Yousef (Joseph) 11
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.
- Choosing the right people to delegate the work
When the ruler of Egypt gets acquainted with Yousef’s knowledge and purity, he invites him to cooperate with his government:
وَقَالَ الْمَلِكُ ائْتُونِي بِهِ أَسْتَخْلِصْهُ لِنَفْسِي. فَلَمَّا كَلَّمَهُ قَالَ إِنَّكَ الْيَوْمَ لَدَيْنَا مَكِينٌ أَمِينٌ؛
The king said, ‘Bring him to me, I will make him my favourite.’ Then, when he had spoken with him, he said, ‘Indeed today [onwards] you will be honoured and trustworthy with us.’ (Yousef: 54)
The ruler of Egypt does not offer any special responsibility to Yousef, but leaves him free to choose his government responsibility. Yousef, relying on his ability and trustworthiness, proposes the responsibility of the treasury and economic affairs of Egypt to accept the responsibility and serve the people of the society:
قَالَ اجْعَلْنِي عَلَى خَزَائِنِ الْأَرْضِ إِنِّي حَفِيظٌ عَلِيمٌ؛
He said, ‘Put me in charge of the country’s granaries. I am indeed fastidious [and]well-informed.’ (Yousef: 55)
In these verses that the holy Qur’an narrates the story of Joseph, we can consider that both the ruler of Egypt and the prophet Yousef himself emphasize on the scientific and moral competence of Yousef to assign responsibility to him.
These two issues are among the points that the leaders of Islam insist on. The holy prophet of Islam forbade two things:
- To choose a person for a job and responsibility, while there is a person more worthy than him.
- To accept work and responsibility from the employer, while there is a more qualified person.
The first point means that when someone wants to assign a task to someone and make him responsible for it, he should choose the best and most qualified person for that task; whether it is about national and social issues, or about personal and professional issues. Someone who is thinking about progress and advancement in work should always employ the most qualified people.
In this case, the messenger of God says: مَنِ اسْتَعْمَلَ غُلَاماً فِي عِصَابَةٍ فِيهَا مَنْ هُوَ أَرْضَى لِلَّهِ مِنْهُ فَقَدْ خَانَ اللَّه؛ “Whoever assigns a person to a task in a group while there is a more suitable person for that task who is more pleasing to God, has betrayed God”. (Managhen Al Abi Taleb, peace upon him, volume 1, page 258)
The second point means that when a person is invited to accept a job or responsibility, he should consider if there is a more qualified person for that job or responsibility, introduce him to the employer and avoid accepting that job or responsibility himself.
In this case, the messenger of God said: مَنْ أَمَّ قَوْماً وَ فِيهِمْ مَنْ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ مِنْهُ لَمْ يَزَلْ أَمْرُهُمْ إِلَى سَفَالٍ إِلَى يَوْمِ الْقِيَامَةِ؛ “A person who accepts the leadership of a group while there is a wiser person among that group, until the Day of Judgment (until the end), their work will go to ruin and decay”. (al-Tahzib, volume 3, page 56)
This principle of meritocracy must be respected in all social and individual programs. For every responsibility in every field, you must choose the best, most knowledgeable and clean person so that the work and activity would progress. Otherwise, all individual and social affairs will face failure, degeneration and lack of success.
- Forgiveness at the time of power over revenge is from prophetic ethics
After Benjamin’s incident, Yousef’s brothers were worried that the ruler of Egypt would deny them from buying wheat. At that time, when famine and lack of food had caused problems for all the tribes, their only hope was the kindness and love of the ruler of Egypt, so they went to the ruler of Egypt and begged and said: يَا أَيُّهَا الْعَزِيزُ مَسَّنَا وَأَهْلَنَا الضُّرُّ وَجِئْنَا بِبِضَاعَةٍ مُزْجَاةٍ فَأَوْفِ لَنَا الْكَيْلَ وَتَصَدَّقْ عَلَيْنَا إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَجْزِي الْمُتَصَدِّقِينَ؛ Then, when they entered into his presence, they said, ‘O emir! Distress has befallen us and our family, and we have brought [just] a meagre sum. Yet grant us the full measure, and be charitable to us! Indeed Allah rewards the charitable.’ (Yousef: 88)
However in such a situation, when Yousef’s brothers recognized him, and knew that the ruler of Egypt was their brother Yousef, who had reached the position of ruler of Egypt, and now they needed his love to provide for their life needs, they were more worried than before that Yousef would take revenge on them. They thought to themselves that he would retaliate about their oppression and cruelty and their mistake of throwing him into the well. They thought that he would arrest and imprison them, or at least deprive them of receiving wheat. This is why they addressed Yousef with shame and said with great respect:
قَالُوا تَاللَّهِ لَقَدْ آثَرَكَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْنَا وَإِنْ كُنَّا لَخَاطِئِينَ؛
They said, ‘By Allah, Allah has certainly preferred you over us, and we have indeed been erring.’ (Yousef: 91)
Yousef remembered all the hardships he suffered from his brothers, difficulties such as being thrown into a well, being sold in the slave market, being enslaved for years, being imprisoned, etc.
But now that he saw these brothers as ashamed and worried, as well as in need of his love and kindness, without seeking revenge against them, he addressed them with magnanimity and generous morals, without mentioning their oppression and cruelty. He made them more ashamed, forgave them all and invited them all with their families to travel to Egypt and live there:
قَالَ لَا تَثْرِيبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْيَوْمَ، يَغْفِرُ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ وَهُوَ أَرْحَمُ الرَّاحِمِينَ؛ اذْهَبُوا بِقَمِيصِي هَذَا فَأَلْقُوهُ عَلَى وَجْهِ أَبِي يَأْتِ بَصِيرًا، وَأْتُونِي بِأَهْلِكُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ؛
He said, ‘There shall be no reproach on you today. Allah will forgive you, and He is the most merciful of the merciful. Take this shirt of mine, and cast it upon my father’s face; he will regain his sight, and bring me all your folks.’ (Yousef: 92-93)
Cut the collar of his shirt like a rose, from happiness;
When the Yousef’s shirt reached Jacob;