Section 10: Yusuf Discloses His Identity
فَلَمَّا اسْتَيْأَسُوا مِنْهُ خَلَصُوا نَجِيّاً قَالَ كَبِيرُهُم أَلَمْ تَعْلَمُوا اَنَّ أَبَاكُمْ قَدْ أَخَذَ عَلَيْكُم مَوْثِقاً مِنَ اللَّهِ وَمِن قَبْلُ مَا فَرَّطْتُمْ فِي يُوسُفَ فَلَنْ أَبْرَحَ الأَرْضَ حَتَّي يَأْذَنَ لِي أَبِي أَوْ يَحْكُمَ اللَّهُ لِي وَهُوَ خَيْرُ الْحَاكِمِينَ
80. “So when they despaired of (moving) him, they conferred in private. The eldest of them said: ‘Don’t you know that your father has taken a solemn covenant from you in Allah’s name, and before that you failed to perform your duty with Yusuf? Therefore, I will never leave this land until my father permits me, or Allah decides for me; and He is the best of judges’.”
The brothers were faced with the prospect of returning to their father in shame. They did their utmost to save Benjamin, however they found all roads leading to a solution blocked.
Therefore, they despaired from the ‘Aziz, or from deliverance of the brother, and decided to return to kan‘an and tell their father about the matter when they went off by themselves into a corner and conferred as to what next to do.
The verse says:
“So when they despaired of (moving) him, they conferred in private...”
However, in that private conference the elder brother told them whether they did not know that their father had taken an oath of Allah from them that they had to return Benjamin in any possible price, and that they were the same persons who formerly failed to fulfil their duty concerning Yusuf, and had a bad background with the Father.
The verse says:
“…The eldest of them said: ‘Don’t you know that your father has taken a solemn covenant from you in Allah’s name, and before that you failed to perform your duty with Yusuf?...”
The older brother, who embarrassed and frustrated at their unreliability with their father, decided to stay in Egypt until his father permitted or until Allah (s.w.t.) decided.
The holy verse continues saying:
“…Therefore, I will never leave this land until my father permits me, or Allah decides for me; and He is the best of judges’.”
The decision of Allah means either until death overtook him or that Allah (s.w.t.) would make manifest a solution to this problem; or a plausible excuse which could decisively accepted by father.
1. The Arabic term /xalasu/ means separating themselves away from others. The Qur’anic word /najiyyan/ means to enter into a whispered conversation with someone. Therefore, the phrase /xalasu najiyyan/ means that they gathered together apart from others, for a confidential meeting to decide on what to do.
2. Pleas and requests should not hinder one from executing Divine commands and implementing decisive plans in that respect.
3. In cases where one is a culprit in major disasters and unpleasant matters, the elders are more responsible and the more shameful they seem.
4. Treachery and crime hurt the conscience of good people throughout their lives.
ارْجِعُوا إِلَي أَبِيكُمْ فَقُولُوا يَآ أَبَانَا إِنَّ ابْنَكَ سَرَقَ وَمَا شَهِدْنَآ إِلاَّ بِمَا عَلِمْنَا وَمَا كُنَّا لِلْغَيْبِ حَافِظِينَ
81. “Go back to your father and say: ‘O’ father! Verily your son has committed theft, and we did not bear witness except to what we knew, and we were not guardians of the Unseen’.”
Then the elder brother told other brothers that they would return to the Father and say that his son (Benjamin) committed theft and that the testimony they would present to their father could only be based on the amount of the truth that they were aware of.
They saw the king’s cup discovered and taken out from their brother’s load which proved that he had committed theft. Nevertheless, they started to become aware that the hidden truth of the matter rested with Allah.
The verse says:
“Go back to your father and say: ‘O’ father! Verily your son has committed theft, and we did not bear witness except to what we knew, and we were not guardians of the Unseen’.”
وَاسْأَلِ الْقَرْيَةَ الَّتِي كُنَّا فِيهَا وَالْعِيرَ الَّتِي أَقْبَلْنَا فِيهَا وإِنَّا لَصَادِقُونَ
82. “And ask at the town in which we were and the caravan with which we travelled hither, and verily we are indeed truthful.”
The Arabic term /qaryah/ does not only mean ‘village ’, but it also means ‘a meeting place’ and ‘a residential area’ as well, whether be it a town or a village.
Yusuf’s brothers did not have any evidence to prove that he was killed by a wolf when they described the event for their father, but they provided two proofs to support their story in this situation. Firstly they had witnesses in the town, and secondly, they had witnesses in the caravan among which they were.
Besides that, in the former description they said: “…even though we be truthful”1 where the Arabic word /lau/ is a sign of doubt, weakness, and anxiety, while here, in this verse, they say: “…verily we are indeed truthful” that, with the application of ‘verily’ and ‘indeed’, they claimed that they were really truthful.
Then, in order to make clear their father from any suspicion and to make him sure that the fact had been exactly that very thing they explained, they said:
“And ask at the town in which we were and the caravan with which we travelled hither...”
This statement means that there were naturally some people from Kan‘an among them whom Jacob knew and he could ask the true affair from them so that, however, he would become certain that they were telling nothing but the truth.
“…and verily we are indeed truthful.”
They were very confident in their position, they were sure that if the father were to investigate he would find that they were indeed telling the truth.
From the verse, we can also deduce that the news that Benjamin had stolen the king’s cup spread around the town and among the caravan.
قَالَ بَلْ سَوَّلَتْ لَكُمْ أَنفُسُكُمْ أَمْراً فَصَبْرٌ جَميلٌ عَسَي اللَّهُ أَن يَأْتِيَنِي بِهِم جَميعاً إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْعَلِيمُ الْحَكِيمُ
83. “He (Ya‘qub) said: ‘No, but your (guilty) selves have made a matter fair for you, so patience is good. Maybe Allah will bring them to me all together; verily He is the All-Knowing, the All-Wise’.”
The brothers departed from Egypt, leaving the youngest and the oldest behind, they returned to Kan‘an in frustration and shame. On this occasion, contrary to other times, their father found them deeply disturbed and depressed and that Benjamin and the oldest brother were not with them, thus he realized that something unpleasant had taken place.
In order to remove their father’s suspicions and increase his confidence in them, this time they told the truth of the matter as it had appeared to them, calling him to inquire from the people of Egypt and the caravan to verify their story.
Ya‘qub was not impressed, he became angry, and staring at them, he told them that it was their souls that had made something appealing to them that had led to this disaster.
The verse says:
“He (Ya‘qub) said: ‘No, but your (guilty) selves have made a matter fair for you...”
On his part Ya‘qub had no other choice than to take recourse in sweet patience and trust in Allah to return all his sons to him, if He willed, because He is aware of them inside of all as well as whatever happened and will happen. Moreover, He is Wise and never does anything undue.
The holy verse continues saying:
“…so patience is good. Maybe Allah will bring them to me all together; verily He is the All-Knowing, the All-Wise’.”
1- When the brothers, feigning sadness, brought Yusuf’s bloody shirt to their father, they said that Yusuf had been eaten by a wolf. Hadrat Ya‘qub (as) said that their souls had made up something which they had found attractive.
Now, with his next two sons taken away from him, he repeats the same sentence. Perhaps, this question may be raised that: in Yusuf’s affair the brothers committed treason and planned conspiracies, while in the Benjamin’s affair, such was not the case.
Then, why does Ya‘qub say the same thing in both cases? Tafsir Al Mizan, provides the answer. ‘Allamah Tabataba’i says that Ya‘qub meant that the facts surrounding these two other brothers remaining in Egypt is an extension of their previous conduct with regard to Yusuf (as).
That is, all these occurrences, even though they were not directly responsible for the last one, were the consequences of their previous unethical behaviour.
It may be said that the purpose of Ya‘qub was that even then they thought themselves as innocent and that they had acted well, however, they had still behaved unethically in the crisis.
Firstly why were they quick to assume that their brother was guilty once they saw the cup among his load? Couldn’t it be possible that someone else had hidden it there?
Secondly, why did they return so quickly without any research? And thirdly, why did they choose servitude as a penalty of the thief?
2- One’s selfish ego seeks to present evil acts as beautiful to itself in order to justify guilt.
3- Maintaining patience is a practice prevalent among the men of Allah and a good patience in a believer is the kind that one surrenders oneself to Allah without complaining about His Will.
4- One must never despair of Allah’s omnipotence.
“Maybe Allah will bring them to me,”
5- Solving old and new problems are both alike once the issue in question is Allah’s will. Allah is able to bring together in one place yesterday’s Yusuf and today’s brother after many years.
6- A devout believer regards bitter events as having their origin in Allah’s Providence as well.
وَتَوَلَّي عَنْهُمْ وَقَالَ يَآ أَسَفَي عَلَي يُوسُفَ وَابْيَضَّتْ عَينَاهُ مِنَ الْحُزْنِ فَهُوَ كَظِيم
84. “And he turned away from them and said: ‘Alas for Yusuf!’ And his eyes became white with the grief of that he repressed.”
The Arabic word /’asaf/ philologically means grief and sorrow accompanied with wrath. Ya‘qub constantly had some tear in his eyes, the word ‘what a pity!’ on his tongue, and grief in his heart.
Imam Baqir (as) has been narrated who said in a tradition that his father Ali-ibn-il-Husayn, even twenty years after the event of Karbala, used to weep upon any ground. Once he was asked why he wept such a great deal.
“Ya‘qub had eleven sons one of whom disappeared, although he was alive Ya‘qub lost his eye-sight for him, while I saw by my own eyes that my father, my brothers and seventeen men from the house-hold of the Prophet (S) were slain as martyr before my eyes. How may I not weep?”
However, a deep sorrow and grief occupied throughout the entity of Ya‘qub, and the absence of Benjamin, the same son who was a cause of solace for him, reminded him of his dear Yusuf.
The remembrance of the time this fair, intelligent, faithful, fair young son was close in his bosom and a moment of the smelling of whose smelt refreshed the father as new life for him.
But now, not only there was no sign of him, but also his substitute, Benjamin, had an important painful fate like him. It was at this moment that he showed reaction as follows:
“And he turned away from them and said: ‘Alas for Yusuf!’...”
This double grief caused Ya‘qub (as) to shed flood of tears involuntarily as much as that his eyes lost its sight.
The verse continues saying:
“…And his eyes became white with the grief of that he repressed.”
He was very sad, yet he tried to control his grief and anger patiently, so that he would say nothing contrast to the Will of Allah.
قَالُوا تَاللَّهِ تَفْتَؤَأُ تَذْكُرُ يُوسُفَ حَتَّي تَكُونَ حَرَضاً أَوْ تَكُونَ مِنَ الْهَالِكِينَ
85. “They said: ‘By Allah! You will never cease to remember Yusuf until you are ill or (until) you are of the perished ones’.”
The Arabic term /harad/ refers to a person who grieves to death out of love or sorrow.
The brothers, who were over whelmed by sorrow as a result of this sequence of events, had a troubled conscience because of Yusuf’s affair and now they were finding themselves being tried anew with regard to Benjamin while they were profoundly hurt at the ever increasing sadness of their father.
With inconvenience they addressed the Father, and as the verse says:
“They said: ‘By Allah! You will never cease to remember Yusuf until you are ill or (until) you are of the perished ones’.”
1. The ideal love is spiritual and the heavenly sighs of grief which are of valuable import. The thinking of the men of Allah is identical with the thinking of Allah Himself.
2. The issue of paternal love is different from ordinary kinds of love.
3. Spiritual and psychic problems leave their impact on the body, among which one can name the separation from a loved one which might cause a nervous break-down or even death.
قَالَ إِنَّمَآ أَشْكُوا بَثّي وَحُزْنِي إِلَي اللَّهِ وَأَعْلَمُ مِنَ اللَّهِ مَا لا تَعْلَمُونَ
86. “He said: ‘I only complain of my anguish and my grief to Allah, and I know from Allah that which you do not know’.”
Ya‘qub declared that he used to relate his grief, his need, his life problems and his difficulties to Allah in the dark of night and in private times; and some commentators have said that /ba/ means an expression of grief while the word /huzn/ signifies hiding and covering one’s grief.
The verse says:
“He said: ‘I only complain of my anguish and my grief to Allah, and I know from Allah that which you do not know’.”
The Prophet of Allah (S) has been narrated to have said that Gabriel came to visit Ya‘qub and said:
“Allah sends His greetings to you and says that you should be of good cheer that He swears upon His Glory and Magnanimity that if those two sons were dead He would return their lives to them. Now you should prepare some food for the poor, those who are Allah’s most favorite servants.”
From then on, whenever Ya‘qub wanted to have a meal, he would order someone to call any poor man outside his home that was hungry could come inside and share his meal with him.
And when he was fasting, he would order someone to proclaim outside his house that whoever was fasting could come in and join him in breaking his fast with him. This narration has been quoted by Hakim Abu ‘Abdullah Hafiz in his Sahih.
The sentence “and I know from Allah that which you do not know”, means that Ya‘qub well knew that Yusuf’s dream would come true, that he was alive and according to the dream he saw they would soon prostrate before him.
In the book entitled ‘An-Nubuwwah’ (The Prophethood) documented from Sadir Siyrafi, Imam Baqir (as) is narrated to have said that Ya‘qub prayed for Allah to send the Angel of Death to him, and when the latter came to Ya‘qub, the angel asked him what he could do for him. Ya‘qub asked him if he had seen the spirit of Yusuf among those that he had taken.
He answered he had not, so Ya‘qub realized that Yusuf was still alive.
1. A monotheist shares his secrets and his hidden troubles only with Allah.
2. There are two vicious and heinous attributes regarding human beings: The silence which rules and reigns over one’s heart and nerves, exerting pressure on them and jeopardizing one’s health. The other one is crying and moaning in front of people which diminishes ones honor, and lowers the chances of success.
The best action in this regard is to take one’s complaint to Allah.
3. There lies in a dialogue or a discussion with Allah such a great pleasure which cannot be understood by ordinary people.
4. Superficial people usually pass by events easily. However thoughtful people follow events until their outcome in the Hereafter.
يَا بَنِيَّ اذْهَبُوا فَتَحَسَّسُوا مِن يُوسُفَ وَأَخِيهِ وَلا تَيْأَسُوا مِن رَّوْحِ اللَّهِ إِنَّهُ لا يَيْأَسُ مِن رَوْحِ اللَّهِ إِلاَّ الْقَوْمُ الْكَافِرُونَ
87. “O’ my sons! Go and enquire about Yusuf and his brother, and never despair of Allah’s Mercy. Verily none despairs of Allah’s Mercy except the unbelieving people.”
The Arabic term /tahassus/ means searching for something good by using one’s senses, while the Arabic term /tajassus/ means to search for bad things.
According to Raqib, both the terms /rauh/ and /ruh/ mean spirit, but the word /rauh/ is used when there is a relief and favor in question. It seems, by the removal of difficulties a new and fresh spirit emerges in man.
In Tafsir-i-Tibyan it is said that the word /ruh/ (spirit) is derived from /rih/ (wind). As man feels comfortable when the wind blows, he feels happy once he has the Divine Grace.
The famine, however, continued to strike hard in Egypt and in the surrounding areas, including Kan‘an. Once again Ya‘qub ordered his sons to go to Egypt and procure the food supplies necessary; but this time, the search for Yusuf and his brother Benjamin were placed at the top of the list of priorities.
“O’ my sons! Go and enquire about Yusuf and his brother...”
The brothers were sure that Yusuf was no longer alive, so the advice of their old father astonished them greatly. He reminded them that they should never despair of Divine grace for that was a sign of unbelief. Allah’s mercy can remove all difficulties.
Ya‘qub continued saying:
“…and never despair of Allah’s Mercy. Verily none despairs of Allah’s Mercy except the unbelieving people.”
فَلَمَّا دَخَلُوا عَلَيْهِ قَالُوا يآ أَيُّهَا الْعَزِيزُ مَسَّنَا وَأَهْلَنَا الضُّرُّ وَجِئْنَا بِبِضَاعَةٍ مُّزْجَاةٍ فَاَوْفِ لَنَا الْكَيْلَ وَتَصَدَّقْ عَلَيْنَآ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَجْزِي الْمُتَصَدّقِينَ
88. “Then, when they entered unto him (Yusuf), they said: ‘O’ ‘Aziz! Affliction has visited us and our family, and we have brought scanty merchandise. So pay us full measure and bestow you charity on us; verily Allah will reward the charitable ones’.”
So once again the sons of Ya‘qub loaded up their goods and, for the third time, they headed for Egypt, a land that had been full of adventures for them.
The verse says:
“Then, when they entered unto him (Yusuf), they said: ‘O’ ‘Aziz! Affliction has visited us and our family, and we have brought scanty merchandise. So pay us full measure and bestow you charity on us; verily Allah will reward the charitable ones’.”
This time, however, they entered Egypt feeling embarrassed and ashamed, because, contrary to their other trips, their past record had been badly damaged with the ‘Aziz and it is probable that some people now considered them as the thieves of Kan‘an.
The only thing which was their source of comfort among the host of difficulties and their exasperating troubles was the advice their father gave them; that they should not despair of Allah’s mercy, for solving any difficulty was an easy matter for Him.
The Arabic term /bida‘at/ refers to a property in the form of a price. The Qur’anic term /muzjat/ is derived from /’izja’/ with the sense of ‘casting out’. When salesmen return the money to the customer when it is less than the required amount, they call it: /bida‘tun muzjat/.
Some commentators have claimed that the meaning of “bestow you charity on us” is a request for Benjamin’s return, but most of the other commentators believe that it is a request for wheat itself.
قَالَ هَلْ عَلِمْتُم مَّا فَعَلْتُم بِيُوسُفَ وَأَخِيهِ إِذْ أَنتُمْ جَاهِلُونَ
89. “He (Yusuf) said: ‘did you know what you did with Yusuf and his brother when you were ignorant?””
A question can be the product of many objectives which can be positive and constructive or negative and disturbing. Perhaps Yusuf’s objective in asking this question was to let them know that he knew the whole story. Another possible objective could be that he wanted them to know that they did wrong and that they had to repent.
In any rate, at that moment when the period of trial had ended, and Yusuf also seemed terribly anxious and restless, in order to introduce himself, turned to the brothers and began as follows:
“He (Yusuf) said: ‘did you know what you did with Yusuf and his brother when you were ignorant?””
Yusuf, the ‘Aziz, finished his speaking while he was smiling. His smile showed his beautiful teeth to his brothers quite manifestly. Once they noticed them, realized that they were amazingly similar to the teeth of their brother Yusuf.
قَالُوا أَءِنَّكَ لأَنتَ يُوسُفُ قَالَ أَنَاْ يُوسُفُ وَهَذآ أَخِي قَدْ مَنَّ اللَّهُ عَلَيْنَآ إِنَّهُ مَن يَتَّقِ وَيَصْبِرْ فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يُضِيعُ أَجْرَ الْمُـحْسِنِينَ
90. “They said: ‘Are you indeed Yusuf?’ He said: ‘(Yes), I am Yusuf and this is my brother. Allah has been indeed gracious to us. Verily whoever keeps from evil and is patient (is always rewarded) for verily Allah does not waste the reward of the righteous’.”
The more the time passed the more the brothers were astonished at why the ‘Aziz wept upon their father’s letter and how he knew the story of Yusuf. They thought his feature was very alike to that of Yusuf; perhaps he was the same Yusuf.
They decided to ask this question from him. If he was not Yusuf they would not be considered as mad; but if he was Yusuf what they could do with shame. Excitement had encompassed them thoroughly. At last, they broke their silence by asking whether he was Yusuf.
The verse says:
“They said: ‘Are you indeed Yusuf?’...”
What happened here in this scene? Which painter can draw in a painting the feature of shame, happiness, weeping, and embracing? Only Allah knows it and none else.
The conditions should be in a state that people ask, and the stimuli increase in them for development and guidance. The stimulus for research and questions ceaselessly increase in Yusuf’s brothers. They said to themselves why he persisted on bringing Benjamin with them.
Why was the king’s cup found in the loads? Why did he return their money first time they bought wheat? Where from did he know the story of Yusuf? Would he not give them wheat again? When this excitement went to its climax, they asked him whether he was Yusuf and he answered: ‘Yes’.
Imam Sadiq (as) said:
“There is indeed a course of Yusuf in Hadrat Gha’im (as)… People will not recognize him (as) until when Allah will allow him to introduce himself.”2
1. The length of time in history containing bitter and sweet events can change the relations and comprehensions and cognitions.
2. It is true that the people’s obligation is bitter, but the obligation of Allah is sweet.
3. The men of Allah believe that all bounties belong to Him.
4. Patience and virtue pave the ground for one's honor.
5. Allah’s grace is wisely distributed and is allocated according to the well established criteria.
6. That person is eligible for an administrative position and who must have passed the tests of crises, jealousies, titles, lusts, humiliations, imprisonments, and slander.
7. One must make use of sensitive periods to inform and propagate. Once the brothers’ sense of shame was aroused because of their wrong deeds, they were most ready to accept Yusuf’s remarks.
8. One of the Divine ways of treatment is the bestowal of power in government upon the righteous people.
قَالُوا تَاللَّهِ لَقَدْ ءَاثَرَكَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْنَا وَإِن كُنَّا لَخَاطِئِينَ
91. “They said: ‘By Allah! Allah has indeed preferred you above us, and we certainly have been guilty’.”
The Arabic term /’iar/ means: ‘accepting other people’s superiority over oneself’. Because of their wrong way of thinking, such as saying “We are a (strong) group”3, they did wrong things like throwing Yusuf down the well.
Allah made them so exasperated that they had to beg in order to fill their stomachs and only after this were they ready to confess that their plans were in ruins and they could see the reality of their wrong thinking.
The verse says:
“They said: ‘By Allah! Allah has indeed preferred you above us, and we certainly have been guilty’.”
The brothers had sworn on several occasions employing the holy phrase /tallah/. When the cup was discovered they swore to Allah that they had not come to that land to commit theft or any other kind of corruption.4
Swearing to Allah, they told their father that he was always repeating the name of Yusuf,5 and by doing so he showed his extreme love towards him being in his ancient error.6 Now they swore Yusuf was superior to them.7
Of course the brothers could not look Yusuf in the eyes because of their shame, and they were probably worried whether or not their crimes would be forgiven.
قَالَ لاَ تَثْرِيبَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْيَوْمَ يَغْفِرُ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ وَهُوَ أَرْحَمُ الرَّاحِمِينَ
92. “He said: ‘There is no reproach against you this day. Allah may forgive you; and He is the most Merciful of the merciful (ones)’.”
The Arabic term /tarib/, mentioned in this verse, means ‘to scorn, to count something sin, and as much blameworthy.’
At the time of the conquest of Mecca, the pagans had sought refuge in the Ka‘bah. ‘Umar on that occasion said:
“We shall take revenge today!”
However the Prophet (S) replied:
“Today is the day of blessings”.
Then he asked the pagans what they thought. They said that they believed that all would be good, that the Prophet was their sublime brother. The Prophet (S) said that his words that day were the same as those of Yusuf.
Here is the word of Yusuf:
“He said: ‘There is no reproach against you this day...”
‘Umar then replied that he was ashamed of himself for what he said.8
Ali (as) said:
“When you gain power over your adversary pardon him by way of thanks for being able to overcome him.”9
The traditions say that the heart of a youth is more lenient than that of an old person, and the immaculate Imam, narrating this verse has said that since Yusuf was young, he soon forgave his brothers.
Yusuf did not expect the shameful state of his brothers to continue at the time of his success in particular, and to reassure them, he immediately said that they would not be threatened or blamed on that day, and they would not feel grief or sorrow due to the past.
Not only did he declare that he had forgiven them but he also informed them that the right of Allah was forgivable, as well, by means of that regret and remorse.
“…Allah may forgive you; and He is the most Merciful of the merciful (ones)’.”
This incident illustrates Yusuf’s greatness for not only did he spare his own right, but as far as the Divine right was concerned, he reassured them that Allah was Compassionate and Merciful.
1. Tolerance is an important instrument of administration.
2. One must learn from Yusuf’s humanity and generosity for he not only overlooked his own right but he also went out of his way to secure Allah’s pardon for his brothers.
3. Men of Allah are in the habit of pardoning once they are at the climax of their power and glory.
4. Allah’s pardon can also extend to include those who had for years been giving trouble to two of His prophets, Yusuf and Ya‘qub.
5. Once the servant of Allah forgives what can one expect Allah to do? He is the Most Forgiving of all!
6. To forgive those who are ashamed is the very habit of the Divine Being.
7. To attribute Allah as the Most Forgiving and as the Most Merciful of the merciful ones is the ritual for the process of prayer and repentance.
اذْهَبُوا بِقَمِيصِي هَذَا فَاَلْقُوهُ عَلَي وَجْهِ أَبِي يَأْتِ بَصِيراً وَأْتُونِي بِاَهْلِكُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ
93. “Go with this shirt of mine and lay it on my father’s face, he will (again) be able to see; and bring me your family all together.”
This shirt has been mentioned in several occurrences of the story of Hadrat Yusuf.
A – At first the brothers had stained the shirt of Yusuf with fake blood and took it to his father, claiming that the wolf had eaten him.10
B – A shirt was torn from the back and was instrumental in identifying the offender.11
C – A shirt caused Ya‘qub to regain his eyesight.
The verse says:
“Go with this shirt of mine and lay it on my father’s face, he will (again) be able to see; and bring me your family all together.”
We see that Yusuf’s shirt on the face of a blind man can make him regain his sight, therefore, one can hope to be cured by whatever is in contact with the men of Allah, such as their mausoleums, courtyards, houses, doors, the earth, the walls, clothing, and anything else.
We have already been covering the stages in which Yusuf was recognized, their apologies to him, the pardon he granted and his request for Divine forgiveness; but the father’s blindness, which had been a clue to the brothers’ crime, was still outstanding. We have the solution to this problem in this verse.
Incidentally, the traditions say that Yusuf said:
“The person who takes my shirt to my father must be the same one who had taken my blood stained shirt to him, so that he may rejoice after having been saddened by it.”
The traditions say that Yusuf seated all his brothers next to him every day and night for their meals and they always felt ashamed. So they sent him a message saying that they wanted to have their meals separately since looking at his face made them feel ashamed.
“I take pride in sitting next to you and having my meals with you.”
One could only say: ‘Allah is the greatest’ for such a magnitude of spirit.
1. Taking recourse to objects, which are somehow associated with men of Allah, is permitted. Yusuf’s shirt, for example, makes a blind man regain his eyesight.
2. He who fights against his carnal desires and passions, even his clothing becomes sacrosanct and sanctified.
3. There is no age limit for performing miracles and wonder workings by a saint.
4. Yusuf was knowledgeable about the invisible world, otherwise, how could he know that the shirt could cure his father’s blindness?
5. Affluent children ought to provide for their less well to do relatives especially their elderly parents.
6. Social conditions leave their impact on the performance of one’s duties.
7. One must take care of one’s family, in Yusuf’s case, he had to look after his family in order for them to come to Egypt. Attending to one’s relatives is a necessity once one fully observes the rights of others.
8. Migration and changing one’s residence have many effects, one of which is that it removes sad and bitter memories.