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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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12 JOSEPH (1 – 22)

In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate

Alif Lam Ra

Those are the signs of the Manifest Book. We have sent it down as an Arabic Koran; haply you will understand.

We will relate to thee the fairest of stories in that We have revealed to thee this Koran, though before it thou wast one of the heedless.

When Joseph said to his father, ‘Father, I saw eleven stars, and the sun and the moon; I saw them bowing down before me.’ 5He said, ‘O my son, relate not thy vision to thy brothers, lest they devise against thee some guile. Surely Satan is to man a manifest enemy. So will thy Lord choose thee, and teach thee the interpretation of tales, and perfect His blessing upon thee and upon the House of Jacob, as He perfected it formerly on thy fathers Abraham and Isaac; surely thy Lord is All-knowing, All-wise.’ (In Joseph and his brethren were signs for those who ask questions.) When they said, ‘Surely Joseph and his brother are dearer to our father than we, though we are a band. Surely our father is in manifest error. Kill you Joseph, or cast him forth into some land, that your father's face may be free for you, and thereafter you may be a righteous people.’ 10One of them said, ‘No, kill not Joseph, but cast him into the bottom of the pit and some traveller will pick him out, if you do aught.’ They said, ‘Father, what ails thee, that thou trustest us not with Joseph? Surely we are his sincere well-wishers. Send him forth with us tomorrow, to frolic and play; surely we shall be watching over him.’ He said, ‘It grieves me that you should go with him, and I fear the wolf may eat him, while you are heedless of him.’ They said, ‘If the wolf eats him, and we a band, then are we losers!’ 15So when they went with him, and agreed to put him in the bottom of the well, and We revealed to him, ‘Thou shalt tell them of this their doing when they are unaware.’ And they came to their father in the evening, and they were weeping. They said, ‘Father, we went running races, and left Joseph behind with our things; so the wolf ate him. But thou wouldst never believe us, though we spoke truly.’ And they brought his shirt with false blood on it. He said, ‘No; but your spirits tempted you to do somewhat. But come, sweet patience! And God's succour is ever there to seek against that you describe.’ Then came travellers, and they sent one of them, a water-drawer, who let down his bucket. ‘Good news!’ he said. ‘Here is a young man.’ So they hid him as merchandise; but God knew what they were doing. 20Then they sold him for a paltry price, a handful of counted dirhams; for they set small store by him. He that bought him, being of Egypt, said to his wife, ‘Give him goodly lodging, and it may be that he will profit us, or we may take him for our own son.’ So We established Joseph in the land, and that We might teach him the interpretation of tales. God prevails in His purpose, but most men know not. And when he was fully grown, We gave him judgment and knowledge. Even so We recompense the good-doers.

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