BEAUTIFUL LESSONS FROM SURAH YUSUF
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BEAUTIFUL LESSONS FROM SURAH YUSUF

Shaykh Abdurahmaan Ibn Naasir As-Sa’dee states in his tafseer “Tayseer Al-Kareem Ar-Rahmaan” (pg. 408 - 412) regarding the last ayah of surah Yusuf wherein Allah Ta’ala says,“Indeed in their stories, there is a lesson for men of understanding.”

This story is from the best of stories because of what it relates from the varying phases of life; from trial to tribulation, from being tested to being blessed, from humiliation to honour, from slavery to kingship, from division to unity, from grief to joy, from superfluity to famine, from famine to glut, from hardship to ease, and from denial to affirmation. So blessed be the One who revealed it in the best manner possible.

From amongst the lessons derived from this surah are:

  1. The knowledge of interpreting dreams is a very important branch of knowledge that Allah gives to whom he pleases from His servants. And most of them (dreams) are based on symbols that are ambiguous in meaning and in description. For indeed the significance of the sun, the moon and twelve stars bowing to Yusuf, is that these lights are the beauty of the sky, and from them emanates benefit. Likewise the prophets and the scholars are the beauty of this earth, and by them mankind is guided through darkness just as they do by the light of the stars, the sun and the moon. Moreover, since the source of this light is his mother and father, hence it is very befitting that the moon and the sun symbolize his parents, for from them emanate the greatest light from which he and his brothers are off-springs. Thus, the sun, which is a feminine noun, symbolizes his mother and the moon, which is a masculine noun, symbolizes his father, and the stars symbolize his brothers.

  2. The significance of the dream of his fellow prison mate who saw himself pressing wine, is that the one who does such work is usually the servant of someone else. Thus he interpreted it to mean that this prison mate would be a servant for the king, and this would guarantee his freedom from prison. Regarding the significance of the dream of the one who saw birds eating bread from the top of his head, Yusuf interpreted this dream as a indication that he will be crucified because the skull protects the brains and once a person is crucified and left in the open, the brains will become exposed, thus the birds will eat it.

  3. In this surah are evidences of the truthfulness of the prophethood of Prophet Muhammad Sallallaahu Alaihi Wa Sallam, for he narrated to his people this long story and he never read the previous books nor learned from any one.

  4. One should distance oneself as much as possible from situations that can lead to an evil outcome. Also the permissibility of not disclosing what one fears might harm them based on the statement of Ya'qoob Alaihis Salaam to Yusuf Alaihis Salaam, “He (the father) said: "O my son! Relate not your vision to your brothers, lest they arrange a plot against you.”

  5. The permissibility of a person mentioning to someone else, as a means of sincere advice, a matter that is disliked based on the ayah, “Lest they arrange a plot against you.”

  6. The blessing that Allah bestows upon the servant is not simply restricted to that particular individual, rather it is a blessing that encompasses him, his family and his friends. And whatever good is obtained is because of that person based on the statement of Allah, "Thus will your Lord choose you and teach you the interpretation of dreams (and other things) and perfect His Favour on you and on the offspring of Yaqoob (Jacob), as He perfected it on your fathers, Ibrahîm (Abraham) and Ishaaq (Isaac) aforetime. Verily, your Lord is All-Knowing, All-Wise."

  7. The importance of being cautious of the evil results of sins, because one sin often leads to many others. For the brothers of Yusuf tried varying plots when they wanted to separate him from his father; they lied many times, they falsified the blood on the shirt, they came at night pretending to cry, and all of this is as a result of one sin, one thing leading to a next.

  8. The matter that really counts in the life of the servant is the successful ending and not the deficient beginning. For the children of Yaqoob Alaihis Salaam did what they did in the beginning which was a very reprehensible act, then their affair ended in sincere repentance, complete forgiveness from Yusuf and their father, and du’a was made for them to be forgiven and have mercy upon them.

  9. Some evil are lesser then others and committing the least or lesser evil is always better. For when the brothers of Yusuf agreed to kill him or throw him in the well, one of them said,“Kill not Yusuf (Joseph), but if you must do something, throw him down to the bottom of a well.” Thus his suggestion was better in comparison with those of his brothers (in spite of it still being an evil one) and because of this he lessened the greatness of the sin they committed.

  10. There is no sin on a person that buys, sells, or uses anything that is considered as merchandise according to prevailing business practices. Nor is the one who is not aware how this merchandise was obtained guilty of any sin. For the brothers of Yusuf sold him, which was a haraam, impermissible transaction, then he was found by a caravan of people who took him to Egypt and sold him there as a slave, and in spite of all this Allah referred to him as ”merchandise.”

  11.  One should be careful to avoid being secluded with women whom may be a cause of fitnah, and one should also be cautious of the love for someone that may be harmful. For the wife of the king did what she did because of her infatuation with Yusuf that lead her to try to seduce him, tell lies about him and cause him to be imprisoned for a long time.

  12. The inclination that Yusuf would have had for the woman, but resisted it for Allah’s sake is what actually brought him closer to Allah. Because this type of inclination is from amongst the soul’s evil suggestion and it is something that happens naturally to most of mankind. However, the love and fear of Allah overpowered the call of fulfilling desires. Thus, he is from amongst those “who feared standing before his Lord, and restrained himself from impure evil desires, and lusts.”And also from amongst the “seven whom Allah will shade in His Shade on the Day when there is no shade except His Shade: a man who is called by a woman of beauty and position [for illegal intercourse], but be says: ‘I fear Allah.”

  13. Whenever Imaan enters the heart and one makes his whole affair sincerely for Allah’s sake, Allah will indeed repel and defend one from all types of evil and vulgarity because of one’s Imaan and sincerity. This is affirmed in the verse “Thus it was, that We might turn away from him evil and illegal sexual intercourse. Surely, he was one of Our sincere slaves.”

To be continued in the next issue Insha Allah…

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