Sunday, 6 June 2010

Yusuf (Joseph)

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Yaqoub (as) was blessed by Allah to have many sons. Of these, his son Yusuf (Joseph) was also blessed by Allah to be a prophet. In a hadith narrated in Ahmad and Al Bukhari, the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم referred to Yusuf (as) as having the best lineage as he was:

"The noble, son of the noble, son of the noble, son of the noble, Yusuf bin Yaqoub, bin Ishaq bin Ibrahim".

Yaqoub (as) and his family lived near Al Quds, in the land of Canaan. The turning point came when Yusuf (as)'s brothers plotted to kill him because they were jealous of their father's love for Yusuf (as). The story of Yusuf is a long and beautiful one and is narrated in an entire surah in Quran, named Surah Yusuf after him. Those who want to know the full story should read this surah.

The plot to get rid of Yusuf (as) failed. His brothers tried to get rid of Yusuf (as) by throwing him in a well, but Allah had other plans. The young Yusuf was picked up by a caravan of travellers and taken to Egypt where he was brought up and where, by the qadr of Allah, years later he was eventually established in the land as ameer (leader) over the storehouses of Egypt. When a devastating famine occured people from all around the region came to Egypt seeking food (grain) as Egypt was well-prepared due to knowledge given to Yusuf (as) by Allah.

The brothers of Yusuf (as), not recognising him, were also of those who came to seek aid from him. After a series of events, Yusuf (as) finally revealed his true identity to his brothers. Allah recounts the moment when his brothers learnt of the true identity of Yusuf (as), in the Quran:

"He [Yusuf] said: 'Do you now realise what you did to Yusuf and his brother when you were ignorant? And they cried, 'Could it be that you are Yusuf?' He said, 'I am Yusuf. This [Benyameen] is my brother. God has been gracious to us: God does not deny anyone who is mindful of God and steadfast in adversity the rewards of those who do good' " (Surah Yusuf: 89-90)

After being reconciled with his brothers, the family of Yusuf came to Egypt from Canaan. The Quran narrates:

"Later, when they presented themselves before Yusuf, he drew his parents to him- he said, 'Welcome to Egypt you will all be safe here, God willing' "
(Surah Yusuf: 99)

The progeny of Yusuf (as) continued to live in Egypt from this time, until the time of Musa (as).

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