Who was Yusuf ﷺ?
He was the son of Yaqub ﷺ and the grandson of Ishaaq ﷺ. He was the next to youngest of twelve sons and a favorite of his father.
One day he had a dream in which eleven planets, the sun, and the moon were bowing down in front of him. When his father learned of this vision, he interpreted it as meaning that Allah ﷻ would prefer Yusuf ﷺ, would teach him the interpretation of dreams, and would perfect His grace upon him. But Yaqub warned Yusuf ﷺ not to tell the dream to his brothers, because they would be extremely jealous and might wish to do harm to him.
The older brothers were indeed jealous of Yusuf ﷺ and his younger brother. They decided that, with Yusuf ﷺ out of the picture, their father would look upon the rest of them with more favor. Some wanted to kill him and some favored abandoning him in some distant land. One of the brothers suggested leaving him in a pit so that some caravan would pick him up and carry him away. That was the plot upon which they eventually agreed.
Yusuf’s brothers went to their father and asked if they could take Yusuf ﷺ out in the pastures with them on the following day, so that he could play and enjoy himself. At first Yaqub ﷺ dissented, because he feared that Yusuf ﷺ would be devoured by a wolf. But the brothers assured him that the wolf would not have a chance against so many of them. Finally Yaqub ﷺ agreed to let Yusuf ﷺ go with them.
The following day, the brothers led Yusuf ﷺ away and left him in the bottom of a deep pit. Allah ﷻ revealed to Yusuf ﷺ at that time that one day he would tell them of this deed, when the brothers would not recognize him. After the brothers had left Yusuf ﷺ in the pit, a caravan came along and a water-drawer was sent to look for water at the bottom of the pit. He was delighted to find instead a healthy young man. Yusuf ﷺ was taken away in the caravan to be sold into slavery. The traders attached very little value to him and sold him for a very small amount of money.
Meanwhile the brothers stained Yusufs ﷺ shirt with the blood of some animal and returned, weeping and wailing, to their father, concocting a story about how a wolf had, after all, managed to slip past them and devour Yusuf ﷺ. Their father recognized that their grief was not sincere, and he prayed to Allah ﷻ to help him bear his own grief over the loss of Yusuf ﷺ.
To be continued.