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yusuf 68-77

yusuf 68-77

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Published by: elan sudjanamihardja on Jun 19, 2011
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http://muslimmatters.org/2011/06/17/the-best-of-stories-pearls-from-surah-yusuf-part-10/Last week, we had begun the second portion of the story of Ya‘qub’s re-entering intothe scene, and the brothers tell Ya‘qub they have to bring Binyamin into Egypt intoMemphis in order to get more grain. Ya‘qub has them make a solemn oath to Allah(subhanahu wata’ala) that they will take care of him, and they give him their oath.Ya‘qub tells them to enter from different gates because he wanted to protect themfrom two things: a natural jealousy and a natural fear and a jealousy that would comewhen so many people would come from a different tribe, all of them men andhandsome and young and all of them from the same family. He wanted to protectthem from the evil eye, from the
. Allah (
 subhanahu wata’ala
) then said,
لّإِ ءٍي ْش َ نم ِ ا ن َم ه ُ ْعَ ي ِغ ْ ُ  َك َ م ّ ُوب ُأَ  ْُر َم َأَ ث ُ ْح َ ن ْم ِ اْو ُخ َد َ  ّ َ َ لَ س ِ ّا ر َ َك ْأَ ن ّ ِـ َ َ ُ َ ْ ّعَ  َ   ٍ ْعِ ذ ُ َ  ُ ّإِ َ َض َق َ  َو ُ ْ َ  ِف ْ َ ي ِ ة ًج َح َ  َو ُ َ ْ َ
“And when they entered according to their father's advice, it did not avail them in theleast against (the Will of) Allâh, it was but a need of Ya'qûb's (Jacob) inner-self whichhe discharged. And verily, he was endowed with knowledge because We had taughthim, but most men know not (68)”This means that the sons obeyed their father. Even though their father is far away,they have a sense of 
and oath. It shows that they have good in them, and theyare not completely evil. Their father is not there, and now they are coming into thecity, and they follow their father’s orders. They obeyed their father, but Allahcomments,
نم ِ ا ن َم ه ُ ْعَ ي ِغ ْ ُ  َك َ م ّ ءٍي ْش َ
“It didn’t help them against the decree of Allah.”Allah had decreed that a calamity was going to happen right now, as we are going tofind out. Allah had decreed something would happen, so Allah is saying, “It did nothelp them against Allah (
 subhanahu wata’ala
) except for a
(desire).” Exceptfor a will that Ya‘qub had that he felt calm that his children obeyed him. It was a psychological desire that did not change the decree of Allah, but Ya‘qub still toldthem to do it, and Allah approved of the action.The whole point of all of this is
in Allah means that you do what you can toget to the end, but you realize it is not going to help you in the end result. If Allah haswilled it, He has willed it, and if Allah has not willed it, it will not happen. 
ُ َ ْ ّعَ  َ   ٍ ْعِ ذ ُ َ  ُ ّإِ َ
ذ ُ َ =
 َ  =
 because “And indeed, Ya‘qub has the knowledge of what Wetaught him.”This phrase has a number of interpretations to it. The first of them: “He hasknowledge because We taught him the knowledge.” This means he has the
 because Allah gave him the
, and so Allah is ascribing
to Himself because all
comes from Allah (
 subhanahu wata’ala
).The second interpretation is that Ya‘qub understood the knowledge that Allah taughthim, so it’s one thing to have knowledge, and it is another to understand it. Allah is praising Ya‘qub that he understood the knowledge. That is a different thing thanknowing the knowledge. There are many people who have memorized the Qur’an butthey don’t understand it, or they haven’t comprehend it. Allah is saying, “He has theknowledge of what We taught him, so he understood it.”Yet a third interpretation, and this is the interpretation of Ibn Abbas, is that Ya‘qubacted upon the knowledge that Allah gave him because having knowledge is onething, and acting upon it is something else. Ya‘qub is being praised because he actedupon the knowledge that Allah (
 subhanahu wata’ala
) gave him.The final interpretation is that this phrase is relevant to the whole story, and thatYa‘qub understood that he could not protect his sons from the decree of Allah, but hestill did what he could to facilitate matters. We already mentioned a number of things: he took reasonable precautions, he told the children to enter from differentdoors, he took a solemn oath from Allah (
 subhanahu wata’ala
) that they would takecare of him. He did all the precautions, so he acted upon the knowledge, but he knewthat in the end it was up to Allah (
 subhanahu wata’ala
).But most of mankind, they do not know”. 
 َو ُ َ ْ َ لَ س ِ ّا ر َ َك ْأَ ن ّ ِـ َ َ
They don’t have this knowledge or they don’t act upon this knowledge or they have itand they don’t understand it. Depending on the interpretation of the previous phrase,Allah is saying, “Most of mankind don’t have what Ya‘qub had.”
 َب ِ  ْئ ِت َ ْ َ  َ َ  َوخ ُأَ  ْ َأَ ي إِ  َق َ ُخ َأَ  ِ ْ َإِ ى َآ  َ ُو ُ  َعَ اْو ُخ َد َ  ّ َ َ  َو ُ َ ْ َ اْو ُك َ
“And when they went in before Yûsuf (Joseph), he took his brother (Benjamin) tohimself and said: "Verily!I am your brother, so grieve not for what they used to do." 
ى َآ ِ ْ َإِخ َأَ
He took his brother aside.
ى َاءَ
= he took . Some scholars say that hedivided the group into two in order to host them, so the rooms that they had for hosting people were small rooms for two, and there were eleven in number. As youknow, they were twelve full, and Yusuf is the twelfth, so they are eleven in number.He put two of them in every room, and as for the youngest one, he said, “I will take
him with me as a guest because he doesn’t fit into any of your rooms.” And so hetook him aside. Now he had his full brother Binyamin alone.
 َوخ ُأَ  ْ َأَ ي إِ
He said, ‘I am your brother…’”There is a double emphasis:
inni ana
meaning “I am your only brother. I am the onethat you know.” Binyamin was probably three or four years old, and he has never metYusuf in a sense to remember him, or if he has, he has some very vague memories of Yusuf, but he knows, of course, the story. He knows that he has an older brother whowent missing, and he knows that something happened and most likely his brothers didit.The scholars say that the other ten were mistreating Binyamin, and the reference tothis is in the next verse when Yusuf says,
 َ َ ْئ ِت َ ْ َ َب ِاْو ُك َ َو ُ َ ْ َ
“So do not feel sad at the actions that they do.” From this phrase ‘don’t be
 ْئ ِت َ ْ َ
= grieve, sad at what they are doing to you,’ we get the interpretation that the other ten were mistreating Binyamin, but they couldn’t do to Binyamin what they did toYusuf because they have already done one crime, so how many crimes are they goingto do?They couldn’t get rid of Binyamin, and they couldn’t throw him into a well, but for his entire life, Binyamin is being ridiculed and treated in a harsh manner and treatedvery crudely by all of the elder brothers. He is the youngest of them, and he is the full brother of Yusuf, so Yusuf is saying, “Now your days of tyranny are over. Don’tworry about what they do to you, you have now come to me. I am your brother, and Iwill take care of you.”He informs his brother of the plot. He informs his brother of what he is going to do,and again, we get the question over and over again: Why is Yusuf doing this? Wedon’t have a response other than Allah would have told him to do so. We don’t knowwhy he is going to do this plot. He is telling his brother, “Don’t worry about whatthey have done, and don’t be worried about what is going to happen. Put your trust inme. I will arrange a plan for you to stay here.”Why would he want Binyamin to stay and deprive Ya‘qub of the second favoriteson? All we can say is Allah knows best. Most likely Allah had a plot and a plan,and Allah gave him
, or another interpretation is that Binyamin was under sometype of threat, maybe not a mortal or fatal threat, but the threat of always being persecuted and ridiculed and being treated harshly. Binyamin is now safe in the palace of Yusuf, and he is not going to be harmed by the brothers.He wants to keep Binyamin with him. How can he keep Binyamin? Binyamin is aforeigner, and foreigners are not allowed to remain in Egypt. Egypt is now only for Egyptians, just like any land. Here in America, if you are from another land, as youall know, you need a visa to come here. You cannot remain in America, and youcannot remain in a land without permission.

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