The governor’s wife who was the beauty queen of Egypt had crush on the man and tried to seduce him for intimate relationship. The young man rejected and declared that he is the prophet Joseph (Yousef) sent by Allah to the people of Egypt. He asserted to have two missions to fulfil in Egypt: to bring them all close to Allah by imbibing the true teachings of Almighty and secondly to take the country out of the drought that would hit it for seven years after the bumper crops for first seven years.
In this holy month of Ramadhan, the Muslims across the world are influenced for more prayers. I too read few chapters of Quran in last two weeks. I came across one of the chapters known as the elegance of Quran. It is Surah Yousef (Jospeh) revealed on Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). A very interesting and impressive story I find it.
So far the priests or Imams I was relying for the Islamic knowledge has taught me only the two episodes of this chapter and the core idea in the story was absolutely missing. As I am explaining it further here I am sure there could be so many people like me who may not have been fully apprised of this story mentioned in the Holy Quran. The incident mentioned in the story has set the precedence for the socio-economic order in the world. Two emotionally charged episodes often preached by the preachers are: When the Prophet Joseph during his childhood is facing the wrath of his brothers who throw him into the well and the youthful years when the Egyptian Queen-Zulekha and the wife of Egypt’s governor falls in love with him. Interestingly, for me the story begins after these two incidents which lend its relevance with the present political system.
In 1160 BC, the world’s oldest civilization in Egypt was under the rule of Al-Aziz who was following the Abrahamic teachings. However, his people were against the faith of Abraham owing to which there was a complete discord between the lord and his people. The opponents were perpetually harassing and torturing the followers of Abrahamic faith, therefore infusing the disharmony in the country. This has even led to the consistent engagements among the disobedient and disloyal groups to topple the rule of Al-Aziz while spreading misinformation, rumours and encouraging feuds within the system and people. Al-Aziz tried to impose the system of justice but failed. Amid this religious discord his government had failed on many fronts and everywhere, it was injustice, tyranny, poverty and the violence ruling the people. One day, Al-Aziz went to the market and saw one young and beautiful boy on sale in the human slave market. Al-Aziz bought him at an exorbitant cost and took him to his palace and asked his wife to take care of him as he can be adopted as a son as he may bring some good omen to the family. The young boy and the most beautiful face on earth grew up in the palace under the tremendous love and affection by his lord and wife. As the boy turned into a young man, he became the talk of the city for his glorious and magnificent looks. The governor’s wife who was the beauty queen of Egypt had crush on the man and tried to seduce him for intimate relationship. The young man rejected and declared that he is the prophet Joseph (Yousef) sent by Allah to the people of Egypt. He asserted to have two missions to fulfil in Egypt: to bring them all close to Allah by imbibing the true teachings of Almighty and secondly to take the country out of the drought that would hit it for seven years after the bumper crops for first seven years. Since Zuleekha failed to seduce the prophet Joseph, she levelled baseless allegations against him prompting the governor (Her husband) to award Jospeh nine years of rigorous imprisonment. Joseph was sent to the jail to share the space with the dreaded criminals of the country. In nine years of imprisonment, he brought mental and social reforms among the inmates and seized it as an opportunity to propagate the massage of Allah. He even not once thought to avenge to Al-Aziz and his wife who falsely implicated him in the most embarrassing case. As Joseph was set free from the jail, Al-aziz had already died due to prolonged illness. The king of Egypt who was informed about his spirituality and piousness by his advisors called him to his palace to get the interpretation of his dream.
“Bring him to me; I will appoint him exclusively for myself.” And when he spoke to him, he said, “Indeed, you are today established [in position] and trusted.” (Surah Yousef Vers number 54)
Jospeh was bestowed with the divine powers to interpret dreams. The king was convinced with his interpretation but equally concerned after he informed him that Egypt will have to face seven years of drought in coming times.
To address the concerns of the king, Joseph sought the ministry of Agriculture and finance.
“Set me over the storehouses of the land; I will indeed guard them with full knowledge” (as a minister of finance in Egypt, in place of Al-‘Aziz who was dead at that time) Surah Yousef vers number 55.
As king agreed to his demand, Joseph did the same and he delivered the justice to the common people who were grinded under the tyranny of social and economic injustice. He knew that the system to set in order doesn’t require the sword and the violence. Many a times, the opponents feeling heat of his setting the system of economic and social justice in the country attempted fatal attacks on him. He didn’t avenge back but continued with his good deeds to win the hearts and minds of people. He brought the socio-economic reforms, conducted survey to categorize people on their socio-economic status and levied taxes on rich people to benefit poor. When the catastrophic famine hit the country, he distributed the stocked food in which he had involved the technology to save it from getting rot among the people as per the census he had conducted and successfully overcame the famine. In fact the wisdom and the justice system of Joseph also saved its neighbouring countries including Canaan where he was born from the drought after the surplus food grains were sold on affordable rates to them. The message of Allah and his Abrahmic faith passed on to the people practically and those who were hatching conspiracies against the system of justice were morally defeated and rejected by the people. Joseph denounced violence and encouraged technology, scientific tempers, wisdom and the judicial system. He gave the practical shape to the message of Almighty to make it easy for people to understand instead to use his power over the ignorant people he was enjoying in the kingdom. Throughout his journey from the abandoned boy to the imprisonment to the Finance and agriculture minister Joseph has made it all possible with the best use of his wisdom without even picking a sword once.
The article is from the print edition of June 14-20, 2017.