For My Kids · Ramadan

For my Kids: The Story of Yousif (Part 1)

Today, we will go over one of my favorite prophet stories, the story of Yousif (Joseph), peace be upon him.

Remember Ibrahim (Abraham) and his wife Sara, they had a son called Is-haq (Isaac), who had twin boys, one of them called Yaqoob (Jacob), who had 12 sons. The youngest two of these 12 sons were Yousef (Joseph) and Benyamin. They were the two closest out of the 12 brothers, and they were the most liked by their father.

Yousef was a beautiful boy. They say that half of all the beauty in this world was given to Yousef, and the other half was divided between all the rest of the humans. Not only that, he was beautiful inside and out. He was the most well behaved and his father had a soft spot for him. His father loved Yousif the most.

One day, when Yousef was still a young boy, he told his father: “Father, I had an interesting dream last night. I dreamt that 11 planets and a sun and a moon were all bowing down to me.”

His father told him: “Don’t tell your dream to anyone, especially your brothers for I am worried they will be jealous and AlShaitan (Satan) will help them do something bad.”

All Yousef’s brothers, except Benyamin, were so jealous of him. They said that their father favors Yousif and Benyamin over the rest. They started scheming of how to get rid of him, maybe then if he is out of the picture their father will notice them and love them more. They were thinking to either kill him or take him somewhere very far away.

The oldest said: “Why kill him and carry that sin? Just throw him in a well and some travelers will pass by and take him far away with them.” They all agreed that was the best thing to do.

(Don’t underestimate when people are jealous. Jealousy can blind people and some can do very harmful and hurtful things just because they are jealous of you. Be careful of people who you feel are jealous of you, Yousif’s brothers wanted to kill him just because they were jealous. You never know what jealousy plus AlShaitan (Satan) can do.)

They hatched a plan. They told their father that they wanted to take Yousif out to play. Yaqoob always kept his son Yousif close by him and never let him far away from his sight. Yousif never went out far to play like his older brothers.

Their father said: “I can’t bear having him away from me not even for one hour. I am worried that if he goes with you, you will get distracted and the wolf will come and eat him.” His older sons said: “Why don’t you trust us with him? We will take care of him and bring him back . Their father reluctantly said ok.

Yousif was so happy that he will go out far with his older brothers for he never went with them before. They went far from their place and reached a well. They lifted Yousif up to throw him in. Yousif still thought they were just playing with him. He hanged on to the edge of the well, calling out to his brothers: “What are you doing? Help me out I will fall in!” But they were all just laughing at him.

They then pushed him in the dark well. All alone. He kept on calling his older brothers: “What are you guys doing? I will die here! It’s so dark here. Please help me out.” But all he heard was laughter. He sat there, all alone, scared, crying.

Allah (God) reassured his heart saying: “Don’t be scared, and don’t worry. A day will come where you will remind your brothers what they did to you .. Don’t worry.”

Yousif’s brothers, before throwing him in the well, took off his shirt. They killed an animal and smeared blood all over his shirt. Then they went back home. Their father was waiting anxiously for them. They came to him all crying.

Their father asked: “Yousif? Where is Yousif?” The older boys showed their father the shirt full of blood. “What happened?” Their father asked.

They said: “We went for a race. Us older kids. We asked Yousif to sit next to our things to protect them while we ran. And when we came back, we saw that the wolf has eaten him. We are telling the truth father, that is what happened.”

But the older boys forgot to do one thing, they forgot to tear the shirt up. How is there blood on the shirt and the shirt is still in tact .. not even one tear? Their father knew then, that they were all lying.

Yaqoob, their father, started crying. He said: “No .. your minds have tempted you to do something very bad. May Allah (God) give me patience and bring him back to me.”

Yousif stayed in the well for many nights, all alone in the darkness. Until one day he heard voices at the top of the well. He was so happy to hear someone, he will be rescued!

The men dropped the bucket inside the well to bring up water. Yousif grabbed onto the bucket and the man pulled him up. He was so surprised to see a boy inside the bucket. He said: “We found a pretty young boy. Let’s take him to the market in Egypt and sell him.”

They made him a commodity. A thing for sale. His father Yaqoob was crying for him at home. He didn’t know that at that moment, his son was being rescued from death inside a well but being sold in a market. A prophet, son of a prophet, son of a prophet, son of a prophet is being sold in a market just like a slave.

Aziz of Egypt (Potiphar) bought him. Aziz was a captain of the Pharaoh’s guards and lived in a castle. He took Yousif in as a servant. As Yousif got older, Aziz was impressed by his intelligence and honesty and liked him very much.

But as Yousif became older, he grew into a very handsome young man. All the ladies were mesmerized with him. It is said that servants cut their fingers off while chopping vegetables because they were staring at Yousif instead of what they were doing. Everyone was infatuated with him, and so was Aziz’s wife.

She followed Yousif around everywhere. Then one day, she locked all the doors and told everyone to leave. It was just her and Yousif .. with the doors locked. She got all dressed up and put on makeup and told him: “I am yours. You can do with me what you like.”

Yousif said: “God forbid, I wont do such a thing.”

She then went for him. He ran away looking for an open door. She ran behind him and grabbed him from the back and tore his shirt off. He finally reached a door that wasn’t locked .. opened the door and found none but her husband .. Aziz himself.

To be continued …

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