The magnificence of the story of Prophet Youssuf (pbuh) lies in the fact that it manifests bounteous attributes of God intrinsically grouping them in one parable which, while revolves around the course of life of one person, combines several places, people, life situations, and most importantly brings into focus a copious assortment of morals …

Once again we’re living the inspirational narrative of Prophet Youssuf (PBUH), one of the most beautiful parables in the Quran as particularly testified by Allah (SWT):

“We relate to you, [O Muhammad], the best of stories in what We have revealed to you of this Qur’an.” – Quran 12:3

The magnificence of the story of Prophet Youssuf (pbuh) lies in the fact that it manifests bounteous attributes of God intrinsically grouping them in one parable which, while revolves around the course of life of one person, combines several places, people, life situations, and most importantly brings into focus a copious assortment of morals like never mentioned in any other single parable in the Quran, whether those depicting the life of one of the Holy Prophets or other stories of past nations.

In this portion of the reflections I shall tackle the phase of the noble Prophet’s life starting with being dumped into the well, gotten out, and entering the land of wonders, according to him, the lands in which he dwelled for almost the rest of his life- upholding his mission of Prophethood and living through some of the toughest of tests a man or any living human can be put through.

Early signs of manhood

Starting with the well episode, the noble Prophet was thrown by his own siblings into a deep dark well, known to harbor salty water, which connotes that no possible caravan would ever stop by for water, and thus he has no chance for being rescued. Prophet Youssuf’s brothers had the intention of actually sentencing him to death.

Can you envision the extent of horror little Youssuf was subject to, having had to stay in a horriffic well, probably housing snakes and other harmful creatures- not for an hour or two but for a few days? More saddening, can you imagine the bitterness of the spiritual pain inflicted upon him being put into sever harm at the hands of his own brothers, who were entrusted with his care? This is definitely too much for the nerves and fine heart of a little boy to tolerate.

But Prophet Youssuf (peace be upon him) was enshrined with God’s protection and supreme mercy. He was also harboring early signs of manhood and maturity that helped him keep resolute through such daunting test. And indeed he passed it firm and steadfast.

As for the moral harm inflicted upon Prophet Youssuf (pbuh), having got beaten up, humiliated, and dumped into a well at the hands of people of his own flesh and blood, it actually taught him a lesson; that one shouldn’t rely on the love and care of fellow humans and take it for granted, for people change. Also nothing and nobody are worthy of dependability. One’s sole trust and reliance should be firmly rooted in Almighty Allah, the Omnipotent, the Supreme and the All Powerful.

At a moment little Youssuf thought to himself that a person who’s blessed with overwhelming kindness and warmth such as that of his brothers, that’s before they turn the table against him, shouldn’t worry about a thing in life. But the fact of the matter and the lesson which he later grasped is that the optimum love and unwavering care one should seek after should be that of Allah (SWT).

Prophet Youssuf (pbuh) was subject to further moral pain upon getting out of the well with the help of the convoy that stopped by; hoping to find drinking- water.  And this time the pain was indeed two-fold.

Your True Worthiness is Only in the Sight of God

Upon the rescue mission, Prophet Youssuf’s brothers were watching from a distance, anticipating what will happen. And seeing the little boy whom they sought his death being rescued wasn’t enough to awaken their souls to their evil intentions- but rather; they revealed another side of their malice, deciding to sell their brother even for a little price, making profit out of their already shameful crime.

And this was another stab for Youssuf, who endured further share of pain seeing the caravan leaders bargaining to buy him for a few Dirhams, unaware of his eminent worthiness. And here allow me to stop for a brief elucidation.

Being subject to maltreatment or belittling by fellow humans shouldn’t shake your sense of worthiness, which should emanate from deep conviction that your true value is tied to your level of piety, which, in the sight of God, can place you in the loftiest of stature. And this principle moral is made chrystal clear in this particular episode of the life of Prophet Youssuf, where  a Prophet is being traded for a small price amongst two parties who’re not the least aware of his true worthiness.

And this has been specifically declared by Allah in the holy words of the Qur’an:

“Verily the most honored of you in the Sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you.”

So, an individual’s true worthiness is known only to God- measured according to his level of piety and submissiveness to Allah (SWT) and not according to his wealth, social rank or anything of the kind.

Endowed with exemplary patience and advanced astuteness, Prophet Youssuf (pbuh) absorbed the moral of the situation he’s been put through; assured that there’s some divine wisdom behind it- and this itself alleviated part of the spiritual burden that befell him.

There are times when we need to adopt similar attitude- particularly when we’re put through situations that challenge our mental, spiritual, or physical capability to change. Thence, we just have to let go, after having our intention fixed on not getting into anything that would displease God- putting our sole trust in him, and facing our lives as  fearless and faithful as true Muslims should be.

Like happened with Prophet Youssuf, it’s those situations that bring forth the most life-altering changes one lives, only if we have souls that are pure enough to grasp the signs and heed them.

Allah never fails those who put their trust in Him.

“And whoever relies upon Allah – then He is sufficient for him. Indeed, Allah will accomplish His purpose. Allah has already set for everything a [decreed] extent.”—Qur’an 65:3

Getting himself reach this level of faith and submissiveness to the supreme will of Almighty Allah, Prophet Youssuf developed a deep conviction that he’s on a pre-destined journey aimed for some ultimate purpose intended for his life in Egypt, which he will later on claim; propagating the message of monotheism and occupying the most senior leadership posts in the county, thereby getting rewarded for the unjust humiliation and maltreatment that were inflicted upon him.

Readying himself for the burdening mission awaiting him in the lands of the unknown, Prophet Youssuf was assured that he was in a kind of company that rendered him independent and not the least needy of any human protection, that is the company of Almighty Allah.

And by letting go of his woes and personal bewilderment, Youssuf embraced his future and lived it to the fullest, hopeful for upholding the role assigned to him by the Ruler of the Universe, the Creator and the Supreme Power in control of all matters, people and events.

And this is primarily one crucial moral we hugely lack in our modern times. We tend to stick to the past, fear the unknown, and rely on other limited human authorities in running our affairs, which, in all cases, renders us dependable, more needy, less fulfilled, let alone oppressed.

More into that in Part III

Wassalaam

Maha Youssuf

maha@muslimtribune.org

Posted on: June 24, 2011

Check previous episodes of Prophet Joseph SERIES Here;

– Part I

– Part II

– Part III

– Part IV

– Part V

– Part VI

– Part VII

Also listen to the Audio Version of the Full Series

Here