Surah Yusuf (Joseph) 12 : 52
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he may know
[I] betray him
(of) the betrayers
1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems[ edit ]
Her confession and what comes after is described here in highly charged but refined words which tell us much about the feelings behind it. “It was I who tried to seduce him. He has indeed told the truth.” (Verse 51) This is a full testimony of his innocence and his having always said the truth. The woman does not mind what happens to her as a result of her confession. Was it then only the truth that she knew which prompted her to deliver that full confession in the presence of the King and nobles of the state?
The text of the sūrah implies a different motive. It suggests she was keen to win the respect of a man who is full of faith, and who paid no attention to her physical beauty. She now wanted that he respect her for her faith and honesty in giving a true account of his personality in his absence: “From this he will know that I did not betray him behind his back.” (Verse 52) She carries on with a moral statement of the type Joseph loves and appreciates: “God does not bless with His guidance the schemes of those who betray their trust.” (Verse 52)
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.