Further, apart from the false blood, the shirt was immaculate. There were no cuts, tears or fang marks to support the claims that Yusuf AS had been attacked by wolves, hence revealing the flaw in the well laid plans of the criminals.
[Jacob] said, "Rather, your souls have enticed you to something, so patience is most fitting. And Allah is the one sought for help against that which you describe." (Qur’an 12:18)
Thus began the journey of iman for Yusuf AS and a trial to Jacob as a father. Their beautiful patience in Allah’s decree endured, and carried them through the next few decades of their lives.
From a Prophet’s son to a Slave
Around three days later, a caravan heading towards Egypt stopped by the well. They tried to draw water from it, but the bucket was too heavy. After several attempts, they managed to pull the laden bucket, and to their surprise, the young Yusuf AS as well.
Reports vary whether Yusuf AS was brought to Egypt by the travellers, or whether the travellers first bought Yusuf AS from his brothers who happened to be close by. In any case, the trial for Yusuf AS intensified: from son of a Prophet, he became a captive.
And there came a company of travellers; then they sent their water drawer, and he let down his bucket. He said, "Good news! Here is a boy." And they concealed him, [taking him] as merchandise; and Allah was knowing of what they did. And they sold him for a reduced price - a few dirhams - and they were, concerning him, of those content with little. (Qur’an 12:19 - 12:20)
At the slave market, a group of government officials of Egypt needed slaves for their wives. On this day, they could not find someone suitable, so they bought Yusuf AS for some spare change. Yusuf AS was seen as having such little value that he was not even sold at a decent price, but for a few dirhams – a nominal amount which is equivalent of a few cents in today’s currency. Hence even his price tag was so low that it lacked dignity, his social status degraded to that of a slave.
Yusuf AS was purchase by one of the Egyptian heads of department of finance or security (depending on different reports). His and his wife had had no children of their own.
He told his wife: "Make his residence comfortable. Perhaps he will benefit us, or we will adopt him as a son." And thus, We established Joseph in the land that We might teach him the interpretation of events. And Allah is predominant over His affair, but most of the people do not know. (Qur’an 12:21)
For our reflection
Envy is a Killer
Envy is a base emotion categorically forbidden by Allah, for it denotes a lack of contentment at what Allah has ordained. Allah in His wisdom, has allocated and distributed different provisions and attributes to each of us, in terms of wealth, beauty, talent or ability. Being upset or angry that someone else has been given more than you in one or more of these aspects is essentially a crime against Allah, for being angry at His wisdom, something which we have no right to question. Instead, the psychology of a mu'min is to be contented with what Allah has granted him instead of going through life with a sense of entitlement of what others have.
If we recall, it was envy and lack of contentment that was the first brick that fell in the collapsing dominos leading to the downfall of Iblis. Once envy exists in the heart, it creates a certain darkness in one's outlook, first at the situation, and then at other aspects of life. Envy makes one susceptible to the whisperings of the devil. From this vulnerable and corrupted heart and mind, it is easy for Shaitan to bait someone into a downward spiral of hate, sins and destruction for the person he envies, ultimately to his own destruction and undoing.
Justice by the Parents
Parents are to treat their children without favouritism, in both material aspects and personal attention. Sibling jealousy and rivalry are probably the first exposure to a child to the feelings of envy, if parents are not careful to ensure that each child is treated equally and fairly. From this starting point, how each child chooses his destiny is a personal choice for him.
This is not to say that Yaqub AS was unjust to his sons. Being a prophet, he would not have committed such an error. He treated them with wisdom and discretion, but even so, not all of them followed his path.
The Decree of Allah
One thing a Muslim has to believe is that at every given point in time, we are exactly where we were meant to be. Whether the situation is good or bad, Muslims do not believe in bad luck, superstitions or coincidences. Every event that occurs does so because Allah ordained it so. The test for us is how we handle such circumstances – whether with acceptance or with anger. The anger and rejection of Allah’s decree is in inverse proportion to the faith that one has in Allah. This does not mean to be complacent about matters and not to make any effort to improve the situation, but rather, to accept the occurrence of a situation with the full acceptance that Allah willed it so rather than to blame and complain about it.
In the story of Yusuf AS and his father, for example, there is no situation where either of them complained that Allah was unjust. Each of them, as do all Prophets and Messengers, never complained about the adversities that they had to undergo, but instead, made their own efforts and then relied on Allah for the results.