Yusuf is Rescued from the Well and sold as a Slave
(Surah Yusuf verses 19-22)
وَجَاءَتْ سَيَّارَةٌ فَأَرْسَلُوا وَارِدَهُمْ فَأَدْلَىٰ دَلْوَهُ ۖ قَالَ يَا بُشْرَىٰ هَٰذَا غُلَامٌ ۚ وَأَسَرُّوهُ بِضَاعَةً ۚ وَاللَّهُ عَلِيمٌ بِمَا يَعْمَلُونَ
And there came a caravan of travellers; they sent their water-drawer, and he let down his bucket (into the well). He said: “What good news! Here is a boy.” So they hid him as merchandise (a slave). And Allah was the All-Knower of what they did.
وَشَرَوْهُ بِثَمَنٍ بَخْسٍ دَرَاهِمَ مَعْدُودَةٍ وَكَانُوا فِيهِ مِنَ الزَّاهِدِينَ
And they sold him for a low price, – for a few Dirhams (i.e. for a few silver coins). And they were of those who regarded him insignificant.
After his brothers threw him down the well, they hung around for the whole day waiting to see what he might do and what might happen to him. They left at nightfall and he remained in the well for three days.
A caravan of thirsty travelers camped near the well and one of them lowered his bucket. Yusuf ‘alayhissalam clung to it and the man rescued him… The man rejoiced at seeing Yusuf ‘alayhissalam, he was a young boy, handsome and strong… they decided to sell him as a slave. The society at that time was clearly far from social justice and equality, hence this practice of selling young boys as slaves was well known. They were of the lowest classes in society and did not think twice about their source of income as long as they got quick money. They didn’t even bother asking him how he got into the well! Let alone return him to his family safe and sound! They threw him in the bag of merchandise to hide him quickly and set off on their way, and sold him for a very cheap price.
It seems Yusuf ‘alayhissalam was surrounded by people of low moral standards, if any. He was passed on from the hands of his selfish, angry brothers, to these selfish, greedy traders.
But they weren’t the last…
وَقَالَ الَّذِي اشْتَرَاهُ مِن مِّصْرَ لِامْرَأَتِهِ أَكْرِمِي مَثْوَاهُ عَسَىٰ أَن يَنفَعَنَا أَوْ نَتَّخِذَهُ وَلَدًا ۚ وَكَذَٰلِكَ مَكَّنَّا لِيُوسُفَ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلِنُعَلِّمَهُ مِن تَأْوِيلِ الْأَحَادِيثِ ۚ وَاللَّهُ غَالِبٌ عَلَىٰ أَمْرِهِ وَلَٰكِنَّ أَكْثَرَ النَّاسِ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ
And he (the man) from Egypt who bought him, said to his wife: “Make his stay comfortable, may be he will profit us or we shall adopt him as a son.” Thus did We establish Yusuf in the land, that We might teach him the interpretation of events. And Allah has full power and control over His Affairs, but most of men know not.
وَلَمَّا بَلَغَ أَشُدَّهُ آتَيْنَاهُ حُكْمًا وَعِلْمًا ۚ وَكَذَٰلِكَ نَجْزِي الْمُحْسِنِينَ
And when he [Yusuf (Joseph)] attained his full manhood, We gave him wisdom and knowledge (the Prophethood), thus We reward the Muhsinun.
Allah favored Yusuf ‘alayhissalam by landing him in the house of one of the politicians of Egypt. He was a good, negotiable man and told his wife to honor the boy, rather than telling Yusuf to honor his wife! That’s the first clue to what his wife’s character. He told her to make the boy’s stay comfortable and treat him well because there were great hopes for his future since he was a righteous, well-mannered boy.
Yusuf ‘alayhissalam starts picking up on the conversations that go on in the house; he gets educated in political, social and economical spheres, and he’s a very fast learner. Allah clearly has plans for him yet many do not see it. He’s learnt the ways of the world, plus his ability to interpret dreams; he’s nurturing characteristics of a Prophet: righteous, knowledgeable, and wise. Knowledge and wisdom adorned by righteousness and humility are some key characteristics that help this youth survive in difficult situations.
Next week we’ll go over one of these difficult situations that he finds himself in.
-The Sahara Bloggers (Umm Saifullah)