Allah´s are the unseen things of the heavens and of the earth; and unto Him do all affairs return. So serve (worship) Him and put your trust in Him; for your Lord is not heedless of what you do.
ALIF LAM RA. These are the verses (or symbols) of the Perspicuous (or clarifying) Book.
Verily, We have revealed it as a Lecture (a Quran) in Arabic; per chance (or possibly) you may understand.
We tell you the best (the most beautiful, appealing, enlightening) of narratives in that We inspired in you this Quran, though you were before it among the heedless.
When Joseph said to his father, "O my father! Verily, I saw (in my dream) eleven stars, and the sun, and the moon - I saw them prostrating themselves unto me!"
He said, "O my boy! Tell not your vision to your brethren, for they will plot against you. Verily, Satan is to man an open foe."
Thus your Lord will prefer you, and teach you the interpretation of events, and fulfil His favour upon you, and upon the family of Jacob, as He fulfiled it upon your two forefathers, Abraham and Isaac, before you. Verily, your Lord is Knowing, Wise!
In Joseph and his brethren were signs to those who inquire (or seek Truth).
When they said, "Surely, Joseph and his brother are dearer to our father than we are, though we are many. Verily, our father is in obvious aberration (wandering in mind).
"Slay Joseph, or cast him out to some (far or unknown) land; that your father´s face (favour) may be free for you, and you may afterwards be a righteous folk."
One from amongst them said, "Slay not Joseph, but, if you must act, throw him into the bottom of a pit; some caravan of travellers may pick him up."
Said they, "O our father! What ails you that you will not trust us with Joseph seeing we are unto him sincere (well wishers)?
Send him with us to-morrow to revel and to play, and, verily, we will take good care of him."
Said he, "Verily, it grieves me that you should take him with you, for I fear lest the wolf devour him while you take no heed."
Said they, "Why, if the wolf should devour him while we are so (strong) a band, verily, then we should ourselves have perished first."
And when they had gone off with him and agreed to put him in the depths of a pit, We inspired him, "Thou shall surely remind them of this affair of theirs when they know you not."
And they came to their father in the evening weeping.
And they said, "O our father! Verily, we went forth to race and left Joseph by our things, and the wolf devoured him, but you will not believe us though we speak the truth."
And they brought his shirt with false blood upon it. Said he, "Nay, but your souls have beguiled you into some deed; but patience is more fitting for me. And Allah alone is He whose aid is to be sought against that which you describe."
And a caravan of travellers came and sent their water-drawer. He let down his bucket into the pit. Said he, "What good luck! Here is a youth." So they concealed him, as a treasure, and Allah was Aware of what they did.
And they sold him for a mean price, a few dirham counted out- in such low estimation did they hold him.
And the man from Egypt who had bought him said to his wife, "Make his stay with us honourable; it may be he will be of use to us, or we may adopt him as a son." Thus did We establish Joseph in the land that We might teach him the interpretation of ahadith (events, traditions, sayings, dreams etc.). Allah has full power and control over His (or Joseph´s) affairs; but most of mankind know not.
And when he had reached maturity We gave him judgment (or wisdom or power) and knowledge, for thus do We reward those who do good and right.
And she, in whose house he was, desired to seduce him for his person (or body, or away from his true self); and she locked the doors and said, "Come you (to me)!" Said he, "I seek refuge in Allah (Allah forbid)! Verily, he (your husband) is my lord who has made my stay here agreeable (treated me well). Verily, wrong-doers (ultimately) never prosper."
And she desired (lusted after) him, and he would have desired her, had it not been that he saw the argument (or evidence) of his Lord; thus did We ordain that We might turn away evil and lewdness from him; for verily, he was one of our servants, sincere and purified.
And they raced to the door and she rent his shirt from behind; and they met her lord (husband) at the door. Said she, "What else is the recompense for him who wishes evil for your family, but prison or a grievous doom?"
Said he (Joseph), "She it was who sought to seduce me for my person (or from my true self)." And one from among her family saw this and bore witness thus "If his shirt be rent from in front, then she speaks the truth and he is of the liars;
"But if his shirt be rent from behind, then she lies and he is of the truthful."
And when he saw his shirt rent from behind he (her husband) said, "This is one of the guiles (or tricks) of you women; verily, your tricks are great!
"O Joseph! Turn aside from this (pass it over). And do you, woman, ask pardon for your fault; for truly, you are of the sinful."
And some women in the city said, "The wife of the King´s Minister seeks to seduce her slave for his person; truly, he has infatuated (smitten) her with lust: verily, we see her in manifest error."
And when she heard of their malicious talk, she sent for them, and prepared for them a banquet, and gave each of them a knife; and she said (to Joseph), "Come forth to them!" And when they saw him they exalted (admired) him and cut their hands exclaiming, "Allah preserve us! No mortal is this! This is none but a noble angel."
Said she, "There before you is he about whom you blamed me. I did seek to seduce him for his person, but he did save himself firmly, guiltless. But now if he does not what I bid him he shall surely be cast into prison and shall surely be among those brought low."
Said he, "O My Lord! Prison is dearer to me than what they call on me to do; and unless you turn from me their wiles I shall incline unto them and shall be among the foolish."
And his Lord answered him and turned from him their wiles; verily, He is Hearer, Knower.
Then it appeared good to them, even after they had seen the signs (of his innocence), to imprison him for a time.
And two young men went to prison with him. Said one of them, "Verily, I dreamt that I was pressing wine." And the other said, "Verily, I dreamt that I was bearing on my head loaves from which the birds did eat." "Tell us" (they said) "the interpretation thereof; for verily, we see that you are of those who are wise and do good."
He said, "I shall tell you both of its interpretation before your daily meal is brought to you. That is (some) of what my Lord has taught me; verily, I have forsaken the faith of a people who believe not in Allah, and disbelieve in the Hereafter.
And I have followed the faith of my fathers, Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. It never was for us to associate aught as partners with Allah. This is of the Bounty (or Grace) from Allah upon us and upon mankind: but most men give not thanks.
O you two fellow-prisoners! Are manifold lords better, or Allah, the One, the Almighty?
What you worship beside Him are naught but names which you have named, you and your fathers, for which Allah has sent down no authority. Judgment rests with Allah only, who commands you to worship none but Him. That is the right religion, but most men know not.
O you two fellow-prisoners! As for one of you, he shall pour out wine for his lord to drink: and as for the other, he shall be crucified, and the birds shall eat from his head. Thus is the matter decreed whereof you did inquire."
And he said to him of the two whom he knew would escape, "Remember me with your Lord!" But Satan made him forget to mention him to his lord, so he (Joseph) lingered in prison for a few more years.
And the king said, "Verily, I saw in a dream seven fat kine which seven lean kine devoured; and seven green ears of corn and (seven) others dry. O you chiefs! Explain to me my vision, if dreams you can interpret!"
Said they, "Confused dreams! And naught know we of the interpretation of such dreams."
Then he of the twain who had escaped, remembered after a while, and said, "Verily, I will inform you of the interpretation thereof, so send me forth."
(When he came to Joseph, he said) "Joseph! O you truthful one! Explain to us the seven fat kine which seven lean ones devoured; and the seven green ears of corn and others dry that I may return to the people, per chance (or possibly) they then may know!"
He said, "You shall sow for seven years, as is your wont; but what you reap, leave it in the ear, except a little whereof you eat.
Then there shall come after that seven severe years which shall devour what you have put by before for them, save a little which you shall preserve.
Then there will come after that a year in which the people shall have abundant rain and in which they shall press (wine and oil).
Then the king (after he had been told) said, "Bring him (Joseph) unto me." And when the messenger came unto him, Joseph said, "Return to your Lord, and ask him, what is the state of mind of the women who cut their hands? Verily, my lord knows their guile."
He (the king sent for the women and) said, "What happened when you sought to seduce Joseph?" They said, "Allah preserve us! We know no evil of him." Said the wife of the Minister, "Now is the truth exposed! It was I who sought to seduce him. Truly, he is of the truthful."
(The wife said) "This, I asked that he (my lord) might know that I did not betray him in his absence, and that Allah guides not the guile of the betrayers.
"Yet I do not absolve myself, for the human soul is prone to evil, save that on which my Lord has mercy; verily, my Lord is Forgiving, Merciful."
And the king said, "Bring him (Joseph) to me. I will give him a special position with myself." And when he had spoken with him he said, "Verily, to-day you are with us in a well established place of trust."
He said, "Place me over the store-house of the land; verily, I will be an expert custodian. (one who is skilled and knows what is required.)"
Thus did We establish Joseph in the land that he might possess (settle or control) what part (in the manner, time and place) he pleases. We reach with Our mercy whom We will. We waste not the wages of those who do right.
Surely the reward of the Hereafter is better for those who believe and fears (ward off evil or are constant in righteousness).
And his brethren came to Joseph, and they presented themselves unto him and he knew them, but they recognised him not.
And when he had given them their provisions he said, "Bring me your brother that you have from your father (but different mothers). Do you not see that I give good measure, and that I am the best of hosts?
"But if you bring him not to me, no measure shall you have with me, nor shall you come nigh me."
They said, "We will beg him from our father, and we will surely do it."
Then he said to his servants, "Put their merchandise (they brought in payment) back into their packs, so that they may discover it only when they have returned to their family; per chance (or possibly) they may return."
And when they returned to their father, they said, "O our father! A measure is withheld from us; so send with us our brother that we may obtain the measure, and, verily, we will guard him well."
He said, "Shall I entrust you with him with results other than when I entrusted you with his brother before him? But Allah is the best of keepers, and He is the Most Merciful of the merciful."
And when they opened their packs they found their merchandise restored to them. Said they, "O our father! What more can we crave? Here are our goods restored to us. We shall get provisions for our folk, and we shall guard our brother, and shall have an additional camel load of provisions. This is but a small measure (compared to what we can obtain or to the Egyptian Store-house)."
He said, "I will by no means send him with you until you give me a solemn oath - In the name of Allah that you will surely bring him back to me, unless you are yourselves besieged (made powerless)." So when they had sworn their oaths he said, "Allah is in charge (witness, judge and guardian) over what we say."
And he said further, "O my sons! Enter not by one gate, but enter by several gates. Not that I can avail you aught against Allah. Lo! Judgment (decision, command) rests only with Allah. In Him do I put my trust, and on Him do the trusting rely."
And when they had entered as their father bade them, it availed them nothing against (the plan of) Allah. It fulfiled but a want in Jacob´s soul; for, verily, he was possessed of knowledge that We had taught him; but most of mankind know not.
And when they entered into the presence of Joseph, he took his brother to stay with him, and said, "Verily, I, even I, am your brother, so sorrow not for their doings (past, present and future)."
And when he had given them their provisions, he placed the drinking cup in his brother´s pack; then a crier shouted out, "O you in the caravan! Verily, you are thieves!"
They said, turning to them, "What is it that you miss?"
Said they, "We miss the goblet of the king, and whoever brings it shall have a camel-load, and I will be bound by it (the promise)."
They said, "By Allah! You knew we came not to do evil in the land, and that we were not thieves."
They said, "And what shall be the penalty thereof if you prove to be liars?"
They said, "The recompense thereof is he in whose pack it is found - he shall be the recompense (atonement) thereof (as a bondsman); thus do we recompense the unjust."
And he began (searching) their sacks before the sacks of his brother; then he drew it forth from his brother´s sack. Thus did We devise a stratagem for Joseph. He could not take his brother by the king´s law unless Allah willed. We raise by degrees of mercy whom We will, and over every possessor of knowledge is one who knows more (or One All-knowing).
They said, "If he has stolen, a brother of his has stolen before him." But Joseph kept it secret in his soul and disclosed it not to them, but said within himself, "You are in a worse situation (than you think), and Allah knows best the truth about what you allege."
They said, "O exalted one (ruler, minister)! Verily, he has a father, aged and venerable (who will grieve). Take then one of us instead of him; verily, we can see that you are of those who do good."
Said he, "I seek refuge in Allah from taking any save him with whom we found our property; verily, we should then be certainly unjust."
And when they despaired of (moving) him they retired to consult privately. Said the eldest of them, "Remember you not how your father took an oath from you. In the name of Allah? And how before this you failed in your duty with Joseph? I will surely not quit the land until my father give me leave, or Allah judge for me, for He is the Best of Judges.
"Return you to your father and say, ´O our father! Verily, your son has committed theft, and we bore testimony to naught but what we knew. We could not guard against the unseen (the unforeseen, the unknown or the hidden)"
"Ask then in the city where we were, and of the caravan in which we travelled there, for, verily, we tell the truth."
He (their father when had heard this) said, "Nay, your souls have beguiled (tempted, diverted, deceived) you to something (that serves you). But patience is fitter for me. It may be that Allah will bring them all to me. Verily, He is Knower, Wise."
And he turned away from them and said, "Alas great is my grief for Joseph!" and his eyes grew white with the sorrow he repressed.
They said, "By Allah! You will not cease to remember Joseph till your health is ruined or you are of those who perish!"
Said he, "I complain of (or expose) my distress and anguish only to Allah, for I know from Allah that which you know not.
"O my sons! Go and inquire concerning Joseph and his brother, and despair not of Allah´s comfort (soothing mercy); for, verily, none despairs of the Mercy of Allah save a faithless people."
And when they returned into his (Joseph´s) presence they said, "O exalted one! Misfortune has touched both us, and our families, and we have brought scanty capital. So give us full measure and treat it as charity; verily, Allah rewards the charitable."
He said, "Do you know what you did with Joseph and his brother in your ignorance?"
They said, "Are you then indeed Joseph?" He said, "I am Joseph, and this is my brother; Allah has been gracious towards us. Verily, whoever fears Allah (repulses evil or is righteous) and is patient (endures) - verily, Allah wastes not the hire of those who do right (or good)."
They said, "By Allah! Allah has chosen (or preferred) you over us; and we indeed were guilty."
He said, "No reproach against you this day! Allah will pardon you, for He is the most Merciful of the merciful.
Take this my shirt, and lay it over the face of my father, he will become able to see; and come to me with all your family."
And when the caravan left (Egypt), their father said, "Verily, I smell the presence of Joseph; nay, think me not a dotard."
Those around him said, "By Allah! You are in your old meandering mind."
And when the herald of glad tidings (Judah) came he threw it on his face, and he was restored to clear sight (became a seer). Said he, "Did I not tell you that I know from Allah that of which you know not?
They said, "O our father! Ask pardon for us of our sins; verily, we were sinners!"
He said, "I will ask pardon for you from my Lord; verily, He is the Forgiving, Merciful."
And when they came before Joseph, he took his parents to stay with him, and said, "Enter you into Egypt, in safety if it please Allah."
And he raised his parents upon the throne (of dignity), and they fell down before him prostrate. And he said, "O my sire! This is the fulfilment of my vision of old; my Lord has made it come true, and He has shown me kindness in bringing me forth out of prison, and bringing you from the desert, after Satan had made a breach between me and my brethren. Verily, my Lord is kind to whomsoever He will; verily, He is the Knower, the Wise.
"O my Lord! Thou hast given me some dominion (power, sovereignty), and have taught me something of the interpretation of dreams and events (and sayings, stories etc.); O Thou Originator of the heavens and the earth! Thou art my patron (protector, provider and guide) in this world and the next; make me to die (or take my soul) as one who has Surrendered unto Thee (as a Muslim), and unite me with the righteous!"
That is one of the stories of the unseen that We inspire in you (Muhammad). You were not with them when they agreed in their affair when they were scheming.
And though you ardently desires it, most of mankind will not believe (or have faith).
You do not ask them a fee for it; it is naught else but a reminder unto the creatures.
How many a sign is there in the heavens and the earth which they pass by with face averted!
And most of them believe not in Allah without associating partners with Him.
Think they themselves secure, then, from overwhelming punishment coming on them from Allah, or from the Hour coming upon them suddenly while they are unaware?
Say, "This is my Way; I call now unto Allah with sure knowledge (or clear proof), I and those who follow me - Glory be to Allah - for I am not of the idolaters."
We never sent before you any, save men whom We inspired, from among the people of the townships (or communities). Have they not journeyed in the earth and beheld the consequences for those who were before them? Verily, the abode of Hereafter is surely better for those who believe; have they then no sense?
Until when the Messenger despaired and they thought that they were proved liars, then came Our help unto them, and whoever We pleased was saved; but Our wrath is not averted from the guilty.