As the sun appeared over the horizon, bathing the earth in its morning glory, Yusuf (pbuh), son of the Prophet Yaqub (pbuh) awoke from his sleep, delighted by a pleasant dream he had had. Filled with excitement he ran to his father and related it.
"O my father! Verily, I saw (in a dream) eleven stars and the sun and the moon, I saw them prostrating themselves to me." (Ch 12:4)
His father's face lit up. He foresaw that Yusuf would be one through whom the prophecy of his grandfather, Prophet Ibraheem (pbuh), would be fulfilled, in that his offspring would keep the light of Ibraheem's house alive and spread Allah's message to mankind. However, the father was well aware of the jealousy of Yusuf's brothers, so he warned him against telling his dream to his brothers.
"O my son! Relate not your vision to your brothers, lest they arrange a plot against you. Verily! Satan is to man an open enemy! Thus will your Lord choose you and teach you the interpretation of dreams (an other things) and perfect His Favour on you and on the offspring of Yaqub, as He perfected it on your fathers, Ibraheem, and Isaac foretime! Verily! your Lord is All-Knowing, All-Wise." (Ch 12:5-6)
Yusuf heeded his father's warning. He did not tell his brothers what he had seen. It is well known that they hated him so much that it was difficult for him to feel secure telling them what was in his heart and in his dreams.
Yusuf was eighteen years old, very handsome and robust, with a gentle temperament. He was respectful, kind and considerate. His brother Benjamin was equally pleasant. Both were from one mother, Rachel. Because of their refined qualities, the father loved the two more than his other children, and would not let them out of his sight. To protect them, he kept them busy with work in the house garden.
The scene of Yaqub and his son closes. Another opens on Yusuf's brothers plotting against him.
"Truly, Yusuf and his brother (Benjamin) are loved more by our father than we, but we are Usbah (a strong group). Really our father is in a plain error. Kill Yusuf or cast him out to some other land, so that the favor of your father may be give to you alone, and after that you will be righteous folk (by intending repentance before committing the sin)." One from among them said: "Kill not Yusuf, but if you must do something, throw him down to the bottom of a well, he will be picked up by some caravan of travelers." (Ch 12:8-10)
Yusuf kept his father's order and did not tell his brothers about his vision. In spite of this, his brothers sat down to conspire against him. One of them asked: "Why does our father love Yusuf more than us?"
Another answered: "Perhaps because of his beauty."
A third said: "Yusuf and his brother occupied our father's heart."
The first complained: "Our father has gone all astray."
One of them suggested a solution to the matter; kill Yusuf.
"Where should we kill him?"
"We should banish him away from these grounds."
"We will send him to a distant land."
"Why should we not kill him and have rest so that the favour of your father may be given to you alone?"
However, Judah (Yahudh), the eldest and most intelligent among them, said: "There is no need to kill him when all you want is to get rid of him. Look here, let us throw him into a well and he will be picked up by a passing caravan. They will take him with them to a distant land. He will disappear from your father's sight and our purpose will be served with his exile. Then after that we shall repent for our crime and become good people once again."
The discussion continued on the idea of dropping Yusuf into a well, as it was seen as the safest solution. The plan to kill him was defeated; kidnap into a distant land was approved. It was the cleverest of ideas.
The Brothers Approach Yaqub
Their next movement opened the scene between them and their father Yaqub (pbuh):
They said: "O our father! Why do you not trust us with Yusuf, when we are indeed his well wishers? Send him with us tomorrow to enjoy himself and play, and verily we will take care of him." He (Yaqub) said: "Truly, it saddens me that you should take him away. I fear lest a wolf should devour him, while you are careless of him." They said: "If a wolf devours him, while we are Usbah (a strong group) (to guard him), then surely we are the losers." (Ch 12:11-14) Yaqub suggested a point, which had not occurred to them in their discussion: he feared that desert wolves would eat him! tthe wolves within them, or did he mean the wild wolves? No one but Allah knows. They coaxed their father to send Yusuf with them; he agreed under their pressure.
Yusuf Thrown into the Well
They were excited that they could now get rid of Yusuf for after this they could stand a better chance of receiving their father's affection. On leaving home, they went directly to the well, as they had planned, on the pretext of drinking water. One of them put his arms around Yusuf and held him tightly. Startled by this unusual behavior, Yusuf struggled to free himself. More brothers rushed to hold him. One of them removed his shirt. Some more joined in to lift Yusuf up and cast him into the deep well. Yusuf's piteous pleas made no difference to their cruel hearts. Then Allah revealed to Yusuf that he was safe and should not fear, for he would meet them again some day to remind them of what they had done. There was water in the well, which buoyed Yusuf's body, so he was not harmed. He sat lonely in the water, then clung to a rock ledge overheard and climbed on top of it. his brothers left him in this desolate place. Then they killed a sheep and soaked Yusuf's shirt in its blood. One brother said that they should swear to keep their deed a close secret. All of them took the oath.
The Brothers Lie to Yaqub
"And they came to their father in the early part of the night weeping." (Ch 12:16) The scene here is dark night, broken by the crying of ten men. The father is sitting in his house when the sons enter, the darkness of night covering the darkness of their hearts and the darkness of their lies struggling to come out. Yaqub wondered aloud: "Why this weeping? Has anything happened to our flock?" They answered crying: "O our father! We went racing with one another, and left Yusuf by our belongings and a wolf devoured him; but you will never believe us even when we speak the truth. (Ch 12:17)
"We were surprised after returning from the race that Yusuf was in the belly of the wolf."
"We did not see him!"
"You will not believe us even though we are truthful! we are telling you what happened!"
"The wolf has eaten Yusuf!"
"This is Yusuf's shirt. We found it soiled with blood, and did not find Yusuf!"
They brought his shirt stained with false blood. (Ch 12:18)
Deep down in the heart Yaqub knew that his beloved son was still alive and that his other sons were lying. He held the blood stained in his hands, spread it out and remarked: "What a merciful wolf! he ate up my beloved son without tearing his shirt!" Their faces turned red when he demanded more information, but each swore by Allah that he was telling the truth. The broken-hearted father burst into tears:
"Nay! But your own selves have made up a tale. So for me patience is more fitting. It is Allah Alone whose Help can be sought against that which you assert." (Ch 12:18) The father acted wisely by praying for mighty patience, which is free of doubt, and by trusting in Allah for help against what they had plotted against him and his son. This scene dims, and the scene opens in the well with which Yusuf had been thrown.
Yusuf Finds Comfort in Allah
In the dark well Yusuf managed to find a stone ledge to hold onto. Around him was total darkness and an eerie silence. Fearful thoughts entered his mind: what would happen to him? Where would he find food? Why had his own brothers turned against him? Would his father know of his plight? His father's smile flashed before him recalling the love and affection he had always shown him. Yusuf began to pray earnestly, pleading to Allah for salvation. Gradually his fear began to subside. His Creator was testing the young man with a great misfortune in order to infuse in him a spirit of patience and courage. Yusuf, surrended himself to the will of his Lord.
Yusuf From the Well to Slavery
The next scene shows the wide desert. At the horizon is a long line of camels, horses, and men; a caravan on its way to Egypt. The caravan of merchants halted at this famous well for water. A man lowered in his bucket. Yusuf was startled by the bucket hurtling down and grabbed hold of it before it could land in the water. As the man began to haul he felt the load unusually heavy, so he peeped into the well. What he saw shocked him; a man was clinging to the rope! He held the rope tightly and shouted to his friends: "Better give me a hand fellows! Looks like I found real treasure in the well!" His companions rushed to the well and helped him to pull out the stranger holding onto the rope. Standing before them was a healthy, handsome youth, beaming with an angelic smile. They saw in him a handsome prize, for money was all that mattered to them. Immediately, they clapped iron shackles on his feet and took him along to Egypt, far away from his beloved homeland of Canaan. All over the Egyptian city the news spread that an unusually handsome, robust young slave was on sale. People gathered by the hundreds at the slave market. some were spectators, others were bidders the elite and the rich, each one craning his neck to view the handsome specimen. the auctioneer had a field day as the bidding went wild, each buyer trying to outbid the other. Eventually, the Aziz, the chief minister of Egypt, outbid all the others and took Yusuf to his mansion.
The chains of slavery have closed on Yusuf. He was cast into the well, deprived of his father, picked from the well, made a slave, sold at the market, and made the property of this man, the Aziz, the chief minister. The hazards followed in quick succession, leaving Yusuf helpless.
What we see as hazards and slander is the first step of the ladder on Yusuf's way to greatness. Allah is decisive in His action. His plan is carried out despite the plans of others and while theirs are still being made. So He spoils their plan, and Allah's promise is realized. Allah has promise Yusuf prophethood. Love for Yusuf was thrust into the heart of the man who bought him, and he was a man of no mean position. He was an important personage, one of the ruling class of Egypt.
Therefore, Yusuf was pleasantly surprised when the chief minister of Egypt ordered his men to remove the heavy shackles from his swollen feet. He was also surprised when he told Yusuf not to betray his trust; he would not be ill-treated if he behaved himself. Yusuf smiled at his benefactor, thanked him, and promised to be loyal.
Yusuf felt at ease, for at last he was sheltered and would be well cared for. He thanked Allah over and over and wondered at the mysteries of life. Not so long ago he had been cast into a deep, dark well with no hope of ever coming out alive. Next he was rescued, then enslaved in iron shackles, and now he was moving freely in a luxurious mansion with enough food to enjoy. However, his heart ached with longing for his parents and brother Benjamin, and he shed tears daily.
Yusuf was made the personal attendant of the chief minister's wife. He was obedient and ever-obliging. With his pleasant manners and charming behaviour, he won everybody's heart. Yusuf's handsomeness became the talk of the town. People referred to him as the most attractive man they had ever seen and wrote poetry about him. His face carried immaculate beauty. The purity of his inner soul and his heart showed in his face, increasing his beauty. People from afar came to the city to have a glimpse of him. The prettiest of maidens and the richest of ladiesnursthe to possess him, but not once did he show haughtiness or conceit. he was always humble and polite.
The days passed and Yusuf grew. Almighty Allah said:
"And when he (Yusuf) attained his full manhood, We gave him wisdom and knowledge (the Prophethood), thus We reward the doers of good. (Ch 12:22)
He was given wisdom in affairs and knowledge of life and its conditions. He as given the art of conversation, captivating those who heard him. He was given nobility and self restraint, which made him an irresistible personality. His master soon knew that Allah had graced him with Yusuf. He understood that Yusuf was the most honest, straightforward and noble person he had met in his life. Therefore, he put Yusuf in charge of his household, honored him, and treated him as a son.
Yusuf's Time in Prison
Prison was Yusuf's third test. During this period Allah blessed him with an extraordinary gift; the ability to interpret dreams. At about the same time two other men landed in the prison. One was the cupbearer of the king; the other was the king's cook. The two men sensed that Yusuf was not a common criminal, for an aura of piety glowed on his face. Both men had vivid dreams, and they were anxious to have them explained. The king's cook dreamed that he stood in a place with bread on his head, and two birds were eating the bread. The cupbearer dreamed that he was serving the king wine. The two went to Yusuf and told him their dreams, asking him to give them their meaning.
First, Yusuf called them to Allah. Then he said that the cook would be crucified until he died and that the cupbearer would return to the service of the king. Yusuf told the cupbearer to remember him to the king and to say that there was a wronged soul called Yusuf in prison. What Yusuf predicted did happen; the cook was crucified and the cupbearer returned to the palace.
After the cupbearer returned to service, Satan made him forget to mention Yusuf's name to the king. Therefore, Yusuf remained in prison for a few years, but he made patience his own, praying to Allah.
The King's Dream
The scene in the prison closes; a new scene opens in the bedchamber of the king. The king is asleep. He sees himself on the banks of the Nile river. The water is receding before him, becoming mere mud. The fish begin to skip and jump in the mud. Seven fat cows come out of the river followed by seven lean cows. The seven lean ones devour the seven fat ones. The king is terrified. The seven ears of green grain grow on the riverbanks and disappear in the mud. One the same spot grow seven dray ears of grain. The king awoke frightened, shocked, and depressed, not knowing what all this meant. He sent for the sorcerers, priests and ministers, and told them his dream. The sorcerers said: "This is a mixed up dream. How can any of that be? It is a nightmare." The priests said: "Perhaps his majesty had a heavy supper." The chief minister said: "Could it be that his majesty was exposed and did not draw the blanket up at night?" The king's jester said, jokingly: "His majesty is beginning to grow old, and so his dreams are confused." They reached an unanimous conclusion that it was only a nightmare. The news reached the cupbearer. He recollected the dream he had in prison and compared it to the king's dream, and, therefore Yusuf came to mind. He ran to the king to tell him about Yusuf, who was the only one capable to interpreting the dream. The cupbearer said : "He had asked me to remember him to you, but I forgot." The king sent the cupbearer to ask Yusuf about the dream.
Yusuf's Interpretation of the Dream
Yusuf interpreted it to him: "There will be seven years of abundance. If the land is properly cultivated, there will be an excess of good harvest, more than the people will need. This should be stored. Thereafter, seven years of famine will follow, during which time the excess grain could be used." He also advised that during the famine they should save some grain to be used for seed for the next harvest. Yusuf then added; "After seven years of drought, there will be a year during which water will be plentiful. If the water is properly used, grapevines and olive trees will grow in abundance, providing plenty of grapes and olive oil." The cupbearer hurried back with the good news. The king was fascinated by Yusuf's interpretation.
Yusuf's Innocence Proved
The king was greatly astonished. Who could this person be? He commanded that Yusuf be set free from prison and presented to him at once. The king's envoy went to fetch him immediately, but Yusuf refused to leave the prison unless his innocence was proven. Perhaps they accused him of cutting the ladies hands, or trying to rape them. Perhaps any other false accusation was made. We do not know exactly what was said to the people to justify Yusuf's sentence to prison. The envoy returned to the king. The king asked him: "Where is Yusuf? Did I not command you to fetch him?"
The envoy replied: "He refused to leave until his innocence is established regarding the ladies who cut their hands."
The king ordered: "Bring the wives of the ministers and the wife of the chief minister at once." The king felt that Yusuf had been harmed unfairly but he did not know exactly how. The wife of the chief minister came with the other ministers' wives. The king asked: "What is the story of Yusuf? What do you know about him? Is it true that…?"
One of the ladies interrupted the king exclaiming: "Allah forbid!"
A second said: "We know of no evil he has done."
A third said: "He enjoys the innocence of angels."
The eyes of everyone turned to the wife of the chief minister. She now wore a wrinkled face and had lost weight. She had been overwhelmed by sorrow over Yusuf while he was in prison. She boldly confessed that she had lied and he had told the truth.
"I tempted him; but he refused." She confirmed what she said, not out of fear of the king or the other ladies, but for Yusuf to know that she had never betrayed him during his absence, for he was still in her mind and soul. Of all creation he was the only one she cared for, so she confirmed his innocence before all.
Zulaikha's Life Afterwards
Reflecting on these verses suggests that she had turned to Yusuf's religion, monotheism. His imprisonment was a great turning point in her life. After this, the Quranic style neglects the story of the chief minister's wife completely. We do not know what happened to her after she gave her clear evidence. Yet still, there are legends about her. It has been said that after her husband died she married Yusuf, and, behold she was a virgin. She confessed that her husband had been old and had never touched women. Other legends said that she lost her sight, weeping for Yusuf. She abandoned her palace and wandered in the streets of the city. However, the lady disappeared from the Quranic narrative at the suitable stage, at the climax of her trouble. Perhaps she lingers in memory longer than if we had known the ending.
Yusuf's High Position
The king informed Yusuf that his innocence was established and ordered him to come to the palace for an interview. The king recognised his noble qualities. When Yusuf came, the king spoke to him in his tongue. Yusuf's replies astonished the king with his cultural refinement and wide knowledge. Then the conversation turned to the dream. Yusuf advised the king to start planning for years of famine ahead. He informed him that the famine would affect not only Egypt but the neighbouring countries as well. The king offered him a high position. Yusuf asked to be made controller of the granaries, so that he could guard the nation's harvest and thereby safeguard it during the anticipated drought. By this Yusuf did not mean to seize an opportunity or personal gain; he merely wanted to rescue hungry nations for a personal gain; he merely wanted to rescue hungry nations for a period of seven years. It was a sheer nobleness on his part in that he wanted to ensure that many people would not die as a result.
Yusuf Meets His Brothers
The wheels of time turned. During the seven good years, Yusuf had full control over the cultivation, harvesting, and storage of crops. During the following seven years, drought followed and famine spread throughout the region, including Canaan, the homeland of Yusuf. Yusuf advised the king that as his kingdom was blessed with reserved grain, he should sell his grain to the needy nations at a fair price. The king agreed, and the good news spread all over the region.
Yaqub sent ten of his sons, all except Benjamin, to Egypt to purchase provisions. Yusuf heard of the ten brothers who had come from afar and who could not speak the language of the Egyptians. When they called on him to purchase their needs, Yusuf immediately recognized his brothers, but they did not know him. How could they? To them Yusuf no longer existed; he had been thrown into the deep, dark well many years ago!
Yusuf received them warmly. After supplying them with provisions, he asked where they had come from. They explained: "We are eleven brothers, the children of a noble prophet. The youngest is at home tending to the needs of our aging father."
On hearing this, Yusuf's eyes filled with tears; his longing for home swelled up in his heart, as well as his longing for his beloved parents and his loving brother Benjamin. "Are you truthful people?" Yusuf asked them.
Perturbed they replied, "What reason should we have to state an untruth?"
"If what you say is true then bring your brother as proof and I will reward you with double rations. But if you do not bring him to me, it would be better if you do not return," Yusuf warned them.
They assured him that they would gladly fulfill his command but that they would have to get their father's permission. As an inducement to return with their brother, Yusuf ordered his servant to secretly place the purse, with the money they had paid, into one of their grain sacks.
The Brothers Return to Canaan
The scene dims in Egypt and lights in Canaan. The brothers returned to their father. Before they could unload the camels, they greeted him, then reproved him: "We were denied some supplies because you did not let your son go with us. They would not give us food for absentees. Why would you not entrust him with us? Please, send him with us, and we shall take care of him." Yaqub became sad and told them: "I will not permit Benjamin to travel with you. I will not part with him, for I entrusted Yusuf to you and you failed me." Later, when they opened their grain sacks, they were surprised to find the money purse returned intact. They rushed to their father; "Look, father! The noble official has returned our money; this is surely proof that he would not harm our brother and it can only benefit us." But Yaqub refused to send Benjamin with them. After some time, when they had no more grain, Yaqub asked them to travel to Egypt for more. They reminded him of the warning the Egyptian official had given them. They could not return without Benjamin. Yaqub agreed, but not before he extracted a pledge from them. "I will not send him with you unless you give me a pledge in Allah's name that you shall bring him back to me as safely as you take him." They gave their solemn pledge. He reminded them: "Allah is witness to your pledge."
Yaqub blessed them on their departure and prayed to Allah for their protection. The brothers undertook the long journey to Egypt, taking good care of Benjamin. Yusuf and Benjamin Meet Yusuf welcomed them heartily, although, with difficulty, he suppressed the desire to embrace Benjamin that arose within him. He prepared a feast for them and seated them in pairs. Yusuf arranged to sit next to his beloved brother Benjamin, who began to weep. Yusuf asked him why he was crying. He replied: "If my brother Yusuf had been here, I would have sat next to him." That night, when Yusuf and Benjamin were alone in a room, Yusuf asked whether he would have him for a brother. Benjamin respectfully answered that he regarded his host as a wonderful person, but he could never take the place of his brother. Yusuf broke down, and amidst flowing tears said; "My loving brother, I am the brother who was lost and whose name you are constantly repeating. Fate has brought us together after many years of separation. This is Allah's favour. But let it be a secret between us for the time being." Benjamin flung his arms around Yusuf and both brothers shed tears of joy.
A Thief Among the Brothers
The next day, while their bags were being filled with grains to load onto the camels, Yusuf ordered one of his attendants to place the king's gold cup which was used for measuring the grain into Benjamin's saddlebag. When the brothers were ready to set out, the gates were locked, and the court crier shouted: "O you travellers, you are thieves!" The accusation was most unusual, and the people gathered around Yusuf's brothers.
"What have you lost?" his brothers inquired.
A soldier said: "The king's golden cup. Whoever can trace it we will give a beast load of grain."
Yusuf's brothers said with all innocence: "We have not come here to corrupt the land and steal."
Yusuf's officers said (as he had instructed them): What punishment should you choose for the thief?"
The brothers answered: "According to our law, whoever steals becomes a slave to the owner of the property."
The officers agreed: "We shall apply your law instead of the Egyptian law, which provides for imprisonment."
The chief officer ordered his soldiers to start searching the caravan. Yusuf was watching the incident from high upon his throne. He had given instructions for Benjamin's bag to be the last to be searched. When they did not find the cup in the bags of the ten older brothers, the brothers sighed in relief.
Benjamin is Accused
There remained only the bag of their youngest brother. Yusuf said, intervening for the first time, that there was no need to search his saddle as he did not look like a thief. His brothers affirmed: "We will not move an inch unless his saddle is searched as well. We are the sons of a noble man, not thieves." The soldiers reached in their hands and pulled out the king's cup. The brothers exclaimed: "If he steals now, a brother of his has stolen before." They strayed from the present issue in order to blame a particular group of the children of Yaqub. Yusuf heard their resentment with his own ears and was filled with regret. Yet, he swallowed his own resentment, keeping it within. He said to himself, "you went further and fared worse; it shall go bad with you and worse hereafter, and Allah knows your intention." Silence fell upon them after these remarks by the brothers. Then they forgot their secret satisfaction and thought of Yaqub; they had taken an oath with him that they would not betray his son. They began to beg Yusuf for mercy. "Yusuf, O minister! Take one of us instead. He is the son of a good man, and we can see you are a good man." Yusuf answered calmly: "How can you want to set free the man who has stolen the king's cup? It would be sinful." The brothers went on pleading for mercy. However, the guards said that the king had spoke and his word was law. Judah, the eldest, was much worried and told the others: "We promised our father in the name of Allah not to fail him. I will, therefore, stay behind and will only return if my father permits me to do so."
The brothers left enough provisions behind for Judah, who stayed at a tavern awaiting the fate of Benjamin. In the meantime, Yusuf kept Benjamin in his house as his personal guest and told him how he had devised the plot to put the king's cup in his bag, in order to keep him behind, so as to protect him. He was also glad that Judah had stayed behind, as he was a good hearted brother. Yusuf secretly arranged to watch over Judah's well being. Yusuf's plan in sending the others back was to test their sincerity, to see if they would come back for the two brothers they had left behind.
The Brothers Confront Yaqub
When they arrived home, they entered upon their father calling: "O our father! Your son has stolen!" He was puzzled, scarcely believing the news. He was overwhelmed with sorrow and his eyes wept tears. "Patience be with me; perhaps Allah will return all of them to me. He is Most Knowing, Most Wise." A pal of lonesomeness closed over him, yet he found consolation in patience and trusted in Allah.
Yaqub's Request to Find Yusuf
The father was deeply hurt. Only prayer could comfort him and strengthen his faith and patience. Weeping all those years for his beloved son Yusuf - and now one more of his best sons had been snatched from him - Yaqub almost lost his sight. The other sons pleaded with him: "O father, you are a noble prophet and a great messenger of Allah. Unto you descended revelation and people received guidance and faith from you. Why are you destroying yourself in this way?" Yaqub replied: "Rebuking me will not lessen my grief. Only the return of my sons will comfort me. My sons, go in search of Yusuf and his brother; do not despair of Allah's mercy."
Yusuf Reveals Himself
The caravan set out for Egypt. The brothers - on their way to see the chief minister (Yusuf) were poor and depressed. On reaching Egypt they collected Judah and called on Yusuf, to whom they pleaded:
"O ruler of the land! A hard time has hit us and our family, and we have brought but poor capital, so pay us full measure and be charitable to us. Truly, Allah does reward the charitable." (Ch 12:88).
At the end, they begged Yusuf. They asked alms of him, appealing to his heart, reminding him that Allah rewards alms givers. At this moment, in the midst of their plight, Yusuf spoke to them
in their native tongue saying:
"Do you know what you did with Yusuf and his brother when you were ignorant?" They said: "Are you indeed Yusuf?" He said: "I am Yusuf, and this is my brother (Benjamin). Allah has indeed been Gracious to us. Verily, he who fears Allah with obedience to Him (by abstaining from sins and evil deeds, and by performing righteous good deeds), and is patient, then surely, Allah makes not the reward of the good doers to be lost." They said: "By Allah! Indeed Allah has preferred you above us, and we certainly have been sinners." (Ch 12:89-91)
The brothers began to tremble with fear, but Yusuf comforted them:
"No reproach on you this day, may Allah forgive you, and He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy!" (Ch 12:92)
Yaqub Learns About Yusuf
Yusuf embraced them, and together they wept with joy. It was not possible for Yusuf to leave his responsible office without proper replacement, so he advised his brothers:
"Go with this shirt of mine, and cast it over the face of my father, he will become clear-sighted, and bring to me all your family." (ch 12:93)
And so the caravan headed back for Palestine. We lave the scene in Egypt and return to Palestine and the house of Yaqub. The old man is sitting in his room; tears have been flowing down his cheeks. He stands up all of a sudden, dresses and goes out to his son's wives. Then he lifts up his face to Heaven and sniffs the air.
The wife of the eldest son remarked: "Yaqub has come out of his room today." The women inquired about what was amiss. There was a hint of a smile on his face. The others asked him:
"How do you feel today?"
He answered: "I can smell Yusuf in the air."
The wives left him alone, saying to one another that there was no hope for the old man. 'he will die of weeping over Yusuf.'
"Did he talk about Yusuf's shirt?"
"I do not know. He said he could smell him; perhaps he has gone mad."
That day the old man wanted a cup of milk to break his fast, for he had been fasting. At night he changed his clothes. The caravan was traveling in the desert with Yusuf's shirt hidden among the grain. It neared the old man's estate. He gesticulated in his room, and then he prayed a long time, lifting his hands to heaven and sniffing the air. He was weeping as the shirt was nearing him.
And when the caravan departed, their father said: "I do indeed feel the smell of Yusuf, if only you think me not a dotard (a person who has weakness of mind because of old age)." They said: "By Allah! Certainly, you are in your old error." Then, when the bearer of the glad tidings arrived, he cast the shirt over his face, and he became clear sighted. He said: "Did I not say to you, I know from Allah that which you know not."" They said: "O our father! Ask Forgiveness from Allah for our sins, indeed we have been sinners." (Ch 12:94-97)
Yaqub and Yusuf (PBUT) Meet
The story began with a dream and it ends with the interpretation of the dream. Almighty Allah narrated:
He said: "I will ask my Lord for forgiveness for you, verily, He! Only He is the Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful."
Then, when they entered unto Yusuf, he betook his parents to himself and said: "Enter Egypt, if Allah will, in security."
And he raised his parents to the throne and they fell down before him prostrate. And he said: "O my father! This is the interpretation of my dream of old! My Lord has made it come true! He was indeed good to me, when He took me out of prison, and brought you all here out of the Bedouin life, after Satan had sown enmity between me and my brothers. Certainly, my Lord is the Most Courteous and Kind unto whom He will. Truly He! Only He is the All Knowing, the All-Wise." (Ch 12:98-100)
Consider his feelings now that his dream has come true. He prays to Allah:
"My Lord! You have indeed bestowed on me of the sovereignty, and taught me the interpretation of my dreams; The only Creator of the heavens and the earth! You are my Wali (Protector, Helper, Supporter, Guardian etc). in this world and in the Hereafter, cause me to die as a Muslim (the one submitting to Your Will), and join me with the righteous." (Ch 12:101)
Yusuf arranged an audience with the king for himself and his family, to ask the king's permission for them to settle in Egypt. Yusuf was an asset to the kingdom, and the king was happy to have him remain with his household. Yusuf prostrated to Allah in gratitude.
The Deatb of Yaqub and Yusuf (PBUT)
Before he died, Yaqub (pbuh) advised his children to adhere to the teachings of Islam, the religion of all of Allah's prophets. Allah the Almighty revealed:
"Or were you witnesses when death approached Yaqub? When he said unto his sons: "What will you worship after me?" they said: "We shall worship your Ilah (God-Allah) the Ilah (God) of your father. Ibraheem, Ishmael, Isaac, One Ilah (God), and to Him we submit in Islam." (Ch 12:133 Quran).
Yusuf (pbuh), at the moment of his death, asked his brothers to bury him beside his forefathers if they were to leave Egypt. So when Yusuf (pbuh) passed away, he was mummified and placed in a coffin until such a time as he could be taken out of Egypt and buried beside his forefathers, as he had requested. It was said that he died at the age of one hundred ten.