And he raised his parents high on the throne (of dignity), and they fell down in prostration, (all) before him. He said: “O my father! this is the fulfilment of my vision of old! Allah hath made it come true! He was indeed good to me when He took me out of prison and brought you (all here) out of the desert, (even) after Satan had sown enmity between me and my brothers. Verily my Lord understandeth best the mysteries of all that He planneth to do, for verily He is full of knowledge and wisdom.
Certainly metaphorically: probably also literally.
By Eastern custom the place of honour at a ceremonial
reception is on a seat on a dais, with a special cushion of
honour, such as is assigned to a bridegroom at his
To show his high respect for his parents, Joseph made
them sit on a throne of dignity. On the other hand, his
parents and his brothers, -all performed the ceremony of
prostration before Joseph in recognition of his supreme
rank in Egypt under the Pharaoh. And thus was fulfilled
the dream or vision of his youth (12:4 above and n.
The ceremony of prostration for paying respect
might have been allowed at the time of previous
prophets, but with the advent of the complete and final
revelation prostration before anyone other than Allah is a
grave sin strictly prohibited.
Yusuf Ali, Abdullah. Translation and Commentary of the Quran. (Surah 12 verse 100). Microsoft Word – 012 Yusuf.doc (quran4u.com)