Translation of the meanings of surah Yusuf (1)

Since 2019-04-03

(1) (1) Alif, Lām, Rā.[582] These are the verses of the clear Book.

[582]- See footnote to 2:1.


(2) (2) Indeed, We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur’ān[583] that you might understand.

[583]- i.e., revealed in the Arabic language.


(3) (3) We relate to you, [O Muḥammad], the best of stories in what We have revealed to you of this Qur’ān although you were, before it, among the unaware.


(4) (4) [Of these stories mention] when Joseph said to his father,[584] "O my father, indeed I have seen [in a dream] eleven stars and the sun and the moon; I saw them prostrating to me."

[584]- The prophet Jacob (upon whom be peace).


(5) (5) He said, "O my son, do not relate your vision to your brothers or they will contrive against you a plan. Indeed Satan, to man, is a manifest enemy.


(6) (6) And thus will your Lord choose you and teach you the interpretation of narratives [i.e., events or dreams] and complete His favor upon you and upon the family of Jacob, as He completed it upon your fathers before, Abraham and Isaac. Indeed, your Lord is Knowing and Wise."


(7) (7) Certainly were there in Joseph and his brothers signs for those who ask, [such as]


(8) (8) When they said, "Joseph and his brother[585] are more beloved to our father than we, while we are a clan. Indeed, our father is in clear error.

[585]- Benjamin, who was born of the same mother as Joseph.


(9) (9) Kill Joseph or cast him out to [another] land; the countenance [i.e., attention] of your father will [then] be only for you, and you will be after that a righteous people."[586]

[586]- i.e., You can repent thereafter.


(10) (10) Said a speaker among them, "Do not kill Joseph but throw him into the bottom of the well; some travelers will pick him up - if you would do [something]."


(11) (11) They said, "O our father, why do you not entrust us with Joseph while indeed, we are to him sincere counselors?


(12) (12) Send him with us tomorrow that he may eat well and play. And indeed, we will be his guardians."


(13) (13) [Jacob] said, "Indeed, it saddens me that you should take him, and I fear that a wolf would eat him while you are of him unaware."


(14) (14) They said, "If a wolf should eat him while we are a [strong] clan, indeed, we would then be losers."


(15) (15) So when they took him [out] and agreed to put him into the bottom of the well...[587] But We inspired to him, "You will surely inform them [someday] about this affair of theirs while they do not perceive [your identity]."

[587]- The conclusion of this sentence is estimated to be "...they tormented him."


(16) (16) And they came to their father at night, weeping.


(17) (17) They said, "O our father, indeed we went racing each other and left Joseph with our possessions, and a wolf ate him. But you would not believe us, even if we were truthful."


(18) (18) And they brought upon his shirt false blood.[588] [Jacob] said, "Rather, your souls have enticed you to something, so patience is most fitting. And Allāh is the one sought for help against that which you describe."

[588]- They had stained Joseph's shirt with the blood of a lamb but had forgotten to tear it, thereby arousing their father's suspicion.


(19) (19) And there came a company of travelers; then they sent their water drawer, and he let down his bucket. He said, "Good news! Here is a boy." And they concealed him, [taking him] as merchandise;[589] and Allāh was Knowing of what they did.

[589]- To be sold as a slave.


(20) (20) And they sold him for a reduced price - a few dirhams - and they were, concerning him, of those content with little.


(21) (21) And the one from Egypt[590] who bought him said to his wife, "Make his residence comfortable. Perhaps he will benefit us, or we will adopt him as a son." And thus, We established Joseph in the land that We might teach him the interpretation of events [i.e., dreams]. And Allāh is predominant over His affair, but most of the people do not know.

[590]- The minister in charge of supplies, whose title was al-ʿAzeez.


(22) (22) And when he [i.e., Joseph] reached maturity, We gave him judgement and knowledge. And thus We reward the doers of good.


(23) (23) And she, in whose house he was, sought to seduce him. She closed the doors and said, "Come, you." He said, "[I seek] the refuge of Allāh. Indeed, he[591] is my master, who has made good my residence. Indeed, wrongdoers will not succeed."

[591]- Her husband, al-ʿAzeez.


(24) (24) And she certainly determined [to seduce] him, and he would have inclined to her had he not seen the proof [i.e., sign] of his Lord. And thus [it was] that We should avert from him evil and immorality. Indeed, he was of Our chosen servants.


(25) (25) And they both raced to the door, and she tore his shirt from the back, and they found her husband at the door. She said, "What is the recompense of one who intended evil for your wife but that he be imprisoned or a painful punishment?"


(26) (26) [Joseph] said, "It was she who sought to seduce me." And a witness from her family testified, "If his shirt is torn from the front, then she has told the truth, and he is of the liars.


(27) (27) But if his shirt is torn from the back, then she has lied, and he is of the truthful."


(28) (28) So when he [i.e., her husband] saw his shirt torn from the back, he said, "Indeed, it is of your [i.e., women's] plan. Indeed, your plan is great [i.e., vehement].


(29) (29) Joseph, ignore this.[592] And, [my wife], ask forgiveness for your sin. Indeed, you were of the sinful."

[592]- i.e., conceal it and act as if it had not taken place.


(30) (30) And women in the city said, "The wife of al-ʿAzeez is seeking to seduce her slave boy; he has impassioned her with love. Indeed, we see her [to be] in clear error."


(31) (31) So when she heard of their scheming, she sent for them and prepared for them a banquet and gave each one of them a knife and said [to Joseph], "Come out before them." And when they saw him, they greatly admired him and cut their hands[593] and said, "Perfect is Allāh![594] This is not a man; this is none but a noble angel."

[593]- So distracted were they at the sight of him. [594]- In His ability to create such beauty.


(32) (32) She said, "That is the one about whom you blamed me. And I certainly sought to seduce him, but he firmly refused; and if he will not do what I order him, he will surely be imprisoned and will be of those debased."


(33) (33) He said, "My Lord, prison is more to my liking than that to which they invite me. And if You do not avert from me their plan, I might incline toward them and [thus] be of the ignorant."


(34) (34) So his Lord responded to him and averted from him their plan. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Knowing.


(35) (35) Then it appeared to them after they had seen the signs[595] that he [i.e., al-ʿAzeez] should surely imprison him for a time.[596]

[595]- Proofs of his innocence. [596]- Until the scandal be forgotten.


(36) (36) And there entered the prison with him two young men. One of them said, "Indeed, I have seen myself [in a dream] pressing [grapes for] wine." The other said, "Indeed, I have seen myself carrying upon my head [some] bread, from which the birds were eating. Inform us of its interpretation; indeed, we see you to be of those who do good."


(37) (37) He said, "You will not receive food that is provided to you except that I will inform you of its interpretation before it comes to you. That is from what my Lord has taught me. Indeed, I have left the religion of a people who do not believe in Allāh, and they, in the Hereafter, are disbelievers.


(38) (38) And I have followed the religion of my fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. And it was not for us to associate anything with Allāh. That is from the favor of Allāh upon us and upon the people, but most of the people are not grateful.


(39) (39) O [my] two companions of prison, are separate lords better or Allāh, the One,[597] the Prevailing?[598]

[597]- Single, individual and unique in His attributes and His deeds. [598]- He who subdues doubts and false arguments with clear evidences and who subdues and imposes His will upon all creation.


(40) (40) You worship not besides Him except [mere] names you have named them,[599] you and your fathers, for which Allāh has sent down no evidence. Legislation is not but for Allāh. He has commanded that you worship not except Him. That is the correct religion, but most of the people do not know.

[599]- The false objects of worship which you have called "gods."


(41) (41) O two companions of prison, as for one of you, he will give drink to his master of wine; but as for the other, he will be crucified, and the birds will eat from his head. The matter has been decreed about which you both inquire."


(42) (42) And he said to the one whom he knew would go free, "Mention me before your master." But Satan made him forget the mention [to] his master, and he [i.e., Joseph] remained in prison several years.


(43) (43) And [subsequently] the king said, "Indeed, I have seen [in a dream] seven fat cows being eaten by seven [that were] lean, and seven green spikes [of grain] and others [that were] dry. O eminent ones, explain to me my vision, if you should interpret visions."


(44) (44) They said, "[It is but] a mixture of false dreams, and we are not learned in the interpretation of dreams."


(45) (45) But the one who was freed and remembered after a time said, "I will inform you of its interpretation, so send me forth."


(46) (46) [He said], "Joseph, O man of truth, explain to us about seven fat cows eaten by seven [that were] lean, and seven green spikes [of grain] and others [that were] dry - that I may return to the people [i.e., the king and his court]; perhaps they will know [about you]."


(47) (47) [Joseph] said, "You will plant for seven years consecutively; and what you harvest leave in its spikes, except a little from which you will eat.


(48) (48) Then will come after that seven difficult [years] which will consume what you advanced [i.e., saved] for them, except a little from which you will store.


(49) (49) Then will come after that a year in which the people will be given rain and in which they will press [olives and grapes]."


(50) (50) And the king said, "Bring him to me." But when the messenger came to him, [Joseph] said, "Return to your master and ask him what is the case of the women who cut their hands. Indeed, my Lord is Knowing of their plan."


(51) (51) Said [the king to the women], "What was your condition when you sought to seduce Joseph?" They said, "Perfect is Allāh![600] We know about him no evil." The wife of al-ʿAzeez said, "Now the truth has become evident. It was I who sought to seduce him, and indeed, he is of the truthful.

[600]- In His ability to create such purity of character.


(52) (52) That is so he [i.e., al-ʿAzeez] will know that I did not betray him in [his] absence and that Allāh does not guide the plan of betrayers.


(53) (53) And I do not acquit myself. Indeed, the soul is a persistent enjoiner of evil, except those upon which my Lord has mercy. Indeed, my Lord is Forgiving and Merciful."[601]

[601]- Although Ibn Katheer attributes the words of verses 52-53 to the wife of al-ʿAzeez, others have concluded that they were spoken by Joseph, thereby justifying his request for an inquiry and acknowledging Allāh's mercy to him.


(54) (54) And the king said, "Bring him to me; I will appoint him exclusively for myself." And when he spoke to him, he said, "Indeed, you are today established [in position] and trusted."


(55) (55) [Joseph] said, "Appoint me over the storehouses of the land. Indeed, I will be a knowing guardian."


(56) (56) And thus We established Joseph in the land to settle therein wherever he willed. We touch with Our mercy whom We will, and We do not allow to be lost the reward of those who do good.


(57) (57) And the reward of the Hereafter is better for those who believed and were fearing Allāh.

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