What a beautiful tale is the tale of Joseph! It is the tale of the passionate and the object of passion, the talk of separation and union. It wants the pain-stricken to read the tale of those in pain. It wants the passionate to report about the pain of passion and the burning of the passionate. It wants the burnt so that the burning of the longing may leave a trace. I am the slave of the yearner who lights up the fire of longing at the top of the Friend’s street. I envy the eye that rains down tears at separation in love for the Beloved. I scatter spirit and heart before the lost-hearted one who tells the story of the lost-hearted.
12:4 When Joseph said to his father, “O my father, surely I saw eleven stars and the sun and the moon. I saw them prostrating to me.”
Ibn ʿAbbās said, “The eleven stars allude to the eleven brothers.” God is saying, “The stars are bright by themselves and people take to the road by them,” which is in His words, “By the stars, they are guided” [16:16]. “In the same way Joseph’s brothers had the brightness of prophecy, and within them was found the guidance of the people.” Their treachery toward their brother and their envy toward him are minor sins of the sort that occur for prophets. The wisdom in this is that the world’s folk may come to know that the faultless is God, who is one and unique, and all other things have faults.
It was said to Ḥasan, “Does the man of faith have envy?”
He said, “What has made you forget the sons of Jacob?”
Someone may say that Joseph was an immature child when he saw this dream, and it is known in the Shariah that no rulings apply to the act of a child. Since his act has no ruling, how can his dream have a ruling? The answer is that if the child’s act is achieved by his own intention and aim, it can be attributed to his susceptibility to shortcomings and defects. But a dream is a divine showing, and in that children and adults are the same.
12:15 So when they went with him and agreed to put him at the bottom of the well, We revealed to him, “Surely thou shalt inform them of this affair of theirs when they are unaware.”
Even if the care of his father was cut off from him, he received revelation from his Patron. Such is the custom of God: He never opens up a door of trial to the souls of His friends without opening up the doors of limpidness and the sorts of friendship to their hearts.
Although Joseph was sorrowful at separation from his father, why should he have lamented? He was colored by union with the revelation of the Real. The Real’s revelation to him in that empty well was sweeter to him than union with Jacob in Canaan. Indeed, all caresses are in the midst of suffering, and beneath one disappointment lie a thousand treasures.
The Pir of the Tariqah said, “If the marks of familiarity are true, whatever arrives from the Friend is beautiful doing. When there is no suspicion of the Friend in the apportioning, the complaint is a fault. If this claim has meaning, happiness and grief will be the same for it.”