The Story of Yusuf: The Dream of the Two Young Men in the Prison – Imam as-Sa’di

Benefits Derived from the Story of Yusuf
Chapter 1: The Dream of the Two Young Men

As for the dream of the two young men, where one of them said:

وَدَخَلَ مَعَهُ السِّجْنَ فَتَيَانِ ۖ قَالَ أَحَدُهُمَا إِنِّي أَرَانِي أَعْصِرُ خَمْرًا ۖ وَقَالَ الْآخَرُ إِنِّي أَرَانِي أَحْمِلُ فَوْقَ رَأْسِي خُبْزًا تَأْكُلُ الطَّيْرُ مِنْهُ

‘Verily, I saw myself (in a dream) pressing wine.’ The other said: ‘Verily, I saw myself (in a dream) carrying bread on my head and birds were eating thereof.’  [Yusuf: 36]

They were kind to Yusuf so that he would inform them of the interpretation of their dream. This is due to what they witnessed of his being good to things and to the creation.

Yusuf –alayhi sallam- interpreted the dream of the one who saw that he was pressing wine to be that he would be saved from the prison and would return to his status of serving his master, so he would press grapes for his master, resulting in wine. He interpreted the other dream to be that person being killed, then crucified and birds eating from his head. As for the first dream then it came in a literal form. As for the other dream, then it came in the form of a similitude; that he would be killed, and even though he would have been killed, he would still be crucified and would not be buried until birds had eaten from his head.

This is an amazing insight, which gives precise meanings, as it is the custom that a person who is killed is buried straight away, such that it would not be possible for beasts and birds to eat from him. However, Yusuf –alayhi sallam- understood that this person would be killed and not buried quickly so that he reached this state.

This is the humiliation of that man, and his despicable, evil worldly destiny which causes the skin to tremble. He knew that this dream was real and would definitely take place. Yusuf said to them:

قُضِيَ الْأَمْرُ الَّذِي فِيهِ تَسْتَفْتِيَانِ
‘Thus is the case judged concerning which you both did inquire.’ [Yusuf: 41]

This is from his complete knowledge of interpreting dreams, which are not interpreted based on suspicion and delusion, rather they are interpreted upon knowledge and certainty.

As for the appropriateness of the interpretation of this dream, it is that birds do not come close to living things, rather they eat from the deceased if there is no one close to the dead body, and this takes place after the person has been killed and crucified.

From the perfection of Yusuf, his advice and his amazing intelligence is that he was careful in interpreting their dreams when they narrated them to him and he promised them that he would interpret the dreams at the earliest time. Yusuf said:

لَا يَأْتِيكُمَا طَعَامٌ تُرْزَقَانِهِ إِلَّا نَبَّأْتُكُمَا بِتَأْوِيلِهِ قَبْلَ أَن يَأْتِيَكُمَا

No food will come to you (in wakefulness or in a dream) as your provision, but I will inform (in wakefulness) its interpretation before it (the food) comes. [Yusuf: 37]

He promised them the interpretations before the first meal was to be brought for them from outside the prison so that they would be calm and eager to hear the interpretations. Yusuf did this so he would be able to give them Da’wah before he gave them the interpretations so that they would be more receptive to accepting the Da’wah to Allaah because calling them to Allaah was more important than interpreting their dreams.

He called them to Allaah using two means:

Firstly: through his own self, in how he was and in his beautiful description that made him reach this noble station.

Yusuf –alayhim as-Salaam- said:

ذَٰلِكُمَا مِمَّا عَلَّمَنِي رَبِّي ۚ إِنِّي تَرَكْتُ مِلَّةَ قَوْمٍ لَّا يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَهُم بِالْآخِرَةِ هُمْ كَافِرُونَ

وَاتَّبَعْتُ مِلَّةَ آبَائِي إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَإِسْحَاقَ وَيَعْقُوبَ ۚ مَا كَانَ لَنَا أَن نُّشْرِكَ بِاللَّهِ مِن شَيْءٍ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ مِن فَضْلِ اللَّهِ عَلَيْنَا وَعَلَى النَّاسِ وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَشْكُرُونَ

This is of that which my Lord has taught me. Verily, I have abandoned the religion of a people that do not believe in Allaah and are disbelievers in the Hereafter (i.e. the Kan’âniun of Egypt who were polytheists and used to worship the sun and other false deities).

‘And I have followed the religion of my fathers, – Ibraheem, Ishaaq and Ya’qoob, and never could we attribute any partners whatsoever to Allaah. This is from the Grace of Allaah to us and to mankind, but most men are not thankful.[Yusuf: 37-38]

The second matter: He called them through natural, real evidences.

He said :

يَا صَاحِبَيِ السِّجْنِ أَأَرْبَابٌ مُّتَفَرِّقُونَ خَيْرٌ أَمِ اللَّهُ الْوَاحِدُ الْقَهَّارُ

مَا تَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِهِ إِلَّا أَسْمَاءً سَمَّيْتُمُوهَا أَنتُمْ وَآبَاؤُكُم مَّا أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ بِهَا مِن سُلْطَانٍ ۚ إِنِ الْحُكْمُ إِلَّا لِلَّهِ ۚ أَمَرَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ

‘O two companions of the prison! Are many different lords (gods) better or Allaah, the One, the Irresistible? ‘You do not worship besides Him but only names which you have named (forged), you and your fathers, for which Allaah has sent down no authority. The command (or the judgement) is for none but Allaah. He has commanded that you worship none but Him, that is the (true) straight religion, but most men do not know.  [Yusuf: 39-40]

Indeed The One who is singled out with perfection from all angles, and with complete control over all the world, the upper and the lower, The One Who is deserving of complete worship, Who created the creation for His worship and He ordered them to do it, He has the command over His slaves in this world and the Hereafter. He is the One Whom it is necessary to worship Alone, other than Whom there are things that are worshipped which are deficient and of different types – those things which many people claim divinity for, but they do not have anything of the real meaning of divinity nor are they deserving of worship, rather they are titles which they have defined and names without any meanings.

So, Yusuf saw that calling them to Allaah was foremost rather than the interpretation of their dreams and it was more beneficial for them and other than them.


Posted with Permission from the brother, May Allaah bless him, ameen

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Benefits Derived from the Story of Yusuf
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Related Linkhttps://abdurrahman.org/translations/abbas-abu-yahya