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Stories of the Prophets

A seri
ries by Amr Khaled

Y us uf 2 B

Stories of the Prophets 1 Yusuf 2B


Yusuf (AS) 2B:

Y aqub (AS) (Jacob) didnt prevent them from going out to play; he didnt tell them that a Muslim
should not entertain himself. This is something that I would like to emphasize to you. The Muslim is neither
prohibited from playing sports, nor from being happy, enjoying his life, or wearing the best he can. I would
like to make a remark to those Muslims who have some misconceptions. Some youths, for instance, tuck up
their trousers. They say that Prophet Muhammad (SAWS1) prohibited Muslims from dragging their
garments. You should understand Islam properly, and know why Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) said that.

The Prophet (SAWS) said, The part of an Izar (garment) which hangs below the ankles is in hell.2
When he said that Hadith, Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) was talking about those who did so out of pride,
for Arabs used to drag their garments to boast and to show off, but this does not happen nowadays.

The Prophet (SAWS) said, Allah will not look, on the Day of Judgment, at the person who drags his
garment (behind him) out of conceit. On that Abu-Bakr (RA) said, O Allah's Apostle! One side of
my Izar hangs low if I do not take care of it. The Prophet (SAWS) said, You are not one of those
who do that out of conceit.3

Hence, you should understand that in order for you to be useful to Islam, you should be good-
looking, know how to use the computer/the internet, and play sports. In our daily life, we encounter
very bad scenes, like when you see youths unable to run properly because of smoking, or some
others who have very weak bodies because they are not used to physical exercise.

Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, Send him with us tomorrow to enjoy himself and
play, and verily, we will take care of him. (TMQ, 12:12).4 This ayah (verse) is an indication
that it is not forbidden neither for men nor for women to play sports. Women should not only play
sports, but also be keen to exercise, as long as they do that in special places where men cannot see
them.

The useful lesson we should learn from this point is that entertainment is not prohibited in itself. It
is only prohibited when it is a mans only concern and is sinfully practiced. Some youth, for
instance, play sports because they want to be in good shape, and use this as a means of showing off.
This is a point which I wish to stress.

Yaqubs fear

Going back to Yusufs story, Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, He (Yaqub) 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. (TMQ, 12:13). One may ask: why did Yaqub (AS) approve of Yusufs going
out with his brothers although he was afraid and worried? Because he was not sure of their intentions, and

1
Sala-llahu Alahi Wa Salam = All Prayers and Peace of Allah be upon him.
2
Volume 7, Book 72, Number 678: Narrated Abu Huraira. al-Bukhari
3
Volume 7, Book 72, Number 675: Narrated 'Abdullah Ibn-Omar. al-Bukhari
4
TMQ= translation of the Meaning of the Quran. This translation is for the so far realised meaning of this aya of the
Qur'an. Reading the translated meaning of the Qur'an can never replace reading it in Arabic, the language in which it
was revealed
Stories of the Prophets 2 Yusuf 2B
therefore overlooked his fear and approved in order not to embarrass his sons, and not to increase enmity
amongst them. He was keen on strengthening the bonds between his sons.

Here I would like to address a word to parents: you should strengthen the bonds that link your
children. Many parents complain from the arguments that take place among their sons. Sometimes,
we see a youth who, after he became religious, refuses to accompany his sister outdoors because she
is not veiled. However, it would be better if he treats her kindly, because girls are stubborn by
nature. We should learn from Yaqub (AS), who wanted to get his children closer to each other, and
therefore thought that that trip would help them. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, They
said, If a wolf devours him, while we are a strong group (to guard him), then surely, we are
the losers. (TMQ, 12:14). They assured their father.

Getting rid of Yusuf (AS):

Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, So, when they took him away and 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. (TMQ, 12:15).

I would like to stop for a while at this Ayah, scrutinizing some points. They all agreed to throw him
down. (TMQ, 12:15). Can you imagine ten persons agreeing on committing such an act, with no
sympathy? Allah (SWT) is telling us this Ayah to show the hatred and malice they harbored towards their
brother. The idea to back off never crossed their minds.

When they took him away. (TMQ, 12:15). Scholars scrutinized this phrase, trying to figure out
what Yusufs state was on the way. Most probably his brothers hit and insulted him. Can you
imagine a twelve-year-old boy suffering all this harm inflicted by his brothers?

Let us try to imagine what happened from the beginning. They took him to an isolated place, so that if he got
out of the well, he would never be able to get back again. Even when he became the chief minister of Egypt
he did not go back home, as he could not remember the way. That was their main concern; to let him lose his
way in the middle of the desert. That is why they went to the farthest point they could reach in the desert
until they reached an area that was full of wolves.

Did you notice that the bottom of the well was mentioned twice? Imagine a young boy being stripped
off his clothes, while he was begging them, Oh, please dont take away my clothes. Give me back
my shirt at least; it would be my shroud if I die or my cover if I survive. Think about this child
who is clinging to his shirt to cover his body while girls do not care about being covered nowadays.
Imagine yourself in the same situation. Imagine his brothers laughing at him while they listened to
what he was saying.

The phrase, throw him down mean that they threw him. They did not lower him down there
slowly, until he reached the bottom. No, they just threw him, because they wanted to get rid of him.
Imagine him now; he is down there, he cant see anything, but he can hear the sounds of snakes and
scorpions. Can you imagine how scared he is now, being down there alone, almost naked, while he
is only twelve? Believe me, if that happened to a fully-grown man, he would certainly have had a
shock and possibly die. Imagine him calling upon them, asking them to leave him some food, while
they were still laughing. A few moments later, their voices faded away, and he was left alone down
there for three days.

Stories of the Prophets 3 Yusuf 2B


In al-Athar5, there is a comment about Yusufs story; a saying by Yusuf (AS) himself at that horrible
situation, Oh brothers, look at me so that when you are together, you remember my loneliness.
When you eat, remember my hunger. When you drink, remember my thirst and when you see a
stranger, remember my desolation. That was an endeavor of Yusuf (AS), trying to arouse
sympathy in their hearts. However, this did not work. Even nowadays, we meet such stonehearted
persons. You can see brothers who cut their kinship ties because of differences regarding
inheritance, although they are Muslims. I really ask everyone who reads this lecture to forget about
their disagreements with their relatives, so that Allah (SWT) would be pleased with them.

Mercy of Allah (SWT)

..and We revealed to him: Indeed, you shall (one day) inform them of this their affair, when
they know (you) not. (TMQ, 12:15).

This part of the Ayah shows us the mercy of Allah (SWT), He is the King of this whole universe
with all its contents and only by His will everything is done. Who would ever believe that this same
pathetic boy, after forty years would be the chief minister of Egypt? Hence, every tyrant in this
world, and everyone who suffered from tyranny should be assured that Allah (SWT) is the All-
Knowing. He who counts on Allah (SWT), will undoubtedly be victorious.

It was mentioned in al-Athar that Allah (SWT) ordered Jibril (AS) (Gabriel) to tell Yusuf (AS) that
he should supplicate to Allah (SWT) instead of calling upon his brothers. Yusuf (AS) then started
his supplication to Allah (SWT), O Allah, you are the only company of every lonely, and stranger.
You are the haven of every terrified. You are the listener for every supplication. You are the only
helper.

The truth is that we are too helpless. We have no one to help us except Allah (SWT). People who
have a problem Im telling them this, be patient, Allah (SWT) will certainly help you, Allah (SWT)
willing. He will bestow his honor upon you like he did with Yusuf (AS).

I ask everyone who reads this lecture: after you have become acquainted with the Holy Quran and
its miracles, learn about it as much as you can.

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5
This word literally means trace. As a technical term it denotes a tradition: (Trace, vestige). It usually refers to
traditions from Companions or Successors, but is sometimes used for traditions of the Prophet.
Stories of the Prophets 4 Yusuf 2B