The Meaning of the Glorious Qur'ân, by M.M. Pickthall, at sacred-texts.com
12. Yusuf: Joseph
1 Alif. Lam. Ra. These are verse of the Scripture that maketh plain.
2 Lo! We have revealed it, a Lecture in Arabic, that ye may understand.
3 We narrate unto thee (Muhammad) the best of narratives in that We have inspired in thee this Qur'an, though aforetime thou wast of the heedless.
4 When Joseph said unto his father: O my father! Lo! I saw in a dream eleven planets and the sun and the moon, I saw them prostrating themselves unto me.
5 He said: O my dear son! Tell not thy brethren of thy vision, lest they plot a plot against thee. Lo! Satan is for man an open foe.
6 Thus thy Lord will prefer thee and will teach thee the interpretation of events, and will perfect His grace upon thee and upon the family of Jacob as He perfected it upon thy forefathers, Abraham and Isaac. Lo! thy Lord is Knower, Wise.
7 Verily in Joseph and his brethren are signs (of Allah's Sovereignty) for the inquiring.
8 When they said: Verily Joseph and his brother are dearer to our father than we are, many though we be. Lo! our father is in plain aberration.
9 (One said): Kill Joseph or cast him to some (other) land, so that your father's favour may be all for you, and (that) ye may afterward be righteous folk.
10 One among them said: Kill not Joseph but, if ye must be doing, fling him into the depth of the pit; some caravan will find him.
11 They said: O our father! Why wilt thou not trust us with Joseph, when lo! we are good friends to him ?
12 Send him with us to-morrow that he may enjoy himself and play. And lo! we shall take good care of him.
13 He said: Lo! in truth it saddens me that ye should take him with you, and I fear less the wolf devour him while ye are heedless of him.
14 They said: If the wolf should devour him when we are (so strong) a band, then surely we should have already perished.
15 Then, when they led him off, and were of one mind that they should place him in the depth of the pit, We inspired in him: Thou wilt tell them of this deed of theirs when they know (thee) not.
16 And they came weeping to their father in the evening.
17 Saying: O our father! We went racing one with another, and left Joseph by our things, and the wolf devoured him, and thou believest not our saying even when we speak the truth.
18 And they came with false blood on his shirt. He said: Nay, but your minds have beguiled you into something. (My course is) comely patience. And Allah it is Whose help is to be sought in that (predicament) which ye describe.
19 And there came a caravan, and they sent their waterdrawer. He let down his pail (into the pit). He said: Good luck! Here is a youth. And they hid him as a treasure, and Allah was Aware of what they did.
20 And they sold him for a low price, a number of silver coins; and they attached no value to him.
21 And he of Egypt who purchased him said unto his wife: Receive him honourably. Perchance he may prove useful to us or we may adopt him as a son. Thus we established Joseph in the land that We might teach him the interpretation of events. And Allah was predominant in His career, but most of mankind know not.
22 And And when he reached his prime We gave him wisdom and knowledge. Thus We reward the good.
23 And she, in whose house he was, asked of him an evil act. She bolted the doors and said: Come! He said: I seek refuge in Allah! Lo! he is my lord, who hath treated me honourably. Lo! wrong-doers never prosper.
24 She verily desired him, and he would have desired her if it had not been that he saw the argument of his Lord. Thus it was, that We might ward off from him evil and lewdness. Lo! he was of Our chosen slaves.
25 And they raced with one another to the door, and she tore his shirt from behind, and they met her lord and master at the door. She said: What shall be his reward, who wisheth evil to thy folk, save prison or a painful doom ?
26 (Joseph) said: She it was who asked of me an evil act. And a witness of her own folk testified: If his shirt is torn from before, then she speaketh truth and he is of the liars.
27 And if his shirt is torn from behind, then she hath lied and he is of the truthful.
28 So when he saw his shirt torn from behind, he said: Lo! this is of the guile of you women. Lo! the guile of you is very great.
29 O Joseph! Turn away from this, and thou, (O woman), ask forgiveness for thy sin. Lo! thou art of the faulty.
30 And women in the city said: The ruler's wife is asking of her slave-boy an ill- deed. Indeed he has smitten her to the heart with love. We behold her in plain aberration.
31 And when she heard of their sly talk, she sent to them and prepared for them a cushioned couch (to lie on at the feast) and gave to every one of them a knife and said (to Joseph): Come out unto them! And when they saw him they exalted him and cut their hands, exclaiming: Allah Blameless! This is no a human being. This is not other than some gracious angel.
32 She said: This is he on whose account ye blamed me. I asked of him an evil act, but he proved continent, but if he do not my behest he verily shall be imprisoned, and verily shall be of those brought low.
33 He said: O my Lord! Prison is more dear than that unto which they urge me, and if Thou fend not off their wiles from me I shall incline unto them and become of the foolish.
34 So his Lord heard his prayer and fended off their wiles from him. Lo! He is Hearer, Knower.
35 And it seemed good to them (the men-folk) after they had seen the signs (of his innocence) to imprison him for a time.
36 And two young men went to prison with him. One of them said: I dreamed that I was pressing wine. The other said: I dreamed that I was carrying upon my head bread whereof the birds were eating. Announce unto us the interpretation, for we see thee of those good (at interpretation).
37 He said: The food which ye are given (daily) shall not come unto you but I shall tell you the interpretation ere it cometh unto you. This is of that which my Lord hath taught me. Lo! I have forsaken the religion of folk who believe not in Allah and are disbelievers in the Hereafter.
38 And I have followed the religion of my fathers, Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. It never was for us to attribute aught as partner to Allah. This is of the bounty of Allah unto us (the seed of Abraham) and unto mankind; but most men give not thanks.
39 O my fellow-prisoners! Are divers lords better, or Allah the One, Almighty ?
40 Those whom ye worship beside Him are but names which ye have named, ye and your fathers. Allah hath revealed no sanction for them. The decision rests with Allah only, Who hath commanded you that ye worship none save Him. This is the right religion, but most men know not.
41 O my two fellow-prisoners! As for one of you, he will pour out wine for his lord to drink; and as for the other, he will be crucified so that the birds will eat from his head. Thus is the case judged concerning which ye did inquire.
42 And he said unto him of the twain who he knew would be released: Mention me in the presence of thy lord. But Satan caused him to forget to mention it to his lord, so he (Joseph) stayed in prison for some years.
43 And the king said: Lo! I saw in a dream seven fat kine which seven lean were eating, and seven green ears of corn and other (seven) dry. O notables! Expound for me my vision, if ye can interpret dreams.
44 They answered: Jumbled dreams! And we are not knowing in the interpretation of dreams.
45 And he of the two who was released, and (now) at length remembered, said: I am going to announce unto you the interpretation, therefore send me forth.
46 (And when he came to Joseph in the prison, he exclaimed): Joseph! O thou truthful one! Expound for us the seven fat kine which seven lean were eating and the seven green ears of corn and other (seven) dry, that I may return unto the people, so that they may know.
47 He said: Ye shall sow seven years as usual, but that which ye reap, leave it in the ear, all save a little which ye eat.
48 Then after that will come seven hard years which will devour all that ye have prepared for them, save a little of that which ye have stored.
49 Then, after that, will come a year when the people will have plenteous crops and when they will press (wine and oil).
50 And the king said: Bring him unto me. And when the messenger came unto him, he (Joseph) said: Return unto thy lord and ask him what was the case of the women who cut their hands. Lo! my Lord knoweth their guile.
51 He (the king) (then sent for those women and) said: What happened when ye asked an evil act of Joseph ? They answered: Allah Blameless! We know no evil of him. Said the wife of the ruler: Now the truth is out. I asked of him an evil act, and he is surely of the truthful.
52 (Then Joseph said: I asked for) this, that he (my lord) may know that I betrayed him not in secret, and that surely Allah guideth not the snare of the betrayers.
53 I do not exculpate myself. Lo! the (human) soul enjoineth unto evil, save that whereon my Lord hath mercy. Lo! my Lord is Forgiving, Merciful.
54 And the king said: Bring him unto me that I may attach him to my person. And when he had talked with him he said: Lo! thou art to-day in our presence established and trusted.
55 He said: Set me over the storehouses of the land. Lo! I am a skilled custodian.
56 Thus gave We power to Joseph in the land. He was the owner of it where he pleased. We reach with Our mercy whom We will. We lose not the reward of the good.
57 And the reward of the Hereafter is better, for those who believe and ward off (evil).
58 And Joseph's brethren came and presented themselves before him, and he knew them but they knew him not.
59 And when he provided them with their provision he said: Bring unto me a brother of yours from your father. See ye not that I fill up the measure and I am the best of hosts ?
60 And if ye bring him not unto me, then there shall be no measure for you with me, nor shall ye draw near.
61 They said: We will try to win him from his father: that we will surely do.
62 He said unto his young men: Place their merchandise in their saddlebags, so that they may know it when they go back to their folk, and so will come again.
63 So when they went back to their father they said: O our father! The measure is denied us, so send with us our brother that we may obtain the measure, surely we will guard him well.
64 He said: Can I entrust him to you save as I entrusted his brother to you aforetime ? Allah is better at guarding, and He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy.
65 And when they opened their belongings they discovered that their merchandise had been returned to them. They said: O our father! What (more) can we ask ? Here is our merchandise returned to us. We shall get provision for our folk and guard our brother, and we shall have the extra measure of a camel (load). This (that we bring now) is a light measure.
66 He said: I will not send him with you till ye give me an undertaking in the name of Allah that ye will bring him back to me, unless ye are surrounded. And when they gave him their undertaking he said: Allah is the Warden over what we say.
67 And he said: O my sons! Go not in by one gate; go in by different gates. I can naught avail you as against Allah. Lo! the decision rests with Allah only. In Him do I put my trust, and in Him let all the trusting put their trust.
68 And when they entered in the manner which their father had enjoined, it would have naught availed them as against Allah; it was but a need of Jacob's soul which he thus satisfied; and lo! he was a lord of knowledge because We had taught him; but most of mankind know not.
69 And when they went in before Joseph, he took his brother unto him, saying: Lo! I, even I, am thy brother, therefore sorrow not for what they did.
70 And when he provided them with their provision, he put the drinking-cup in his brother's saddlebag, and then a crier cried: O camel-riders! Lo! ye are surely thieves!
71 They cried, coming toward them: What is it ye have lost ?
72 They said: We have lost the king's cup, and he who bringeth it shall have a camel-load, and I (said Joseph) am answerable for it.
73 They said: By Allah, well ye know we came not to do evil in the land, and are no thieves.
74 They said: And what shall be the penalty for it, if ye prove liars ?
75 They said: The penalty for it! He in whose bag (the cup) is found, he is the penalty for it. Thus we requite wrong-doers.
76 Then he (Joseph) began the search with their bags before his brother's bag, then he produced it from his brother's bag. Thus did We contrive for Joseph. He could not have taken his brother according to the king's law unless Allah willed. We raise by grades (of mercy) whom We will, and over every lord of knowledge there is one more knowing.
77 They said: If he stealeth, a brother of his stole before. But Joseph kept it secret in his soul and revealed it not unto them. He said (within himself): Ye are in worse case, and Allah knoweth best (the truth of) that which ye allege.
78 They said: O ruler of the land! Lo! he hath a very aged father, so take one of us instead of him. Lo! we behold thee of those who do kindness.
79 He said: Allah forbid that we should seize save him with whom we found our property; then truly we should be wrong-doers.
80 So, When they despaired of (moving) him, they conferred together apart. The eldest of them said: Know ye not how your father took an undertaking from you in Allah's name and how ye failed in the case of Joseph aforetime ? Therefore I shall not go forth from the land until my father giveth leave or Allah judgeth for me. He is the Best of Judges.
81 Return unto your father and say: O our father! Lo! thy son hath stolen. We testify only to that which we know; we are not guardians of the Unseen.
82 Ask the township where we were, and the caravan with which we travelled hither. Lo! we speak the truth.
83 (And when they came unto their father and had spoken thus to him) he said: Nay, but your minds have beguiled you into something. (My course is) comely patience! It may be that Allah will bring them all unto me. Lo! He, only He, is the Knower, the Wise.
84 And he turned away from them and said: Alas, my grief for Joseph! And his eyes were whitened with the sorrow that he was suppressing.
85 They said: By Allah, thou wilt never cease remembering Joseph till thy health is ruined or thou art of those who perish!
86 He said: I expose my distress and anguish only unto Allah, and I know from Allah that which ye know not.
87 Go, O my sons, and ascertain concerning Joseph and his brother, and despair not of the Spirit of Allah. Lo! none despaireth of the Spirit of Allah save disbelieving folk.
88 And when they came (again) before him (Joseph) they said: O ruler! Misfortune hath touched us and our folk, and we bring but poor merchandise, so fill for us the measure and be charitable unto us. Lo! Allah will requite the charitable,
89 He said: Know ye what ye did unto Joseph and his brother in your ignorance ?
90 They said: Is it indeed thou who art Joseph ? He said: I am Joseph and this is my brother. Allah hath shown us favour. Lo! he who wardeth off (evil) and endureth (findeth favour); for lo! Allah loseth not the wages of the kindly.
91 They said: By Allah, verily Allah hath preferred thee above us, and we were indeed sinful.
92 He said: Have no fear this day! May Allah forgive you, and He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy.
93 Go with this shirt of mine and lay it on my father's face, he will become (again) a seer; and come to me with all your folk.
94 When the caravan departed their father had said: Truly I am conscious of the breath of Joseph, though ye call me dotard.
95 (Those around him) said: By Allah, lo! thou art in thine old aberration.
96 Then, when the bearer of glad tidings came, he laid it on his face and he became a seer once more. He said: Said I not unto you that I know from Allah that which ye know not ?
97 They said: O our father! Ask forgiveness of our sins for us, for lo! we were sinful.
98 He said: I shall ask forgiveness for you of my Lord. Lo! He is the Forgiving, the Merciful.
99 And when they came in before Joseph, he took his parents unto him, and said: Come into Egypt safe, if Allah will!
100 And he placed his parents on the dais and they fell down before him prostrate, and he said: O my father! This is the interpretation of my dream of old. My Lord hath made it true, and He hath shown me kindness, since He took me out of the prison and hath brought you from the desert after Satan had made strife between me and my brethren. Lo! my Lord is tender unto whom He will. He is the Knower, the Wise.
101 O my Lord! Thou hast given me (something) of sovereignty and hast taught me (something) of the interpretation of events - Creator of the heavens and the earth! Thou art my Protecting Guardian in the world and the Hereafter. Make me to die muslim (unto Thee), and join me to the righteous.
102 This is of the tidings of the Unseen which We inspire in thee (Muhammad). Thou wast not present with them when they fixed their plan and they were scheming.
103 And though thou try much, most men will not believe.
104 Thou askest them no fee for it. It is naught else than a reminder unto the peoples.
105 How many a portent is there in the heavens and the earth which they pass by with face averted!
106 And most of them believe not in Allah except that they attribute partners (unto Him).
107 Deem they themselves secure from the coming on them of a pall of Allah's punishment, or the coming of the Hour suddenly while they are unaware ?
108 Say: This is my Way: I call on Allah with sure knowledge. I and whosoever followeth me - Glory be to Allah! - and I am not of the idolaters.
109 We sent not before thee (any messengers) save men whom We inspired from among the folk of the townships - Have they not travelled in the land and seen the nature of the consequence for those who were before them ? And verily the abode of the Hereafter, for those who ward off (evil), is best. Have ye then no sense ? -
110 Till, when the messengers despaired and thought that they were denied, then came unto them Our help, and whom We would was saved. And Our wrath cannot be warded from the guilty.
111 In their history verily there is a lesson for men of understanding. It is no invented story but a confirmation of the existing (Scripture) and a detailed explanation of everything, and a guidance and a mercy for folk who believe.