Surah Joseph: Chapter 12 (line 80-90) Yusuf

80. And when they despaired of him, they conferred privately. Their eldest said, “Don’t you know that your father received a pledge from you before God, and in the past you failed with regard to Joseph? I will not leave this land until my father permits me, or God decides for me; for He is the Best of Deciders.”

81. “Go back to your father, and say, ‘Our father, your son has stolen. We testify only to what we know, and we could not have prevented the unforeseen.’”

82. “Ask the town where we were, and the caravan in which we came. We are being truthful.”

83. He said, “Rather, your souls have contrived something for you. Patience is a virtue. Perhaps God will bring them all back to me. He is the Knowing, the Wise.”

84. Then he turned away from them, and said, “O my bitterness for Joseph.” And his eyes turned white from sorrow, and he became depressed.

85. They said, “By God, you will not stop remembering Joseph, until you have ruined your health, or you have passed away.”

86. He said, “I only complain of my grief and sorrow to God, and I know from God what you do not know.”

87. “O my sons, go and inquire about Joseph and his brother, and do not despair of God’s comfort. None despairs of God’s comfort except the disbelieving people.”

88. Then, when they entered into his presence, they said, “Mighty governor, adversity has befallen us, and our family. We have brought scant merchandise. But give us full measure, and be charitable towards us—God rewards the charitable.”

89. He said, “Do you realize what you did with Joseph and his brother, in your ignorance?”

90. They said, “Is that you, Joseph?” He said, “I am Joseph, and this is my brother. God has been gracious to us. He who practices piety and patience—God never fails to reward the righteous.”


My Interpretation: 

The eldest brother has matured spiritually and speaks to his brothers about not losing their younger brother as  they did with Joseph. In fact, he feels such remorse for what he and the others did to Joseph that he starts to cry. His admittance of his wrong has given him a spiritual cleansing and has brought him to a new level of understanding and compassion that the other brothers didn’t have yet.

Sometimes the person who is the best at heart, will feel the most pain when they do something wrong. It is a tough burden to bear for the good of heart, but it is also what makes them good. God sees this in the eldest as well as each of us that feels remorse on this level. It is a form of repentance.

The brothers then went back to their father to tell him how they lost their youngest brother for him being a thief, and Jacob once again was upset at his past loss of Joseph and now the new one of his youngest son. The brothers then started to tell Jacob to stop thinking about Joseph or he will surely deteriorate in his health. Jacob tells them wisely that his sorrow is for God alone, and they do not know or understand what he knows being so close to God. Jacob has always had a belief and faith that both sons would return back to him one day.

Jacob tells the brothers to go back to the manager of the storehouses and ask about Joseph’s whereabouts as well as for their younger brother. They obeyed and went back to ask for mercy, cause they have suffered hardship in the family. Joseph then tests them again asking if they know what they did to Joseph and the younger brother. As soon as he did, I am sure it dawned on the other brothers who they were speaking to.

Joseph then reveals his secret, that he was Joseph all along. And tells the brothers through his patience and virtues, God has granted him many blessings allowing him the life he has now.