Surah Yusuf >> Currently viewing Surah Yusuf Ayat 42 (12:42)

Surah Yusuf Ayat 42 in Arabic Text

وَقَالَ لِلَّذِى ظَنَّ أَنَّهُۥ نَاجٍۢ مِّنْهُمَا ٱذْكُرْنِى عِندَ رَبِّكَ فَأَنسَىٰهُ ٱلشَّيْطَـٰنُ ذِكْرَ رَبِّهِۦ فَلَبِثَ فِى ٱلسِّجْنِ بِضْعَ سِنِينَ
Wa qaala lillazee zanna annahoo najim minhumaz kurnee ‘inda rabbika fa-ansaahush Shaitaanu zikra Rabbihee falabisa fis sijni bid’a sineen (section 5)

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 42

Sahih International
And he said to the one whom he knew would go free, “Mention me before your master.” But Satan made him forget the mention [to] his master, and Joseph remained in prison several years.

Yusuf Ali
And of the two, to that one whom he consider about to be saved, he said: “Mention me to thy lord.” But Satan made him forget to mention him to his lord: and (Joseph) lingered in prison a few (more) years.

Abul Ala Maududi
And Joseph said to the one of the two prisoners who he knew would be set free: “Mention me in your lord’s presence.” But Satan caused him to forget mentioning this to his lord (the ruler of Egypt) and so Joseph languished in prison for several years.

Muhsin Khan
And he said to the one whom he knew to be saved: “Mention me to your lord (i.e. your king, so as to get me out of the prison).” But Shaitan (Satan) made him forget to mention it to his Lord [or Satan made [(Yusuf (Joseph)] to forget the remembrance of his Lord (Allah) as to ask for His Help, instead of others]. So [Yusuf (Joseph)] stayed in prison a few (more) years.

Pickthall
And he said unto him of the twain who he knew would be released: Mention me in the presence of thy lord. But Satan caused him to forget to mention it to his lord, so he (Joseph) stayed in prison for some years.

Dr. Ghali
And he said to the one of the two (that) he expected would be delivered, “Mention me in the presence of your lord.” (But) then Ash-Shaytan (The all-vicious (one), i.e., the Devil) caused him to forget mentioning (him to) his lord; so he lingered in the prison for several years.

Abdel Haleem
Joseph said to the one he knew would be saved, ‘Mention me to your master,’ but Satan made him forget to do this, and so Joseph remained in prison for a number of years.

Quran 12 Verse 42 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Yusuf ayat 42, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(12:42) And Joseph said to the one of the two prisoners who he knew would be set free: “Mention me in your lord’s presence.” But Satan caused him to forget mentioning this to his lord (the ruler of Egypt) and so Joseph languished in prison for several years.[35]


35. Some commentators have interpreted it like this: Satan made Prophet Joseph neglectful of his Lord, Allah, so he placed his confidence in a man rather than Allah and desired him to mention him to his lord, the king, for his release. So Allah punished him by letting him languish several years in the dungeon. In fact, such an interpretation is absolutely erroneous for as Allamah Ibn Kathir and some early commentators like Mujahid, Muhammad-bin- Ishaq and some others say, the pronoun him refers to that person who he thought would be released. Therefore it will mean: Satan made him (the would be free man) so neglectful that he forgot to mention him (Prophet Joseph) to his lord (the king). They also cite a tradition in support of their interpretation to this effect. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: If Prophet Joseph had not said that what he said, he would not have remained in imprisonment for several years. But Allamah Ibn Kathir says: This Hadith cannot be accepted because all the ways in which it has been reported are weak. Moreover, two of the reporters, Sufyan-bin-Wakii and Ibrahim-bin-Yazid, are not trustworthy. Besides being weak on technical grounds, it is also against the dictates of common sense: if a wronged person adopted some measures for his release, he cannot be considered to be neglectful of God and guilty of the lack of trust in Allah. 4

Ibn-Kathir

42. And he said to the one whom he knew to be saved: “Mention me to your king.” But Shaytan made him forget to mention it to his master. So ﴿Yusuf﴾ stayed in prison a few (more) years.


Yusuf asks the King’s Distiller to mention Him to the King

Yusuf knew that the distiller would be saved. So discretely, so that the other man’s suspicion that he would be crucified would not intensify, he said,

﴿اذْكُرْنِى عِندَ رَبِّكَ﴾

(Mention me to your King.) asking him to mention his story to the king. That man forgot Yusuf’s request and did not mention his story to the king, a plot from the devil, so that Allah’s Prophet would not leave the prison. This is the correct meaning of,

﴿فَأَنْسَاهُ الشَّيْطَـنُ ذِكْرَ رَبِّهِ﴾

(But Shaytan made him forget to mention it to his master.) that it refers to the man who was saved. As was said by Mujahid, Muhammad bin Ishaq and several others. As for, `a few years’, or, Bida` in Arabic, it means between three and nine, according to Mujahid and Qatadah. Wahb bin Munabbih said, “Ayyub suffered from the illness for seven years, Yusuf remained in prison for seven years and Bukhtanassar (Nebuchadnezzar – Chaldean king of Babylon) was tormented for seven years.”

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