The story of Joseph in the Quran is one of the most beloved stories to my heart, it has many lessons and wisdom to its reciter.
When reading it you will experience so many emotions like hope, patience, and faith in Allah, but mainly you will feel peace of mind. From the prophet Yusuf (peace be upon him) we learn to be patient, trust Allah, and always have faith in him. We learn what jealousy does to a person and how it can tear people apart, and make people cruel to each other.
What is the story of Joseph in the Quran and what can we learn from it? let’s find out.
What is the story of Yusuf in the Quran?
The story of Yusuf in the Quran is one of the stories that teaches us many lessons and relates to our everyday lives. The surah starts with Allah telling us about the dream that the prophet Joseph had when he was a child.
إِذْ قَالَ يُوسُفُ لِأَبِيهِ يَـٰٓأَبَتِ إِنِّى رَأَيْتُ أَحَدَ عَشَرَ كَوْكَبًۭا وَٱلشَّمْسَ وَٱلْقَمَرَ رَأَيْتُهُمْ لِى سَـٰجِدِينَ ٤
“˹Remember˺ when Joseph said to his father, “O my dear father! Indeed, I dreamt of eleven stars and the sun, and the moon—I saw them prostrating to me!”
Joseph dreamed of 11 stars and the sun and moon prostrating to him, so he told his father Jacob about the dream he told him not to tell his brothers about the dream or they would be jealous of him.
قَالَ يَـٰبُنَىَّ لَا تَقْصُصْ رُءْيَاكَ عَلَىٰٓ إِخْوَتِكَ فَيَكِيدُوا۟ لَكَ كَيْدًا ۖ إِنَّ ٱلشَّيْطَـٰنَ لِلْإِنسَـٰنِ عَدُوٌّۭ مُّبِينٌۭ ٥
“He replied, “O my dear son! Do not relate your vision to your brothers, or they will devise a plot against you. Surely Satan is a sworn enemy to humankind.”
Jacob was a prophet too, and when he interpreted the dream to Joseph he told him that he would become a prophet in the future.
وَكَذَٰلِكَ يَجْتَبِيكَ رَبُّكَ وَيُعَلِّمُكَ مِن تَأْوِيلِ ٱلْأَحَادِيثِ وَيُتِمُّ نِعْمَتَهُۥ عَلَيْكَ وَعَلَىٰٓ ءَالِ يَعْقُوبَ كَمَآ أَتَمَّهَا عَلَىٰٓ أَبَوَيْكَ مِن قَبْلُ إِبْرَٰهِيمَ وَإِسْحَـٰقَ ۚ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌۭ ٦
“And so will your Lord choose you ˹O Joseph˺, and teach you the interpretation of dreams, and perfect His favour upon you and the descendants of Jacob—˹just˺ as He once perfected it upon your forefathers, Abraham and Isaac. Surely your Lord is All-Knowing, All-Wise.”
From the first part of the story of Joseph in the Quran, we learn about jealousy and how Satan uses it to break people apart. Also, Allah shows us that in this story there are many lessons and answers to us all.
۞ لَّقَدْ كَانَ فِى يُوسُفَ وَإِخْوَتِهِۦٓ ءَايَـٰتٌۭ لِّلسَّآئِلِينَ ٧
“Certainly were there in Joseph and his brothers signs for those who ask”
What did Joseph’s brothers do in the story of Joseph in the Quran?
Prophet Joseph had 11 brothers, and Benjamin was his full brother. Josephs’s brothers were jealous of him and Benjamin because they believed that their father loved Joseph and Benjamin more than them, which led to hatred and jealousy. They wanted to get rid of Yusuf in any way possible.
إِذْ قَالُوا۟ لَيُوسُفُ وَأَخُوهُ أَحَبُّ إِلَىٰٓ أَبِينَا مِنَّا وَنَحْنُ عُصْبَةٌ إِنَّ أَبَانَا لَفِى ضَلَـٰلٍۢ مُّبِينٍ ٨
“When they said, “Joseph and his brother are more beloved to our father than we, while we are a clan. Indeed, our father is in clear error.”
Therefore, they made a plan to get rid of him, at first they wanted to kill him, but one of them suggested throwing him into a well.
ٱقْتُلُوا۟ يُوسُفَ أَوِ ٱطْرَحُوهُ أَرْضًۭا يَخْلُ لَكُمْ وَجْهُ أَبِيكُمْ وَتَكُونُوا۟ مِنۢ بَعْدِهِۦ قَوْمًۭا صَـٰلِحِينَ ٩
“Kill Joseph or cast him out to [another] land; the countenance [i.e., attention] of your father will [then] be only for you, and you will be after that a righteous people.”
قَالَ قَآئِلٌۭ مِّنْهُمْ لَا تَقْتُلُوا۟ يُوسُفَ وَأَلْقُوهُ فِى غَيَـٰبَتِ ٱلْجُبِّ يَلْتَقِطْهُ بَعْضُ ٱلسَّيَّارَةِ إِن كُنتُمْ فَـٰعِلِينَ ١٠
Said a speaker among them, “Do not kill Joseph but throw him into the bottom of the well; some travelers will pick him up – if you would do [something].”
So, they started their plot and convinced their father to let their brother Joseph go with them.
أَرْسِلْهُ مَعَنَا غَدًۭا يَرْتَعْ وَيَلْعَبْ وَإِنَّا لَهُۥ لَحَـٰفِظُونَ ١٢
“Send him with us tomorrow so that he may eat well and play. And indeed, we will be his guardians.”
Their father refused at first he was scared that something bad would happen to him, but they said that they would take care of him and wouldn’t let any harm happen to him.
قَالَ إِنِّى لَيَحْزُنُنِىٓ أَن تَذْهَبُوا۟ بِهِۦ وَأَخَافُ أَن يَأْكُلَهُ ٱلذِّئْبُ وَأَنتُمْ عَنْهُ غَـٰفِلُونَ ١٣
“[Jacob] said, “Indeed, it saddens me that you should take him, and I fear that a wolf would eat him while you are of him unaware.”
قَالُوا۟ لَئِنْ أَكَلَهُ ٱلذِّئْبُ وَنَحْنُ عُصْبَةٌ إِنَّآ إِذًۭا لَّخَـٰسِرُونَ ١٤
“They said, “If a wolf should eat him while we are a [strong] clan, indeed, we would then be losers.”
The father agreed and they took him out, threw him into a well, and then returned to their father crying pretending that a wolf ate Joseph, with fake blood on his shirt.
وَجَآءُوٓ أَبَاهُمْ عِشَآءًۭ يَبْكُونَ ١٦
“And they came to their father at night, weeping.”
قَالُوا۟ يَـٰٓأَبَانَآ إِنَّا ذَهَبْنَا نَسْتَبِقُ وَتَرَكْنَا يُوسُفَ عِندَ مَتَـٰعِنَا فَأَكَلَهُ ٱلذِّئْبُ ۖ وَمَآ أَنتَ بِمُؤْمِنٍۢ لَّنَا وَلَوْ كُنَّا صَـٰدِقِينَ ١٧
“ They said, “O our father, indeed we went racing each other and left Joseph with our possessions, and a wolf ate him. But you would not believe us, even if we were truthful.”
وَجَآءُو عَلَىٰ قَمِيصِهِۦ بِدَمٍۢ كَذِبٍۢ ۚ قَالَ بَلْ سَوَّلَتْ لَكُمْ أَنفُسُكُمْ أَمْرًۭا ۖ فَصَبْرٌۭ جَمِيلٌۭ ۖ وَٱللَّهُ ٱلْمُسْتَعَانُ عَلَىٰ مَا تَصِفُونَ ١٨
“And they brought upon his shirt false blood. [Jacob] said, “Rather, your souls have enticed you to something, so patience is most fitting. And Allah is the one sought for help against that which you describe.”
Jacob knew that his son was lying but he chose to be patient and have faith in Allah that he would save his son and return him one day. From this part of the story of Joseph in the Quran, we learn that jealousy destroys the heart and fills it with hatred.
Joseph is being sold.
Later on, a caravan came and their water drawer went to bring water from the well and found Joseph.
وَجَآءَتْ سَيَّارَةٌۭ فَأَرْسَلُوا۟ وَارِدَهُمْ فَأَدْلَىٰ دَلْوَهُۥ ۖ قَالَ يَـٰبُشْرَىٰ هَـٰذَا غُلَـٰمٌۭ ۚ وَأَسَرُّوهُ بِضَـٰعَةًۭ ۚ وَٱللَّهُ عَلِيمٌۢ بِمَا يَعْمَلُونَ ١٩
And there came a company of travelers; then they sent their water drawer, and he let down his bucket. He said, “Good news! Here is a boy.” And they concealed him, [taking him] as merchandise; and Allah was Knowing of what they did.
they took Yusuf with them and decided to sell him.
وَشَرَوْهُ بِثَمَنٍۭ بَخْسٍۢ دَرَٰهِمَ مَعْدُودَةٍۢ وَكَانُوا۟ فِيهِ مِنَ ٱلزَّٰهِدِينَ ٢٠
“And they sold him for a reduced price – a few dirhams – and they were, concerning him, of those content with little”
Joseph was sold to the Aziz of Egypt, he took him to his wife and asked her to raise him and take a good care of him perhaps he would be of a good use to them or they might adopt him.
وَقَالَ ٱلَّذِى ٱشْتَرَىٰهُ مِن مِّصْرَ لِٱمْرَأَتِهِۦٓ أَكْرِمِى مَثْوَىٰهُ عَسَىٰٓ أَن يَنفَعَنَآ أَوْ نَتَّخِذَهُۥ وَلَدًۭا ۚ وَكَذَٰلِكَ مَكَّنَّا لِيُوسُفَ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ وَلِنُعَلِّمَهُۥ مِن تَأْوِيلِ ٱلْأَحَادِيثِ ۚ وَٱللَّهُ غَالِبٌ عَلَىٰٓ أَمْرِهِۦ وَلَـٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ ٱلنَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ ٢١
And the one from Egypt543 who bought him said to his wife,
“Make his residence comfortable. Perhaps he will benefit us, or we will adopt him as a son.” And thus, we established Joseph in the land that We might teach him the interpretation of events [i.e., dreams]. And Allah is predominant over His affair, but most of the people do not know.”
From the story of Joseph in the Quran, we learn that Allah rewarded the prophet Yusuf for his patience and gave him wisdom and knowledge and he became a prophet.
وَلَمَّا بَلَغَ أَشُدَّهُۥٓ ءَاتَيْنَـٰهُ حُكْمًۭا وَعِلْمًۭا ۚ وَكَذَٰلِكَ نَجْزِى ٱلْمُحْسِنِينَ ٢٢
“And when he [i.e., Joseph] reached maturity, We gave him judgment and knowledge. And thus We reward the doers of good.”
Joseph was very handsome so the lady who took care of him and raised him, the wife of the chieftain of Egypt fell in love with him, and tried to seduce him but he refused. But he refused and said that it is forbidden.
وَرَٰوَدَتْهُ ٱلَّتِى هُوَ فِى بَيْتِهَا عَن نَّفْسِهِۦ وَغَلَّقَتِ ٱلْأَبْوَٰبَ وَقَالَتْ هَيْتَ لَكَ ۚ قَالَ مَعَاذَ ٱللَّهِ ۖ إِنَّهُۥ رَبِّىٓ أَحْسَنَ مَثْوَاىَ ۖ إِنَّهُۥ لَا يُفْلِحُ ٱلظَّـٰلِمُونَ ٢٣
“And she, in whose house he was, sought to seduce him. She closed the doors and said, “Come, you.” He said, “[I seek] the refuge of Allah. Indeed, he is my master, who has made good my residence. Indeed, wrongdoers will not succeed.”
وَلَقَدْ هَمَّتْ بِهِۦ ۖ وَهَمَّ بِهَا لَوْلَآ أَن رَّءَا بُرْهَـٰنَ رَبِّهِۦ ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ لِنَصْرِفَ عَنْهُ ٱلسُّوٓءَ وَٱلْفَحْشَآءَ ۚ إِنَّهُۥ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا ٱلْمُخْلَصِينَ ٢٤
“24. And she certainly determined [to seduce] him, and he would have inclined to her had he not seen the proof [i.e., sign] of his Lord. And thus [it was] that We should avert from him evil and immorality. Indeed, he was of Our chosen servants.”
When Allah gave a sign to prophet Yusuf he tried to get away from her and raced to the door, so she tried to grab him from his back and tore his shirt. When the door opened her husband was at the door. So she framed what happened to Joseph and asked her husband to punish him.
وَٱسْتَبَقَا ٱلْبَابَ وَقَدَّتْ قَمِيصَهُۥ مِن دُبُرٍۢ وَأَلْفَيَا سَيِّدَهَا لَدَا ٱلْبَابِ ۚ قَالَتْ مَا جَزَآءُ مَنْ أَرَادَ بِأَهْلِكَ سُوٓءًا إِلَّآ أَن يُسْجَنَ أَوْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌۭ ٢٥
And they both raced to the door, and she tore his shirt from the back, and they found her husband at the door. She said, “What is the recompense of one who intended evil for your wife but that he be imprisoned or a painful punishment?”
Joseph denied the claims and said that she tried to seduce him, a witness from her family said if the shirt was torn from the back then he told the truth but if it was torn from the front then she said the truth.
قَالَ هِىَ رَٰوَدَتْنِى عَن نَّفْسِى ۚ وَشَهِدَ شَاهِدٌۭ مِّنْ أَهْلِهَآ إِن كَانَ قَمِيصُهُۥ قُدَّ مِن قُبُلٍۢ فَصَدَقَتْ وَهُوَ مِنَ ٱلْكَـٰذِبِينَ ٢٦
“[Joseph] said, “It was she who sought to seduce me.” And a witness from her family testified, “If his shirt is torn from the front, then she has told the truth, and he is of the liars.
وَإِن كَانَ قَمِيصُهُۥ قُدَّ مِن دُبُرٍۢ فَكَذَبَتْ وَهُوَ مِنَ ٱلصَّـٰدِقِينَ ٢٧
“But if his shirt is torn from the back, then she has lied, and he is of the truthful.”
When the husband saw that the shirt was torn from the back he knew that Joseph was telling the truth and told his wife to ask Allah for forgiveness for what she did.
“So when he [i.e., her husband] saw his shirt torn from the back, he said, “Indeed, it is of your [i.e., women’s] plan. Indeed, your plan is great [i.e., vehement].”
“Joseph, ignore this. And, [my wife], ask forgiveness for your sin. Indeed, you were of the sinful.”
The test of Joseph in the Quran.
When the women heard about what the wife of the Aziz of Egypt did they gossiped about her, and when she knew about that she made a plot. She asked them all to come to her house gave every one of them a knife and made Joseph come out to them.
When they saw him they were stunned by his beauty that they cut their hands and tried to seduce him.
“And women in the city said, “The wife of al-Azeez is seeking to seduce her slave boy; he has impassioned her with love. Indeed, we see her [to be] in clear error.”
“So, when she heard of their scheming, she sent for them and prepared for them a banquet and gave each one of them a knife and said [to Joseph], “Come out before them.” And when they saw him, they greatly admired him and cut their hands and said, “Perfect is Allah! This is not a man; this is none but a noble angel.”
“She said, “That is the one about whom you blamed me. And I certainly sought to seduce him, but he firmly refused; and if he will not do what I order him, he will surely be imprisoned and will be of those debased.”
Therefore, Joseph prayed to Allah to be sent to jail instead of what they invited him to do.
قَالَ رَبِّ ٱلسِّجْنُ أَحَبُّ إِلَىَّ مِمَّا يَدْعُونَنِىٓ إِلَيْهِ ۖ وَإِلَّا تَصْرِفْ عَنِّى كَيْدَهُنَّ أَصْبُ إِلَيْهِنَّ وَأَكُن مِّنَ ٱلْجَـٰهِلِينَ ٣٣
“He said, “My Lord, prison is more to my liking than that to which they invite me. And if You do not avert from me their plan, I might incline toward them and [thus] be of the ignorant.”
The story of Joseph in prison.
When Joseph was sent to prison, he met two men who asked him to interpret their dream to them. And he interpreted their dreams and said:
“O two companions of prison, as for one of you, he will give drink to his master of wine; but as for the other, he will be crucified, and the birds will eat from his head. The matter has been decreed about which you both inquire.”
Then he asked the man who would be free soon to mention his story to his master but the man forgot and Joseph stayed in prison for several years.
- And he said to the one whom he knew would go free, “Mention me before your master.” But Satan made him forget the mention [to] his master, and he [i.e., Joseph] remained in prison for several years”
Until one day the king had a dream that no one knew its interpretation, that when the man remembered Joseph and told the king about him.
“And [subsequently] the king said, “Indeed, I have seen [in an other [that were] dry. O eminent ones, explain to me my vision, if you should interpret visions.”
“They said, “[It is but] a mixture of false dreams, and we are not learned in the interpretation of dreams.”
“But the one who was freed and remembered after a time said, “I will inform you of its interpretation, so send me forth.”
the man went to Joseph and asked him to interpret the dream for him.
[He said], “Joseph, O man of truth, explain to us about seven fat cows eaten by seven [that were] lean, and seven green spikes [of grain] and others [that were] dry – that I may return to the people [i.e., the king and his court]; perhaps they will know [about you].”
So Joseph interpreted the dream and said:
“[Joseph] said, “You will plant for seven years consecutively; and what you harvest leave in its spikes, except a little from which you will eat.
“48. Then will come after that seven difficult [years] which will consume what you advanced [i.e., saved] for them, except a little from which you will store.
“49. Then will come after that a year in which the people will be given rain and in which they will press [olives and grapes].”
“And there entered the prison with him two young men. One of them said, “Indeed, I have seen myself [in a dream] pressing wine.” The other said, “Indeed, I have seen myself carrying upon my head [some] bread, from which the birds were eating. Inform us of its interpretation; indeed, we see you to be of those who do good.”
When the king heard the interpretation, he asked the women who cut their hands about the incident that is when the Aziz wife said the truth.
“That is so he [i.e., al-Azeez] will know that I did not betray him in [his] absence and that Allah does not guide the plan of betrayers.”
“And I do not acquit myself. Indeed, the soul is a persistent enjoiner of evil, except those upon which my Lord has mercy. Indeed, my Lord is Forgiving and Merciful.”
That is the story of Joseph in the Quran and his faith in Allah. when the king knew the truth he asked the men to bring Joseph to him.
The reward of Joseph in the Quran.
The king then made Joseph the n charge of the store-houses of the land.
“And the king said, “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.”
- [Joseph] said, “Appoint me over the storehouses of the land. Indeed, I will be a knowing guardian.”
- And thus We established Joseph in the land to settle therein wherever he willed. We touch with Our mercy whom We will, and We do not allow to be lost the reward of those who do good.”
One day Joseph met his brothers, they didn’t know him but he knew who they were and he asked them to bring their brother ˹Benjamin˺ with them next time in order to give them their supplies.
“58. And the brothers of Joseph came [seeking food], and they entered upon him, and he recognized them, but he was to them unknown.”
“59. And when he had furnished them with their supplies, he said,
“Bring me a brother of yours from your father. Do you not see that I give full measure and that I am the best of accommodators?”
“60. But if you do not bring him to me, no measure will there be [hereafter] for you from me, nor will you approach me.”
“61. They said, “We will attempt to dissuade his father from [keeping] him, and indeed, we will do [it].”
The next time they came they brought their little brother with them, When Joseph saw his brother ˹Benjamin˺ he took him aside and told him that he was his brother.
“When they entered Joseph’s presence, he called his brother ˹Benjamin˺ aside, and confided to him, “I am indeed your brother ˹Joseph˺! So do not feel distressed about what they have been doing.”
Then he provided them with the supplies and slipped the royal cup in his brother’s bag. Then an announcer called out that there was something missing. So the men searched for the royal cup and found it in Benjamin’s bag.
“When Joseph had provided them with supplies, he slipped the royal cup into his brother’s bag. Then a herald cried, “O people of the caravan! You must be thieves!”
They asked, turning back, “What have you lost?”
The herald along with the guards˺ replied, “We have lost the King’s measuring cup. And whoever brings it will be awarded a camel-load of grain˺. I guarantee it.”
Joseph’s brothers replied, “By Allah! You know well that we did not come to cause trouble in the land, nor are we thieves.”
Joseph’s men asked, “What should be the price for theft if you are lying?”
Joseph’s brothers responded, “The price will be the enslavement of the one in whose bag the cup is found. That is how we punish the wrongdoers.”
Joseph began searching their bags before that of his brother ˹Benjamin˺, then brought it out of Benjamin’s bag. This is how We inspired Joseph to plan. He could not have taken his brother under the King’s law, but Allah had so willed. We elevate in rank whoever We will. But above those ranking in knowledge is the One All-Knowing.”
They begged him to take anyone else instead of Benjamin but he refused and they went back to their father and told him what happened and he lost his sight. But their father Jacob chose to stay patient and trust that Allah would bring both his sons back to him.
From the story of Joseph in the Quran we learn to always trust Allah and have faith in him, be patient, and know deep inside that he holds the best for us.
The next time they went to Joseph to ask for his help he confronted them and told them that he was Joseph and that Benjamin was his brother. And asked them to take his shirt and cast it over his father’s face. When they did though their father regained his sight.
“He asked, “Do you remember what you did to Joseph and his brother in your ignorance?”
They replied in shock, “Are you really Joseph?” He said, “I am Joseph, and here is my brother ˹Benjamin˺! Allah has truly been gracious to us. Surely whoever is mindful of Allah and patient, then certainly Allah never discounts the reward of the good-doers.”
They admitted, “By Allah! Allah has truly preferred you over us, and we have surely been sinful.”
Joseph said, “There is no blame on you today. May Allah forgive you! He is the Most Merciful of the merciful!
Go with this shirt of mine and cast it over my father’s face, and he will regain his sight. Then come back to me with your whole family.”
When the caravan departed from Egypt, their father said to those around him, “You may think I am senile, but I certainly sense the smell of Joseph.”
They replied, “By Allah! You are definitely still in your old delusion.”
But when the bearer of the good news arrived, he cast the shirt over Jacob’s face, so he regained his sight. Jacob then said to his children, “Did I not tell you that I truly know from Allah what you do not know?”
They all went to meet Joseph and when he saw him he said “Enter Egypt, Allah willing, in security.”
“When they entered Joseph’s presence, he received his parents ˹graciously˺ and said, “Enter Egypt, Allah willing, in security.”
Then he raised his parents to the throne, and they all fell down in prostration to Joseph, who then said, “O my dear father! This is the interpretation of my old dream. My Lord has made it come true. He was truly kind to me when He freed me from prison and brought you all from the desert after Satan had ignited rivalry between me and my siblings. Indeed my Lord is subtle in fulfilling what He wills. Surely, He alone is the All-Knowing, All-Wise.”
And Joseph’s dream came true.
Where is the story of Joseph in the Quran?
The story of Joseph in the Quran is in the surah number 12 and its name is Yusuf. It consists of 111 verses that tell the full story of the prophet Yusuf and carry many lessons to us all.
What can we learn from the prophet Joseph?
From the story of Joseph in the Quran, we learn to be patient and have faith in Allah that he will get us out of any hardship we are in. No matter the challenges Prophet Yusuf went through he remained patient and never lost his faith in Allah.
We also learn that jealousy destroys the heart, just like it did to the brothers of Joseph. We also learn to forgive and be kind to others. After all the prophet Joseph did to him, he chose to forgive them and was kind to them.
Allah is kind to us, he saves us from all the hardships we go through, we should always trust him and have faith in him just like the prophet Yusuf did. That is what we learn from the story of prophet Joseph in the Quran.