Following his release from prison, Yusuf (as) found himself in an honorable position. Upon his request, he was appointed as the Minister of Finance and Agriculture by the King of Egypt. So in other words, Yusuf (as) was now the “Aziz”, the same position that was held by his ex-master!
In his new role, Yusuf (as) ensured the food supplies were properly stored during the 7 years of prosperity, for the 7 years of drought that followed.
So when the season of drought arrived, Egypt was prepared. But the people in the surrounding areas were not, and as a result, they suffered from severe food shortages.
Yusuf (as) became famous for his storehouses, as he was selling food and grain to whoever came. News of this reached Palestine and so the brothers of Yusuf (as) came to Egypt in search of food. All ten of them, except Bin Yamin (who was Yusuf (as) full brother).
Yusuf (as) recognized his brothers, but they failed to recognize him and this was because they threw him into the well when he was a very young boy. Yusuf (as) kept his identity a secret, but still ensured that his brothers got adequate food supplies.
Yusuf (as) would sell only one camel load of supplies per person, so he did not give them Bin Yamin’s share. Perhaps the brothers made a mention of Bin Yamin to Yusuf (as) during their conversation, so just as they were about to leave, Yusuf (as) told his brothers to bring Bin Yamin with them next time, so that he too could receive his share of food.
They told him that they would try their best to persuade their father to send Bin Yamin with them, and through this we learn that perhaps Yaqub (as) did not trust his sons after what happened to Yusuf (as).
Yusuf (as) then tells his servant to secretly put their merchandise (the items with which they paid for their food) back into their saddle bags, so that they could afford to return to Egypt again. He was basically giving the food away for free!
Here we see the generosity of Yusuf (as). They threw him into a well, but he responds with utmost kindness! Lesson: So anytime you find yourself in a situation where someone hurts you, take the high road and respond only with goodness! Be a Muhsin!
When the brothers returned home, they tried to convince their father to send Bin Yamin with them on their next trip, but Yaqub (as) was apprehensive. He lost Yusuf, so how could he possibly trust them with Bin Yamin?
Yaqub (as) eventually realizes that he has no option but to send Bin Yamin with them and so he places his trust in Allah, knowing that it is Allah Alone who is the Best Guardian.
The brothers then discovered the merchandise that was returned to them and upon their excitement, they started to convince their father even more!
Yaqub (as) makes them promise to bring Bin Yamin back safely, and then advises his sons to enter the city through different gates in order to avoid the evil eye from people. After all, they were a group of strong, good looking men.
Evil Eye is the negative effect of looking at something out of admiration or envy. So by the Will and Power of Allah, sometimes the gaze of a person can have a physical effect on another person, animal or even an inanimate object.
How do you protect yourself from the Evil Eye?
1.Reciting the Morning and Evening Du’as, Ayatul Kursiy, Mu’awwidathayn, and other specific Du’as of protection
Abu Saeed Al-Khudri said, “The Messenger of Allah ﷺ used to seek refuge from the evil eye of the Jinns and the evil eye of humans. Then when the Mu’awidathayn were revealed, he used them (for seeking protection) and left other than them”. [Ibn Majah, al-Tirmidhi]
2. When you see something pleasing, whether in yourself or others, then say BarakAllahu Feek, or MashaAllah La Quwatta Illah Billah
The Prophet ﷺ said, “Whoever among you sees something in himself or in his possessions or in his brother that he likes, let him pray for blessing for it, because the evil eye is real.” [Haakim]
3. Do not show off your blessings, be discreet where possible.
Getting back to the story…
The brothers eventually reached Egypt, and when Yusuf (as) met his brother Bin Yamin, he took him aside and secretly revealed his identity to him. He also told him not to grieve over what their brothers had done in the past. In a way he was saying “I have forgiven them, you forgive them too.”
Lesson: Yusuf (as) demonstrates a high level of patience over the actions of his brother. If we don’t forgive people for their actions, that’s when we begin to grieve and despair. A resentful person can never be truly free. Yusuf (as) could not have done all the work that he did as the Minister of Finance, if he harbored grudges and resentment in his heart!
So keep yourself occupied and don’t give yourself the time or the mental bandwidth to wallow over your grief and sorrows. Our wounds will never heal if we keep remembering them. Forgive, forget and move on!
After Yusuf (as) furnished his brothers with their supplies, he put his gold drinking cup into Bin Yamin’s bag so as to surprise him when he reached home. However, at the same time, it so happened that the king’s measuring bowl also went missing and suspicion fell on the brothers of Yusuf. They were accused of theft!
The royal servant started to search their bags, and the cup was discovered in the bag of Bin Yamin. Bin Yamin was then detained and Allah planned this so that Yusuf (as) could keep his brother with him (and it was also a means through which his entire family would finally reunite!)
The brothers began to plead with Yusuf (as) to release Bin Yamin, because they remembered the promise they had made to their father. However Yusuf (as) was very firm and so the eldest brother decided to remain behind too, whilst the rest of them returned to Palestine.
When the reached home, they approached their father Yaqub (as) and told him everything that had happened.
Yaqub (as) lost Yusuf, and now it seems as though he has lost Bin Yamin too. But he doesn’t despair. He says: “Perhaps Allah will bring them to me all together.”
He turns away from his sons and turns to Allah, remembering his past grief over Yusuf. The deep sorrow which he felt so long ago, once again resurfaces, and he loses his vision due to excessive weeping.
His sons chastise him for this show of grief, but Yaqub (as) simply responds: “I only complain of my suffering and my grief to Allah”
Lesson: Share your worries and sorrows only with Allah. People are weak and they cannot help themselves, so how can they help you? Turn to Allah and pour everything out to Him.
However, this sorrow that Yaqub (as) felt didn’t stop him from having hope in Allah. So he tells his sons to go and search for Yusuf and Bin Yamin, and also advises them not to despair either.
Lesson: Know that when distress and hardship reaches its height, relief is very near! Keep hoping and very soon Allah will make a way out of your difficulty.
Abu Razeen reported that the Prophet ﷺ said, “’Our Lord laughs at the despair of His servants as He will soon change it.’ I said, ‘O Messenger of Allāh, does our Lord laugh?’ The Prophet ﷺ said, ‘Yes.’ I said, ‘We can never give up of goodness from a Lord who laughs’” [Ibn Majah]
Lesson: Don’t give up. Just continue a little bit more, a little bit longer and soon Allah will provide relief.