Surah Yusuf (Joseph) 12 : 10

قَالَ قَآئِلٌ مِّنْهُمْ لَا تَقْتُلُوا۟ يُوسُفَ وَأَلْقُوهُ فِى غَيَٰبَتِ ٱلْجُبِّ يَلْتَقِطْهُ بَعْضُ ٱلسَّيَّارَةِ إِن كُنتُمْ فَٰعِلِينَ

Translations

 
 Muhsin Khan
 Pickthall
 Yusuf Ali
Quran Project
Another of them said, "Do not kill Joseph but throw him into the bottom of the well; some travellers will pick him up - if you must do something."

1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems

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Explanatory Note

Thus Satan weaves his schemes, making people accept what is unacceptable, when they have lost control and no longer see matters in the proper perspective. When their jealousy reaches boiling point, Satan puts forward his suggestion: “Kill.” He wraps his wicked suggestion around an appealing prospect, that repentance will mend the offence. But repentance is not like that. Repentance is remorse and regret for an error which someone commits blindly, when he does not remember God and the consequences of his offence. Repentance is never of the ready rehearsed type prepared before the crime to reduce the sense of guilt. This does not constitute repentance. It is part of the justification of the crime, to make it appear less heinous.
 
One of the brothers, however, felt a shudder at the atrocity they were contemplating. He put forward a suggestion which would rid them of Joseph without killing him or abandoning him in the middle of nowhere. Thus they would have all their father’s attention. He proposed that they should cast him into a well on the caravan route. It was very likely that a caravan would find him and take him to a faraway land. “One of them said: Do not kill Joseph, but rather — if you must do something — cast him into the dark depths of this well. Some caravan may pick him up.” (Verse 10) The phrase, ‘if you must do something,’ gives the impression of doubt, as if he is raising doubt in their minds about harming Joseph. This expression of reservation aims to weaken the resolve of the other party. But Joseph’s brothers bore a deep grudge and they had to do something about their situation. They had no intention of going back on what they had decided. This is clearly apparent in the next scene.
 

2. Linguistic Analysis

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Frequency of Root words in this Ayat used in this Surah *


3. Surah Overview

4. Miscellaneous Information

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5. Connected/Related Ayat

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6. Frequency of the word

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7. Period of Revelation

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The subject matter of this Surah indicates that it was revealed during the last stage of the Prophet’s residence at Makkah when the Quraysh were considering the question of killing, exiling or imprisoning him. At that time, some of the disbelievers asked a question to test his claim to prophethood: “Why did the Israelites go to Egypt?” They knew that the story was not known to the Arabs, since there was no mention of it in their traditions, and the Prophet had never referred to any knowledge of it in the past. Therefore they expected that he would not be able to give a satisfactory answer or would evade it and enquire about it from the Jews, which would expose him as a fraud. Contrary to their expectations, God revealed the whole story of Prophet Joseph and the Prophet recited it on the spot. This put the Quraysh in a very awkward position because it not only foiled their scheme but also cautioned them to consider their behaviour and compare it to the treachery displayed by the brothers of Prophet Joseph.

The fact is that by applying this story to the conflict, the Qur’an had made a bold and clear prophecy which was fulfilled literally by the events that happened in the succeeding ten years. Hardly two years had passed after its revelation when the Quraysh conspired to kill the Prophet like the brothers of Prophet Joseph and he had to emigrate from Makkah to Madinah where he gained the same kind of power as Prophet Joseph had gained in Egypt. Again in the end the Quraysh had to humble themselves before him just like the brothers of Prophet Joseph when they humbly requested ‘Show mercy to us for God rewards richly those who show mercy’ (v. 88) and Prophet Joseph generously forgave them (even though he had complete power to wreak vengeance on them) saying ‘today no penalty shall be inflicted on you. May God forgive you: He is the greatest of all those who forgive’ (v. 92). The same story of mercy was repeated when after the conquest of Makkah the fallen Quraysh stood meekly before the Prophet who had the power to inflict vengeance on them for their cruelty towards him. But instead he merely asked them ‘What treatment do you expect from me now?’ They replied ‘You are a generous brother and the son of a generous brother’. At this he very generously forgave them, saying ‘I will give the same answer to your request that Joseph gave to his brothers: ‘. . . 'today no penalty shall be inflicted on you, you are forgiven.’

8. Reasons for Revelation

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Qurtubi mentions that the Jews asked the Prophet about the story of Yusuf and hence this surah was revealed.

9. Relevant Hadith

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10. Wiki Forum

Comments in this section are statements made by general users – these are not necessarily explanations of the Ayah – rather a place to share personal thoughts and stories…

11. Tafsir Zone

 

12. External Links

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