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12:67 Jacob’s Knowledge

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 Further he said: “O my sons! enter not all by one gate: enter ye by different gates. Not that I can profit you aught against Allah (with my advice): None can command except Allah: On Him do I put my trust: and let all that trust put their trust on Him.”

Prophet Jacob’s great concern over this journey of his sons was due to the fact that his youngest son, Benjamin, was to accompany them. He was anxious about his safety because he had already had a bad experience of his son Joseph. Naturally his heart must have been full of such misgivings that it might be his last meeting with his other beloved son. Though he had full trust in Allah and was patiently resigned to His will, but, as a human being, advised his sons to take certain precautionary measures. In order to understand the significance of this precautionary measure of entering the capital by different gates, we should have a glimpse of the political conditions of that period. As the Israelites lived on the Eastern frontier of Egypt as independent clans, they were looked at with suspicion like all frontier people. Therefore Prophet Jacob feared that if they entered the city in a group, they might be taken for a gang of suspects, especially during that time of famine. Thus there was an apprehension of some severe action being taken against them as if they had come there for organized robbery. That was why he gave them this allowance that if under such adverse circumstances there was any trouble, he would not accuse them of breach of the pledge for the safety of Benjamin.

Jacob was surely possessed of knowledge as “Allâh had
imparted full knowledge to him” (12:96), and he had been informed
by Divine Revelation that Joseph was alive. He ordered his other sons
to enter the city by different gates so that Joseph might have an
opportunity to meet his brothers. He also wished to avoid attracting
the attention of the people of the township of a foreign land during
famine years, which might then have led to intrigue, false charges or
other difficulties. In contrast, the Bible narrative represents Jacob as
being quite ignorant about Joseph


Maududi, Abul Ala (2010). Tafhim ul Quran.

NOORUDDÎN ,ALLÂMAH. (2015). Exegesis of The Holy Qur’ân Commentary and Reflections.

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