Monday, August 8, 2011

Moral Lessons from the Story of Prophet Yusuf (A)

Allah says the following about the story of Prophet Yusuf (A) in the Holy Qur'an:
We narrate unto you (O Muhammad) the most excellent of the stories (by which) We have revealed unto you this Qur'an; though before this you were of the unaware ones (of its details).
Surah Yusuf, 12:3

Indeed, the adventures and experiences of Prophet Yusuf (A), and his conduct throughout his life, provide us with a wealth of lessons and morals. Some things we may learn from his life are:

1. The belief in the presence of Allah makes a man's troubles easier for him to bear, and as long as he keeps himself away from sins despite temptations, he will ultimately be successful. Prophet Yusuf (A) taught us this by his cheerful conduct throughout his enslavement and imprisonment.

2. In all difficulties and hardships one should seek only Allah's protection. Prophet Yusuf (A) showed his faith by seeking refuge from Allah when faced with the evil intentions of Zuleikha. He was thus saved from committing a terrible sin.

3. One should always remain attached to religion and should take every opportunity to persuade others towards the right path. Prophet Yusuf (A) did not forsake his duty even when in the prison, where he preached against idol worship before interpreting the dreams of his cell-mates.

4. Patience in the face of hardship is the best of qualities and results in reward from Allah in this life and the hereafter. Prophet Yusuf (A) remained calm and resigned to the Will of Allah, despite being abandoned in the well by his brothers.
He also bore the shame of being sold as a slave patiently.
He also accepted his false imprisonment. In return for his forbearance, Allah raised his position till it was the highest in Egypt.

5. It is important to act in such a manner as to preserve your honour and dignity, and these qualities must always be safeguarded. Prophet Yusuf (A) taught us this valuable lesson when he refused to accept his freedom from prison until his innocence was proved to the people.
Thus when he was finally released, he knew he could come in front of the people with his head held high and without any blemish on his record.

6. Above all, this story teaches us that we should forgive and forget the past. When Prophet Yusuf's (A) brothers came to him in Egypt, they were in a pitiable condition and would have been helpless against his great power. If he had wished, Prophet Yusuf (A) could have severely punished them for the heartless treatment they had given him. Instead he forgave their errors and treated them well.
We have listed only a few lessons above, and there is a lot more that one can learn and understand from the story of Prophet Yusuf (A).

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