Welcome Friends: Ahlan wa sahlan!
Please note that I’ve added important comments to yesterday’s Reading (in comment 5) and a footnote.
Yusuf Ali’s Translation of our new Chapter.
Muhammad Asad’s Translation of our new Chapter.
Their commentaries can only be read in verse by verse view.
PAGE 239 Arabic Qur’an.
1. As Verse 31 shows, Prophet Joseph’s seductress was no ordinary woman, but then again, he was no ordinary young man. His virtue was incomparable; his handsomeness was such that the town-women couldn’t help but slice through their hands as they ate, referring their distraction to him not seeming to be mortal; he was ‘divine!’
Their cunning hostess responds in Verse 32, proving her point. She also announces that she will continue to pursue him, despite his reluctance and choice of remaining chaste. She also threatens him with prison.
2. In Verse 33, Joseph calls upon his Lord to save him from these women’s guile (now they are ALL after him!) and announces his preference to prison than to fall prey to these lusting women. He also acknowledges his weakness, in that he does not expect to be able to withhold himself from their advances.
In Verse 34 his Lord answers his prayer, but after a short while they decide to put him in prison (Verse 35).
3. In prison, Joseph meets two slaves/servants who ask him about their dreams (Verse 36), to which he responds in Verse 37 by saying that his Lord had taught him how to read present events, and to project, or predict, what would ensue from them. Then, he makes use of the occasion, as we see in the next verses, to guide them to faith in One God, and in the Hereafter.
PAGE 240 Arabic Qur’an.
4. In Verse 38 he tells them of his heritage, as a Prophet following the ‘millahملّة- ’ or ‘ways/creed’ (Ali/Asad) of his fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Yusuf Ali also tells us of his modesty.
5. In Verses 39- 40 Prophet Joseph continues, introducing his cell-mates to the Standard of Accountability which is upright/straight, and free of fault الدين القيّم(for more info see April 5th). Ali and Asad translate this term as ‘right religion/ ever-true faith.’
It is important for us to learn from this story how to address people: Notice the humbleness, the kindness, the endearing words such as ‘My Companions in Prison,’ the posing of questions to draw out listeners and get their response, even in silence!
6. In Verse 41 he tells them in a few brief words what their dreams mean, while in Verse 42 he asks the cell-mate who is to be freed to mention him to his lord (meaning his king or master; Ali’s comments say ‘pharaoh’ but there is no indication of that at all). The freed person forgets, and only remembers a few years later when the king has a foreboding dream and seeks its interpretation.
It is interesting to note that our ‘forgetting of something important’ is attributed to ‘the Deviant/Sheytaan’ (HQ 6:68; 18:63; 58:19, which shows us quite clearly the mental limits of his ‘influence’ over us. It also gives us one reason for seeking refuge in God: Forgetfulness not only diminishes what we have- but could indeed cause us to lose everything!
7. In Verse 43 we learn the details of the king’s foreboding dream, and his urgency at having it interpreted.
Our next Reading is from HQ 12: 44-63.
Have a great Weekend.
Peace unto all!