Harun Yahya

The Prophet Yusuf (As)

... He was Our chosen servant. (Surah Yusuf, 24)
... And thus We established Yusuf in the land and taught
him to interpret dreams. Allah is in control of all His affairs.
However, most of mankind do not know this. And
then when he became a full-grown man, We gave him
knowledge and right judgement too. That is how We reward
all doers of good. (Surah Yusuf, 21-22)
Surah Yusuf, the 12th surah of the Qur’an, comprises 111 verses
and is almost entirely devoted to the Prophet Yusuf’s (as) life.
From a very early age, the Prophet Yusuf (as) was put to the
test by Allah through various incidents. He was a very patient
prophet who was sincere in his faith and always told of Allah’s existence
and His superiority to those around him. His trust in Allah,
his devotion and his loyalty to Him, his moderate attitude in the
face of events set an example to all of the faithful.
Through a dream he had when he was still a child, Allah gave
the Prophet Yusuf (as) the good news that He would give him
knowledge and many blessings. The Prophet Yusuf (as) told his
dream to his father, the Prophet Ya’qub (as), who interpreted it for
Yusuf told his father, “Father! I saw eleven bright stars,
and the sun and moon as well. I saw them all prostrate
themselves in front of me.” He replied, “My son, don’t
tell your brothers of your dream lest they devise some
scheme to injure you: Satan is the sworn enemy of man.
Accordingly, your Lord will pick you out and teach you
to interpret visions and will perfectly fulfil His blessing
on you as well as on the family of Ya’qub, as He fulfilled
it perfectly before upon your forebears, Ibrahim and
Ishaq. Most certainly, your Lord is All-Knowing and
Wise.” (Surah Yusuf, 4-6)

The Prophet Yusuf (as) Declared That Allah’s
Approval Was Above And Beyond Everything

When he was still very young, the Prophet Yusuf’s (as) brothers
wanted to get rid of him, for they were jealous of the love
their father felt for him. They finally threw him into a well. The
brothers left Yusuf (as) to die at the bottom of the well and, returning
to their father, they lied to him and said, “A wolf appeared
and ate him up.” (Surah Yusuf, 17) After being left in the
well, Yusuf was found by a caravan whose members rescued
him from the depths of the well and sold him to an Egyptian
Aziz (Treasurer). The Prophet Yusuf (as) remained in his house
for many long years. However, when he reached maturity, the
lady of the house, the Aziz’s wife, wanted to seduce him. But the
Prophet Yusuf (as), who had fear for Allah, sought refuge in
Allah and reminded the wife of the Aziz, that he had looked after him and treated him well. This is related in the Qur’an as follows:
“Allah is my refuge! He is My Lord and has been good to
me and treated me with kindness. Those who do wrong
will surely never prosper.” (Surat Yusuf, 23)
Unable to have her way, Aziz’s wife slandered the Prophet
Yusuf (as). Although Yusuf’s (as) innocence had been proven
through the testimonies of the witnesses and tangible evidence
had been produced, he was thrown into a dungeon. However,
the Prophet Yusuf (as), who was aware that he was being tested
by Allah in every situation, always adopted the attitude that
would most please Him. In this incident too, Yusuf (as) expressed
that being in dungeon was dearer to him: He said, “My
Lord, the prison is preferable to me than what they call on me
to do. Unless You shield me from their guile, it may well be
that I will fall for them and so lapse into folly.” (Surah Yusuf,
As we see in this incident too, one who has an assured faith
in Allah, should never lose his moderate attitude when faced
with difficulties. He should put his trust in Allah and never forget
that the outcome will definitely be auspicious, for Allah
promises to help his sincere servants both in this world and beyond.
Indeed, regarding this matter, the Prophet Yusuf’s (as) life
has been recounted in the Qur’an as a striking example.

The Prophet Yusuf (as) Reminded His Cell Mates
That It Was Allah Who Granted Everything

The Qur’an informs us that two other young men were thrown
into the dungeon along with the Prophet Yusuf (as), and that they
asked him to interpret their dreams. As was true of all the other
messengers, the Prophet Yusuf (as) first told them of the existence
of Allah and that the knowledge he possessed, in actuality, belonged
to Allah:
He said, “No meal to feed you will arrive before I have informed
you of what its meaning is. That is part of what my
Lord taught me. For I have left the religion of a people who
clearly have no faith in Allah and deny the life to come.” I
hold fast to the creed of my forebears, Ibrahim and Ishaq
and Ya’qub. We don’t associate anything with Allah. And
that is how Allah has favoured us and all mankind, but
most men do not give thanks.” (Surah Yusuf, 37-38)
This reminder of the Prophet Yusuf (as) calls attention to a fact
that believers need to keep in mind: Allah grants to human beings
all the attributes they possess, their material benefits and their
knowledge and reason. And whenever He wills, He could give
more of these blessings or take them back. Keeping this in mind, it
is of great importance that people should not feel proud of any of
their qualities or possessions.

The Prophet Yusuf (as) Informed His Cell Mates
That The Only God Is Allah, And That They
Should Worship Him Alone

Then the Prophet Yusuf (as) went on to tell them that there was
no god but Allah and summoned his cell mates to be servants to
Him alone:
“My fellow-prisoners, are many lords better, or Allah, the
only One, the Conqueror? What you serve apart from Him are only names which you and your forefathers have made
up. There is no mandate for them from Allah. Allah alone
is qualified to judge. His order is to worship none but Him.
That is in truth the straight and upright religion, but most
of mankind simply do not know it.” (Surah Yusuf, 39-40)
As we have seen, the Prophet Yusuf (as) did not immediately
react to his cell mates, who were obviously ascribing partners to
Allah. Instead, he first summoned them to believe in Allah and advised
them not to ascribe partners to Him. Not aware of the abject
situation he is in, a disbeliever is often unable to decide what his
priorities are and he trifles with matters of secondary importance.
In this situation, it falls to the believer to identify the attributes of
the particular disbeliever and to admonish him in a way to benefit
him. It is faith alone which will benefit all people. That is why the
Prophet Yusuf (as) first told his cell mates about faith.
Irrespective of the circumstances, the Prophet Yusuf (as) never
lost his moderate attitude or his commitment in fulfilling Allah’s
commands; he communicated Allah’s religion even in the dungeon.
This attitude is exemplary for all believers.

The Prophet Yusuf (as) Declared That
The Lower Self Enjoins To Evil

The Aziz’s wife confessed the truth and thereby Yusuf’s (as) innocence
was proven. However, despite the truth being out in the
open, the Prophet Yusuf (as) did not attempt to deny the vulnerability
of his own lower self and revealed another most important
“In this way he may know at last that I did not dishonour him behind his back and that Allah most surely does not
guide the deviousness of the dishonourable. Not that I am
free from sin: Man’s soul is prone to evil–except for those
on whom my Lord has mercy. My Lord is Forgiving and
Merciful.” (Surah Yusuf, 52-53)
In order to understand why the Prophet Yusuf (as) did not
want to defend his lower self, we need to dwell upon the meaning
of “lower self.” We can define the “lower self” as the power within
the soul that enjoins to evil. When the wishes of the lower self
incur Allah’s disapproval, believers never give in to their lower
selves. At all times, they strive to earn Allah’s approval. Aware of
this attribute of the lower self, the Prophet Yusuf (as) said that it
would be wrong to nurture it.

The Prophet Yusuf (as) Is Grateful To Allah
For The Blessings He Grants

After his acquittal, the Prophet Yusuf (as) was entrusted as a
reliable person with the treasures of the country. He thereupon
also made his family reunite and told them about his trust in
Allah and that he always remembered that He held control over
He raised his parents up on to the throne. All the others fell
prostrate in front of him. He said, “My father, truly this is now
the interpretation of the dream I had. My Lord has made it all
come true; and He was kind to me by letting me out of prison
and brought you from the desert when Satan had caused dissent
between me and my brothers. My Lord is kind to anyone He
wills. He alone is All-Knowing and Wise.” (Surah Yusuf, 100)
The Prophet Yusuf (as), who trusted in Allah when encountered
with difficulty, likewise turned to our Lord when he received
blessings, and prayed thus:
“My Lord, You have granted power to me on Earth and
taught me to interpret dreams. Originator of the heavens
and Earth, You are my Friend in this world and the Next.
So take me as a Muslim at my death and admit me among
the righteous.” (Surah Yusuf, 101)
As seen, the Qur’an describes of the attitudes the Prophet
Yusuf (as) assumed in the face of the events he went through.
This narrative clearly reveals the Prophet Yusuf’s (as) moral excellence,
his faith, his submission to Allah and his loyalty to
Him. Irrespective of the conditions, he never swerved from
moral excellence and never gave up his submissive attitude: he
told people around him of Allah’s existence and His infinite
Despite being a prophet, the Prophet Yusuf’s (as) wish to die
as a Muslim and to be among the righteous is also a subject upon
which to reflect. No one can guarantee his being worthy of being
granted Paradise. Aware of this fact, believers fear Allah and,
following the example of the Prophet Yusuf (as), they pray to Allah to die as Muslims.

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