Surah Yusuf (Joseph) 12 : 64

قَالَ هَلْ ءَامَنُكُمْ عَلَيْهِ إِلَّا كَمَآ أَمِنتُكُمْ عَلَىٰٓ أَخِيهِ مِن قَبْلُ ۖ فَٱللَّهُ خَيْرٌ حَٰفِظًا ۖ وَهُوَ أَرْحَمُ ٱلرَّٰحِمِينَ

Translations

 
 Muhsin Khan
 Pickthall
 Yusuf Ali
Quran Project
He said, "Should I entrust you with him except [under coercion] as I entrusted you with his brother before? But Allāh is the best guardian, and He is the most merciful of the merciful."

1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems

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Explanatory Note

This promise must have awakened old memories in Jacob’s mind. It is an exact repeat of their promise to take good care of Joseph. Hence, he speaks of his sorrows that the new promise has revived: “He replied: ‘Am I to trust you with him in the same way as I trusted you with his brother in the past?”‘ (Verse 64) He is in effect telling them he will have nothing to do with their promises. He has no need of the care they may take of his younger son. Should he need any guardianship for him, he will seek it elsewhere: “But God is the best of guardians; and of all those who show mercy He is the Most Merciful.” (Verse 64)
 
Once they had rested after their long journey, they opened their camel-packs in order to store the crops they had bought, but they find instead the merchandise they had taken with them to exchange for crops. Joseph has not given them any wheat or such like, but instead returned their merchandise. So, their first report was that they have been prevented from buying crops, then on opening their camel-packs they found their merchandise. All this was intentional, as Joseph wanted them to return quickly with their brother. That was part of the lesson he wanted them to learn.

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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