Surah Yusuf (Joseph) 12 : 103

وَمَآ أَكْثَرُ ٱلنَّاسِ وَلَوْ حَرَصْتَ بِمُؤْمِنِينَ

Translations

 
 Muhsin Khan
 Pickthall
 Yusuf Ali
Quran Project
And most of the people, although you strive [for it], are not Believers.

1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems

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Explanatory Note

The truth of revelation, the stories that it contains, the various aspects that move listeners’  hearts  should  be  sufficient  to  make  people  believe  in  the  truth  of  the Qur’ān. They have seen the Prophet, known his character and personality, and listened to what he had to say. Yet most of them did not believe. They pass by the various signs that are everywhere in the expanse of the universe, without paying much attention to them or understanding their message. They are just like one who turns his face away so that he does not see what is in front of him. What are they waiting for, when it is a fact that God’s punishment may overtake them when they are unaware? “Yet however strongly you may desire it, most people will not believe. You ask no recompense from them for it. It is but God’s reminder to all mankind. Yet many are the signs in the heavens and the earth which they pass by, paying no heed to them. And most of them do not even believe in God without also associating partners with Him. Do they feel confident that the overwhelming scourge of God’s punishment will not fall upon them, or that the Last Hour will not come upon them suddenly, taking them unaware.” (Verses 103-107)

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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