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    We are living in an increasingly selfish and self-centered world where the interests of the individuals have gained paramount importance. People are slowly becoming heartless and apathetic to the issues that other people face. Is there a remedy to this? Yes, if we can take inspiration from the life of Prophet Joseph.


    We are living in an increasingly selfish and self-centered world where the interests of the individuals have gained paramount importance. People are slowly becoming heartless and apathetic to the issues that other people face. Is there a remedy to this?

    Inspirations change people, their mindset and have the power to move them from apathy to achievements. So, do we have a role model who can inspire us to do good for society? Yes.

    In this article, we will look at an incident from the life of an inspiring personality mentioned in the Quran by God Almighty. He is none other than Prophet Joseph (peace be on him).


    A quick background before we get to the incident. A very young Prophet Joseph is cunningly separated from his father by his own siblings. He is taken as a slave and later works in the mansion of the Governor in a far away country. When he refuses the immoral sexual advances of the governor’s wife, he is unjustly imprisoned by her.

    During his prison stay, two of his prison mates share the dreams they had. Prophet Joseph interprets the dreams correctly mentioning that one of the prisoners will be killed and the other one will serve the King. Prophet Joseph requests the prisoner who will be freed, to mention about him to the King. The prisoner forgets about Joseph and he continues to stay in the prison.

    Joseph said to the one he knew would be freed, ‘Mention me to your master,’ but Satan made him forget to do this, and so Joseph remained in prison for a number of years.

    Quran Chapter 12: Verse 42

    The King sees a dream

    The king said, ‘I dreamt about seven fat cows being eaten by seven lean ones; seven green ears of grain and [seven] others dry. Ministers, tell me the meaning of my dream, if you can interpret dreams.

    Quran Chapter 12: Verse 43

    They (the Ministers) replied, “These are confused visions and we do not know the interpretation of such dreams.”

    Quran Chapter 12: Verse 44

    Freed prisoner mentions about Joseph

    The ex-prisoner who had been freed at last remembered [Joseph] and said, ‘I shall tell you what this means. So, send me to (Joseph).

    Quran Chapter 12: Verse 45

    The ex-prisoner meets Joseph and narrates the dream of the King. Prophet Joseph interprets the dream to the ex-prisoner. He tells the ex-prisoner that there will be 7 years of prosperity and 7 years of severe famine followed by one year of abundant rain. When the King hears about the interpretation of the dream, he desires to meet Joseph.

    King meets Joseph

    The King, after getting to know of Joseph’s innocence, meets up with Joseph.

    The king said, ‘Bring him (Joseph) to me: I will have him help me personally,’ and then, once he had spoken with him, ‘From now on you will have our trust and favour.’

    Quran Chapter 12: Verse 54

    What will you do in this situation?

    Put yourselves into the shoes of Prophet Joseph. The King wants you to help him with this tricky situation.

    1. You are separated from the father at a very young age
    2. You work as a slave for many years
    3. You are unjustly imprisoned for exhibiting morality
    4. You spend several years in prison
    5. Freed prisoner forgets to mention about you to the King
    6. You continue to stay in prison for few more years
    7. Your innocence is proved in front of the King
    8. You have interpreted the dream and advised the King on what to do

    After going through all the hardships mentioned above, you now get an opportunity to go as a free man and unite back with your father. An opportunity that you have been waiting for all your life. If you decide to stay and help, you will have to spend another 14 years in this country. Remember, you have done your part by interpreting the dream and advising the King on what needs to be done.

    What will you do?

    What did Prophet Joseph do?

    The response from Prophet Joseph is simply amazing and inspiring.

    Joseph said, ‘Put me in charge of the nation’s storehouses: I shall manage them competently and carefully.

    Quran Chapter 12: Verse 55

    Despite the opportunity to walk as a free man, Prophet Joseph comes forward to shoulder the responsibility of managing the affairs of the nation. The country was not his country and the people were not his people. They did not follow his religion as well. So why would Prophet Joseph do this sacrifice to help the King and his people?

    Concern for the people

    Prophet Joseph knew that if the situation of the drought is not managed properly, many innocent people (men, women & kids) and cattle will die. He knew very well that he had the knowledge and competence to prevent this tragedy, and hence his good nature did not allow him to abandon the King and the people, at a time when they needed his expertise the most.

    Let’s take inspiration from Prophet Joseph

    In a time when most people have become merciless to the point that they continue to commute after watching accident victims lying on the road fighting for their lives, can you emulate Prophet Joseph and bring out the good nature in you to serve the society with the abilities that God has blessed you with? Yes, you can!

    Your society needs you! Your people need you! Do good to society!

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