THE AMBIYA OF ALLAH (PART 2) 133 HADHRAT NABI YOOSUF (ALAYHIMUS SALAAM) “We narrate to you the most beautiful of stories in this Qur‟aan which we have revealed to you, and you were unaware of it before this. Remember when Yoosuf said to His father: „O my father! I have seen (in a dream) eleven stars, the sun and the moon prostrating to me. …(Surah Yoosuf) THE AMBIYA OF ALLAH (PART 2) 134 HADHRAT NABI YOOSUF (Alayhis salaam) A Yahudi aalim had heard Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) reciting Surah Yoosuf. Intrigued, the Rabbi asked: „Who taught you this recitation?‟ Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) informed him that it was a Revelation from Allah Ta‟ala. The Rabbi departed and informed the other Yahudis that Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was reciting what has been revealed in the Tauraah. This Rabbi took the group of Yahudis to Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam). From the description mentioned in the Tauraah, the Yahudis recognized that indeed he was the Final Nabi. Then Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) recited Surah Yoosuf. They were astonished, accepted the truth and embraced Islam. Hadhrat Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) was one of the twelve sons of Hadhrat Nabi Ya‟qoob (Alayhis salaam). Bin Yaameen and Hadhrat Yoosuf were from the same mother, Raaheel while the ten other brothers were from another wife of Hadhrat Ya‟qoob (Alayhis salaam). One day Hadhrat Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) during his early childhood narrated to his father that in a dream he saw eleven stars, the sun and the moon prostrating to him. Nabi Ya‟qoob (Alayhis salaam) understood the meaning of the dream. One day, Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) would be elevated to a lofty station and all of them, the parents and the eleven brothers would prostrate to him. Nabi Ya‟qoob THE AMBIYA OF ALLAH (PART 2) 135 (Alayhis salaam) cautioned Hadhrat Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) and warned him not to narrate his dream to his brothers. Hadhrat Ya‟qoob (Alayhis salaam) believed that jealousy would constrain the brothers to harm Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam). Hadhrat Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) is famed for his beauty. He was stupendously handsome. His father‟s love for him was profound. When Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) was five years old, his mother, Raaheel passed away. The death of Raaheel increased the love for Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam), and Nabi Ya‟qoob (Alayhis salaam) became more attached to his little son. He loved Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) considerably more than his other sons. Nabi Yoosuf‟s brother, Bin Yaameen was still an infant of one year when his mother passed away. His maternal aunt, Layyaa took him in her care. One day, his paternal aunt, i.e. the sister of Nabi Ya‟qoob (Alayhis salaam), while visiting saw Nabi Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam). She was overwhelmed with love for the beautiful child, hence she begged Nabi Ya‟qoob (Alayhis salaam) to assign Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) to her care. After considerable discussion, Nabi Ya‟qoob (Alayhis salaam) acceded to her request. Thus, she took Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam), the five year old boy with her. However, this separation was excessively sorrowful for Nabi Ya‟qoob (Alayhis salaam). He would go very often to see Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam). The separation increased his love for his son. Finally he told his sister of his grief and that he wants to take Yoosuf back to live with him. His THE AMBIYA OF ALLAH (PART 2) 136 sister retorted that she has grown so immensely attached to the child that it was impossible for her to release him. Nabi Ya‟qoob (Alayhis salaam) then proposed that Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) should stay one week with her and one week with him. This arrangement was accepted and the first week‟s stay was by his aunt. Although his aunt had accepted the arrangement, her love for the child was so profound that the idea of him being separated from her was unbearable. Therefore, she began scheming ways to retain custody of Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam). In terms of the Shariat of Nabi Ibraaheem (Alayhis salaam) which they followed, if a person is convicted of theft, then he would be assigned to the custody of the owner of the stolen asset. The thief would become his slave. She decided to adopt this stratagem to retain custody of Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam). She had received by way of inheritance, a valuable girdle/belt from her father, Nabi Ishaaq (Alayhis salaam). The day Nabi Ya‟qoob (Alayhis salaam) came to fetch his son, she tied the girdle under the kurtah of the boy. After Nabi Ya‟qoob (Alayhis salaam) left with Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam), she made it known that her valuable girdle was stolen. At the house of Nabi Ya‟qoob (Alayhis salaam) she demanded that everyone be searched. Ultimately, the girdle was found on Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam). Since it was the law of the Shariah, Nabi Ya‟qoob despite his immense grief, did not remonstrate nor attempted in any way to plead with his sister to forgo her right. Thus she took Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) with her. Two years THE AMBIYA OF ALLAH (PART 2) 137 later when she died, Nabi Ya‟qoob (Alayhis salaam) took custody of Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam). The great love Nabi Ya‟qoob (Alayhis salaam) showed for Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) was extremely hurtful for his ten brothers. Their extreme envy developed into malice, and they decided to eliminate Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam). Plotting among themselves, they believed that once Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) is removed from the sight of their father, he will gradually forget him. Then his attention and love would be diverted to them. Initially they plotted to kill Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam). However, one brother, Yahooda, advised against killing him. His advice was to cast the child into a disused well on the main thorough fare where merchant caravans usually passed. In their search for water, they would retrieve him from the well, take him with as a slave. This advice was unanimously accepted. The main hurdle now was: How to get Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) into their clutches? His father never permitted them to take Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) away from him. One day they came to their father and pleaded: “O our father! Why do you not trust us with Yoosuf? We are only his wellwishers. Therefore, send him with us to play and enjoy himself. We shall take good care of him.” Nabi Ya‟qoob: “Him going with you grieves me. I fear that while you are negligent of him, a wolf might devour him.” THE AMBIYA OF ALLAH (PART 2) 138 Nabi Ya‟qoob (Alayhis salaam) had mentioned about a wolf devouring his little son because he had seen in a dream ten wolves attempting to devour Yoosuf while one wolf prevented the others from succeeding. This dream was always worrying for Nabi Ya‟qoob (Alayhis salaam). He interpreted the dream to mean that the brothers would be scheming to harm Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam), hence he was extremely averse to allow them to take Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) with them. Nevertheless, after much persuasion and assurances, they finally convinced their father. Nabi Ya‟qoob (Alayhis salaam) relented and sent Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) with his brothers. Now they had the opportunity to put into operation their dastardly plot. At a distance on the outskirts of the town Kin‟aan, they removed his kurtah, bound his hands and feet, then tied him to the bucket and began lowering him into a disused well. One of the brothers, Yahooda held the rope which he gradually lowered. The eldest brother, Sham‟oon who harboured intense malice, came and cut the rope whilst the bucket was half-way down the well. He did this in the hope of Yoosuf being killed when he struck ground with tremendous force. Once the Malaaikah in the heaven asked Hadhrat Jibraeel (Alayhis salaam) if he had ever found any task imposed on him by Allah Ta‟ala to be difficult. He replied that once a task was indeed difficult for him. The Angels were curious and interested to know what this difficult task was that even this great Angel found it difficult. Hadhrat Jibraeel (Alayhis salaam) said: THE AMBIYA OF ALLAH (PART 2) 139 “I was at Sidratul Muntaha engrossed in Thikrullah, when suddenly came the Command of Allah for me to immediately save Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) from reaching the bottom of the well.” In a fraction of a second Jibraael was constrained to transform himself and to leap from Sidratul Muntaha. A second before touching the bottom of the well, Hadhrat Jibraeel (Alayhis salaam) had him safe and sound on the tip of his wing. He gently placed Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) on a high boulder above the surface of the water. The brothers had stripped Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) of all his clothing. On the command of Allah Ta‟ala, Jibraeel (Alayhis salaam) clad Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) inside the well with a suite of heavenly garments. These garments were the clothes of Nabi Ibraaheem (Alayhis salaam) which he was wearing at the time when he was cast into the fire. Jibraeel (Alayhis salaam) before departing, consoled Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam), advising him not to fear and not to grieve. The child, Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) overcome with fear and grief remained in the well for three or seven days. Allah Ta‟ala revealed to him that one day he (Yoosuf) would remind his brothers of this episode. It was now the time to face their father. What should they say? They schemed and came up with the idea of a wolf having captured and devoured Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam). This was the only plausible cause they could conjecture to explain the absence of Yoosuf. In pursuance of this scheme THE AMBIYA OF ALLAH (PART 2) 140 they soiled the kurtah of Yusuf (Alayhis salaam) with the blood of a goat to convey the impression that it was the blood of Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam). It was night time when they came to their father shedding false tears. They wailed and explained that while they went racing, they left Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) to tend to their goods. Meanwhile, unknown to them a wolf came and devoured Yoosuf. It was an implausible, in fact, an absurd scheme, the falsehood of which was quite obvious to Nabi Ya‟qoob (Alayhis salaam). For lack of any other sensible reason, they were constrained to say just anything even if it was unintelligent. When they presented the blood-stained kurtah as evidence for their contention, Nabi Ya‟qoob (Alayhis salaam) said that the wolf was more intelligent than them because this wolf had „benevolently‟ first removed the kurtah without having ripped it. It had not occurred to the brothers to tear the kurtah before presenting it to their father. The fragrance of Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) was not in the blood, hence he commented that it was „false blood‟. Nabi Ya‟qoob (Alayhis salaam) also added: “Sabr (Patience) is beautiful, and Allah is The One from Whom I seek aid against what you are fabricating.” Hadhrat Ya‟qoob (Alayhis salaam) was smitten and torn with intense grief which caused him to shed tears in profusion for years. Ultimately, due to excessive crying, he became blind. He devoted himself to ibaadat in seclusion. Once when Jibraeel (Alayhis salaam) appeared, Nabi Ya‟qoob (Alayhis salaam) asked him to enquire from THE AMBIYA OF ALLAH (PART 2) 141 Malakul Maut if Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) had already died. After speaking to Malakul Maut, he (Jibraeel) informed Nabi Ya‟qoob (Alayhis salaam) that Yusuf was still alive and safe. This information brought considerable relief and comfort to Hadhrat Ya‟qoob (Alayhis salaam). Nevertheless, the separation was overwhelming and he continued with grief and shedding tears. However, since it was not the command of Allah Ta‟ala, Jibraeel (Alayhis salaam) could not divulge the whereabouts of Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam). It is narrated that the actual reason for the separation and resultant grief was unintentional grief caused by Hadhrat Ya‟qoob (Alayhis salaam) to a hungry Faqeer. One day a hungry Faqeer came to his door asking for food. Nabi Ya‟qoob (Alayhis salaam) told him to wait. The food will be brought to him. Meanwhile, Hadhrat Ya‟qoob (Alayhis salaam) became involved in some activity and he completely forgot about the Faqeer. After a lengthy wait, the Faqeer left without having been fed. In consequence of this act, Nabi Ya‟qoob (Alayhis salaam) had to suffer many years of heartache and grief. Feeding that Faqeer would have had the effect of remaining in Ibaadat for 40 days. It would have resulted in immense spiritual power. Having been deprived of the dua of the Faqeer, the consequence was many years of suffering, heartache and grief. When this reality was revealed to Nabi Ya‟qoob (Alayhis salaam), he supplicated to Allah Ta‟ala, saying: „O Allah! You are Raheem, Kareem and Aalimul Ghaib. I had committed the error unintentionally.” Jibraeel (Alayhis salaam) appeared and THE AMBIYA OF ALLAH (PART 2) 142 said: “O Ya‟qoob! The grief you are suffering is due to having unintentionally erred. If the omission was intentional, the suffering would have doubled.” This is the will and decree of Allah Ta‟ala. No one has any right to comment adversely. Meanwhile, by the decree of Allah Ta‟ala, a merchant caravan passed near to the well. The caravan was journeying from Madyan to Misr and lost the way, hence followed the route which led to the well. The well was disused and far from any settlement. The little water inside was bitter and brak and there were snakes and scorpions in the well. However, with the arrival of Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) in the well, the water became sweet and the snakes and scorpions disappeared. The leader of the caravan, Maalik Bin Zaghar sent his slave Bishr Anaam to the well for water. He cast his bucket inside. At the bottom, Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) took hold of the bucket and he was pulled up to the surface. The slave was astonished and also pleasantly surprised to observe the extreme beauty of Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam). Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had mentioned that Allah Ta‟ala had divided Beauty which was created for humans, into two parts. One part was awarded to Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) and the other part was distributed to the entire mankind. This gives an idea of the stupendous beauty and handsomeness of Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam). Bishr exclaimed in astonishment: “What great fortune! This is a lad.” He hastened with his “Good Fortune” to the caravan. THE AMBIYA OF ALLAH (PART 2) 143 Astounded by the handsomeness of Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) they asked him: “Who are you? Are you a human being or an angel or what?” Meanwhile the brothers of Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) were in the vicinity close by. They would come daily to observe developments if a caravan arrived at this location. When they heard the commotion in the caravan, they came and said that he was their slave who had fled. He fled and fell in this well. Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) remained silent fearing that his brutal brother, Sham‟oon, would kill him if he spoke. They sold Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) to Maalik Bin Zaghar for a paltry price of 18 dirhams. Since their objective was only to get rid of Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) in the hope of their father forgetting about him and diverting his attention and love towards them, they did not hassle regarding the paltry price. The caravan moved on towards Egypt. One of the travellers in the caravan gave Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) an extremely painful slap in the face. Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) turning his face to the heaven supplicated to Allah Ta‟ala against these oppressors. Soon thereafter the caravan was caught in a terrible storm. Thunder and lightning struck. The people of the caravan were convinced of their impending destruction. They accused Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) of being the cause for Divine Wrath. Due to his sins they were now being punished. The one who had slapped him then said: “In fact I am the cause for this disaster. When I slapped him, he looked to the heavens and was saying something.” THE AMBIYA OF ALLAH (PART 2) 144 The people of the caravan went to Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) profusely apologising and seeking forgiveness. They asked him to supplicate for their safety. He forgave them and made dua. As he made dua, the storm abated. When the caravan reached Misr (Egypt) the news spread quickly that Maalik Bin Zaghar had with him a slave lad of incomparable beauty. He had no one to vie with him in this regard. All the traders came flocking to Maalik Bin Zaghar. They found Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) more handsome than what they had heard. When the caravan reached Misr, Maalik Bin Zaghar clad Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) in beautiful garments and had the sale of Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) well-advertised. Traders and others were present in large numbers. The Azeez (Viceroy) of Misr was also present. Ultimately Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) was auctioned. Only the Azeez could afford paying the excessively huge price. The price consisted of gold, the weight of Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam), musk of equal weight, silk cloth of the same weight, etc. Thus, in accord with the Plan of Allah Ta‟ala the most honoured personality in Egypt, the Azeez, purchased Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam). The Azeez brought Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) to his palace where he handed the boy over to his wife Zulaikha with the instruction to take well care of him. The Azeez had taken him as a son. From the appearance and demeanour of Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam), the Azeez had great hopes for the future. She was not to treat him as a slave. He was childless. THE AMBIYA OF ALLAH (PART 2) 145 The name of the Azeez was Qitfeer who was the viceroy of the king of Misr whose name was Rayyaan. He was from the Amaaliqah nation. In later life he had embraced Islam at the hands of Nabi Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam). The king died during the lifetime of Nabi Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam). On setting eyes on Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) who was still a young lad, Zulaikha fell madly in love with him. She always had him in her company and tended to him most lovingly. After seven long years in which she languished in this state of emotional suffering, when Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) reached his manhood, Zulaikha set into motion her plan to seduce him and commit adultery. However, Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) overcome with fear would rebuff every seductive proposal. Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) used to spend most of the time in the orchard of the palace. He would engage in Salaat, Thikrullaah and profuse crying. This was his practice even prior to having attained buloogh (the age of puberty). After attaining buloogh, Zulaikha began her wiles of seduction. She made her best endeavours to lure and ensnare him into her trap of zina, but by the fadhl of Allah Ta‟ala, Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) would flee from the palace and take refuge outside in the orchard where he would engross himself in Thikrullah. When all her womanish wiles of seduction failed, her grief intensified and it affected her health. She became pale and sorrowful. An old lady, a nurse who usually visited her observed this change in Zulaikha. She asked her and THE AMBIYA OF ALLAH (PART 2) 146 Zulaikha finally confided in her the profound love of decades she had for Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam), but he was stone-hearted and rebuffed her. This old lady then advised Zulaikha to prepare by decorating and adorning her chamber for maximum allurement. A zina atmosphere should be created in Zulaikha‟s private chamber. Taking the advice of the old nurse, Zulaikha spared no expense to decorate and lavishly adorn the room to entrap her beloved. On the day she had set in motion her scheme which she was determined must succeed on this occasion, she had Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) in this room. Seven chambers had to be traversed to gain entry into this room which had been converted into a festival of colour, fragrance and shaitaaniyat. She also beautified herself as she never had before. She had pulled out all stops of nafsaaniyat and shaitaaniyat to ensure that this time her objective would be attained. Each of the seven chambers leading to the last room of contemplated zina was securely locked to ensure that he would not be able to flee and seek refuge in the orchard. She ordered him to enter the first room. Upon entry, she locked the room. The same procedure was adopted after entering each of the other rooms. When Zulaikha could no longer tolerate his rebuffs, then she embarked on this elaborate conspiracy of seduction to fulfil her lust. She had locked all the doors of the seven chambers in the palace. She had Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) with her in the last room of the palace. He was now in the vortex of a satanic snare of moral and spiritual destruction. THE AMBIYA OF ALLAH (PART 2) 147 The scenario was a stupendous trial for Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam). Here he was in complete privacy with an extremely beautiful woman of high rank. She was like his owner. He was her subordinate. She reared and lovingly cared for him for years from his childhood. She had adorned the room to increase the power of her seduction. Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) was not an impotent man. He was a physically perfect human being with perfect human instincts. Despite the natural demands of the nafs, there never was intent to sin. Zulaikha covered an idol in the room with a cloth. When Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) asked her why she was covering the idol, she explained that she did not want her god, the idol she worshipped, to see her sinning. He said: “You are ashamed of a lifeless idol. How is it possible for me to sin in front of Allah Who is seeing me at all times?” Allah Ta‟ala fortified Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) in that dungeon of sin in several ways. This fortification is mentioned in the Qur‟aan Majeed as the “Burhaan of his Rabb” (the clear evidence). As Zulaikha made her advance to grab Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam), he suddenly saw the vision of his father, Ya‟qoob (Alayhis salaam) staring admonishingly at him. As he looked towards the ceiling, he saw miraculously the Qur‟aanic Aayat: “Do not come near to zina.” Then he suddenly saw a man exclaiming: “O Yusuf! Look on your right side.” He looked and saw a huge serpent. The man said: “Tomorrow this serpent will be in the stomach of the fornicater.” THE AMBIYA OF ALLAH (PART 2) 148 Thus, even the natural instinct dissipated, and Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) turned and fled towards the locked door with Zulaikha in pursuit. As he reached the door, she grabbed the back of his kurtah and it was torn. However, the lock and the door miraculously opened and he made his exit, racing through the next chamber with Zulaikha in pursuit. Without slackening his flight, he ran to the door which he found open. In this manner both exited the seven chambers. Meanwhile just before the two had reached the last room, racing to the door, Yusuf (Alayhis salaam) with the intention of fleeing from her clutches, and Zulaikhah with the intention of apprehending him before he reached the door, the Azeez had arrived. He was perplexed to find the door locked as this was abnormal. At that very moment the door miraculously opened and he found the two. He saw them both in a deplorable state. Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) with kurtah torn, without his headgear and with dishevelled hair while Zulaikha was in a state of undress. The initial thoughts of the Azeez were that Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) was attempting to molest his wife who was fighting him off, hence her semi-nude state. The sight of her husband sent shivers down her spine and she panicked. Overwhelmed by panic and fear, she desperately tried to absolve herself of any evil, hence she accused Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) of having attempted to sexually molest her. She said to the Azeez: “He must be imprisoned or severely punished.” THE AMBIYA OF ALLAH (PART 2) 149 Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam), also fearing and grieving at what had happened and what would now be the outcome, vigorously protested his innocence. He said that Zulaikha had planned to seduce him and now she was falsely accusing him. However, the circumstances were such as to induce the Azeez to incline towards the version of his wife. Nevertheless, he said to himself that since the arrival of Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam), never did he commit any act of dishonesty or any misdemeanour. The Azeez was truly perplexed and in a quandary. At that moment came the aid of Allah Ta‟ala. There was a six month old infant in a cot nearby. This infant was related to Zulaikha. Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam), pointing towards the baby said that the infant will testify. When the Azeez indignantly rejected what appeared ludicrous to him, suddenly the six month baby spoke eloquently: “If his qamees (kurtah) is torn in front, then he is a liar. If it is torn at the back, then she is lying and he is from among the truthful ones.” The Azeez was astonished. The infant testifying was indeed sure evidence miraculously presented for confirming the innocence of Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam). Seeing that the qamees was torn at the back, the Azeez said to Zulaikha: “This is certainly from the wiles of you women. Indeed your plot is massive. O Yoosuf! Overlook this, and (O woman!) seek forgiveness for your sin. Verily you are among the sinners.” THE AMBIYA OF ALLAH (PART 2) 150 The Azeez then resolved to kill Zulaikha and to imprison Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam). As he was formulating this plan in his mind, the infant spoke: “What you are contemplating is most unbefitting of men of intelligence. If you proceed with your plan, you will be disgraced in front of humanity.” Banishing the thought from his mind, the Azeez said to Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam): “Forget about this issue.” He admonished his wife. He forgave her. He ordered her to repent. While this episode was transpiring, Jibraeel (Alayhis salaam) was present. When the Azeez left and the dust had settled, Jibraeel (Alayhis salaam) said: “O Yoosuf! Why did you expose her? She had claimed that she loved you. It is improper for men of intelligence and sagacity to expose the secrets of their beloved. A friend has to bear hardship for the sake of his friend.” Was he then to have remained silent and suffer the terrible consequences? If he accepted guilt by means of silence, despite his innocence, the consequence would most certainly had been death. He would have been executed. Yes, this is the demand of Love. Love makes irrational demands. Added to this was the fact that the one who was so madly in love with him was the woman who had lovingly cared for him since his childhood. She was his „owner‟. He was bought by her husband as a „slave‟. She nourished and fed him. She had left no stone unturned to ensure his comfort in her home. She had accused him in a state of panic. THE AMBIYA OF ALLAH (PART 2) 151 With this reality silhouetted in the background, Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) would have naturally and willingly suffered the consequences for her sake. He would have detested her being disgraced on the basis of his innocence. However, since Allah Ta‟ala had another Scheme for Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam), He (Allah Ta‟ala) constrained him to acquit himself as he had. In a similar way did Allah Ta‟ala decree the expulsion of Hadhrat Aadam (Alayhis salaam) from Jannat. Since it was the Divine Plan to create humanity on earth, Allah Ta‟ala devised this Scheme. It could be argued, that it was within the power of Allah Ta‟ala to have sent Aadam (Alayhis salaam) to earth in pomp and style befitting his status. In fact, even the lifeless statue of Aadam (Alayhis salaam) was honoured by the Malaaikah. The response to this is that no one has the right to question the decrees of Allah Azza Wa Jal. No one can fathom His Wisdom and Mysteries. He does as He wills. And that is the Final Word which every Mu‟min understands and accepts. The news of this episode somehow leaked out and reached the people of the town. There were five women in the palace attending to the services of Zulaikha. They spread the information of this love saga in which Zulaikha was trapped. The people expressed disgust and gossiped about Zulaikha. They said that her blind love for the slave had deranged her intelligence. When she was informed of all the gossip about her, she schemed a plan. She invited the ladies to her home. When they arrived, they were comfortably seated in the spacious lounge. Fruit was served and with it they were given knives to cut the fruit. THE AMBIYA OF ALLAH (PART 2) 152 At that very juncture while the women were cutting the fruit, Zulaikha summoned Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) and ordered him to enter the lounge. When he entered, all eyes fell on him. They were absolutely dumbfounded and overwhelmed by the stupendous beauty of Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam). So engrossed and enraptured were they by staring at him that they cut their hands and exclaimed: “He is an angel. He is not human.” Zulaikha spoke: “This is the one about whom you were reviling me.” Although she had in the state of panic accused Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) when her husband discovered them, now her love for Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) constrained her to declare his innocence. Thus she said: “Indeed I had attempted to seduce him, but he remained pure.” The women acknowledged that they had wronged her with their gossip. After having seen Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam), they better understood her desperate endeavours to seduce him. All the women present were captivated by the extreme and wonderful beauty of Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam). All of them fell madly in love with this most handsome „Angel‟. After the women left, Zulaikhah was deep in reflection. Her grief intensified. She said to herself: “I have indeed acted with stupid impulse. I have advertised my beloved. Never should I have exposed my secret to these women.” By the day her sadness increased. She was unable to restrain her grief and spent hours crying. Despite her renewed attempts and effort to seduce Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam), by the grace and protection of Allah Ta‟ala he THE AMBIYA OF ALLAH (PART 2) 153 held his head high with honour. He maintained the purity of his body, heart and mind. He thus rebuffed every seductive move of Zulaikha and frequently would he flee to the orchard of the palace where he would engross himself in the Remembrance of his True Beloved, Allah Azza Wa Jal. Zulaikha, pining away attributed his rebuffs and attitude to stone-heartedness. After all, she was an idolatress, hence incapable of understanding his stance of honour and purity which were the effects of Taqwa (Fear for Allah Ta‟ala). Minus taqwa, no man can ever succeed to maintain honour and purity of mind and heart in such a furnace of blazing love and passion ignited by Zulaikha who was a woman of profound beauty and elegance. However, her insane love for him and his rebuffs induced her to brazenly threaten: “If he does not do as I command him, then certainly he shall be imprisoned and be among the humiliated ones.” Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) responded with a Dua to Allah Ta‟ala: “O my Rabb! Prison is more beloved to me than that (evil) to which they are inviting me. If you do not divert from me their plot, I shall incline to them and become of the ignorant ones.” Meanwhile the Azeez was cast into considerable worry and concern. The gossip in the city increased, and this came to the ears of the Azeez for whom it was highly embarrassing. Zulaikha‟s mad love no longer was a secret. The Azeez had witnessed it himself. He knew that she was THE AMBIYA OF ALLAH (PART 2) 154 guilty of seducing Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam). He observed her pining away for him. If it had not been for the miraculous intervention of the six month baby who was the child of Zulaikha‟s maternal aunt, the Azeez would have killed her and possibly Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) as well to end this heart-breaking saga of love in which his wife had so treacherously betrayed him. However, sagacity had the upperhand. The Azeez acquitted himself intelligently. He broached this matter with Zulaikha. He convinced her that the best course of action now was to send Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) to prison. This episode which was the topic all over the city, and even in the country, would gradually recede into oblivion. With the agreement of Zulaikha, Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) was sent to prison where he languished for many years. The primary reason for imprisoning Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) was to proclaim that Zulaikha was „innocent‟, and it was the „slave‟ who had attacked her. After all, she was the wife of the ruler of the country. It was therefore essential to maintain the honour and dignity of the ruling family, especially of the wife of the Azeez regardless of her guilt. There are two versions regarding the manner in which Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) was sent off to prison. According to one narrative, he was sent in utter disgrace. The other version is that Zulaikha had ensured every comfort for him in jail. She had issued instructions to the jail-keepers regarding the treatment of Yoosuf (Akayhis salaam). And, Allah knows best. THE AMBIYA OF ALLAH (PART 2) 155 The Azeez had three types of prisons: The Prison of Torture, the Prison of Death and the Prison of Reformation. The first two were underground dungeons, the first being deeper underground wherein dwelled snakes and scorpions. It was not possible to distinguish between night and day in these dungeons. Prisoners who were assigned to these dungeons remained there until death claimed them. The third prison was on ground level. This prison was in close proximity to the palace. It was reserved for associates, officials, noblemen and the like who had annoyed the Azeez. When Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) was about to be taken to this prison, Zulaikah said to him: “I am assigning you to those who will torture you just as you had tortured me. You will be clad with such garments which will devour your skin, and you will be fettered with steel chains.” When Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) entered the prison, the inmates came and surrounded him. He started to cry. Hadhrat Jibraeel (Alayhis salaam) arrived and said: “What causes you to cry? You, yourself had supplicated and selected prison?” Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam): “My crying is because in this prison I see no pure place for performing Salaat.” Jibraeel: “Perform Salaat wherever you desire. Allah Ta‟ala has purified for you 40 cubits (20 metres) of space wherever you will perform Salaat whether inside or outside prison.” THE AMBIYA OF ALLAH (PART 2) 156 Wherever Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) would be, 40 cubits of ground would become miraculously taahir (pure and clean) to enable him to perform Salaat. Coincidentally, two others were also admitted as prisoners at the same time. These two were in the service of the king Rayyaan. The one was the king‟s wine-server. He would serve wine to the king. The other one was the baker who would bake the king‟s bread. Opponents of the king had plotted to assassinate him. The plotters had bribed these two servants to poison the king‟s wine and bread. However, before the plot was executed, the wine-bearer reneged and abandoned the idea of poisoning the wine. He also informed the king about the plot. Subsequently, when the wine and bread were presented to the king, he instructed the wine-bearer to first drink from the wine. He unhesitatingly obeyed and drank from the wine. Meanwhile, the baker had also warned the king about the plot. He advised the king not to drink from the wine although he (the baker) had already poisoned the bread. When the king instructed the baker to eat of the bread, he refused. The bread was given to an animal. The animal ate the bread and died. The king ordered both to be imprisoned, pending investigation. The inmates of the prison as well as the jailer had immediately understood that Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) was not a criminal. They believed him to be an uprighteous, god-fearing man. They were wonderstruck by his beauty. THE AMBIYA OF ALLAH (PART 2) 157 The jailer said that if he had the authority he would set Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) free. The two servants of the king had seen dreams. Both came to Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) asking him for interpretations. Explaining his dream, the wine-server said: “I see myself (in the dream) squeezing grapes.” The baker said: “I see myself carrying bread on my head from which birds were eating.” Before presenting the interpretation of the dreams, Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) presented the Deen of Tauhid to them. Thereafter he said to the wine-server whose release was anticipated, that he should mention him (Yoosuf) to the king and explain how he was unjustly imprisoned despite his innocence. Soon the wine-server was released and was again employed by the king while the baker was hung and killed. Vultures devoured his body. However, the wine-server completely forgot about Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam). Since this was in the Scheme of Allah Ta‟ala, Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) languished for a number of years in prison. Allah Ta‟ala had induced this forgetfulness in the wine-server. After Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) had requested this person to mention him to the king, Jibraeel arrived and said to Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam): “Allah Ta‟ala conveys His Salaam to you, and He said: „What has induced you to seek aid from someone other than Me? By My Honour! I shall detain you in prison for some years.” THE AMBIYA OF ALLAH (PART 2) 158 Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) said: “O Jibraeel! Is Allah pleased with me?” Jibraeel (Alayhis salaam): “Yes, He is pleased with you.” Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam): “Then, I am not concerned.” In other words, “If Allah Ta‟ala is pleased with me, then I am pleased with His decree of detaining me in prison for years.” Maalik Bin Dinaar (Rahmatullah alayhi) narrated: “When Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) said to the wine-server: „Mention me to your master (the king)‟, Allah Ta‟ala said: „O Yoosuf! You have taken besides Me a helper. I shall certainly extend your imprisonment.” Then Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) cried and said: „O my Rabb! Abundance of grief and calamity have hardened my heart. I therefore made an inappropriate statement. I shall not again repeat it.” After Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) was years in prison, the king of Egypt had a dream in which he saw seven fat cows being devoured by seven lean cows, and seven ears of fresh corn and some others which are dry. The king summoned his ministers and advisors for interpreting the dream which he had seen on three consecutive nights. The advisors dismissed the dreams. They said: “These are meaningless confused dreams for which there is no interpretation.” Meanwhile, the wine-server who was in prison with Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) was also present. At this moment Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) came to mind. He recalled the THE AMBIYA OF ALLAH (PART 2) 159 correct meaning for their dreams Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) had given. He requested permission to go to the prison for the interpretation of the dream by Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam). When he met Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam), he said: “O Yoosuf! O Most Truthful One! Inform us of the meaning of a dream….” After he had narrated the dream, Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) without any hesitation, and without remonstrating with the man who had forgotten his promise, presented the interpretation. He said that the people will harvest abundant crops for seven consecutive years. Then will follow seven years of drought. He further advised them to leave all excess crops, not to harvest them. They should take only what they required. Then will follow seven years of drought and famine. Whatever had been stored would be depleted during the drought. Thereafter will follow a year in which the rain will be abundant and the crop yield will also be abundant. The king was awed and relieved when he heard this interpretation. He realized that Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) was a virtuous man of knowledge. He desired to meet him. A messenger was sent to the prison to bring Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) to the king. However, when the messenger informed him of his release ordered by the king, he (Yoosuf) refused to accompany the messenger. He wanted the king to ascertain the reality from the women who were the cause of his imprisonment. THE AMBIYA OF ALLAH (PART 2) 160 He said to the messenger: “Return to your master and ask him about the condition of the women who had cut their hands. Verily, my Rabb is well aware of their plot.” He did not mention Zulaikha. After all, she was his benefactor who had affectionately taken care of him since his childhood days. He did not want to brazenly impugn her honour and rank. The king summoned the women and interrogated them on this issue. All the women declared the innocence of Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam). Taking an oath by Allah, they said: “We are not aware of any evil in him.” Finally, Zulaikha who was also present, spoke: “Now, the truth has become manifest. It was I who had struggled to seduce him. Verily, he is among the truthful ones.” After all, she loved him sincerely. The love for Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) was still aflame in her heart. Even during his years of imprisonment, Zulaikha pined away. She never could cease crying. She ensured that daily the best food was delivered to him in prison. But now she was an old woman, and she was determined to defend her beloved one, hence she proclaimed the innocence of Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) and pleaded guilty. Thus, Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) was thoroughly exonerated. Zulaikha said to the king: “O king! There is no need to interrogate these ladies. I am responsible for whatever has happened. I had caused an innocent man to be sent to prison. There is no need for evidence, because I am making this confession. This sin was committed by me. THE AMBIYA OF ALLAH (PART 2) 161 My love for Yoosuf had rendered me restless and reckless. Now you may punish me as you deem fit.” Zulaikha broke down sobbing profusely. All those who were present witnessing this heart-breaking scenario were astonished and they too shed tears. The Azeez who was present felt highly embarrassed by his wife‟s public declaration of her deep love for Yoosuf. He dissociated himself from her. After languishing in extreme grief for a few days, the Azeez died. When this episode of his exoneration was conveyed to him, Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) said that the only reason for insisting that he be exonerated was to emphasize to the Azeez that he had not betrayed him. He further clarified that his desire for exoneration was not to claim piety because: “Verily the nafs is a great commander of evil.” This conveys the wonderful attitude of humility of Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam). The king was even more impressed with Yoosuf after having met and discussed with him. The king appointed Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) to be the finance minister. The treasures of the entire country came under his control. He was given wide powers to administer the funds in whatsoever manner he deemed appropriate. The king had gained implicit confidence in the honesty, integrity and uprighteousness of Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam). The king had first proposed the post of wazaarat (being the prime minister or viceroy) which was the post occupied by the Azeez. However, Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) declined THE AMBIYA OF ALLAH (PART 2) 162 this offer. He considered it disgraceful to be instrumental in displacing the Azeez who was his benefactor and who had taken so much care for him. After a year, the king‟s confidence and admiration for Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) had grown considerably more. The king thus placed his crown on the head of Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam). He removed his sword from his waist and tied it to Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) symbolizing that he (Yusuf) was now the virtual king of Egypt. He awarded his beautiful throne which was encrusted with precious stones, to Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam). The affairs of the state all devolved on Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam). The seven years of abundance passed and the seven years of famine commenced. From all parts of the country and even neighbouring countries people flocked to Egypt for grain. With great generosity and kindness Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) arranged the distribution of grain to the suffering people. The drought and famine had spread their tentacles to the lands surrounding Egypt. The people of Palestine where Nabi Ya‟qoob (Alayhis salaam) and his sons also resided, were also suffering. He advised his ten sons to go to Egypt for grain. He did not allow them to take Bin Yaameen with them. When the caravan of the brothers had entered Egypt, Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) was informed of the approach of a caravan from Kin‟aan. He instructed his men to bring them to him. Finally they were face to face with Yoosuf THE AMBIYA OF ALLAH (PART 2) 163 (Alayhis salaam). From the time they had cast Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) in the well, forty years had passed. He was seven years old at that time. Now after forty years, dressed in royal attire, sitting on the throne, the virtual king of Egypt, the brothers did not recognize him. However, he immediately recognized them. His interrogation of them was as follows: Yusuf: “You are not inhabitants of Misr. You also speak the Ibraani language. Why have you come here? Brothers: “There is a severe famine in our land. We have heard much praise about your generosity. We have therefore come to receive grain from you. Yusuf: “How do we know if you are speaking the truth? Perhaps you are spies for the enemy?” Brothers: “We seek refuge with Allah! It is never so. We are the sons of Ya‟qoob, the Messenger of Allah. He lives in Kin‟aan. Yusuf: “Does your father have other children besides you?” Brothers: “We were twelve brothers. The small brother was lost in the forest. Our father loved him the most. After the disappearance of this brother, our father‟s love intensified for the youngest one who was the real brother of the lost one. It is for this reason that he has not sent him with us on this journey.” After this interrogation, Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) instructed that they be treated as royal guests. Elaborate arrangements for their stay were made. Before terminating the interrogation, Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) said that it appears to him that they were spies THE AMBIYA OF ALLAH (PART 2) 164 with evil intent. To prove that they were honest and had spoken the truth, they should bring Bin Yaameen with when they come again, and if they failed, they should not again come near to him nor will there be any grain for them. The presence of their brother would authenticate their story. They promised to convince their father to allow Bin Yaameen to come with them on the next journey. Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) instructed his workers to give each one a camel‟s load of grain, and an extra load as well for the other brother who was absent. He also instructed his men to place the money they had paid for the grain in their luggage (the grain) without them knowing. This was a stratagem to ensure their return with his brother, Bin Yaameen. Then the caravan departed for home. It is interesting and also surprising that Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) had adopted silence for 40 years despite the ability to have informed his father of his safety and whereabouts. However, neither did he make an attempt to go to Kin‟aan to visit and comfort his father nor did he even send a messenger with a letter to inform his father although this was quite a simple matter for him, especially after his honourable release from prison and ascending the throne to become the virtual king of the land. So why did he adopt such a long silence of many decades? By means of Wahi Allah Ta‟ala had instructed this silence. He was not permitted by Allah Ta‟ala to give practical expression of his heart‟s desire to inform and meet his THE AMBIYA OF ALLAH (PART 2) 165 father. It is also narrated that after the unification with his father and family, this question was put to him. He showed them a box full of letters which he had written to his father over the years. Each time when he had resolved to send a letter, Jibraeel (Alayhis salaam) would arrive and say that the time has not yet arrived to reveal himself. When they met their father, Nabi Ya‟qoob (Alayhis salaam), they explained what had transpired and that if he refused to send Bin Yaameen with them, they would not be allowed access to the king, and they would be denied any grain. However, Hadhrat Ya‟qoob (Alayhis salaam) said that he could not trust them with Bin Yaameen. They should recall what they had done with Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam). After the bales were opened, to their surprise they discovered that their money was returned. They informed their father. They made promises of protecting Bin Yaameen and persuaded him to allow Bin Yaameen to accompany them. Finally, Nabi Ya‟qoob (Alayhis salaam) relented. He said that he will send Bin Yaameen with them only if they give him a solemn oath in the Name of Allah Ta‟ala that they will return him safely. They made the solemn pledge demanded by their father. As they departed, Ya‟qoob (Alayhis salaam) instructed them not to enter the city all together from one gate. They should split into small groups and enter from different gates. He believed that a group of eleven foreigners entering would attract attention. It could lead to misgivings THE AMBIYA OF ALLAH (PART 2) 166 and suspicion. However, he added that Allah Ta‟ala is the Final Arbiter, and only His decree would prevail. They finally reached Egypt and acted as instructed by their father. Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) assigned a room for two brothers. So Bin Yaameen, the eleventh one, was alone. Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) informed them that Bin Yaameen would be with him. When they were alone, Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) before revealing his identity engaged Bin Yaameen in conversation. He asked Bin Yaameen: “Are your married?” Bin Yaameen: “Yes, and I have ten children. I was first bestowed with three sons. Yoosuf: “What are their names?” Bin Yaameen: I named the first one Thi‟b (Wolf). Yoosuf: “You are the son of a Nabi. How could you call your son a wild animal?” Bin Yaameen: My brothers believed that my brother was devoured by a wolf. I therefore, named my son with this name to remind me of my brother, and his memory would reduce me to tears.” Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) cried and asked: “What is the name of the second one? Bin Yaameen: “Dumm (Blood). My brothers had brought the blood-stained qamees of my brother. I therefore named my son Blood to remind myself of him and I would cry.” Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) again cried, and asked the name of the third son. Bin Yaameen: “I named the third one Yoosuf. This constantly reminded me of my brother Yoosuf and reduce me to tears.” THE AMBIYA OF ALLAH (PART 2) 167 Yoosuf cried much and said to himself: “O My Allah! If this is the condition of the grief of my brother, what must be the condition on my aged father Ya‟qoob. O Allah! Unite us before our departure from this world.” Then Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) said to Bin Yaameen: “Do you love me to be your brother as a substitute for your dead brother?” Bin Yaameen: “Who can find such a noble brother such as you? But, Ya‟qoob and Raaheel did not give birth to you.” Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) sobbed much, then stood up, embraced Bin Yaameen and said: “I am your brother, Yoosuf.” Just before this episode while Bin Yaameen was having meals with Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam), he (Yoosuf) observed that his brother was frequently casting long glances at him. When he asked the reason for his many glances, Bin Yaameen said: “I had a brother whom a wolf had devoured. He resembled you.” He entertained the brothers for three days with utmost affection and great hospitality. Their camels were loaded with grain. He instructed one of his workers to conceal a valuable mug crusted with precious stones in the luggage of Bin Yaameen. This was the plan of Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) to detain Bin Yaameen who was made aware by Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam). After the caravan had departed, one of the workers proclaimed: “O you people of the caravan! You are thieves.” THE AMBIYA OF ALLAH (PART 2) 168 Shocked and dismayed, the brothers asked: “What are you missing? We are not thieves.” The workers said that the valuable mug of the king is missing and they suspected that one of the brothers had stolen it. They were asked: “What is the penalty for the one who had stolen the mug.” They explained that in terms of their Shariat, the thief will be assigned to the custody of the owner and be enslaved. Then the search of the caravan began. Initially, the luggage of the brothers was searched. Ultimately, the mug was extracted from the luggage of Bin Yaameen. Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) announced that Bin Yaameen would be detained as they themselves had stated. Now, fearful of their father‟s reaction and also highly embarrassed by the „theft‟ attributed to their brother, they began pleading with Yoosuf. They mentioned their aged, ailing, blind father who would now die of grief at the loss of Bin Yaameen. They offered one of themselves to be apprehended and taken in substitution of Bin Yaameen. The king (Yoosuf – Alayhis salaam) rejected this proposal saying that it would be unjust. The „criminal‟ himself had to suffer the consequences of his misdeed. Losing all hope in securing the release of Bin Yaameen, the brothers discussed among themselves. What should they do now? How will they face their father? The eldest of the brothers decided to remain behind. He said that he would remain in Egypt until his father permits his return or until Allah Ta‟ala resolves the matter with His decree. He advised them to tell their father to verify the truth of their THE AMBIYA OF ALLAH (PART 2) 169 story by asking the people of the town where they had been and also to ask the people of the caravan. They were aware of what had happened regarding the theft of the king‟s mug. In the Qur‟aan Majeed, Allah Ta‟ala says regarding this episode of „detaining‟ Bin Yaameen: “So did We plan (this issue) for Yusuf.” Thus, whatever had transpired was by the decree of Allah Ta‟ala. No one can fathom the Wisdom and Mysteries of Allah Ta‟ala. When they reached home and informed Nabi Ya‟qoob (Alayhis salaam) of the situation, he was beyond himself with grief. Adopting extreme patience, he said: “In fact, your nafs has adorned this matter for you (that is, you have fabricated this story). However, Sabr is Beautiful. Perhaps soon Allah will bring them all.” Then Ya‟qoob (Alayhis salaam), torn with grief, turned away from them, crying and sobbing. His sorrow knew no bounds. He added: “Verily, I divert my complaint and my grief to Allah. And, I know from Allah what you know not.” Ya‟qoob (Alayhis salaam) was convinced that this entire episode of grief was a trial imposed on him by Allah Ta‟ala. He was convinced that the dream which Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) had seen during his childhood had yet to materialize. Jibraeel (Alayhis salaam) had also informed him that Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) was alive, but he did not reveal the whereabouts of Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam). Wahi from Allah Ta‟ala had in some way assured him of the THE AMBIYA OF ALLAH (PART 2) 170 safety of Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam), hence his comment: “And, I know from Allah what you know not.” After some time, Hadhrat Ya‟qoob (Alayhis salaam) instructed his sons to go in search of Yoosuf and Bin Yaameen. He said: “O my sons! Go search for Yoosuf and his brother, and do not become despondent. Indeed, only the nation of kaafireen loses hope of the mercy of Allah.” The sons set off to Egypt. When they arrived in Egypt, they went to the palace to meet Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam). Addressing him, they said: “O Azeez! Hardship has befallen us and our families, and we have come to you with a paltry sum (of money). Grant us full measure (of grain) and be charitable to us. Verily, Allah rewards the charitable ones.” Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) decided that it was now the moment to reveal himself. Thus, dropping the bombshell, he said: “Do you know what you had done to Yoosuf and his brother when you were ignorant?” They were absolutely shocked and dumbfounded. They could not believe what was now transpiring. They exclaimed: What! Are you Yoosuf? He responded: “I am Yoosuf and this is my brother. Allah has indeed favoured us. Whoever adopts taqwa and sabr, verily, Allah does not destroy the reward of those who do good.” Humbled, smitten by shame, regret and repentant, the brothers with gazes lowered, said: “By Allah! Verily, Allah has preferred (and elevated) you above us, and surely we were the wrong doers.” Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam), THE AMBIYA OF ALLAH (PART 2) 171 comforting his brothers, said: “There shall be no reproach for you today. May Allah forgive you, for He is the Most Merciful One.” Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) made lavish arrangements for them. The brothers were amazed at the hospitality he showed them despite what they had done to him. After several days, all their camels were loaded with grain and with a great variety of goods. He gave them his qamees (kurtah) instructing them to cast it over the face of Hadhrat Ya‟qoob (Alayhis salaam). His vision would then return. As the caravan left the precincts of Egypt, Hadhrat Ya‟qoob (Alayhis salaam) said to the folk in the house: “I perceive the fragrance of Yoosuf.” They said that he was being senile. However, when the brothers arrived, Yahuda cast the qamees on his fathers face. To everyone‟s astonishment, Hadhrat Ya‟qoob (Alayhis salaam) regained his vision. He then said: “Did I not tell you that I know from Allah what you know not?” When the brothers had left Egypt, Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) had told them to bring all their families to settle in Egypt. Thus, Hadhrat Ya‟qoob (Alayhis salaam) and the eleven families of the eleven brothers, all migrated to Egypt where Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) had made lavish arrangements for them. With a large entourage, Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) welcomed them all outside the city. They were brought with much honour to the palace where he seated his parents on the throne. According to prevailing custom, all people in the palace court fell into prostration when Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) had mounted the throne. THE AMBIYA OF ALLAH (PART 2) 172 Spontaneously, his parents and all the brothers also fell into prostration. Prostration of honour and respect was permissible in the previous Shariats. Then Yusuf (Alayhis salaam) said: “O my father! This is the interpretation of my dream of the past. Allah has made it come true. He was kind to me when He released me from the prison, and He brought all of you from the countryside after shaitaan had caused strife between my brother and myself.” When Nabi Ya‟qoob had settled in Egypt, many people came to visit him. The visitors would perceive a glow of Noor literally glowing on his forehead. The visitors would be astounded and would spontaneously embrace Islam. The king, Rayyaan, had already embraced Islam at the hands of Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam). Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) passed away at the age of 120 years. There are other versions of his age as well. Allah knows best. Hadhrat Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) was buried in a marble coffin which was interred near to the River Nile. On the occasion when Nabi Musaa (Alayhis salaam) was leading Bani Israaeel out of Egypt, the road was lost despite it being a well-known path. Nabi Musaa (Alayhis salaam) understood that there was a mystery underlying this development. He called several very old persons and said to them: “This road is well-known to us. Why are we lost? One of the elders said: “At the time of the demise of Hadhrat Yoosuf (alayhis salaam), he had directed his heirs and brothers that when Bani Israaeel depart from Egypt they should take with them his coffin. O Musa! You have not fulfilled this THE AMBIYA OF ALLAH (PART 2) 173 directive of Nabi Yoosuf (alayhis salaam), hence you are unable to find the way out of Egypt.” Nabi Musa (alayhis salaam) immediately made an announcement on this matter and urged whoever was aware of the whereabouts of Nabi Yoosuf‟s grave to come forward. In the entire Ummah of Bani Israaeel there was only one person who was aware of the location of Nabi Yoosuf‟s grave. A very old lady stepped forward. Nabi Musa: “Mother do you know where Nabi Yoosuf‟s grave is?” Old Lady: “Yes, but I shall not divulge this information gratis. I want something in return.” Nabi Musa: “What is it that you want? Ask!” Old Lady: “Take me along with you as your close companion out of Egypt so that on the Day of Qiyaamah I shall be regarded as your companion. I shall then show you where Nabi Yoosuf‟s grave is.” Nabi Musa (alayhis salaam) immediately had the old lady seated on his mount. She indicated the location of the grave which was in the bed of the River Nile. Nabi Musa (alayhis salaam) with a few companions retrieved the coffin. As soon as they had taken possession of Nabi Yoosuf‟s coffin, the road ahead was seen. Bani Israaeel thus resumed the journey out of Egypt. ZULAIKHA The story of Hadhrat Nabi Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) will not be complete without Zulaikha. What had happened to her after the release of Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) from THE AMBIYA OF ALLAH (PART 2) 174 prison and him becoming the ruler of the land? What was her fate? After the demise of her husband, the Azeez, she continued residing in the palace for a while. The palace had become a gilded cage for her. The separation of Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) by imprisonment did not ameliorate her grief in any way. On the contrary, her grief intensified. She pined away. The separation was unbearable. Being like a queen in a place with an abundance of wealth and treasures, there were numerous males with whom she could have married, and there was ample opportunity for sexual gratification in unlawful ways, but she maintained her chastity which was sustained by her deep and sincere love for Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam). Marriage with anyone besides Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) was the furthest from her mind. Her love for him was of a superior kind. It was not restricted to the desire for sexual gratification. She remained unmarried and chose to waste away her life in grief, pining away for her beloved. She had lost him even when he was her virtual slave living in her palace. There was now not the remotest possibility of being united with her beloved one. He was now the virtual king of Egypt. It was her profound love for him that had constrained her to publicly confess to the king that Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) was pure and innocent and that she was the guilty one who had abortively struggled to seduce him. On the occasion when the king had sent a messenger to the prison, ordering the release of Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam), and him to be brought to the king, he (Yoosuf) said to the THE AMBIYA OF ALLAH (PART 2) 175 messenger: “Return to your master and ask him: „What is the condition of the women who had cut their hands?” When Zulaikha was informed of this statement of Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam), she understood that he had avoided mentioning her despite the fact that she was the prime culprit, and that she was responsible for all the hardship which had befallen him, and that he did so to honour her and to conceal her sin. Hence, he attributed the matter to the other women who had cut their hands. Thus, her love for him constrained her to proclaim in the court of the king where he had summoned the women: “Now the truth is manifest. I had seduced him, and most certainly he is among the truthful ones.” She no longer cared for the consequences. She was now prepared to suffer whatever punishment the king may decree. When the Azeez had suddenly appeared at the scene, she had panicked. It was in the state of fear and panic that she had falsely accused Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam). But now she had no such fear. Her desire was to compensate for the grievous crime she had committed, and which had caused so much hardship to the one whom she so dearly loved. Whenever someone would come to her with some information regarding Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam), she would make a gift of a substantial amount to that person. In this manner she depleted almost all her treasures. Her life was being wasted away crying and grieving. Her health suffered vastly. Years had passed, and she was now an old, shrivelled woman. The profuse crying had made her blind THE AMBIYA OF ALLAH (PART 2) 176 just as Ya‟qoob (Alayhis salaam) had lost his eyesight due to years of crying and grief, also for Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam). After the depletion of all her wealth, she took up residence in one of the ruins on the outskirts of the city. Her profound love for Yoosuf even in her old age and condition of suffering induced her to have a small wooden hut constructed for her at the side of the road where Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) would sometimes pass with his entourage. On rare occasions when he would come in proximity of her hut, she would come out, and call him, but due to the commotion of people and the men on horseback, he never heard her cries. She was still an idol-worshipper. One day, when her grief became unbearable, she went up to the idol she used to worship and said: “Destruction for you and for those who worship you. You have no mercy on my misery and hardship. From today, I have rejected you.” She abandoned idolatry. Zulaikha now of her own accord accepted the Deen of Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam). She engrossed herself with Thikrullaah morning and evening. The Thikr of Allah, despite her grief, brought peace to her. In the Qur‟aan it is mentioned: “Behold with the Remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.” Zulaikha began experiencing this „rest‟ and tranquillity imparted by the Thikr of Allah Ta‟ala. One day Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) again happened to come that way with his entourage. Crowds had gathered just to THE AMBIYA OF ALLAH (PART 2) 177 view the beauty of Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam). Zulaikhah heard the commotion. She emerged from her hut. As Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) on horseback came within proximity, she screamed at the top of her voice: „Glorious is The One Who has made kings slaves because of (their) sins, and Who has made slaves kings because of their obedience.” Allah Ta‟ala commanded the wind to deliver her words to the ears of Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam). The words struck a chord of sadness in his heart. Overcome with sadness, he sobbed. He cast his gaze around to see the person who had uttered such memorable words. His eyes fell on the old woman whom he did not recognize. He instructed one of his men: “Attend to the needs of this old lady.” The servant, thinking her to be a beggar, went to her and said: “What do you need?” She responded: “My need can be fulfilled only by Yoosuf.” She was taken to the palace to await the arrival of Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam). Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) arrived. He removed his royal dress – the garb of a king, donned the simple attire of a mendicant and went into his cloister of Ibaadat where he became engrossed in Thikrullah. Whilst in Thikr, he remembered the old woman. He summoned the servant and asked: “What have you done with the old woman?” The servant said: “She believes that only you can fulfil her need.” Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) said: “Bring her to me.” The old lady (Zulaikha) was ushered into the royal presence of the king (Yoosuf – Alayhis salaam). She THE AMBIYA OF ALLAH (PART 2) 178 greeted him. He lowered his gaze. Responding to her salaam, he said: “O Old Lady! I heard a statement made by you. Do repeat it.” Zulaikha said: “I said: Glorious is The One Who has made slaves kings because of their obedience, and Who has made kings slaves because of their disobedience.” Yoosuf: “You have spoken beautifully. What is your need?” Then Zulaikha dropped the bombshell. She said: “O Yoosuf! What has caused you to so quickly forget me?” Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam): “Who are you. I do not recognize you?” The thought of Zulaikha was the furthest from his mind. He just did not recognize her. She was his master. She had cared and loved him from the age of seven years. She had suffered misery and hardship for his sake. She was now a broken, old woman in front of him, but he did not recognize her. Then she boldly said: “I am Zulaikha.” Astonished and shocked, Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) exclaimed: “Laa ilaha il lallaah! He is The One Who gives life and kills. He is Alive and He does not die.” Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) cried profusely. He said: „What has happened to your beauty and your wealth.” Her intelligence was now polished with Imaan. She was no longer a mushrikah. She responded: “He Who has released you from the prison (i.e. Allah Ta‟ala) and Who has made you the king of this land, has taken my beauty and my wealth.” THE AMBIYA OF ALLAH (PART 2) 179 Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam), recovering from the momentary shock said: “What are your needs?” Zulaikha: “Will you fulfil my needs?” Yoosuf: “Yes!” Zulaika: “I have three needs. My first and second need is that you supplicate to Allah Ta‟ala to return my vision, my youth and my beauty. Verily, I have cried for you until I lost my vision and ruined my body.” Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) spontaneously fell into Sajdah and made the dua. Allah Ta‟ala accepting his dua, fulfilled the desire of Zulaikha. She was 90 years of age at this time. She regained her vision, youth and beauty. Then she said: “My third need is that you marry me.” Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) was silent. He lowered his head and was lost in deep contemplation for some time. He was in a quandary. He had no ready response for this request. Jibraeel (Alayhis salaam) appeared and said: “O Yoosuf! Your Rabb conveys Salaam on you and He says: “Do not act miserly regarding her request. Marry her, for verily, she will be your wife in this dunya and in the Aakhirat.” The marriage was arranged by the King Rayyaan. It was a lavish affair. Two children, a boy and a girl, were born to them. The boy‟s name was Ifraaheem (most probably Ibraaheem), and the girl‟s name was Meeshaa. Zulaikha had undergone a wonderful change. She was now a transformed person. Her profound emotional love for Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) was diverted from him to the THE AMBIYA OF ALLAH (PART 2) 180 True Beloved, Allah Ta‟ala. She was now becoming consumed by Divine Love. The emotional love for Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) receded. On the other hand, Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) developed intense emotional love for her. The hearts of people are between the Fingers of Allah Ta‟ala. His heart was brimming with love for Zulaikha who was increasingly becoming detached from him emotionally. He could not find rest without her. Allah Ta‟ala had now granted her the taste and pleasure of Divine Love in front of which this worldly and ephemeral love faded into oblivion. Her engrossment now was obedience and ibaadat. One night while she was enraptured in her Love for Allah Ta‟ala, Yoosuf (Alayhis salaam) attempted to entice her to himself. She was is no mood for this perishable earthly love and paid no heed to his seductive attempts. When he attempted to „seduce‟ her, she fled with the intention of taking refuge in another room where she may engage in Thikrullah undisturbed. However, Yusuf (Alayhis salaam) pursued her. Just as she was about to exit the door, he managed to grab her dress at the back and it tore. It was ripped. She commented: “Once upon a time I had ripped your qamees, now you have ripped my dress. This compensates for that.” This is the end of the story which Allah Ta‟ala describes in the Qur‟aan: “Ahsanul Qisas” –

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.