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 11 (Verses 12:94–12:104): Jacob Goes to Egypt


وَ لَمَّا فَصَلَتِ الۡعِیۡرُ قَالَ اَبُوۡہُمۡ اِنِّیۡ لَاَجِدُ رِیۡحَ یُوۡسُفَ لَوۡ لَاۤ اَنۡ تُفَنِّدُوۡنِ ﴿۹۴﴾

12:94 And when the caravan left (Egypt), their father said: Surely I scent (the power of) Joseph, if you do not call me weak of mind.1

قَالُوۡا تَاللّٰہِ اِنَّکَ لَفِیۡ ضَلٰلِکَ الۡقَدِیۡمِ ﴿ٙ۹۵﴾

12:95 They said: By Allah! you are surely in your old error.

فَلَمَّاۤ اَنۡ جَآءَ الۡبَشِیۡرُ اَلۡقٰىہُ عَلٰی وَجۡہِہٖ فَارۡتَدَّ بَصِیۡرًا ۚ قَالَ اَلَمۡ اَقُلۡ لَّکُمۡ ۚۙ اِنِّیۡۤ اَعۡلَمُ مِنَ اللّٰہِ مَا لَا تَعۡلَمُوۡنَ ﴿۹۶﴾

12:96 Then when the bearer of good news came, he cast it before his face so he became certain. He said: Did I not say to you that I know from Allah what you do not know?

قَالُوۡا یٰۤاَبَانَا اسۡتَغۡفِرۡ لَنَا ذُنُوۡبَنَاۤ اِنَّا کُنَّا خٰطِئِیۡنَ ﴿۹۷﴾

12:97 They said: Our father, ask forgiveness of our sins for us, surely we are sinners.

قَالَ سَوۡفَ اَسۡتَغۡفِرُ لَکُمۡ رَبِّیۡ ؕ اِنَّہٗ ہُوَ الۡغَفُوۡرُ الرَّحِیۡمُ ﴿۹۸﴾

12:98 He said: I shall ask forgiveness for you of my Lord. Surely He is the Forgiving, the Merciful.

فَلَمَّا دَخَلُوۡا عَلٰی یُوۡسُفَ اٰوٰۤی اِلَیۡہِ اَبَوَیۡہِ وَ قَالَ ادۡخُلُوۡا مِصۡرَ اِنۡ شَآءَ اللّٰہُ اٰمِنِیۡنَ ﴿ؕ۹۹﴾

12:99 Then when they came to Joseph, he lodged his parents with himself and said: Enter Egypt in safety, if Allah please.

وَ رَفَعَ اَبَوَیۡہِ عَلَی الۡعَرۡشِ وَ خَرُّوۡا لَہٗ سُجَّدًا ۚ وَ قَالَ یٰۤاَبَتِ ہٰذَا تَاۡوِیۡلُ رُءۡیَایَ مِنۡ قَبۡلُ ۫ قَدۡ جَعَلَہَا رَبِّیۡ حَقًّا ؕ وَ قَدۡ اَحۡسَنَ بِیۡۤ اِذۡ اَخۡرَجَنِیۡ مِنَ السِّجۡنِ وَ جَآءَ بِکُمۡ مِّنَ الۡبَدۡوِ مِنۡۢ بَعۡدِ اَنۡ نَّزَغَ الشَّیۡطٰنُ بَیۡنِیۡ وَ بَیۡنَ اِخۡوَتِیۡ ؕ اِنَّ رَبِّیۡ لَطِیۡفٌ لِّمَا یَشَآءُ ؕ اِنَّہٗ ہُوَ الۡعَلِیۡمُ الۡحَکِیۡمُ ﴿۱۰۰﴾

12:100 And he raised his parents on the throne,2 and they fell prostrate for his sake.3 And he said: My father, this is the significance of my earlier vision — my Lord has made it true. And He was indeed kind to me, when He brought me forth from the prison, and brought you from the desert after the devil had sown dissensions between me and my brothers. Surely my Lord is Benignant to whom He pleases. Truly He is the Knowing, the Wise.

رَبِّ قَدۡ اٰتَیۡتَنِیۡ مِنَ الۡمُلۡکِ وَ عَلَّمۡتَنِیۡ مِنۡ تَاۡوِیۡلِ الۡاَحَادِیۡثِ ۚ فَاطِرَ السَّمٰوٰتِ وَ الۡاَرۡضِ ۟ اَنۡتَ وَلِیّٖ فِی الدُّنۡیَا وَ الۡاٰخِرَۃِ ۚ تَوَفَّنِیۡ مُسۡلِمًا وَّ اَلۡحِقۡنِیۡ بِالصّٰلِحِیۡنَ ﴿۱۰۱﴾

12:101 My Lord, You have given me kingdom and taught me something of the interpretation of sayings. Originator of the heavens and the earth, You are my Friend in this world and the Hereafter. Make me die in submission and join me with the righteous.

ذٰلِکَ مِنۡ اَنۡۢبَآءِ الۡغَیۡبِ نُوۡحِیۡہِ اِلَیۡکَ ۚ وَ مَا کُنۡتَ لَدَیۡہِمۡ اِذۡ اَجۡمَعُوۡۤا اَمۡرَہُمۡ وَ ہُمۡ یَمۡکُرُوۡنَ ﴿۱۰۲﴾

12:102 This is from the announcements relating to the unseen (which) We reveal to you, and you were not with them when they resolved upon their affair, and they were devising plans.4

وَ مَاۤ اَکۡثَرُ النَّاسِ وَ لَوۡ حَرَصۡتَ بِمُؤۡمِنِیۡنَ ﴿۱۰۳﴾

12:103 And most people do not believe, though you desire it eagerly.

وَ مَا تَسۡـَٔلُہُمۡ عَلَیۡہِ مِنۡ اَجۡرٍ ؕ اِنۡ ہُوَ اِلَّا ذِکۡرٌ لِّلۡعٰلَمِیۡنَ ﴿۱۰۴﴾٪

12:104 And you ask them no reward for it. It is nothing but a Reminder for the nations.


  1. When the caravan in which were Joseph’s brothers departed from Egypt, Jacob again received assurance from on high about Joseph, so he said to those around him that he scented the power of Joseph. Jacob knew that Joseph was alive and of this he informed his sons again and again, but he now told them further that he had received an assurance from God that Joseph occupied a high position.
  2. The meaning may be that he placed them in a good position.
  3. Seeing the highly dignified position to which Joseph had been raised in Egypt, they all fell prostrate before God as a mark of thanksgiving.
  4. Throughout the Quran the “announcements relating to the unseen”, as here, signify not the ancient histories of past prophets, but a repetition of those histories in the life of the Holy Prophet Muhammad. Thus from this verse onwards the subject is changed to the Holy Prophet’s opponents. The reference in “when they resolved upon their affair, and they were devising plans” is to the resolution of the Quraish and their plans against the Prophet, for which see 8:30. The Quran does not relate stories for the sake of giving information of the past, but for the lessons which they afford for the future guidance of man.