Monday, January 18, 2016

Beautiful Patience: Tafseer of Surah Yusuf

After coming back to Kuala Lumpur from Mulu, last weekend was spent learning the Tafseer of Surah Yusuf with Dr Reda Bedeir at Taylor's University lakeside campus. I have always enjoyed Al Maghrib's seminars and to date, this is my 7th seminar with them. 

Here's a short summary of what I learnt in Surah Yusuf:

1. Surah Yusuf was revealed all at once. 

The surah contains only one story, i.e. the story of Prophet Yusuf and nothing else. According to some scholars, the surah was revealed when the Jews wanted to test the Prophet Muhammad p.b.u.h. and instigated some of the disbelievers to ask the Prophet on why did the family of Prophet Yaakub moved from Palestine to Egypt. This knowledge was contained in their books but the Arabs were unaware of it. Thus the surah was revealed there and then.

2. Surah Yusuf is a surah of 3 dreams and 3 shirts. 

The surah started with Prophet Yusuf sharing his dream with his father, Prophet Yaakub where he saw the sun, the moon and 11 stars bowing/ prostrating to him. The middle of the dream revealed the dream of two prisoners whom Yusuf have met in prison and they had asked Yusuf to interpret their dreams to them (the Prophet Yusuf had been gifted with the ability to interpret dreams). And the final dream was the dream of the king, towards the end of the surah. 
For the shirts, the first shirt was the shirt of Yusuf whom his stepbrothers had smeared with fake blood as evidence to their father that Yusuf had been killed by a wolf. The second shirt is where Yusuf's shirt was torn by the Azeez's wife (who was running after Yusuf to entice him to engage in illicit relations with her). And the third shirt is the shirt of Yusuf which was pressed over Yaakub's face and it returned the eyesight of Yaakub. 

3. Surah Yusuf is a true example of patience. 

Despite being of noble lineage, (the Prophet Yusuf is a son, grandson and great-grandson of Prophets)   his life is filled with trials and tribulations. From an early age, he lost his mother. And his stepbrothers were jealous of their father's love for him and it compelled them to plot against him. He was thrown into a well when he was just a child (some scholars say perhaps between 6 to 7 years of age). Thus he lost his father and his family although they are still alive. 
Then, he was sold as a slave, thus losing his own freedom. As a slave, his master's wife was enthralled with his looks so much so that she plotted for him to have illicit relations with her, and when that didn't happen, she brought her friends to her house and strategised to get them to help her. Because he refused, he was thrown in jail for many years and even after interpreting the dreams of the prisoners, the prisoner who was freed forgot about him for a number of years until the king himself had a dream that had to be interpreted. Even when the king requested for Yusuf to be with him (i.e. to aid him in the administration of Egypt), Yusuf refused to leave prison until his case was heard and his innocence proven. Thus only many years (some scholars say 40 years), did Yusuf finally leave a life of hardship and went on to become the Azeez (i.e. minister who was in charge of treasury) of Egypt. 
Even then, it was only much later that he was reunited with his family i.e. during the times of famine and drought.

There are many more things which I've learnt from this weekend's seminar (which I am unable to share in this short blogpost). But among the best of them is Yusuf's beautiful dua'a which is in verse 101 of the surah, "... Creator of the heavens and earth, You are my protector in this world and the Hereafter. Cause me to die a Muslim and join me with the righteous."

Such a beautiful surah and an amazing lesson on patience. May Allah grant us all patience. Ameen.

xoxo Mrs Fashionista