Yusuf’s AS story is loaded with powerful, unmistakable symbolism. The ten brothers are unwilling to admit the Allah-given superiority of their half-brother’s nature over their own. Out of envy and readiness to follow Shaytan’s promptings, they conspire to reduce him to the lowest of the low. But Allah who has granted Yusuf AS a noble nature and chosen him as a prophet, too him out of the depth of degradation and raised him to the height of honour, power, authority and usefulness. And in the end, the brothers had no choice but to admit his superiority and their own sinfulness.
The central message of the story, in the words of Yusuf AS himself, “Indeed my Lord is subtle in what He wills” (Qur’an 12:100), that is in the unfathomable and often mysterious workings of the divine Will.