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(Joseph) said: “Set me over the store-houses of the land: I will indeed guard them, as one that knows (their importance).”

Joseph had been given plenary authority by the
king. He could have enjoyed his dignity, drawn his
emoluments, put the hard and perhaps unpopular work
on the shoulders of others, and kept to himself the glitter
and the kudos. But that was not his way, nor can it
indeed be the way of any one who wants to do real
He undertook the hardest and most unpopular task
himself. Such a task was that of organizing reserves in
times of plenty, against the lean years to come. He
deliberately asked to be put in charge of the granaries
and store-houses, and the drudgery of establishing them
and guarding them, for the simple reason that he
understood that need better than any one else, and was
prepared to take upon himself rather than throw on to
another the obloquy of restricting supplies in times of


Yusuf Ali, Abdullah. Translation and Commentary of the Quran. (Surah 12 verse 55). Microsoft Word – 012 Yusuf.doc (

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