Prophet Yusuf's Dream Comes True (as)
Prophet Yusuf (as) is Reunited With His Family
When Prophet Ya'qub (as) received the news, along with the evidence to support it, that Yusuf (as) was alive, the lie that his brothers had kept concealed for so long came to light. They had told their father that he had been killed and eaten by wolves, whereas Yusuf (as) was actually still alive. When this emerged, his children begged Prophet Ya'qub (as) to forgive them:
They said, "Our father, may we be forgiven for all the many wrongs that we have done. We were indeed greatly mistaken men." He said, "I will ask my Lord to pardon you. He is Ever-Forgiving, Most Merciful." (Surah Yusuf: 97-98)
On close inspection, Prophet Ya'qub (as) said he would seek forgiveness not immediately but at a later time. Why should Prophet Ya'qub (as) not have sought forgiveness for his children straight away? The wisdom in this may have been that he wished to see what their subsequent behaviour and attitude would be. He may have wanted to see whether they had really abandoned the error of their ways and were truly sincere. For that reason, it may be that he would pray for them when he had formed that opinion (Allah knows best, of course).
Yet as is made clear at the end of the verse, Prophet Ya'qub (as) also reminded them of Allah's compassionate and forgiving nature. He did that so that they might hope for forgiveness from Allah and turn to Him in sincere repentance.
The subsequent developments are related in the Qur'an in these terms:
Then when they entered into Yusuf's presence, he drew his parents close to him and said, "Enter Egypt safe and sound, if Allah wills." (Surah Yusuf: 99)
The first thing Prophet Yusuf (as) did when he met his family was to hold them to his breast and remind them that they were safe. It can be seen from this verse that embracing someone is a sincere expression of love. Reassuring someone that they are safe is a delicate gesture that allows them to relax. It must have been exceedingly reassuring for these people who had come on a long journey and experienced many vicissitudes to know that they were now comfortable and secure. This is exemplary behaviour for believers to follow. Putting a guest, a stranger or someone under one's roof at ease by assuring them that they are free to enjoy the safety and comfort of one's land or home is a beautiful gesture to which attention is drawn in the Qur'an.
Allah has promised those of you who believe and do right actions that He will make them successors in the land as He made those before them successors, and will firmly establish for them their religion with which He is pleased and give them, in place of their fear, security. "They worship Me, not associating anything with Me." Any who disbelieve after that, such people are deviators.(Surat an-Nur: 55)
Neither were the hospitality and subtlety of Prophet Yusuf (as) limited to this. The respect that Yusuf (as) showed his parents is described as follows in the Qur'an:
He raised his parents up onto the throne. They fell prostrate in front of him... (Surah Yusuf: 100)
Sitting his mother and father on a throne is a delightful expression of respect. They were older than him, and furthermore his father was a prophet whom Allah had strengthened with knowledge. They displayed great humility in the face of Yusuf's respectful behaviour (as).
Careful examination reveals that despite the fact that Prophet Yusuf (as) was their son and that they were much older than him, they treated him with great humility. It is stated in the verse that his family prostrated themselves before him. This must have been a widespread demonstration of respect according to the customs of the time, there is of course no implication of "worship" here. Among ignorant people in such circumstances pride enters into the equation and the parties involved hesitate to behave in a sincere and respectful manner. In ignorant societies people strongly avoid any expression of respect such as bowing, particularly to anyone who happens to be younger than them. However, the behaviour of Prophet Yusuf (as) and his family was based on respect, love and humility. This is a clear illustration of what a believing family should be like.
In this climate then, Prophet Yusuf (as) described everything that had befallen him and revealed the flawless workings of Allah's plan:
… "My father, truly this is now the interpretation of the dream I had. My Lord has made it all come true; and He was kind to me by letting me out of prison and brought you from the desert when satan had caused dissent between me and my brothers. My Lord is kind to anyone He wills. He is indeed All-Knowing and All-Wise." (Surah Yusuf: 100)
It will be recalled that Prophet Yusuf (as) had dreamt of eleven stars, the sun and moon prostrating themselves before him. The fact that years later his position was such that his mother, father and brothers showed him great esteem and bowed down before him out of respect, and the fact that his brothers in particular came into his presence when they had need of him was the fulfilment of that dream.
Further scrutiny again reveals that while Prophet Yusuf (as) was explaining all this, he called on Allah and praised His name, and he also explained that the events so far undergone by him and his family had all taken place as part of Allah’s plan. This is the kind of exemplary understanding and speech that a believer should adopt.
Another characteristic of Prophet Yusuf (as) that is noteworthy here is the way in which he saw the positive side of everything and interpreted everything in a favourable manner. For example, he said that Allah had done him a kindness and freed him from the dungeon. This is very literally the kind of attitude befitting a believer, and proof that he looked at things with a positive and optimistic expectation. Prophet Yusuf (as) thus made it clear that he was on the side of Allah and avoided any kind of speech or behaviour that was negative or unappreciative of anything Allah creates. The fact that he said, "My Lord is kind to anyone He wills. He is indeed All-Knowing and All-Wise" is a demonstration of this. In this way, Prophet Yusuf (as) sets an example to all of the faithful.