“Although we are many, Yusuf and his brother are dearer to our father than we are – our father is clearly in the wrong” (12:8)
We find that the Prophets may love certain individuals more than others. That individual may be a wife or a child or a companion. This is because their love is for Allah’s sake. The more the individual possesses attributes beloved to Allah, the more that prophet will love them. No one would deny that the Prophet ﷺ loved Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali more than other Companions.
No one can be blamed for loving one child more than another either due to some natural inclination or due to the higher love for Allah’s sake which is the love of the Prophets and the pious.
This love does not, however, cause them to wrong anyone or deny them their rights. This is especially true in relation to financial rights. The Prophet ﷺ taught parents to treat their children justly and to give to them equally so as not to allow jealousy and resentment to arise between them.
This was the state of Ya’qub: he loved all his sons and did not wrong any of them but he had an intense love for Yusuf. The word “dalal” (ضلال) describes this love. “Dalal” could be translated as being in the wrong or being astray but it is actually an intense kind of love. Ya’qub was consumed by love for Yusuf which was clear for all to see. The same word is used later in the Surah when he smells the scent of Yusuf and they say to him: “You are still absorbed in that old love of yours” (12:95). They did not mean “dalal” in the sense of being astray.
Learning from Surah Yusuf with Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him)
Watch the full class here with translation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5Gh4MW_Y6U
26th Jumada al-Akhirah 1442 / 8th February 2021