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)
قَالَ لَا تَثۡرِیۡبَ عَلَیۡکُمُ الۡیَوۡمَ ؕ یَغۡفِرُ اللّٰہُ لَکُمۡ ۫ وَ ہُوَ اَرۡحَمُ الرّٰحِمِیۡنَ ﴿۹۳﴾
قَالَ لَا تَثۡرِيبَ عَلَيۡكُمُ ٱلۡيَوۡمَۖ يَغۡفِرُ ٱللَّهُ لَكُمۡۖ وَهُوَ أَرۡحَمُ ٱلرَّـٰحِمِينَ
1407. Joseph did not keep his brothers in suspense and at once removed all their fears and apprehensions concerning the treatment he would extend to them, by telling them forthwith that his pardon was unreserved and unqualified. This large-hearted and generous forgiving of his brothers by Joseph constitutes his greatest and most outstanding resemblance to the Holy Prophet. Like Joseph, the Holy Prophet, too, gained honour and power in flight and banishment; and when after years of exile he entered his native town as a conqueror, at the head of ten thousand Companions, and Mecca lay prostrate at his feet, he asked his people what treatment did they expect from him. 'The treatment that Joseph accorded to his brethren,' they replied. 'Then no reproach shall lie on you this day,' promptly returned the Holy Prophet. This noble treatment by the Holy Prophet of his erstwhile bloodthirsty enemies, the Quraish of Mecca, who had left no stone unturned to compass his death and destroy Islam root and branch stands unparalleled in the whole annals of human history. (close)
1592. Important Words:
تثریب (blame) is derived from ثرب. They say, ثربه i.e. he stripped the beast of the fat covering the bowels; he stripped the man of his garment. تثریب means, removing the fat over the bowels; act of blaming or reproving or punishing for an offence or a crime; severe blaming or reproving that takes away brightness of countenance; reminding a man of his offences and crimes and exposing the foulness of his deeds to him (Lane).
The verse throws interesting light on the nobility of Joseph’s character. He did not keep his brothers in suspense nor even give them time to crave his forgiveness, but at once removed all their fears and apprehensions as concerning the treatment he would now extend to them; by telling them forthwith that his pardon was unreserved and unqualified. This magnanimous treatment of his brothers by Joseph is alone sufficient to immortalize him.
This large-hearted and generous forgiving of his brothers by Joseph constitutes his greatest and most outstanding resemblance to the Holy Prophet. Like Joseph, the Holy Prophet, too, gained honour and power in flight and banishment; and when after years of exile he entered his native town as a conqueror, at the head of ten thousand Companions, and Mecca lay prostrate at his feet, he asked his people what treatment they expected from him. "The treatment that Joseph accorded to his brethren," they replied, "Then no reproach shall lie on you this day," promptly returned the Holy Prophet. This noble treatment by the Prophet of his erstwhile bloodthirsty enemies, the Quraish of Mecca, who had left no stone unturned to compass his death and destroy him root and branch stands unparalleled in the whole annals of human history. (close)
اِذۡہَبُوۡا بِقَمِیۡصِیۡ ہٰذَا فَاَلۡقُوۡہُ عَلٰی وَجۡہِ اَبِیۡ یَاۡتِ بَصِیۡرًا ۚ وَ اۡتُوۡنِیۡ بِاَہۡلِکُمۡ اَجۡمَعِیۡنَ ﴿٪۹۴﴾
ٱذۡهَبُواْ بِقَمِيصِي هَٰذَا فَأَلۡقُوهُ عَلَىٰ وَجۡهِ أَبِي يَأۡتِ بَصِيرٗا وَأۡتُونِي بِأَهۡلِكُمۡ أَجۡمَعِينَ
1593. Important Words:
وجه (before) gives a number of meanings, e.g. face; the part of a thing facing one; direction etc., القی الشیء علی وجھه means, he put or placed the thing before or in front of him.
یات بصیرا (will come to know). بصیر means, seeing; endowed with mental perception; knowing (Lane).
Joseph gave his brothers his shirt to lay before their father, so that the sight of it might please him, as the sight of the first shirt had grieved him, and he might be induced to pray for his brothers and extend to them his pardon.
The words, he will come to know, mean that formerly Jacob had known only by Divine revelation that Joseph was alive and his knowledge was then only a matter of belief. Now, by actually seeing the shirt the belief would become converted into factual knowledge. (close)
وَ لَمَّا فَصَلَتِ الۡعِیۡرُ قَالَ اَبُوۡہُمۡ اِنِّیۡ لَاَجِدُ رِیۡحَ یُوۡسُفَ لَوۡ لَاۤ اَنۡ تُفَنِّدُوۡنِ ﴿۹۵﴾
وَلَمَّا فَصَلَتِ ٱلۡعِيرُ قَالَ أَبُوهُمۡ إِنِّي لَأَجِدُ رِيحَ يُوسُفَۖ لَوۡلَآ أَن تُفَنِّدُونِ
1408. Even before the caravan reached home, Jacob had told his people that, in spite of all appearances to the contrary, he hoped to meet Joseph soon; and in order to lend emphasis to his conviction, he added the words 'even though you take me to be a dotard' meaning thereby, 'you consider this meeting to be an impossibility, being not more than the illusion and wishful thinking of an old man, but I know it as a fact and a certainty.' (close)
1594. Important Words:
تفندون (take me to be a dotard) is derived from فند (fannada) which is derived from فند (fanada) which means, he uttered a falsehood; he committed mistakes in extreme old age; he became weak in judgement by reason of extreme old age. افندmeans, he became weak in intellect or he doted. فندہ (fannada-hu) means, he pronounced him to be an utterer of falsehood; he blamed him; he pronounced his judgement to be weak; مفند (mufannad) is one who is weak in judgement or unsound in mind by reason of extreme old age or disease; one who confounds things in his speech (Lane).
The verse shows that even before the caravan reached home, Jacob told his people that in spite of all appearances to the contrary he hoped to meet Joseph soon; and in order to lend emphasis to his conviction, he added the words "even though you take me to be a dotard" meaning thereby, "you consider this meeting to be an impossibility, being not more than the wishful thinking of an old man, but I know it as a fact and a certainty." (close)
قَالُوۡا تَاللّٰہِ اِنَّکَ لَفِیۡ ضَلٰلِکَ الۡقَدِیۡمِ ﴿ٙ۹۶﴾
قَالُواْ تَٱللَّهِ إِنَّكَ لَفِي ضَلَٰلِكَ ٱلۡقَدِيمِ
a. 12:9. (close)
1595. Important Words:
ضلالك (thy error). ضلال is derived from ضل which means, he erred or he lost his way; he was or became confounded or perplexed and was unable to see his right course; he forgot. ضلال means, error; losing or missing the right course. The Arabs say تمادی فی اضالیل الھوی i.e. he persevered in the errors of love (Lane).
The verse brings out the marked difference between those who receive Divine revelation and those who do not. The certainty attained by one inspired by God is not vouchsafed to others. In spite of his emphatic assertion that he would soon meet Joseph, the members of Jacob’s family refused to believe it possible and attributed Jacob’s conviction to an error of judgement or his extreme love for Joseph. (close)
فَلَمَّاۤ اَنۡ جَآءَ الۡبَشِیۡرُ اَلۡقٰٮہُ عَلٰی وَجۡہِہٖ فَارۡتَدَّ بَصِیۡرًا ۚ قَالَ اَلَمۡ اَقُلۡ لَّکُمۡ ۚۙ اِنِّیۡۤ اَعۡلَمُ مِنَ اللّٰہِ مَا لَا تَعۡلَمُوۡنَ ﴿۹۷﴾
فَلَمَّآ أَن جَآءَ ٱلۡبَشِيرُ أَلۡقَىٰهُ عَلَىٰ وَجۡهِهِۦ فَٱرۡتَدَّ بَصِيرٗاۖ قَالَ أَلَمۡ أَقُل لَّكُمۡ إِنِّيٓ أَعۡلَمُ مِنَ ٱللَّهِ مَا لَا تَعۡلَمُونَ
1409. When Joseph’s shirt was laid before Jacob, the conviction that Joseph was alive which, being based on revelation was previously only a matter of faith, now became converted into factual knowledge. This is the meaning of the words, he became enlightened. The Qur’an lends no support whatsoever to the view that Jacob had become blind. Not only was it inconsistent with his dignity as a great Prophet of God but several verses also contradict this view. It seems that it was the same shirt which Joseph had worn when he was thrown into the well. (close)
If, as some commentators say, Jacob had really become blind and his blindness had been removed by the casting of Joseph’s shirt at his face, he should have attributed the restoration of his sight to Joseph’s shirt and would have declared it as a miracle. But he refers to no such unusual happening but only to the divine knowledge about Joseph’s being alive, which he had long before imparted to his sons. Thus what the verse really means is that when Joseph’s shirt was laid before Jacob, the conviction that Joseph was alive which, being based on revelation, was previously only a matter of faith, now became converted into factual knowledge. This is the meaning of the words, he became enlightened.
In fact, the knowledge of God’s Prophets is of two kinds: (a) spiritual knowledge which they get direct from God by means of revelation; (b) material or secular knowledge which they acquire through their physical senses and other material means. When spiritual knowledge becomes supplemented and supported by the testimony of physical senses, it becomes complete in every sense and no vestige of doubt or ambiguity remains. As long as knowledge gained through spiritual means remains a matter of faith and does not go beyond conviction, it is capable of various interpretations: but when it is reinforced and corroborated by physical facts, it becomes a certainty beyond the possibility of doubt or dispute. (close)