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‘Ahsanal Qasas’ – The Best of all Stories

Surah Yusuf has always been one of my favorite Surahs. Ever since I was a child, I had a deep love and connection with the Surah. I would read books about it, delve into its story, listen to Nasheeds about it, and by doing so, I began to love it more and more. Over the years, as I started to practice my deen more, and as I began to read the translation of the Qur’an, I realized how the meaning of the Surah further enhanced for me the beauty of its recital and its story.

It was then that I began to dream and hope of wanting to raise my first boy then, Yusuf!

It still is a Surah close to my heart, for the same reasons it was when I was a child, as well as a greater reason, which I was able to discover and learn about, through life experiences.

That reason is this.

So many of the situations we go through in life, so many of the tests we face, so many of our difficulties, are in some, way, shape or form etched within the life story of Yusuf (as). They may not be exactly similar, but the lessons we derive from them are the same lessons we learn from that which Yusuf (as) went through. From the test of jealousy, to the struggle of restraining evil desires and temptation. From the test of popularity and fame, to the test of greed and wealth. From love and loss, to oppression, dreams, obedience to parents, separations and reunions. From heartbreak and tears, to light and darkness. All these themes and tests are embedded within the life of Yusuf (as).

And that is why so many shed tears when they recite this Surah, as it comforts the heart, and consoles it. It is a story, which moves the hearts of both the young and old. It is no wonder that scholars have drawn so many parallels between the story of Yusuf and the Seerah of Muhammad (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam). Allah knows us better, so He sent us guidance in form of the best story ever to be written; by the greatest of Writers. And no one can ever match its profound beauty and eloquence. It’s the Best of stories containing some of the most profound lessons with a prose that is sweet to the ears and soothing to the soul.

One of the greatest overall lessons we can learn from this Suran, is the lesson of patience and trust. Of Sabr and Tawakkul. These two themes are highlighted in this Surah over and over again at every turn of every page. Yusuf (as) was someone who was repeatedly taught to practice patience throughout his life as well as rely on God in every single situation he was placed in. Hence, it was these two qualities that Yusuf (as) was able to master, that not only earned him the love of Allah, but also caused him to be successful in this world and the next.

Today, I want to shed light on just some benefits of this Surah and facts about it that will hopefully inspire you (after reading this article ofcourse), to want to pick up a Qur’an and read through its meaning. Although this will never do justice to the subtleties and linguistic gems that are buried within it, it will give you an insight of why this story is indeed the best of all stories.

So, here goes!

Some points of benefit about this Surah:

  • It was the first complete Surah ever to be revealed!
  • The Surah sticks to the same subject matter as oppose to other Surahs, which discuss many subjects and topics. This point itself makes the Surah unique.
  • Scholars say this Surah was revealed during the period of sorrow in order to comfort Rasulullah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) after the death of his beloved wife, supporter and companion, Khadidja, and the death of his supporting pillar, which was Abu Taalib, his uncle.
  • The Surah is about a boy, who was thrown into well, captured, sold into a foreign land, then seduced by a woman, thereafter imprisoned, and after all this he eventually becomes governor of Egypt! If that’s not a happily-ever-efter ending, her also was reunited with his parents and family after years and years of separation!
  • Therefore, this Surah is literally filled with precious lessons on how to deal with tests and trials and every difficulty.
  • It gives us hope that no matter how dark or clouded it may get, there will always be ray of sunshine amidst it all, and soon, the sun will begin to shine brightly again. In orther words, this Surah explains perfectly the ayah: “With every hardship comes easy.”

Look out for our second article on Surah Yusuf, where we will discuss a beautiful sociology lesson we can derive from this Surah, inshaAllah.

Oh, and don’t forget to read this Surah with its meaning. It will inspire you and soothe your troubled heart!

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