The Sincere Prayer of Prophet Yusuf (as)
Throughout this book we have discussed how exceedingly devoted to Allah Prophet Yusuf (as) was, how well protected he was by Him, and how often he called upon and gave thanks to Him. This can be seen in the following verse in which Allah inspires him with the following words:
"My Lord, You have granted power to me on earth and taught me the true meaning of events. Originator of the heavens and earth, You are my Friend in this world and the Next. So take me as a Muslim at my death and join me to the people who are righteous." (Surah Yusuf: 101)
As we have seen, Prophet Yusuf (as) was aware that all the attributes he possessed, both the material benefits and his knowledge and reason, had been given to him by Allah . Those who deny true religion, on the other hand, believe that they acquire everything through their own efforts, thus magnifying themselves in their own eyes and displaying ingratitude for Allah's blessings.
Prophet Yusuf's prayer (as) as recorded in the above verse is another expression of his faith and fear of Allah. Despite being a prophet chosen by Allah, he wishes to die as a believer and join the community of the righteous. Nothing is taken for granted with respect to his position in the hereafter. He has a genuine fear of Allah and calls upon Him in his need.
This is the kind of understanding and behaviour befitting a believer. Those who regard themselves as worthy of the Garden, who claim that as beloved servants of Allah they will definitely be saved in the hereafter, and who belittle other people in their pride, are in a heedless state. The true believer, on the other hand, is always submissive in the face of Allah , is always mindful of jeopardising His good pleasure, and acts with the humility this awareness brings with it.
The duty of every Muslim is to be a sincere, submissive, devout and humble believer, just like Prophet Yusuf (as) and to pray with all sincerity, "So take me as a Muslim at my death and join me to the people who are righteous."
Throughout this book we have been examining the life of Prophet Yusuf (as) in the light of the details given in the Qur'an. Our only reliable source of knowledge about his life is that provided for us by Allah. Beyond that, we have absolutely no right to add or subtract even a single word. Allah has in fact indicated this, revealing that everything that has been related regarding Prophet Yusuf (as) actually consists of unknown things. The story of Prophet Yusuf (as) concludes with these words:
This is news of the Unseen which We reveal to you. You were not with them when they decided what to do and devised their scheme. (Surah Yusuf: 102)
In revealing this information to us, Allah both teaches us important wisdom, which we can use in our own lives, and has also made it easier for us to take the prophets of the past as role models by allowing us to become acquainted with them. With the exception of true dreams (which as we have seen from the evidence of Prophet Yusuf's own life, are not ordinary or everyday occurrences), we have no opportunity of actually seeing Prophet Yusuf (as), Prophet Ya'qub (as) or any other prophet while we remain in this world. However, careful reading of the Qur'an and deep consideration of the lives of the prophets, seeing the environment they lived in and their exemplary behaviour clearly in our minds’ eye and striving to understand it, may allow us to become acquainted with the prophets and to make use of their superior perceptiveness, spirituality and nearness to Allah.
Everyone who reads this book must therefore reflect upon it carefully. They must consider the wisdom of the prophets Ya'qub (as) and Yusuf (as) and work out how to make that wisdom part of their daily lives. If a person abandons hope in the face of the troubles and woes that befall him, or if he says, "This is going to be very difficult to put right, there is nothing we can do," when he sees the plight of Muslims, then we should know that this is terrible heedlessness. We should remember the patience, determination and firm, unshakeable faith in Allah of Prophet Yusuf (as), who was thrown down a well, then sold cheaply as a slave, slandered, imprisoned for no crime and abandoned there for years. That is how to rid oneself of defeatism and despair. We must remember that in spite of the calamitous events that befell Prophet Yusuf (as) that seemed to be so great on the surface, he was freed from them in a moment by the generosity and mercy of Allah, and secured a great blessing.
Never forget that in the present day, just like in the time of Prophet Yusuf (as), there is a flawless Divine plan operating in every single event, and that Allah creates everything that happens under His good auspices and wisdom. Do not forget that Allah has power over all things, and that He always helps those who have faith and are sincerely devoted to Him, who devoutly seek to serve Him and follow His Messenger (saas). He gives believers blessings at times when they are least expected, and helps them in unforeseen ways. A human being's sole duty is to worship Allah on the basis of these truths, and to live his life accordingly.