We recognize faith as having complete trust in someone or something. According to our Islamic principles, faith, more specifically, is to have complete belief alongside being in submission and acceptance of everything that our beloved messenger ﷺ taught us. Rather than discussing faith from an academic approach, let’s draw an analogy describing what faith was like amongst the prophets of Allah ﷻ; more specifically prophet Yusuf (AS). Allah ﷻ starts off by informing rasulAllah ﷺ that he is about to relay unto him ﷺ the greatest of stories. Now keep in mind our Creator, the One who has made stories even possible via our presence in this world, is informing us that this is the best of stories; not what’s best to us, but what’s considered the best to the best of storytellers ﷻ.

When we look at the struggles and trials our beloved prophet Yusuf (AS) went through, we can’t help but to fall in love with his journey and the strength in his faith that he portrayed. Yusuf (AS), as a young boy was thrown into a well and left abandoned, not by tyrants, but by his own brothers. Imagine the pain of knowing you’ve been betrayed by your own family members. Imagine the scary, dark, cold nights, that he spent all alone in the middle of nowhere calling out for help, but no one was there to answer. When Allah ﷻ destined a caravan to find him, it was his fate to be sold as a slave to the Governor of Egypt. It was the divine plan of Allah for Yusuf (AS) to be put in a situation in which the Governor’s wife tempted him and he was wrongfully accused. It was through the wisdom of Allah ﷻ that as innocent as Yusuf (AS) was, he was imprisoned. It was through that journey of prison which led the King to Yusuf (AS) for assistance in dream interpreting. Because of his skills, Yusuf (AS) was honored with a high rank as the treasurer of Egypt.

Looking at these significant events in the life of Yusuf (AS), one can’t help but be amazed with the way Allah ﷻ plans. From the bottom of a well, to working as a slave, to being imprisoned, to being placed in one of the highest positions in all of Egypt, what was it that kept Yusuf (AS) determined and strong? It was his firm faith in Allah ﷻ. He sought the strength of the Most Strong and Most Powerful throughout the entirety of his life. Even when Yusuf (AS) was reunited with his brothers and they became aware of who he was after all these years, Yusuf responded to them saying “You need not be frightened of me. Allah may forgive you your sins.” “Allah has been gracious to me. One who is pious and patient against hardships is always rewarded by Allah for his virtues.” {12: 90-92} It’s evident that Yusuf (AS) portrayed such a strong faith that unfortunately is foreign to so many.

Amongst the many lessons the story of Yusuf teaches us, the main theme is having strong faith. We take from Yusuf’s blessed journey that we seek Allah’s protection in all difficulties and hardships we face. We learn the importance of staying attached to one’s religion and to take advantage of every opportunity in trying to persuade others to the right path. We learn that patience in the face of hardship is the best of qualities, and it results in a tremendous amount of reward from Allah in this life and the hereafter.

My dear respected brothers and sisters, no matter where you are in your journey, be it the darkest and deepest of wells and you’re struggling to get out, or living life like a king, recognize that the only true constant in your life is Allah ﷻ. If your faith in Allah is weak, your journey will be a very difficult and dark one, but if your faith in Allah ﷻ is sound and strong, your journey will be lit up by the light of Allah ﷻ, and what brighter light is there?

By Sh. Hassan Natour