they turn their backs!
12:105 So many proofs in the heavens and the earth are given to them, but they pass by them, heedlessly!,
12:105 How many a sign there is in the heavens and earth which they pass by with their faces turned away (without paying attention)!
12:106 Wama yu/minu aktharuhum biAllahiilla wahum mushrikoona
12:106 Most of them will not acknowledge God without setting up partners.
12:106 And most of them will not believe in God except while setting up partners.
12:106 And most of them do not even believe in God without [also] ascribing divine powers to other beings beside Him.
The Majority of Believers Destined for Hell12:106 The majority of those who believe in GOD do not do so without committing idol worship.,
12:106 The majority of people do not believe in God without remaining ‘Mushriks’.16
‘Shirk’ = Idol worship in different forms. ‘Mushrik’ = One who calls upon gods besides God, associates others with Him, or believes in false deities = One who ascribes partners to Him, submits to false authorities, or follows clergy instead of Divine Revelation = One who blindly follows his desires
12:107 Afaaminoo an ta/tiyahum ghashiyatunmin AAathabi Allahi aw ta/tiyahumu alssaAAatubaghtatan wahum la yashAAuroona
12:107 Are they secure against the coming of a cover of retribution from God, or that the moment would come to them suddenly while they do not perceive?
12:107 Are they secure against the coming of an enveloping retribution from God, or that the Hour will come to them suddenly while they do not perceive?
12:107 Do they, then, feel free from the fear that there might fall upon them the overwhelming terror of God's chastisement, or that the Last Hour might come upon them of a sudden, without their being aware [of its approach]?
12:107 Have they guaranteed that an overwhelming retribution from GOD will not strike them, or the Hour will not come to them suddenly, when they least expect it?,
12:107 Do they consider themselves secure from the overwhelming requital of God, or the coming of the Hour all of a sudden while they do not perceive?
12:108 Qul hathihi sabeelee adAAoo ilaAllahi AAala baseeratin ana wamaniittabaAAanee wasubhana Allahi wama anamina almushrikeena
12:108 Say, "This is my way, I invite to God in full disclosure, myself and whoever follows me. Glory be to God. I am not of those who set up partners."
12:108 Say:"This is my way, I invite to God in full disclosure, myself and whoever follows me. And glory be to God; and I am not of the polytheists."
12:108 Say [O Prophet]: "This is my way: Resting upon conscious insight accessible to reason, I am calling [you all] unto God104 - I and they who follow me." And [say:] "Limitless is God in His glory; and I am not one of those who ascribe divinity to aught beside Him!"
It is impossible to render the expression `ala basirah in a more concise manner. Derived from the verb basura or basira ("he became seeing" or "he saw"), the noun basirah (as also the verb) has the abstract connotation of "seeing with one's mind": and so it signifies "the faculty of understanding based on conscious insight" as well as, tropically, "an evidence accessible to the intellect" or "verifiable by the intellect". Thus, the "call to God" enunciated by the Prophet is described here as the outcome of a conscious insight accessible to, and verifiable by, man's reason: a statement which circumscribes to perfection the Qur'anic approach to all questions of faith, ethics and morality, and is echoed many times in expressions like "so that you might use your reason" (la'allakum ta'gilun), or "will you not, then, use your reason?" (a fa-la ta'gilun), or "so that they might understand [the truth]" (la'allahum yafqahun), or "so that you might think" (la'allakum tatafakkarun); and, finally, in the oft-repeated declaration that the message of the Qur'an as such is meant specifically "for people who think" (li-qawmin yatafakkanun).
12:108 Say, "This is my path: I invite to GOD, on the basis of a clear proof, and so do those who follow me. GOD be glorified. I am not an idol worshiper.",
12:108 Say (O Prophet), “This is my way. Resting my call upon reason, I am calling you all to God, I and those who follow me. Glory to God! And I am not one of those who ascribe divinity in any form besides Him.”17
We do not invite through blind faith, vague dogmas or by stunning your intellect with miracles
12:109 Wama arsalna min qablika illarijalan noohee ilayhim min ahli alquraafalam yaseeroo fee al-ardi fayanthurookayfa kana AAaqibatu allatheena min qablihimwaladaru al-akhirati khayrun lillatheenaittaqaw afala taAAqiloona
12:109 We have not sent before you except men, to whom We gave inspiration, from the people of the towns. Would they not roam the earth and see what the punishment of those before them was? The abode of the Hereafter is far better for those who are aware. Do you not reason?20
12:109 And We have not sent before you except men, to whom We gave inspiration, from the people of the towns. Will they not roam the earth and see how was the punishment of those before them? And the abode of the Hereafter is far better for those who are aware. Do you not comprehend?
12:109 And [even] before thy time, We never sent [as Our apostles] any but [mortal] men, whom We inspired, [and whom We always chose] from among the people of the [very] communities [to whom the message was to be brought].105 Have, then, they [who reject this divine writ] never journeyed about the earth and beheld what happened in the end to those [deniers of the truth] who lived before them?-and [do they not know that] to those who are conscious of God the life in the hereafter is indeed better [than this world]? Will they not, then, use their reason?
This is an answer to the objection often raised by unbelievers that a mortal like themselves could not have been entrusted with God's message to man.
12:109 We did not send before you except men whom we inspired, chosen from the people of various communities. Did they not roam the earth and see the consequences for those before them? The abode of the Hereafter is far better for those who lead a righteous life. Would you then understand?,
12:109 And even before you, We sent none but men to whom We revealed Our messages – (Men) chosen from the people of the townships. Have they then never journeyed about the earth to see what happened in the end to those who lived before them? But the home of the Hereafter is best for those who live upright. Will you not then, use reason?
12:110 Hatta itha istay-asa alrrusuluwathannoo annahum qad kuthiboo jaahumnasruna fanujjiya man nashao walayuraddu ba/suna AAani alqawmi almujrimeena
12:110 Then, when the messengers gave up, and they thought that they have been denied, Our victory came to them. We then save whom We wish, and Our punishment cannot be swayed from the wicked people.
12:110 Then, when the messengers gave up, and they thought that they have been denied, Our victory came to them. We then save whom We wish, and Our punishment cannot be swayed from the wicked people.
12:110 [All the earlier apostles had to suffer persecution for a long time;] but at last106 -when those apostles had lost all hope and saw themselves branded as liars107 - Our succour attained to them: whereupon everyone whom We Milled [to be saved] was saved [and the deniers of the truth were destroyed]: for, never can Our punishment be averted from people who are lost in sin.
Lit., "until" (hatta). This connects with the reference to earlier apostles in the first sentence of the preceding verse: the implication being (according to Zamakhshari) that they used to suffer for a long time before they were vindicated by God.
Victory, Ultimately, Belongs to the Believers12:110 Just when the messengers despair, and think that they had been rejected, our victory comes to them. We then save whomever we choose, while our retribution for the guilty people is unavoidable.,
12:110 There have been times when even the Messengers had lost all hope of reformation and thought that they had been denied. Then came Our help. We saved according to Our laws (those worthy of being saved). And none can repel Our retribution from the guilty who thrive on the fruit of others’ toil.
12:111 Laqad kana fee qasasihimAAibratun li-olee al-albabi ma kana hadeethanyuftara walakin tasdeeqa allatheebayna yadayhi watafseela kulli shay-in wahudan warahmatanliqawmin yu/minoona
The Quran is not a Fabricated Hadith12:111 In their stories is a lesson for the people of intelligence. It is not a hadith that was invented, but an authentication of what is already present, a detailing of all things, and a guidance and mercy to a people who acknowledge.21
In this verse, God the Most Wise, rejects both the "hadith" and the basic excuse for accepting it as a source of Islam. No excuse is accepted from the followers of hadith in this world, nor on the Day of Judgment. The followers of fabricated hadiths claim that the Quran is not sufficiently detailed! They thus reject God's repeated assertion that the Quran is "complete, perfect, and sufficiently detailed" (6:19), and thereby justify the creation of 60 volumes of hadith, and a library full of contradictory teachings that are supposed to complete the Quran. By reflecting on 12:111 above, one can see God's answer to those fabricators and their followers. God informs us that we do not need fabricated hadith; that the Quran as a sufficiently detailed guide, is all we need. The Quran is the only "ahsan al-hadith" (best statement) to be followed (39:23). See 6:112; 11:1; 31:6; 33:38; 45:6; 52:34.
12:111 In their stories is a lesson for those who possess intelligence. It is not a narration that has been invented, but an authentication of what is between his hands and a detailing of all things, and a guidance and a mercy for a people who believe.
12:111 Indeed, in the stories of these men108 there is a lesson for those who are endowed with insight. [As for this revelation,109 ] it could not possibly be a discourse invented [by man]: nay indeed,110 it is [a divine writ] confirming the truth of whatever there still remains [of earlier revelations], clearly spelling out everything,111 and [offering] guidance and grace unto people who will believe.
Lit., "in their stories" -i.e., the stories of the prophets.
I.e., the Qur'an as a whole (Baghawi and Zamakhshari). The passage that follows connects with verses 102-105.
Lit., "but"-denoting here the impossibility of its having been invented by Muhammad.
III I.e., everything that man may need for his spiritual welfare. See also 10:37 and the corresponding note 60.
The Quran is All We Need12:111 In their history, there is a lesson for those who possess intelligence. This is not fabricated Hadith; this (Quran) confirms all previous scriptures, provides the details of everything, and is a beacon and mercy for those who believe.,
12:111 Indeed in the history of these men, there is a lesson for people of understanding. As for this revelation, it could not possibly be a Hadith, fabricated. It confirms the (surviving truth in) the previous scriptures, and gives a detailed explanation of everything. And it is a beacon and mercy for all those who accept it. [2:79, 2:101, 3:78, 3:187, 5:48]