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 8 (Verses 12:58–12:68): Joseph Helps his Brothers


وَ جَآءَ اِخۡوَۃُ یُوۡسُفَ فَدَخَلُوۡا عَلَیۡہِ فَعَرَفَہُمۡ وَ ہُمۡ لَہٗ مُنۡکِرُوۡنَ ﴿۵۸﴾

12:58 And Joseph’s brothers came and went in to (see) him, and he knew them, while they did not recognize him.

وَ لَمَّا جَہَّزَہُمۡ بِجَہَازِہِمۡ قَالَ ائۡتُوۡنِیۡ بِاَخٍ لَّکُمۡ مِّنۡ اَبِیۡکُمۡ ۚ اَلَا تَرَوۡنَ اَنِّیۡۤ اُوۡفِی الۡکَیۡلَ وَ اَنَا خَیۡرُ الۡمُنۡزِلِیۡنَ ﴿۵۹﴾

12:59 And when he furnished them with their provision, 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 hosts?

فَاِنۡ لَّمۡ تَاۡتُوۡنِیۡ بِہٖ فَلَا کَیۡلَ لَکُمۡ عِنۡدِیۡ وَ لَا تَقۡرَبُوۡنِ ﴿۶۰﴾

12:60 But if you do not bring him to me, you shall have no measure (of corn) from me, nor shall you come near me.

قَالُوۡا سَنُرَاوِدُ عَنۡہُ اَبَاہُ وَ اِنَّا لَفٰعِلُوۡنَ ﴿۶۱﴾

12:61 They said: We shall try to make his father yield about him, and we are sure to do (it).

وَ قَالَ لِفِتۡیٰنِہِ اجۡعَلُوۡا بِضَاعَتَہُمۡ فِیۡ رِحَالِہِمۡ لَعَلَّہُمۡ یَعۡرِفُوۡنَہَاۤ اِذَا انۡقَلَبُوۡۤا اِلٰۤی اَہۡلِہِمۡ لَعَلَّہُمۡ یَرۡجِعُوۡنَ ﴿۶۲﴾

12:62 And he said to his servants: Put their money into their bags that they may recognize it when they go back to their family, so that they may come back.

فَلَمَّا رَجَعُوۡۤا اِلٰۤی اَبِیۡہِمۡ قَالُوۡا یٰۤاَبَانَا مُنِعَ مِنَّا الۡکَیۡلُ فَاَرۡسِلۡ مَعَنَاۤ اَخَانَا نَکۡتَلۡ وَ اِنَّا لَہٗ لَحٰفِظُوۡنَ ﴿۶۳﴾

12:63 So when they returned to their father, they said: Our father, the measure is withheld from us, so send with us our brother that we may get the measure, and we will surely guard him.

قَالَ ہَلۡ اٰمَنُکُمۡ عَلَیۡہِ اِلَّا کَمَاۤ اَمِنۡتُکُمۡ عَلٰۤی اَخِیۡہِ مِنۡ قَبۡلُ ؕ فَاللّٰہُ خَیۡرٌ حٰفِظًا ۪ وَّ ہُوَ اَرۡحَمُ الرّٰحِمِیۡنَ ﴿۶۴﴾

12:64 He said: Can I trust you with him, except as I trusted you with his brother before? So Allah is the Best Keeper, and He is the most Merciful of those who show mercy.

وَ لَمَّا فَتَحُوۡا مَتَاعَہُمۡ وَجَدُوۡا بِضَاعَتَہُمۡ رُدَّتۡ اِلَیۡہِمۡ ؕ قَالُوۡا یٰۤاَبَانَا مَا نَبۡغِیۡ ؕ ہٰذِہٖ بِضَاعَتُنَا رُدَّتۡ اِلَیۡنَا ۚ وَ نَمِیۡرُ اَہۡلَنَا وَ نَحۡفَظُ اَخَانَا وَ نَزۡدَادُ کَیۡلَ بَعِیۡرٍ ؕ ذٰلِکَ کَیۡلٌ یَّسِیۡرٌ ﴿۶۵﴾

12:65 And when they opened their goods, they found their money returned to them. They said: Our father, what (more) can we desire? This is our property returned to us, and we shall bring corn for our family and guard our brother, and have in addition the measure of a camel-load. This is an easy measure.

قَالَ لَنۡ اُرۡسِلَہٗ مَعَکُمۡ حَتّٰی تُؤۡتُوۡنِ مَوۡثِقًا مِّنَ اللّٰہِ لَتَاۡتُنَّنِیۡ بِہٖۤ اِلَّاۤ اَنۡ یُّحَاطَ بِکُمۡ ۚ فَلَمَّاۤ اٰتَوۡہُ مَوۡثِقَہُمۡ قَالَ اللّٰہُ عَلٰی مَا نَقُوۡلُ وَکِیۡلٌ ﴿۶۶﴾

12:66 He said: I will by no means send him with you, until you give me a firm promise in Allah’s name that you will bring him back to me, unless you are completely surrounded. And when they gave him their promise, he said: Allah is Guardian over what we say.

وَ قَالَ یٰبَنِیَّ لَا تَدۡخُلُوۡا مِنۡۢ بَابٍ وَّاحِدٍ وَّ ادۡخُلُوۡا مِنۡ اَبۡوَابٍ مُّتَفَرِّقَۃٍ ؕ وَ مَاۤ اُغۡنِیۡ عَنۡکُمۡ مِّنَ اللّٰہِ مِنۡ شَیۡءٍ ؕ اِنِ الۡحُکۡمُ اِلَّا لِلّٰہِ ؕ عَلَیۡہِ تَوَکَّلۡتُ ۚ وَ عَلَیۡہِ فَلۡیَتَوَکَّلِ الۡمُتَوَکِّلُوۡنَ ﴿۶۷﴾

12:67 And he said: My sons, do not enter by one gate but enter by different gates.1 And I cannot avail you against (the decree of) Allah at all. Judgment is only Allah’s. On Him I rely, and on Him let the reliant rely.

وَ لَمَّا دَخَلُوۡا مِنۡ حَیۡثُ اَمَرَہُمۡ اَبُوۡہُمۡ ؕ مَا کَانَ یُغۡنِیۡ عَنۡہُمۡ مِّنَ اللّٰہِ مِنۡ شَیۡءٍ اِلَّا حَاجَۃً فِیۡ نَفۡسِ یَعۡقُوۡبَ قَضٰہَا ؕ وَ اِنَّہٗ لَذُوۡ عِلۡمٍ لِّمَا عَلَّمۡنٰہُ وَ لٰکِنَّ اَکۡثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا یَعۡلَمُوۡنَ ﴿٪۶۸﴾

12:68 And when they entered as their father had instructed them, it did not avail them against Allah at all, but (it was only) a desire in the soul of Jacob, which he satisfied. And surely he was possessed of knowledge, because We had given him knowledge, but most people do not know.2


  1. Jacob, it seems, had come to know by Divine revelation that Joseph was there, and therefore he ordered them to enter by different gates so that Joseph might find his brother. The next verse makes it clear when it says: And surely he was possessed of knowledge because We had given him knowledge.
  2. The Bible narrative represents Jacob as being quite ignorant in the matter.