Hazrat Yunus (as)

Jonah (as) was a prophet of Allah who lived in 9th Century B.C. His story has been detailed in the Holy Qur’an where he is called Yunus (as) and in the Jewish Old Testament where he is called Yona, as well as the Bible in the ‘Book of Jonah’.

Hazrat Yunus (as) lived the city of Nineveh in Mesopotamia at the time of the rule of King Jeroboam II. Allah gave Hazrat Yunus (as) the task to tell the people of Nineveh to amend their ways and save themselves from being punished by Allah. Nineveh was an ancient Assyrian city which dates back to 5000 B.C.E. It was one of superpower cities of its time, a major cultural, political and trading centre of its region. For Hazrat Yunus (as) to preach repentance to the city of Nineveh would have been similar to that of a modern prophet doing the same in New York or Paris today. This was no small task and required huge courage and belief. The Qur’an describes Hazrat Yunus (as) as a just and pious prophet who was ultimately successful in persuading the people of Nineveh to repent.

 

Old Testament

The Old Testament described the story of Hazrat Yunus (as). It states that when Allah told Hazrat Yunus (as) about his task of preaching to his people, Hazrat Yunus (as) fled from the city of Nineveh and went against what Allah had commanded him to do as he felt the people of Nineveh were not going to listen to his message.

“Go at once to Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before me.” But Jonah set out to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish.

The Old Testament then goes on to describe after fleeing Nineveh, on his travels from Jaffa to Tunisia via ship, a huge storm appeared and the sailors reluctantly threw Hazrat Yunus (as) overboard where he was swallowed by a fish.

So they picked Jonah up and threw him into the sea; and the sea ceased from its raging. But the Lord provided a large fish to swallow up Jonah; and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

Whilst in the belly of the big fish, Hazrat Yunus (as) prayed to God and returned to Nineveh to complete his mission.

‘Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s walk. And he cried out, “Forty days more, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” And the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast, and everyone, great and small, put on sackcloth. When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.

This described that the people of Nineveh finally accepted Hazrat Yunus’ (as) message and the whole nation all came together as one to seek forgiveness from their Lord. The King commanded his people to stop their wrongdoings so that their punishment from Allah would be averted. He said to his people:

“All shall turn from their evil ways and from the violence that is in their hands.”

The Holy Qur’an Account

The Holy Qur’an tells us that Hazrat Yunus (as) did not go against Allah’s command and flee the city of Nineveh. According to the Quran, divine Prophets are sinless and incapable of disobeying God’s command in the way in which Hazrat Yunus (as) was represented to have done in the Bible. Prophets are an example of what other people should follow and disobedience to God is therefore the last thing of which a Prophet is capable.

It is therefore, not possible that Hazrat Yunus (as) would have even thought of fleeing from the presence of the Omnipresent God. Hazrat Yunus (as) was not angry with Allah, rather he was angry with his people because they had stubbornly rejected Allah’s Divine Message that he had gone to deliver to them. So Hazrat Yunus (as) fled from his people, not from Allah.

The story of Hazrat Yunus (as) is mentioned in six places in the Holy Qur’an. In Chapter 37, verses 140-149, Allah says:

And surely Jonah also was one of the Messengers, when he fled to the laden ship; and he cast lots with the crew of the ship and was of the losers. And the fish swallowed him while he was blaming himself. And had he not been of those who glorify God, he would have surely tarried in its belly till the Day of Resurrection. Then We cast him on a bare tract of land, and he was sick; and We caused a plant of gourd to grow over him. And We sent him as a Messenger to a hundred thousand people or more, and they believed; so We gave them provision for a while.[12]

Another differing point between the Old Testament account and the Quranic account is which type of fish swallowed Hazrat Yunus (as). The Biblical account often narrates a whale. Certain whales do exist in the Mediterranean sea. However both the Holy Qur’an and the Biblical version mention a ‘big fish’. There is no exact confirmation what kind of big fish actually swallowed Hazrat Yunus (as) but it would need to be large enough to swallow a man whole and allow him to breathe for 3 days. The Holy Qur’an also refers to Hazrat Yunus (as) as the ‘Man of the Fish’ in Chapter 68:

‘So be thou steadfast carrying out the command of thy Lord, and be not like the Man of the Fish when he called to his Lord and was full of grief’

‘Had not a favour from his Lord reached him, he would have surely been cast upon a bare tract of land, while he would have been blamed by his people.’

‘But his Lord chose him and made him one of the righteous.’

Moral of the story

The story of Hazrat Yunus (as) teaches us some very important lessons.

We should always have faith in Allah and trust his decisions

Hazrat Yunus (as), when sent to the powerful city of Nineveh, was faced with the daunting task of preaching to a city of great size and stature. Hazrat Yunus (as) did indeed deliver Allah’s message to them, however when he saw that rather than listening to Allah’s warning, the people of Nineveh merely ignored the message and mocked Hazrat Yunus (as), he lost hope that the people of Nineveh would ever understand Allah’s message.

Allah is the only power we should turn to whenever we face any trouble

When Hazrat Yunus (as) was thrown overboard and into the belly of the big fish, he realised that he was wrong in having lost hope. Immediately, Hazrat Yunus (as) turned to Allah for help. He prayed so fervently and admitted his mistake, Allah saved him and allowed him to return to Nineveh again to continue delivering the message of Allah. Hazrat Yunus (as) prayer is told to us by Allah in the following verse and one which we should recite regularly.

‘And remember Dha’l-Nun, when he went away in anger, and he thought that We would have never caused him distress and he cried out in depths of darkness, saying ‘There is no God but Thou, Holy art Thou. I have indeed been of the wrongdoers.’ (21:88)

Seeking repentance, doing Istighfar can save us from our own wrongdoings

Not only did Hazrat Yunus (as) seek forgiveness, but when he returned to Nineveh to deliver Allah’s message again, the people of Nineveh recognised their wrongdoing and sought forgiveness from Allah and asked for their punishment to be averted. The young, the old, the rich, the poor, the children, they all removed their fancy clothing and put on simple clothing made of sack-cloth. The King of Nineveh himself, upon hearing the warning given by Hazrat Yunus (as), removed his royal robes and sat down in the dust. The King told his people not to eat or drink, but to give up their evil ways. The people of Nineveh gathered on a mountaintop and called to God urgently for forgiveness so that Allah may turn to them with love and mercy and save the nation from doom.

Allah accepted their prayers and saved the nation. Nineveh continued to flourish until it was attacked and destroyed by the Persians in 612 B.C.E Furthermore, Allah was pleased with their repentance, even though belated, that he highlighted the people of Nineveh as an example to the disbelievers in the Holy Qur’an.

‘Why was there no other people, save the people of Jonah, who should have believed so that their belief would have profited them? When they believed, we removed from them the punishment of disgrace in the present life, and We gave them provision for a while.’ (10:99)

The story of Hazrat Yunus (as) is similar to that of the Holy Prophet (saw) and the people of Mecca. Initially, the Meccans also rejected the message of the Holy Prophet (saw) and opposed him greatly but after Mecca was conquered, the Meccans submitted to the Holy Prophet (saw), believed in him and saved themselves from divine punishment. The Meccans became the inheritors of the Holy Prophet’s (saw) message and true believers.

 

Final resting place of Hazrat Yunus (as)

The final resting place of Hazrat Yunus (as) is not confirmed. Some say Palestinians claim that his sanctuary is at Halhul, just north of Hebron whilst the Lebanese claim his grave to be near Sarafand. Another possible location is near the city of Mosul in Iraq. Mosul is not far from the ancient city of Nineveh where Hazrat Yunus (as) was sent with his mission.

Written by Mashel Chaudhry

 

References:

https://www.alislam.org/video/nation-of-jonah-averting-disaster-through-taubah/

https://www.reviewofreligions.org/12508/jonahas-and-the-big-fish/

The Holy Quran Five Volume Commentary in English – 2018 Edition

Aladdin and his Lamp

Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) recalled the story of Aladdin and his lamp! Aladdin was an impoverished person who found a lamp. When he rubbed the lamp a genie appeared who made anything Aladdin wanted come to pass. Hazrat Musleh Maud said that as a child he thought Aladdin’s lamp was real and later realised it was not so. However, when he reached old age, he appreciated that there is a phenomenon as Aladdin’s lamp. This lamp does not work on oil but on resolve and determination. Whoever is bestowed this lamp by God makes it work! Owing to the fact that resolve and determination are Divine qualities, when God says ‘Be’ it happens. Similarly, when following God, and in accordance with principles laid down by Him, while acting upon His commandments and praying to Him and seeking His help a person says ‘Be’, it happens. Hazrat Musleh Maud (may Allah be pleased with him) said he was convinced of the properties of Aladdin’s lamp in childhood but dismissed them during adulthood. However, upon reaching old age and after experiencing life for a long period of time he realised that the story of Aladdin’s lamp was true. However, it is a metaphorical tale and the lamp connotes resolve and determination, which when rubbed, makes things, no matter how big, happen instantly. 

Moral Story – The Promised Messiah (as)

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) used to relate a story about a rich man who ran a large langar (public kitchen). Many impoverished people ate daily from the langar, but it was badly mismanaged, and the owner was not very good at supervising matters. His employees were dishonest. Those whose job was to buy groceries used to buy expensive groceries and, in less quantity, than needed and some others took some of it home. The malpractices of those who cooked and prepared food at the langar ranged from handing over food to their families or eating it themselves, leaving the storage area open, where at night dogs and jackals would ransack and demolish foodstuff. As a result, the owner ran a huge debt which he was informed of after twenty years of mismanagement. He did not want to close the langar. He consulted his friends for advice but did not mention his own failings. His friends pointed out to him that the storage area did not have a door and dogs demolished the stored food. There would be much damage limitation if a door could be put up there. So, the man ordered that a door be put where food was stored. When at night-time the dogs and jackals saw the door, they raised a hue and cry as to what would they eat now as this was the eating place for all the dogs of the area! A seasoned old dog among them calmed them down. He said someone who has let his property pillaged for twenty years and did not take notice is not going to oversee if a lock is put on the door or not. He assured them that they could still eat off the storeroom.

The moral of the story is that is a lot of difference between possibly wanting something done and actually wanting to do something. The dogs and jackals raised a hue and cry over what if the man wanted to lock the door, but the seasoned old dog said what if he did not want to lock the door, why make the protest!

 

The Holy Qur’an and Water

On a quiet relaxed weekend morning, I was slumped on the sofa enjoying my favourite book, when I became distracted by the sound of heavy rain. I sat back and glanced out of the window but to my surprise, it wasn’t raining. I went up to look where the sound was coming from – someone had left the shower running to heat up the bathroom and the water. As I was walking back down the stairs an image flashed before my mind of children in parts of the world who walk for miles to get a little water to survive and it made me think how it is so easy to forget about other people around the world who are in desperate need for something that is taken advantage of water.

children rushng for miles to get clean water for drinking purposes

Water is an important means of survival and a blessing for us the Holy Qur’an says, and it is Allah “Who gives me food and gives me drink” [26:80].

Clean, freshwater helps our brains function, little access to clean water increases the risk of disease and long-term health problems that can be prevented. By donating to projects like the Humanity First Water for Life project we can contribute towards the range of clean water solutions being provided for people in low-income countries.

Leaving the tap running whilst brushing our teeth or washing dishes has become the norm in many households. We should try to reduce the amount of food and drink we waste to please Allah and help the environment as he has sent “down from the sky water which is full of blessings, and we produce therewith gardens and grain harvests” [50:10], consequently, we should reuse and recycle water. Recycling is a process and regarded as a key part of the green movement. Recycling doesn’t mean we can only renew certain materials like plastics, paper and glass. Recycling water helps to conserve energy as well as other natural resources.  Islam guides us to consider our environment and our surroundings the Holy Qur’an says,

“He it is Who sends down water for you from the clouds; out of it you have your drink, and there grow from it trees on which you pasture your cattle.” [16:11]

By installing a rain barrel, collected rainwater can be boiled to drink and wash dishes or vegetables. Water used for washing clothes can be recollected and used to mop floors or be used in toilets or for plants. Also, by reusing water from a glass or bottle, you can feed your plants, rinse or soak dishes or use it to flush the toilet. Most water we use in the kitchen can be recycled: leftover tea water without sugar can be used to feed plants. Additionally, the water used to wash vegetables is 100% reusable to wash dishes, clean the house, feed the plants or flush the toilet. When we cook pasta, the water doesn’t need to be thrown down the drain, the colander can be placed over a large pot and the pasta water can be used in the garden. Whilst waiting for the shower to warm up, we can collect the excess water in a bucket to wash the dishes or cook with. There are various ways to recycle water outdoors too, for example, whilst watering plants, the drain water from plant pots can be collected with a thick waterproof sheet or box and used to flush the toilet or water other plants.

The Holy Quran mentions “Say, Tell me, if all your water were to disappear in the earth, who then will bring you clear flowing water?” [67:31]

This verse informs us that all life whether physical or spiritual depends on water. We are ever grateful to Allah that he has provided us with water on the earth to drink and grow crops from. It is good to be thankful and mindful instead of wasting.

The Holy Quran says “Do you see the water which you drink? Is it you who send it down from the clouds, or are We the Sender? If We so pleased, We could make it bitter. Why, then, are you not grateful?” [56:69-71].

If we find ways to save the environment and help others, we will be rewarded for it in the hereafter: “and if they keep to the right path, We shall certainly provide them with abundant water to drink” [72:17]

“Remember me, and I will remember you; and be thankful to me and do not be ungrateful to me” [2:153].

[1] https://www.alislam.org/quran/26:80

[2] https://www.alislam.org/quran/50:10

[3] https://www.alislam.org/quran/16:11

[4] https://www.alislam.org/quran/67:31

[5] https://www.alislam.org/quran/view/?page=3194&region=E55

[6] https://www.alislam.org/quran/56:69

[7] https://www.alislam.org/quran/72:17

[8] https://www.alislam.org/quran/2:153

My Trip to Morocco

By Adeeba Hadi

We arrived at Marrakech Menara Airport around midday where we were met with the warmth of the Moroccan sun dazzling us. The view outside consisted of lots of beautiful palm trees which looked even more magnificent under the luminous sunlight.

Our Riad, (a traditional, historic Moroccan house with a courtyard used as a hotel) was a 20-minute ride from the airport situated close to the city centre, Jemaa El-Fnaa. The journey was filled with lots of palm trees and greenery, around which were streets filled with people, taxis and some horse carriages. Our Riad was within local alleys where we could spot the locals including younger children playing out on the streets. The Riad was a very cultural Moroccan house with numerous traditional paintings and custom-made furnishings; our room was situated on the terrace, allowing us a clear view of the beautiful day outside.

Our very first day was filled with embracing the diverse, roaring city centre, Jemaa el-fnaa; taking in the large space filled with various stalls offering fruits, dates and other moroccan street foods. The Jemaa el-fnaa was truly an unforgettable sight; a full volume of vibrancy and chaos that the city has to offer at the heart of Marrakech. As the sun set and darkness descended, we witnessed the city square transform into an exotic, busy atmosphere which entertained the evening crowds with mystical readings, snake charmers and deafening music. The Jemaa el-fnaa was surrounded by various restaurants with terrace seating which gave a magnificent view of the noisy, thrilling happenings of the city square below. The atmosphere of the city square with its lively, cultural and charismatic environment was the highlight of our first evening in Marrakech.                                                                                          

Standing tall at the medina quarter, on our walk to the Jemaa el-fnaa was the minaret tower of the ‘Kutubiyya mosque’, the largest mosque in Marrakech flanked by spacious gardens; situated close to the Jemaa el-fnaa.         

Our second day consisted of visiting the city square and various open-air Arab markets also known as ‘souks’. We had a camel ride booked for us later that evening which was no doubt one of the most extraordinary experiences of my trip. We were picked up from our Riad and taken to the palm grove also known as the ‘Palmeraie’, which reflects the intimate atmosphere of Marrakech’s medinas with tranquil courtyards, scented gardens and a breath-taking view of the sunset. After the exhilarating camel ride amidst the palm oasis, we were taken to a traditional Berber village where we were hosted by a very hospitable Berber family in their cultural, conventional home, and had the pleasure of enjoying the taste of Moroccan mint tea along with some dates and dried nuts.

We were greeted by our carriage waiting for us in the morning of our third day, which was going to take us to visit the various tourist attractions of Marrakech including the Menara gardens, Majorelle garden (Jardin Majorelle), and the Musée Yves Saint Laurent (YSL). The Majorelle garden is one of the most enchanting and mysterious gardens in Morocco. Created over the course of forty years, it is enclosed by outer walls, and consists of a labyrinth of crisscrossing alleyways on different levels and boldly coloured buildings that displayed magnificent art. It was truly a joy photographing some of the wonderful aspects of this elegant garden, designed and named after the French artist Jacques Majorelle.

Marrakech is a vibrant and diverse city filled with scenic views as well as an exotic environment with various activities. The city’s thriving culture, beautiful setting, mystical appearance and heavenly shopping make it a unique cultural and unforgettable experience. There were plenty of things to do and see in this exotic city, and one thing I can say with confidence is that once you’ve captured its charms, it will be impossible to forget them.

The Story of Hazrat Nuh (as)

Background

The story of Hazrat Nuh (as) also known as Noah is a story known to everyone despite of what faith or community you are from. We have all heard of the Ark of Noah and the flood that came as a punishment on his people. The story of Hazrat Nuh (as) has been mentioned in most Holy scriptures such as the Holy Qur’an and the Holy Bible. According to the Bible Hazrat Nuh (as) was an inhabitant of Iraq (Genesis 11:9), it is said that he lived in a valley surrounded by huge mountains in Mesopotamia in Southern Iraq. Very little is known of his childhood or youth, according to the bible Hazrat Nuh’s (as) father was Lamech who lived nine generations after Hazrat Adam (as). He appeared about nine generations after Hazrat Adam (as) and ten generations before Hazrat Ibrahim (as).

Prophethood

Hazrat Nuh (as) was a law-bearing prophet, which means that he brought Shariah (a divine law). Another example of a law-bearing prophet is the Holy Prophet (saw). In the Holy Qur’an it says:

Translation:

[29:15] And We certainly sent Noah to his people, and he dwelt among them a thousand years save fifty years. Then the deluge overtook them, while they were wrongdoers.

This verse is quite well-known, and some people misunderstand the “thousand years save fifty years” as Hazrat Nuh’s (as) age. However, the verse does not mean that Hazrat Nuh (as) lived to be 950 years of age, this verse actually relates to the length that his Shariah lasted which was about a thousand years.

During this time many people had become corrupt, they had started to worship idols and become disbelievers this included his own wife and son. Some of the more known idols were Wadd, Suwa, Yaghuth, Yauq and Nasr.

Due to this corruption within the people, Allah the Almighty sent Hazrat Nuh (as) as a messenger to guide his people back to Allah.

In the Qur’an it states:

Translation:

[7:60] We sent Noah to his people and he said, ‘O my people, worship Allah, you have no other God but Him. Indeed, I fear for you the punishment of the great day.’

In the Holy Qur’an it also states that:

Translation:

[71:3-4] He said, ‘O my people! surely I am a plain Warner unto you, ‘That you serve Allah and fear Him and obey me.

This verse shows many things, firstly it shows the courage that Hazrat Nuh (as) depicted and the significance of his role. The people of Hazrat Nuh (as) had become so corrupt with their righteousness that he had to warn them to come back to the right path and believe in the unity of God.

 The Holy Qur’an states: 

Translation:

[7:61] The chiefs of his people said, ‘Surely, we see thee to be in manifest error.’

The people of Noah had become quite very disrespectful, they would ignore him and dubbed Hazrat Nuh (as) a liar.

 Translation:

[23:25-26] And the chiefs of his people, who disbelieved, said, ‘He is only a man like yourselves; he seeks to make himself superior to you. And if Allah had so willed, He could have surely sent down angels with him. We have never heard of such a thing among our forefathers. ‘He is only a man stricken with madness; wait, therefore, concerning him for a while.’

The people of Hazrat Nuh (as) questioned his authority and his truthfulness. From this verse it appears that his people did not accept a mortal to be able to be a messenger of Allah. But this verse also shows that his people were challenging Allah the Almighty. Hazrat Nuh (as) had to bear a lot of disappointment due to this and he would pray to Allah constantly asking for forgiveness for his people. Hazrat Nuh (as) had gone to great extents to warn his people of the coming punishment but they would not listen, instead they threatened him.

 Translation:

[71:8] “And every time I called them that Thou mightest forgive them, they put their fingers into their ears, and covered up their hearts, and persisted in their iniquity, and were disdainfully proud.

This verse is an example of the ignorance that his people showed towards him.

 Translation:

[11:33] They said, ‘O Noah, thou hast indeed disputed with us long and hast disputed with us many a time; bring us now that with which thou threatenest us, if thou art of those who speak the truth.’

The people had started to challenge Allah the Almighty and threatening Hazrat Nuh (as).

Throughout his prophethood, Hazrat Nuh (as) had to endure a lot, he was persistent in delivering the message of Allah, but his people were ignorant, they did not listen and threatened him. In this day and age we cannot even fathom what Hazrat Nuh (as)  experienced.

Eventually Hazrat Nuh (as) asked Allah the Almighty for help.

 Translation:

[26:118-119] He said, ‘My Lord, my people have treated me as a liar. ‘Therefore judge Thou decisively between me and them; and save me and the believers that are with me.’

In Surah Al-Qamar it states

 Translation:

[54:11] He therefore prayed to his Lord saying, ‘I am overcome, so come Thou to my help!’

Building of Ark 

 Translation:

[11:38] ‘And build thou the Ark under Our eyes and as commanded by Our revelation. And address not Me concerning the wrongdoers. They are surely going to be drowned.’

Hazrat Nuh (as) was instructed to build an ark, he obeyed immediately and started building an ark of wood with the help of the followers. It has been said that the chiefs of the people would laugh at them when passing by.

Allah the Almighty told Hazrat Nuh (as) to load the ark with all the animals that would be needed, a pair of each, male and female. Hazrat Nuh (as) was also told to bring his family on board except those against whom God’s judgement had already been passed. He also instructed him to bring all those on board who had accepted him as a Messenger of Allah.

 

The Flood

The punishment that came onto the people of Hazrat Nuh (as) was a great flood. That was as high as the mountains and destroyed all the disbelievers. In the Holy Qur’an it says:

 Translation:

[54:12-13] Thereupon We opened the gates of heaven, with water pouring down; And We caused the earth to burst forth with springs, so the two waters met for a purpose that was decreed.

As previously mentioned, that Allah the Almighty told Hazrat Nuh (as) to gather all the believers and his family members. This however did not include his wife and son, who were disbelievers.

In the Holy Qur’an there is a record of Hazrat Nuh (as) speaking to his son.

 Translation:

[11:43-44] And it moved along with them on waves like mountains. And Noah cried unto his son, while he was keeping apart, ‘O my son, embark with us and be not with the disbelievers.’

He replied, ‘I shall soon betake myself to a mountain which will shelter me from the water.’ He said, ‘There is no shelter for anyone this day, from the decree of Allah, excepting those to whom He shows mercy.’ And the wave came in between the two; so he was among the drowned.

 

 Translation:

[11:46] And Noah cried unto his Lord and said: ‘My Lord, verily, my son is of my family, and surely, Thy promise is true, and Thou art the most Just of judges.’

Suddenly a wave came between them and took his son away.

This is indeed a very sad account, but this shows that nobody is exempt from the punishment of Allah, not even the son of a Prophet of Allah. This verse also portrays the intensity of the punishment that bestowed upon the people of Hazrat Nuh (as).

Allah the Almighty told Hazrat Nuh (as) that the ark would float and finish its journey.

The flood had risen to the extent that it covered the entire habitation. The ark floated on waves as high as mountains. Even the tops of mountains were under water.

Allah the Almighty had taught Hazrat Nuh (as) some prayers which were recited by his followers on his ark.

The prayers were:

 Translation:

[23:29-30] “And when thou hast settled on the Ark — thou and those that are with thee — say, ‘All praise belongs to Allah Who has saved us from the unjust people!’

“And say, ‘My Lord, cause me to land a blessed landing, for Thou art the Best of those who bring men to land.’”

Allah rescued Hazrat Nuh (as) and those with him in the ark, while those who rejected him were drowned as a punishment.

Eventually Allah the Almighty made the rain stop.

 Translation:

[11:45] And it was said, ‘O earth, swallow thy water, and O sky, cease raining.’ And the water was made to subside and the matter was ended. And the Ark came to rest on al-Judi. And it was said, ‘Cursed be the wrongdoing people.’

This verse says that the Ark came to rest on a mountain called Al Judi. In the Holy Bible the Ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat.

 

After the Flood

 Translation:

[10:74] But they rejected him, so We saved him and those who were with him in the Ark. And We made them inheritors of Our favours, while We drowned those who rejected Our Signs. See then, how was the end of those who had been warned!

In the Holy Qur’an it also states:

 Translation:

[37:76-81] And Noah indeed did cry unto Us, and what an excellent answer did We give to his prayer! And We saved him and his family from the great distress; And We made his offspring the only survivors. And We left for him a good name among the following generations — ‘Peace be upon Noah among the peoples!’ Thus indeed do We reward those who do good.

On the new land Allah the Almighty had bestowed numerous blessing and prosperity to Hazrat Nuh (as) and his followers.

Psychology Degree

I did my bachelor’s in psychology and am currently doing a Master’s in Clinical Applications of psychology.

Pursuing psychology at university level was completely by chance, I did not want anything to do with psychology because it involved the element of maths (not a very good excuse I know but I’m not a big fan of maths). However, when I was applying for sixth form I was told to choose 4 subjects and to fill in the gap of my 4th subject I chose psychology because I literally could not pick anything else because of my GSCE grades. Moving on, 6 years later I’m doing a masters in psychology because I actually enjoyed the course at sixth-form overall which overlooked the maths part of it.

Over the course of 6 years I have done a number of work placements relating to psychology. The first ever psychology related activity I did was  in year 12, It was a work shadowing placement at a firm called ‘Saville Consulting,’ who publish questionnaires  for the purpose of screening individuals to see whether they are fit for a certain company or not (personality wise). I did not like the idea of sitting behind a screen and making questionnaires, so I looked into another work shadowing opportunity with a jamaat friend, and we went to the Lewisham,. Then I did a 10 week volunteering course working with children with Autism, which was very fun because I got to work with kids and help them build a brighter future, which is one of the many reason I enjoyed it at sixth-form despite my doubts and why I continue to enjoy pursuing psychology.  It gives me a chance to give back and help society and I would like further continue working with children, may that be in schools or outside education, InshaAllah.

Hazrat Yusuf (as)

Hazrat Yusuf (as) was one of the noble Prophets of God. In the Holy Bible he is known as Joseph and in the Holy Qur’an there is an entire Surah dedicated to his life story. The story of Hazrat Yusuf (as) goes into detail like no other Prophet mentioned in the Holy Qur’an. Hazrat Yusuf (as)’s life bears a close resemblance to the life of the Holy Prophet (saw) and in his story there were many signs and prophecies which were later to be fulfilled in the life of the Holy Prophet (saw).

 

Background of his Family

Joseph was the eleventh son of Prophet Jacob, otherwise known as Israel. He was the elder of the two sons of Rachel. The names of the eleven brothers of Joseph as given in the Bible are as follows: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun, Benjamin, Dan and Naphalti, Gad and Asher.

Joseph possessed the unique characteristic among all Prophets of God that not only was he himself a Prophet of God but his father, Jacob, his grandfather Isaac, and great grandfather Abraham were all God’s chosen Messengers.

 Once some of the companions of the Holy Prophet (saw) asked him as to who was the noblest of men. The Holy Prophet (saw) replied: “Truly the noblest of men is the Prophet Joseph who was the son, grandson, and great-grandson, or a Prophet of God (Bukhari, Kitab Bad’ul’Khalq)

The First Revelation

 In the Holy Qur’an, the story of Hazrat Yusuf (as) starts with him as a child narrating a dream to his father:

“Remember the time when Joseph said to his father, ‘O my father, I saw in a dream eleven stars and the sun and the moon, I saw them making obeisance to me.’ (12:5)

 This dream is very important because the whole of Hazrat Yusuf (as)’s life revolves around this dream. The eleven stars – who were the brothers of Joseph were to make obeisance to him, meaning they would become loyal and obedient to him. This dream foretold of Hazrat Yusuf’s greatness and truly came to be as the parents and brothers of Joseph came to live in the land where Joseph held power as a Minister of State.

 

 Point of Resemblance #1: The Holy Prophet’s (saw) first revelation in the cave of Hira also predicted that he was to become the most honoured man of the human race.

 Point of Resemblance #2: Joseph related his vision to his father and the Holy Prophet (saw) at the instance of his wife Khadija related his first revelation to Waraqah bin Naufal, who was one of the elders of the family. (Bukhari)

After hearing his son’s dream, Jacob forbade him to tell his dream to his brothers because they would become envious and would be tempted to plot against him.

“He said, O my darling son, relate not thy dream to thy brothers, lest they contrive a plot against thee; for Satan is to man an open enemy.” (12:6).

Point of Resemblance #3: Just as Jacob upon hearing Joseph’s dream told him that when his brothers heard of it they would plot against him and seek to do him harm; similarly when Waraqah bin Naufal heard of the first revelation of the Holy Prophet (saw), he told him that a time would come when his people would plot against him and turn him out of their town.

 Allah says in the Holy Qur’an that He will deal with Joseph according to his dream, and Joseph will attain the greatness promised to him in his vison. Allah will also ‘teach thee the interpretation of things’ meaning that God would teach Joseph how to interpret dreams.

 Joseph received the promise from God, that he will be bestowed Prophethood and through him he would bestow distinction on Jacob’s family also. God would make them believe in Joseph and thus they would share with him the favours and blessings of God.

 

Point of Resemblance #4: Just as Jacob believed in the truth of Joseph’s dream, similarly when Waraqa bin Naufal heard of the first revelation of the Holy Prophet (saw) he accepted it as the true word of God.

 

 

Enmity of Josephs Brothers

Joseph’s brothers were annoyed that instead of them, who, as they thought were superior to him in every respect, he had won the affection of their father and had become the centre of his attention.

Point of Resemblance #5: Similarly, when the Holy Prophet (saw) made his claims about prophethood, the Meccans believed that he was too small a person to be given the such a high rank of a Prophet and that the Qur’an ought to have been revealed to one of the great men of Mecca or Ta’if (43:32)

‘Kill Joseph or cast him out to some distant land, so that your father’s favour may become exclusively yours and you can thereafter become a righteous people.’ (12:10)

According to the Qur’an, Joseph’s brothers first secretly made a plan to kill Joseph, and they went to their father asking him to send him with them. One of the brothers of Joseph opposed the idea to kill him and suggested instead that he should be dropped into a deep well where some travellers might pick him up. The brothers of Joseph were from a well respectable family. They were not habitual criminals and in their heart of hearts disliked the foul deed, though they were temporarily blinded by hatred and jealousy.

One of them said, ‘Kill not Joseph, but if you must do something, cast him into the bottom of a deep well; some of the travellers will pick him up.’ (12:11)

Point of Resemblance #6: Similarly, the Quraish of Mecca also conspired to put the Holy Prophet to death (8:31).

Point of Resemblance # 7: Some plotters objected to kill the Holy Prophet (saw) and instead made a compact to boycott and starve the Holy Prophet (saw) and his followers to death which was then later broken by citizens who opposed it.

The brothers of Joseph asked their father to send Joseph with them so that he may enjoy himself and play while they watched over him. Joseph was 11 or 12 years old at the time of this incident – a young boy who would need to be looked after. Jacob feared that the brothers would be irresponsible and Joseph would be devoured by a wolf while they were not paying attention to him.  But Jacob was already informed by God in a general way of the plot of Joseph’s brothers to kill him.

So, when they took him away, and agreed to put him into the bottom of a deep well, they had their malicious design carried out; and We sent a revelation to him, saying, ‘Thou shalt surely one day tell them of this affair of theirs and they shall not know.’(12:16)

Joseph was informed by Allah through revelation that there would come a time when God would bestow upon him power and glory and he would then inform his brothers of the bad treatment they had given him.

Point of Resemblance #8: Similarly, the Holy Prophet (saw) was informed by revelation that though his enemies would compel him to flee from Mecca, he would return home victorious (28:26).

And they came to their father in the evening, weeping.

They said, ‘O our father, we sent forth racing with one another, and left Joseph with our things, and the wolf devoured him, but thou wilt not believe us even if we speak the truth.’(12:17,18)

Josephs brothers nervously came to their father and told him that Joseph had been eaten by a wolf and placed a false blood-stained shirt as proof of their lie. Jacob knew that they had made up this story. In his heart of hearts Jacob thought Joseph to be alive but at the time he resigned to the inevitable.

Point of Resemblance #9: Just as Josephs brothers falsely claimed he had been slain, the disbelievers falsely declared the Holy Prophet (saw) to be slain first in the battle of Uhud and then again at Mecca.

And there came a caravan of travellers and they sent their waterdrawer. And he let down his bucket into the well. ‘Oh, good news!’ said he, ‘Here is a youth!’ And they concealed him as a piece of merchandise, and Allah knew full well what they did. (12:20)

Joseph’s brothers cast him into a deep well in the wilderness, but Allah always takes care of His chosen servants. Allah so arranged that immediately afterwards a caravan arrived and a man was sent to fetch water from a well and he happened to go to the very well in which Joseph was. They looked at Joseph as a treasure and saw in him a youth of promise.

When a member of the caravan took Joseph out of the well, his brethren became aware of it and declared Joseph to be their slave, and sold him to that very caravan for a small price. Their purpose of selling Joseph was not to get money, but they feared that if the caravan thought him to be a free man instead of a slave, they would return him home.

 

The Potiphar’s House

The Egyptian who bought Joseph was known as Potiphar (Gen 39:1). He was captain of the royal guard – an officer of high rank in ancient times. He was struck by the noble appearance of Joseph and asked his wife to treat him with such honour and affection as are not ordinarily shown to a slave or servant. He expressed the hope that they might one day benefit by his ability or, if he proved to be worthy, might adopt him as their son.

And when he attained his age of full strength, We granted him judgment and knowledge. And thus do We reward the doers of good. (12:23)

And she, in whose house he was, sought to seduce him against his will. And she bolted the doors, and said, ‘Now come.’ He said, ‘I seek refuge with Allah. He is my  Lord. He has made my stay with you honourable. Verily, the wrongdoers never prosper.’ (12:24)

The Potiphar’s wife planned to seduce Joseph but failed in her efforts and Joseph successfully resisted her temptation. For the sake of God, his True Lord and Master he followed the right path and refused to be seduced into sin. He not only abstained from the sin but he also warned the Potiphar’s wife against its evil consequences saying “the evil doers never prosper.”

Joseph had been shown manifest signs before. He had seen the wonderful dream that foretold of his future greatness, and the revelation he had received when cast into the well which also pointed to his later eminence and glory. Surely a person who was being prepared for the exalted office of a Prophet could not degrade himself before an idolatrous woman. A person who had witnessed such signs could not stoop to such evil.

Point of Resemblance #10: Just an attempt was made to lead Joseph away from piety and decency, similarly the idolaters of Mecca made an unsuccessful attempt to make the Holy Prophet (sa)  give up preaching the Unity of God by offering to make him their King, give him wealth, or offer in marriage the most beautiful girl in Arabia. The offer of course was rejected by the Holy Prophet (saw) with the historic words, “If you place the sun on my right hand and the moon on my left hand, I will never give up preaching the Oneness of God.”

When Joseph saw that his master’s wife was not listening to his warnings to stop her evil deeds, he thought he should no longer stay in the room, so he hurried to leave her presence. To prevent him from leaving the room, she ran to the door to reach it in time before Joseph succeeded in getting out. During the race to the door she pulled at Josephs shirt and tore it at the back. The Potiphar was at the door when this happened and his wife said:  What shall be the punishment of one who intended evil to thy wife, save imprisonment or a grievous chastisement?’

He said, ‘She it was who sought to seduce me against my will.’ And a witness of her household bore witness saying, ‘If his shirt is torn from the front, then she has spoken the truth and he is of the liars. (12:27)

‘But if his shirt is torn from behind, then she has lied and he is of the truthful.’ (12:28)

The Potiphar’s wife started to falsely accuse Joseph of being the guilty of sin, but a witness from her household pointed out that Joseph’s shirt was torn from behind, which means that Joseph was truthful and the woman was to blame. Joseph’s master believed him to be innocent of the terrible charge brought against him by his wife. And said:

‘O Joseph, turn away from this and thou, O woman, ask forgiveness for thy sin. Certainly, thou art of the guilty.’(12:30)

The incident with the Potiphar’s wife became public and the local women began to gossip.

The Potiphar’s wife heard what the women of the city were saying about her infatuation with Joseph. So, in order to remove their suspicions, she invited them to a feast. When all the guests were assembled, she asked Joseph to come out and serve them. As soon as they glanced at his face and saw his innocent, angelic expression, they became convinced of his purity, and all their suspicions as far as Joseph was concerned were gone. 

They were so struck by his appearance that in a state of forgetfulness some of them happened to cut their hands with the knives they had. Having made the women admit that their suspicions were baseless and that the sinful act had not yet been committed, Potiphar’s wife made an open confession before her guests who were her friends that she had failed in her efforts to tempt Joseph into sin. Strange are the ways of God. The very way by which this woman sought to bring disgrace upon Joseph proved to be the means of his future greatness.

She said, ‘And this is he about whom you blamed me. I did seek to seduce him against his will, but he preserved himself from sin. And now if he do not what I bid him, he shall certainly be imprisoned and become one of the humbled.’ (12:33)

He said, ‘O my Lord, I would prefer prison to that to which they invite me; and unless Thou turn away their guile from me I shall incline towards them and be of the ignorant.’ (12:34)

So his Lord heard his prayer, and turned away their guile from him. Verily, He is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing. (12:35)

God brought about these circumstances so that Joseph should no longer live in the evil company of his masters wicked wife and her evil companions.

 

Imprisonment

The ill-fame of Potiphar’s wife spread in wider circles. Her people thought that the best way to put a stop to this scandal was to imprison Joseph so that public might come to regard him as the offender and the blame might be shifted from that guilty woman to this innocent man.

Then it occurred to them (the men) after they had seen the signs of his innocence that, to preserve their good name, they should imprison him for a time. (12:36)

There were two young men in prison with Joseph. They are known in the Bible as the butler and the baker (Genesis Ch 40). In prison, Joseph was held in very high regard for his piety, and due to this the young men asked him to interpret their dreams.

And with him there entered the prison two young men. One of them said, ‘I saw myself in a dream pressing wine.’ And the other said, ‘I saw myself in a dream carrying upon my head bread of which the birds are eating. Inform us of the interpretation thereof; for we see thee to be of the righteous.’ (12:37)

Joseph used this as an opportunity to preach to the people. He was very considerate in preaching the truth and assured them that he would not keep them long and finish his talk with them before their meal-time. He taught them that Prophethood is beneficial for the entire people to whom he is sent, for all men profit by it according to their respective capacities.

 In this world we see that there is power in numbers, but that is not so with God. Though He is One and Alone, He overpowers all and dominates over all. Things which claim to be from God must be accompanied by some evidence of Divine authority and power. The religion which claims to come from Heaven must have heavenly evidence to support its claim.

 Only that religion can be said to be a true religion which satisfies both the physical and spiritual needs of man. Only that religion can be said to be the right religion which saves men from shirk or setting up equals to God. How can people look to worship the things God has created rather than worship God Himself? He then explained to them the meaning of their dreams:

‘O my two companions of the prison, as for one of you, he will pour out wine, for his lord to drink; and as for the other, he will be crucified so that the birds will eat from off his head. The matter about which you inquired has been decreed.’ (12:42)

And of the two, he said to him whom he thought to be the one who would escape: ‘Mention me to thy lord.’ But Satan caused him to forget mentioning it to his lord, so he remained in prison for some years. (12:43)

When this prisoner busied himself with the satanic work of preparing and offering wine to his master, the purifying influence of Joseph’s holy company was gone and he forgot to speak of him to the King.

And the King said, ‘I see in a dream seven fat kine which seven lean ones eat up, and seven green ears of corn and seven others withered. O ye chiefs, explain to me the meaning of my dream if you can interpret a dream.’ (12:44)

The King had seen a dream which made him anxious. He was convinced that the dream was true and he asked asked the learned men of his court to interpret it. The man who escaped the prison Joseph was in, asked permission of the court to go to Joseph. Because of his past experience this man was sure that Joseph would be able to interpret the vision correctly.

He replied, ‘You shall sow for seven years, working hard and continuously, and leave what you reap in its ear, except a little which you shall eat. (12:48)

Joseph interpreted the dream and advised the people to lay up corn for the years of famine and suggested to them the way in which they could safely do so. By leaving corn in the ear for that was the safest way of preserving it. The seven years of famine would be so severe that all that the people had stored up during the first seven years of plenty would be eaten up except very little which might be saved, for fear lest the famine become prolonged or for the purpose of seed.

Point of Resemblance #11 – at the time of the Holy Prophet (sa) there was also a terrible famine in Arabia which lasted seven long years. It was so severe that some people were forced to eat carrion. The Holy Prophet was requested to pray to God for the removal of famine. He prayed to God and the famine left the land after the people had been reduced to the most pitiful plight (Bukhari and Muslim).

‘Then there shall come after that a year in which people shall be relieved and in which they shall give presents to each other.’(12:50)

After seven years of famine, rains would fall and bring relief to the famine-stricken people of Egypt. When the King saw that the wise men of his court failed to interpret his dream and that Joseph had not only interpreted it rightly but had also suggested a remedy, he realized that Joseph was no ordinary man and desired to release him from the prison. But Joseph refused to be released until a full inquiry was made into his case and he was proved to be innocent of the charge laid against him. The King called on the women who gossiped and they confessed the truth and bore witness to the innocence of Joseph. The Potiphar’s wife also confessed that she was the guilty party. The King had become so convinced of the righteousness of Joseph that on hearing the accusation against him he at once believed it to be false.

Joseph said, ‘I asked for that enquiry to be made so that he (the ‘Aziz) might know that I was not unfaithful to him in his absence and that Allah suffers not the device of the unfaithful to succeed. (12:53)

As Joseph was a Prophet of God, the plotters against him could not succeed and hence God caused their plot to be exposed and defeated. Joseph declared that he had caused this inquiry to be made, not to make a show of his own purity but to prove that nobody can lead astray the man whom God Himself protects from evil. Man, by nature falls into evil and it is God’s connection alone which can lead him to the right path.

And the King said, ‘Bring him to me that I may take him specially for myself.’ And when he had spoken to him, he said, ‘Thou art this day a man of established position and trust with us.’ (12:55)

High Position

The King bestowed Joseph the honour he had deserved by admitting him to his special favour. It is likely that the King offered Joseph the post of Prime Minister but Joseph preferred to take charge over the financial department. This way he would be free from the material cares and court conspiracies and could focus his attention on running the department which concerned the King’s dream.

And thus did We establish Joseph in the land. He dwelt therein wherever he pleased. We bestow Our mercy on whomsoever We please, and We suffer not the reward of the righteous to perish. (12:57)

Famine was in the country and Joseph was at the height of his power. Joseph had risen to such eminence that his brothers could not recognize him because they could not imagine that the boy they had cast into the well and who was sold as a slave could rise to such a high position.

Point of Resemblance #12: Much in the same way the Meccans marvelled at the power and prestige the Holy Prophet (saw) had gained.

And when he had provided them with their provision, he said, ‘Bring me your brother on your father’s side. Do you not see that I give you full measure of corn and that I am the best of hosts? (12:60)

Joseph’s brothers arrived in Egypt to obtain their ration of corn during the time of famine. Joseph showed kindness to them and asked them to bring their brother Benjamin to him.

And he said to his servants, ‘Put their money also into their saddlebags that they may recognize it when they return to their family; haply they may come back.’ (12:63)

Joseph showed great patience and self-control and did not display any such emotion as must have risen in his compassionate heart upon seeing his brothers. He asked his servants to put their money in their saddlebags so they might appreciate the favour that was shown to them and be made to return.

Joseph’s brothers returned to their father and told him to send their brother Benjamin with them otherwise they will not receive further ration of corn. In their spirit there was still a boastfulness when they addressed their father.

He said, ‘I cannot trust you with him, save as I trusted you with his brother before. But Allah is the best Protector, and He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy.’ (12:65)

Jacob told his sons that despite their tragic experience with Joseph it is a pity that even now they should not rely on the protection of God but on their own power. He further hints that he did not entrust Joseph to their care before nor would he entrust the care of Benjamin to them. His trust now as before, lay in God alone.

Jacob then made his sons give him a solemn promise in the name of Allah that they will return their brother to him. And when they made the promise he said “Allah watches over what we say.”

Jacob knew from Divine revelation that Joseph was alive so he asked his sons to enter separately so that Joseph might have an opportunity to meet and talk to Benjamin in private.

When they visited Joseph, Joseph brought his brother with himself and said “so grieve not at what they have been doing” – he assured Benjamin that he was his brother who was presumed dead, and he would protect him from their mischief.

And when he had provided them with their provision, he put the drinking-cup in his brother’s saddlebag. Then a crier cried, ‘O ye men of the caravan, you have been guilty of theft.’ (12:71)

Joseph had drunk water from a cup and happened to place it among Benjamin’s things, not knowing it was there.

Joseph had put a drinking cup into his Benjamin’s sack without his knowledge, thinking that it would be useful for the journey. The royal proclaimer said that the kings measuring cup was missing. The royal measuring cup which seemed to be in Joseph’s hand when he was saying farewell to his brother happened to be placed in Benjamin’s sack by mistake and nobody knew how it found its way there. When the caravan was searched it was found in Benjamin’s luggage along with the drinking cup which Joseph had himself put there. Joseph at once understood how the mistake had occurred but thinking that all of this was God’s plan for keeping Benjamin, he kept silent until the caravan was gone. This is how Benjamin remained behind with Joseph.

The brothers accused Benjamin of theft and disowned him and even refused to acknowledge them as their brother.

They asked Joseph to take one of them as his servant instead of Benjamin. But Joseph said that it would be an act of injustice on his part to detain an innocent person in place of a guilty one.

“Return ye to your father and say, ‘O our father, thy son has stolen and we have stated only what we know and we could not be guardians over the unseen. (12:82)

When Josephs brothers returned to their father they said they made their solemn promise to him quite honestly that they would bring Benjamin back, but they did not expect what had happened.

‘And inquire of the people of the city wherein we were, and of the caravan with which we came, and certainly we are speaking the truth.’” (12:83)

He replied, ‘Nay, but your souls have embellished to you this thing. So now comely patience is good for me. May be Allah will bring them all to me; for He is the All-Knowing, the Wise.’ (12:84)

Joseph’s brothers automatically accused Benjamin of being a thief without thinking that there could have possibly been a misunderstanding. The verse shows that Jacob had been foretold by God that Joseph was living and that the brothers would come back safe. Jacob hints that God had revealed to him the reality of the matter and whatever had happened had happened in fulfilment of a Divine plan for the welfare of the family.

They said, ‘By Allah, thou wilt not cease talking of Joseph until thou art wasted away or thou art of those who perish.’ (12:86)

He replied, ‘I only complain of my sorrow and my grief to Allah, and I know from Allah that which you know not. (12:87)

Jacob poured out his heart to God in whom all holy men seek solace. God had informed Jacob of not only Joseph being alive but also of his being in Egypt.

And, when they came before him (Joseph), they said, ‘O exalted one, poverty has smitten us and our family, and we have brought a paltry sum of money, so give us the full measure, and be charitable to us. Surely, Allah rewards the charitable.’(12:89)

His brothers came before him and began to beg for corn even though their real purpose of returning to Egypt was to find their brothers.

Joseph could not bear to see his brothers in this state degrading themselves by begging for corn and decided to reveal his identity. He disclosed it to them indirectly saying “Do you know what you did to Joseph and his brother when you were ignorant?” At the same time, he was comforting them by saying that they should not worry about their past misdeeds because what they had done was as a result of ignorance as they did not realize the full implication of their deeds. In this difficult occasion, Joseph showed such good manners teaching us that man can move to great moral heights. 

The brothers asked in surprise “Art thou Joseph?” upon which Joseph revealed his identity to them. He then gently told them that one could not overcome difficulties by merely begging and suffering oneself to be degraded, but that the secret of all success lay in piety and patience, in hard work and in trusting in God Who was ever the Protecting Friend of the righteous.

The good nature of Josephs brothers finally revealed itself. They admitted that in spite of all their opposition to Joseph, God had exalted him over them and he deserved it; for it is they who had been the sinners.

He said, ‘No blame shall lie on you this day; may Allah forgive you! And He is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy. (12:93)

Joseph had a very noble character. He did not make them beg for forgiveness for what they did, and immediately pardoned them. The large-hearted and generous forgiving of his brothers by Joseph shows the greatest resemblance to the Holy Prophet (saw).

 

Like Joseph, the Holy Prophet too gained honour and power in flight and banishment. And when after years of exile he entered his native town as a conqueror, at the head of ten thousand companions and Mecca lay prostrate at his feet, he asked his people what treatment they expected from him. The Meccans replied: “The treatment that Joseph accorded to his brethren”. To this the Holy Prophet said “then no reproach should lie on you this day. This noble treatment by the Holy Prophet (saw) in front of his bloodthirsty enemies, is unparalleled in history.

 

Joseph gave his shirt to his brothers to present to their father so that the sight of it might please him, and so that he might pray for his brothers and forgive them. Even before the caravan reached home, Jacob told his people he hoped to meet Joseph soon even though they thought meeting him was just the wishful thinking of an old man. But Jacob knew it as a fact and a certainty. The members of Jacobs family refused to believe it possible and thought Jacob was just blinded his judgement by his love for Joseph.

And when the bearer of glad tidings came, he laid it before him and he became enlightened. Then he said, ‘Did I not say to you: I know from Allah what you know not? ’(12:97)

When the shirt was presented to Jacob, his knowledge of Joseph being alive based on divine revelation was now converted into factual knowledge. 

One good action leads to another. When Joseph pardoned his brothers, the weight of sin to some extent became lifted from their hearts. They repented of their sins, and asked their father to pray to God to forgive them as well. They realized that man’s anger is nothing compared to God’s wrath.

He said, ‘I will certainly ask forgiveness for you of my Lord. Surely, He is the Most Forgiving, the Merciful.’(12:99)

Jacob said to them that it will take some time for him to fully reconcile with them. But he comforted his sons by drawing their attention to the great mercy and all-comprehensive forgiveness of God.

Joseph had gone out of town to receive his parents. Although his real mother had died, his step-mother was much entitled to his respect and affection as his real mother.

Joseph presented his parents to the King, and they fell prostrate before God, thanking Him for raising Joseph to such an eminent position. Thus, the first revelation Hazrat Yusuf (as) received as a child was fulfilled.

 

Conclusion

God’s prophets have high moral characters. Joseph’s brothers had left their home for food, but Joseph speaks of their coming to him as a special favour of God to himself.  Again, he mentions being taken out of prison and makes no mention of being rescued from the well lest his brothers feel ashamed.

For righteous servants of God, neither prosperity nor adversity can make them forget their Lord and Creator. Even during his reunion with his parents and brothers after a long time, Joseph felt the flame of Divine love rising in his chest, and ignoring and forgetting all, he turned to his Lord and Master.

The life-story of Hazrat Yusuf (as) in the Holy Qur’an finishes by telling us that it was not just a mere tale. It embodied mighty prophecies relating to the future of the Holy Prophet (saw).

The Holy Prophet (saw) is told that like the brothers of Joseph, people would not believe in him unless they saw him rise to power and glory and themselves suffered humiliation and disgrace.

Assuredly, in their narrative is a lesson for men of understanding. It is not a thing that has been forged, but a fulfilment of that which is before it and a detailed exposition of all things, and a guidance and a mercy to a people who believe. (12:112)

By Naima Arif

My Mother Blessed With a New Life

In early April sadly my mum got really ill. She had an infection in her gums, due to that reason her throat was hurting and she couldn’t eat or drink anything and couldn’t even swallow medicine.

She took antibiotics for 5 days. Then she started having a fever. At this point very sadly she got really weak and from isolating in her room for 2 weeks she was not getting better. We called our GP and they suggested her to be in quarantine and to take paracetamol and that’s all they could do at this time. We always tried our best to help her and give her food and drink, but she couldn’t eat it as she lost her taste and smell. She was getting so weak and not responding much. Mostly she was unconscious. She wasn’t able to walk to the toilet by herself.

We decided enough is enough; so we called 999. The ambulance came and they took her to hospital. They did tests to check why she is unconscious and not responding much. Unfortunately, she tested positive for coronavirus. They treated her very well. However, thanks to Allah the Almighty within five days at hospital she got sooo much better!!! Allah the Almighty blessed us with her new life. Everything started getting better and she was eating and drinking and even taking her medicine. Then they said she can go home because she is recovering quickly. On hearing this news we thanked God Almighty. Whole family wrote a letter to Huzoor (aba) for his kind prayers that had been accepted. She still had to isolate for 5 days but now she was bit better and back home.

Alhamdolillah.

By the grace of Allah Almighty  nothing happened to her. I was really scared for all of us my father, brothers and how will we cope without her, but Alhamdolillah she is so much better and is still getting better. Her quarantine   is over.  Now we hugged her and welcomed her home properly. We wrote letters weekly to beloved Huzoor (aba) for prayers. My Mother was working as secretary Taleem so all aunties really looked after her and sent us cooked meals daily. Now I want to make lots of friends within Jammat like my mother.  As I witnessed the benefits of having so many friends. I really appreciate everyone’s prayers for my mother.

Please remember my family in your kind prayers especially my mum ❤️

I hope you and your families stay at home and are safe. This is such a difficult time for all of us and listening to the khutbas about people who have passed away because of this virus scares me a lot. I am praying for all Jammat members and your families to be safe and healthy. Ameen ❤️❤️❤️

By Ghazala Bajwa

My Trip to India

By Manaal Rehman

Allah Almighty in the Holy Qur’an encourages all Muslims to travel across the world. And by his Grace, I was given the opportunity to go to Bangalore, Karnataka in India, through an all-expense-paid summer internship.

I was in the penultimate year of my Integrated Master course, in Computer Science and my University (King’s College London), had a partnership with an international Technology Consultancy, based in India. During the application process, I did not intend to even get the offer, let alone take the placement. I merely wanted to understand how far in the application process I could go. Since being rejected by three other companies in London, I had lost all hope by the time I received this offer.

This company was providing me with an opportunity to spend 8-12 weeks living on a fully facilitated campus, with a cab driver at disposal, a 24-hour medical service, a room in four-star accommodation and paid flights and visa, along with a large stipend, all to and be part of one of their projects. However, it was very far from my home, family and my Jama’at.

After many prayers, much deliberation and research, my parents and I decided it was not something that we could turn down and my mother encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity. It was finalised, that I was to leave on the 1st of June and come back the week before Jalsa Salana UK.

However, there were two conditions, first, that I have my own private accommodation (which was already provided by the company) and that I stay in touch with the Jama’at in Bangalore. As soon as signing my offer letter, my family wrote to Amir Sahib UK, and his office provided us with the contact details of the Amir Jama’at of Bangalore, the Missionary In charge and the Sadr Lajna. Prior to my departure, I contacted the Sadr informing her of my arrival. This would be crucial later on.

Being from the UK, and never having travelled to India or Pakistan before, it was terrifying for myself and my family. And upon my arrival, everything…and I mean everything, seemed like a surprise. The traffic, the people, the sights, sounds, smells were all so vastly different from home, it was both scary and exciting. It was a very interesting experience to delve back into the culture of our roots, and forefathers, and I realised that despite being raised in the UK, I still felt that the values I shared were much closer with the local people.

Upon arriving at campus, I immediately called home and made this a daily habit. I called my parents, sister, grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles, almost every day. And made a habit of ensuring that everyone knew what I would be doing and that I was being very well looked after.

The following week, I was assigned my project and introduced to my team. This was the first time, I realised that I was at a very strong advantage, due to the fact that I could speak to the employees in both Urdu (Hindi) and English. My mother had taught me Urdu, due to the guidance of Khalifa IV rh), and this was once again the blessing of Khilafat. This made me feel much more at home in this new place and I did not feel foreign at all.

By the grace of Allah, I was part of a historic project, which was very successful. I was working to build a robot, which scanned a physical space, and generated a 3D interactive representation of that space. This robot took pictures and depth images of its surroundings and stitched them together. My part was to research different ways of stitching the images together to create 360-degree view of the space.

Furthermore, I was part of another project which used a sub-field of Artificial Intelligence called Machine Learning. Here I was given a lot of data that was fed into a model, which was in the wrong format, and I wrote code to generate it in the correct format. This data was over 30,000 files which needed to be converted. Finally, I had the opportunity to produce demonstration videos for robots that my department created. I was given this project due to skills I had acquired from my work with MTA international. I was also blessed with a very nice and caring team, who encouraged and taught me a lot.

Furthermore, there were many times where I felt like Allah Almighty protected me either by changing circumstances or sending the right person at the right time. Additionally, there were many times that I had to make decisions on my own. This was a new experience because I quickly came to know that I was completely independent and without the support or guidance, nor could I ask someone what I should or should not do. In these times, I would think, what does Islam say? What have the Khulafa told us? What have my parents taught me?

If you take anything from this article take this: In such situations, think to yourself, that I must not do anything that I need to hide from anybody, or that would disappoint the Jama’at or my parents. Being thousands of miles away, it became even more important that I upheld my values as an Ahmadi girl, and make everyone proud. I hope and pray, that all Ahmadi girls, especially Nasirat, keep this in mind whenever they have a chance to be independent, and represent the Jama’at in the best manner possible. Ameen.

Prayers from the Qur’an

Amongst the innumerable favours that have been showered upon mankind by Allah the almighty, one of the most precious is the Holy Qur’an. The Holy Book which is the word of God contains complete guidance for all of mankind, laws and commandments as well as historical accounts of prophets. One way to establish a connection with Allah the Exalted is through prayer. Here we have compiled a list of prayers found in the Qur’an taught to us throughout history.

 

 

Omelette

Ingredients:

1 egg

One quarter tsp salt

One quarter tsp red chilli powder

A bit of coriander

1 quarter of an onion

1 quarter of a tomato

1 tsp oil

 

Method:  

Cut up the coriander, onion and the tomato into small pieces and add them into a bowl  

Then add in the chilli powder and salt and mix it together  

After you get a pan and add oil into it  

Pour in the egg and cook it until it gets brown  

Then enjoy 

 

By: Hibba Khan

 

Sugar Donuts

Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp instant yeast

1 tsp salt

3 tbsp melted butter

1egg

1 cup warm milk

Directions:

  1. Put everything together into the electric mixing bowl, and mix it for 2 minutes

    a)  After mixing it for 2 minute increase the speed high and mix it for 10 minute

    b)  Smooth the dough into a ball, and transfer it into a grease bowl

    c)  Cover it with a cling wrap and let it raise for 45 minute

  2. Roll the dough flat, but make sure its thick from the edges
  3. If you don’t have a donut cutter than, Using any round item, cut them

  4. Fry them in oil until golden brown

  5. At the end, dust them in the sugar

By: Samina Zaheer

 

Frantic Fruit Ring Cake

Ingredients:

100g caster sugar

100g self raising flour

100g soft butter

2 eggs

vanilla essence

4 tbsp jam

Fresh fruit of choice

 

Method:

Take a mixing bowl and put in the eggs and sugar and mix until light and fluffy. Then take another mixing bowl and mix the flour and butter until the mixture comes together but is also like breadcrumbs. Then add the vanilla essence into the egg and sugar mixture. Grease the ring tin well with oil and flour. Make sure to preheat the over to 190 degrees Celsius or gas mark 6. Combine the two mixtures, mixing them well together making sure there are no lumps. After the mixture is smooth, put it into the tin taking care not to fill it too much. Bake for 25-30 minutes checking if it golden brown. Then take out and leave to cool. After it is coo, take your fruit and start filling it up from the middle or decorate how you want to. Take your jam and pour into a saucepan, adding a little bit of water to make it thinner and easier to drizzle. After it is watered down, drizzle over the cake to keep it moist and more flavoursome.

By: Aimen Malik

 

How to stay healthy while we’re off school

Why stay healthy?

Staying healthy physically can help you stay healthy emotionally too. If you are eating the right food and keeping fit, your body will be strong and help you cope with stress and fight illness. Eating well and exercising often helps you stay in good health later on in life. Getting regular sleep is another really important way to stay healthy. Having late nights can leave you feeling tired the next day. It can be difficult if you are busy but do try to have at least 8 hours sleep each night.

 

Balanced Diet:

It can be hard to keep a healthy diet. Especially when there’s temptation to eat sweets and junk food. But it’s important to get a balance in your diet for the right amount of each food group. A balanced diet also includes drinks. Your body needs to stay hydrated so think about what you drink. Caffeine and sugary drinks:

  1. Affect your energy levels, feeling full of energy before a “sugar low” where you may feel tired and grumpy.
  2. Can make you put on weight if you have too much sugar.
  3. Can cause trouble sleeping if you have them at night.
  4. It’s best to drink water and natural juices which don’t have lots of sugar

One portion of food should include:

  1. Carbohydrates – like potatoes, pasta, rice and bread. A portion should be about the size of a fist.
  2. Protein (from non-diary sources) – like meat, fish, beans, soya and tofu. A portion should be about the size of a deck of cards.
  3. Dairy – like milk and cheese. A portion should be about 200ml of milk, a matchbox size piece of cheese or an average pot (125ml) of yoghurt.
  4. Fruit and vegetables – at least five portions per day. For fresh fruit and vegetables, a portion should be about a cupped hand. For dried fruit, a portion should be about half a cupped hand.

 

Junk food and sweets:

A balanced diet is called that for a reason, it doesn’t mean that you can’t have any junk food. After all that fruit and veg, you can have some snacks.

 

5-a-day:

As you already know, we need to have 5 portions of fruits a day. Some fruit juices will have a sign on them which says 1 of your 5 a day which means they are 1 of the 5 fruits you have to eat. Keep a look out for this sign.

 

Exercise:

As well as healthy eating, exercise is just as important. Exercising for at least 30 minutes a day is good, with breaks in between. Exercise helps people keep a healthy weight and lower the risk of some diseases. Exercising regularly decreases a person’s risk of developing certain health conditions and diseases, including obesity, type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. Exercise can help a person age well. This may not seem important now, but it will help you later on in life.

 

By: Qudsia Khabir

 

Seviyan

A Simple List of Ingredients 📃 🖊

1. Dry Vermicelli
2. Butter
3. Whole Milk
4. Sugar
5. Double Cream

To start ⏱

Heat 4 ounces butter in a large saucepan or pot until melted

➡️Take 8 ounces dry vermicelli and throw them into the melted butter

➡️ Stir well… 🥄on medium heat for 5 minutes until lightly toasted

Next ✔️

➕ 1 litre of whole milk

Stir until combined
➡️ Bring to boil

➕ sugar, to taste – about 4 ounces
Throw in 1 green cardamom

➡️ Mix well 🥄
Bring to boil again

Simmer on low heat for 5️⃣ minutes uncovered.
If the vermicelli soaks up the milk, feel free to ➕ more as needed. The consistency of seviyan is a personal thing –

🚫Please note that the seviyan will thicken up even more as it cools

➕ 1 medium cup of double cream.

➡️ Give it a final stir 🥄

And voila it’s ready ✅

Serve hot ♨️ or leave to cool 🆒

Garnish with chopped nuts etc if you want.

By: Saniya Hussain

 

Cinnamon French Toast

Ingredients:

2 eggs

 2/3 cup of milk (I like coconut milk but you can use any)

 2 tsp cinnamon powder

 1 tsp vanilla extract

2 1/2 tbsp sugar

4 slices of bread 

Fruits of choice to serve

 Method:

Beat the eggs in a bowl (make sure to use a deep bowl/ plate). Add the milk, cinnamon powder, sugar and vanilla extra. Whisk everything together until mixed well or you notice it starting to foam.

Heat a skillet or a pan, add a tablespoon of butter or oil at medium to medium/high heat. Melt the butter making sure it doesn’t brown.

Take a slice of bread and soak it in the bowl of mixture, making sure to coat both sides evenly. Then carefully place the slice on the pan. Cook each side until nice and golden (approximately 4-6 minutes). Take out the slice and repeat with the rest of the slices.

Plate your slices adding syrup, fruit, nutella or ice cream. I like to sprinkle some more cinnamon powder on top before adding a bit of melted chocolate.

Finally Enjoy!!

 

What I do during lockdown

First, we must follow our beloved Huzoor’s (aba) instruction from the special message delivered on the 27th March 2020.  In this message our beloved Huzoor (aba) told us to focus upon prayers and to use our time at home productively.

Today I am going to tell you how I cope in lockdown. First of all, I use my day productively. By this I mean that I use my time wisely. Here are some of the things I do: as I am in Al-Hafizoon, I spend most of the time in reciting the Holy Qur’an. I help my mum to prepare food, I clean my room and do some of my schoolwork online.  Before I go to sleep, we hold a Qur’an class at home, in which we listen to one of Hazrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad’s (rh) Qur’an class and translate them to English to understand the Arabic meaning. I wanted to use most of my time to learn more from the Holy Qur’an, as I wanted to be ready for my Al-Hafizoon exams.

By: Maliha Ahmad

Marble Cake

Ingredients:

1.5 cups sugar
12 tbsp Melted butter
6 tbsp oil
5 eggs
1.5 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp  vanilla extracts
1.5 cups flour
3 tbsp Cocoa Powder

Method:

  1. Crack the eggs into a bowl, add the sugar and whisk.
  2. Add the baking powder and the Vanilla extract.
  3. Add flour, butter and oil and mix well.
  4. Put half of the mixture in another bowl and add Cocoa Powder to it. Mix it well.
  5. Grease a baking tin with oil.
  6. Put half of the plain mixture into the tin and then put in the chocolate mixture. Top it with the remaining half mixtures.
  7. Use a skewer or a butter knife to make patterns in the cake mixture. Avoid mixing it too much.
  8. Ask an adult to put it in a pre-heated oven at 190°C.
  9. To check if it is ready you can put a toothpick in it. If it comes out dry the cake is ready.

By: Saria Saeed