Surah Yusuf: Jealousy and a Father’s Beautiful Patience

Asalamoalaykum warahmatullah,

Let’s continue with some of the benefits of Surah Yusuf, shall we?


Verse 7: Verily, in Yûsuf (Joseph) and his brethren, there were Ayât (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) for those who ask.

  • Jealousy can destroy a household even though it was a household of Prophets and what was its outcome? Prophet Yaqub AS loses his three sons Yusuf AS, Bin Yameen and the older son
  • Jealousy is the root of all evil because the first sin with which Allah SWT was disobeyed in the Heavens was through jealousy (Iblis). And the 1st sin Allah SWT was disobeyed with on this Earth was through jealousy too when one of the sons of Adam AS killed the other.
  • Therefore, it is not from the Akhlaq of believers to feel jealousy for each other
  • Allah SWT will take away hatred from believers amongst each other or any trace of hurt in Jannah but opposite of those in Hellfire. In fact those in Hellfire will curse each other. (need to find ref. from Quraan, look back for update)

Verse 8: When they said: “Truly, Yûsuf (Joseph) and his brother (Benjamin) are dearer to our father than we, but we are a strong group. Really, our father is in a plain error.

  • Yusuf AS and his younger brother Bin Yameen (Benjamin) were more beloved to Yaqub AS
  • There were 12 sons in total, the first 10 were from another mother and the other two: Yusuf AS and Bin Yameen were from another. So the adjective ‘strong’ just refers to in number, i.e. them being 10 and the other two only 2.
  • This shows us that in Islam, it is OK to have natural inclinations towards someone. What this means is, the love Yaqub AS had for Yusuf AS was natural and is not under anyone’s control. Allah SWT forgives one’s feelings towards someone specifically for e.g. in the case of the Prophet SAW, he did like Aisha RA more than other wives. However he didn’t let that special love prevent him from being just to all his wives. Likewise, one may have a favourite child but that doesn’t mean one is allowed to do injustice to other children.

Verse 9: “Kill Yûsuf (Joseph) or cast him out to some (other) land, so that the favour of your father may be given to you alone, and after that you will be righteous folk (by intending repentance before committing the sin).”

  • Notice how evil jealousy is! It makes a person blind so much so that a brother is ready to kill his own brother! SubhanAllah!
  • Notice also how they try to justify their evil action: ‘so that the favour of your father may be given to you alone’
    • In Islam: Ends DO NOT justify the means. In this verse, they the end they wanted to achieve was the father’s love, which in itself has nothing wrong with it. However the means they used, i.e. abusing Yusuf AS, is just totally incorrect.
  • ‘and after that you will be righteous folk (by intending repentance before committing the sin).’
    • So many people say that and are determined to commit a sin because they say that after commiting that sin, they’ll repent.
    • Some youth also say that they will ‘enjoy’ their life for  now and when they are older, they will repent. This is very wrong because such a Tawbah is not accepted. To such kind of people, a sin is like a fly on their nose (I believe there’s a hadith about this as well).

Verse 10: One from among them said: “Kill not Yûsuf (Joseph), but if you must do something, throw him down to the bottom of a well, he will be picked up by some caravan of travellers.”

  • Scholars say that this is the older brother speaking who goes for a gentler manner. Instead of killing, he proposes throwing Yusuf AS in the well, Not that any of that is better but it shows that the older brother was a little wiser.
  • Arabic is a very rich language and sometimes words that have no proper translation in English have a meaning of their own in Arabic. In the Arabic text, the word ‘Al-Jubb’ has been used whereas there’s another word for ‘well’, which is ‘Bi’-arr’. The word ‘Al-Jubb’ means a pit, a well that is not even dug whereas ‘Bi’-arr’ refers to a dug-out well. So basically, Yusuf AS was thrown not only in a well but a well which was not even dug properly. Imagine how scary that is!  Almost like a grave! SubhanAllah!

Verse 11: They said: “O our father! Why do you not trust us with Yûsuf (Joseph) though we are indeed his well-wishers?”

    • The above word has an interesting thing associated with it. When you pronounce the meem in it, you have to make your lips into a circle formation for the meem specifically. This is soo cool. SubhanAllah. Just tells us that if Quraan wasn’t taught to us via a teacher, its true pronounciation would’ve been lost.
    • To me it shows that our religion reached to us completely, with nothing lost. With nothing added or subtracted so much so that even the minute details have been conveyed to us. Wow!
  • The brothers in this verse are lying. Not only did they plotted against Yusuf AS, they are also lying. This tells us that when a person commits one sin, it increases him in sin. Likewise if a person does a good deed, it increases him in good deed. I feel a good deed attracts a good deed. And vice versa for the sins.

Verse 12: “Send him with us tomorrow to enjoy himself and play, and verily, we will take care of him.”

  • There’s nothing haraam in playing for kids. (I wish Br. Aboo Thabit had said adults too but oh well.) We have a famous example from the life of Aisha RA who used to play with dolls and hide and seek after Nikaah with her friends. How cute subhanAllah! Makes me smile. So even the Prophet SAW used to play hide and seek with all her friends just not to disturb Aisha RA’s childhood. What an amazing husband who understood the psychology of his wife! :)

Verse 13: He [Ya’qûb (Jacob)] said: “Truly, it saddens me that you should take him away. I fear lest a wolf should devour him, while you are careless of him.”

  • Yaqub AS already tells them about his fear. Scholars say that if you have a fear, do not tell others because it might be used against you. Like here, the sons used it against their father in the story.

 Verse 14: They said: “If a wolf devours him, while we are a strong group (to guard him), then surely, we are the losers.”

  • In Islam, you don’t think in numbers because if Allah SWT wills it to happen, it will. The real thing then is not in quantity but rather it is the Qadr of Allah SWT. (Recall the Battle of Badr? Amazing right?)

Verse 15: So, when they took him away, they all agreed to throw him down to the bottom of the well (they did so), and We revealed to him: “Indeed, you shall (one day) inform them of this their affair, when they know (you) not.”

  • Scholars say that the brothers abused Yusuf AS till they reached the well. Yusuf AS pleaded but they didn’t listen. Finally when Yusuf AS was thrown into the well, he hung onto it but the brothers beat on his hands and he AS fell deep down. One must recall that Yusuf AS is a young boy here. He AS almost drowned in the well but he supported himself on a small rock. And some scholars say that the end part of the above verse was revealed to him by Allah SWT which calmed Yusuf AS’s heart. And Allah SWT knows best.

Verse 16: And they came to their father in the early part of the night weeping.

  • It is said that the brothers returned at Ishaa. How evil of them! If they had returned earlier, they would less likely be believed. They also ensured that Yusuf AS had no means to escape. SubhanAllahhh! Look at their plotting and then their crocodile tears.
  • Scholars have discussed which time was most difficult for Yusuf AS, the time he spent in the well or in the prison. To a person, obviously it’ll be the well. But in future you’ll see how merciful Yusuf AS when he reunites with his brothers and he says it was in the prison…just so that his brothers don’t get hurt! Allahu Akbar! Goosebumps moment right here! What an amazing slave of an AMAZING Rabb!

Verse 17: They said:”O our father! We went racing with one another, and left Yûsuf (Joseph) by our belongings and a wolf devoured him; but you will never believe us even when we speak the truth.”

  • They immediately went on the offensive. Seems like they really thought this through!
  • Whenever a person’s guilty that’s what they end up doing (most of the time).

Verse 18: And they brought his shirt stained with false blood. He said: “Nay, but your ownselves have made up a tale. So (for me) patience is most fitting. And it is Allâh (Alone) Whose help can be sought against that (lie) which you describe.”

  • Yaqub AS knew that something was up. Hmm.
  • Sabrun Jameel (beautiful patience)…Br. Aboo Thabit didn’t focus much on that but I’d like to ponder over it on my own
    • I was just thinking that Prophet Yaqub AS didn’t scold his 10 sons nor did he mistreated them…like parents usually do when they get angry. I mean he AS was the Prophet of Allah SWT. He knew they were lying. Yet he didn’t disown them or anything. Imagine losing your child…esp. the one you adore so much, like that! God forbid! But I would be running around outside looking for him. I wouldn’t be able to sleep and would probably not even talk to anyone…losing someone you love like that…and when you know who’s fault it was. SubhanAllah! On top of that Yaqub AS was in authority, after all he was the father. It would be justified if he scolded the children. But look at him! He AS despite being in power, let go of his right to be upset at the kids! If that’s not a trait of a Mohsin, then what is? A person who doesn’t demand his rights! One who chooses patience and prefers it over anything else. Ya Allah! What a slave! Am I repeating myself? *sigh* I wish I could be a true slave of Allah SWT.


Anyway, that’s for tonight. I hope it’s useful for me and whoever wishes to benefit from it.

Br. Aboo Thabit gave us 2 q’s for homework after finishing this part:

1) Another name of Yaqub AS is Israeel. Mention the only 2 places in the Quraan where ‘Israeel’ is mentioned without ‘Bani Israeel’.

2) How come Yaqub AS didn’t believe his sons?

I’ll give answers in the next post inshaa’Allah.

And Allah SWT knows best.

One Response to “Surah Yusuf: Jealousy and a Father’s Beautiful Patience”

  1. asalamualaykum sis :)

    This was beautiful <3

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