Surah 12. Surah Yusuf
Bismillah ir Rahman ir Raheem
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful
- Alif Lam Raa
These are the Signs
From a Book illuminated.
- Behold! We have revealed to you
The Quran in Arabic
So that you may understand.
- We will narrate to you
The most beautiful of narrations,
In what We have revealed to you
Of this Quran.
And indeed, you were not aware of it hitherto.
- When Yusuf (Joseph) said to his father:
“O my father! I do indeed see (in my dreams)
Eleven stars, and the sun and the moon.
I saw them prostrate before me.”
- He said: “O my son!
Do not relate what you saw
To your brothers,
Lest they devise a plot against you.
Indeed, Satan is a declared enemy
- “And in this manner,
Your Rabb will exalt you,
And teach you the inner meaning of things,
And complete on you His grace,
And on the house of Jacob,
As He completed them
Upon your forefathers Abraham and Isaac.
Indeed, your Rabb is the Knower, the Wise!”
- “Behold! In (the narration of)
Joseph and his brothers,
There are Signs,
For those who seek (inner wisdom).”
- When they said:
“Our father does indeed
Love Joseph and his brother
More than us,
Even though we are
Larger in number.
Indeed, our father
Is clearly wrong.”
- “Let us kill Joseph,
Or leave him behind in another land,
So that the attention of your father
Opens up to you;
And after it, you become righteous.”
- One of them spoke up and said:
“Do not kill Joseph,
But if we must,
Drop him in a deep and dark well;
He will get picked up
By some travelers.”
- They said: “O our father!
What has happened to you
That you do not trust us
As regards Joseph,
When we are indeed his supervisors?”
- “Send him with us tomorrow,
(Let him) eat and play,
We will be his protectors.”
- He said: “I feel sadness
That you will take him away,
And I am afraid
The wolf will eat him up
While you are unaware.”
- They said: “How can
The wolf eat him up,
When we are a large group?
In that case, we would indeed
Be a worthless lot.”
- So, they went away with him,
And (they agreed) together
To drop him in a deep well.
And I sent him (Joseph) the revelation:
“You will (one day) tell them
About this deed of theirs,
When they recognize you not.”
- And they came to their father
In the darkness of night,
- They said: “O our father!
We did indeed race ahead
Leaving behind our belongings with Joseph,
So the wolf ate him up,
But you do not believe us,
When assuredly we are truthful.”
- And they brought his shirt
With fake blood on it.
He said: “No! Your (evil) egos have
Made this deed seem fair (honorable) for you.
So, (I shall adopt) patience with grace!
Lo! I beseech Allah for help,
About what you are saying.”
- There came a caravan.
They sent one to fetch water,
He lowered his pail,
And he cried out: “How wonderful!
Here is a (slave) boy!”
And they hid him as merchandise.
Lo! Allah was fully aware
Of what they were doing!
- And they sold him for a paltry sum –
A few counted dirhams!
As they were getting tired of keeping him.
- And the Egyptian who bought him
Said to his wife: “Treat him with honor.
He may bring us profit,
Or we can adopt him as a son.”
Thus did We find Joseph
A home in the land,
So that We might teach him
The interpretation of dreams (the inner nature of events).
Indeed! Allah has authority over all affairs,
But most among humankind,
Know it not!
- And when he reached full maturity,
We gave him the wisdom and the knowledge.
Lo! This is how we reward those
Who excel (in their good deeds)!
- And the lady of the house,
Tried to seduce him
From his own soul.
She bolted all the doors,
And she said: “Come to me!”
He said: “I seek refuge with Allah,
Who is indeed my Rabb!
He has provided me an excellent abode.
Indeed, He does not bestow felicity on
Those who transgress.”
- Lo! The woman was determined about it,
And he would also have been so inclined,
Had he not seen the guidance (the light) of His Rabb.
That is how We turned him away
From sin and lewdness.
He was indeed among Our sincere servants.
- And both ran towards the door,
And she tore his shirt from behind.
They met her husband at the door.
She said: “What is the recompense
For one who had evil intentions
About your wife
Or a painful chastisement?”
- He said: “It was she who tried to seduce me
From my own soul (from my higher self).”
And one of her own household testified:
“If his shirt is torn from the front,
Then she is truthful and he is among the lying.”
- “But if his shirt is torn from behind,
Then he is among the truthful.”
- When he saw his shirt torn from his back,
He said: “Indeed, this is a scheme of you women.
Enormous indeed are your schemes!”
- “O Joseph! Let this matter go.
And (O woman), ask forgiveness
For your wrong doing!
Indeed, you are among the wrong doers.”
- And the women of the town said:
“The wife of the rich man is seducing her slave from his own soul.
Her love has captivated her;
And we see that she is in manifest error.”
- When she heard of their intrigues,
She sent them invitations,
And arranged for them a party,
And gave each one of them a knife,
And said (to Joseph): “Come on out before them!”
Then when they saw him,
They were overcome by him (by his beauty),
And they cut their hands.
And they said: “We seek refuge in Allah
This is not a human,
He is not but a blessed angel!”
- She said: “This is he
About whom you accuse me.
And indeed I (tried to) seduce him
From his own soul,
And he saved me,
And (he knew) if he did not do
What I commanded him to do,
He would be imprisoned,
- He said: “O my Rabb!
Imprisonment is better for me
Than what she invites me to,
And if You do not turn me away
From the connivance (of this woman),
I may turn to her,
And I will become among the unenlightened ones.”
- So, his Rabb accepted his prayer,
And turned him away from her schemes.
Indeed, He is the Hearer, the Knower!
- Then, (even) after what they had seen
Of the evidence,
To imprison him for a time.
- And there entered the prison with him
One of them said:
“I do indeed see (in my dreams)
That I am squeezing wine.”
The other said:
“I do indeed see (in my dreams)
That I am carrying bread on my head,
And the birds are eating from it.”
Explain to us their interpretation,
We do indeed consider you
Among the saintly.
- He (Joseph) said: “Your food that is given to you
Will not even have been served
Before I give you the interpretation (of your dreams),
(So that you know it) before it transpires on you.
That is from what my Rabb has taught me.
Verily, I have deserted the community
Of a people who do not believe in Allah,
And who reject the hereafter.”
- “And I followed the Ummah (spiritual community)
Of my forefathers Abraham and Isaac and Jacob.
We (in our Ummah) associate none with Allah;
That (knowledge) is (bestowed) from the Grace of Allah
Upon us and upon humankind.
But most among humankind
Are not thankful.”
- “O my companions in prison!
Are several creators and sustainers more rational,
Or Allah, the one and only –
He who enforces His will?”
- “You worship not besides Him
Except some names that you
And your forefathers have made up,
For which Allah has sent down no authority.
The Command is only with Allah.
He has ordained
That you worship none but Him!
That is the deen (the moral code) ordained.
But most among humankind
Understand it not.”
- “O my companions in prison!
The one among you
Will serve wine for his master.
And the other one will be crucified.
Then the vultures will eat from his head.
The decision has gone forth
About what you asked.”
- And he said to the one
Who he surmised would be released from prison:
“Inform your master about me.”
But Satan made him forget
To mention him to his master.
Therefore, he (Joseph) remained in prison
A few more years.
- And the king said:
“I do see (in my dreams)
Seven fat cows eating up seven lean ones,
And seven green ears (of grain),
And the others dry.
O my chieftains!
Interpret for me what I saw,
If you are interpreters of dreams.”
- They said: “These are confusing dreams,
And we are not knowledgeable
About the interpretation of confusing dreams.”
- And the one who had been discharged
From the prison spoke up,
As he remembered after a long time:
“I will give you the interpretation
If you send me (to bring Joseph).”
- “O Joseph! (said the former prisoner)
You are a truthful one!
Explain to us.
Seven fat cows
Are eating up seven lean cows,
And seven ears (of grain) are green,
The rest are dry,
So that I return to the people,
And they may know (about you).”
- He (Joseph) said: “You shall farm
Continuously for seven years,
And reap the harvest,
And save the grain in the ears,
Except a small amount for your food.”
- “Then, there shall arrive
Seven years of trial,
They shall use up
What you had saved up for them (for the lean years),
Except a little that you will save.
- “After that will arrive a year
In which people will have plenty,
And they will press (oil and juice).”
- And the king said: “Bring him to me!”
So when he (the former prisoner) came to the Messenger (Joseph),
He (Joseph) said: “Return to your master
And ask what is the condition of the women
Who had cut their fingers.
Indeed, my Rabb is aware of their schemes!”
- He (the king) said (to the women):
When you tried to seduce Joseph
From his own soul?”
They said: “We seek the protection of Allah!
We saw no wrongdoing on his part.”
Said the wife of the chief:
“Now has the truth become manifest!
It was I who incited him against his own soul.
Lo! He is indeed among the righteous ones!”
- (Continued the wife of the chief)
“So that he (Joseph) may know with certainty
That I betrayed him not in his absence.
And indeed Allah does not guide
Those who scheme and betray!”
- “And I do not absolve my own soul.
Indeed the soul has evil inclinations,
Unless my Rabb bestows His Grace.
Lo! My Rabb is the Forgiver, the Merciful!”
- And the king said: “Bring him to me
So that I may take him into my own service.”
When he spoke to him, he said:
“Lo! (From) this day you are established
As a person of honor and trust in our presence.”
- He (Joseph) said: “Appoint me
The keeper over the store houses.
I am indeed a knowledgeable custodian.”
- And that is how we established
Joseph in the land.
He had authority therein as he wished.
We bestow Our grace upon whom We will,
And We do not overlook the recompense
For those who do good.
- But the recompense of the hereafter
Is indeed better for those who have certainty of faith,
And are conscious of the Divine.
- And the brothers of Joseph came to him,
And entered in his presence;
He recognized them,
But they recognized him not.
- And when he had loaded up their provisions,
He said: “Bring to me your brother
Who is with your father.
Do you not see that I do indeed
Fill the measure,
And I am the best (most generous) of hosts?”
- But if you do not bring him to me,
Then there shall be no provisions for you from me,
Nor shall you be among those who come near me.”
- They said: “We will make a request about this to his father,
And we will indeed get this done.”
- He said to his servants:
“Put back their money in their saddlebags,
So that they may recognize it
When they return to their folks,
Perhaps they may return.”
- So when they returned to their father,
They said: “O our father!
We will be prevented from loading up our provisions.
Therefore, send our brother with us,
So that we bring the provisions,
And we will indeed be his protectors.”
- He said: “Should I trust you regarding him,
Like I trusted you earlier regarding his brother?
Lo! Allah is the best of protectors,
And is the Most Merciful of the Merciful.”
- And when they opened their belongings,
They found their money returned to them;
They said: “O our father! What else do we need?
Here is our money returned to us.
We will bring home the provisions,
And we will protect our brother,
And will increase (our provisions)
By a camel load;
These provisions are meager.”
- He said: “I will not send him with you,
Until you take an oath by Allah
That you will indeed bring him back to me,
Unless you are surrounded (captured and helpless).”
So, when they had given him their word,
He said: “God is witness over what we say!”
- And he said: “O my children!
Do not enter through a single gate,
Enter separately through different gates.
I cannot in the least protect you from Allah.
There is no command except from Allah,
It is He that I trust,
And it is in Him
That those who seek a trustee place their trust!”
- And when they entered as their father had advised,
It could not in the least protect them from Allah,
Except that it fulfilled a desire from the soul (heart) of Jacob.
Lo! He was the possessor of
(Inner) knowledge that We had taught him,
But most among humankind understand it not.
- And when they entered in the presence of Joseph,
He gave his brother a place (of honor) next to him;
He said: “I am indeed your brother,
Therefore, do not be saddened
With what they have been doing.”
- When their goods were loaded up,
He placed a goblet in his brother’s belongings,
Then a herald proclaimed:
“O people of the caravan!
You are indeed thieves!”
- They turned towards him, and asked:
“What is it that you have lost?”
- They said: “We have lost a goblet belonging to the king.
And whoever finds it
Will get a camel load as a reward,
And I am the security for it.”
- They said: We swear by Allah,
You know for sure,
We did not come to this land
To cause mischief,
And we are not thieves.”
- They said: “Then what should be the punishment
If you are liars?”
- “The punishment for him
In whose belongings it is found
Is that he himself (is to be taken as a slave);
Thus do we reward the transgressors.
- Then he started searching
Before searching the saddlebag of his brother,
Then he brought out (the goblet)
From the saddlebag of his brother.
That was the plan We laid out for Joseph.
He could not have kept his brother
According to the laws of the king,
Except as Allah willed it.
We elevate on high whom We will,
And for every master of knowledge there is
A master who knows more.
- They said: “If he did steal it,
It was as his brother who stole before him.
Joseph kept this secret within his own soul
And did not reveal to them.
He said: “You are in dire straits.
And Allah has knowledge of what you say.”
- They said: “O chief!
His father is of certainty a very old man,
Therefore, hold one of us (as ransom) in his place,
We do indeed see that you are
A person who is very kind.”
- He (Joseph) said: “May Allah protect us
If we hold anyone other than
The one with whom we found our belonging,
(If we did it) we would indeed be wrong doers.”
- When they were disappointed with him,
They assembled and held consultations,
Said the eldest one among them:
“Do you not know that
Your father has taken a solemn oath from you
With Allah as witness,
And before this you erred with Joseph.
Therefore, I shall not move from this land,
Until my father permits me,
Or Allah commands me;
Lo! He is the best of judges.”
- “So return to your father
And tell him: ‘O our father!
Your son committed thievery,
And we bore witness about what we knew
But we are not overseers of what is concealed.’
- ‘Enquire in the city where we were,
Or the caravan with which we returned;
Indeed, we are telling the truth.’”
- He (Jacob) said: “No! You have fabricated these yourselves.
However, I shall be patient with Grace.
Perhaps Allah will bring them all back to me.
Indeed, He is the Knower, the Wise!”
- And he turned away from them,
As he cried: “I wail for Joseph!
His eyes turned white from sorrow,
And he was overcome by it.”
- They said: “You will keep remembering Joseph,
Until you become sick,
Or you are among the dead.”
- He said: “I only express my agony
And my sorrow to Allah.
And I have been taught by Allah
What you know not.”
- “O my sons! Go forth and search
For Joseph and his brother,
And do not despair
Of the Spirit (Grace) of Allah.
They do not despair
Of the Spirit (Grace) of Allah
Except a people who reject faith.”
- Thereafter, when they appeared before him,
They said: “O you with authority!
Misfortune has befallen us and our household,
We have come but with a paltry sum,
So grant us provisions,
And show us charity;
Indeed, Allah rewards
Those who are charitable.”
- He said: “Do you not know
What you did with Joseph and his brother
When you were unenlightened?”
- They said: Are you indeed Joseph?”
He said: “I am Joseph and this is my brother.
Behold! Allah has shown kindness to us;
Indeed, he who is conscious of Him,
And is patient,
Verily, Allah will not overlook,
The recompense of those who do good.”.
- They said: “By Allah!
Behold! Allah has given you ascendancy over us
And indeed we were wrong-doers.”
- He said: “There is no blame on you this day
May Allah forgive you,
Indeed, He is the Most Merciful of the Merciful.”
- “Go with this shirt of mine,
And place it over his face,
My father will recover his sight,
And bring him to me with all of your household.”
- And when the caravan was leaving (Egypt),
His father said: “I sense the breath of Joseph,
Although you consider me delirious.”
- They (those who heard it) said: “By Allah!
You are indeed back to your old illusions.”
- Then, when the messenger of good news came,
He placed upon his face (the shirt of Joseph),
And his sight returned.
He said: “Did I not tell you?
I did indeed know from Allah
What you did not know.”
- They said: O our father!
Ask for forgiveness for our sins,
We were indeed among the wrong doers.
- He said: “I shall forthwith ask forgiveness for you from my Rabb,
Indeed, He is the Forgiver, the Merciful.”
- Then, when they appeared before Joseph,
He accommodated his parents with him,
And said: “Enter Egypt in peace,
If Allah wills it.”
- And he raised up his parents on the seat (high in honor),
And they lay down before him prostrate,
And he said: “O my father!
This is the realization of my dream long ago;
My Rabb has made it come true.
And He bestowed on me His grace
When He took me out of the well,
And brought you all from our town,
Even after Satan had sowed dissension
Between me and my brothers.
Indeed, my Rabb is subtle as He wills!
Lo! He is the Knower, the Wise!
- “O my Rabb!
You have granted me something of authority,
And taught me how to look into the inner nature of things,
(To You is due) the primal origin of the heavens and the earth,
You are the protector of this world and the hereafter,
Take my life as one who surrenders,
And place me in the company of the righteous.”
- That is a narration from beyond (the world of) perception
That has been revealed to you,
And you were not with them,
When they firmed up their plans,
And were plotting.
- But most among humankind
Will not believe (this narration),
Even if it was your (ardent) desire.
- And you do not ask from them any compensation;
This is not but an admonition for all the worlds.
- And however many Signs in the heavens and the earth
Pass by them, they disregard them.
- And most of them have no certainty of faith in Allah,
And they associate partners with Him.
- Have they lost their fear
That an avalanche of a terrible punishment from Allah
May overtake them,
Or that the Last Day may seize them suddenly,
And they anticipate it not?
- Say: “This is my path:
I invite towards Allah
In accordance with what I see (outside) and perceive (inside) –
I and those who follow me.
Lo! Glorified is Allah!
And I am not among those
Who associate partners with Him.”
- And We did not but send before you,
Men from their own communities,
Who received revelation from Us.
So, have they not travelled through the earth,
And observed what was the fate of those before them?
And indeed the abode of the hereafter
Is better for those who are conscious of the Divine.
Will they not therefore reason?
- (Inequity in the world prevailed)
So much so that the Messengers were in despair,
And were suspected of being liars.
There came Our help.
Then, We saved whom We will.
But Our punishment was not retracted
From a people who were guilty.
- Behold! In these narrations (historical traces)
Are lessons for a people of intellect!
These are not stories made up,
But a confirmation of what (was revealed) before you,
Providing details about all things,
And a Guidance,
And a Mercy
Upon a people
Who have certainty of faith.