The Crime of Yusuf’s (AS) Brothers

Yusuf (AS) had 11 brothers.

Yusuf (AS) was the son of Yaqub (AS).

Yusuf (AS) was the grandson of Ishaaq (AS).

Yusuf (AS) was the great grandson of Ibrahim (AS).

Yusuf (AS) was the prophet who was thrown into a well by his brothers.

 Yaqub (AS) had twelve sons. Yusuf (AS) was his second youngest son. Yusuf (AS) was a very handsome boy with great manners, and his father loved him deeply. His ten older brothers were jealous of him because they believed their father loved him more than he loved them.

One night, Yusuf (AS) had a dream. In it, he dreamed that eleven stars, as well as the sun and the moon, were bowing down to him. In the morning when he woke up, he ran to his father to tell him of the dream.

When Yaqub (AS) heard of this dream, he was very happy. He knew that Allah had honoured Yusuf (AS) with this dream, and had chosen the young boy for His cause. But he also knew that Yusuf’s (AS) older brothers would be jealous if they heard of this, and so he warned him not to tell his dream to anyone in case they made a plan against him.

One day, the ten older brothers were sitting with one another and talking about how much their father loved Yusuf (AS). They claimed that Yaqub (AS) loved Yusuf (AS) and his younger brother Benyamin more than he loved them. They declared that their father was clearly wrong for doing this. So they began planning to try and get rid of Yusuf (AS) hoping that their father would then give them more attention.

The first idea was to just kill Yusuf (AS). One of them did not like the idea of killing their own brother, so he suggested that they throw him to the bottom of a well instead. Then, he might be picked up and taken away by some travellers. They agreed to this idea.

They went to Yaqub (AS) and began to complain, ‘O our father, why do you not trust us with Yusuf when we just want the best for him? Let us take him with us tomorrow so that he can enjoy himself and play. We will definitely take care of him.’

But Yaqub (AS) was scared. He suspected that his sons had planned something evil, and so he made the excuse, ‘It would sadden me if you took him with you and a wolf ate him while you were unaware.’

They responded, ‘If a wolf ate him, even though we are such a big group, then we would definitely be losers!’ In the end, Yaqub (AS) reluctantly agreed to let Yusuf (AS) go out with his brothers.

Well, Fountain, Spring, Water, Medieval, Middle AgesThe next day, when the brothers reached the well they seized Yusuf (AS) and forced his shirt off. Then they threw him into the well. They slaughtered an animal and used its blood to stain Yusuf’s (AS) shirt, so it looked like he had been killed by a wolf. Then, they abandoned their younger brother and returned home. Yusuf (AS) was of course terrified, but Allah inspired him that one day he would remind his brothers of their crime against him, while they didn’t even recognise who he was.

The brothers returned to their father in the evening with the bloodstained shirt. They were crying fake tears when they ran to their father and lied, ‘O our father, we were racing with each other and we left Yusuf (AS) behind with our belongings when a wolf came and ate him! But you won’t believe us, no matter how truthful we are.’

But Yaqub (AS) realised immediately that this was just a lie. The shirt was not even torn, which made no sense if a wolf had truly eaten Yusuf (AS). ‘No! Rather your souls must have tempted you to do something. All I can do is endure with beautiful patience. And I seek Allah’s help to bear what you’ve told me.’


When you are tested, show sabr. Yaqub (AS) was tested immensely here, when his own son was stolen from him and he had no idea what was happening to him. But he realised that all he could do was show sabrun jameel – beautiful patience. This means he turned to Allah when no one else could help him and asked for His assistance alone. He did not give up hope, and endured the test with full trust in Allah.