Assalam u Alaykum warahmatullah,
For the past few weeks I’ve been going through a thorough study of Surah Yusuf with a bunch of my classmates, taught over by a marvelous teacher Alhumdulillah! Indeed every single verse and each and every chapter of the Quran is jam-packed with pearls and rubies; of wisdom and lessons, all we need to do is just dive in! Moreover, if there is an expert diver alongside, instructing on how to do the ‘dive in’, how to enjoy the whole thing and meanwhile pointing out the hidden beauty of this boundless ocean your journey will sure turn out to be memorable. Scores of people out there have substantial knowledge of Quran, However, those who walk their talk and enlighten their path with the street bulbs of Seerah are very rare to find, and Alhumdulillah our teacher is one of those precious souls! Over here insha Allah I plan to briefly share some of what we have gone through. I’m no writer, I’m no scholar….I’m simply a student and seeker of knowledge passing on what I’ve learned.
Reciting Surah Fatiha in each Rak’ah of Salah is compulsory and while we are doing so we ask Allah to show us the path of those upon whom he has bestowed his favors. The ones that have trodden the straight path and gained His pleasure. We say:
“Guide us to the straight path -The path of those upon whom You have bestowed favor, not of those who have evoked [Your] anger or of those who are astray.”[Surah Fatiha: 6-7]
We are then compelled to ask: Who are these people with the favours of Allah conferred upon them? No need to look here and there! No need for our guesses and assumptions. The Answer comes in the Quran itself. A verse in Surah Nisa goes:
“And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger – those will be with the ones upon whom Allah has bestowed favor of the prophets, the steadfast affirmers of truth, the martyrs and the righteous. And excellent are those as companions.”[Surah Nisa:69]
Yes, Indeed the Prophets, the affirmers of truth, the martyrs and the righteous, these are the ones favored by Allah and in order to locate the Straight Path we must follow their steps. People in these four categories are our instructors, our mentors and our guides on the path to eternal success. The love of these people is an integral part of Faith.
One of these beautiful teachers is the Prophet of Allah Yusuf (Alayhi salam), well known for his spectacular beauty. Yet his inner beauty, the handsomeness of his soul goes unheeded. Allah Ta’alla in the Quran has dedicated a whole chapter to his life story, a story that contains numerable lessons and gives us an insight into the stunning and strong character of Yusuf (alayhi salam). Is Allah (subhanahu wata’ala) narrating this story ‘just for fun’, just so we listen and enjoy like any other story and pass on? No, this isn’t merely a story. It is the seerah of one of the beloved Prophets of Alla that has been mentioned in the Quran for a reason; for us to pay attention to the lessons therein, aim to be like him, learn from him and try and follow.
Before beginning this Surah let us make an intent intention, a firm resolution in our hearts. We are not learning Quran for merely adding to our knowledge or for a pass-time, we are going through this Surah because….. we aspire to follow the steps of this Prophet we so dearly love! InshaAllah!