Surah Yusuf (Joseph) 12 : 38
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And I follow
(of) my forefathers
(of) the men
1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems[ edit ]
Joseph continues to outline the distinctive characteristics of false beliefs in order to highlight those of the true faith which he and his forefathers have followed. “I follow the faith of my forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It is not for us to associate any partners with God.” (Verse 38) It is a faith based on the concept of God’s oneness. Indeed it is part of God’s grace to mankind that they are guided to believe in His oneness. To enjoy this aspect of God’s grace is easy. Mankind have only to decide to accept it and it is theirs, because this belief is ingrained in their nature and in the universe around them. It is also explained in all divine messages. It is only human beings who choose to ignore it and not thank God for it. “This is part of God’s grace which He has bestowed on us and on all mankind, but most people do not give thanks.” (Verse 38)
2. Linguistic Analysis[ edit ]
4. Miscellaneous Information[ edit ]
5. Connected/Related Ayat[ edit ]
6. Frequency of the word[ edit ]
7. Period of Revelation[ edit ]
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[ edit ]
Qurtubi mentions that the Jews asked the Prophet about the story of Yusuf and hence this surah was revealed.