Yousef (Joseph) 9
اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ بِجَمِیعِ مَحَامِدِه کُلِّهَا عَلَی جَمِیعِ نِعَمِهِ کُلِّهَا… اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ مالِکِ الْمُلْکِ مُجْرِی الْفُلْکِ مُسَخِّرِ الرِّیاحِ فالِقِ الاْصْباحِ دَیّانِ الدّینِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمینَ اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ عَلی حِلْمِهِ بَعْدَ عِلمِهِ وَالْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ عَلی عَفْوِهِ بَعْدَ قُدْرَتِهِ وَالْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ عَلی طُولِ اَناتِهِ فی غَضَبِهِ وَهُوَ قادِرٌ عَلی ما یُریدُ
Praise is to God with all his praises, for all his blessings. . . Praise is to God, the owner of the property, the operator of the orbit, the bender of the wind, the glory of the morning, the religion of the beliefs, lord of the worlds; praise is to God for his dream after his knowledge and thank God for forgiveness after his power, and praise be to God for his long patience in his wrath and he is capable to do what he wills
و نشهد أن لا اله الا الله وحده لا شریک له، و أَنَّ محمداً عبده و رسوله ارسله بالهدی و دین الحق لیظهره علی الدین کله و لو کره المشرکون اوصیکم عبادالله و نفسی بتقوی الله و اتباع امره و نهیه، و اخوفکم من عقابه
And we bear witness that there is no god but God alone, without partner, and that Muhammad is his servant and messenger, he sent him with guidance and the religion of truth, that he might proclaim it over all religion, even if the polytheists hated it.
- Passion and meeting people’s needs, before advertising
Prophet Yousef prayed to God and asked the rulers to take him to prison so that he would not be forced to sin, his prayer was answered, and the rulers of Egypt imprisoned Yousef in order to prevent the disgrace of the royal family of Egypt: فَاسْتَجَابَ لَهُ رَبُّهُ فَصَرَفَ عَنْهُ كَيْدَهُنَّ إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيمُ؛ ثُمَّ بَدَا لَهُمْ مِنْ بَعْدِ مَا رَأَوُا الْآيَاتِ لَيَسْجُنُنَّهُ حَتَّى حِينٍ؛ So his Lord answered him and turned away their stratagems from him. Indeed, He is the All-hearing, the All-knowing. Then it appeared to them, after they had seen all the signs [of his innocence], that they should confine him for some time (Yousef 34-35).
In prison, Yousef met the needs of the other prisoners to the best of his ability and knowledge. The Qur’an reports that two of the prisoners had dreams and referred to Yousuf for the interpretation of those dreams:
وَدَخَلَ مَعَهُ السِّجْنَ فَتَيَانِ قَالَ أَحَدُهُمَا إِنِّي أَرَانِي أَعْصِرُ خَمْرًا وَقَالَ الْآخَرُ إِنِّي أَرَانِي أَحْمِلُ فَوْقَ رَأْسِي خُبْزًا تَأْكُلُ الطَّيْرُ مِنْهُ نَبِّئْنَا بِتَأْوِيلِهِ إِنَّا نَرَاكَ مِنَ الْمُحْسِنِينَ؛
There entered the prison two youths along with him. One of them said, ‘I dreamt that I am pressing grapes.’ The other said, ‘I dreamt that I am carrying bread on my head from which the birds are eating.’ ‘Inform us of its interpretation,’ [they said], ‘for indeed we see you to be a virtuous man.’ (Yousef: 36)
At that time, Yousef quickly and without delay paid attention to them and took action to fulfill their needs: قَالَ لَا يَأْتِيكُمَا طَعَامٌ تُرْزَقَانِهِ إِلَّا نَبَّأْتُكُمَا بِتَأْوِيلِهِ قَبْلَ أَنْ يَأْتِيَكُمَا؛ He said, ‘Before the meals you are served come to you I will inform you of its interpretation. (Yousef: 37)
We can observe that Yousef first meets the needs of the prisoners and shows them kindness and passion, then immediately when their mental conditions are prepared by his sympathy, he starts preaching religious teachings. By introducing himself and his ancestors, who were all prophets, he invites them to worship the one true God and stay away from false gods:
ذَلِكُمَا مِمَّا عَلَّمَنِي رَبِّي إِنِّي تَرَكْتُ مِلَّةَ قَوْمٍ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَهُمْ بِالْآخِرَةِ هُمْ كَافِرُونَ؛ وَاتَّبَعْتُ مِلَّةَ آبَائِي إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْحَاقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ مَا كَانَ لَنَا أَنْ نُشْرِكَ بِاللَّهِ مِنْ شَيْءٍ ذَلِكَ مِنْ فَضْلِ اللَّهِ عَلَيْنَا وَعَلَى النَّاسِ وَلَكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَشْكُرُونَ؛
That is among things my Lord has taught me. Indeed, I renounce the creed of the people who have no faith in Allah and who [also] disbelieve in the Hereafter. I follow the creed of my fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. It is not for us to ascribe any partner to Allah. That is by virtue of Allah’s grace upon us and upon all mankind, but most people do not give thanks. (Yousef: 37-38)
Then prophet Yousef begins the rational argument of the monotheism of God with an introduction that is understandable for all people and says: يَا صَاحِبَيِ السِّجْنِ أَأَرْبَابٌ مُتَفَرِّقُونَ خَيْرٌ أَمِ اللَّهُ الْوَاحِدُ الْقَهَّارُ؛ O my prison mates! Are different masters better, or Allah, the One, the All-paramount? (Yousef: 39)
مَا تَعْبُدُونَ مِنْ دُونِهِ إِلَّا أَسْمَاءً سَمَّيْتُمُوهَا أَنْتُمْ وَآبَاؤُكُمْ مَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ بِهَا مِنْ سُلْطَانٍ إِنِ الْحُكْمُ إِلَّا لِلَّهِ أَمَرَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ ذَلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ وَلَكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ؛
You do not worship besides Him but [mere] names that you and your fathers have coined, for which Allah has not sent down any authority. Sovereignty belongs only to Allah. He has commanded you to worship none except Him. That is the upright religion, but most people do not know. (Yousef: 40)
It is understood from this act of the prophet Yousef that whenever a person wants to invite other people to something, he should first consider their hearts and feelings. A person who is favored by another person will be unconsciously influenced by that person and his heart will be with him. It is known that they said: الإنسان عبد الإحسان؛ “Man is a servant of doing good”; and Imam Ali, peace upon him, says: الْإِحْسَانُ يَسْتَعْبِدُ الْإِنْسَانَ؛ “Doing good to another makes him a slave and obedient. (Oyoon al-Hekam ve al-Mava’eez: 24)
This is a point that is used a lot by people who want to deceive other people. It becomes more important especially about young people and teenagers, who have purer and more diluted emotions and have less life experience and less knowledge of the deception of deceitful people. Parents should try to pay attention to their children and fulfill their spiritual need for love. Satisfying the children with love and benevolence by parents will cause less suffers for them; however, it would be less expected that they get attracted to the love and benevolence of deceitful people.
- Asking needs only from God
After propagating divine knowledge based on human reason and wisdom, prophet Yousef interprets the dream of those two prisoners:
يَا صَاحِبَيِ السِّجْنِ أَمَّا أَحَدُكُمَا فَيَسْقِي رَبَّهُ خَمْرًا وَأَمَّا الْآخَرُ فَيُصْلَبُ فَتَأْكُلُ الطَّيْرُ مِنْ رَأْسِهِ قُضِيَ الْأَمْرُ الَّذِي فِيهِ تَسْتَفْتِيَانِ؛
O my prison mates! As for one of you, he will serve wine to his master, and as for the other, he will be crucified and vultures will eat from his head. The matter about which you inquire has been decided.’ (Yousef: 41)
The big mistake that the prophet Yousef made at this moment is that he asked the prisoner who, according to the interpretation of the dream, was a close relative of the king of Egypt, to talk to the king about Yousef and mediate about his release. The holy Qur’an says that the devil took this wish of Yousef from the memory of his imprisoned friend, and Yousef remained in prison for many more years.
وَقَالَ لِلَّذِي ظَنَّ أَنَّهُ نَاجٍ مِنْهُمَا اذْكُرْنِي عِنْدَ رَبِّكَ فَأَنْسَاهُ الشَّيْطَانُ ذِكْرَ رَبِّهِ فَلَبِثَ فِي السِّجْنِ بِضْعَ سِنِينَ؛
Then he said to the one whom he knew would be delivered from among the two: ‘Mention me to your master.’ But Satan caused him to forget mentioning [it] to his master. So he remained in the prison for several years. (Yousef: 42)
We learn from this story that “asking demands from other than God” is wrong. Man should not ask other than God to fulfill his needs, but he should always ask God for his demands.