إِذْ قَالُوا لَيُوسُفُ وَأَخُوهُ أَحَبُّ إِلَىٰ أَبِينَا مِنَّا وَنَحْنُ عُصْبَةٌ إِنَّ أَبَانَا لَفِي ضَلَالٍ مُبِينٍ
When they said, "Joseph and his brother are more beloved to our father than we, while we are a clan. Indeed, our father is in clear error.
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لَّقَدْ كَانَ فِى يُوسُفَ وَإِخْوَتِهِ ءايَـتٌ لِّلسَّآئِلِينَ - إِذْ قَالُواْ لَيُوسُفُ وَأَخُوهُ أَحَبُّ إِلَى أَبِينَا مِنَّا وَنَحْنُ عُصْبَةٌ إِنَّ أَبَانَا لَفِى ضَلَلٍ مُّبِينٍ - اقْتُلُواْ يُوسُفَ أَوِ اطْرَحُوهُ أَرْضًا يَخْلُ لَكُمْ وَجْهُ أَبِيكُمْ وَتَكُونُواْ مِن بَعْدِهِ قَوْمًا صَـلِحِينَ - قَالَ قَآئِلٌ مِّنْهُمْ لاَ تَقْتُلُواْ يُوسُفَ وَأَلْقُوهُ فِى غَيَابَةِ الْجُبِّ يَلْتَقِطْهُ بَعْضُ السَّيَّارَةِ إِن كُنتُمْ فَـعِلِينَ
(7. Verily, in Yusuf and his brethren there were Ayat for those who ask.)
(8. When they said: "Truly, Yusuf and his brother are dearer to our father than we, while we are
Usbah (a group). Really, our father is in a plain error.'')
(9. "Kill Yusuf or cast him out to some (other) land, so that the favor of your father may be given to you alone, and after that you will be righteous folk.'')
(10. One from among them said: "Kill not Yusuf, but if you must do something, throw him down to the bottom of a well; he will be picked up by some caravan of travelers.'')
Allah says that there are Ayat, lessons and wisdom to learn from the story of Yusuf and his brothers, for those who ask about their story and seek its knowledge. Surely, their story is unique and is worthy of being narrated.
إِذْ قَالُواْ لَيُوسُفُ وَأَخُوهُ أَحَبُّ إِلَى أَبِينَا مِنَّا
(When they said: "Truly, Yusuf and his brother are dearer to our father than we...'') They swore, according to their false thoughts, that Yusuf and his brother Binyamin (Benjamin), Yusuf's full brother,
أَحَبُّ إِلَى أَبِينَا مِنَّا وَنَحْنُ عُصْبَةٌ
(dearer to our father than we, while we are `Usbah.) meaning, a group. Therefore, they thought, how can he love these two more than the group,
إِنَّ أَبَانَا لَفِى ضَلَلٍ مُّبِينٍ
(Really, our father is in a plain error.) because he preferred them and loved them more than us.
اقْتُلُواْ يُوسُفَ أَوِ اطْرَحُوهُ أَرْضًا يَخْلُ لَكُمْ وَجْهُ أَبِيكُمْ
(Kill Yusuf or cast him out to some (other) land, so that the favor of your father may be given to you alone,) They said, `Remove Yusuf, who competes with you for your father's love, from in front of your father's face so that his favor is yours alone. Either kill Yusuf or banish him to a distant land so that you are rid of his trouble and you alone enjoy the love of your father. '
وَتَكُونُواْ مِن بَعْدِهِ قَوْمًا صَـلِحِينَ
(and after that you will be righteous folk.), thus intending repentance before committing the sin,
قَالَ قَآئِلٌ مِّنْهُمْ
(One from among them said...) Qatadah and Muhammad bin Ishaq said that he was the oldest among them and his name was Rubil (Reuben). As-Suddi said that his name was Yahudha (Judah). Mujahid said that it was Sham`un (Simeon) who said,
لاَ تَقْتُلُواْ يُوسُفَ
(Kill not Yusuf,), do not let your enmity and hatred towards him reach this level, of murder. However, their plot to kill Yusuf would not have succeeded, because Allah the Exalted willed that Yusuf fulfill a mission that must be fulfilled and complete; he would receive Allah's revelation and become His Prophet. Allah willed Yusuf to be a powerful man in Egypt and govern it. Consequently, Allah did not allow them to persist in their intent against Yusuf, through Rubil's words and his advice to them that if they must do something, they should throw him down to the bottom of a well,
يَلْتَقِطْهُ بَعْضُ السَّيَّارَةِ
(he will be picked up by some caravan) of travelers passing by. This way, he said, you will rid yourselves of this bother without having to kill him,
إِن كُنتُمْ فَـعِلِينَ
(if you must do something,) meaning, if you still insist on getting rid of him. Muhammad bin Ishaq bin Yasar said, "They agreed to a particularly vicious crime that involved cutting the relation of the womb, undutiful treatment of parents, and harshness towards the young, helpless and sinless. It was also harsh towards the old and weak who have the rights of being respected, honored and appreciated, as well as, being honored with Allah and having parental rights on their offspring. They sought to separate the beloved father, who had reached old age and his bones became weak, yet had a high status with Allah, from his beloved young son, in spite of his weakness, tender age and his need of his father's compassion and kindness. May Allah forgive them, and indeed, He is the Most Merciful among those who have mercy, for they intended to carry out a "grave error.'' Ibn Abi Hatim collected this state- ment, from the route of Salamah bin Al-Fadl from Muhammad bin Ishaq.