وَ سۡـَٔلِ الۡقَرۡیَۃَ الَّتِیۡ کُنَّا فِیۡہَا وَ الۡعِیۡرَ الَّتِیۡۤ اَقۡبَلۡنَا فِیۡہَا ؕ وَ اِنَّا لَصٰدِقُوۡنَ ﴿۸۳﴾
وَسۡـَٔلِ ٱلۡقَرۡيَةَ ٱلَّتِي كُنَّا فِيهَا وَٱلۡعِيرَ ٱلَّتِيٓ أَقۡبَلۡنَا فِيهَاۖ وَإِنَّا لَصَٰدِقُونَ
1401. In the verse Qaryah (town) is in reality Ahlul-Qaryah (people of the town) and ‘Ir (caravan) is Ashabul-‘Ir (members of the caravan). The words Ahl and Ashab have been omitted to lend emphasis to the statement. (close)
In the verse قریة (city) is in reality اھل قریة (people of the city) and عیر (caravan) is اصحاب العیر (members of the caravan). The words اھلand اصحاب have been omitted to lend emphasis to the statement. The construction "inquire of the caravan" would signify "if you inquire of any member of the caravan he would testify to the truth of our statement." (close)
قَالَ بَلۡ سَوَّلَتۡ لَکُمۡ اَنۡفُسُکُمۡ اَمۡرًا ؕ فَصَبۡرٌ جَمِیۡلٌ ؕ عَسَی اللّٰہُ اَنۡ یَّاۡتِـیَنِیۡ بِہِمۡ جَمِیۡعًا ؕ اِنَّہٗ ہُوَ الۡعَلِیۡمُ الۡحَکِیۡمُ ﴿۸۴﴾
قَالَ بَلۡ سَوَّلَتۡ لَكُمۡ أَنفُسُكُمۡ أَمۡرٗاۖ فَصَبۡرٞ جَمِيلٌۖ عَسَى ٱللَّهُ أَن يَأۡتِيَنِي بِهِمۡ جَمِيعًاۚ إِنَّهُۥ هُوَ ٱلۡعَلِيمُ ٱلۡحَكِيمُ
a. 12:19. (close)
1402. Joseph, Benjamin and Judah. (close)
The verse does not mean that Jacob accused his sons of making a false report about the detention of Benjamin. What he is represented here as saying is that, owing to their enmity with Benjamin, the idea that he could not be guilty of theft did not occur to them, but there must certainly have been some misunderstanding in the matter. The verse shows that Jacob had been foretold by God that Joseph was living and that all three brothers would come back safe.
The pronoun ھم (them) used in the words, Maybe, Allah will bring them all to me, is in the plural which, according to the rules of Arabic grammar applies to more than two. The persons referred to here thus are Joseph, Benjamin, and Judah. Judah’s regard for his promise seems to have made a good impression on Jacob’s mind and therefore he began to feel pain at his absence also and did not forget him in his prayer.
In the words, He is the All-Knowing, the Wise, Jacob seems to hint that God had revealed to him the reality of the matter, and that whatever had happened, had happened in pursuance of a divine plan for the welfare of the family and that their past sufferings would serve as a prelude to future prosperity. (close)
وَ تَوَلّٰی عَنۡہُمۡ وَ قَالَ یٰۤاَسَفٰی عَلٰی یُوۡسُفَ وَ ابۡیَضَّتۡ عَیۡنٰہُ مِنَ الۡحُزۡنِ فَہُوَ کَظِیۡمٌ ﴿۸۵﴾
وَتَوَلَّىٰ عَنۡهُمۡ وَقَالَ يَـٰٓأَسَفَىٰ عَلَىٰ يُوسُفَ وَٱبۡيَضَّتۡ عَيۡنَاهُ مِنَ ٱلۡحُزۡنِ فَهُوَ كَظِيمٞ
1403. Bayyadas-Siqa means, he filled the skin with water or milk. The expression Ibyaddat ‘Aina-hu is used regarding a person who is stricken with grief and his eyes become filled with tears. The verse thus only signifies that the world became dark for Jacob and his eyes became filled with tears on account of grief (Lane, Razi & Bihar). (close)
1584. Important Words:
ابیضت (became white) is derived from بیض which again is derived from باض. They say باضه i.e. he surpassed him in whiteness. بیض means, he whitened a thing or made it white. بیض السقاء means, he filled the skin with water or milk; or, contrarily, he emptied it. ابیض means, it was or became white. The expression ابیضت عیناه من الحزن is used regarding a person who is stricken with grief and means, the world became dark for him or his eyes became white with grief. (Lane & Bihar).
In view of the meaning of the word ابیضت given under Important Words the verse cannot mean that Jacob became blind on account of excessive weeping. The expression ابیضت عیناه من الحزن only means that his eyes became white because of grief; or (according to one meaning of the word) his eyes became filled with tears on account of grief. The interpretation of these words that Jacob’s eyes became blind is evidently wrong for the following reasons: (1) Arabic idiom does not bear it out, for the becoming white of eyes never means their becoming blind. (2) The Quran represents Jacob as displaying extraordinary patience, hinted at in his words when told that Joseph had been devoured by a wolf and also when Benjamin and Judah failed to return to him (vv. 19 & 84). Now, it is a strange sort of patience if he became blind on account of weeping for his sons. (3) It does not at all become a Prophet of God that he should go on bewailing and weeping for any worldly thing, however great, till he becomes blind. (4) The present verse itself tells us that Jacob was کـظیم i.e. he had succeeded in repressing his grief. This shows that he neither wept excessively nor became blind on account of it. (5) The expression ابیضت عیناه is used in Arabic only to express a person’s great grief and sorrow, and is never used about a person’s becoming blind through weeping and wailing. (close)
قَالُوۡا تَاللّٰہِ تَفۡتَؤُا تَذۡکُرُ یُوۡسُفَ حَتّٰی تَکُوۡنَ حَرَضًا اَوۡ تَکُوۡنَ مِنَ الۡہٰلِکِیۡنَ ﴿۸۶﴾
قَالُواْ تَٱللَّهِ تَفۡتَؤُاْ تَذۡكُرُ يُوسُفَ حَتَّىٰ تَكُونَ حَرَضًا أَوۡ تَكُونَ مِنَ ٱلۡهَٰلِكِينَ
1404. Harad means, a man corrupt in body and intellect; sick or diseased; suffering from protracted disquietude of mind and disease; weary or fatigued and at the point of death; emaciated or dissolved by excessive grief or love, etc. (Lane). (close)
1585. Important Words:
حرضا (art wasted away) is the noun-infinitive from حرض which means, he became in a corrupt or disordered state, being sick and diseased; or he became heavily oppressed by disease; or he became emaciated by grief or by excessive love; or he became constantly affected by grief so as to be at the point of death; or he suffered protracted disquietude of mind and disease; he was unable to rise from or quit his place; he was or became low, or sordid or bad, possessing no good; he was neglected or forsaken. حرض means, a man corrupt in body and in intellect; a man in a corrupt or disordered state; sick or diseased; having a corrupt or disordered stomach; suffering from protracted disquietude of mind and disease; weary or fatigued and at the point of death; emaciated or dissolved by excessive grief or love, etc. (Lane & Aqrab).
This allegation of the brothers of Joseph is repudiated by the Prophet Jacob in the reply given in the next verse. (close)
قَالَ اِنَّمَاۤ اَشۡکُوۡا بَثِّیۡ وَ حُزۡنِیۡۤ اِلَی اللّٰہِ وَ اَعۡلَمُ مِنَ اللّٰہِ مَا لَا تَعۡلَمُوۡنَ ﴿۸۷﴾
قَالَ إِنَّمَآ أَشۡكُواْ بَثِّي وَحُزۡنِيٓ إِلَى ٱللَّهِ وَأَعۡلَمُ مِنَ ٱللَّهِ مَا لَا تَعۡلَمُونَ
1404A. The verse implies that Jacob had been informed by God that Joseph, Benjamin and Judah were alive. (close)
In this beautiful verse Jacob pours out his heart to God, in Whom all holy men seek solace. He also hints at the fact that he knew from God that Joseph, Benjamin and Judah were alive. (close)
یٰبَنِیَّ اذۡہَبُوۡا فَتَحَسَّسُوۡا مِنۡ یُّوۡسُفَ وَ اَخِیۡہِ وَ لَا تَایۡـَٔسُوۡا مِنۡ رَّوۡحِ اللّٰہِ ؕ اِنَّہٗ لَا یَایۡـَٔسُ مِنۡ رَّوۡحِ اللّٰہِ اِلَّا الۡقَوۡمُ الۡکٰفِرُوۡنَ ﴿۸۸﴾
يَٰبَنِيَّ ٱذۡهَبُواْ فَتَحَسَّسُواْ مِن يُوسُفَ وَأَخِيهِ وَلَا تَاْيۡـَٔسُواْ مِن رَّوۡحِ ٱللَّهِۖ إِنَّهُۥ لَا يَاْيۡـَٔسُ مِن رَّوۡحِ ٱللَّهِ إِلَّا ٱلۡقَوۡمُ ٱلۡكَٰفِرُونَ
1405. This verse also shows that Jacob was convinced that Joseph, Benjamin and Judah were alive in Egypt. (close)
a. 15:57; 39:54. (close)
a. 15:57; 39:54. (close)
This verse leaves no doubt that God had informed Jacob not only of Joseph’s being alive but also of his being in Egypt. If Jacob had thought that Joseph had been devoured by a wolf or had perished in some other way, he could not at the present stage have bidden his sons search for him, particularly in Egypt.
The verse also lays down an infallible principle of success not only in spiritual but also in temporal matters viz. to avoid despair and despondency under all circumstances. Indeed, the root of most failures lies in despondency and despair. He who despairs of success can never attain his object. Indeed, he can never act as he ought to.
In the spiritual realm people who do not believe in the forgiveness of sins never feel the urge to exert themselves to the utmost and overcome them. Similarly, those who do not believe that human nature is pure and unsullied and that man has been endowed with great powers and faculties do not try to develop them to their utmost limit. The Holy Prophet inculcated this supreme lesson in his followers, saying that they should never give way to despair. He is reported to have said لکل داء دواء الاالموت i.e. For every disease there is a remedy, except death. Similarly, he said, من قال ھلك القوم فھو اھلکھم i.e. He who says that such and such people have perished, in fact he it is who causes them to perish (by creating a feeling of despair in them) (Muslim, Part II, vol. 2). Indeed all success lies in hope and action, not in vain and futile daydreaming which does not go beyond making castles in the air. (close)
فَلَمَّا دَخَلُوۡا عَلَیۡہِ قَالُوۡا یٰۤاَیُّہَا الۡعَزِیۡزُ مَسَّنَا وَ اَہۡلَنَا الضُّرُّ وَ جِئۡنَا بِبِضَاعَۃٍ مُّزۡجٰٮۃٍ فَاَوۡفِ لَنَا الۡکَیۡلَ وَ تَصَدَّقۡ عَلَیۡنَا ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ یَجۡزِی الۡمُتَصَدِّقِیۡنَ ﴿۸۹﴾
فَلَمَّا دَخَلُواْ عَلَيۡهِ قَالُواْ يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلۡعَزِيزُ مَسَّنَا وَأَهۡلَنَا ٱلضُّرُّ وَجِئۡنَا بِبِضَٰعَةٖ مُّزۡجَىٰةٖ فَأَوۡفِ لَنَا ٱلۡكَيۡلَ وَتَصَدَّقۡ عَلَيۡنَآۖ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَجۡزِي ٱلۡمُتَصَدِّقِينَ
1405A. The conduct of Joseph’s brothers on this occasion seems to be inexplicable. They seemed to have morally sunk so low that, ignoring the real purpose of their present visit to Egypt, which was to make a search for Joseph, Benjamin and Judah, they began to beg for corn. (close)
The Arabic word عزیز (meaning, an honourable or exalted one) does not seem to be a specific title, though in later times i.e. after the advent of Islam, the Kings of Egypt came to be known by this title. The ancient Egyptians did not speak Arabic and therefore we cannot think that the Ministers of Egypt were known by this title. So in the verse under comment the word has been used only in the sense of a chief or an exalted person. In this sense also Potiphar has been called عزیز in v. 52.
The conduct of Joseph’s brothers on this occasion seems to be inexplicable. Either they had morally sunk so low that, ignoring the real purpose of their present visit to Egypt, which was to make a search for Joseph, Benjamin and Judah, they began to beg for corn, or, perhaps fearing lest they should be taken for spies, they begged for corn to hide the real purpose of their visit. (close)
قَالَ ہَلۡ عَلِمۡتُمۡ مَّا فَعَلۡتُمۡ بِیُوۡسُفَ وَ اَخِیۡہِ اِذۡ اَنۡتُمۡ جٰہِلُوۡنَ ﴿۹۰﴾
قَالَ هَلۡ عَلِمۡتُم مَّا فَعَلۡتُم بِيُوسُفَ وَأَخِيهِ إِذۡ أَنتُمۡ جَٰهِلُونَ
1406. Bearing no longer to see his brothers degrade themselves by thus begging for corn Joseph decided to reveal himself to them; but approached the subject indirectly. (close)
It appears that Joseph could not, on this occasion, bear to see his brothers degrade themselves by thus begging for corn and decided to reveal himself to them; but he appears to be shy of approaching the subject. He therefore here reminds them of what they did with Joseph and his brother and thus disclosed indirectly his identity, at the same time comforting them by saying that they should worry no more about their past misdeeds because what they had done was the result of ignorance as they did not realize the full implication of their deeds. It is the exhibition of such good manners on such difficult occasions that shows the great moral heights to which man can rise. (close)
قَالُوۡۤا ءَاِنَّکَ لَاَنۡتَ یُوۡسُفُ ؕ قَالَ اَنَا یُوۡسُفُ وَ ہٰذَاۤ اَخِیۡ ۫ قَدۡ مَنَّ اللّٰہُ عَلَیۡنَا ؕ اِنَّہٗ مَنۡ یَّـتَّقِ وَ یَصۡبِرۡ فَاِنَّ اللّٰہَ لَا یُضِیۡعُ اَجۡرَ الۡمُحۡسِنِیۡنَ ﴿۹۱﴾
قَالُوٓاْ أَءِنَّكَ لَأَنتَ يُوسُفُۖ قَالَ أَنَا۠ يُوسُفُ وَهَٰذَآ أَخِيۖ قَدۡ مَنَّ ٱللَّهُ عَلَيۡنَآۖ إِنَّهُۥ مَن يَتَّقِ وَيَصۡبِرۡ فَإِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَا يُضِيعُ أَجۡرَ ٱلۡمُحۡسِنِينَ
b. 12:57. (close)
a. 12:57. (close)
The way in which Joseph referred to the past behaviour of his brothers, coupled with the repeated assurance of their father that Joseph was alive, did not take long in suggesting to them the idea that the high dignitary standing before them was no other than Joseph himself. So they asked in surprise, "Art thou Joseph?", upon which Joseph, not desiring to keep them in suspense any longer, at once revealed his identity to them. After having disclosed himself to them, he gently told them that one could not overcome difficulties by merely begging and suffering oneself to be degraded, but that the secret of all success lay in piety and patience, in hard work and in trusting in God Who was ever the Protecting Friend of the righteous. (close)
قَالُوۡا تَاللّٰہِ لَقَدۡ اٰثَرَکَ اللّٰہُ عَلَیۡنَا وَ اِنۡ کُنَّا لَخٰطِئِیۡنَ ﴿۹۲﴾
قَالُواْ تَٱللَّهِ لَقَدۡ ءَاثَرَكَ ٱللَّهُ عَلَيۡنَا وَإِن كُنَّا لَخَٰطِـِٔينَ
At long last the good nature of Joseph’s brothers manifested itself. They admitted that, in spite of all their opposition to Joseph, God had exalted him over them and he deserved it; for it is they who had been the sinners. (close)