Prophet Yusuf (as) had now become the controller of the granaries in Egypt.
The Seven Good Years
During the seven good years, the prophet had full control over the cultivation, harvesting, and storage of crops.
The prophet saved enough grains during the abundant years. And then, as the prophet had predicted, drought followed, and famine spread throughout the nation.
The leaves turned yellow, and not even a single drop of rain fell from the sky.
But nobody in Egypt died of hunger, for the prophet had saved more than enough grains for the harsh years.
“You were right Yusuf,” the king said to the prophet
“It’s only because of you that our people are not suffering”
“All our neighbors are asking for our help, what should I tell them? He asked
“Allah(SWT) saved us” the prophet replied.
“We have plenty of grains with us. I think this is the time we should help our neighbors. We can give them the grains, at a small price. Many lives can be saved”
“I agree with you,” the King said.
He then ordered to the distribution of the grains evenly to those in need.
Yousuf’s Ten Brothers
This famine affected Canaan as well.
Prophet Yaqub (as) heard the news of grains being distributed in Egypt. He decided to send his sons to
Egypt to get the grains, all of them, except Benyamin.
The brothers traveled for many days and finally arrived in Egypt.
Prophet Yusuf (as) heard about the ten brothers who had arrived from a distant land.
When they arrived to collect the grains, the prophet immediately recognized them!
But the brothers didn’t!
How could they?
To them, he no longer existed! They had thrown him in the well many years ago! (to know more, read here)
The prophet then met them and welcomed them warmly.
After giving them the provisions, he asked where they had come from
“We are eleven brothers, son of a noble prophet. We come from Caanan” they replied
“I count only ten here,” the prophet asked them
“Our youngest brother is at home, tending to our father’s needs.
On hearing this, the prophet’s eyes filled up with tears!
He longed to meet his father, and his little brother.
“Are you truthful people?” He asked them.
The brothers were confused.
“What reasons do we have to lie to you?” they asked him
“If what you say is the truth, then bring your youngest brother, and I’ll double your rations. But if you do not bring him to me, then you better not try entering Egypt again” He warned them.
The brothers agreed and said that they will need their father’s permission.
The prophet then asked his servant to place the bag of money they paid, secretly in one of the grain sacks.
After many days of travel, they reached Caanan.
They greeted their father and said
“We were denied some supplies because you didn’t let Benyamin come with us. The controller of granaries has promised to give us extra provisions if you let him come with us. Please, father, send him with us, and we shall take good care of him!
But the old prophet said sadly
“I will never let Benyamin travel with you. How can I trust you to know what you did with Yusuf?
Later, when they opened the grain sack, they were surprised to find their money purse inside
“Look father,” they said.
“The noble official has returned our money!”
”This is proof that they will not harm our brother”
But the Old Prophet refused again.
After a few months, when they had no more grains,
Prophet Yaqub (as) asked them to travel to Egypt.
“We cannot go there without Benyamin,” said one of the brothers.” They reminded him of the warning given by the Egyptian official.
The old prophet finally agreed, but only after they took an oath to bring him back safely.
“Allah(SWT) is witness to your pledge” he reminded them before they left.
The prophet blessed them as they set off for Egypt, and prayed for their protection
The brothers traveled for many days through the desert, and they took good care of Benyamin as well!
Benyamin Meets Yousuf
When they arrived in Egypt, Yusuf (as) welcomed them heartily. He prepared a feast for them and made them seated in pairs.
The prophet sat next to his beloved brother Benyamin. He noticed that Benyamin was weeping
“Why are you crying,” he asked his little brother
“if my brother Yusuf had been here,
I would have sat next to him” Benyamin replied.
That night, when the prophet and Benyamin were alone in the room, the prophet asked his brother
“Would you like to have me as your brother?”
But Benyamin respectfully answered that he regarded him as a wonderful person, but he could never take the place of his brother.
On hearing this, the prophet broke down and said.
“Benyamin! I am your brother who was lost! Fate has brought us together after so many years!
Benyamin exploded with joy when he heard this!!
“Listen to me,” said the prophet
“This should remain a secret for the time being” Benyamin agreed, and he flung his
arms around the prophet. They cried and shed tears of Joy!!
Yousuf’s Trick to Keep Benyamin
The next day, while the brothers were loading the bags of grains, the prophet ordered one of his servants
to keep the golden measuring cup inside Benyamin’s saddlebag secretly.
When the brothers were ready to set out, the soldiers came running to them
“O, brothers! Stop there! You are thieves!” shouted the soldiers
When the people around heard this, they gathered around the brothers.
“What have you lost?” asked the confused brothers
“The King’s Golden Cup,” said the soldier.
“We didn’t come here to steal,” said another brother.
The prophet had instructed one of the soldiers to ask the brothers, the following question
“What punishment would you give for a thief?”
“According to our law, whoever steals becomes a slave to the owner of the property”
answered a brother
“We shall apply your law instead of the Egyptian law, then,” said the soldiers.
They started searching for their bags one by one.
When they reached Benyamin, they pulled out the King’s Cup from his bag!
The brothers were stunned!
They thought of their father, and the pledge they had taken.
They began to beg the Prophet for mercy!
“Yusuf! O Minister, take one of us instead” they pleaded.