we declare Your Perfection above and beyond all: we have no knowledge whatsoever except what You have taught us. No doubt it is You, and You alone that is all Knowledgeable and all Wise. (al-Baqarah, 32)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Amazing facts about the Quran - Surah Yusuf


Surah Yusuf is actually one of the most unique surah in the entire Quran. First of all, it is the only surah in which the story of prophet Yusuf a.s is mentioned. However, the stand out feature of this surah is that it is the only surah among the longer surah that conveys a single unified story - the story of Prophet Yusuf a.s. - from the beginning till the end of the surah. Interestingly, Allah s.w.t already hints this nature of the surah by mentioning in the third ayat of the surah, "We are narrating to you the best of stories"

The following are the plot in the narrative of this surah, told in over 100 ayaat:

1. Yusuf (alayhis-Salam) has a dream.
2. His brothers plot against him
3. His owner’s wife attempts to seduce him
4. Her friends attempt to seduce him
5. He (as) is imprisoned
6.The king has a dream
7.The king’s dream is interpreted
8. Yusuf (as) is released from prison
9.The ladies confess
10. His former owner’s wife confesses
11. His brothers learn their lesson
12. Yusuf (as)’s
dream is interpreted and realized.

Now, if you noticed (and have studied a little bit of literature), you'll find the first six plot points were the conflicts while the latter six are the resolutions. So that's 6 conflicts and 6 resolutions - again highlighting the theme of balance in the Quran.

But that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Let's take a look at the plot point again with a different perspective. Pay attention to the numbers and the words in bold.

1. Yusuf (alayhis-Salam) has a dream.
2. His brothers plot against him
3. His owner’s wife attempts to seduce him
4. Her friends attempt to seduce him
5. He (as) is imprisoned
6.The king has a dream
6.The king’s dream is interpreted
5. Yusuf (as) is released from prison
4.The ladies confess
3. His former owner’s wife confesses
2. His brothers learn their lesson
1. Yusuf (as)’s
dream is interpreted and realized.

The amazing fact about this narrative isn't just that its balanced, but it's also symmetrical. Just like the way a paper is folded in half, conflicts are introduced and solved in a reverse symmetrical order.

It may not be impossible for an author to write a narrative in a similar style, provided he/she be given enough time to properly draft it beforehand. BUT, the Quran wasn't revealed as a book, it was first heard in the form of the speech of the Messenger s.a.w. and this feat is nothing short of a miracle.

SubhanAllah.

Wallahua'lam.


I learnt this from:

2 free comments:

Munirah said...

Salam,
I would like to ask regarding Surah Yusuf is the only surah where Yusuf A.S. is mentioned.

His name is also mentioned in surah al-Ghafir (40:34). It's just that it is merely mentioned, but not his story. So I suppose what you mean is Yusuf STORY is the only story where it's only being recounted in surah Yusuf (as oppose to his NAME?)

Thanks.

najibu said...

Wa'alaikumussalam sister.

Thank you for pointing that out. Yes, that's what I was trying to get across but I seemed to have worded it poorly.

Thanks again for the feedback.

 
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