Ya`qub’s Answer to Their Request

Allah narrates to us that His Prophet Ya`qub said to his children, in response to their request that he send Yusuf with them to the desert to tend their cattle,

إِنِّى لَيَحْزُنُنِى أَن تَذْهَبُواْ بِهِ

(Truly, it saddens me that you should take him away.) He said that it was hard on him that he be separated from Yusuf for the duration of their trip, until they came back. This demonstrates the deep love that Ya`qub had for his son, because he saw in Yusuf great goodness and exalted qualities with regards to conduct and physical attractiveness associated with the rank of prophethood. May Allah’s peace and blessings be on him. Prophet Ya`qub’s statement next,

وَأَخَافُ أَن يَأْكُلَهُ الذِّئْبُ وَأَنْتُمْ عَنْهُ غَـفِلُونَ

(I fear lest a wolf should devour him, while you are careless of him.) He said to them, `I fear that you might be careless with him while you are tending the cattle and shooting, then a wolf might come and eat him while you are unaware.’ They heard these words from his mouth and used them in their response for what they did afterwards. They also gave a spontaneous reply for their father’s statement, saying,

لَئِنْ أَكَلَهُ الذِّئْبُ وَنَحْنُ عُصْبَةٌ إِنَّآ إِذَا لَّخَـسِرُونَ

(If a wolf devours him, while we are an `Usbah, then surely, we are the losers.) They said, `If a wolf should attack and devour him while we are all around him in a strong group, then indeed we are the losers and weak.’

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