Yusuf (AS) Meets his Brothers
As Yusuf (AS) had said, the next seven years passed with good harvest. In this time, Yusuf (AS) made sure to store plenty of grain for the next seven years which he knew would be difficult. After these first seven years, a drought spread across the land, even all the way to Yusuf’s (AS) homeland. Yusuf (AS) was in charge of selling the grain among the people who needed it, for a reasonable price. People would come from the nearby lands to Egypt and Yusuf (AS) would give them a share of food to take back to their people.
One day, the ten older brothers of Yusuf (AS) turned up to collect their share. Yusuf (AS) immediately recognised them but they did not recognise him, as he had just been a young boy when they had last seen him. He also noticed that his younger brother, and only full brother, Benyamin, was not with them.
He asked his brothers who they were, to which they replied that they were eleven brothers, all sons of a noble prophet. They explained that the youngest of them had remained behind to take care of their aging father, so he was not with them. At this, Yusuf (AS) told them that next time they must bring him with them, otherwise he would not give them anything the next time they came. So they promised that they would try to get permission from their father.
Yusuf (AS) then ordered one of the servants to secretly slip their money back into their bags, so that when they found it maybe they would come back.
When the older brothers of Yusuf (AS) returned home, they explained to their father that they needed to take Benyamin with them next time or they would not get any more food. But Yaqub (AS) denied them, and responded, ‘Should I trust you with him like I once trusted you with Yusuf? But Allah is the best Protector, and He is the Most Merciful of the merciful.’
However when the brothers opened their bags, they realised that their money had been returned to them. So they argued, ‘O our father! What more could we ask for? Here is our money, fully returned to us. Now we can buy more food for our family. We will watch over our brother, and get another camel-load of grain. We can get that share easily.’
But Yaqub (AS) insisted, ‘I will not send him with you unless you give me a promise, by Allah, that you will bring him back to me, unless you are totally overpowered.’ When the brothers had given him their promises, he declared, ‘Allah is a Witness to what we have said.’