Surah Yusuf >> Currently viewing Surah Yusuf Ayat 43 (12:43)

Surah Yusuf Ayat 43 in Arabic Text

وَقَالَ ٱلْمَلِكُ إِنِّىٓ أَرَىٰ سَبْعَ بَقَرَٰتٍۢ سِمَانٍۢ يَأْكُلُهُنَّ سَبْعٌ عِجَافٌۭ وَسَبْعَ سُنۢبُلَـٰتٍ خُضْرٍۢ وَأُخَرَ يَابِسَـٰتٍۢ ۖ يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلْمَلَأُ أَفْتُونِى فِى رُءْيَـٰىَ إِن كُنتُمْ لِلرُّءْيَا تَعْبُرُونَ
Wa qaalal maliku inneee araa sab’a baqaraatin simaaniny ya’kuluhunna sab’un ‘ijaafunw wa sab’a sumbulaatin khudrinw wa ukhara yaabisaat; yaaa ayuhal mala-u aftoonee fee ru’yaaya in kuntum lirru’yaa ta’buroon

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 43

Sahih International
And [subsequently] the king said, “Indeed, I have seen [in a dream] seven fat cows being eaten by seven [that were] lean, and seven green spikes [of grain] and others [that were] dry. O eminent ones, explain to me my vision, if you should interpret visions.”

Yusuf Ali
The king (of Egypt) said: “I do see (in a vision) seven fat kine, whom seven lean ones devour, and seven green ears of corn, and seven (others) withered. O ye chiefs! Expound to me my vision if it be that ye can interpret visions.”

Abul Ala Maududi
And once the king said: “I have dreamt that there are seven fat cows and seven lean cows are devouring them, and there are seven fresh green ears of corn and seven others dry and withered. My nobles! Tell me what is the interpretation of this dream, if you are well-versed in interpretation of dreams.”

Muhsin Khan
And the king (of Egypt) said: “Verily, I saw (in a dream) seven fat cows, whom seven lean ones were devouring – and of seven green ears of corn, and (seven) others dry. O notables! Explain to me my dream, if it be that you can interpret dreams.”

Pickthall
And the king said: Lo! I saw in a dream seven fat kine which seven lean were eating, and seven green ears of corn and other (seven) dry. O notables! Expound for me my vision, if ye can interpret dreams.

Dr. Ghali
And the king said, “Surely I (do) see (in a dream) seven plump cows which seven lean ones were eating, and seven green ears (of grain) and (seven) others dry. O you chiefs, pronounce about my vision in case you can explicate vision (s).”

Abdel Haleem
The king said, ‘I dreamed about seven fat cows being eaten by seven lean ones; seven green ears of corn and [seven] others withered. Counsellors, if you can interpret dreams, tell me the meaning of my dream.’

Quran 12 Verse 43 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Yusuf ayat 43, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(12:43) And once[36] the king said: “I have dreamt that there are seven fat cows and seven lean cows are devouring them, and there are seven fresh green ears of corn and seven others dry and withered. My nobles! Tell me what is the interpretation of this dream, if you are well-versed in interpretation of dreams.”[37]


36. Leaving the account of the events of the intervening years of imprisonment, the story has been resumed from the time when Prophet Joseph began to rise in worldly rank.

37. According to the Bible and the Talmud, the king was greatly disturbed, troubled and confused because of these dreams. So he proclaimed throughout the entire land of Egypt, and called upon all the wise men, and the soothsayers, and magicians of the land to interpret his dreams.

Ibn-Kathir

43. And the king (of Egypt) said: “Verily, I saw (in a dream) seven fat cows, whom seven lean ones were devouring, and seven green ears of corn, and (seven others dry. O notables! Explain to me my dream, if it be that you can interpret dreams.” 44. They said: “Mixed up false dreams and we are not skilled in the interpretation of dreams.” o45. Then the man who was released, now at length remembered and said: “I will tell you its interpretation, so send me forth.” 46. (He said): “O Yusuf, the man of truth! Explain to us seven fat cows whom seven lean ones were devouring, and seven green ears of corn, and (seven) others dry, that I may return to the people, and that they may know.” 47. ﴿Yusuf﴾ said: “For seven consecutive years, you shall sow as usual and that which you reap you shall leave it in the ears, (all) except a little of it which you may eat.” 48. “Then will come after that, seven hard (years), which will devour what you have laid by in advance for them, (all) except a little of that which you have guarded (stored).” 49. “Then thereafter will come a year in which people will have abundant rain and in which they will press (wine and oil).”


The Dream of the King of Egypt

The King of Egypt had a dream that Allah the Exalted made a reason for Yusuf’s release from prison, with his honor and reputation preserved. When the king had this dream, he was astonished and fearful and sought its interpretation. He gathered the priests, the chiefs of his state and the princes and told them what he had seen in a dream, asking them to interpret it for him. They did not know its interpretation and as an excuse, they said,

﴿أَضْغَـثُ أَحْلَـمٍ﴾

(Mixed up false dreams), which you saw,

﴿وَمَا نَحْنُ بِتَأْوِيلِ الاٌّحْلَـمِ بِعَـلِمِينَ﴾

(and we are not skilled in the interpretation of dreams.) They said, had your dream been a vision rather than a mixed up false dream, we would not have known its interpretation. The man who was saved from the two, who were Yusuf’s companions in prison, remembered. Shaytan plotted to make him forget the request of Yusuf, to mention his story to the king. Now, years later, he remembered after forgetfulness and said to the king and his entourage,

﴿أَنَاْ أُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِتَأْوِيلِهِ﴾

(I will tell you its interpretation,) he interpretation of this dream,

﴿فَأَرْسِلُونِ﴾

(so send me forth.) to the prison, to Yusuf, the man of truth. So they sent him, and he said to Yusuf,

﴿يُوسُفُ أَيُّهَا الصِّدِّيقُ أَفْتِنَا﴾

(O Yusuf, the man of truth! Explain to us..) and mentioned the king’s dream to him.

Yusuf’s Interpretation of the King’s Dream

This is when Yusuf, peace be upon him, told the interpretation of the dream, without criticizing the man for forgetting his request that he had made to him. Neither did he make a precondition that he be released before explaining the meaning. Rather, he said,

﴿تَزْرَعُونَ سَبْعُ سِنِينَ دَأَبًا﴾

(For seven consecutive years, you shall sow as usual) `you will receive the usual amount of rain and fertility for seven consecutive years.’ He interpreted the cows to be years, because cows till the land that produce fruits and vegetables, which represent the green ears of corn in the dream. He next recommended what they should do during these fertile years,

﴿فَمَا حَصَدتُّمْ فَذَرُوهُ فِى سُنبُلِهِ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً مِّمَّا تَأْكُلُونَ﴾

(and that (the harvest) which you reap you shall leave it in the ears, (all) except a little of it which you may eat.) He said, `Whatever you harvest during those seven fertile years, leave it in the ears so as to preserve it better. This will help the harvest stay healthy longer, except the amount that you need to eat, which should not be substantial. Stay away from extravagance, so that you use what remains of the harvest during the seven years of drought that will follow the seven fertile years.’ This was represented by the seven lean cows that eat the seven fat cows. During the seven years of drought, they will eat from the harvest they collected during the seven fertile years, as represented by the dry ears of corn in the dream. Yusuf told them that during these years, the remaining ears will not produce anything and whatever they try to plant, will not produce any harvest, so he said,

﴿يَأْكُلْنَ مَا قَدَّمْتُمْ لَهُنَّ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً مِّمَّا تُحْصِنُونَ﴾

(which will devour what you have laid by in advance for them, (all) except a little of that which you have guarded (stored).) He delivered the good news to them that after the consecutive years of drought, there will come a fertile year, during which people will receive rain and the land will produce in abundance. The people will then press wine and oil as usual.

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