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Select Translation What is This? Selections include: The Koran Interpreted, a translation by A.J. Arberry, first published 1955; The Qur'an, translated by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem, published 2004; or side-by-side comparison view
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The Qurʾan What is This? A current English-language version of the Qur'an, published in 2004
Translation by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem

12. Joseph (37 – 62)

37He said, ‘I can tell you what this means before any meal arrives: this is part of what my Lord has taught me. I reject the faith of those who disbelieve in God and deny the life to come, 38and I follow the faith of my forefathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Because of God's grace to us and to all mankind, we would never worship anything beside God, but most people are ungrateful. 39Fellow prisoners, would many diverse gods be better than God the One, the All Powerful? [No indeed!] 40All those you worship instead of Him are mere names you and your forefathers have invented, names for which God has sent down no sanction. Authority belongs to God alone, and He orders you to worship none but Him: this is the true faith, though most people do not realize it. 41Fellow prisoners, one of you will serve his master with wine; the other will be crucified and the birds will peck at his head. That is the end of the matter on which you asked my opinion.’ 42Joseph said to the one he knew would be saved, ‘Mention me to your master,’ but Satan made him forget to do this, and so Joseph remained in prison for a number of years.

43The king said, ‘I dreamed about seven fat cows being eaten by seven lean ones; seven green ears of corn and [seven] others withered. Counsellors, if you can interpret dreams, tell me the meaning of my dream.’ 44They said, ‘These are confusing dreams and we are not skilled at dream-interpretation,’ 45but the prisoner who had been freed at last remembered [Joseph] and said, ‘I shall tell you what this means. Give me leave to go.’

46’Truthful Joseph! Tell us the meaning of seven fat cows being eaten by seven lean ones, seven green ears of corn and [seven] others withered, 47then I can return to the people to inform them.’ Joseph said, ‘You will sow for seven consecutive years as usual. Store all that you reap, left in the ear, apart from the little you eat. 48After that will come seven years of hardship which will consume all but a little of what you stored up for them; 49after that will come a year when the people will have abundant rain and will press grapes.’

50The king said, ‘Bring him to me,’ but when the messenger came to fetch Joseph, he said, ‘Go back to your master and ask him about what happened to those women who cut their hands—my Lord knows all about their treachery.’ 51The king asked the women, ‘What happened when you tried to seduce Joseph?’ They said, ‘God forbid! We know nothing bad of him!’ and the governor's wife said, ‘Now the truth is out: it was I who tried to seduce him—he is an honest man.’ 52[Joseph said, ‘This was] for my master to know that I did not betray him behind his back: God does not guide the mischief of the treacherous. 53I do not pretend to be blameless, for man's very soul incites him to evil unless my Lord shows mercy: He is most forgiving, most merciful.’

54The king said, ‘Bring him to me: I will have him serve me personally,’ and then, once he had spoken with him, ‘From now on you will have our trust and favour.’ 55Joseph said, ‘Put me in charge of the nation's storehouses: I shall manage them prudently and carefully.’ 56In this way We settled Joseph in that land to live wherever he wished: We grant Our mercy to whoever We will and do not fail to reward those who do good. 57The reward of the Hereafter is best for those who believe and are mindful of God.

58Joseph's brothers came and presented themselves before him. He recognized them—though they did not recognize him—59and once he had given them their provisions, he said, ‘Bring me the brother [you left with] your father!a Or a paternal half-brother (Benjamin). Have you not seen me giving generous measure and being the best of hosts? 60You will have no more corn from me if you do not bring him to me, and you will not be permitted to approach me.’ 61They said, ‘We shall do all we can to persuade his father to send him with us, indeed we shall.’ 62Joseph said to his servants, ‘Put their [traded] goods back into their saddlebags, so that they may recognize them when they go back to their family, and [be eager to] return.’

Notes:

a Or a paternal half-brother (Benjamin).

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