In the last episode, we saw how Yusuf (as) was put in prison in spite of being innocent. It was in prison that the prophet had to face his third test!
The Third Test
It was during this period that Allah (SWT) blessed him with an extraordinary gift!
The prophet was blessed with the ability to interpret dreams!
The people in the prison knew that Yusuf (as) was a noble young man with great knowledge and
a merciful heart.
They loved and respected him. At about the same time, two other men landed in the prison. One was the cupbearer of the king, and the other was the king’s cook.
That night, both the new inmates had a strange dream!
When they woke up, they were confused as they could not understand the meaning of the dream
The next day, when they saw the prophet, they realized that he was not a common criminal.
They approached him and told him about their dream.
“I had a very strange dream”
Yusuf’s Dream Interpretation
I saw that I was standing in a place with bread on my head. There were two birds eating the bread
on top of my head!
On hearing this, the prophet first called them to Allah (SWT).
He told them the meaning of his dream. The dream meant that the cook was going to be crucified until he died.
Then the prophet asked the cupbearer to tell him about his dream
“I saw that I was standing inside the palace,” said the cupbearer
“And I was serving wine to the king!”
The prophet prayed for some time and he said that the cupbearer will be soon set free and that he will return to the service of the king.
The prophet then asked the cupbearer to talk to the king about him, and tell him that there was a wronged soul named Yusuf in the prison.
What the prophet predicted soon happened, and the cook was crucified just like the prophet foretold.
The cupbearer returned to the palace as well. But as soon as he returned to service, Shaytan made him forget about the prophet.
And therefore, Yusuf (as) remained in prison for a few more years.
The King’s Dream
One night the king was sleeping in his palace. The king had a strange dream that night, and in his dream, he saw that he was standing on the banks of the river Nile.
He saw that the water was receding, revealing the bare mud. The fish skipped and jumped without water. Then he saw seven fat cows emerging from the water, followed by seven lean cows The lean cows then began swallowing the fat cows!
The king was terrified seeing this!
He then saw seven ears of green corn growing by the riverbank. Suddenly they disappeared and in its place grew seven dry ears of corn!!
The king woke up terrified from his dream. He was shocked and depressed, as he could not understand the meaning of his dream
The next day, he called his ministers, priests, and advisors, and told them about his dream. The sorcerers said
“This is a very confusing dream! How can any of that happen?”
The priests said,
“Perhaps you had a heavy dinner!”
“Maybe you slept without a blanket!” said the chief minister
All of them said that it was only a nightmare, and there was nothing to worry about!
The Cup-bearer Remembered Yousuf(As)
The news reached the cupbearer. He recollected the dream he had while he was in prison, and suddenly he remembered Yusuf (as). Then He ran to the king to tell him about the prophet.
“He had asked me to tell you about his innocence,” He said to the king,
“but I forgot”
When he explained how Yusuf (as) had interpreted his dream while in prison, King sent him to meet
The cupbearer met the prophet and told
him about the King’s dream
The prophet prayed to Allah(SWT) and then explained the meaning of the dream.
“There will be seven years of rich harvest in the kingdom,” the Prophet said.
“If the land is cultivated properly, there will be a good harvest, and people will have more than enough food”
“This will be followed by seven years of drought in the kingdom. People will not have enough to eat, and there will be a scarcity of food all over Egypt.”
When the cupbearer told the king about the interpretation, the King was fascinated! He commanded that
Yusuf (as) be set free, and presented before him at once!
Yousuf(As) Refused his Freedom
When the king’s envoy arrived at the prison to set him free, the prophet refused to leave the prison.
“I will not leave the prison until my innocence is proven,” he told them.
The envoy returned to the king
“Where is Yusuf?” asked the king.
“Did I not command you to fetch him?”
“He refused to leave until his innocence is established” they replied.
The king realized that the prophet was unfairly put in prison, so he immediately ordered an inquiry.
Zulaikha, the wife of the chief minister was brought into his court, and so were the wives of the other ministers who had attended the lavish banquet. (To know more, read this part of the story)
“What is the story of Yusuf?” The king asked them.
“Is it true that he tried to molest the chief minister’s wife?”
“He didn’t do anything,” said one woman
“He did her no harm,” said another. Everyone’s attention now turned to Zulaikha. She now wore a wrinkled face. She was overwhelmed with sorrow while the prophet was in prison.
“I tempted him, but he refused” she boldly confessed.
“So he is innocent as he says,” said the king. When the prophet came to the palace, the King was stunned by this handsome young man.
He spoke to the prophet for a while, to test his knowledge. The replies of the prophet stunned the king and he was convinced that he was very intelligent indeed!
Then the conversation turned to the dream.
Yusuf’s Advice on Famine Prevention
The prophet advised the king to start planning for years of famine ahead. He informed the king that the famine would not only affect Egypt but all other neighboring countries as well.
The king then appointed the prophet(As) as the controller of granaries. It was his responsibility to guard
the nation’s harvest and make plans for the anticipated famine.
The wheels of time had turned by now.
The prophet, who was in prison till a few months ago, had now become one of the senior-most officials in Egypt.
During the seven good years that followed, the prophet had full control over the cultivation., harvesting, and storage of crops.
He did his duties faithfully, and he carefully saved the grains for the harsh years ahead.
What happened next?