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Yusuf had His Golden Bowl placed in Binyamin's Bag; a Plot to keep Him in Egypt Print E-mail

After Yusuf supplied them with their provisions, he ordered some of his servants to place his silver bowl (in Binyamin's bag), according to the majority of scholars. Some scholars said that the king's bowl was made from gold. Ibn Zayd added that the king used it to drink from, and later, measured food grains with it since food became scarce in that time, according to Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak and `Abdur-Rahman bin Zayd. Shu`bah said that Abu Bishr narrated that Sa`id bin Jubayr said that Ibn `Abbas said that the king's bowl was made from silver and he used it to drink with. Yusuf had the bowl placed in Binyamin's bag while they were unaware, and then had someone herald,

﴿أَيَّتُهَا الْعِيرُ إِنَّكُمْ لَسَارِقُونَ﴾

(O you (in) the caravan! Surely, you are thieves!) They looked at the man who was heralding this statement and asked him,

﴿مَّاذَا تَفْقِدُونَقَالُواْ نَفْقِدُ صُوَاعَ الْمَلِكِ﴾

("What is it that you have lost'' They said: "We have lost the bowl of the king...''), which he used to measure food grains,

﴿وَلِمَن جَآءَ بِهِ حِمْلُ بَعِيرٍ﴾

(and for him who produces it is a camel load), as a reward,

﴿وَأَنَاْ بِهِ زَعِيمٌ﴾

(and I will be bound by it.), as assurance of delivery of the reward.

﴿قَالُواْ تَاللَّهِ لَقَدْ عَلِمْتُمْ مَّا جِئْنَا لِنُفْسِدَ فِى الاٌّرْضِ وَمَا كُنَّا سَـرِقِينَ - قَالُواْ فَمَا جَزَآؤُهُ إِن كُنتُمْ كَـذِبِينَ - قَالُواْ جَزؤُهُ مَن وُجِدَ فِى رَحْلِهِ فَهُوَ جَزَاؤُهُ كَذَلِكَ نَجْزِى الظَّـلِمِينَ - فَبَدَأَ بِأَوْعِيَتِهِمْ قَبْلَ وِعَآءِ أَخِيهِ ثُمَّ اسْتَخْرَجَهَا مِن وِعَآءِ أَخِيهِ كَذَلِكَ كِدْنَا لِيُوسُفَ مَا كَانَ لِيَأْخُذَ أَخَاهُ فِى دِينِ الْمَلِكِ إِلاَّ أَن يَشَآءَ اللَّهُ نَرْفَعُ دَرَجَـتٍ مَّن نَّشَآءُ وَفَوْقَ كُلِّ ذِى عِلْمٍ عَلِيمٌ ﴾

(73. They said: "By Allah! Indeed you know that we came not to make mischief in the land, and we are no thieves!'') (74. They said: "What then shall be the penalty of him, if you are (proved to be) liars.'') (75. They ﴿Yusuf's brothers﴾ said: "His penalty should be that he, in whose bag it is found, should be held for the punishment (of the crime). Thus we punish the wrongdoers!'') (76. So he Yusuf began (the search) in their bags before the bag of his brother. Then he brought it out of his brother's bag. Thus did We plan for Yusuf. He could not take his brother by the law of the king (as a slave), except that Allah willed it. We raise to degrees whom We will, but over all those endowed with knowledge is the All-Knowing (Allah) After Yusuf's servants accused his brothers of theft, they said,

﴿تَاللَّهِ لَقَدْ عَلِمْتُمْ مَّا جِئْنَا لِنُفْسِدَ فِى الاٌّرْضِ وَمَا كُنَّا سَـرِقِينَ﴾

(By Allah! Indeed you know that we came not to make mischief in the land, and we are no thieves!) `Ever since you knew us, you, due to our good conduct, became certain that,

﴿مَّا جِئْنَا لِنُفْسِدَ فِى الاٌّرْضِ وَمَا كُنَّا سَـرِقِينَ﴾

(we came not to make mischief in the land, and we are no thieves!) They said, `Theft is not in our character, as you came to know.' Yusuf's men said,

﴿فَمَا جَزَآؤُهُ﴾

`(What then shall be the penalty of him), in reference to the thief, if it came out that he is one of you,'

﴿إِن كُنتُمْ كَـذِبِينَ﴾

(if you are (proved to be) liars) They asked them, `What should be the thief's punishment if he is one of you'

﴿قَالُواْ جَزؤُهُ مَن وُجِدَ فِى رَحْلِهِ فَهُوَ جَزَاؤُهُ كَذَلِكَ نَجْزِى الظَّـلِمِينَ ﴾

(They said: "His penalty should be that he, in whose bag it is found, should be held for the punishment. Thus we punish the wrongdoers!'') This was the law of Prophet Ibrahim, peace be upon him, that the thief be given as a slave to the victim of theft. This is what Yusuf wanted, and this is why he started with their bags first before his brother's bag, to perfect the plot,

﴿ثُمَّ اسْتَخْرَجَهَا مِن وِعَآءِ أَخِيهِ﴾

(Then he brought it out of his brother's bag.) Therefore, Yusuf took Binyamin as a slave according to their judgement and the law which they believed in. So Allah said;

﴿كَذَلِكَ كِدْنَا لِيُوسُفَ﴾

(Thus did We plan for Yusuf.) and this is a good plot that Allah likes and prefers, because it seeks a certain benefit using wisdom and the benefit of all. Allah said next,

﴿مَا كَانَ لِيَأْخُذَ أَخَاهُ فِى دِينِ الْمَلِكِ﴾

(He could not take his brother by the law of the king,) as a captive, for this was not the law of king of Egypt, according to Ad-Dahhak and several other scholars. Allah only allowed Yusuf to take his brother as a captive after his brothers agreed to this judgement beforehand, and he knew that this was their law. This is why Allah praised him when He said,

﴿نَرْفَعُ دَرَجَـتٍ مَّن نَّشَآءُ﴾

(We raise to degrees whom We will,) just as He said in another Ayah,

﴿يَرْفَعِ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ مِنكُمْ﴾

(Allah will exalt in degree those of you who believe.) ﴿58:11﴾ Allah said next,

﴿وَفَوْقَ كُلِّ ذِى عِلْمٍ عَلِيمٌ﴾

(but over all those endowed with knowledge is the All-Knowing.) Al-Hasan commented, "There is no knowledgeable person, but there is another person with more knowledge until it ends at Allah the Exalted and Most Honored. In addition, `Abdur-Razzaq recorded that Sa`id bin Jubayr said, "We were with Ibn `Abbas when he narrated an amazing Hadith. A man in the audience said, `All praise is to Allah! There is an all-knowing above every person endowed with knowledge.' Ibn `Abbas responded, `Worse it is that which you said! Allah is the All-Knowing and His knowledge is above the knowledge of every knowledgeable person.' Simak narrated that `Ikrimah said that Ibn `Abbas said about Allah's statement,

﴿وَفَوْقَ كُلِّ ذِى عِلْمٍ عَلِيمٌ﴾

(but over all those endowed with knowledge is the All-Knowing (Allah).) "This person has more knowledge than that person, and Allah is above all knowledgeable persons.'' Similar was narrated from `Ikrimah. Qatadah said, "Over every person endowed with knowledge is a more knowledgeable person until all knowledge ends with Allah. Verily, knowledge started from Allah, and from Him the scholars learn, and to Him all knowledge returns.'' `Abdullah bin Mas`ud read the Ayah this way, (وَفَوْقَ كُلِّ عَالِمٍ عَلِيمٌ) "And above every scholar, is the All-Knower (Allah).''

﴿قَالُواْ إِن يَسْرِقْ فَقَدْ سَرَقَ أَخٌ لَّهُ مِن قَبْلُ فَأَسَرَّهَا يُوسُفُ فِى نَفْسِهِ وَلَمْ يُبْدِهَا لَهُمْ قَالَ أَنْتُمْ شَرٌّ مَّكَاناً وَاللَّهُ أَعْلَمْ بِمَا تَصِفُونَ ﴾

(77. They ﴿Yusuf's brothers﴾ said: "If he steals, there was a brother of his ﴿ Yusuf ﴾who did steal before (him). '' But these things did Yusuf keep in himself, revealing not the secrets to them. He said : (within himself) "You are in an evil situation, and Allah is the Best Knower of that which you describe!'')

 
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