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Re: Yusuf (AS) 3A1

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  • veretest
    Brothers and sisters do not deceive yourselves and do not commit the sin of Yusuf s brothers. They wanted to relieve their conscience and avoid killing him
    Message 1 of 153 , Dec 1, 2007
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      Brothers and sisters do not deceive yourselves and do not commit the
      sin of Yusuf's brothers. They wanted to relieve their conscience and
      avoid killing him with their own hands. Therefore, they committed an
      act that could have been much worse due to the suffering he would
      have endured. As a result, Allah (SWT) left them on the wrong path
      for 40 years because they deceived themselves. You should be true to
      yourselves. We took some time to talk about this matter in the past
      episode. When you sin, please, be your own judge; go to your room and
      take a paper and a pen. Write your faults 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. Write
      down for example, "I slander others." Write that it will be a
      disaster if I meet Allah (SWT) with this fault. Write, "I am not
      lowering my gaze (to avoid looking at forbidden things)," write, "I
      am deceiving my boss and taking money illegally," write, "I am lying
      about my colleague to take over his position." Be honest with
      yourself and write every vice you continuously commit. Write
      everything.



      Brothers and sisters, do you know that you sometimes hide your
      mistakes from people hoping that they may never know them? In fact,
      you are hiding them from yourselves so that you do not face them. In
      the end, they will overtake you on the Day of Judgment. Be your own
      judges, for Allah's sake. Be careful not to commit the sin of
      Yusuf's brothers. Brothers and sisters, I am not just telling you
      stories and tales. While I was preparing for the lecture, I asked
      myself, what benefits could people get from this ayah? Then, I was
      surprised to come up with the same meaning mentioned in the books of
      Interpretation of the Qur'an. That is to say, that the ayahs are
      clear; the insinuations are clear, as if Allah (SWT) wants to send us
      a message.



      Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, "Kill Yusuf or cast him
      out to some (other) land, so that the favor of your father may be
      given to you alone, and after that you will be righteous folk (by
      intending repentance before committing the sin)." (TMQ, 12:9). What
      is the meaning of "and after that you will be righteous folk?"



      They intended to kill and repent at the same time. Do you think
      Allah (SWT) would accept that? No, for 40 years, their repentance was
      not accepted. Some people do the same when they say, "This is the
      last time I am committing this sin, O Lord, and right afterwards I
      will repent." Such as, intending to have a rendezvous with some girl
      and then say it will be for the last time. Hence, if you intend to
      commit a sin and then repent at the same time, Allah (SWT) will make
      you forget repentance for 20 or 30 years. This is exactly what
      happened to Yusuf's brothers. They forgot repentance and strayed
      from the right path. They could not face their father so they hid
      the truth from him for 40 years. As a result, their father lived in
      pain and they kept sinning. Be careful not to commit their sin.
      Don't let Satan deceive you into thinking that you may repent later;
      you will not repent. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated
      as, "One from among them said: "kill not Yusuf, but if you must do
      something, throw him down to the bottom of a well; he will be picked
      up by some caravan of travelers. They said, "O our father! Why do you
      not trust us with Yusuf though we are indeed his well-wishers?" Send
      him with us tomorrow to enjoy himself and play, and verily, we will
      take care of him." (TMQ, 12:12).



      While on the subject, try to always pronounce the name Yusuf rather
      than Yusef. Even when you are calling someone named Yusuf, you
      should pronounce it correctly.



      When we reached this ayah, "Send him with us tomorrow to enjoy
      himself and play," we wondered what it meant. It meant that he would
      be playing and eating as much as he wished. However, does the Qur'an
      mean the same understanding we have of the word `play?'



      Is it suitable to mention the word `play' in the Qur'an? Did Prophet
      Yaqub (AS) tell his sons, "It's not polite to say that you are going
      to play?" Do you know what they said? Allah (SWT) mentions their
      words that can be translated as, "Send him with us tomorrow to enjoy
      himself and play, and verily, we will take care of him" (TMQ,
      12:12). It is as if it is a picnic! Is it appropriate to mention
      such things in the Holy Qur'an? Folks, we must try to understand
      religion as a whole.



      Islam embraces rest, relaxation, entertainment, sports and outings,
      and enjoying one's life too, as long as the person does not disobey
      Allah (SWT) or do anything that is against His orders. This is
      proved by mentioning the word `play' in the Holy Qur'an, without
      commenting afterwards or referring that it was a sinful act, and as
      Prophet Yaqub (AS) allowed them to go and take Yusuf (AS) with them.
      Do you know why it was mentioned in the Holy Qur'an? Because it is
      something very important for youths. Prophet Yaqub's sons were all
      youth who needed to `play' (i.e. to relax, to be active, to enjoy
      themselves, and to engage-in sports, etc).



      Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, "Send him with us
      tomorrow to enjoy himself and play, and verily, we will take care of
      him" (TMQ, 12:12). "He (Yaqub) said, "Truly, it saddens me that you
      should take him away. I fear lest a wolf should devour him, while you
      are careless of him." (TMQ, 12: 13). Notice that Prophet Yaqub (AS)
      mentioned the wolf in this context, because the area where they
      wanted to play was known to be populated by wolves.



      Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, "So, when they took him
      away and they all agreed to throw him down to the bottom of the well,
      (they did so) and We revealed to him, `Indeed, you shall (one day)
      inform them of this (their affair), when they know (you) not.'" (TMQ,
      12: 15) This is where we stopped last time, when we suggested trying
      to imagine Prophet Yusuf (AS). A 12-year-old child took by his elder
      brothers, while they were hitting and insulting him, and their hearts
      were full of envy and jealousy. Can you imagine his condition when
      they took off his shirt, and were searching for a well deep in the
      desert to throw him naked? Allah (SWT) says what can be translated
      as, "And they brought his shirt stained with false blood." (TMQ,
      12:18). Can you imagine how tough his affliction was?



      Were anyone of you ever subjected to such an affliction? People who
      cannot be patient, have they witnessed anything harder? They kept
      delving into the desert; until they found a deep well, where nobody
      could ever reach. They were sure that even if Yusuf (AS) managed to
      get out of the well - which was impossible - he would not be able to
      get out of that far desert or find his way home. Furthermore, they
      did not even think of lowering him down to the bottom of the well,
      they plotted to dump him down deep to the very bottom. The
      words "they threw him" indicate that he might have been killed when
      he was thrown. Remember that at the bottom of the well, there was
      water, rocks, snakes and scorpions. Can you imagine the condition of
      a twelve-year-old child hearing the hissing of these creatures? Can
      you imagine his pain and fear and how he lived for three days in the
      fearful, dark, damp well, without any food? How frightening could
      this be?



      Can you see how hard this was for him? Notice that patience is the
      moral lesson intended here. Prophet Yusuf (AS) went through all this
      hardship in his life and he was a Prophet. Thus, no matter how hard
      our lives are, we should be patient and we should hold on to our
      faith. The adversities you experience throughout your life could not
      compare to Prophet Yusuf's.



      Prophet Yusuf (AS) could not believe what his brothers did to him.
      Thus, he kept calling for them saying, "You promised father to take
      care of me." He started realizing that they were leaving him as he
      heard their voices fading away. They never answered his calls. How
      hardhearted and cruel they were! How could ten brothers do this to
      their youngest brother?



      Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, "and they all agreed to
      throw him down to the bottom of the well," (TMQ, 12:15) which
      clarifies that not even one of them objected to this crime. None of
      them objected to hurting their brother or even thought about their
      father, and how this might kill him from grief. How merciless they
      were! Can there be some Muslims so cruel? Unfortunately, yes.
      Amongst us, there are people who are as pitiless as Prophet Yusuf's
      brothers. Take for example, the woman who has not contacted her
      nephews or nieces for years, after the death of her sister, because
      of a financial disagreement with them. If she sees them on the
      street, she would not even recognize them! Unfortunately, there are
      many people among the Muslims who do not keep kinship ties, and
      forsaken their families for many years. They do not even recognize
      their relatives. No wonder the Muslim nation is facing many problems
      and hardships. We abandoned the fundamental rules of Islam, what
      else should we expect?



      Who is keeping the kinship ties nowadays? We are hearing all the time
      about people killing their parents, others yelling at their parents,
      and others treating them badly. Is this how we, Muslims, are
      supposed to treat our parents? It is common now to find youth making
      fun of those who respect their parents. After abandoning our
      fundamentals and violating Islamic commandments, we have become
      subjugated. However, we are still wondering why our societies are
      becoming week and fragile.



      Allah (SWT) is never unjust to us. Allah (SWT) says what can be
      translated as, "We wronged them not, but they were the Zalimun
      (polytheists, wrong-doers)." (TMQ, 43:76). "This is because of that
      (evil) which your hands have sent before you. And certainly, Allah
      is never unjust to (His) slaves." (TMQ, 3:182).



      Now, back to the story. What I will tell you now is not from the
      Qur'an or the Sunnah (recorded sayings of Prophet Muhammad (SAWS)
      [4]). It is from the books of al-Athar (Tradition). Prophet Yusuf
      (AS) started calling on his brothers, saying, "O brothers! If you had
      decided to leave me here, then listen to my will before you leave.
      When you gather, remember my loneliness; when you eat, remember my
      hunger; when you drink, remember my thirst; when you see a stranger,
      remember that I am a stranger here." He kept calling them hoping
      that his words would soften their hearts and they would come back and
      save him. This never happened, as their hearts were so hard. Allah
      (SWT) then inspired Yusuf (AS) to calm himself down because Allah
      (SWT) was the one protecting him. Allah (SWT) says what can be
      translated as, "and We revealed to him, `Indeed, you shall (one day)
      inform them of this their affair, when they know (you) not.'" (TMQ,
      12: 15).



      Brothers and sisters, when you face any hardship, calm yourself down
      and try to get closer to Allah (SWT). You will find that Allah (SWT)
      is helping you out of your problem and bringing relief to your
      heart. Thus, Allah (SWT) inspired Yusuf (AS), "Let them go and stop
      calling them; occupy yourself with dhikr (includes reciting Qur'an,
      supplication, praising Allah (SWT)); remember me, I am the only one
      you can depend on." Thus, Yusuf (AS) started calling on Allah (SWT),
      Exalted and Glorified be He, and calling Him with this
      supplication, "O Allah (SWT)! You are the companion of every lonely
      person; you are the friend of every stranger; O You are the Hearer of
      secret talk! O You are the savior from calamities!" In fact, I would
      like to dedicate those words to the simple mother who lost her child,
      the worn out father running after his living and raising his
      children, to the person who lost his/her job, to the sick and to all
      those who are suffering. I like to remind them all to learn from
      Yusuf (AS), and to return to Allah (SWT). Allah (SWT) says what can
      be translated as, "and We revealed to him, "Indeed, you shall (one
      day) inform them of this (their affair), when they know (you) not."
      (TMQ, 12: 15). We have to note a very strange point here. Yusuf's
      grandfather is Ibrahim (AS), who was tested by being thrown into the
      fire; his grandson (Yusuf (AS)) was tested by being thrown in water.
      It is as if Allah (SWT), be He Exalted and Glorified, wants us to
      learn a very important meaning, that He tests whoever He wants with
      whatever means He wants. Allah (SWT) may test a father and a son
      with two opposite means! Nevertheless, both are patient and are
      connected to Allah (SWT). Paradoxes of fate let you recognize that
      everything depends on Allah's will.



      Now let us move to the next ayah. Allah (SWT) says what can be
      translated as, "And they came to their father in the early part of
      the night weeping." (TMQ, 12:16). The core of this ayah focuses on a
      psychological significance. Actually, psychologists need to take
      note from this ayah. The ayah mentions that they went to their father
      at night. What is the importance of mentioning the timing `night?'
      Does this make a difference? The Holy Qur'an does not mention any
      thing insignificant. They chose to go to their father at night to
      avoid eye contact with him. They knew their eyes would disclose
      everything, and their father would find out that they were lying.
      Hence, they had to wait until night, so that their eyes would not
      meet his eyes! According to psychology, facial expressions and eye
      looks disclose the truth, no matter how skillfully he/she might be
      lying. This is how Allah (SWT) created us; it is part of our Fitrah
      (innate nature).



      Although they committed a horrible crime, i.e. murder, they had no
      courage to face their father at noon. What can we benefit from this?
      We can figure out the pure Fitrah of some of the youths who think
      that when they lie they are naive, because their faces always tell
      the truth. They are not naive; in fact, they have pure intact
      Fitrah. A girl who could lie to her parents for two whole years, and
      is secretly involved in orfi marriage (customary and unregistered
      marriage), while her face or eyes never revealed the truth, has a
      defective Fitrah. Hence, every person can assess himself/herself.
      Those who are good at lying are the ones who should worry. They
      could be worse than Prophet Yusuf's brothers who still could not lie
      with their eyes or faces. However, why couldn't they? Because their
      Fitrah still had some of its purity.



      Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, "And they came to their
      father in the early part of the night weeping." (TMQ,12:16) Weeping?
      Weren't they supposed to be feigning weeping? Why didn't the Holy
      Qur'an mention this? Were they really feeling sorry? Why were they
      really crying? They believed their own lie until they started to pity
      Yusuf (AS). It was dark at night, their faces and eyes were not
      clear. They started reacting emotionally to what they made up in the
      first place. They told their father that the wolf ate Yusuf (AS) and
      started crying, saying that they were sorry for what had happened to
      him.



      This reminds me of something very significant: a man called Ala'mash,
      one of the Tabi`een (second generation of Muslims after the
      Prophet's) was visiting a well-known Islamic judge called Shoraih. A
      woman came to the judge to complain of another woman, and she kept
      crying while she was talking to him. Shoraih started interrogating
      her while she was crying, without realizing her tears. Ala'mash then
      stopped him saying, "Stop questioning her, can't you see her tears?"
      Shoraih replied saying, "No, I swear by Allah (SWT)! Yusuf's brothers
      went home crying after throwing him in the well, and they were
      liars. Thus, do not judge people with anything other than justice."
      There is a very important message in this story: never judge people
      by their tears; judge only by facts and reality. We see many parents
      who do not blame their children or punish them for their mistakes,
      just because those children start crying. In the end, such children
      grow up to be spoiled or corrupted teenagers and adults. Surat Yusuf
      teaches us all a very important life lesson.



      Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, "They said: "O our
      father! We went racing with one another, and left Yusuf by our
      belongings and a wolf devoured him; but you will never believe us
      even when we speak the truth." (TMQ, 12:17). This ayah transfers us
      to the issue of practicing sport. Throughout the Qur'an, you can
      extract a great deal of treasures. The word `racing' in Arabic does
      not only mean running, rather, it includes all kinds of competitions:
      riding horses, throwing arrows, playing football, etc. I do not
      mean, "Let's play all day long." I just want to clarify in this
      context that Islam embraces self entertainment and practicing
      sports. Do not look at Islam from a narrow viewpoint. Islam does
      not mean that we should stay in the mosque all day long, praying
      without doing anything else in life. This is not right. We need to
      succeed in all fields of life, even sports. We do not need youth who
      have no skills in anything. You have to gain a skill, learn a
      language. Try to be a good Muslim. Try to learn the Qur'an. Thus,
      we can prove the word `racing' and apply it. Prophet Yaqub (AS) did
      not object to it when his sons said it.



      The brothers told their father that the wolf ate Prophet Yusuf (AS),
      because they knew he would believe this story, as he already feared
      that would happen.



      "We were going to have a race, father, and we told Yusuf (AS) to wait
      by our clothes, but just as you feared, the wolf ate him." They said
      so to sound plausible. Imagine what they said after that, "but you
      will never believe us even when we speak the truth" (TMQ, 12:16).
      Notice their use of the word `even;' what do you think? Are they
      speaking the truth or lying? Of course, they are lying; they are
      confessing that `even when telling the truth, you would not believe
      us.' Do you know the saying, `A guilty conscience needs no
      accuser?' The one who knows himself to be guilty is about to say, "I
      am the one who has done it." That is how they have unconsciously
      exposed themselves, as if Allah (SWT) wants to tell you that however
      skilled you are when you lie, you will definitely fail. Notice how
      the whole ayah describes how their lie was perfectly woven. However,
      the final part of the ayah shows you that they were exposed, "but you
      will never believe us even when we speak the truth."



      Another part of the ayah reveals their impoliteness with their father
      when they imply that he always doubts their doings. Imagine that
      someone speaks that way with his father; I know that some boys and
      girls do so. They say to their parents, "You always think that we
      will do something wrong!" This is because they are indeed going to do
      something wrong and their parents have a better understanding of
      their manners. However, they keep putting pressure on their parents,
      in order to stop them from asking, "Where are you going?" or "Where
      were you?" They just keep repeating these sentences. First, be
      honest with your parents, and then question them. Your actions are
      what led them to believe that you are lying to them and deceiving
      them. Allah (SWT) says what can be translated as, "They said, "O our
      father! We went racing with one another, and left Yusuf by our
      belongings and a wolf devoured him; but you will never believe us
      even when we speak the truth" (TMQ, 12:17).



      Ayah number 18 which can be translated as, "And they brought his
      shirt stained with false blood," (TMQ, 12:18) reveals a very
      important meaning for us. First, they "brought his shirt stained,"
      this is their second mistake; they brought the shirt to their father
      stained but not torn! Not only are they unskillful liars, but also
      losers! They took Yusuf's shirt from him without tearing it; slew a
      goat, and stained the shirt with its blood. Afterwards, they went to
      their father weeping, "Father, behold this evidence." Nevertheless,
      Yaqub (AS) examined the shirt and said, "How kind is that wolf who
      ate my son without touching his shirt!" Yaqub (AS) figured out their
      trick, did he not? Notice how clever a true believer should be; a
      believer must be quick-witted not naïve. A true believer is not like
      what many may think. I say so because I know that some young men are
      afraid of becoming religious because they think that a religious
      person is someone to laugh at because of his humbleness, someone you
      can mock by saying, "Hey, old man!" or "Hey, you, religious brother!"
      just because he is religious. However, they cannot think that a true
      religious person is quick-witted, successful, humorous, clever, or
      successful at his work. A true believer knows how things are going,
      he is not a person you can deceive or mock. This is the true
      believer.



      Therefore, the minute he saw the shirt, he knew they were lying, and
      said something, which covertly implies scorn, "How kind is that wolf
      who ate my son without touching his shirt!" He wanted to tell
      them, "You are lying." However, why do you think he did not say that
      in a direct way? I mean, why didn't he accuse them of lying
      blatantly? This is because Yaqub (AS) is an educator. Had he
      directly confronted them with their lie, he would have broken many
      important things inside them and would have inflamed their hatred
      towards their brother, right? Therefore, he did not want to throw
      this word at them but he kept implying it.



      Here is a piece of advice I want to give to all mothers and fathers;
      to the mother who teases her son with a sin he has committed,
      whenever he behaves in a way that she dislikes, saying, "Do you
      remember when you did so and so?" She is destroying her son from
      within. If she really were an educator, she would have overlooked
      his lie and given him a hint about it, just like Yaqub (AS) did. In
      fact, I want you to examine how Islam tackles important issues like
      raising one's children; see how we infer new meanings with every
      reading of the Qur'an? Yaqub (AS) does not want to destroy his sons;
      he does not want to insult them by saying that they are lying,
      because he does not want them to defy him by blatantly confessing
      their sin and saying, "Ok, yes, we are lying, and what are you going
      to do about it?" He does not want them to go that far. Do not ever
      pressure your children by exposing their lie. Except in extreme
      cases, when your son insists on lying, this method would not work.
      Nevertheless, you must learn how to treat your children, so, in the
      end you must pretend that you have not noticed and use hints. That
      is what we learn from Yaqub (AS).



      Notice the phrase, "false blood,"[5] "And they brought his shirt
      stained with false blood" (TMQ, 12: 17). What does that mean? Is
      there truthful blood and lying blood? No. Then why was the
      phrase, `false blood' used? Because lying is so rotten, that it
      spreads and smears everything, until the blood itself is about to
      say, "I am a lie, I am not the truth, I am fake."

      Brothers and sisters beware of lying! This is the lesson we want to
      learn today. Stay away form lying; do not build your life around a
      pack of lies. How many times have you lied this past week? Try to
      remember, how many? The Prophet (SAWS) says, "The person who keeps
      telling lies and endeavors to tell a lie." Do you know what is meant
      by `endeavors?' It means that such a man would think how to perfect
      his lie, like some people who master lying and are pleased when they
      fool others. The Prophet (SAWS) meant those people when he
      said, "The person who keeps telling lies and endeavors to tell a lie
      is recorded as a liar with Allah (SWT)."[6] You are proceeding on
      the path described in this Hadith. Therefore, when you are called
      upon to stand before Allah (SWT) on the Day of Judgment, you will be
      surprised when the angels call you a liar. Would you like to be a
      liar when you meet Allah (SWT)? Brother and sisters, can you tell me
      how many times you have lied this week? Ask yourselves, have I lied
      this week or not? Do not say, "I lied small and trivial lies!"

      You must know that the vicious manner of lying leads to other sins.
      Therefore, if you stop lying, you will consequently stop other sins.
      Take for example, if a fourteen-year-old boy smokes cigarettes
      behinds his father's back, his father might beat him up if he finds
      out. What do you think the boy would say if his father asks him
      whether he smokes? If the boy is honest, he must give up smoking
      right away. Another man is betraying his wife; consequently, he will
      start to lie. See how lying can spread into everything! Any disaster
      must start with a lie, or be covered by one. Therefore, this man
      does not have many options; he must choose, either to destroy his
      marriage, and stop this malicious affair, or to be a liar. I want to
      address all the people who build up their sins upon lies, after what
      you have heard today, what do you intend to do? Are you going to
      continue being liars? Are you going to keep your relation with your
      parents suspended because of a lie? Are you going to continue to lie?



      My real fear, my brothers and sisters, is that what I say becomes
      mere words that come and go. I beg you; do not let all the efforts
      done in this work go in vain. You came all the way and sat in the
      hot weather just to listen to these words. Muslims are weary of
      listeners; we have had enough. The condition of Islam is
      deteriorating day after day, because Muslims are good listeners but
      to no avail. Mosques are crowded with people, but when it comes to
      tangible actions, you find nothing or very little. To all the
      brothers and sisters who came here, we have to move on; we have to
      insist on doing something. I do not say you have to change
      everything you have learnt here, but believe me, if you only change
      one thing at a time, it will be enough. Let us unite on a promise
      now, if any of us is building their life around a lie, or persisting
      in doing a sin and forgetting about it by lying, let them repent from
      lying today. You will see they will have to give it up eventually,
      when they see that their life is being shattered. Let us all pray to
      Allah (SWT) to bless us all with truthfulness.



      "And they brought his shirt stained with false blood." (TMQ, 12: 18).
      I swear! This word really hurts me. Imagine that the blood says, "I
      am a liar." See the marvelous Qur'anic expression! "And they brought
      his shirt stained with false blood. He said, "Nay, but your own
      selves have made up a tale. So (for me) patience is most fitting. And
      it is Allah (Alone) Whose help can be sought against that which you
      assert" (TMQ, 12: 18). Notice the distance between "they brought his
      shirt stained with false blood" and "Nay, but your own selves have
      made up a tale." In between the two, they must have related their
      story to which Yaqub (AS) gave this reply. There is no doubt that
      Yaqub's tears started to fall, he was in deep pain, and of course, he
      started to yell at them demanding an explanation for what has
      happened.
    • veretest
      6. Start solving others problems: Do not start talking religion with the one you want to help. Instead, talk about that someone s interests first; for
      Message 153 of 153 , Dec 21, 2008
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        6. Start solving others' problems:



        Do not start talking religion with the one you want to help.
        Instead, talk about that someone's interests first; for example, if
        he/she likes football, then you would better know something about it
        bearing in your mind your initial bottom-line intention behind this,
        which is getting close to him/her so as to guide him/her to Allah
        (SWT). Likewise, you sister can buy a magazine and read it to get
        acquainted with girls' and women's interests and latest fads,
        bearing in mind the same intention as well. Always keep in mind
        that you will never be able to influence the one whom you do not
        know how he/she thinks and what his/her interests are.



        The same thing happened with Yusuf (AS); he started to talk with his
        fellow-prisoners about their problems first, not about religion. We
        know from the ayah in which Allah says what can be translated as, "…
        No food will come up to you (both) to be provided with…" (TMQ,
        12:37), that Yusuf (AS) focused first on the issue of provision,
        which was his fellow-prisoners' main interest. Hence, you must
        start from the point that interests your addressee, not you.



        Have you ever seen someone fishing with a bait of strawberries? Of
        course not, fish like worms, not strawberries. Always keep this
        parable in your mind.



        7. Do not be pressing when talking religion:



        When you talk religion, you should follow the policy of `fits and
        starts' (i.e. touch your target point and swiftly go back to where
        you were). In other words, if you find the way paved and your
        addressee is ready to listen to what you want to say, give him/her a
        rich and strong dose of religion then return to your first subject
        of discussion. Observe ayah 37; Yusuf (AS) attracted his addressees
        by talking first about the issue of provision, which was of their
        interest. Next, he started talking about religion in ayahs 38 and
        39. Then, he returned to the first issue in ayah 41. Thus, we
        conclude that he was never pressing when talking about religion.



        Being persistent and pressing in anything, especially in religion is
        very annoying. I myself have a first-hand experience; it was with
        the first one I thought I should call for Allah (SWT) when I was a
        university fresher. I liked him very much and was convinced that
        the most effective way with him was to give him religious-preaching
        tapes to listen to, for this way worked out for me before. What
        happened was that whenever I gave him a tape, he simply ignored it.
        I kept pressing, pushing and insisting on making him listen, to the
        extent that I asked him once to let me listen to one tape in his
        house, but that also did not work. This friend became very annoyed
        with my attitude to the extent that he had this vision where he was
        tied up and I was the one who did that to him. In the end, he did
        not become religious and our friendship was over. Although I failed
        in guiding my friend to Allah (SWT), as well as lost him forever, I
        learned a very good lesson; working mindlessly surely leads to very
        bad ends. My pressing attitude made my friend feel that religion is
        like tying chains.



        8. Think of the most attractive methods:



        Yusuf (AS) knew that his fellow prisoners wanted to know the
        interpretation of their visions; that was his access to them.
        Therefore, he attracted them first by letting them know that he
        could interpret visions, and that was it. Afterwards, he kept
        talking about religion, keeping what they wanted for some other
        time. Then, he gave them the interpretation they asked for. This
        is because if they had all what they wanted from the very beginning,
        they would not listen to what he wanted to tell them.



        You too can think of the most attractive methods to the one you want
        to help; you can invite him/her over for a party, for example, if
        that is the access to him/her.



        9. Address the mind along with the heart:



        There must be a variety in your speech. Emotional speech does not
        work alone. Read the ayahs where Allah says what can be translated
        as, "O (you) two companions of the prison! Are (some) disunited
        lords more charitable (i.e., better) or Allah, The One, The Superb
        Vanquisher? In no way do you worship, apart from Him, except names
        you have named, you and your fathers; …" (TMQ, 12:39-40). Through
        these ayahs we can see that Yusuf (AS) started addressing their
        hearts, then their minds.



        10. Remind him/her of Allah's blessings upon him/her:



        This is one of the best ways to help anyone, including yourself, to
        be guided back to Allah (SWT). This is evident in the ayah where
        Allah says what can be translated as, "… That is of the Grace of
        Allah to us and to mankind; but most (of) mankind do not thank
        (Him)." (TMQ, 12:38).



        11. Be courteous and tactful:



        You should never be rude or rough. This is evident in Yusuf's use
        of words in the ayah in which Allah says what can be translated
        as, "O (you) two companions of the prison! As for one of you, he
        will give his lord wine to drink; and as for the other, then he will
        be crucified (and) so birds will eat of his head." (TMQ, 12:41).
        Notice the use of the word `companions,' which implies courtesy, and
        the use of the word `the other,' which Yusuf (AS) politely and
        tactfully used on purpose so as not to tell the man directly about
        the most terrible end awaiting him.



        A man came to Harun ar-Rashid to advise him (Harun), but he was so
        rude. Thus, Harun told him, "Tell me man, for Allah's sake, who is
        worst before Allah, me or Pharaoh?" The man replied, "Pharaoh."
        Harun asked him again, "And who is better before Allah, you or Musa
        (AS) (Moses)?" The man replied, "Musa." Harun said, "So, man,
        Allah commanded the one who is better than you when he went to
        advise the one who is worse than me. Allah says what can be
        translated as, "speak leniently to him, …" (TMQ, 20:44).



        12. Open up your heart to him/her:



        Do not be mysterious. Yusuf (AS) in his speech to his companions
        told them about his family: his father Ya'qub (AS) (Jacob), his
        grandfather Ishaq (AS) (Isaac) and his eldest grandfather Ibrahim
        (AS) (Abraham). This came in the ayah where Allah says what can be
        translated as, "And I have closely followed the creed of my
        fathers, Ibrahim and Ishaq and Ya'qužb (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,
        respectively) …" (TMQ: 12:38).



        When people feel that you are open and frank, not square and
        mysterious, they will be much easier to influence.



        13. Zeal:



        Allah says what can be translated as, "…. are many lords differing
        among themselves better, or the One Allah, Supreme and
        Irresistible?" (TMQ, 12:39).



        If you adhere to this point, it will help you through a lot, because
        if it's found in you, you can learn and begin to apply it. Whereas
        everything you may have been through so far is theoretical, zeal
        however involves support and willpower. You will find that you may
        falter, you may be made fun of, and you may have to go through a lot
        to learn, as is found in this ayah, for if this is found, it will
        draw people closer to Allah and to their religion.



        14. Patience with people's mistakes:



        You call someone but he declines. Be patient. Sometimes you could
        ignore what he's done. Other times, you could express your anger to
        him. Other times, you could be a bit harsh on him.



        Imam Abu-Hanifa had a neighbor who used to drink alcohol. When the
        Imam used to write down his knowledge, his neighbor used to drink
        and loudly say, "They have neglected me and I am not someone to be
        neglected." One day, the voice was no longer heard, and when the
        Imam asked about him, he was told that the young man was arrested by
        the police. So he went to the police and asked to bail him out; he
        was granted his request. On their way back home, the Imam didn't
        say a word; his silence spoke much louder. Upon their arrival, the
        Imam asked the young man if he thought he was still neglected. The
        young man agreed that he was not and vowed not to go back to booze.



        What happened in that situation is art, and it resembles the story
        of Yusuf (AS), for one of the two people who were with him in prison
        used to brew liquor, but he spoke to him kindly and gently.



        These were the 14 tips. The Qur'an is so great that scholars have
        found other implications within the very same verses. Other than
        learning how to call for the worship of Allah, the same ayahs teach
        the approaches of fatwa.



        Fatwa scholars have a rule that if they are asked about a particular
        matter, they not only answer it but also explain to the enquirer the
        basis of their reply and its logical grounds.



        If one, for example, asks about Qiyam al-Layl (night vigil prayer)
        and whether or not it is allowed to be offered directly after Ishaa'
        prayer.



        Instead of just answering "Yes," one should also add that the
        appropriate time for Qiyam is any time between Ishaa' and Fajr
        (Dawn), and that Allah likes it best during the last third of the
        night. Also, with regards to the value of Qiyam is the Hadith of
        the Prophet (SAWS) saying, "Allah calls his servants in the last
        third of the night, Who is invoking Me so that I may answer him,"
        because He loves this time in particular.



        From these same ayahs, Aqeedah scholars have organized the knowledge
        approach; when you talk to those who believe in several gods.
        First: the comparison between one God and several individual gods.
        Second: Clarification that the origin of the concept of polytheism
        is simply names given to those gods by humans.



        Fiqh scholars, da'wa scholars, Aqeedah scholars, and even
        psychologists have all come up with several meanings from these
        ayahs. In the West, there is a theory that says should anyone come
        to you with an unsolvable problem, such as the person who was
        destined to be crucified in the story of Yusuf, it is not a good
        idea to simply tell him to be patient. However, one should turn
        that person's attention to the bright side, something he can hope
        for and look forward to. This is what Prophet Yusuf (AS) did when
        he tied the situation to Allah (SWT) ; the baker who was to be
        crucified found it helpful to think of the situation in that light,
        whereas the servant did not. We know this because he forgot about
        Yusuf (AS) after he was released from prison.



        In Ayah 41, Allah says what can be translated as, "He said to the
        one which he thought will be free, mention me to you lord, but the
        Shaytan caused him to forget to mention to the lord, and he stayed
        in prison for several years". Why did Yusuf (AS), in this
        ayah, "think" that one of them will be free, and in another ayah, he
        said it was inevitable? Is a dream inevitable or something open to
        several interpretations? If Yusuf (AS) is the most knowledgeable of
        all people about dreams, and on his dreams will be based the fate of
        people, why did he say, "I think?" How could we believe in
        soothsayers, and how could we be sleepless over a single dream that
        we saw. Dreams are inevitable in Allah's knowledge, but for us,
        they are sheer hunches.



        And why did he say "lord?" Here, the word "lord" means "master,"
        one who has authority and is to be obeyed. In this case, to the
        servant, the king holds such authority. To what degree is Allah
        given authority in your life and if His demands should conflict with
        the demands of others, who will you choose? Allah says in the ayah
        what can be translated as, "Do you see those whose god is their
        temptations" (TMQ, 25:43). If you find that your desires are in one
        hand and Allah's demands are in the other, and that the hand that
        holds your desires always outweighs the other, be afraid of this
        ayah.



        Those who repent their sins, then fall back on them are far better
        than those who are chasing after their own desires for fifteen years.



        When Abdul Muttalib, the Prophet's grandfather, went to Abraha to
        demand the return of his camels (that Abraha took), Abraha
        criticized him for ignoring the Ka'ba. Abdul Muttalib replied that
        the Ka'ba has a Lord protecting it, but I am the camel's lord and
        protector.



        There are those who are blindly driven by women or the latest fads,
        as the Hadith says, "Miserable are those who worship the dirham,
        miserable are those who worship the dinar."



        Some argue that "mention me to your lord" indicates a lack of trust
        in Allah; is this true? No, because there is no conflict between
        trusting in Allah and seeking the aid of another person. You look
        for a solution with the means you can afford, but your heart is
        wholly dedicated to Allah. They are two completely different
        things; you work together with other people and tell them what you
        wish them to do, yet deep in your heart you know they are not
        actually the ones who will get you what you want. Those who say I
        will not ask for anything because I trust in Allah are not
        considered reliant on Allah, but solely dependent on Him (without
        doing anything).



        Here shows the Istikhara prayer. There is no relation between this
        particular prayer and a vision you see. The prayer consists of two
        prostrations; Istikhara means that you offer the prayer and you save
        yourself the trouble of having to choose what to do. After that,
        you say the supplication, "O Allah, I consult You as You are All-
        Knowing and I appeal to You to give me power as You are Omnipotent,
        I ask You for Your great favor, for You have power whereas I have
        not, and You know all of the hidden matters. O Allah! If You know
        that this matter is good for me in my religion, my livelihood, and
        for my life in the Hereafter, make it easy for me and if You know
        that this matter is not good for me in my religion, my livelihood
        and my life in the Hereafter, then keep it away from me and take me
        away from it and choose what is best for me wherever it is and
        please me with it, you are Most Merciful." Ask for Allah's guidance
        in everything, from getting married to choosing college to working
        or studying abroad, and even for the shoes that you think of buying.



        After offering the Istikhara prayer, you should do your part to look
        for a solution; for instance, if the matter in question is a
        marriage proposal, ask about the suitor; get to know him and his
        family. If you find that you are satisfied and have a peace of mind
        about the person and about the situation, trust in Allah and take
        the next step, and insh'Allah you will find good in it, just as you
        prayed. If, as another example, the matter is about working abroad,
        submit your papers (after you have prayed) and ask about your
        opportunities and do all that you can. If you find that you are
        satisfied with the way things turn out, proceed.



        The one who trusts in Allah is really the happiest person in the
        world. We always meet some people who would not mind waiting for a
        doctor in his clinic for hours, whereas there is another doctor
        whose clinic is not overcrowded. Why would they do that? They trust
        that doctor.



        When you trust your house to a person at the notary public office,
        you do so because you are certain that he will take care of it and
        do what is best for you and the house. So how can we trust others
        and think twice when it comes to trusting Allah?



        A young man died at the age of 20, but his father's trust in Allah
        was so great, he was completely content with Allah's command. The
        father stood with his arms raised and thanked Allah for giving him
        his son for 20 years and prayed that the night of his son's death be
        the happiest night for him since his birth.



        Can you be like that – whatever Allah gives you, you are content and
        satisfied. Our situation today is such that student could not sleep
        because he worries about his future, the mother could not sleep
        because she's worried about her unmarried daughter, and a man could
        not sleep because he worries about the way to make both ends meet.



        Scholars say that people who get their money illegally cannot
        possibly be trusting in Allah, because Allah does not leave those
        who trust in Him get their money through dishonest means. The same
        is true for those who cry over who is going to take care of their
        children after they die – such people too do not place their trust
        entirely in Allah.



        We ask Allah to grant us the gift of trusting in Him.



        We come to another ayah, where Allah says what can be translated
        as, "And Shaytan caused him to forget to mention him to his lord,
        and [Yusuf] stayed in prison for several years." (TMQ, 12:42).



        Prophet Yusuf (AS) was sentenced to nine years of imprisonment; the
        man who was with him was sentenced to two or three years, Prophet
        Yusuf (AS) stayed in prison for six more years.



        Notice that all those who knew Yusuf (AS) had sold him or thrown
        him, like his brothers who threw him in the well, and the person who
        found him, sold him. His master (who bought him) sent him to
        prison. The master's wife chased after him and proclaimed her love
        for him, sent him to prison. The entire town and its women kept to
        themselves the secret of his innocence and blamed him for what
        happened, and his fellow inmate forgot about him once he was
        released.



        This is a marvelous type of patience. At times, a person's
        character may become shaky, and one should not say, I tried to be a
        good person but I could not. If cheating is going on around him, he
        cheats. If there is lying, he lies. We should imitate Prophet
        Yusuf (AS); this Surah is for steadfastness in adhering to ethics.



        Mothers and fathers, be patient, for no one was afflicted with as
        much misfortune as Prophet Yaqub (AS) (Jacob). Young men and women,
        stay away from temptation, for no one was tempted as much as Prophet
        Yusuf (AS).



        In the ayah that follows, Allah says what can be translated as, "The
        King said I see seven fat cows eating seven thin ones, and seven
        green strands and seven more dry ones…oh people, explain to me these
        dreams if you indeed explain dreams." (TMQ, 12:43).



        Here, Allah uses the word "king," even though He uses the
        word "pharaoh" when referring to Musa's story in Egypt…why?
        Historians and explorers discovered that there was a time when Egypt
        was ruled by the Huksoos, and leaders were kings and not pharaohs.
        Allah (SWT) and the Prophet (SAWS) knew this before anyone else in
        the world did.



        The king first saw the seven fat cows, then he saw them eat the
        seven thin ones. The phrase "I see" means that he saw it in his
        dreams repetitively. Moreover, the phrase "Ta'buroon - explain"
        means that he believes there is a meaning behind his dreams that can
        be translated into reality and can benefit his people. From the
        word " Ta'buroon " the words "Ebra" and "Abra" are derived, which
        stand for "lesson" and "tear," respectively. The word "Ebra"
        denotes the journey of the tear from inside the eye to the outside.
        Also from the word "Ta'buroon" the word "Ebara," means something in
        the imagination is transferred to reality. Interpreting dreams
        means transforming them from being just a dream to reality.



        Allah says what can be translated as, "They said it was a nightmare,
        and we do not know how to interpret dreams." TMQ, 12:44). From
        ancient ages until the present day, it is typical of Egyptians, to
        give their own interpretations even though they know nothing. They
        just could not help but interpret the dream. Sometimes they said it
        was just a nightmare. Then they said we do not know.



        We have so far discussed three dreams: Prophet Yusuf's, his fellow
        inmates', and the king's. It seems as though interpreting dreams
        was the fad of the time, and so Allah gave Prophet Yusuf a talent
        that would suit his people. Here, we learn that when we call people
        to Islam, we should speak to them in a language and from a point of
        view they can understand and relate to. We should not be different
        from them in the way we dress, the way we look, or the way we talk;
        all prophets of Allah had talents and skills suitable to their times.



        This point has a lot to do with trusting in Allah. Allah (SWT)
        saves Prophet Yusuf (AS) through a dream, and it sounds as if He is
        telling him, I will save you through a dream. Who placed the king's
        wine servant in prison so that he could see Prophet Yusuf? Allah
        did. And who caused the wine servant to see a dream so that he may
        remember Prophet Yusuf seven years later?



        The meaning here is that Allah (SWT) can save man through as simple
        a thing as a dream.



        Allah (SWT) loves to come to your aid and set you on the right path,
        even if it is by means you never expected or imagined. We see in
        the Qur'an an ayah where Allah says what can be translated as, "And
        we blessed him from places he did not expect" (TMQ, 65:3), and
        through this ayah Allah proves to us that He takes care of
        everything and is All-Knowing.



        Thus, the Islamic Nation receives unexpected blessings. When
        Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) was pelted with rocks when he went to Ta'if
        to call people to Islam, his efforts did not bear fruits, yet the
        Jinn were the ones who embraced Islam instead. Allah says what can
        be translated as, "And he who was spared, remembered, and said I
        will lead you to one who can interpret, so send me". (TMQ, 12:45).



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        [1] SWT = Suhanahu wa Ta'ala = Glorified and Exalted Be He

        [2] TMQ = Translation of the Meaning of the Qur'an. This
        translation is for the realized meaning, so far, of the stated
        (Surah:Ayah) of the Qur'an. Reading the translated meaning of the
        Qur'an can never replace reading it in Arabic, the language in which
        it was revealed.

        [3] SAWS = Sala-llahu Alaihi Wa-Sallam (All Prayers and Peace of
        Allah be upon him).
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