Welcome Friends: Ahlan wa sahlan!
Yusuf Ali’s Translation of this Chapter.
Muhammad Asad’s Translation of this Chapter.
Their commentaries can only be read in verse by verse view.
PAGE 247 Arabic Qur’an.
1. In Verses 96- 97- 98 we read of Jacob’s sight being restored as the ‘Basheerبشير- ’ or ‘Bearer of glad tidings’ arrives, throwing Joseph’s shirt at him, and he realizes that his long-lost son is safe and sound, peace upon both Prophets. He immediately affirms to his doubting sons that he had never lost trust in God throughout his long ordeal, ‘knowing from God that which they do not know.’ They ask him to forgive them/ seek God’s Forgiveness on their behalf, and he does.
2. Verses 99-100 take us back to ‘Misr مصر-’ where the family enters upon Joseph and he greets his parents with love and peace, and they all pay their respects to him, confirming the vision he had spoken of as a lad (in Verse 4).
Three interesting points should be mentioned here:
Firstly, the reminder that ‘Misr’ means ‘land,’ plural of which is ‘amsaar,’ and does not necessarily indicate ‘Egypt,’ although both historical bias and prevalent narrative have caused it to be translated as such. We already discussed this in our Posting of Jan 5th, where Prophet Moses, peace upon him, was the first to mention the term, and we said that Egypt became 'Misr' when Amr Ibnil Aas named it so, circa 641 AD, whereas its Greek name had been Aigýptios, relative to the Copts.
Secondly, the tribe of Jacob had come from the ‘Badwبدو-[i] ’ which means that they were of the ‘nomads’ living in open spaces, and were not city dwellers.
Thirdly, the beautiful manner in which Joseph brings to a close the subject of his brothers’ wrongdoings. His father had introduced us to their envy in HQ 12:4, and the possibility of their scheming against him. In both instances, the Deviant/Sheytaan, was mentioned, as an inciter of discord (نزغ) between humans.
Dear Reader: Isn’t Envy, in and of itself, one manifestation of Sheytaan? We must bear in mind that this negative agent is not only within us, it IS us, when we accept, and fail to rise above our lesser Selves.
3. In Verse 101 Joseph, peace upon him, addresses his Lord with a beautiful prayer, ending it by saying, “…unto You render me (in Death), Pure in Reverence, and unite me with the Righteous.” For the difference between ‘mawt’ and ‘wafaat’ as descriptions of ‘death,’ see March 19th.
AND WITH THIS BEAUTIFUL PRAYER FROM JOSEPH…. ENDS HIS STORY.
The remainder of this Chapter is addressed to Prophet Muhammad, peace upon both.
4. Verse 102 ties the Past with the present Time of Revelation, as it indicates that The Witness to all… is God. And then, Verses 103-104 give Prophet Muhammad, peace upon him, realistic expectations, in that NOT most people would believe him, although it is for their benefit and he is asking nothing of them in return.
PAGE 248 Arabic Qur’an.
5. Verses 105- 106 discuss how Heedless people will pass by God’s Signs without noticing them, and that even when they DO believe in God, most would also believe in others who share in His Divinity.
In Verse 107 is an ‘interactive’ question, which will get its response, regarding their reaction to Suffering or to the sudden appearance of the Hour.
6. Verse 108 is absolutely beautiful in Arabic! Read it here in Asad’s explanation (but don’t miss his commentary):
“Say [O Prophet]: "This is my way: Resting upon conscious insight accessible to reason, I am calling [you all] unto God and they who follow me."
And [say:] "Limitless is God in His glory; and I am not one of those who ascribe divinity to aught beside Him!"
Yusuf Ali says it differently:
“Say thou, this is my Way: I do invite unto God on evidence clear as the seeing with one’s eyes,- I and whoever follows me. Glory to God! and never will I join gods with God!"
‘Baseeraبصيرة- ’ appears only twice in the Qur’an. Related to ‘basar’ sight, it is a stronger word, denoting INSIGHT that is based on sighted EVIDENCE.
Verse 109 begins by telling Prophet Muhammad, peace upon him, that he, together with all the Messengers before him, were active, diligent persons (rijaal (رجال- whom God had chosen, from amongst their townspeople, to convey exclusive information to. The latter part of the verse calls upon people to travel the earth and use their Intellect, as they learn from their predecessors and reflect; the Hereafter is the best for the Aware! We notice that the last words are addressed directly to us all: Do YOU not use your Intellect (to secure knowledge)?
For the benefit of our new Readers:
Our IQRA Challenge offers a breakthrough in Qur’anic explanation through researching the ORIGINAL meanings of words from Arabic Lexicons compiled more than 1,000 years ago. No other source will inform you as to the authentic meaning of ‘rijaal.’ It is the plural of ‘rajulرجل- ’ (masculine) as well as the plural of ‘rajlaرجلى- ’ (feminine) which denotes someone active and diligent, literally: on their ‘arjul’ or feet.
7. Verses 110 -111 put together every single lesson drawn from the experiences of previous Prophets, including the beautiful story of Joseph, peace upon them all.
In this instance, what is highlighted is the tremendous PAINS they took in delivering their respective Messages, to the extent of feeling completely hopeless, having been tormented, maligned, belied by their people … then, at the weakest point in their existence they received God’s aid and their suffering was replaced by victory. This Chapter must have been special to Prophet Muhammad, peace upon him, receiving it when he did, at the lowest point in his mission.
We learn that in such stories is a lesson for people with ‘understanding/ insight’ (Ali/Asad); that this is not a fabricated discourse or ‘hadeeth,’ but a confirmation of what preceded (of Revelation), a detailed exposition, a Guidance, and a Mercy to People of Knowledge!
May WE be among them!
Our next Reading is from HQ 13: 1-13; a new Chapter!
Peace unto all!
[i] (بدو) وهو ظُهور الشيء. يقال بدا الشيءُ يَبدُو، إذا ظَهَر، فهو بادٍ. .... بَدْواً من هذا، لأنّهم في بَرَازٍ من الأرض، وليسوا في قُرىً تستُرُهم أبنِيتُها.