بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
The king saw a dream. Seven fat cows being eaten by seven lean cows, seven green spikes of grain and seven dry. He saw this dream repeatedly until he was no more able to ignore it but nobody was able to interpret it. Then someone remembered a prisoner in one of the prisons who could tell the true interpretations of dreams.
The prisoner was told the king’s dream. He not only told the meaning – seven years of good harvests, followed by seven years of famine – but he also told them how to survive it – by storing what they harvest for seven years in its spikes and only using what they need to eat.
The king sent a messenger to call for this enigmatic prisoner, but the prisoner said:
Return to your master and ask him what is the case of the women who cut their hands. Indeed, my Lord is Knowing of their plan. [Yusuf: 50]
The king was intrigued by this reply, he investigated and the truth came out. And after years of patience the prisoner, Yusuf AS, was cleared of all charges.
Of all the people Yusuf AS knew the enormity of the situation best. He knew that even with a lot of preparing and planning, they will be able to survive the famine only through the skin of their teeth. And any mismanagement of resources, any negligence on government’s part or any corruption in rationing of food will result in disaster and people will suffer.
He knew that their only chance was a person who was both Hafeedh and Aleem.
Hafeedh (guardian) who wouldn’t cheat from what he holds in his hands and Aleem (knowledgable) who would be clever with storing and safe-keeping of the food and good with organization, distribution and logistics.
If the person was Hafeedh without being Aleem, he wouldn’t know how to fight this battle for survival. And if he was Aleem without being Hafeedh, the knowledge will be used against people not for them.
And Yusuf AS knew such a person so he goes to the king and tells him:
Appoint me over the storehouses of the land. Indeed, I will be a knowing guardian.[Yusuf: 55]
I am amazed at how many crucial lessons can one ayaah teach!
1. We are supposed to recognize our own gifts. We are supposed to discover our own talents, our skills, our strong points. And we are supposed to use these bounties of Allah in the service of His creation.
2. It is not vanity to recognize your talent or to accept that you are good at something. It is not pride to calmly accept that your skill is superior to others’. (Mark the apostrophe at the end, you can see your skill as greater than the skill of others’ skills but you cannot see yourself greater than others) The knowledge of one’s capabilities, as can be seen from this ayaah, is the way of anbiyaah. Pride is when we don’t understand the source of those capabilities – Allah.
3. It is the way of anbiyaah to be pro-active members of the society. To come forward, offer your solutions, take responsibilities. A true Mumin is never the passive one sitting in a corner and waiting for others to fix the stuff for them.
4. With true intent, seeking positions of authority and riches can also be a form of worship. Humility and contentment is NOT not seeking or having wealth or position.
5. Yusuf AS was abused, tortured, trafficked and held in prison without any crime. Imagine a child abducted in our times who had to go through all this. Would we expect the youngster to be well balanced, calm and confident? Or we would expect such a person to be pathetic, with no self-confidence, no will or at the least a bitter person! Yet when Yusuf AS emerges from the prison, we see him as the master of himself. A wise and confident young man who believes in himself and his talents. No harshness of that life could make him loose his will, his self-respect, nor could it affect his strong personality. If our relationship with Allah is strong, nothing can destroy us or unbalance our personalities.
سبحانك اللهم و بحمدك نشهد ان لااله الّا انت نستغفرك و نتوب اليك