When Hz. Yusuf (Joseph) became an administrator in Egypt, had he started the duty of prophethood? Did he decree based on the laws of Allah when he was the prime minister in Egypt?

Details of the Question

When Hz. Yusuf (Joseph) became an administrator in Egypt, had he started the duty of prophethood? It is written somewhere that Hz. Yusuf made use of the laws of Egypt that did not contradict Allah’s decrees for a while in order to spread Allah's decrees. Will you give information about it?

Editör
(editor) on Thu, 08/02/2018 - 15:32

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

- According to what Ibn Ishaq states, Walid b. Rayyan, the king of Egypt, believed in Hz. Yusuf and accepted his religion. (see Ibn Kathir, an-Nihaya, 1/241; Qasasul-Anbiya, 137)

However, we could not find any information about based on what law Hz. Yusuf acted when he was the prime minister in Egypt. Besides, it is not stated in the Quran what kind of a shari’ah was given to Hz. Yusuf and how he fulfilled the duty of prophethood. Therefore, it is not easy to express a definite degree regarding the issue.

Nevertheless, different interpretations were made about the concepts “hukm (power)” and “ilm (knowledge) mentioned in the following verse: “When Joseph attained His full manhood, We gave him power and knowledge: thus do We reward those who do right.” (Yusuf, 12/22)

According to some scholars, “hukm” is prophethood and “ilm” is the knowledge given together with prophethood. (Ibn Ashur, the interpretation of the relevant verse)

In some tafsir books, “hukm” is interpreted as prophethood and “ilm” as religious knowledge. (Razi, the interpretation of the relevant verse)

- According to some scholars, revelation was sent to Hz. Yusuf when he was thrown into the well. Those who hold this view regard the following verse as evidence: “and We put into his heart (this Message):…”(Yusuf, 12/15) However, some scholars accept the concept “revelation" in the verse in the sense of inspiration. (Razi, the interpretation of the relevant verse)

- When Hz. Yusuf, who was given the duty of prophethood whether he was in the well or when he went to Egypt, undertook the duty of administration in Egypt, it is certain that there was a legal system other than his shari’ah in Egypt. As a matter of fact, he acted contrarily to the legal system in Egypt when he detained his full brother based on the deal he made with his brothers. “...Thus did We plan for Joseph. He could not take his brother by the law of the king except that Allah willed it (so)...” (Yusuf, 12/76) The verse above emphasizes this fact. (see Razi, Ibn Kathir, Qurtubi, Qasimi, Maraghi, the interpretation of the relevant verse)

The statement “He could not take his brother by the law of the king” in the verse above indicates that Hz. Yusuf acted in accordance with the laws of Egypt in principle.

- It is permissible to act in accordance with customary laws and regulations unless they are contrary to Allah’s orders. They are regarded to have got permission from the relevant shari’ah.

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