In Quran, Allah Almighty gives the stories and anecdotes of the earlier people and Prophets, so that Muslims and people to follow till the end of times could take a lesson from them and follow the righteous path. Thus, in Quran the story of earlier times are not mere stories, rather they are facts with an inherent lesson for Muslims.
Out of the several Prophets about which Quran mentions, one of the renowned ones is Hazrat Yousuf (AS). In Quran there is a whole Surah dedicated to his story with the name ‘Surah Yosuf’. Although like any other part of Quran, this Surah also gives religious reward to the reader who can read the Holy Quran in Arabic, however, there are specific lessons that are there in the Surah and which are present for the guidance of mankind in general and Muslims in particular. The lines below give a brief overview of the Surah and then give the different lessons which a Muslim can learn from this Surah.
The Surah Yousuf tells of the life history of Hazrat Yousuf (AS). The Surah gives the whole account of where he was born, his father, his brothers, the dreams he had, how his brothers betrayed him, how he was rescued, sold, seduced, imprisoned and how despite all things he managed to rise high in status as well as in spirit all because of his faith in Allah Almighty and sticking to the path of righteousness. The lines below discuss the different lessons, which a Muslim can learn from Surah Yousuf.
Be Willing To Pay Any Cost For Righteousness:
In Surah Yousuf, Allah Almighty tells of the way the wife of the King tried to seduce Hazrat Yousuf (AS) and how despite all her seduction and scheming, Hazrat yousuf (AS) managed to survive and was able to protect his chastity. In the Surah it is mentioned that wife of the King used imprisonment as a threat with Hazrat Yousuf (AS) so that he may succumb to her temptations, but at such a moment Hazrat Yousuf (AS) preferred going to prison than to divert from the path of righteousness and fall for her. Quran mentions the prayer of Hazrat Yousuf (AS) in this regard in the following way:
“He said: “My Lord, prison is more to my liking than that to which they invite me. And if you do not avert me from my plan, I might incline toward them and (thus) be of the ignorant.”” (12:33)
From this ayah it is clear that Hazrat Yousuf (AS) relied on Allah Almighty for help when it came to defending his honor. Moreover, he requested Allah to help him by sending him to prison than to leave them among the ignorant ones. Therefore, from this a Muslim must infer that he or she must always be ready to pay any cost for sticking to the path of righteousness, and whenever such a situation of dilemma occurs, a Muslim must invoke Allah Almighty for help and rescue.
The second that could be learnt from Surah Yousuf is that jealousy is an evil and anyone who falls prey to it harms him or herself and also the ones around him or her. Moreover, jealousy is one of the deeds of satan as he was the one who was jealous against Adam when Allah Almighty made him His Caliph. Similarly, the brothers of Hazrat Yousuf (AS) conspired against him because of jealousy, as the father loved him more compared to others. In Quran, Allah Almighty tells of the comments which Hazrat Yaqoob (AS) [the Father] gave after listening the dream of Hazrat Yousuf (AS):
“O my son, do not relate your vision to your brothers or they will contrive against you a plan. Indeed Satan, to man, is a manifest enemy.” (12:5)
Thus, the brothers out of jealousy contrived against him and threw him in a well while on a hunting trip. As a result of which the whole story developed, but by the end of the story, it was the brothers who were shameful of their act and had to seek forgiveness from Hazrat Yousuf (AS), therefore, a Muslim should refrain from any emotions that incline towards or encourage jealousy.
Patience Gets Rewarded:
Patience is perhaps one of the greatest virtues that a person can have in his or her character , however, in the present world people are impatient partly because of the increasing treachery and partly because of the weakening of faith in Allah that He will reward the patience. The life of Hazrat Yousuf (AS) in Surah Yousuf is an excellent lesson of patience for Muslims as it was all the miseries and uncontrollable circumstances that befell on Hazrat Yousuf (AS) which any other person can just imagine, however, he did not let go of patience and during every situation remained patient and asked of help and refuge by invoking Allah Almighty. As a result of which He by the end was made the ruler of Egypt, he got reunited with his family and all the honor was restored to him. Therefore, Muslims must remain patient in the most adverse of situations and hope for the help and assistance of Allah Almighty that definitely makes patience fruitful and sweet.
Above all the most important lesson that a Muslim can learn from the story of Hazrat Yousuf (AS) in Quran is forgiveness. No man can bear the hardships and difficulties through which Hazrat Yousuf (AS), all because his brothers were jealous of him and threw him in a well. However, by the end of the story when he gains Kingship of Egypt and all the brothers bow to him and are subservient to him, then instead of taking revenge from them for all his life of suffering, he forgave them by saying the following words:
“No blame will there be upon you today. Allah will forgive you; and He is the most merciful of the merciful.” (12:29)
Therefore, a Muslim must try forgiving others no matter how hard they have been on him or her or whatever problems they have caused, because forgiveness is a sign of greatness.
In a nutshell, in addition to listening to beautiful recitation of Surah Yousuf, a Muslim must also read the Surah with its meanings so that a person can understand the lesson which Allah Almighty conveys through the story of Hazrat Yousuf (AS), which will ultimately lead to a Muslim sticking and moving forward in the path of righteousness.