Part 12

Lake at Dusk

Chapter 11: Hud (Eber)

6. There is no moving creature on earth but its sustenance depends on God: He knows the time and place of its definite abode and its temporary deposit: all is in a clear record. 7. He it is Who created the heavens and the earth in six Days—and His Throne was over the Waters—that He might try you, which of you is best in conduct. But if you were to say to them, “You shall indeed be raised up after death”, the Unbelievers would be sure to say, “This is nothing but obvious sorcery!” 8. If We delay the Penalty for them for a definite term, they are sure to say, “What keeps it back?” Ah! On the Day it (actually) reaches them, nothing will turn it away from them, and they will be completely encircled by that which they used to mock at!

 

SECTION 2: Truth of Revelation

 

9. If We give man a taste of mercy from Ourselves, and then withdraw it from him, behold! he is in despair and (falls into) blasphemy. 10. But if We give him a taste of (Our) favors after adversity has touched him, he is sure to say, “All evil has departed from me.” behold! he falls into exultation and pride. 11. Not so do those who show patience and constancy, and work righteousness; for them is forgiveness (of sins) and a great reward.

 

12. Perchance you may (feel the inclination) to give up a part of what is revealed unto you, and your heart feels straitened lest they say, “Why is not a treasure sent down unto him, or why does not an angel come down with him?” But you are there only to warn! It is God that arranges all affairs! 13. Or they may say, “He forged it.” Say, “Bring you then ten Revelations forged, like unto it, and call (to your aid) whomsoever you can, other than God! - if you speak the truth! 14. If then they (your false gods) answer not your (call), know you that this Revelation is sent down (replete) with the knowledge of God, and that there is no god but He! Will you even then submit (to Islam)?”

 

15. Those who desire the life of the present and its glitter, - to them We shall pay (the price of) their deeds therein, - without diminution. 16. They are those for whom there is nothing in the Hereafter but the Fire: vain are the designs they frame therein, and of no effect are the deeds that they do! 17. Can they be (like) those who accept a clear (Sign) from their Lord, and whom a witness from Himself does teach, as did the Book of Moses before it, - a guide and a mercy? They believe therein; but those of the Sects that reject it, - the Fire will be their promised meeting-place. Be not then in doubt thereon: for it is the Truth from your Lord: yet many among men do not believe!

 

18. Who does more wrong than those who invent a lie against God? They will be turned back to the presence of their Lord, and the witnesses will say, “These are the ones who lied against their Lord! Behold! the Curse of God is on those who do wrong! - 19. Those who would hinder (men) from the path of God and would seek in it something crooked: these were they who denied the Hereafter!” 20. They will in no way frustrate (His design) on earth, nor have they protectors besides God! Their penalty will be doubled! They lost the power to hear, and they did not see! 21. They are the ones who have lost their own souls: and the (fancies) they invented have left them in the lurch! 22. Without a doubt, these are the very ones who will lose most in the Hereafter! 23. But those who believe and work righteousness, and humble themselves before their Lord, - they will be companions of the Gardens, to dwell therein forever! 24. These two kinds (of men) may be compared to the blind and deaf, and those who can see and hear well. Are they equal when compared? Will you not then take heed?

 

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Not so do those who show patience and constancy, and work righteousness; for them is forgiveness (of sins) and a great reward. (11:11)

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SECTION 3: History of Noah

 

25. We sent Noah to his people (with a mission): “I have come to you with a clear Warning: 26. That you serve none but God: verily I do fear for you the Penalty of a grievous Day.”

 

27. But the Chiefs of the Unbelievers among his people said: “We see (in) you nothing but a man like ourselves: nor do we see that any follow you but the meanest among us, in judgement immature: nor do we see in you (all) any merit above us: in fact we think you are liars!” 28. He said: “O my people! See you if (it be that) I have a clear Sign from my Lord, and that He has sent Mercy unto me from His own presence, but that the Mercy has been obscured from your sight? Shall we compel you to accept it when you are averse to it? 29. And O my people! I ask you for no wealth in return: my reward is from none but God: but I will not drive away (in contempt) those who believe: for verily they are to meet their Lord, and you - I see - are the ignorant ones! 30. And O my people! Who would help me against God if I drove them away? Will you not then take heed? 31. I tell you not that with me are the treasures of God, nor do I know what is hidden, nor I claim to be an angel. Nor yet do I say, of those whom your eyes do despise, that God will not grant them (all) that is good: God knows best what is in their souls: I should, if I did, indeed be a wrong-doer.” 32. They said: “O Noah! You have disputed with us, and (much) have you prolonged the dispute with us: now bring upon us what you threaten us with, if you speak the truth!?” 33. He said: “Truly, God will bring it on you if He wills, - and then, you will not be able to frustrate it! 34. Of no profit will be my counsel to you, much as I desire to give you (good) counsel, if it be that God wills to leave you astray: He is your Lord and to Him will you return!”

 

35. Or do they say, “He has forged it”? Say: “If I had forged it, on me were my sin! and I am free of the sins of which you are guilty!”

 

SECTION 4: History of Noah

 

36. It was revealed to Noah: “None of your people will believe except those who have believed already! So grieve no longer over their (evil) deeds. 37. But construct an Ark under Our eyes and Our inspiration, and address Me no (further) on behalf of those who are in sin: for they are about to be overwhelmed (in the Flood).” 38. Forthwith he (starts) constructing the Ark: every time that the Chiefs of his people passed by him, they threw ridicule on him. He said: “If you ridicule us now, we (in our turn) can look down on you with ridicule likewise! 39. But soon will you know who it is on whom will descend a Penalty that will cover them with shame, - on whom will be unloosed a Penalty lasting:”

 

40. At length, behold! there came Our command, and the fountains of the earth gushed forth! We said: “Embark therein, of each kind two, male and female, and your family - except those against whom the Word have already gone forth, - and the Believers.” But only a few believed with him. 41. So he said: “Embark you on the Ark, in the name of God, whether it move or be at rest! For my Lord is, be sure, Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful!” 42. So the Ark floated with them on the waves (towering) like mountains, and Noah called out to his son, who had separated himself (from the rest): “O my son! Embark with us, and be not with the Unbelievers!” 43. The son replied: “I will betake myself to some mountain: it will save me from the water.” Noah said: “This day nothing can save, from the command of God, any but those on whom He has mercy!” And the waves came between them, and the son was among those overwhelmed in the Flood.

 

44. Then the word went forth: “O earth! swallow up your water, and O sky! withhold (your rain)!” and the water abated, and the matter was ended. The Ark rested on Mount Jūdī, and the word went forth: “Away with those who do wrong!”

 

45. And Noah called upon his Lord, and said: “O my Lord! Surely my son is of my family! and Your promise is true, and You are the justest of Judges!” 46. He said: “O Noah! He is not of your family: for his conduct is unrighteous. So ask not of Me that of which you have no knowledge! I give you counsel, lest you act like the ignorant!” 47. Noah said: “O my Lord! I do seek refuge with You, lest I ask You for that of which I have no knowledge. And unless you forgive me and have Mercy on me, I should indeed be lost!” 48. The word came: “O Noah! Come down (from the Ark) with peace from Us, and blessing on you and on some of the peoples (who will spring) from those with you: but (there will be other) peoples to whom We shall grant their pleasures (for a time), but in the end will a grievous Penalty reach them from Us.”

 

49. Such are some of the stories of the Unseen, which We have revealed unto you: before this, neither you nor your people knew them. So persevere patiently: for the End is for those who are righteous.

 

SECTION 5: History of Eber

 

50. To the ‘Ād people (We sent) Eber, one of their own brethren. He said: “O my people! Worship God! You have no other god but Him. (Your other gods) you do nothing but invent! 51. O my people! I ask of you no reward for this (Message). My reward is from none but Him who created me: will you not then understand? 52. And O my people! Ask forgiveness of your Lord, and turn to Him (in repentance): He will send you the skies pouring abundant rain, and add strength to your strength: so turn you not back in sin!” 53. They said: “O Eber! No clear (Sign) have you brought us, and we are not the ones to desert our gods on your word! Nor shall we believe in you! 54. We say nothing but that (perhaps) some of our gods may have seized you with imbecility.” He said: “I call God to witness, and do you bear witness, that I am free from the sin of ascribing, to Him, 55. other gods as partners! so scheme (your worst) against me, all of you, and give me no respite. 56. I put my trust in God, my Lord and your Lord! There is not a moving creature, but He has grasp of its forelock. Verily, it is my Lord that is on a straight Path. 57. If you turn away, - I (at least) have conveyed the Message with which I was sent to you. My Lord will make another people to succeed you, and you will not harm Him in the least. For my Lord has care and watch over all things.”

 

58. So when Our decree issued, We saved Eber and those who believed with him, by (special) Grace from Ourselves: We saved them from a severe Penalty. 59. Such were the ‘Ād People: they rejected the Signs of their Lord and Cherisher; disobeyed His messengers; and followed the command of every powerful, obstinate transgressor. 60. And they were pursued by a Curse in this life, - and on the Day of Judgement. Ah! Behold! for the ‘Ād rejected their Lord and Cherisher! Ah! Behold! removed (from sight) were ‘Ād the people of Eber!

 

SECTION 6: History of Saleh

 

61. To the Thamūd people (We sent) Saleh, one of their own brethren. He said: “O my people! Worship God: you have no other god but Him. It is He Who has produced you from the earth and settled you therein: then ask forgiveness of Him, and turn to Him (in repentance): for my Lord is (always) near, ready to answer.” 62. They said: “O Saleh! You have been of us! A center of our hopes hitherto! Do you (now) forbid us the worship of what our fathers worshipped? But we are really in suspicious (disquieting) doubt as to that to which you invite us.” 63. He said: “O my people! Do you see? if I have a clear (Sign) from my Lord and He has sent Mercy unto me from Himself, - who then can help me against God if I were to disobey Him? What then would you add to my (portion) but perdition? 64. And O my people! This she-camel of God is a symbol to you: leave her to feed on God’s (free) earth, and inflict no harm on her, or a swift Penalty will seize you!” 65. But they did hamstring her. So he said: “Enjoy yourselves in your homes for three days: (then will be your ruin): (behold) there a promise not to be belied!” 66. When Our decree issued, We saved Saleh and those who believed with him, by (special) Grace from Ourselves—and from the Ignominy of that Day. For your Lord—He is the Strong One, and able to enforce His Will. 67. The (mighty) Blast overtook the wrong-doers, and they lay prostrate in their homes before the morning, - 68. As if they had never dwelt and flourished there. Ah! Behold! for the Thamūd rejected their Lord and Cherisher! Ah! Behold! removed (from sight) were the Thamūd!

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He said: “O my people! Worship God: you have no other god but Him. It is He Who has produced you from the earth and settled you therein: then ask forgiveness of Him, and turn to Him (in repentance): for my Lord is (always) near, ready to answer.” (11:61)

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SECTION 7: Abraham and Lot

 

69. There came Our messengers to Abraham with glad tidings. They said, “Peace!” He answered, “Peace!” and hastened to entertain them with a roasted calf. 70. But when he saw their hands went not towards the (meal), he felt some mistrust of them, and conceived a fear of them. They said: “Fear not: we have been sent against the people of Lot.” 71. And his wife was standing (there), and she laughed: but we gave her glad tidings of Isaac, and after him, of Jacob. 72. She said: “Alas for me! Shall I bear a child, seeing I am an old woman, and my husband here is an old man? That would indeed be a wonderful thing!” 73. They said: “Do you wonder at God’s decree? The grace of God and His blessings on you, O you people of the house! For He is indeed worthy of all praise, full of all glory!”

 

74. When fear had passed from (the mind of) Abraham and the glad tidings had reached him, he began to plead with Us for Lot’s people. 75. For Abraham was, without doubt, forbearing (of faults), compassionate, and given to look to God. 76. O Abraham! Seek not this. The decree of your Lord has gone forth: for them there comes a Penalty that cannot be turned back!

 

77. When Our messengers came to Lot, he was grieved on their account and felt himself powerless (to protect) them. He said: “This is a distressful day.” 78. And his people came rushing towards him, and they had been long in the habit of practicing abominations. He said: “O my people! Here are my daughters: they are purer for you (if you marry)! Now fear God, and cover me not with shame about my guests! Is there not among you a single right-minded man?” 79. They said: “Well do you know we have no need of your daughters: indeed you know quite well what we want!” 80. He said: “Would that I had power to suppress you or that I could betake myself to some powerful support.” 81. (The messengers) said: “O Lot! We are Messengers from your Lord! By no means shall they reach you! Now travel with your family while yet a part of the night remains, and let not any of you look back: but your wife (will remain behind): to her will happen what happens to the people. Morning is their time appointed: is not the morning nigh?” 82. When Our decree issued, We turned (the cities) upside down, and rained down on them brimstones hard as baked clay, spread, layer on layer, - 83. Marked as from your Lord: nor are they ever far from those who do wrong!

 

SECTION 8: History of Jethro

84. To the Madyan people (We sent) Jethro, one of their own brethren: he said: “O my people! Worship God: you have no other god but Him. And give not short measure or weight: I see you in prosperity, but I fear for you the Penalty of a Day that will compass (you) all round. 85. And O my people! Give just measure and weight, nor withhold from the people the things that are their due: commit not evil in the land with intent to do mischief. 86. That which is left you by God is best for you, if you (but) believed! But I am not set over you to keep watch!” 87. They said: “O Jethro! Does your (religion of) prayer command you that we leave off the worship which our fathers practiced, or that we leave off doing what we like with our property? Truly, you are the one that forbears with faults and is right-minded!” 88. He said: “O my people! See you whether I have a clear (Sign) from my Lord, and He has given me sustenance (pure and) good as from Himself? I wish not, in opposition to you, to do that which I forbid you to do. I only desire (your) betterment to the best of my power; and my success (in my task) can only come from God. In Him I trust, and unto Him I look. 89. And O my people! Let not my dissent (from you) cause you to sin, lest you suffer a fate similar to that of the people of Noah or of Eber or of Saleh, nor are the people of Lot far off from you! 90. But ask forgiveness of your Lord, and turn unto Him (in repentance): for my Lord is indeed full of mercy and loving-kindness.” 91. They said: “O Jethro! Much of what you say we do not understand! In fact among us we see that you have no strength! Were it not for your family, we should certainly have stoned you! For you have among us no great position!” 92. He said: “O my people! Is then my family of more consideration with you than God? For you cast Him away behind your backs (with contempt). But verily my Lord encompasses on all sides all that you do! 93. And O my people! Do whatever you can: I will do (my part): soon will you know who it is on whom descends the Penalty of Ignominy; and who is a liar! And watch you! For I too am watching with you!” 94. When Our decree issued, We saved Jethro and those who believed with him, by (special) mercy from Ourselves: but the (mighty) Blast did seize the wrong-doers, and they lay prostrate in their homes by the morning, - 95. As if they had never dwelt and flourished there! Ah! Behold! how the Madyan were removed (from sight) as were removed the Thamūd!

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But ask forgiveness of your Lord, and turn unto Him (in repentance):

for my Lord is indeed full of mercy and loving-kindness. (11:90)

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SECTION 9: The Iniquitous and the Righteous

96. And We sent Moses, with Our clear (Signs) and an authority manifest, 97. Unto Pharaoh and his Chiefs: but they followed the command of Pharaoh and the command of Pharaoh was no right (guide). 98. He will go before his people on the Day of Judgement, and lead them into the Fire (as cattle are led to water): but woeful indeed will be the place to which they are led! 99. And they are followed by a curse in this (life) and on the Day of Judgement: and woeful is the gift which shall be given (unto them)!

100. These are some of the stories of communities which We relate unto you: of them some are standing, and some have been mown down (by the sickle of time). 101. It was not We that wronged them: they wronged their own souls: the deities, other than God, whom they invoked, profited them not at all when there issued the decree of your Lord: nor did they add anything (to their lot) but perdition! 102. Such is the chastisement of your Lord when He chastises communities in the midst of their wrong: grievous, indeed, and severe is His chastisement. 103. In that is a Sign for those who fear the Penalty of the Hereafter: that is a Day for which mankind will be gathered together: that will be a Day of Testimony. 104. Nor shall We delay it but for a term appointed.

105. The day it arrives, no soul shall speak except by His leave: of those (gathered) some will be wretched and some will be blessed. 106. Those who are wretched shall be in the Fire: there will be for them therein (nothing but) the heaving of sighs and sobs: 107. They will dwell therein for all the time that the heavens and the earth endure, except as your Lord wills: for your Lord is the (sure) accomplisher of what He plans. 108. And those who are blessed shall be in the Garden: they will dwell therein for all the time that the heavens and the earth endure, except as your Lord wills: a gift without break. 109. Be not then in doubt as to what these men worship. They worship nothing but what their fathers worshipped before (them): but verily We shall pay them back (in full) their portion without (the least) abatement.

 

SECTION 10: Believers Comforted

 

110. We certainly gave the Book to Moses, but differences arose therein: had it not been that a Word had gone forth before from your Lord, the matter would have been decided between them, but they are in suspicious doubt concerning it. 111. And, of a surety, to all will your Lord pay back (in full the recompense) of their deeds: for He knows well all that they do. 112. Therefore stand firm (in the straight Path) as you are commanded, - you and those who with you turn (unto God); and transgress not (from the Path): for He sees well all that you do. 113. And incline not to those who do wrong, or the Fire will seize you; and you have no protectors other than God, nor shall you be helped. 114. And establish regular prayers at the two ends of the day and at the approaches of the night: for those things that are good remove those that are evil: be that the word of remembrance to those who remember (their Lord): 115. And be steadfast in patience; for verily God will not suffer the reward of the righteous to perish.

116. Why were there not, among the generations before you, persons possessed of balanced good sense, prohibiting (men) from mischief in the earth—except a few among them whom We saved (from harm)? But the wrong-doers pursued the enjoyment of the good things of life which were given them, and persisted in sin. 117. Nor would your Lord be the One to destroy communities for a single wrong-doing, if its members were likely to mend. 118. If your Lord had so willed, He could have made mankind one people: but they will not cease to dispute, 119. Except those on whom your Lord has bestowed His Mercy: and for this did He create them: and the Word of your Lord shall be fulfilled: “I will fill Hell with jinns and men all together.”

120. All that We relate to you of the stories of the messengers, - with it We make firm your heart: in them there comes to you the Truth, as well as an exhortation and a message of remembrance to those who believe. 121. Say to those who do not believe: “Do whatever you can: we shall do our part; 122. And wait you! we too shall wait.” 123. To God belong the unseen (secrets) of the heavens and the earth, and to Him goes back every affair (for decision): then worship Him, and put your trust in Him: and your Lord is not unmindful of anything that you do.

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To God belong the unseen (secrets) of the heavens and the earth, and to Him goes back every affair (for decision): then worship Him, and put your trust in Him: and your Lord is not unmindful of anything that you do. (11:123)

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Chapter 12: Joseph

SECTION 1: Joseph’s Vision

In the name of God,
Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

 

1. Alif Lām Rā’. These are the Symbols (or Verses) of the perspicuous Book. 2. We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur’ān, in order that you may learn wisdom. 3. We do relate unto you the most beautiful of stories, in that We reveal to you this (portion of the) Qur’ān: before this, you too were among those who knew it not.

 

4. Behold! Joseph said to his father: “O my father! I did see eleven stars and the sun and the moon: I saw them prostrate themselves to me!” 5. Said (the father): “My (dear) little son! Relate not your vision to your brothers, lest they concoct a plot against you: for Satan is to man an avowed enemy! 6. Thus will your Lord choose you and teach you the interpretation of stories (and events) and perfect His favor to you and to the posterity of Jacob—even as He perfected it to your fathers Abraham and Isaac aforetime! For God is full of knowledge and wisdom.”

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We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur’ān, in order that you may learn wisdom. (12:2)

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SECTION 2: Plot Against Joseph by His Brothers

 

7. Verily in Joseph and his brethren are Signs (or Symbols) for seekers (after Truth).

 

8. They said: “Truly Joseph and his brother are loved more by our father than we: but we are a goodly body! Really our father is obviously wandering (in his mind)! 9. Slay you Joseph or cast him out to some (unknown) land, that so the favor of your father may be given to you alone: (there will be time enough) for you to be righteous after that!” 10. Said one of them: “Slay not Joseph, but if you must do something, throw him down to the bottom of the well: he will be picked up by some caravan of travelers.”

 

11. They said: “O our father! Why do you not trust us with Joseph, - seeing we are indeed his sincere well-wishers? 12. Send him with us tomorrow to enjoy himself and play, and we shall take every care of him.” 13. (Jacob) said: “Really it saddens me that you should take him away: I fear lest the wolf should devour him while you attend not to him.” 14. They said: “If the wolf were to devour him while we are (so large) a party, then should we indeed (first) have perished ourselves!”

 

15. So they did take him away, and they all agreed to throw him down to the bottom of the well: and We put into his heart (this Message): “Of a surety you shall (one day) tell them the truth of this their affair while they know (you) not.”

 

16. Then they came to their father in the early part of the night, weeping. 17. They said: “O our father! We went racing with one another, and left Joseph with our things; and the wolf devoured him, but you will never believe us even though we tell the truth.” 18. They stained his shirt with false blood. He said: “No, but your minds have made up a tale (that may pass) with you. (For me) patience is most fitting: against that which you assert, it is God (alone) Whose help can be sought.”

 

19. Then there came a caravan of travelers: they sent their water-carrier (for water), and he let down his bucket (into the well). He said: “Ah there! Good news! Here is a (fine) young man!” So they concealed him as a treasure! But God knows well all that they do! 20. The (brethren) sold him for a miserable price, for a few dirhams counted out: in such low estimation did they hold him!

 

SECTION 3: Joseph’s Firmness Under Temptation

 

21. The man in Egypt who bought him, said to his wife: “Make his stay (among us) honorable: maybe he will bring us much good, or we shall adopt him as a son.” Thus did We establish Joseph in the land, that We might teach him the interpretation of stories (and events). And God has full power and control over His affairs; but most among mankind know it not. 22. When Joseph attained his full manhood, We gave him power and knowledge: thus do We reward those who do right.

 

23. But she in whose house he was, sought to seduce him from his (true) self: she fastened the doors, and said: “Now come, you (dear one)!” He said: “God forbid! Truly (your husband) is my lord! He made my sojourn agreeable! Truly to no good come those who do wrong!” 24. And (with passion) did she desire him, and he would have desired her, but that he saw the evidence of his Lord: thus (did We order) that We might turn away from him (all) evil and shameful deeds: for he was one of Our servants, sincere and purified.

 

25. So they both raced each other to the door, and she tore his shirt from the back: they both found her lord near the door. She said: “What is the (fitting) punishment for one who formed an evil design against your wife, but prison or a grievous chastisement?” 26. He said: “It was she that sought to seduce me—from my (true) self.” And one of her households saw (this) and bore witness, (thus):—“If it be that his shirt is rent from the front, then is her tale true, and he is a liar! 27. But if it be that his shirt is torn from the back, then is she the liar, and he is telling the truth!” 28. So when he saw his shirt, - that it was torn at the back, - (her husband) said: “Behold! It is a snare of you women! Truly, mighty is your snare! 29. O Joseph, pass this over! (O wife), ask forgiveness for your sin, for truly you have been at fault”

 

SECTION 4: Joseph is Imprisoned

 

30. Ladies said in the City: “The wife of the (great) Potiphar is seeking to seduce her slave from his (true) self: truly has he inspired her with violent love: we see she is evidently going astray.” 31. When she heard of their malicious talk, she sent for them and prepared a banquet for them: she gave each of them a knife: and she said (to Joseph), “Come out before them.” When they saw him, they did extol him, and (in their amazement) cut their hands: they said, “God preserve us! No mortal is this! This is none other than a noble angel!” 32. She said: “There before you is the man about whom you did blame me! I did seek to seduce him from his (true) self but he did firmly save himself guiltless! … and now, if he does not my bidding, he shall certainly be cast into prison, and (what is more) be of the company of the vilest!” 33. He said: “O my Lord! The prison is more to my liking than that to which they invite me: unless You turn away their snare from me, I should (in my youthful folly) feel inclined towards them and join the ranks of the ignorant.”

 

34. So his Lord hearkened to him (in his prayer), and turned away from him their snare: verily He hears and knows (all things).

 

35. Then it occurred to the men, after they had seen the Signs, (that it was best) to imprison him for a time.

 

SECTION 5: Joseph’s Preaching in the Prison

 

36. Now with him there came into the prison two young men. Said one of them: “I see myself (in a dream) pressing wine.” Said the other: “I see myself (in a dream) carrying bread on my head, and birds are eating thereof.” “Tell us” (they said) “the truth and meaning thereof: for we see you are one that does good (to all).” 37. He said: “Before any food comes (in due course) to feed either of you, I will surely reveal to you the truth and meaning of this before it befalls you: that is part of the (duty) which my Lord has taught me. I have (I assure you) abandoned the ways of a people that believe not in God and that (even) deny the Hereafter. 38. And I follow the ways of my fathers, - Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and never could we attribute any partners whatever to God: that (comes) of the grace of God to us and to mankind: yet most men are not grateful. 39. O my two companions of the prison! (I ask you): Are many lords differing among themselves better, or the One God, Supreme and Irresistible? 40. If not Him, you worship nothing but names which you have named, - you and your fathers, - for which God has sent down no authority: the command is for none but God: He has commanded that you worship none but Him: that is the right religion, but most men understand not… 41. O my two companions of the prison! As to one of you, he will pour out the wine for his lord to drink: as for the other, he will hang from the cross, and the birds will eat from off his head. (So) has been decreed that matter whereof you both do enquire”…

 

42. And of the two, to that one whom he considered about to be saved, he said: “Mention me to your lord.” But Satan made him forget to mention him to his lord: and (Joseph) lingered in prison a few (more) years.

 

SECTION 6: The King’s Vision Interpreted by Joseph

 

43. The king (of Egypt) said: “I do see (in a vision) seven fat cows, whom seven lean ones devour, and seven green ears of corn, and seven (others) withered. O you chiefs! Expound to me my vision if it be that you can interpret visions.” 44. They said: “A confused medley of dreams: and we are not skilled in the interpretation of dreams.”

 

45. But the man who had been released, one of the two (who had been in prison) and who now remembered him after (so long) a space of time, said: “I will tell you the truth of its interpretation: send you me (therefore).” 46. “O Joseph!” (he said) “O man of truth! Expound to us (the dream) of seven fat cows whom seven lean ones devour, and of seven green ears of corn and (seven) others withered: that I may return to the people, and that they may understand.” 47. (Joseph) said: “For seven years shall you diligently sow as is your won't: and the harvests that you reap, you shall leave them in the ear, - except a little, of which you shall eat. 48. Then will come after that (period) seven dreadful (years), which will devour what you shall have laid by in advance for them, - (all) except a little which you shall have (specially) guarded. 49. Then will come after that (period) a year in which the people will have abundant water, and in which they will press (wine and oil).”

 

SECTION 7: Joseph Cleared of the Charges

 

50. So the king said: “Bring you him unto me.” But when the messenger came to him, (Joseph) said: “Go you back to your lord, and ask him, ‘What is the state of mind of the ladies who cut their hands’? For my Lord is certainly well aware of their snare.” 51. (The king) said (to the ladies): “What was your affair when you did seek to seduce Joseph from his (true) self?” The ladies said: “God preserve us! No evil know we against him!” Said the Potiphar’s wife: “Now is the truth manifest (to all): it was I who sought to seduce him from his (true) self: he is indeed of those who are (ever) true (and virtuous). 52. This (say I), in order that he may know that I have never been false to him in his absence, and that God will never guide the snare of the false ones.