Skip to content

012.001  A.L.R. These are the symbols (or Verses) of the perspicuous Book.

012.002  We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur’an, in order that ye may learn


012.003  We do relate unto thee the most beautiful of stories, in that We reveal to thee

this (portion of the) Qur’an: before this, thou too was among those who knew it not.

012.004  Behold! Joseph said to his father: “O my father! I did see eleven stars and

the sun and the moon: I saw them prostrate themselves to me!”

012.005  Said (the father): “My (dear) little son! relate not thy vision to thy brothers,

lest they concoct a plot against thee: for Satan is to man an avowed enemy!

012.006  “Thus will thy Lord choose thee and teach thee the interpretation of stories

(and events) and perfect His favour to thee and to the posterity of Jacob – even as He

perfected it to thy fathers Abraham and Isaac aforetime! for God is full of knowledge

and wisdom.”

012.007  Verily in Joseph and his brethren are signs (or symbols) for seekers (after


012.008  They said: “Truly Joseph and his brother are loved more by our father than

we: But we are a goodly body! really our father is obviously wandering (in his mind)!

012.009  “Slay ye Joseph or cast him out to some (unknown) land, that so the favour

of your father may be given to you alone: (there will be time enough) for you to be

righteous after that!”

012.010  Said one of them: “Slay not Joseph, but if ye must do something, throw him

down to the bottom of the well: he will be picked up by some caravan of travellers.”

012.011  They said: “O our father! why dost thou not trust us with Joseph,- seeing we

are indeed his sincere well-wishers?

012.012  “Send him with us tomorrow to enjoy himself and play, and we shall take

every care of him.”

012.013  (Jacob) said: “Really it saddens me that ye should take him away: I fear lest

the wolf should devour him while ye attend not to him.”

012.014  They said: “If the wolf were to devour him while we are (so large) a party,

then should we indeed (first) have perished ourselves!”

012.015  So they did take him away, and they all agreed to throw him down to the

bottom of the well:  and We put into his heart (this Message): ‘Of a surety thou shalt

(one day) tell them the truth of this their affair while they know (thee) not’

012.016  Then they came to their father in the early part of the night, weeping.

012.017  They said: “O our father! We went racing with one another, and left Joseph

with our things; and the wolf devoured him…. But thou wilt never believe us even

though we tell the truth.”

012.018  They stained his shirt with false blood. He said: “Nay, but your minds have

made up a tale (that may pass) with you, (for me) patience is most fitting: Against that

which ye assert, it is God (alone) Whose help can be sought”..

012.019  Then there came a caravan of travellers: they sent their water-carrier (for

water), and he let down his bucket (into the well)…He said: “Ah there! Good news!

Here is a (fine) young man!” So they concealed him as a treasure! But God knoweth

well all that they do!

012.020  The (Brethren) sold him for a miserable price, for a few dirhams counted

out: in such low estimation did they hold him!

012.021  The man in Egypt who bought him, said to his wife: “Make his stay (among

us) honourable:  may be he will bring us much good, or we shall adopt him as a son.” 

Thus did We establish Joseph in the land, that We might teach him the interpretation

of stories (and events). And God hath full power and control over His affairs; but

most among mankind know it not.

012.022  When Joseph attained His full manhood, We gave him power and

knowledge: thus do We reward those who do right.

012.023  But she in whose house he was, sought to seduce him from his (true) self:

she fastened the doors, and said: “Now come, thou (dear one)!” He said: “God forbid! 

truly (thy husband) is my lord! he made my sojourn agreeable!  truly to no good come

those who do wrong!”

012.024  And (with passion) did she desire him, and he would have desired her, but

that he saw the evidence of his Lord: thus (did We order) that We might turn away

from him (all) evil and shameful deeds: for he was one of Our servants, sincere and


012.025  So they both raced each other to the door, and she tore his shirt from the

back: they both found her lord near the door. She said: “What is the (fitting)

punishment for one who formed an evil design against thy wife, but prison or a

grievous chastisement?”

012.026  He said: “It was she that sought to seduce me – from my (true) self.” And

one of her household saw (this) and bore witness, (thus):- “If it be that his shirt is rent

from the front, then is her tale true, and he is a liar!

012.027  “But if it be that his shirt is torn from the back, then is she the liar, and he is

telling the truth!”

012.028  So when he saw his shirt,- that it was torn at the back,- (her husband) said:

“Behold!  It is a snare of you women! truly, mighty is your snare!

012.029  “O Joseph, pass this over! (O wife), ask forgiveness for thy sin, for truly

thou hast been at fault!”

012.030  Ladies said in the City: “The wife of the (great) ‘Aziz is seeking to seduce

her slave from his (true) self: Truly hath he inspired her with violent love: we see she

is evidently going astray.”

012.031  When she heard of their malicious talk, she sent for them and prepared a

banquet  for them: she gave each of them a knife: and she said (to Joseph), “Come out

before them.” When they saw him, they did extol him, and (in their amazement) cut

their hands: they said, “God preserve us! no mortal is this! this is none other than a

noble angel!”

012.032  She said: “There before you is the man about whom ye did blame me! I did

seek to seduce him from his (true) self but he did firmly save himself guiltless!….and

now, if he doth not my bidding, he shall certainly be cast into prison, and (what is

more) be of the company of the vilest!”

012.033  He said: “O my Lord! the prison is more to my liking than that to which they

invite me: Unless Thou turn away their snare from me, I should (in my youthful folly)

feel inclined towards them and join the ranks of the ignorant.”

012.034  So his Lord hearkened to him (in his prayer), and turned away from him

their snare: Verily He heareth and knoweth (all things).

012.035  Then it occurred to the men, after they had seen the signs, (that it was best)

to imprison him for a time.

012.036  Now with him there came into the prison two young men. Said one of them:

“I see myself (in a dream) pressing wine.” said the other: “I see myself (in a dream)

carrying bread on my head, and birds are eating, thereof.” “Tell us” (they said) “The

truth and meaning thereof: for we see thou art one that doth good (to all).”

012.037  He said: “Before any food comes (in due course) to feed either of you, I will

surely reveal to you the truth and meaning of this ere it befall you: that is part of the

(duty) which my Lord hath taught me. I have (I assure you) abandoned the ways of a

people that believe not in God and that (even) deny the Hereafter.

012.038  “And I follow the ways of my fathers,- Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and

never could we attribute any partners whatever to God: that (comes) of the grace of

God to us and to mankind: yet most men are not grateful.

012.039  “O my two companions of the prison! (I ask you): are many lords differing

among themselves better, or the One God, Supreme and Irresistible?

012.040  “If not Him, ye worship nothing but names which ye have named,- ye and

your fathers,- for which God hath sent down no authority: the command is for none

but God: He hath commanded that ye worship  none but Him: that is the right

religion, but most men understand not…

012.041  “O my two companions of the prison! As to one of you, he will pour out the

wine for his lord to drink: as for the other, he will hang from the cross, and the birds

will eat from off his head. (so) hath been decreed that matter whereof ye twain do


012.042  And of the two, to that one whom he consider about to be saved, he said:

“Mention me to thy lord.” But Satan made him forget to mention him to his lord: and

(Joseph) lingered in prison a few (more) years.

012.043  The king (of Egypt) said: “I do see (in a vision) seven fat kine, whom seven

lean ones devour, and seven green ears of corn, and seven (others) withered. O ye

chiefs! Expound to me my vision if it be that ye can interpret visions.”

012.044  They said: “A confused medley of dreams: and we are not skilled in the

interpretation of dreams.”

012.045  But the man who had been released, one of the two (who had been in prison)

and who now bethought him after (so long) a space of time, said: “I will tell you the

truth of its interpretation: send ye me (therefore).”

012.046  “O Joseph!” (he said) “O man of truth! Expound to us (the dream) of seven

fat kine whom seven lean ones devour, and of seven green ears of corn and (seven)

others withered: that I may return to the people, and that they may understand.”

012.047  (Joseph) said: “For seven years shall ye diligently sow as is your wont: and

the harvests that ye reap, ye shall leave them in the ear,- except a little, of which ye

shall eat.

012.048  “Then will come after that (period) seven dreadful (years), which will

devour what ye shall have laid by in advance for them,- (all) except a little which ye

shall have (specially) guarded.

012.049  “Then will come after that (period) a year in which the people will have

abundant water, and in which they will press (wine and oil).”

012.050  So the king said: “Bring ye him unto me.”  But when the messenger came to

him, (Joseph) said: “Go thou back to thy lord, and ask him, ‘What is the state of mind

of the ladies who cut their hands’? For my Lord is certainly well aware of their snare.”

012.051  (The king) said (to the ladies): “What was your affair when ye did seek to

seduce Joseph from his (true) self?” The ladies said: “God preserve us! no evil know

we against him!” Said the ‘Aziz’s wife: “Now is the truth manifest (to all): it was I

who sought to seduce him from his (true) self: He is indeed of those who are (ever)

true (and virtuous).

012.052  “This (say I), in order that He may know that I have never been false to him

in his absence,  and that God will never guide the snare of the false ones.

012.053  “Nor do I absolve my own self (of blame): the (human) soul is certainly

prone to evil, unless my Lord do bestow His Mercy: but surely my Lord is Oft-

forgiving, Most Merciful.”

012.054  So the king said: “Bring him unto me; I will take him specially to serve

about my own person.” Therefore when he had spoken to him, he said: “Be assured

this day, thou art, before our own presence, with rank firmly established, and fidelity

fully proved!

012.055  (Joseph) said: “Set me over the store-houses of the land: I will indeed guard

them, as one that knows (their importance).”

012.056  Thus did We give established power to Joseph in the land, to take possession

therein as, when, or where he pleased. We bestow of our Mercy on whom We please,

and We suffer not, to be lost, the reward of those who do good.

012.057  But verily the reward of the Hereafter is the best, for those who believe, and

are constant in righteousness.

012.058  Then came Joseph’s brethren: they entered his presence, and he knew them,

but they knew him not.

012.059  And when he had furnished them forth with provisions (suitable) for them,

he said: “Bring unto me a brother ye have, of the same father as yourselves, (but a

different mother): see ye not that I pay out full measure, and that I do provide the best


012.060  “Now if ye bring him not to me, ye shall have no measure (of corn) from

me, nor shall ye (even) come near me.”

012.061  They said: “We shall certainly seek to get our wish about him from his

father: Indeed we shall do it.”

012.062  And (Joseph) told his servants to put their stock-in-trade (with which they

had bartered) into their saddle-bags, so they should know it only when they returned

to their people, in order that they might come back.

012.063  Now when they returned to their father, they said: “O our father! No more

measure of grain shall we get (unless we take our brother): So send our brother with

us, that we may get our measure; and we will indeed take every care of him.”

012.064  He said: “Shall I trust you with him with any result other than when I trusted

you with his brother aforetime? But God is the best to take care (of him), and He is

the Most Merciful of those who show mercy!”

012.065  Then when they opened their baggage, they found their stock-in-trade had

been returned to them. They said: “O our father! What (more) can we desire? this our

stock-in-trade has been returned to us: so we shall get (more) food for our family; We

shall take care of our brother; and add (at the same time) a full camel’s load (of grain

to our provisions). This is but a small quantity.

012.066  (Jacob) said: “Never will I send him with you until ye swear a solemn oath

to me, in God’s name, that ye will be sure to bring him back to me unless ye are

yourselves hemmed in (and made powerless). And when they had sworn their solemn

oath, he said: “Over all that we say, be God the witness and guardian!”

012.067  Further he said: “O my sons! enter not all by one gate: enter ye by different

gates. Not that I can profit you aught against God (with my advice): None can

command except God:  On Him do I put my trust: and let all that trust put their trust

on Him.”

012.068  And when they entered in the manner their father had enjoined, it did not

profit them in the least against (the plan of) God: It was but a necessity of Jacob’s

soul, which he discharged. For he was, by our instruction, full of knowledge (and

experience): but most men know not.

012.069  Now when they came into Joseph’s presence, he received his (full) brother to

stay with him. He said (to him): “Behold! I am thy (own) brother; so grieve not at

aught of their doings.”

012.070  At length when he had furnished them forth with provisions (suitable) for

them, he put the drinking cup into his brother’s saddle-bag. Then shouted out a crier:

“O ye (in) the caravan! behold! ye are thieves, without doubt!”

012.071  They said, turning towards them: “What is it that ye miss?”

012.072  They said: “We miss the great beaker of the king; for him who produces it,

is (the reward of) a camel load; I will be bound by it.”

012.073  (The brothers) said: “By God! well ye know that we came not to make

mischief in the land, and we are no thieves!”

012.074  (The Egyptians) said: “What then shall be the penalty of this, if ye are

(proved) to have lied?”

012.075  They said: “The penalty should be that he in whose saddle-bag it is found,

should be held (as bondman) to atone for the (crime). Thus it is we punish the wrong-


012.076  So he began (the search) with their baggage, before (he came to) the

baggage of his brother: at length he brought it out of his brother’s baggage. Thus did

We plan for Joseph. He could not take his brother by the law of the king except that

God  willed it (so). We raise to degrees (of wisdom) whom We please: but over all

endued with knowledge is one, the All-Knowing.

012.077  They said: “If he steals, there was a brother of his who did steal before

(him).” But these things did Joseph keep locked in his heart, revealing not the secrets

to them. He (simply) said (to himself): “Ye are the worse situated; and God knoweth

best the truth of what ye assert!”

012.078  They said: “O exalted one! Behold! he has a father, aged and venerable,

(who will grieve for him); so take one of us in his place; for we see that thou art

(gracious) in doing good.”

012.079  He said: “God forbid that we take other than him with whom we found our

property: indeed (if we did so), we should be acting wrongfully.

012.080  Now when they saw no hope of his (yielding), they held a conference in

private. The leader among them said: “Know ye not that your father did take an oath

from you in God’s name, and how, before this, ye did fail in your duty with Joseph?

Therefore will I not leave this land until my father permits me, or God commands me;

and He is the best to command.

012.081  “Turn ye back to your father, and say, ‘O our father! behold! thy son

committed theft! we bear witness only to what we know, and we could not well guard

against the unseen!

012.082  “‘Ask at the town where we have been and the caravan in which we returned,

and (you will find) we are indeed telling the truth.'”

012.083  Jacob said: “Nay, but ye have yourselves contrived a story (good enough)

for you. So patience is most fitting (for me). Maybe God will bring them (back) all to

me (in the end). For He is indeed full of knowledge and wisdom.”

012.084  And he turned away from them, and said: “How great is my grief for

Joseph!”  And his eyes became white with sorrow, and he fell into silent melancholy.

012.085  They said: “By God! (never) wilt thou cease to remember Joseph until thou

reach the last extremity of illness, or until thou die!”

012.086  He said: “I only complain of my distraction and anguish to God, and I know

from God that which ye know not…

012.087  “O my sons! go ye and enquire about Joseph and his brother, and never give

up hope of God’s Soothing Mercy: truly no one despairs of God’s Soothing Mercy,

except those who have no faith.”

012.088  Then, when they came (back) into (Joseph’s) presence they said: “O exalted

one! distress has seized us and our family: we have (now) brought but scanty capital:

so pay us full measure, (we pray thee), and treat it as charity to us: for God doth

reward the charitable.”

012.089  He said: “Know ye how ye dealt with Joseph and his brother, not knowing

(what ye were doing)?”

012.090  They said: “Art thou indeed Joseph?” He said, “I am Joseph, and this is my

brother: God has indeed been gracious to us (all): behold, he that is righteous and

patient,- never will God suffer the reward to be lost, of those who do right.”

012.091  They said: “By God! indeed has God preferred thee above us, and we

certainly have been guilty of sin!”

012.092  He said: “This day let no reproach be (cast) on you: God will forgive you,

and He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy!

012.093  “Go with this my shirt, and cast it over the face of my father: he will come to

see (clearly). Then come ye (here) to me together with all your family.”

012.094  When the caravan left (Egypt), their father said: “I do indeed scent the

presence of Joseph: Nay, think me not a dotard.”

012.095  They said: “By God! truly thou art in thine old wandering mind.”

012.096  Then when the bearer of the good news came, He cast (the shirt) over his

face, and he forthwith regained clear sight. He said: “Did I not say to you, ‘I know

from God that which ye know not?'”

012.097  They said: “O our father!  ask for us forgiveness for our sins, for we were

truly at fault.”

012.098  He said: “Soon will I ask my Lord for forgiveness for you: for he is indeed

Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”

012.099  Then when they entered the presence of Joseph, he provided a home for his

parents with himself, and said: “Enter ye Egypt (all) in safety if it please God.”

012.100  And he raised his parents high on the throne (of dignity), and they fell down

in prostration, (all) before him. He said: “O my father! this is the fulfilment of my

vision of old! God hath made it come true! He was indeed good to me when He took

me out of prison and brought you (all here) out of the desert, (even) after Satan had

sown enmity between me and my brothers. Verily my Lord understandeth best the

mysteries of all that He planneth to do, for verily He is full of knowledge and


012.101  “O my Lord! Thou hast indeed bestowed on me some power, and taught me

something of the interpretation of dreams and events,- O Thou Creator of the heavens

and the earth! Thou art my Protector in this world and in the Hereafter. Take Thou my

soul (at death) as one submitting to Thy will (as a Muslim), and unite me with the


012.102  Such is one of the stories of what happened unseen, which We reveal by

inspiration unto thee; nor wast thou (present) with them then when they concerted

their plans together in the process of weaving their plots.