The Best Story

The Best Story The Sunday Guardian | January 31, 2010 | Page 14.

In Chapter 12, the Quran narrates a story, called ‘The Best of Stories’. This story is about Prophet Joseph who lived in Palestine with his father and stepbrothers. His stepbrothers were jealous of him and when he reached his teens they threw him into a dry well in the forest.

God came to his rescue and a caravan spotted Joseph and pulled him out. He was then sold off as a slave in the Egyptian market. His master was a courtier of the Egyptian King and an idol worshipper. On the other hand, Joseph belonged to the family of Abraham, and believed in one God. When he reached maturity, Joseph came in contact with the King. The King, greatly impressed by his personality and wisdom, offered him a high office in his Government. According to the Biblical narration, the Egyptian king said: “You shall be over my house, and all my people shall be ruled according to your word; only in regard to the throne will I be greater than you” (Genesis 42:40). Joseph accepted this offer and successfully managed the agricultural affairs of the land even during a severe drought. People were happy and accepted him as their hero. After narrating this story, the Quran says: “God does not waste the reward of those who do good, who are righteous and steadfast” (12:90). Joseph’s qualities that elevated him to this high status, according to the Quran, are: 1. Joseph’s stepbrothers hatched an evil plot and wanted to kill him. But Joseph never developed hatred or feelings of revenge towards them. Instead, he forgave them and welcomed them to Egypt; 2. The caravan of traders sold him as a slave in the Egyptian market but he never protested against them; 3. When in Egypt, he never created any problems for his master or the king; 4. He remained patient with the culture of idol-worshippers which was prevalent in Egypt at that time.