The Dream of the King of Egypt
The King of Egypt had a dream that Allah the Exalted made a reason for Yusuf’s release from prison, with his honor and reputation preserved. When the king had this dream, he was astonished and fearful and sought its interpretation. He gathered the priests, the chiefs of his state and the princes and told them what he had seen in a dream, asking them to interpret it for him. They did not know its interpretation and as an excuse, they said,
(Mixed up false dreams), which you saw,
(and we are not skilled in the interpretation of dreams.) They said, had your dream been a vision rather than a mixed up false dream, we would not have known its interpretation. The man who was saved from the two, who were Yusuf’s companions in prison, remembered. Shaytan plotted to make him forget the request of Yusuf, to mention his story to the king. Now, years later, he remembered after forgetfulness and said to the king and his entourage,
(I will tell you its interpretation,) he interpretation of this dream,
(so send me forth.) to the prison, to Yusuf, the man of truth. So they sent him, and he said to Yusuf,
(O Yusuf, the man of truth! Explain to us..) and mentioned the king’s dream to him.
Yusuf’s Interpretation of the King’s Dream
This is when Yusuf, peace be upon him, told the interpretation of the dream, without criticizing the man for forgetting his request that he had made to him. Neither did he make a precondition that he be released before explaining the meaning. Rather, he said,
(For seven consecutive years, you shall sow as usual) `you will receive the usual amount of rain and fertility for seven consecutive years.’ He interpreted the cows to be years, because cows till the land that produce fruits and vegetables, which represent the green ears of corn in the dream. He next recommended what they should do during these fertile years,
(and that (the harvest) which you reap you shall leave it in the ears, (all) except a little of it which you may eat.) He said, `Whatever you harvest during those seven fertile years, leave it in the ears so as to preserve it better. This will help the harvest stay healthy longer, except the amount that you need to eat, which should not be substantial. Stay away from extravagance, so that you use what remains of the harvest during the seven years of drought that will follow the seven fertile years.’ This was represented by the seven lean cows that eat the seven fat cows. During the seven years of drought, they will eat from the harvest they collected during the seven fertile years, as represented by the dry ears of corn in the dream. Yusuf told them that during these years, the remaining ears will not produce anything and whatever they try to plant, will not produce any harvest, so he said,
(which will devour what you have laid by in advance for them, (all) except a little of that which you have guarded (stored).) He delivered the good news to them that after the consecutive years of drought, there will come a fertile year, during which people will receive rain and the land will produce in abundance. The people will then press wine and oil as usual.