Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) [Simplified for Ages 6+]

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Today you will learn about the life of one of the best people that ever lived. This was a man sent by Allāh. You will learn why they were sent and what lessons we can learn from their lives. They were known as the Prophets of Allāh.

The Story of Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām)

There was a young boy called Yūsuf. He had eleven brothers. His father loved him the most from all the brothers.

One night, Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) saw a dream. He dreamt that eleven stars, the sun and the moon were all bowing down to him. He was very confused and amazed by the dream. He did not understand what the dream meant. He told his father Yaʿqūb (ʿalayhi s-salām) who was a Prophet.

His father understood the meaning of the dream. He knew that this was a special dream. He told Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) that the dream was from Allah.

Yaʿqūb (ʿalayhi s-salām) knew that people would get jealous if they found out about the dream. He told Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) not to even tell his brothers because they might become jealous and hurt him.

We learn a lesson that we shouldn’t always tell other people about our good things. They might feel hurt and even get jealous.

The Younger Brother

Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) had a younger brother called Binyāmīn. Yaʿqūb (ʿalayhi s-salām) loved these two children more than the elder brothers. The elder brothers would be jealous and say, “Why does our father love Yūsuf more than us? We are stronger and better than him.”

Finding Out About the Dream

After a little while, the brothers found out about the dream. This made them even more jealous. They thought of a plan. Some brothers said they should kill Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām). Some said that they should throw him inside well which is very far away. They all agreed on this plan and were ready to do it.

Asking Yaʿqūb (ʿalayhi s-salām)

They needed a plan so they could take Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) far away. Because Yaʿqūb (ʿalayhi s-salām) knew that the brothers did not like Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām), he would always protect Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām).

The brothers went to their father. They begged him to let Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) come outside to play. They said, “O our father! Why don’t you trust us with Yūsuf? Send him with us tomorrow so that he can play with us. We will look after him.”

Yaʿqūb (ʿalayhi s-salām) needed an excuse to keep Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) away from them. So he said, “I am scared that if you take him, a wolf might eat him.”

The brothers said, “We are strong. We will protect him and if a wolf does eat him then we will be weak.”

In the end, Yaʿqūb (ʿalayhi s-salām) allowed them to take him.

To the Jungle

The brothers took Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) to the jungle and threw him into the deep well.

After throwing Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) in the well, the brothers had to make a plan. They knew that their father would be very sad. So before they threw Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) in the well, they took his shirt. They killed a wolf and put blood on the shirt.

When they came home, they started crying. They said, “O our father! We were having a race with each other and we told Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) to stand on the side to look after our things, and a wolf ate him. We know you will not believe us even if we said the truth.”

To make their father really believe them, they showed him the shirt with the blood. Yaʿqūb (ʿalayhi s-salām) was very upset. Instead of complaining and shouting at them, he said, “I will be very patient and Allāh is the One who will help me.”

Alone in the Well

Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) was all alone in the well. He was remembering his father Yaʿqūb (ʿalayhi s-salām) and brother Binyāmīn. And Yaʿqūb (ʿalayhi s-salām) and Binyāmīn were remembering him. 

There were some people who were travelling to Egypt. They felt thirsty on the way. When they ‎saw the well, they sent someone to get water. As the person started pulling the bucket up, he noticed Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) in the bucket. He shouted out to his friends, “Look! I found a young boy!” They took Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) with them to Egypt.

When they reached Egypt, they went to the market to sell Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām). Someone wanted to buy him because they thought he was a very special boy. So they sold him for a very cheap price. 

The person that bought Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) was the minister of Egypt. He was a very important person. He was rich and lived in a big house.

The Wife of the Minister

When the minister brought Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) home, he told his wife to treat him nicely. He said that if he’s good, then we will make him our son.

The wife of the minister was called Zalīkhā. She wanted Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) to do something bad. But Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) never listened to her. She became angry and blamed Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām). She made it look like he was a bad person. The minister knew that Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) was not bad. He knew that Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) would never do anything wrong.

Sending Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) to Prison

Zalīkhā was very angry with Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām). She wanted to send him to prison for not listening to him. The minister knew that

Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) did not do anything wrong but he still had to send him to prison.

When Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) came inside the prison, everyone ‎saw that he was very good young man. They knew that he was someone special so they all started to respect him.

The Dreams

One day, two prisoners had a very strange dream. They knew Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) would understand what the dreams meant because they knew he was a special person. They both went to Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) and told him their dreams.

The first person said that he ‎saw that he was squeezing grapes to make wine. The second person said that there was bread on his head and birds were eating from it.

They asked Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) to tell them the meaning of the dreams.

A Good Opportunity

Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) saw that this was a good opportunity to make the people of prison worship Allāh alone. The people of the prison would worship other things besides Allāh.

Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) told the prisoners that he worshipped Allāh alone. He told them that he does not follow the religion of those people who believe in other gods. He told them that he followed the religion of the Ibrāhīm, Ishaq and Yaqub. And all these Prophets worshipped Allāh alone.
Yusuf then asked all the prisoners, “Is one Allāh better or many different ones?”
He told them that only Allāh should be worshiped alone.

The Meaning of the Dreams

Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) then explained the meaning of their dreams. He said, “One of you will pour our wine for the king to drink and the other the one will be killed and birds will eat from his head.”

This is what meaning Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) told the prisoners about their dreams.
Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) knew that one of them would become a servant of the king, so he told the person to tell the king about him. But Shaytan made the prisoner forget about Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām). So Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) ended up staying in prison for many years.

The King of Egypt

One day, the king of Egypt ‎saw a strange dream. He saw fat cows eating seven thin cows, and he ‎saw seven green corns and another seven dry.
The close friends of the king said that it was just a dream. It doesn’t mean anything. Suddenly, the prisoner remembered Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām). He ran to the prison and asked Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) to explain the dream.

Explaining the King’s Dream

Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) explained the dream and also explained the solution. He said, “You will get a lot of crops for seven years. So only eat what you need and save the rest. After these seven years, you will get seven hard years where nothing will grow and there won’t be enough food. So you will be able to eat that which you saved in the first seven years.”

When the king heard how Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) explained the dream, he was very impressed. He wanted to meet Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām).

Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) Leaves Prison

The king’s people came to call Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām). Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) went to meet the king. In that time, there would be places where food would be stored. But the people in charge would not look after the food properly. They would steal and not give enough to the people. They would give more to some people and less to others. They would be unfair.
The king liked Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām). He trusted him and knew that he was a special person.

Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) never liked to see people cheat and steal from the food. So he told the king, “Put me in charge of the food because you can trust me.”
Because the king trusted Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām), he put him in charge of all the food of Egypt.

The Dream Comes True

Just how Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) explained the kings dream, the food became less and less. Everyone in Egypt started becoming hungry. People from all around Egypt, started coming to Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) for food.
From the people that came to get food, were the brothers of Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām). Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) immediately recognised them.

They thought Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) was dead. It had been so many years that they didn’t even recognise him. Who would have thought that the little Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) who they left in the well had become in charge of all the food of Egypt!

Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) did not say anything. He did not tell them who he was. He acted like a stranger. He asked them where they were from and how many people were in their family. They said they had one more brother called Binyāmīn who did not come with them. Yusuf asked them why he did not come. So the brothers told Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) that their father does not trust them. He is scared the same thing will happen to Binyāmīn what happened to his brother.

A Plan to Meet Binyāmīn

Yusuf wanted to meet his brother Binyāmīn. So when the brothers were leaving, he secretly put the money they gave him for the food back into their belongings. Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) then said, “Next time you come for food, bring your brother Binyāmīn with you, otherwise you will not get any food.

The Brothers Reach Home

When the brothers reached home, they opened their bags. They were shocked to see that Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) gave them their money back.
When they ran out of food, and it was time to go back to Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām), they told their father if Binyāmīn could come with them. Yaʿqūb (ʿalayhi s-salām) said, “Can I trust you like, just like I trusted you with his brother Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām)?”

The brothers begged and promised that they would protect him and bring him back safely. Yaʿqūb (ʿalayhi s-salām) was convinced and he let Binyāmīn go with them. He knew Allāh is the Most-Powerful and Allāh will protect him.

Back to Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām)

The brothers started their journey again back to Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām), but this time with Binyāmīn.
When Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) ‎saw Binyāmīn, he was happy and excited. He told Binyāmīn who he was and told him not to tell anyone. They had missed each other for a very long time. They wanted to stay together for longer. But how could that happen? The brothers were going to take Binyāmīn back. So Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) needed a plan to keep Binyāmīn with him. He was alone all these years. He did not want to let him go after just meeting him.

The Plan to Keep Binyāmīn

Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) had to have a reason to keep Binyāmīn. So Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) secretly put the king’s cup inside Binyāmīn’s bag. When the brothers started leaving, the king’s men realised that the king’s cup had gone missing.

Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) told them that it was the group of young men who had just left. The king’s officers ran after them and shouted, “You are thieves!”

The brothers were surprised. They asked, “What have you lost?”

They said, “We have lost the king’s cup and whoever finds it will get a big reward. The brothers said, “We are not thieves and we did not come here to steal.”

The officers asked, “What is the punishment, if you are liars and you did steal?” The brothers said, “Whoever’s bag has the king’s cup will be taken as prisoner.

The Brothers Get Searched

The brothers knew that they didn’t steal. So they were not worried.

All their bags were checked and searched. Binyāmīn was the last person to be searched. When he was searched, of course, the king’s cup was found inside his bag. So now Binyāmīn was going to be taken as a prisoner.

The brothers were scared. They were thinking about how they would face their father. How would they tell him that they lost Binyāmīn just like they lost Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām)? The eldest brother said that he would also stay and not go back, so he stayed and never went back.

Another Test

Yaʿqūb (ʿalayhi s-salām) was tested again. Instead of complaining and becoming angry, he was very patient. He told his sons, “Go and find out about Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) and his brother.”

The brothers went back to Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām). They said, “O minister! We and our family are very poor. We only have a little amount of money. So, give us more than the amount of money we have.”

The Secret

Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) was very sad to hear this from his own brothers. How long could he keep this a secret?

He said to them, “Do you remember what you did to Yūsuf and his brother?” The brothers were shocked. No one knew the secret besides them. No one knew what they did to Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām). Was this the same brother they thought they killed all these years ago?

They asked, “Are you Yūsuf?” Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) said, “I am Yūsuf and this is my brother Binyāmīn.”

The brothers were very ashamed. They were very sorry for what they had done. But instead of taking revenge, Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) forgave them. He said, “May Allah forgive you and show you mercy.”

Asking About Yaʿqūb (ʿalayhi s-salām)

When all the brothers knew the secret, Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) asked them about his father, Yaʿqūb (ʿalayhi s-salām). The brothers told him that he could not see properly because of crying so much.

Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) told them to take his shirt and put the shirt on the face of Yaʿqūb (ʿalayhi s-salām). He said when that when they do this, he will be able to see again. He told them to bring the whole family back to the palace.

Back to Yaʿqūb (ʿalayhi s-salām)

Yaʿqūb (ʿalayhi s-salām) was waiting at home. All of a sudden he started saying, “I can smell the smell of Yūsuf!” The people around him thought that he was old so he did not know what he was saying. They thought he was dreaming. How could Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) still be alive?

The brothers arrived and gave Yaʿqūb (ʿalayhi s-salām) the shirt. Yaʿqūb (ʿalayhi s-salām) became very happy. They all started getting ready to go meet Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) and stay with him.

Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) came out of the palace to meet his father. After so many years of being separated, they were finally able to meet each other again. Imagine how happy everyone must have been on that day!

Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) made his parents sit on the throne. They all bowed to Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām).

Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) said, “O my father! This is the meaning of the dream I had. Allah has made it come true.”

Lessons from the Story of Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām)

We must remember some very important lessons from the story of Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām):

1. We learn that Allah can do anything. He took Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) out of a well and made him sit on the throne of Egypt! Nothing is impossible for Allah.

2. We learn that we should never become jealous of anyone. The more jealous we become, Allah will give the other person even more. We should always be happy with what Allah has given us and what He has given other people.

3. We learn that we should forgive other people. Look at how Yūsuf (ʿalayhi s-salām) forgave his brothers even after everything they did to him. Allah loves those who forgives others.

4. We learn that we should be patient and never complain to Allah. We should never say that why does this happen to me. Look at how Yaʿqūb (ʿalayhi s-salām) was patient. Even after losing two of his sons, he never complained. We should always think that whatever Allah does is always good even though it might seem bad.

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