Surah Joseph: Chapter 12 (line 10-20) Yusuf

10. One of them said, “Do not kill Joseph, but throw him into the bottom of the well; some caravan may pick him up-if you must do something.”

11. They said, “Father, why do you not trust us with Joseph, although we care for him?”

12. “Send him with us tomorrow, that he may roam and play; we will take care of him.”

13. He said, “It worries me that you would take him away. And I fear the wolf may eat him while you are careless of him.”

14. They said, “If the wolf ate him, and we are many, we would be good for nothing.”

15. So they went away with him, and agreed to put him at the bottom of the well. And We inspired him, “You will inform them of this deed of theirs when they are unaware.”

16. And they came to their father in the evening weeping.

17. They said, “O father, we went off racing one another, and left Joseph by our belongings; and the wolf ate him. But you will not believe us, even though we are being truthful.”

18. And they brought his shirt, with fake blood on it. He said, “Your souls enticed you to do something. But patience is beautiful, and God is my Help against what you describe.”

19. A caravan passed by, and they sent their water-carrier. He lowered his bucket, and said, “Good news. Here is a boy.” And they hid him as merchandise. But God was aware of what they did.

20. And they sold him for a cheap price-a few coins-they considered him to be of little value.

My interpretation: 

Clearly Muhammad is shown the jealousy of the brothers and the lies they told Jacob, after Jacob warned them about not losing his precious son. The brothers told Jacob that Joseph was eaten by a wolf and they brought his shirt to Jacob with fake blood from an animal. But Jacob was wise, and he knew the brothers were not telling the complete truth. He was faithful that in time all truth would come to the surface of what the brother’s have done.

Meanwhile back at the well, Muhammad is told that a caravan collecting people for slavery came and saw Joseph as they stopped for water. He was taken among the slaves and sold as merchandise. He was sold for a cheap price because they considered Joseph young and of little value, but God was aware of all that was happening.

An artist’s rendition of a shirtless Joseph sold into slavery.