Yusuf (Joseph) (pbuh) - (2)
The Prophets of Allah
based on the narrations by Ibn Kathir
The Story of Yusuf (Joseph): Part 2
Prison was Yusuf's (Joseph's) third test. During this period Allah blessed him with an extraordinary gift: the ability to interpret dreams. At about the same time two other men landed in the prison. One was the cupbearer of the king; the other was the king's cook. The two men sensed that Yusuf (Joseph) was not a common criminal, for an aura of piety glowed on his face. Both men had vivid dreams, and they were anxious to have them explained. The king's cook dreamed that he stood in a place with bread on his head, and two birds were eating the bread. The cupbearer dreamed that he was serving the king wine. The two went to Yusuf (Joseph) and told him their dreams, asking him to give them their meaning.
First, Yusuf (Joseph) called them to Allah. Then he said that the cook would be crucified until he died and that the cupbearer would return to the service of the king. Yusuf (Joseph) told the cupbearer to remember him to the king and to say that there was a wronged soul called Yusuf (Joseph) in the prison. What Yusuf (Joseph) predicted did happen; the cook was crucified and the cupbearer returned to the palace.
After the cupbearer returned to service, Satan made him forget to mention Yusuf's (Joseph's) name to the king. Therefore, Yusuf (Joseph) remained in prison for a few years, but he made patience his own, praying to Allah.
Almighty Allah narrated: «And there entered with him two young men in the prison, One of them said: "Verily, I saw myself (in a dream) pressing wine." The other said: "Verily, I saw myself (in a dream) carrying bread on my head and birds were eating thereof." (They said): "Inform us of the interpretation of this. Verily, we think you are one of the Muhsineen (doers of good)."
He said: "No food will come to you (in wakefulness or in dream) as your provision, but I will inform (in wakefulness) its interpretation before it (the food) comes. This is of that which my Lord has taught me. Verily, I have abandoned the religion of a people that believe not in Allah and are disbelievers in the Hereafter. And I have followed the religion of my fathers, - Ibrahim, Ishaq and Yaqoub and never could we attribute any partners whatsoever to Allah. This is from the Grace of Allah to us and to mankind, but most men thank not (i.e. they neither believe in Allah, nor worship Him).
"O two companions of the prison! Are many different lords (gods) better or Allah, the One, the Irresistible? You do not worship besides Him but only names which you have named (forged), you and your fathers, for which Allah has sent down no authority. The command (or the judgment) is for none but Allah. He has commanded (i.e. His Monotheism), that is the (true) straight religion, but most men know not.
"O two companions of the prison! As for one of you, he (as a servant) will pour out wine for his lord (King or master) to drink; and as for the other, he will be crucified and birds will eat from his head. Thus is the case judged concerning which you both did inquire."
And he said to the one whom he knew to be saved: 'Mention me to your lord (i.e. your King, so as to get me out of the prison)." But Satan made him forget to mention it to his lord [or Satan made (Yusuf) to forget the remembrance of his Lord (Allah) as to ask for His Help, instead of others]. So (Yusuf) stayed in prison a few (more) years.» Surah 12: 36-42
The scene in the prison closes; a new scene opens in the bed chamber of the king. The king is asleep. He sees himself on the banks of the Nile river. The water is receding before him, becoming mere mud. The fish begin to skip and jump in the mud. Seven fat cows come out of the river followed by seven lean cows. The seven lean ones devour the seven fat ones. The king is terrified. Then seven ears of green grain grow on the river banks and disappear in the mud. On the same spot grow seven dry ears of grain.
The king awoke frightened, shocked, and depressed, not knowing what all this meant. He sent for the sorcerers, priests and ministers, and told them his dream.
The sorcerers said: "This is a mixed up dream. How can any of that be? It is a nightmare."
The priests said: "Perhaps his majesty had a heavy supper."
The chief minister said: "Could it be that his majesty was exposed and did not draw the blanket up at night?"
The king's jester said, jokingly: "His majesty is beginning to grow old, and so his dreams are confused."
They reached a unanimous conclusion that it was only a nightmare.
The news reached the cupbearer. He recollected the dream he had had in prison and compared it to the king's dream, and, therefore Yusuf (Joseph) came to mind. He ran to the king to tell him about Yusuf (Joseph), who was the only one capable of interpreting the dream. The cupbearer said: "He had asked me to remember him to you, but I forgot." The king sent the cupbearer to ask Yusuf (Joseph) about the dream.
Yusuf (Joseph) interpreted it to him: "There will be seven years of abundance. If the land is properly cultivated, there will be an excess of good harvest, more than the people will need. This should be stored. Thereafter, seven years of famine will follow, during which time the excess grain could be used."
He also advised that during the famine they should save some grain to be used for seed for the next harvest. Yusuf (Joseph) then added: "After seven years of drought, there will be a year during which water will be plentiful. If the water is properly used, grapevines and olive trees will grow in abundance, providing plenty of grapes and olive oil."
The cupbearer hurried back with the good news. The king was fascinated by Yusufs's (Joseph's) interpretation. Almighty Allah narrated this incident thus: «And the king (of Egypt) said: "Verily, I saw (in a dream) seven fat cows, whom seven lean cows were devouring and (seven) green ears of corn, and seven others dry. O notables! Explain to me my dream, if it be that you can interpret dreams."
They said: "Mixed up false dreams and we are not skilled in the interpretation of dreams."
Then the man who was released (one of the two who were in prison), now at length remembered and said: "I will tell you its interpretation, so send me forth."
(He said): "O Yusuf, the man of truth! Explain to us (the dream) of seven fat cows whom seven lean ones were devouring, and of seven green ears of corn, and (seven) others dry, that I may return to the people, and that they may know." (Yusuf) said: "For seven consecutive years, you shall sow as usual and that (the harvest) which you reap you shall leave in ears, (all) - except a little of it which you may eat. Then will come after that seven hard (years), which will devour what you have laid by in advance for them, (all) except a little of that which you have guarded (stored). Then thereafter will come a year in which people will have abundant rain and in which they will press (wine and oil)."» Surah 12: 43-49
The king was greatly astonished. Who could this person be? He commanded that Yusuf to be set free from prison and presented to him at once. The king's envoy went to fetch him immediately, but Yusuf refused to leave the prison unless his innocence was proven. Perhaps they accused him of cutting the ladies' hands, or of trying to rape them. Perhaps any other false accusation was made.
We do not know exactly what was said to the people to justify Yusuf's sentence to prison. The envoy returned to the king. The kings asked him: "Where is Ysusuf? Did I not command you to fetch him?"
The envoy replied: "He refused to leave until his innocence is established regarding the ladies who cut their hands."
The king ordered: "Bring the wives of the ministers and the wife of the chief minister at once." The king felt that Yusuf had been harmed unfairly but he did not know exactly how.
The wife of the chief minister came with the other ministers' wives. The king asked: "What is the story of Yusuf? What do you know about him? Is it true that. . . ?
One of the ladies interrupted the king exclaiming: "Allah forbid!"
A second said: "We know of no evil he has done."
A third said: "He enjoys the innocence of angels."
The eyes of everyone turned to the wife of the chief minister. She now wore a wrinkled face and had lost weight. She had been overwhelmed by sorrow over Yusuf while he was in prison. She boldly confessed that she had lied and he had told the truth. "I tempted him; but he refused." She confirmed what she said, not out of fear of the king or the other ladies, but for Yusuf to know that she had never betrayed him during his absence, for he was still in her mind and soul. Of all creation he was the only one she cared for, so she confirmed his innocence before all.
Almighty Allah said: «And the king said: "Bring him to me." But when the messenger came to him (Yusuf) said: "Return to your lord and ask him, What happened to the women who cut their hands? Surely, my Lord (Allah) is Well-Aware of their plot."
(The king) said (to the women): "What was your affair when you did seek to seduce Yusuf?" The women said: "Allah forbid! No evil know we against him!" The wife of Al- 'Aziz said: "Now the truth is manifest (to all), it was I who sought to seduce him, and he is surely of the truthful."
(Then Yusuf said: "I asked for this enquiry) in order that he (Al- 'Aziz) may know that I betrayed him not in secret. And, verily! Allah guides not the plot of the betrayers. And I free not myself (from the blame). Verily, the (human) self is inclined to evil, except when my Lord bestows His Mercy (upon whom He wills). Verily, my Lord is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful."» Surah 12: 50-51
Reflecting on these verses suggests that she had turned to Yusuf's religion, monotheism. His imprisonment was a great turning point in her life.
After this, the Qur'anic style neglects the story of the chief minister's wife completely. We do not know what happened to her after she gave her clear evidence. Yet still, there are legends about her. It has been said that after her husband died she married Yusuf, and, behold, she was a virgin. She confessed that her husband had been old and had never touched women. Other legends said that she lost her sight, weeping for Yusuf. She abandoned her palace and wandered in the streets of the city.
However, the lady disappeared from the Qur'anic narrative at a suitable stage, at the climax of her trouble. Perhaps she lingers in memory longer than if we had known the ending.
The king informed Yusuf (Joseph) that his innocence was established and ordered him to come to the palace for an interview. The king recognised his noble qualities. When Yusuf (Joseph) came, the king spoke to him in his tongue. Yusuf's (Joseph's) replies astonished the king with his cultural refinement and wide knowledge.
Then the conversation turned to the dream. Yusuf (Joseph) advised the king to start planning for years of famine ahead. He informed him that the famine would affect not only Egypt but the neighbouring countries as well. The king offered him a high position. Yusuf (Joseph) asked to be made controller of the granaries, so that he could guard the nation's harvest and thereby safeguard it during the anticipated drought. By this Yusuf (Joseph) did not mean to seize an opportunity or personal gain; he merely wanted to rescue hungry nations for a period of seven years. It was a sheer self-sacrifice on his part.
Almighty Allah said: «And the king said: "Bring him to me that I may attach him to my person." Then, when he spoke to him, he said: "Verily, this day, you are with us high in rank and fully trusted."
(Yusuf) said: "Set me over the store-houses of the land; I will indeed guard them with full knowledge" (as a minister of finance in Egypt, in place of Al- 'Aziz who was dead at that time).
Thus did We give full authority to Yusuf in the land, to take possession therein, as when or where he likes. We bestow of Our Mercy on whom We please, and We make not to be lost the reward of Al-Muhsineen (the good-doers).» Surah 12: 54-57
The wheels of time turned. During the seven good years, Yusuf (Joseph) had full control over the cultivation, harvesting, and storage of crops. During the following seven years, drought followed and famine spread throughout the region, including Canaan, the homeland of Yusuf (Joseph). Yusuf (Joseph) advised the king that as his kingdom was blessed with reserved grain, he should sell grain to the needy nations at a fair price. The king agreed, and the good news spread all over the region.
Yusuf (Joseph) sent ten of his sons, all except Benjamin, to Egypt to purchase provisions. Yusuf (Joseph) heard of the ten brothers who had come from afar and who could not speak the language of the Egyptians. When they called on him to purchase their needs, Yusuf (Joseph) immediately recognised his brothers, but they did not know him. How could they? To them Yusuf (Joseph) no longer existed; he had been thrown into the deep, dark well many years ago!
Yusuf (Joseph) received them warmly. After supplying them with provisions, he asked where they had come from. They explained: "We are eleven brothers, the children of a noble prophet. The youngest is at home tending to the needs of our aging father."
On hearing this, Yusuf's (Joseph's) eyes filled with tears; his longing for home swelled up in his heart, as well as his longing for his beloved parents and his loving brother Benjamin. "Are you truthful people?" Yusuf (Joseph) asked them.
Perturbed, they replied: "What reason should we have to state an untruth?"
"If what you say is true then bring your brother as proof and I will reward you with double rations. But if you do not bring him to me, it would be better if you did not return," Yusuf (Joseph) warned them.
They assured him that they would gladly fulfill his command but that they would have to get their father's permission. As an inducement to return with their brother, Yusuf (Joseph) ordered his servant to secretly place the purse, with the money they had paid, into one of their grain sacks.
Allah the Almighty said: «And Yusuf's brethren came and they entered unto him, and he recognised them, but they recognised him not. And when he had furnished them forth with provisions (according to their need), he said: "Bring me a brother of yours from your father; (he meant Benjamin). See you not that I give full measure, and that I am the best of the hosts? But if you bring him not to me, there shall be no measure (of corn) for you with me, nor shall you come near me."
They said: "We shall try to get permission (for him) from his father, and verily, we shall do it."
And (Yusuf) told his servants to put their money (with which they had bought the corn) into their bags, so that they might know it when they go back to their people, in order that they might come back.» Surah 12: 58-62
The scene dims in Egypt and lights in Canaan. The brothers returned to their father. Before they could unload the camels, they greeted him, then reproved him: "We were denied some supplies because you did not let your son go with us. They would not give us food for absentees. Why would you not entrust him with us? Please, send him with us, and we shall take care of him."
Yaqoub became sad and told them: "I will not permit Benjamin to travel with you. I will not part with him, for I entrusted Yusuf (Joseph) to you and you failed me."
Later, when they opened their grain sacks, they were surprised to find the money purse returned intact. They rushed to their father: "Look, father! The noble official has returned our money; this is surely proof that he would not harm our brother and it can only benefit us." But Yaqoub refused to send Benjamin with them.
After some time, when they had no more grain, Jaqoub asked them to travel to Egypt for more. They reminded him of the warning the Egyptian official had given them. They could not return without Benjamin. Jaqoub agreed, but not before he extracted a pledge from them. "I will not send him with you unless you give me a pledge in Allah's name that you shall bring him back to me as safely as you take him." They gave their solemn pledge. He reminded them: "Allah is witness to your pledge." He then advised them to enter the city through several different gates.
Almighty Allah narrated: «So, 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, and we shall get our measure and truly we will guard him."
He said: "Can I entrust him to you except as I entrusted his brother (Yusuf) to you aforetime? But Allah is the best to guard, and He is the Most Merciful of those Who show mercy."
And when they opened their bags, they found their money had been returned to them. They said: "O our father! What (more) can we desire? This, our money has been returned to us, so we shall get (more) food for our family, and we shall guard our brother and add one more measure of a camel's load. This quantity is easy (for the king to give)."
He (Yaqoub) said: "I will not send him with you until you swear a solemn oath to me in Allah's Name, that you will bring him back to me unless you are yourselves surrounded (by enemies, etc.)." And when they had sworn their solemn oath, he said: "Allah is the Witness over what we have said."
And he said: "O my sons! Do not enter by one gate, but by different gates, and I cannot avail you against Allah at all. Verily! The decision rests only with Allah. In Him, I put my trust and let all those that trust, put their trust in Him."» Surah 12: 63-67
Jaqoub blessed them on their departure and prayed to Allah for their protection. The brothers undertook the long journey to Egypt, taking good care of Benjamin.
Yusuf (Joseph) welcomed them heartily, although, with difficulty, he suppressed the desire to embrace Benjamin that arose within him. He prepared a feast for them and seated them in pairs. Yusuf (Joseph) arranged to sit next to his beloved brother Benjamin, who began to weep. Yusuf (Joseph) asked him why he was crying. He replied: "If my brother Yusuf had been here, I would have sat next to him."
That night, when Yusuf (Joseph) and Benjamin were alone in a room, Yusuf (Joseph) asked whether he would have him for a brother. Benjamin respectfully answered that he regarded his host as a wonderful person, but he could never take the place of his brother. Yusuf (Joseph) broke down, and amidst flowing tears, said: "My loving brother, I am the brother who was lost and whose name you are constantly repeating. Fate has brought us together after many years of separation. This is Allah's favor. But let it be a secret between us for the time being." Benjamin flung his arms around Yusuf (Joseph) and both brothers shed tears of joy.
The next day, while their bags were being filled with grain to load onto the camels, Yusuf (Joseph) ordered one of his attendants to place the king's gold cup which was used for measuring the grain into Benjamin's saddlebag. When the brothers were ready to set out, the gates were locked, and the court crier shouted: "O you travellers, you are thieves!" The accusation was most unusual, and the people gathered around Yusuf's (Joseph's) brothers.
"What have you lost?" his brothers inquired.
A soldier said: "The king's golden cup. Whoever can trace it we will give a beast-load of grain."
Yusuf's (Joseph's) brothers said with all innocence: "We have not come here to corrupt the land and steal."
Yusuf's (Joseph's) officers said (as he had instructed them): "What punishment should you choose for the thief?"
The brothers answered: "According to our law, whoever steals becomes a slave to the owner of the property."
The officers agreed: "We shall apply your law instead of the Egyptian law, which provides for imprisonment."
The chief officer ordered his soldiers to start searching the caravan. Yusuf (Joseph) was watching the incident from high upon his throne. He had given instructions for Benjamin's bag to be the last to be searched. When they did not find the cup in the bags of the ten older brothers, the brothers sighed in relief. There remained only the bag of their youngest brother.
Yusuf (Joseph) said, intervening for the first time, that there was no need to search his saddle, as he did not look like a thief.
His brothers affirmed: "We will not move an inch unless his saddle is searched as well. We are the sons of a noble man, not thieves."
The soldiers reached in their hands and pulled out the king's cup. The brothers exclaimed: "If he steals now, a brother of his has stolen before." They strayed from the present issue in order to blame a particular group of the children of Jaqoub.
Yusuf (Joseph) heard their resentment with his own ears and was filled with regret. Yet, he swallowed his own resentment, keeping it within. He said to himself: "You went further and fared worse; it shall go bad with you and worse hereafter, and Allah knows your intention."
Silence fell upon them after these remarks by the brothers. Then they forgot their secret satisfaction and thought of Jaqoub; they had taken an oath with him that they would not betray his son.
They began to beg Yusuf (Joseph) for mercy. "Yusuf, O minister! Take one of us in his stead. He is the son of a good man, and we can see you are a good man."
Yusuf (Joseph) answered calmly: "How can you want to set free the man who has stolen the king's cup? It would be sinful."
The brothers went on pleading for mercy. However, the guards said that the king had spoken and his word was law.
Judah, the eldest, was much worried and told the others: "We promised our father in the name of Allah not to fail him. I will, therefore, stay behind and will only return if my father permits me to do so."
Regarding this scene, Almighty Allah said: «And when they entered according to their father's advice, it did not avail them in the least against (the Will of) Allah, it was but a need of Yaqoub's inner-self which he discharged. And verily, he was endowed with knowledge because We had taught him, but most men know not.
And when they went in before Yusuf, he betook his brother (Benjamin) to himself and said: "Verily! I am your brother, so grieve not for what they used to do."
So when he had furnished them forth with their provisions, he put the (golden) bowl into his brother's bag. Then a crier cried: "O you (in) the caravan! Surely, you are thieves!"
They, turning towards them, said: 'What is it that you have missed?"
They said: "We have missed the (golden) bowl of the king and for him who produces it is (the reward of) a camel load; I will be bound by it."
They said: "By Allah! Indeed you know that we came not to make mischief in the land, and we are no thieves!"
They (Yusuf's brothers) said: "The penalty should be that he, in whose bag it is found, should be held for the punishment (of the crime). Thus we punish the Zalimeen (wrong-doers, etc.)!"
So he (Ysusuf) began (the search) in their bags before the bag of his brother. Then he brought it out of his brother's bag. Thus did We plan for Yusuf. He could not take his brother by the law of the king (as a slave), except that Allah willed it. (So Allah made the brothers to bind themselves with their way of "punishment, i.e. enslaving of a thief.") We raise to degrees whom We please, but over all those endowed with knowledge is the All-Knowing (Allah).
They (Yusuf's brothers) said: "If he steals, there was a brother of his (Yusuf) who did steal before (him)." But these things did Joseph keep in himself, revealing not the secrets to them. He said (within himself): "You are in worst case, and Allah knows best the truth of what you assert!"
They said: "O ruler of the land! Verily, he has an old father (who will grieve for him); so take one of us in his place. Indeed we think that you are one of the good-doers."
He said: "Allah forbid, that we should take anyone but him with whom we found our property. Indeed (if we did so), we shall be Zalimun (wrong-doers)."
So, when they despaired of him, they held a conference in private. The eldest among them said: "Know you not that you father did take an oath from you in Allah's name, and before this you did fail in your duty with Yusuf? Therefore I will not leave this land until my father permits me, or Allah decides my case (by releasing Benjamin) and He is the Best of the judges."» Surah 12: 68-80
The brothers left enough provisions behind for Judah, who stayed at a tavern awaiting the fate of Benjamin. In the meantime, Yusuf (Joseph) kept Benjamin in his house as his personal guest and told him how he had devised the plot to put the king's cup in his bag, in order to keep him behind, so as to protect him. He was also glad that Judah had stayed behind, as he was a good-hearted brother. Yusuf (Joseph) secretly arranged to watch over Judah's well-being.
Yusuf's (Joseph's) plan in sending the others back was to test their sincerity, to see if they would come back for the two brothers they had left behind.
When they arrived home, they entered upon their father, calling: "O our father! Your son has stolen!"
He was puzzled, scarcely believing the news. He was overwhelmed with sorrow and his eyes wept tears. "Patience be with me; perhaps Allah will return all of them to me. He is Most Knowing, Most Wise." A pall of lonesomeness closed over him, yet he found consolation in patience and trusted in Allah.
Allah revealed to us what happened at their meeting with their father: [Judah said:] «"Return to your father and say: 'O our father! Verily, your son (Benjamin) has stolen, and we testify not except according to what we know, and we could not know the unseen! And ask (the people of) the town where we have been, and the caravan in which we returned and indeed we are telling the truth."
He (Yaqoub) said: "Nay, but your own-selves have beguiled you into something. So patience is most fitting (for me). May be Allah will bring them (back) all to me. Truly He! Only He is All-Knowing, All-Wise."
And he turned away from them and said: "Alas, my grief for Yusuf!" And he lost his sight because of the sorrow that he was suppressing. » Surah 12: 81-84
The father was deeply hurt. Only prayer could comfort him and strengthen his faith and patience. Weeping all those years for his beloved son Yusuf - and now one more of his best sons had been snatched from him - Yaqoub almost lost his sight.
The other sons pleaded with him: "O father, you are a noble prophet and a great messenger of Allah. Unto you descended revelation and people received guidance and faith from you. Why are you destroying yourself in this way?"
Yaqoub replied: "Rebuking me will not lessen my grief. Only the return of my sons will comfort me. My sons, go in search of Yusuf and his brother; do not despair of Allah's mercy."
Allah, the Almighty told us: «They said: "By Allah! You will never cease remembering Yusuf until you become weak with old age, or until you be of the dead."
He said: "I only complain of my grief and sorrow to Allah, and I know from Allah that which you know not. O my Sons! Go you and enquire about Yusuf and his brother, and never give up hope of Allah's Mercy. Certainly no one despairs of Allah's Mercy, except the people who disbelieve."» Surah 12: 85-87
The caravan set out for Egypt. The brothers - on their way to see the chief minister (Yusuf) - were poor and depressed.
On reaching Egypt they collected Judah and called on Yusuf (Joseph), to whom they pleaded: «"O ruler of the land! A hard time has hit us and our family, and we have brought but poor capital, so pay us full measure and be charitable to us. Truly, Allah does reward the charitable."» Surah 12: 88
At the end, they begged Yusuf (Joseph). They asked alms of him, appealing to his heart, reminding him that Allah rewards alms givers. At this moment, in the midst of their plight, Yusuf (Joseph) spoke to them in their native tongue saying: «"Do you know what you did with Yusuf and his brother, when you were ignorant?"
They said: "Are you indeed Yusuf ?"
He said: "I am Yusuf, and this is my brother (Benjamin). Allah has indeed been Gracious to us. Verily, he who fears Allah with obedience to Him (by abstaining from sins and evil deeds, and by performing righteous good deeds), and is patient, then surely, Allah makes not the reward of the good-doers to be lost."
They said: "By Allah! Indeed Allah has preferred you above us, and we certainly have been sinners."» Surah 12: 89-91
The brothers began to tremble with fear, but Joseph comforted them: «"No reproach on you this day, may Allah forgive you, and He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy!"» Surah 12: 92
Joseph embraced them, and together they wept with joy. It was not possible for Yusuf to leave his responsible office without proper replacement, so he advised his brothers: «"Go with this shirt of mine, and cast it over the face of my father, he will become clear-sighted, and bring to me all your family."» Surah 12: 93
And so the caravan headed back for Palestine. We leave the scene in Egypt and return to Palestine and the house of Yaqoub. The old man is sitting in his room; tears have been flowing down his cheeks. He stands up all of a sudden, dresses and goes out to his sons' wives. Then he lifts up his face to Heaven and sniffs the air.
The wife of the eldest son remarked: "Yaqoub has come out of his room today." The women inquired about what was amiss. There was a hint of a smile on his face. The others asked him: "How do you feel today?"
He answered: "I can smell Yusuf in the air."
The wives left him alone, saying to one another that there was no hope for the old man. "He will die of weeping over Yusuf (Joseph)."
"Did he talk about Yusuf's (Joseph's) shirt?"
"I do not know. He said he could smell him; perhaps he has gone mad."
That day the old man wanted a cup of milk to break his fast, for he had been fasting. At night he changed his clothes. The caravan was travelling in the desert with Yusuf's (Joseph's) shirt hidden among the grain. It neared the old man's estate. He gesticulated in his room, and then he prayed a long time, lifting his hands to heaven and sniffing the air. He was weeping as the shirt was nearing him.
«And when the caravan departed, their father said: "I do indeed feel the smell of Yusuf, if only you think me not a dotard (a person who has weakness of mind because of old age)."
They said: "By Allah! Certainly, you are in your old error."
Then, when the bearer of the glad tidings arrived, he cast it (the shirt) over his face, and he became clear-sighted. He said: "Did I not say to you, 'I know from Allah that which you know not."
They said: "O our father! Ask Forgiveness (from Allah) for our sins, indeed we have been sinners."» Surah 12: 94-97
The story began with a dream and it ends with the interpretation of the dream. Almighty Allah narrated: «He said: "I will ask my Lord for forgiveness for you, verily He! Only He is the Oft-forgiving, the Most Merciful."
Then, when they entered unto Yusuf, he betook his parents to himself and said: "Enter Egypt, if Allah will, in security."
And he raised his parents to the throne and they fell down before him prostrate. And he said: "O my father! This is the interpretation of my dream of old! My Lord has made it come true! He was indeed good to me, when He took me out of the prison, and brought you (all here) out of the bedouin-life, after Satan had sown enmity between me and my brothers. Certainly, my Lord is the Most Courteous and Kind unto whom He will. Truly He! Only He is the All-Knowing, the All-Wise."» Surah 12: 98-100
Consider his feelings now that his dream has come true. He prays to Allah: «"My Lord! You have indeed bestowed on me of the sovereignty, and taught me the interpretation of dreams; The (only) Creator of the heavens and the earth! You are my Wali (Protector, Helper, Supporter, Guardian, etc.) in this world and in the Hereafter, cause me to die as a Muslim (the one submitting to Your Will), and join me with the righteous."» Surah 12: 101
Yusuf arranged an audience with the king for himself and his family, to ask the king's permission for them to settle in Egypt. Yusuf was an asset to the kingdom, and the king was happy to have him remain with his household. Yusuf prostrated to Allah in gratitude.
Before he died, Yaqoub (PBUH) advised his children to adhere to the teachings of Islam, the religion of all of Allah's prophets. Allah the Almighty revealed: «Or were you witnesses when death approached Yaqoub? When he said unto his sons: "What will you worship after me?" They said: "We shall worship your Ilah (God-Allah) the Ilah (God) of your fathers. Ibrahim, Isma'il, Ishaq, One Ilah (God), and to Him we submit (in Islam)."» Surah 2: 133
Yusuf (PBUH), at the moment of his death, asked his brothers to bury him beside his forefathers if they were to leave Egypt. So when Yusuf (PBUH) passed away, he was mummified and placed in a coffin until such a time as he could be taken out of Egypt and buried beside his forefathers, as he had requested. It was said that he died at the age of one hundred ten.