Alif-Lam-Ra *; these are verses of the clear Book. (* Alphabets of the Arabic language; Allah and to whomever He reveals, know their precise meanings.)
Indeed We have sent down an Arabic Qur’an, so that you may perceive.
We relate to you the best narrative because We have sent the divine revelation of this Qur’an, to you; although surely you were unaware before this.
Remember when Yusuf (Joseph) said to his father, "O my father! I saw eleven stars and the sun and the moon - I saw them prostrating to me."
He said, "O my child! Do not relate your dream to your brothers, for they will hatch a plot against you; indeed Satan is an open enemy towards mankind."
"And this is how your Lord will choose you and teach you how to interpret events, and will perfect His favours upon you and upon the family of Yaqub, the way He perfected it upon both your forefathers, Ibrahim and Ishaq; indeed your Lord is All Knowing, Wise."
Indeed in Yusuf and his brothers are signs * for those who enquire **. (* Of the truthfulness of Prophet Mohammed - peace and blessings be upon him. ** The Jews who enquired about their story.)
When they said, "Indeed Yusuf and his brother * are dearer to our father than we are, and we are one group; undoubtedly our father is, clearly, deeply engrossed in love." (* Of the same mother.)
"Kill Yusuf or throw him somewhere in the land, so that your father’s attention may be directed only towards you, and then after it you may again become righteous!"
A speaker among them said, "Do not kill Yusuf - and drop him into a dark well so that some traveller may come and take him away, if you have to."
They said, "O our father! What is the matter with you that you do not trust us with Yusuf, although we are in fact his well-wishers?"
"Send him with us tomorrow so that he may eat some fruits and play, and indeed we are his protectors."
He said, "I will indeed be saddened by your taking him away, and I fear that the wolf may devour him, whilst you are unaware of him." (* Prophet Yaqub knew of what was about to happen.)
They said, "If the wolf devours him, whereas we are a group, then surely we are useless!"
So when they took him away - and all of them agreed that they should drop him in the dark well; and We sent the divine revelation to him, “You will surely tell them of their deed at a time when they will not know.”
And at nightfall they came to their father, weeping.
Saying, "O our father! We went far ahead while racing, and left Yusuf near our resources - therefore the wolf devoured him; and you will not believe us although we may be truthful."
And they brought his shirt stained with faked blood; he said, "On the contrary - your hearts have fabricated an excuse for you; therefore patience is better; and from Allah only I seek help against the matters that you relate."
And there came a caravan - so they sent their water-drawer, he therefore lowered his pail; he said, "What good luck, this is a boy!"; and they hid him as a treasure; and Allah knows what they do.
And the brothers sold him for an improper price, a limited number of coins; and they had no interest in him.
And the Egyptian who purchased him said to his wife, "Keep him honourably - we may derive some benefit due to him or we may adopt him as our son"; and this is how we established Yusuf in the land, and that We might teach him how to interpret events; and Allah is Dominant upon His works, but most men do not know.
And when he matured to his full strength, We bestowed him wisdom and knowledge; and this is how We reward the virtuous.
And the woman in whose house he was, allured him not to restrain himself and she closed all the doors - and said, "Come! It is you I address!"; he said, "(I seek) The refuge of Allah - indeed the governor is my master - he treats me well; undoubtedly the unjust never prosper."
And indeed the woman desired him; and he too would have desired her were he not to witness the sign of his Lord *; this is what We did, to turn away evil and lewdness from him; indeed He is one of Our chosen bondmen. (* Allah saved him and he never desired this immorality.)
And they both raced towards the door, and the woman tore his shirt from behind, and they both found her husband at the door; she said, "What is the punishment of the one who sought evil with your wife, other than prison or a painful torture?"
Said Yusuf, "It was she who lured me, that I may not guard myself" - and a witness from her own household testified; "If his shirt is torn from the front, then the woman is truthful and he has spoken incorrectly."
"And if his shirt is torn from behind, then the woman is a liar and he is truthful."
So when the governor saw his shirt torn from behind, he said, "Indeed this is a deception of women; undoubtedly the deception of women is very great."
"O Yusuf! Disregard this - and O woman! Seek forgiveness for your sin; indeed you are of the mistaken."
And some women of the city said, "The governor’s wife is seducing her young slave; indeed his love has taken root in her heart; and we find her clearly lost."
And when she heard of their secret talk, she sent for them and prepared cushioned mattresses for them and gave a knife to each one of them and said to Yusuf, "Come out before them!" When the women saw him they praised him and cut their hands, and said, "Purity is to Allah - this is no human being; this is not but an honourable angel!"
She said, "This is he on whose account you used to insult me; and indeed I tried to entice him, so he safeguarded himself; and indeed if he does not do what I tell him to, he will surely be imprisoned, and will surely be humiliated."
He said, "O my Lord! Prison is dearer to me than the deed they invite me to; and if You do not repel their deceit away from me, I may incline towards them and be unwise."
So his Lord heard his prayer and repelled the women’s deceit away from him; indeed He only is the All Hearing, the All Knowing.
Then after having seeing all the signs, they all decided that he should be imprisoned for some time.
And two young men went to prison along with him; one of them said, "I dreamt that I am pressing wine"; the other said, "I dreamt that I am carrying some bread upon my head from which birds were eating"; "Tell us their interpretation; indeed we see that you are virtuous."
Said Yusuf, "The food which you get will not reach you, but I will tell you the interpretation of this before it comes to you; this is one of the sciences my Lord has taught me; indeed I did not accept the religion of the people who do not believe in Allah and are deniers of the Hereafter."
"And I have chosen the religion of my forefathers, Ibrahim and Ishaq and Yaqub; it is not rightful for us to ascribe anything as a partner to Allah; this is a grace of Allah upon us and upon mankind, but most men are not thankful."
"O both my fellow-prisoners! Are various lords better, or One Allah, the Dominant above all?"
"You do not worship anything besides Him, but which are merely names coined by you and your forefathers - Allah has not sent down any proof regarding them; there is no command but that of Allah; He has commanded that you do not worship anyone except Him; this is the proper religion, but most people do not know."
"O my two fellow-prisoners! One of you will give his lord (the king) wine to drink; regarding the other, he will be crucified, therefore birds will eat from his head; the command has been given concerning the matter you had enquired about."
And of the two, Yusuf said to the one whom he sensed would be released, "Remember me, in the company of your lord"; so Satan caused him to forget to mention Yusuf to his lord, he therefore stayed in prison for several years more.
And the king said, "I saw in a dream seven healthy cows whom seven lean cows were eating, and seven green ears of corn and seven others dry; O court-members! Explain my dream, if you can interpret dreams."
They answered, "These are confused dreams - and we do not know the interpretation of dreams."
And of the two the one who was released said - and after a long time he had remembered - "I will tell you its interpretation, therefore send me forth."
"O Yusuf! O truthful one! Explain for us the seven healthy cows which seven lean cows were eating and the seven green ears of corn and seven others dry, so I may return to the people, possibly they may come to know."
He said, "You will cultivate for seven years continuously; so leave all that you harvest in the ear, except a little which you eat."
"Then after that will come seven hard years which will devour all that you had stored for them, except a little which you may save."
"Then after that will come a year when the people will be given rain and in which they will extract juices."
And the king said, "Bring him to me"; so when the bearer came to him, Yusuf said, "Return to your lord and ask him what is the status of the women who had cut their hands; indeed my Lord knows their deception."
The king said, "O women! What was your role when you tried to entice Yusuf?" They answered, "Purity is to Allah - we did not find any immorality in him"; said the wife of the governor, "Now the truth is out; it was I who tried to entice him, and indeed he is truthful."
Said Yusuf, "I did this so that the governor may realise that I did not betray him behind his back, and Allah does not let the deceit of betrayers be successful."
"And I do not portray my soul as innocent; undoubtedly the soul excessively commands towards evil, except upon whom my Lord has mercy; indeed my Lord is Oft Forgiving, Most Merciful."
And the king said, "Bring him to me so that I may choose him especially for myself"; and when he had talked to him he said, "Indeed you are today, before us, the honourable, the trusted."
Said Yusuf, "Appoint me over the treasures of the earth; indeed I am a protector, knowledgeable."
And this is how We gave Yusuf the control over that land; to stay in it wherever he pleased; We may convey Our mercy to whomever We will, and We do not waste the wages of the righteous.
And undoubtedly the reward of the Hereafter is better, for those who accept faith and remain pious.
And Yusuf’s brothers came and presented themselves before him, so he recognised them whereas they remained unaware of him.
And when he provided them with their provisions he said, "Bring your step-brother to me; do you not see that I measure in full and that I am the best host?"
"And if you do not bring him to me, there shall be no measure (provisions) for you with me and do not ever come near me."
They said, "We will seek him from his father - this we must surely do."
He said to his slaves, "Place their means back into their sacks, perhaps they may recognise it when they return to their homes, perhaps they may come again."
So when they returned to their father, they said, "O our father! The provisions have been denied to us, therefore send our brother with us so that we may bring the provisions, and we will surely protect him."
He said, "Shall I trust you regarding him the same way I had trusted you earlier regarding his brother? Therefore Allah is the Best Protector; and He is More Merciful than all those who show mercy."
And when they opened their belongings they found that their means had been returned to them; they said, "O our father! What more can we ask for? Here are our means returned to us; we may get the provision for our homes and guard our brother, and get a camel-load extra; giving all these is insignificant for the king."
He said, "I shall never send him with you until you give me an oath upon Allah that you will bring him back to me, unless you are surrounded"; and (recall) when they gave him their oath that "Allah’s guarantee is upon what we say." (* He knew that Bin Yamin would be restrained.)
And he said, "O my sons! Do not enter all by one gate - and enter by different gates; I cannot save you against Allah; there is no command but that of Allah; upon Him do I rely; and all those who trust, must rely only upon Him."
And when they entered from the place where their father had commanded them to; that would not at all have saved them against Allah - except that it was Yaqub’s secret wish, which he fulfilled; and indeed he is a possessor of knowledge, due to Our teaching, but most people do not know.
And when they entered in the company Yusuf, he seated his brother close to him and said, "Be assured, I really am your brother - therefore do not grieve for what they do."
And when he had provided them their provision, he put the drinking-cup in his brother’s bag, and then an announcer cried, "O people of the caravan! You are indeed thieves!"
They answered and turned towards them, "What is it you cannot find?"
They said, "We cannot find the king’s cup, and for him who brings it is a camel-load, and I am its guarantor."
They said, "By Allah, you know very well that we did not come here to cause turmoil in the land, and nor are we thieves!"
They said, "And what shall be the punishment for it, if you are liars?"
They said, "The punishment for it is that he in whose bag it shall be found, shall himself become a slave for it; this is how we punish the unjust."
So he first searched their bags before his brother’s bag, then removed it from his brother’s bag; this was the plan We had taught Yusuf; he had no right to take his brother by the king’s law, except if Allah wills; We may raise in ranks whomever We will; and above every possessor of knowledge is another scholar.
They said, "If he steals, then indeed his brother has stolen before"; so Yusuf kept this in his heart and did not reveal it to them; he replied within himself, "In fact, you are in a worse position; and Allah well knows the matters you fabricate."
They said, "O governor! He has a very aged father, so take one of us in his stead; indeed we witness your favours."
He said, "The refuge of Allah from that we should take anyone except him with whom our property was found - we would then surely be unjust."
So when they did not anticipate anything from him, they went away and started consulting each other; their eldest brother said, "Do you not know that your father has taken from you an oath upon Allah, and before this, how you had failed in respect of Yusuf? Therefore I will not move from here until my father permits or Allah commands me; and His is the best command."
"Return to your father and then submit, ‘O our father! Indeed your son has stolen; we were witness only to what we know and we were not guardians of the unseen.’
‘And ask the township in which we were, and the caravan in which we came; and indeed we are truthful.’ "
Said Yaqub, "Your souls have fabricated an excuse for you; therefore patience is excellent; it is likely that Allah will bring all * of them to me; undoubtedly only He is the All Knowing, the Wise." (* All three including Yusuf.)
And he turned away from them and said, "Alas - the separation from Yusuf!" and his eyes turned white with sorrow, he therefore kept suppressing his anger.
They said, "By Allah, you will keep remembering Yusuf till your health fails you or you lose your life."
He said, "I complain of my worry and grief only to Allah, and I know the great traits of Allah which you do not know."
"O my sons, go and search for Yusuf and his brother, and do not lose hope in the mercy of Allah; indeed none lose hope in the mercy of Allah except the disbelieving people."
Then when they reached in the company of Yusuf they said, "O governor! Calamity has struck us and our household, and we have brought goods of little value, so give us the full measure and be generous to us; undoubtedly Allah rewards the generous."
He said, "Are you aware of what you did to Yusuf and his brother when you were unwise?"
They said, "Are you, in truth you, really Yusuf?" He said, "I am Yusuf and this is my brother; indeed Allah has bestowed favour upon us; undoubtedly whoever practices piety and patience - so Allah does not waste the wages of the righteous."
They said, "By Allah, undoubtedly Allah has given you superiority over us, and we were indeed guilty."
He said, "There is no reproach on you, this day! May Allah forgive you - and He is the Utmost Merciful, of all those who show mercy."
"Take along this shirt of mine and lay it on my father’s face, his vision will be restored; and bring your entire household to me." (Prophet Yusuf knew that this would miracle would occur.)
When the caravan left Egypt, their father said *, "Indeed I sense the fragrance of Yusuf, if you do not call me senile." (* Prophet Yaqub said this in Palestine, to other members of his family. He could discern the fragrance of Prophet Yusuf’s shirt from far away.)
They said, "By Allah, you are still deeply engrossed in the same old love of yours."
Then when the bearer of glad tidings came, he laid the shirt on his face, he therefore immediately regained his eyesight*; he said, "Was I not telling you? I know the great traits of Allah which you do not know!" (This was a miracle that took place by applying Prophet Yusuf’s shirt.)
They said, "O our father! Seek forgiveness for our sins, for we were indeed guilty."
He said, "I shall soon seek forgiveness for you from my Lord; indeed He only is the Oft Forgiving, the Most Merciful."
So when they all reached in Yusuf’s company, he kept his parents close to him, and said, "Enter Egypt, if Allah wills, in safety."
And he seated his parents on the throne, and they all prostrated before him; and Yusuf said, "O my father! This is the interpretation of my former dream; my Lord has made it true; and indeed He has bestowed favour upon me, when He brought me out of prison and brought you all from the village, after Satan had created a resentment between me and my brothers; indeed my Lord may make easy whatever He wills; undoubtedly He is the All Knowing, the Wise."
"O my Lord! you have given me a kingdom * and have taught me how to interpret some events; O Creator of the heavens and the earth - you are my Supporter in the world and in the Hereafter; cause me to die as a Muslim, and unite me with those who deserve Your proximity." (* Prophethood and the rule over Egypt. Prophet Yusuf said this prayer while his death approached him.)
These are some tidings of the Hidden which We divinely reveal to you (O dear Prophet Mohammed - peace and blessings be upon him); and you were not with them when they set their task and when they were scheming.
And however much you long for, most men will not accept faith.
You do not ask them any fee in return for it; this is not but an advice to the entire world.
And how many signs exist in the heavens and the earth, over which most people pass and remain unaware of them!
And most of them are such that they do not believe in Allah except while ascribing partners (to Him)!
Do they remain complacent over Allah’s punishment coming and surrounding them, or the Last Day coming suddenly upon them whilst they are unaware?
Proclaim, "This is my path - I call towards Allah; I, and whoever follows me, are upon perception; and Purity is to Allah - and I am not of the polytheists."
And all the Noble Messengers We sent before you, were exclusively men - towards whom We sent the divine revelations, and were dwellers of townships; so have not these people travelled in the land and seen what sort of fate befell those before them? And undoubtedly the abode of the Hereafter is better for the pious; so do you not have sense?
To the extent that when the Noble Messengers lost hope from the visible means, and the people thought that they had spoken wrongly, Our help came to them - therefore whoever We willed was saved; and Our punishment is never averted from the guilty.
Indeed in their tidings is enlightenment for the men of understanding; this (the Qur’an) is not some made up story but a confirmation of the Books before it, and a detailed explanation of all things, and a guidance and a mercy for the Muslims.