Surah Yusuf (Joseph) 12 : 84

وَتَوَلَّىٰ عَنْهُمْ وَقَالَ يَٰٓأَسَفَىٰ عَلَىٰ يُوسُفَ وَٱبْيَضَّتْ عَيْنَاهُ مِنَ ٱلْحُزْنِ فَهُوَ كَظِيمٌ

Translations

 
 Muhsin Khan
 Pickthall
 Yusuf Ali
Quran Project
And he turned away from them and said, "Oh, my sorrow over Joseph," and his eyes became white from grief, for he was [of that] a suppressor.

1. Lessons/Guidance/Reflections/Gems

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Explanatory Note

Where did this ray of hope come from filling the old man’s heart? It is nothing more than placing all hope in God and trusting completely to His wisdom, feeling His existence and His endless compassion. It is a feeling that fills the hearts of the elite of believers and becomes more true and profound than the reality they see, hear and touch. “He then turned away from them and said: ‘Oh, woe is me for Joseph!’ His eyes became white with grief and he was burdened with silent sorrow.” (Verse 84) This is an inspirational portrayal of a bereaved father. He feels that his tragedy is all his own. No one around him shares in his distress or feels his pain. Hence, he moves  away  to  nurture  the  loss  of  his  beloved  son,  Joseph,  whom  he  has  not forgotten despite the passage of so many years. Indeed time has not reduced his sorrow;  it  has  all  been  brought  back  to  life  by  the  new  calamity  involving  his youngest son, Joseph’s younger brother. This is a moment when his sorrow is shown to be stronger than his patient resignation: “Oh, woe is me for Joseph!” (Verse 84)
 
But he soon suppresses his sorrow and hides his feelings. As his intense grief and sadness are suppressed, his eyes lose their sight: “His eyes became white with grief and he was burdened with silent sorrow.” (Verse 84)

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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