English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 12: Yusuf — Joseph (Revealed at Makkah: 12 sections, 111 verses)

Section 1 (Verses 12:1–12:6): Joseph’s Vision


بِسۡمِ اللّٰہِ الرَّحۡمٰنِ الرَّحِیۡمِ

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

الٓرٰ ۟ تِلۡکَ اٰیٰتُ الۡکِتٰبِ الۡمُبِیۡنِ ۟﴿۱﴾

12:1 I, Allah, am the Seer. These are the verses of the Book that makes manifest.

اِنَّاۤ اَنۡزَلۡنٰہُ قُرۡءٰنًا عَرَبِیًّا لَّعَلَّکُمۡ تَعۡقِلُوۡنَ ﴿۲﴾

12:2 Surely We have revealed it — an Arabic Quran — that you may understand.

نَحۡنُ نَقُصُّ عَلَیۡکَ اَحۡسَنَ الۡقَصَصِ بِمَاۤ اَوۡحَیۡنَاۤ اِلَیۡکَ ہٰذَا الۡقُرۡاٰنَ ٭ۖ وَ اِنۡ کُنۡتَ مِنۡ قَبۡلِہٖ لَمِنَ الۡغٰفِلِیۡنَ ﴿۳﴾

12:3 We narrate to you the best of narratives,1 in that We have revealed to you this Quran, though before this you were of those who are unaware.2

اِذۡ قَالَ یُوۡسُفُ لِاَبِیۡہِ یٰۤاَبَتِ اِنِّیۡ رَاَیۡتُ اَحَدَعَشَرَ کَوۡکَبًا وَّ الشَّمۡسَ وَ الۡقَمَرَ رَاَیۡتُہُمۡ لِیۡ سٰجِدِیۡنَ ﴿۴﴾

12:4 When Joseph said to his father: My father, I saw eleven stars and the sun and the moon — I saw them making submission to me.

قَالَ یٰبُنَیَّ لَا تَقۡصُصۡ رُءۡیَاکَ عَلٰۤی اِخۡوَتِکَ فَیَکِیۡدُوۡا لَکَ کَیۡدًا ؕ اِنَّ الشَّیۡطٰنَ لِلۡاِنۡسَانِ عَدُوٌّ مُّبِیۡنٌ ﴿۵﴾

12:5 He said: My son, do not relate your dream to your brothers, in case they devise a plan against you. The devil indeed is an open enemy to man.

وَ کَذٰلِکَ یَجۡتَبِیۡکَ رَبُّکَ وَ یُعَلِّمُکَ مِنۡ تَاۡوِیۡلِ الۡاَحَادِیۡثِ وَ یُتِمُّ نِعۡمَتَہٗ عَلَیۡکَ وَ عَلٰۤی اٰلِ یَعۡقُوۡبَ کَمَاۤ اَتَمَّہَا عَلٰۤی اَبَوَیۡکَ مِنۡ قَبۡلُ اِبۡرٰہِیۡمَ وَ اِسۡحٰقَ ؕ اِنَّ رَبَّکَ عَلِیۡمٌ حَکِیۡمٌ ٪﴿۶﴾

12:6 And thus will your Lord choose you and teach you the interpretation of sayings, and make His favour complete to you and to the Children of Jacob, as He made it complete before to your fathers, Abraham and Isaac. Surely your Lord is Knowing, Wise.


  1. It is called the best narrative because it is the best picture of the dealing of the Quraish with the Holy Prophet, and the Prophet’s dealing with them. It was in the very words of Joseph to his brothers — there is no reproach against you this day (v. 92) — that the Holy Prophet forgave the people of Makkah all the atrocities they had committed against him.
  2. The Holy Prophet’s “unawareness” relates to his own future, of which this chapter gives a clear indication in the incidents of Joseph’s life, viz. that he was to be expelled from his home but that his countrymen would ulti­mately come to him in submission, asking pardon for their faults. But “unaware­ness” here may also refer to all those things that are related in the Quran, because the Prophet knew nothing of them before revelation.