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The du’a of Yusuf (‘alayhis salam) and his imprisonment

Question

Kindly provide the source of this narration:

 ان يوسف عليه السلام لما طال عليه الوقت في السجن قال: يارب جعلتني في السجن طويلاً ! فقال الله: أنت سألت السجن فأعطيناك ، ولو سألت العافية لعافيناك وقد ورد في القرآن على لسان يوسف عليه السلام: قال ربّ السجن أحبُّ إليّ مما يدعونني إليه

Translation

When Yusuf (‘alayhis salam) had spent a long time in prison, he said: “O Allah! You have kept me imprisoned for a long time”. Allah replied: “You asked for imprisonment so I granted it to you, had you asked for ‘aafiyah [protection] I would have protected you”. [Referring to the verse wherein] Yusuf (‘alayhis salam) had said: “O my Rabb! Imprisonment is more dear to me than [the haram] they are inviting me towards.”

Answer

I have not come across this statement. ‘Allamah Baghawi (rahimahullah) has cited a similar narration in his Tafsir as the statement of someone (وقيل), not as a Hadith of Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) nor as the statement of a Sahabi.

The narration is as follows:

“If Yusuf (‘alayhis salam) had not said imprisonment is more dear to me he would not have been afflicted with imprisonment”

(Tafsirul Baghawi, Surah: 12 verse: 33)

 

On the contrary, some Mufassirun have stated that this statement of Yusuf (‘alayhis salam) (i.e, O My Rab! imprisonment is more dear to me) was not a du’a, his du’a in actual fact was the next part of that verse: If you do not turn away their plot from me I may incline towards them”

This is substantiated by the next verse where Allah Ta’ala says he answered Yusuf (‘alayhis salam)’s du’a by averting their plot :

“So his Rabb accepted his du’a and turned their plot away from him

(Refer: Ta’ wilatu Ahlis Sunnah – Tafsirul Maturidi- Surah, 12 verse: 33/34)

 

And Allah Ta’ala Knows best

 

Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala

 

Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar

 

Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar