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)
قَالُوۡا یٰۤاَبَانَا اسۡتَغۡفِرۡ لَنَا ذُنُوۡبَنَاۤ اِنَّا کُنَّا خٰطِئِیۡنَ ﴿۹۸﴾
قَالُواْ يَـٰٓأَبَانَا ٱسۡتَغۡفِرۡ لَنَا ذُنُوبَنَآ إِنَّا كُنَّا خَٰطِـِٔينَ
One good action leads to another. When Joseph pardoned his brothers, the weight of sin to some extent became lifted from their hearts. They repented of their sins and, as this verse shows, they no longer thought their own repentance to be sufficient. So they also requested their father to pray to God to forgive them. They now realized that man’s anger was nothing compared with God’s wrath; therefore they thought it necessary first of all to make peace with God and to ask His forgiveness through their father. This request implied Jacob’s pardon, for he could not have prayed for them, as he promised in the following verse, unless he had himself forgiven them. (close)
قَالَ سَوۡفَ اَسۡتَغۡفِرُ لَکُمۡ رَبِّیۡ ؕ اِنَّہٗ ہُوَ الۡغَفُوۡرُ الرَّحِیۡمُ ﴿۹۹﴾
قَالَ سَوۡفَ أَسۡتَغۡفِرُ لَكُمۡ رَبِّيٓۖ إِنَّهُۥ هُوَ ٱلۡغَفُورُ ٱلرَّحِيمُ
1598. Important Words:
سوف (will) is a word used to change the aorist from the present (حال) to the future (مستقبل) denoting postponement. سوف افعلmeans, I will do (not I do or am doing) such a thing. The Arabs say, فلان یقتات السوف i.e. such a one lives only by means of things hoped for (Lane). See 9:28.
Jacob’s reply to the request of his sons for forgiveness portrays the true inner nature of man. He hints to them in the word سوف (will) that after reconciliation, love and affection do not at once take the place of anger and wrath in the heart of a person. The after-effects of bitterness take some time to disappear. Joseph had been preparing himself for a long time to pardon his brothers, so his forgiveness was full and immediate and he also prayed to God to forgive them. But such was not the case with Jacob. This is why Jacob said that he would take some time to become fully reconciled with them and to be in a position to pray for them, though at the same time he comforted his erring sons by drawing their attention to the great mercy and all-comprehensive forgiveness of God. (close)
فَلَمَّا دَخَلُوۡا عَلٰی یُوۡسُفَ اٰوٰۤی اِلَیۡہِ اَبَوَیۡہِ وَ قَالَ ادۡخُلُوۡا مِصۡرَ اِنۡ شَآءَ اللّٰہُ اٰمِنِیۡنَ ﴿ؕ۱۰۰﴾
فَلَمَّا دَخَلُواْ عَلَىٰ يُوسُفَ ءَاوَىٰٓ إِلَيۡهِ أَبَوَيۡهِ وَقَالَ ٱدۡخُلُواْ مِصۡرَ إِن شَآءَ ٱللَّهُ ءَامِنِينَ
1410. Joseph’s own mother Rachel had already died, but the use of the word 'parents' in the verse implies that a step-mother is as much entitled to one’s respect and affection as one’s real mother. (close)
Joseph’s real mother had died but the use of the word "parents" in the verse beautifully hints that a stepmother is as much entitled to one’s respect and affection as one’s real mother. The verse also shows that Joseph had gone out of the town to receive his parents.
On starting to do a new work, a Muslim is enjoined to say انشاء الله (if God wills or if it pleases God). By using this formula he associates God with his intentions and his works and invokes His protection from evil influences. It is certain that when a man associates God with his work he will not only try to perform that work in a virtuous manner but will also be prevented from thinking of evil deeds, for he cannot use this pious expression with respect to evil deeds. The offering of this prayer by Joseph, in spite of his being most resourceful and powerful in the land at that time, reveals his great piety and humility.
The words, Enter Egypt in peace, hint that Joseph had probably been informed by Divine revelation of the dangers that the progeny of Israel had later to face in Egypt. (close)
وَ رَفَعَ اَبَوَیۡہِ عَلَی الۡعَرۡشِ وَ خَرُّوۡا لَہٗ سُجَّدًا ۚ وَ قَالَ یٰۤاَبَتِ ہٰذَا تَاۡوِیۡلُ رُءۡیَایَ مِنۡ قَبۡلُ ۫ قَدۡ جَعَلَہَا رَبِّیۡ حَقًّا ؕ وَ قَدۡ اَحۡسَنَ بِیۡۤ اِذۡ اَخۡرَجَنِیۡ مِنَ السِّجۡنِ وَ جَآءَ بِکُمۡ مِّنَ الۡبَدۡوِ مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِ اَنۡ نَّزَغَ الشَّیۡطٰنُ بَیۡنِیۡ وَ بَیۡنَ اِخۡوَتِیۡ ؕ اِنَّ رَبِّیۡ لَطِیۡفٌ لِّمَا یَشَآءُ ؕ اِنَّہٗ ہُوَ الۡعَلِیۡمُ الۡحَکِیۡمُ ﴿۱۰۱﴾
وَرَفَعَ أَبَوَيۡهِ عَلَى ٱلۡعَرۡشِ وَخَرُّواْ لَهُۥ سُجَّدٗاۖ وَقَالَ يَـٰٓأَبَتِ هَٰذَا تَأۡوِيلُ رُءۡيَٰيَ مِن قَبۡلُ قَدۡ جَعَلَهَا رَبِّي حَقّٗاۖ وَقَدۡ أَحۡسَنَ بِيٓ إِذۡ أَخۡرَجَنِي مِنَ ٱلسِّجۡنِ وَجَآءَ بِكُم مِّنَ ٱلۡبَدۡوِ مِنۢ بَعۡدِ أَن نَّزَغَ ٱلشَّيۡطَٰنُ بَيۡنِي وَبَيۡنَ إِخۡوَتِيٓۚ إِنَّ رَبِّي لَطِيفٞ لِّمَا يَشَآءُۚ إِنَّهُۥ هُوَ ٱلۡعَلِيمُ ٱلۡحَكِيمُ
1411. The words may mean that Joseph presented his parents to the King (Gen. 47:2, 7) or that he made them sit on his own throne with the King’s permission. In olden times the ministers and deputies of kings also had their own thrones. (close)
1412. Joseph’s brothers and parents fell prostrate and thanked God for raising Joseph to such an eminent position. Thus Joseph was the cause, and not the object, of their prostration. (close)
1413. While mentioning God’s favours Joseph refers only to his being taken out of prison and makes no mention of being rescued from the well, lest his brothers should feel ashamed. (close)
As the word رفع (raised) also means, "to present one to a person of high rank" (3:56), the verse is capable of two interpretations: Firstly, that Joseph presented his parents to the King, for in this case العرش (the throne) would signify the King. According to the Bible, Joseph presented his father and some of his brethren to Pharaoh (Gen. 47:2, 7). Secondly, it may mean that Joseph made his parents sit on his own throne, for in ancient times the deputies of kings also used to have their own thrones. Hence it is possible that Joseph made his parents and his brethren sit on his throne with Pharaoh’s permission.
The words خروا له سجدا do not mean that Joseph’s brothers and his parents fell prostrate before him. They only mean that they fell prostrate before God for Joseph i.e. they thanked God for raising Joseph to such an eminent position. Thus, Joseph was the cause and not the object of their prostration. See also 2:35.
The verse also throws some light on the sublime morals of God’s noble Prophets. Joseph’s brothers had left their home in search of food, but he speaks of their coming to him as a special favour of God to himself.
Again, while mentioning God’s favours he refers only to his being taken out of prison and makes no mention of being rescued from the well, lest his brothers might feel ashamed.
The word لطیف (Benignant) when applied to God, means, He Who takes care of His creatures through love or benevolence or Who benefits others with His love and kindness; He Who knows hidden things. See also 6:104. (close)
رَبِّ قَدۡ اٰتَیۡتَنِیۡ مِنَ الۡمُلۡکِ وَ عَلَّمۡتَنِیۡ مِنۡ تَاۡوِیۡلِ الۡاَحَادِیۡثِ ۚ فَاطِرَ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضِ ۟ اَنۡتَ وَلِیّٖ فِی الدُّنۡیَا وَ الۡاٰخِرَۃِ ۚ تَوَفَّنِیۡ مُسۡلِمًا وَّ اَلۡحِقۡنِیۡ بِالصّٰلِحِیۡنَ ﴿۱۰۲﴾
۞رَبِّ قَدۡ ءَاتَيۡتَنِي مِنَ ٱلۡمُلۡكِ وَعَلَّمۡتَنِي مِن تَأۡوِيلِ ٱلۡأَحَادِيثِۚ فَاطِرَ ٱلسَّمَٰوَٰتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِ أَنتَ وَلِيِّۦ فِي ٱلدُّنۡيَا وَٱلۡأٓخِرَةِۖ تَوَفَّنِي مُسۡلِمٗا وَأَلۡحِقۡنِي بِٱلصَّـٰلِحِينَ
a. 12:7, 22. (close)
b. 6:15; 14:11; 35:2; 39:47. (close)
a. 12:7, 22. (close)
This verse bespeaks the great love which the righteous servants of God cherish for Him. Neither prosperity nor adversity can make them forget their Lord and Creator. Even amidst rejoicing at meeting with his parents and brothers after a long time, Joseph feels the flame of Divine love rising in his breast, and ignoring and forgetting all, he turns to his Lord and Master. It is this yearning of the human soul for God in which lies all spiritual progress. Without it outward acts of devotion are a mere shell without kernel.
The verse also shows how the lives of Prophets furnish strong proof of the attributes of God. This rise of Joseph from a state of utter helplessness to a position of great power and authority signified that God, as it were, created for him a new heaven and a new earth, thus providing evidence of the fact that He is the Creator of the heavens and the earth. This is what is hinted at in the words, O Maker of the heavens and the earth. (close)
ذٰلِکَ مِنۡ اَنۡۢبَآءِ الۡغَیۡبِ نُوۡحِیۡہِ اِلَیۡکَ ۚ وَ مَا کُنۡتَ لَدَیۡہِمۡ اِذۡ اَجۡمَعُوۡۤا اَمۡرَہُمۡ وَ ہُمۡ یَمۡکُرُوۡنَ ﴿۱۰۳﴾
ذَٰلِكَ مِنۡ أَنۢبَآءِ ٱلۡغَيۡبِ نُوحِيهِ إِلَيۡكَۖ وَمَا كُنتَ لَدَيۡهِمۡ إِذۡ أَجۡمَعُوٓاْ أَمۡرَهُمۡ وَهُمۡ يَمۡكُرُونَ
a. 3:45; 11:50. (close)
1414. The verse means that this account of Joseph was not a mere story. It embodied mighty prophecies relating to the future of the Holy Prophet and Islam. (close)
1415. The pronoun 'they' refers to the enemies of the Holy Prophet. (close)
c. 3:45; 11:50. (close)
Having finished the life story of Joseph, the Surah beautifully turns to the people of Mecca, who were like brethren unto the Holy Prophet.
This verse thus makes it clear that this account of Joseph was not a mere story. It embodied mighty prophecies relating to the future of the Holy Prophet and of Islam, for, as pointed out in the course of comments on this chapter, many important events in the life of Joseph had their counterparts in the life of the Holy Prophet.
The word "they" in the clause, while they were plotting, refers not to the brothers of Joseph, but to the people of the Holy Prophet, who is told that what he had been listening to was "of the tidings of the unseen" embodying mighty prophecies over which no human being could have any control. These prophecies must, therefore, be regarded as emanating from God Who is the Knower of all secrets. (close)
وَ مَاۤ اَکۡثَرُ النَّاسِ وَ لَوۡ حَرَصۡتَ بِمُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ ﴿۱۰۴﴾
وَمَآ أَكۡثَرُ ٱلنَّاسِ وَلَوۡ حَرَصۡتَ بِمُؤۡمِنِينَ
b. 18:7. (close)
a. 18:7. (close)
The Holy Prophet is told here that, despite his intense desire, it is so decreed that, like the brothers of Joseph, people would not believe in him unless they saw him rise to power and glory and themselves suffered humiliation and disgrace. (close)
وَ مَا تَسۡـَٔلُہُمۡ عَلَیۡہِ مِنۡ اَجۡرٍ ؕ اِنۡ ہُوَ اِلَّا ذِکۡرٌ لِّلۡعٰلَمِیۡنَ ﴿۱۰۵﴾٪
وَمَا تَسۡـَٔلُهُمۡ عَلَيۡهِ مِنۡ أَجۡرٍۚ إِنۡ هُوَ إِلَّا ذِكۡرٞ لِّلۡعَٰلَمِينَ
c. 38:88; 81:28. (close)
b. 38:88; 81:28. (close)
1604. Important Words:
ذکر (honour) means, remembrance; praise or eulogy; eminence or honour, etc. (Lane). See also 2:153.
The word ذکر having been used here in the sense of eminence and honour, the verse asks, why the people should take umbrage at the promises of greatness and glory given to the Holy Prophet, when, if they accept him, they are to share those blessings with him; and why, like the brothers of Joseph, should they think that the Holy Prophet’s greatness would mean their own downfall? The verse thus implies another resemblance of the Holy Prophet with Joseph, inasmuch as his people came to inherit power and glory through him, just as Joseph’s brothers became honoured and respected through him. (close)