Surah Yusuf : Benefits and important lessons we should know
Surah Yusuf is the 12th chapter of the Quran with 111 verses mentioned in Para 12 and 13. It was revealed in a single sitting in the end period of Makkah. It narrates the coherent story of the life of Prophet Yusuf (AS) in chronological order discussing his journey from his childhood, youth to being the king of Egypt.
Yusuf (AS) was the beloved son of Ya’qub (AS). One day he had a dream and he told his father about it. Ya’qub (AS) at once perceived that Yusuf will be a Prophet and forbade him from telling it to his brothers because they envied him for being loved by his father.
One day they planned to kill Yusuf (AS) but later threw him in a well. They lied to their father that a wolf had killed Yusuf (AS) and showed his bloodied shirt that was actually stained with the blood of a goat. After a number of days, Yusuf (AS) was rescued by a caravan who sold him as a slave in Egypt. He was bought by the governor of Egypt who adopted him as his son.
When Yusuf (AS) became a very handsome young man, the governor’s wife Zulaikha tried to seduce him but he resisted. Seeing the refusal, Zulaikha accused him of trying to seduce her. Even if Yusuf (AS) was innocent but he was imprisoned to end this scandal.
Yusuf (AS) was blessed for interpreting the dreams. In the prison, he interpreted the dream of a prisoner who was then released. Yusuf (AS) asked him to refer his talent to the King. One day, King had a dream and that prisoner mentioned Yusuf (AS). He interpreted the King’s dream that was about a seven-year drought in Egypt. The King released him as a reward. On-demand of Yusuf (AS), his case was investigated and he was proved innocent. He was then given a high position in government.
During the drought and famine, when he was in charge of all the grain in Egypt, he recognized his brothers who came to buy grain for their family. Being in a high position, without revealing his identity he requested them to bring their youngest brother Binyamin next time in order to get a total amount of grain.
On their return with Binyamin, Yusuf (AS) revealed his identity to him and plotted a robbery case making him guilty so he could stay with him. On their third return, when Yusuf (AS) revealed his identity to them, they repented and asked for his forgiveness. Yusuf (AS) forgave them wholeheartedly and asked them to bring his father Ya’qub (AS) to come and live with him in Egypt.
Asbab al nuzul of Surah Yusuf
The surah was revealed in the Makkah before migration to Madinah. It was revealed after the year called “Aam-al-huzn” (The year of Sorrow). This year was a depressing and critical time for our Prophet Muhammad (SAW) had lost his wife and partner, Khadija (May Allah be pleased with her), and his dear uncle, Abu Talib.
The two deaths were a crucial loss to him because they were the people who protected and motivated him through his journey of preaching Islam. Later on, he faced several hardships while calling people to Islam. So he departed to the city of Taif. But the people of Taif, instead of welcoming him, threw rocks at him and chased him out of the city. He was wounded, bleeding, and left with only disappointment.
Then Allah (SWT) revealed this surah to strengthen his (SAW) soul, heart, and spirit and to comfort him in his time of depression and sorrow. He was reminded by Allah (SWT) about the great prophets and their pains and that he should follow in their footsteps.
In the surah Yusuf, there is the message of patience, dependence on Allah (SWT), his help and support and the strength to overcome troubles and betrayal. In the surah, Allah (SWT) has guaranteed his help for his messengers in their time of dejections. At the end of surah Yusuf, He says: “And when the messengers despaired and their people thought the messengers had been denied help. Our help came to them at last. We then saved whoever we willed and our punishment is never averted from the wicked people.”
The compelling story of Yusuf (AS) teaches us about the importance of having strong faith in Allah as the faiths of the Prophets. It includes the lessons of the divine power of Allah, the character of a Muslim, courage, and confidence to face the hardships, keeping the dreams untold to avoid jealousy and evil eyes, and seeking refuge in Allah. It teaches the importance of honesty, integrity, forgiveness, and patience. Throughout the story, the foremost lesson is having deep faith in Allah’s plan and will.
Surah Yusuf benefits
Every surah of the Quran contains outstanding and healing benefits for its reciters. Surah Yusuf is exceptionally beneficial for those who recite it daily. Allah has called this surah as “best of stories”, He says in the beginning of this surah: “We relate to you ‘O Prophet’ the best of the stories through our revelation of this Quran, though before this you were totally unaware of them.”
The recitation of surah Yusuf removes the jealousy from the hearts of its reciters. Allah will also ease the pain of the reciters of surah Yusuf at the time of their death (sakarat al mawt). The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said: “Teach your relatives the recitation of Surah Yusuf, for who recites it or teaches it to his family and slaves, Allah will ease the agony of death for him and give him the strength that will prevent from envying a fellow Muslim.”
Reciters of this surah will be raised on the Day of Judgement with the handsomeness of the Prophet Yusuf (AS). They will be protected from the fear of that day. Besides, this surah helps in dealing against one’s innermost self and desires which is the greatest struggle. It also helps one to remain patient, steadfast, and to endure the pains. It teaches its reciters to forgive and show mercy so that they become honorable before Allah. Moreover, reciters of this surah gain mercy and blessings of Allah (SWT).
To utilize the multiple benefits of surah Yusuf and live according to the lessons taught in the surah, one must recite it daily with deep meaning and understanding. May Allah (SWT) bless all of us with the ability to recite and memorize the Quran and shower its benefits upon us. Ameen
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