The author, using somewhat different methods, approaches the story of Joseph in the Qur’an with a new vision. His aim is not to tread in the steps of established interpretation of the Qur’anic story but rather to attempt to enhance our understanding of it in order to reach deeper meanings and implicit overtones of the text. The Joseph narrative is distinctive and rich in its psychological and spiritual appeal. In spite of the fact that the story is of moderate size, a restricted geographical location, and few characters, its spiritual value is universal and infinite. It vividly portrays the seeming contradictions in life, the enduring nature of virtue in a world full of flux and change, and the marvelous working of Allah’s plan as unfolded to us in the wide annals of human history. The story deserves reading and contemplation.
Born in 1942 in a village near Cairo, Dr. Muhammad Abu Laylah is currently the head of the Department of Islamic Studies in English in the Faculty of Language and Translation at Al-Azhar University. He memorized the Glorious Qur’an at the tendor age of eleven while pursuing his studies in Al-Azhar schools in Egypt. After graduating from the university, he went on to lecture in the Faculty of Usul ad-Din (Theology) form 1970-1975, focusing on Da’wah (calling to islam) and comparative religion. He subsequently prepared his doctoral thesis on comparative religion at the University of Exeler which was accepted in 1984. Dr. Abu Laylah has participated in numerous national and International conferences and inter-faith dialogues. He has written books both in Arabic and English, among them; Faith Meets Faith, In Pursuit of Virtue and The Qur’an from Orientalists’ Point of View.