012.001 A.L.R. These are the symbols (or Verses) of the perspicuous Book.
012.002 We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur’an, in order that ye may learn
012.003 We do relate unto thee the most beautiful of stories, in that We reveal to thee
this (portion of the) Qur’an: before this, thou too was among those who knew it not.
012.004 Behold! Joseph said to his father: “O my father! I did see eleven stars and
the sun and the moon: I saw them prostrate themselves to me!”
012.005 Said (the father): “My (dear) little son! relate not thy vision to thy brothers,
lest they concoct a plot against thee: for Satan is to man an avowed enemy!
012.006 “Thus will thy Lord choose thee and teach thee the interpretation of stories
(and events) and perfect His favour to thee and to the posterity of Jacob – even as He
perfected it to thy fathers Abraham and Isaac aforetime! for God is full of knowledge
012.007 Verily in Joseph and his brethren are signs (or symbols) for seekers (after
012.008 They said: “Truly Joseph and his brother are loved more by our father than
we: But we are a goodly body! really our father is obviously wandering (in his mind)!
012.009 “Slay ye Joseph or cast him out to some (unknown) land, that so the favour
of your father may be given to you alone: (there will be time enough) for you to be
righteous after that!”
012.010 Said one of them: “Slay not Joseph, but if ye must do something, throw him
down to the bottom of the well: he will be picked up by some caravan of travellers.”
012.011 They said: “O our father! why dost thou not trust us with Joseph,- seeing we
are indeed his sincere well-wishers?
012.012 “Send him with us tomorrow to enjoy himself and play, and we shall take
every care of him.”
012.013 (Jacob) said: “Really it saddens me that ye should take him away: I fear lest
the wolf should devour him while ye attend not to him.”
012.014 They said: “If the wolf were to devour him while we are (so large) a party,
then should we indeed (first) have perished ourselves!”
012.015 So they did take him away, and they all agreed to throw him down to the
bottom of the well: and We put into his heart (this Message): ‘Of a surety thou shalt
(one day) tell them the truth of this their affair while they know (thee) not’
012.016 Then they came to their father in the early part of the night, weeping.
012.017 They said: “O our father! We went racing with one another, and left Joseph
with our things; and the wolf devoured him…. But thou wilt never believe us even
though we tell the truth.”
012.018 They stained his shirt with false blood. He said: “Nay, but your minds have
made up a tale (that may pass) with you, (for me) patience is most fitting: Against that
which ye assert, it is God (alone) Whose help can be sought”..
012.019 Then there came a caravan of travellers: they sent their water-carrier (for
water), and he let down his bucket (into the well)…He said: “Ah there! Good news!
Here is a (fine) young man!” So they concealed him as a treasure! But God knoweth
well all that they do!
012.020 The (Brethren) sold him for a miserable price, for a few dirhams counted
out: in such low estimation did they hold him!
012.021 The man in Egypt who bought him, said to his wife: “Make his stay (among
us) honourable: may be he will bring us much good, or we shall adopt him as a son.”
Thus did We establish Joseph in the land, that We might teach him the interpretation
of stories (and events). And God hath full power and control over His affairs; but
most among mankind know it not.
012.022 When Joseph attained His full manhood, We gave him power and
knowledge: thus do We reward those who do right.
012.023 But she in whose house he was, sought to seduce him from his (true) self:
she fastened the doors, and said: “Now come, thou (dear one)!” He said: “God forbid!
truly (thy husband) is my lord! he made my sojourn agreeable! truly to no good come
those who do wrong!”
012.024 And (with passion) did she desire him, and he would have desired her, but
that he saw the evidence of his Lord: thus (did We order) that We might turn away
from him (all) evil and shameful deeds: for he was one of Our servants, sincere and
012.025 So they both raced each other to the door, and she tore his shirt from the
back: they both found her lord near the door. She said: “What is the (fitting)
punishment for one who formed an evil design against thy wife, but prison or a
012.026 He said: “It was she that sought to seduce me – from my (true) self.” And
one of her household saw (this) and bore witness, (thus):- “If it be that his shirt is rent
from the front, then is her tale true, and he is a liar!
012.027 “But if it be that his shirt is torn from the back, then is she the liar, and he is
telling the truth!”
012.028 So when he saw his shirt,- that it was torn at the back,- (her husband) said:
“Behold! It is a snare of you women! truly, mighty is your snare!
012.029 “O Joseph, pass this over! (O wife), ask forgiveness for thy sin, for truly
thou hast been at fault!”
012.030 Ladies said in the City: “The wife of the (great) ‘Aziz is seeking to seduce
her slave from his (true) self: Truly hath he inspired her with violent love: we see she
is evidently going astray.”
012.031 When she heard of their malicious talk, she sent for them and prepared a
banquet for them: she gave each of them a knife: and she said (to Joseph), “Come out
before them.” When they saw him, they did extol him, and (in their amazement) cut
their hands: they said, “God preserve us! no mortal is this! this is none other than a
012.032 She said: “There before you is the man about whom ye did blame me! I did
seek to seduce him from his (true) self but he did firmly save himself guiltless!….and
now, if he doth not my bidding, he shall certainly be cast into prison, and (what is
more) be of the company of the vilest!”
012.033 He said: “O my Lord! the prison is more to my liking than that to which they
invite me: Unless Thou turn away their snare from me, I should (in my youthful folly)
feel inclined towards them and join the ranks of the ignorant.”
012.034 So his Lord hearkened to him (in his prayer), and turned away from him
their snare: Verily He heareth and knoweth (all things).
012.035 Then it occurred to the men, after they had seen the signs, (that it was best)
to imprison him for a time.
012.036 Now with him there came into the prison two young men. Said one of them:
“I see myself (in a dream) pressing wine.” said the other: “I see myself (in a dream)
carrying bread on my head, and birds are eating, thereof.” “Tell us” (they said) “The
truth and meaning thereof: for we see thou art one that doth good (to all).”
012.037 He said: “Before any food comes (in due course) to feed either of you, I will
surely reveal to you the truth and meaning of this ere it befall you: that is part of the
(duty) which my Lord hath taught me. I have (I assure you) abandoned the ways of a
people that believe not in God and that (even) deny the Hereafter.
012.038 “And I follow the ways of my fathers,- Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and
never could we attribute any partners whatever to God: that (comes) of the grace of
God to us and to mankind: yet most men are not grateful.
012.039 “O my two companions of the prison! (I ask you): are many lords differing
among themselves better, or the One God, Supreme and Irresistible?
012.040 “If not Him, ye worship nothing but names which ye have named,- ye and
your fathers,- for which God hath sent down no authority: the command is for none
but God: He hath commanded that ye worship none but Him: that is the right
religion, but most men understand not…
012.041 “O my two companions of the prison! As to one of you, he will pour out the
wine for his lord to drink: as for the other, he will hang from the cross, and the birds
will eat from off his head. (so) hath been decreed that matter whereof ye twain do
012.042 And of the two, to that one whom he consider about to be saved, he said:
“Mention me to thy lord.” But Satan made him forget to mention him to his lord: and
(Joseph) lingered in prison a few (more) years.
012.043 The king (of Egypt) said: “I do see (in a vision) seven fat kine, whom seven
lean ones devour, and seven green ears of corn, and seven (others) withered. O ye
chiefs! Expound to me my vision if it be that ye can interpret visions.”
012.044 They said: “A confused medley of dreams: and we are not skilled in the
interpretation of dreams.”
012.045 But the man who had been released, one of the two (who had been in prison)
and who now bethought him after (so long) a space of time, said: “I will tell you the
truth of its interpretation: send ye me (therefore).”
012.046 “O Joseph!” (he said) “O man of truth! Expound to us (the dream) of seven
fat kine whom seven lean ones devour, and of seven green ears of corn and (seven)
others withered: that I may return to the people, and that they may understand.”
012.047 (Joseph) said: “For seven years shall ye diligently sow as is your wont: and
the harvests that ye reap, ye shall leave them in the ear,- except a little, of which ye
012.048 “Then will come after that (period) seven dreadful (years), which will
devour what ye shall have laid by in advance for them,- (all) except a little which ye
shall have (specially) guarded.
012.049 “Then will come after that (period) a year in which the people will have
abundant water, and in which they will press (wine and oil).”
012.050 So the king said: “Bring ye him unto me.” But when the messenger came to
him, (Joseph) said: “Go thou back to thy lord, and ask him, ‘What is the state of mind
of the ladies who cut their hands’? For my Lord is certainly well aware of their snare.”
012.051 (The king) said (to the ladies): “What was your affair when ye did seek to
seduce Joseph from his (true) self?” The ladies said: “God preserve us! no evil know
we against him!” Said the ‘Aziz’s wife: “Now is the truth manifest (to all): it was I
who sought to seduce him from his (true) self: He is indeed of those who are (ever)
true (and virtuous).
012.052 “This (say I), in order that He may know that I have never been false to him
in his absence, and that God will never guide the snare of the false ones.
012.053 “Nor do I absolve my own self (of blame): the (human) soul is certainly
prone to evil, unless my Lord do bestow His Mercy: but surely my Lord is Oft-
forgiving, Most Merciful.”
012.054 So the king said: “Bring him unto me; I will take him specially to serve
about my own person.” Therefore when he had spoken to him, he said: “Be assured
this day, thou art, before our own presence, with rank firmly established, and fidelity
012.055 (Joseph) said: “Set me over the store-houses of the land: I will indeed guard
them, as one that knows (their importance).”
012.056 Thus did We give established power to Joseph in the land, to take possession
therein as, when, or where he pleased. We bestow of our Mercy on whom We please,
and We suffer not, to be lost, the reward of those who do good.
012.057 But verily the reward of the Hereafter is the best, for those who believe, and
are constant in righteousness.
012.058 Then came Joseph’s brethren: they entered his presence, and he knew them,
but they knew him not.
012.059 And when he had furnished them forth with provisions (suitable) for them,
he said: “Bring unto me a brother ye have, of the same father as yourselves, (but a
different mother): see ye not that I pay out full measure, and that I do provide the best
012.060 “Now if ye bring him not to me, ye shall have no measure (of corn) from
me, nor shall ye (even) come near me.”
012.061 They said: “We shall certainly seek to get our wish about him from his
father: Indeed we shall do it.”
012.062 And (Joseph) told his servants to put their stock-in-trade (with which they
had bartered) into their saddle-bags, so they should know it only when they returned
to their people, in order that they might come back.
012.063 Now when they returned to their father, they said: “O our father! No more
measure of grain shall we get (unless we take our brother): So send our brother with
us, that we may get our measure; and we will indeed take every care of him.”
012.064 He said: “Shall I trust you with him with any result other than when I trusted
you with his brother aforetime? But God is the best to take care (of him), and He is
the Most Merciful of those who show mercy!”
012.065 Then when they opened their baggage, they found their stock-in-trade had
been returned to them. They said: “O our father! What (more) can we desire? this our
stock-in-trade has been returned to us: so we shall get (more) food for our family; We
shall take care of our brother; and add (at the same time) a full camel’s load (of grain
to our provisions). This is but a small quantity.
012.066 (Jacob) said: “Never will I send him with you until ye swear a solemn oath
to me, in God’s name, that ye will be sure to bring him back to me unless ye are
yourselves hemmed in (and made powerless). And when they had sworn their solemn
oath, he said: “Over all that we say, be God the witness and guardian!”
012.067 Further he said: “O my sons! enter not all by one gate: enter ye by different
gates. Not that I can profit you aught against God (with my advice): None can
command except God: On Him do I put my trust: and let all that trust put their trust
012.068 And when they entered in the manner their father had enjoined, it did not
profit them in the least against (the plan of) God: It was but a necessity of Jacob’s
soul, which he discharged. For he was, by our instruction, full of knowledge (and
experience): but most men know not.
012.069 Now when they came into Joseph’s presence, he received his (full) brother to
stay with him. He said (to him): “Behold! I am thy (own) brother; so grieve not at
aught of their doings.”
012.070 At length when he had furnished them forth with provisions (suitable) for
them, he put the drinking cup into his brother’s saddle-bag. Then shouted out a crier:
“O ye (in) the caravan! behold! ye are thieves, without doubt!”
012.071 They said, turning towards them: “What is it that ye miss?”
012.072 They said: “We miss the great beaker of the king; for him who produces it,
is (the reward of) a camel load; I will be bound by it.”
012.073 (The brothers) said: “By God! well ye know that we came not to make
mischief in the land, and we are no thieves!”
012.074 (The Egyptians) said: “What then shall be the penalty of this, if ye are
(proved) to have lied?”
012.075 They said: “The penalty should be that he in whose saddle-bag it is found,
should be held (as bondman) to atone for the (crime). Thus it is we punish the wrong-
012.076 So he began (the search) with their baggage, before (he came to) the
baggage of his brother: at length he brought it out of his brother’s baggage. Thus did
We plan for Joseph. He could not take his brother by the law of the king except that
God willed it (so). We raise to degrees (of wisdom) whom We please: but over all
endued with knowledge is one, the All-Knowing.
012.077 They said: “If he steals, there was a brother of his who did steal before
(him).” But these things did Joseph keep locked in his heart, revealing not the secrets
to them. He (simply) said (to himself): “Ye are the worse situated; and God knoweth
best the truth of what ye assert!”
012.078 They said: “O exalted one! Behold! he has a father, aged and venerable,
(who will grieve for him); so take one of us in his place; for we see that thou art
(gracious) in doing good.”
012.079 He said: “God forbid that we take other than him with whom we found our
property: indeed (if we did so), we should be acting wrongfully.
012.080 Now when they saw no hope of his (yielding), they held a conference in
private. The leader among them said: “Know ye not that your father did take an oath
from you in God’s name, and how, before this, ye did fail in your duty with Joseph?
Therefore will I not leave this land until my father permits me, or God commands me;
and He is the best to command.
012.081 “Turn ye back to your father, and say, ‘O our father! behold! thy son
committed theft! we bear witness only to what we know, and we could not well guard
against the unseen!
012.082 “‘Ask at the town where we have been and the caravan in which we returned,
and (you will find) we are indeed telling the truth.'”
012.083 Jacob said: “Nay, but ye have yourselves contrived a story (good enough)
for you. So patience is most fitting (for me). Maybe God will bring them (back) all to
me (in the end). For He is indeed full of knowledge and wisdom.”
012.084 And he turned away from them, and said: “How great is my grief for
Joseph!” And his eyes became white with sorrow, and he fell into silent melancholy.
012.085 They said: “By God! (never) wilt thou cease to remember Joseph until thou
reach the last extremity of illness, or until thou die!”
012.086 He said: “I only complain of my distraction and anguish to God, and I know
from God that which ye know not…
012.087 “O my sons! go ye and enquire about Joseph and his brother, and never give
up hope of God’s Soothing Mercy: truly no one despairs of God’s Soothing Mercy,
except those who have no faith.”
012.088 Then, when they came (back) into (Joseph’s) presence they said: “O exalted
one! distress has seized us and our family: we have (now) brought but scanty capital:
so pay us full measure, (we pray thee), and treat it as charity to us: for God doth
reward the charitable.”
012.089 He said: “Know ye how ye dealt with Joseph and his brother, not knowing
(what ye were doing)?”
012.090 They said: “Art thou indeed Joseph?” He said, “I am Joseph, and this is my
brother: God has indeed been gracious to us (all): behold, he that is righteous and
patient,- never will God suffer the reward to be lost, of those who do right.”
012.091 They said: “By God! indeed has God preferred thee above us, and we
certainly have been guilty of sin!”
012.092 He said: “This day let no reproach be (cast) on you: God will forgive you,
and He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy!
012.093 “Go with this my shirt, and cast it over the face of my father: he will come to
see (clearly). Then come ye (here) to me together with all your family.”
012.094 When the caravan left (Egypt), their father said: “I do indeed scent the
presence of Joseph: Nay, think me not a dotard.”
012.095 They said: “By God! truly thou art in thine old wandering mind.”
012.096 Then when the bearer of the good news came, He cast (the shirt) over his
face, and he forthwith regained clear sight. He said: “Did I not say to you, ‘I know
from God that which ye know not?'”
012.097 They said: “O our father! ask for us forgiveness for our sins, for we were
truly at fault.”
012.098 He said: “Soon will I ask my Lord for forgiveness for you: for he is indeed
Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
012.099 Then when they entered the presence of Joseph, he provided a home for his
parents with himself, and said: “Enter ye Egypt (all) in safety if it please God.”
012.100 And he raised his parents high on the throne (of dignity), and they fell down
in prostration, (all) before him. He said: “O my father! this is the fulfilment of my
vision of old! God hath made it come true! He was indeed good to me when He took
me out of prison and brought you (all here) out of the desert, (even) after Satan had
sown enmity between me and my brothers. Verily my Lord understandeth best the
mysteries of all that He planneth to do, for verily He is full of knowledge and
012.101 “O my Lord! Thou hast indeed bestowed on me some power, and taught me
something of the interpretation of dreams and events,- O Thou Creator of the heavens
and the earth! Thou art my Protector in this world and in the Hereafter. Take Thou my
soul (at death) as one submitting to Thy will (as a Muslim), and unite me with the
012.102 Such is one of the stories of what happened unseen, which We reveal by
inspiration unto thee; nor wast thou (present) with them then when they concerted
their plans together in the process of weaving their plots.