Surah: 012 Yusuf
A Makki surah in revelation, the story of Yusuf was sent down upon the Prophet ﷺ when he was grieving the loss of his wife, Khadija (RA) followed by that of his uncle, Abu Taalib, both of whom were the pillars of his support. The three-year siege inflicted by the Quraysh on the Muslims in Makkah resulted in their deaths, and the Prophet ﷺ found himself increasingly isolated. In order to comfort him in this desperate hour, Allaah (SWT) revealed the amazing tale of Yusuf (AS).
This is the only surah in the Qur’an where the story of a single prophet is presented in a linear narration, unlike the stories of other prophets which are spread over the entire Qur’an. Yusuf (AS), a young boy narrates his dream to his father, Yaqoob (AS), another prophet, and he realizes the gift of interpreting dreams will be bestowed on his son. The other sons of Yaqoob (AS) plot against Yusuf (AS) and abandon him in a well. Yusuf (AS) is found by a trade caravan from Egypt and he is taken as a slave by a minister to his house. The wife of the minister repeatedly attempts to seduce Yusuf(AS), and to protect himself from corruption, he gives himself up to imprisoned. Years pass and the King of Egypt is looking for an expert to interpret his strange dream and is informed about Yusuf (AS) by his servant who was a fellow prisoner of the prophet. Yusuf (AS) not only interprets the dream but provides vital solutions to the crisis that their region would face with respect to food shortages. Consequently, his name is cleared from the slander that led to his imprisonment, and he is appointed as a minister to oversee the management of relief operations. Meanwhile, Yaqoob (AS) has lost his eyesight while grieving the loss of his son, and he finds no sympathy from his other children. The brothers of Yusuf (AS) journey to Egypt and a series of events lead them to discover that the one whom they had wronged many years ago has been blessed by Allaah (SWT) and they were now seeking his help. Yusuf (AS) forgives them all and sends for his parents, and the story ends with the fulfillment of the dream he saw as a child.
It is interesting to note that this is the twelfth surah in the Qur’an, while Yusuf (AS) and his brothers together were also twelve in number.