Innocence and Patience Are a Saving Grace: The Story of Prophet Yusuf (Joseph)

Dina Essawy

18 Feb 2018

Prophet Yusuf, son of Yacoub (Jacob), had ten half-brothers. Yusuf was said to have been his father’s most loved son, which ignited jealousy among his brothers. At the age of seventeen, Yusuf had a dream that Yacoub warned Yusuf not tell his brothers lest they try to harm him.

"When Joseph said to his father, 'O my father, indeed I have seen [in a dream] eleven stars and the sun and the moon; I saw them prostrating to me.'" [Yusuf, 4]

This indicated that Yusuf would one day become in a powerful position and that his brothers, as well as his mother and father would even bow to him. His brothers, overcome with jealousy decided to rid themselves of their younger brother.

"Do not kill Joseph but throw him into the bottom of the well; some travellers will pick him up - if you would do [something]." [Yusuf, 10]

Eventually, Yusuf was sold by a group of merchants who found him in the well to the captain of the Egyptian Pharaoh's guard. Later, he became the captain's personal servant, and subsequently his household's superintendent. Yusuf was known to have been impeccably handsome, so much so that the captain's wife Zuleika tried to seduce him. Yusuf rejected her advances out of piety and fear of Allah. Angered, she made a false accusation against him that led to his imprisonment.

During his imprisonment, Allah granted Yusuf the gift of interpreting dreams. So, when the Pharaoh also had a dream which none of his wise men could explain, he called upon Yusuf to do so. In the Pharaoh's dream, he saw seven lean cows eat seven fat ones. He also saw seven green ears of wheat and seven withered ones. However, Yusuf refused to interpret the dream until he was exonerated and proven innocent. This is what subsequently came to happen when Zuleika admitted to her crime. He then interpreted the dream to mean that the kingdom would go through seven years of plentiful grain followed by seven years of hardship, with no water after that there would be a year of rain.

When Yusuf's brothers arrived in Egypt to buy grain, they found he had become a high ranking official. His father, who had believed his son to be dead all these years, became overjoyed. Eventually, they all bowed for him. Yusuf then reminded his father of his prophecy. They wept and embraced each other thanking Allah for all the blessings they encountered.

In the end, it was Prophet Yusuf's innocence, faith in Allah’s plan,piety, and patience with all the hardships that befell him that led to his eventual triumph.

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