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A Gem from the Dream of Yusuf alayhi salaam

May 28, 2009


In the beginning of Surah Yusuf, Allah ta’ala shares with us the private conversation between a father and son:

إِذْ قَالَ يُوسُفُ لِأَبِيهِ يَا أَبَتِ إِنِّي رَأَيْتُ أَحَدَ عَشَرَ كَوْكَبًا وَالشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ رَأَيْتُهُمْ لِي سَاجِدِينَ

(Remember) when Yusuf (Joseph) said to his father: “O my father! Verily, I saw (in a dream) eleven stars and the sun and the moon – I saw them prostrating themselves to me.” (12:4)

As usual, the gem is not captured in the English translation.

Yusuf alayhi salaam describes the stars, sun and moon prostrating to him, by using the word  Saajideen. Saajideen is classified as a “Jam’ mudakkar saalim”, which means a sound masculine plural and it is only used for beings with free will such as humans and jinn.

Allah azza wa jal describes a creation that has no free will as if it has free will. We find this in other ayaat in the Qur’an as well:

In surah Inshiqaaq, Allah ta’ala describes the sky:

وَأَذِنَتْ لِرَبِّهَا وَحُقَّتْ

“And listens to and obeys its Lord.” (84:2)

Athinat is from uthun which means ear, the sky will listen to Allah ta’ala.

In surah Ahzaab, Allah azza wa jal describes:

إِنَّا عَرَضْنَا الْأَمَانَةَ عَلَى السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَالْجِبَالِ فَأَبَيْنَ أَن يَحْمِلْنَهَا وَأَشْفَقْنَ مِنْهَا وَحَمَلَهَا الْإِنسَانُ ۖ إِنَّهُ كَانَ ظَلُومًا جَهُولًا

Truly, We did offer the trust to the heavens and the earth, and the mountains, but they declined to bear it and were afraid of it (i.e. afraid of Allah’s Torment). But man bore it. Verily, he was unjust (to himself) and ignorant (of its results). (33:72)

The heavens, earth and mountains did not want to be given the free choice to believe or disbelieve so man was given the trust. Allah ta’ala gave us reasoning to choose what benefits us. He ta’ala gave us the choice to submit, and only the person who has true understanding will choose to obey Allah ta’ala.

So when those 11 stars, the sun and moon were commanded to prostrate themselves to Yusuf alayhi salaam in the dream, Allah ta’ala uses the form used for humans to show the reasoning and choice behind their prostration.

How many humans have the choice to prostrate to Allah and don’t do it? It only took one sajdah to remove Iblis from Jannah.

-Taken from Dr. Reda Bedeir, Tafseer Surah Yusuf.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. maryum permalink
    May 29, 2009 12:00 pm

    amazing. jazakallah. really good one this time. .. 🙂
    one tiny question though, wondering about the transliteration of the arabic to english letters. wouldnt ‘dh’ be more suitable for the letter “dhaal” rather than ‘th’. becuase thats what is used for “thaa” ?
    and isnt it mudhakkar (Masculine ) with a dhaal .? im honestly just wondering, i dont mean it for criticism!!
    jazakallah assalamualaykum

  2. May 29, 2009 1:39 pm

    wa alaykum salam wa rahmatullah Maryum,

    wa iyyaki.

    Yes it is with a dhaal! I sometimes forget about transliteration..I’ll spell it ‘d’ once, ‘dh’ another time and even ‘thaa’..:) hehe inshaAllah i’ll be more careful next time. I didn’t even notice. Barak Allahu feeki.

  3. Ibn Mikdad permalink
    May 30, 2009 5:10 am

    I find the order of the celestial bodies mentioned in the ayah from Surah Yusuf very interesting. The Sun represents the father, a.s., the moon represents the mother, and stars his, a.s., brothers. So the stars seem to symbolize something smaller/younger than the Sun and the Moon, at least from our perspective and the perspective of the dreamer (Yusuf alayhissalaam). However, the stars are mentioned first, and only then the Sun; could it be because the stars we see on the sky are usually bigger than our Sun? Also, it is interesting that the males are all symbolized by stars (Sun being a star as well). Allah s.w.t. knows best if these are valid observations. Wassalaam.

  4. Asma permalink
    May 30, 2009 10:11 am

    love the last line. JazakAllah Khair 🙂

  5. May 30, 2009 11:57 am

    MashaAllah that is an interesting observation. I actually have thought about this before, inshaAllah I will look through my tafseer notes and see if my teacher mentioned anything. Jazak Allahu khayran for the comment.

  6. May 30, 2009 11:58 am

    wa iyyaki 🙂

  7. peace permalink
    July 24, 2009 7:37 am

    Mashaallah.Jazakumallahu khairaa sis.What a magnificent book we have in our hands!!!Truly Quran touches you in a very unique way.May Allah give us towfeeq to understand it better by each passing day.

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