Getting through Difficult Times

Surah Yusuf teaches us what to do in difficult times

The following verses from Surah Yusuf teach us the steadfastness of faith, how to keep one’s trust in Allah and to exercise patience. These verses also illustrate how envy can blind men and lead them to commit sins against their own next of kin.


فَلَمَّا ذَهَبُواْ بِهِۦ وَأَجۡمَعُوٓاْ أَن يَجۡعَلُوهُ فِى غَيَـٰبَتِ ٱلۡجُبِّ‌ۚ وَأَوۡحَيۡنَآ إِلَيۡهِ لَتُنَبِّئَنَّهُم بِأَمۡرِهِمۡ هَـٰذَا وَهُمۡ لَا يَشۡعُرُونَ ١٥

15- So, when they went away with him and were determined to put him in the bottom of a pit, (they did accordingly). And We revealed to him (Yusuf), “You will (one day) remind them of this deed of theirs, and they will not recognize (you).” 


وَجَآءُوٓ أَبَاهُمۡ عِشَآءً۬ يَبۡكُونَ ١٦

16- And at nightfall, they came to their father weeping. 


قَالُواْ يَـٰٓأَبَانَآ إِنَّا ذَهَبۡنَا نَسۡتَبِقُ وَتَرَڪۡنَا يُوسُفَ عِندَ مَتَـٰعِنَا فَأَڪَلَهُ ٱلذِّئۡبُ‌ۖ وَمَآ أَنتَ بِمُؤۡمِنٍ۬ لَّنَا وَلَوۡ ڪُنَّا صَـٰدِقِينَ ١٧

17- They said, “Father, we went racing with one another and left Yusuf with our belongings, and the wolf ate him up. You will never believe us, howsoever truthful we may be.”


وَجَآءُو عَلَىٰ قَمِيصِهِۦ بِدَمٍ۬ كَذِبٍ۬‌ۚ قَالَ بَلۡ سَوَّلَتۡ لَكُمۡ أَنفُسُكُمۡ أَمۡرً۬ا‌ۖ فَصَبۡرٌ۬ جَمِيلٌ۬‌ۖ وَٱللَّهُ ٱلۡمُسۡتَعَانُ عَلَىٰ مَا تَصِفُونَ ١٨

18- And they came with fake blood on his shirt. He said, “Rather, your inner desires have tempted you to do something. So, patience is best. It is Allah whose help is sought against what you describe.’’ 


  • In these verses we have the best example of patience clubbed with trust in Allah.
  • Ya’qub (alaihis salaam) was aware of his sons’ jealousy of their brother Yusuf (alaihis salaam) and could see through their scheming, yet he allowed them to take Yusuf with them knowing that Allah is the Best Protector.
  • The false report that a wolf had devoured his beloved son Yusuf, was received by the father Ya’qub with utmost patience and unwavering trust in Allah.
  • Ordinary people when afflicted with a calamity lose all self-control and might even question why Allah was punishing them though they had trusted Him. But not Ya’qub (alaihis salaam), the epitome of patience. He shows what steadfastness in faith is, and again alleges his trust in Allah’s Help.
  • We need some time to be able to achieve patience. We can’t claim to be patient when we expect our sorrows to end immediately. The true believer does not lose hope in Allah though he may have to live with his sorrow for years. Through Ya’qub (alaihis salaam)’s example, Allah gives us a vivid illustration of patience and gratitude – A sign of a Momin.
  • These verses also illustrate how envy can blind men and lead them to commit sins against their own father and brother. Satan is ever active, hence the need for man to be equally alert to ward him off.
  • Man deludes himself into believing that by destroying the object of his envy he can free himself from the sin of envy itself.


We learn from these verses that in difficult times, we should do the following:


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