This is the 28th part of this series, reading The Qur’an; A New Translation by Abdel Haleem. We’ll occasionally compare that to other translations and with tafsirs for clarification. We’re also reading each “chapter” [surah] in order of revelation [mostly] rather than the order in which they are typically printed. If you missed some of this series, you can see:
my 2nd post on surahs 96, 68 & 73.
my 3rd post on surahs 74, 111 & 81.
my 4th post on surahs 87, 92, 89, 93, 94 & 103.
my 5th post jumping to surah 18.
my 6th post on surahs 100, 108, 102, 107, 109 & 105
my 7th post was on surahs 113, 114, 112 & 53.
my 9th post on surahs 101, 75, 104 & 77.
my 1oth post on surahs 50, 90 & 86.
my 11th post on surah 54,
my 12th post on surah 38,
my 13th post on surah 7,
my 14th post on surah 72,
my 15th post on surah 36,
my 16th post on surah 25,
my 17th post on surah 43,
my 18th post on surah 35.
my 19th post on surah 19.
my 20th post on surah 20,
my 21st post on surah 56.
my 22nd post on surah 26.
my 23rd post on surah 27.
my 24th post on surah 28.
my 25th post on surah 17.
my 26th post on surah 10.
and my 27th post on surah 11.
Sūrah 12 (Yusuf) Joseph
1Alif Lam Ra
These are the verses of the Scripture that makes things clear––2We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur’an so that you [people] may understand.
This surah, like the previous one, begins with the Arabic letters Alif Lam Ra. Remember that Surah 7 began with Alif, Lam, Mim, Sad. Surah 35 began with Kaf Ha Ya Ayn Sad. Then Surah 26 and 28 both began with Ta Sin Mim. Remember also that that this is all in Arabic so that “the people will understand”, yet no one does. No one knows what these letters are supposed to mean, if anything. Maybe it’s a code containing a divinely hidden message? If we translate it correctly, maybe we’ll discover that the Walrus was Paul? More likely, I think, that some scribe jotted these letters down as notes to himself that were not understood by whoever took over the composition.
3We tell you [Prophet] the best of stories in revealing this Qur’an to [also “through”] you. Before this you were one of those who knew nothing about them. 4Joseph said to his father, ‘Father, I dreamed of eleven stars and the sun and the moon: I saw them all bow down before me,’ 5and he replied, ‘My son, tell your brothers nothing of this dream, or they may plot to harm you––Satan is man’s sworn enemy. 6This is about how your Lord will choose you, teach you to interpret dreams, and perfect His blessing on you and the House of Jacob, just as He perfected it earlier on your forefathers Abraham and Isaac: your Lord is all knowing and wise.’
Let us consider how “wise” is Jacob’s advice to his son, to keep his insanity hidden or his own brethren would be out to get him. How crazy is it to take dreams seriously? As if they can be interpreted to mean anything, or to be another form of coded message from a god who can never talk to anyone straight like any real being would. Now imagine seeing eleven stars and the sun and moon, not as a dozen stars plus a pathetic planetoid, but instead as if the sun and moon were of comparable size, as if those eleven stars were all something different than the sun. Now imagine any of these things bowing to a human; as if any of these things had agency, the way primitive people used to believe they did. But of course God would know better, if God was real. Thus right away, this surah shows that its author is neither “all knowing” nor wise.
7There are lessons in the story of Joseph and his brothers for all who seek them. 8The brothers said [to each other], ‘Although we are many, Joseph and his brother are dearer to our father than we are–– our father is clearly in the wrong.’ 9[One of them said], ‘Kill Joseph or banish him to another land, and your father’s attention will be free to turn to you. After that you can be righteous.’ 10[Another of them] said, ‘Do not kill Joseph, but, if you must, throw him into the hidden depths of a well where some caravan may pick him up.’
Comparing the story of Joseph, son of Jacob in Genesis 37-50 with the same story recounted in Sūrah 12 of the Qur’an is a bit like comparing the three different movies depicting the origin of Spider-man that have come out in the last twenty years, because it’s still the same story, but so many of the details have been changed that it reads very differently! Some of the original details are still there, but for different reasons. Remember that in Genesis 37, Jacob sent Joseph alone into the wilderness to chase after his brothers from other mothers, and it was only after he caught up with them in another region that they plotted to get rid of him.
11They said to their father, ‘Why do you not trust us with Joseph? We wish him well. 12Send him with us tomorrow and he will enjoy himself and play– we will take good care of him.’
13He replied, ‘The thought of you taking him away with you worries me: I am afraid a wolf may eat him when you are not paying attention.’ 14They said, ‘If a wolf were to eat him when there are so many of us, we would truly be losers!’
Did you know there were wolves in the Arabian desert? Turns out there are! Surprised me.
15Then they took him away with them, resolved upon throwing him into the hidden depths of a well– We inspired him, saying, ‘You will tell them of all this [at a time] when they do not realize [who you are]!’– 16and at nightfall they returned to their father weeping. 17They said, ‘We went off racing one another, leaving Joseph behind with our things, and a wolf ate him. You will not believe us, though we are telling the truth!’ 18and they showed him his shirt, deceptively stained with blood. He cried, ‘No! Your souls have prompted you to do wrong! But it is best to be patient: from God alone I seek help to bear what you are saying.’
So the famous “coat of many colors” in the Bible is just a bloody shirt in the Qur’an.
19Some travellers came by. They sent someone to draw water and he let down his bucket. ‘Good news!’ he exclaimed. ‘Here is a boy!’ They hid him like a piece of merchandise– God was well aware of what they did– 20and then sold him for a small price, for a few pieces of silver: so little did they value him.
Who were these travelers hiding Joseph from? Remember that in the Bible, it wasn’t a well but a pit with no water in it. And it wasn’t that another caravan happened to find the boy and sell him into slavery. In Genesis, it was Joseph’s own brothers who hauled him back out of the hole to sell him off themselves.
21The Egyptian who bought him said to his wife, ‘Look after him well! He may be useful to us, or we may adopt him as a son.’ In this way We settled Joseph in that land and later taught him how to interpret dreams: God always prevails in His purpose, though most people do not realize it.
Why did he need to live in Egypt to learn how to interpret dreams? Note that no part of the remaining story explains how he ever “learned” this “skill”.
22When he reached maturity, We gave him judgement and knowledge: this is how We reward those who do good. 23The woman in whose house he was living tried to seduce him: she bolted the doors and said, ‘Come to me,’ and he replied, ‘God forbid! My master has been good to me; wrongdoers never prosper.’ 24She made for him, and he would have succumbed to her if he had not seen evidence of his Lord–We did this in order to keep evil and indecency away from him, for he was truly one of Our chosen servants.
What was this “evidence of God” that Joseph reportedly saw? Because all I see is inconsistency. God is OK with slavery, as long as Joseph is a good and obedient slave. God thinks that’s all fine and dandy, but letting the masters’ wife have her own pool boy is a sin?! Before anyone brings up her violation of the sanctity of marriage, let’s look back to all the women (including appropriated slaves) that produced Joseph’s ten brothers! So Joseph’s father could have all the female slaves he wanted, enough that he went on to produce 70 progeny! But the women are not allowed to play the same way, because sex for pleasure is sinful, a capital offense of immorality, but the morality of slavery is never even questioned.
25They raced for the door– she tore his shirt from behind– and at the door they met her husband. She said, ‘What, other than prison or painful punishment, should be the reward of someone who tried to dishonour your wife?’ 26but he said, ‘She tried to seduce me.’ A member of her household suggested, ‘If his shirt is torn at the front, then it is she who is telling the truth and he who is lying, 27but if it is torn at the back, then she is lying and he is telling the truth.’ 28When the husband saw that the shirt was torn at the back, he said, ‘This is another instance of women’s treachery: your treachery is truly great. 29Joseph, overlook this; but you [wife], ask forgiveness for your sin– you have done wrong.’
I had a hard time following this story, trying to make sense of it. So I read other translations on ClearQuran and Quran.com. It didn’t help much. I think the Bible contains the clearest account, though there isn’t any version that is any good.
30Some women of the city said, ‘The governor’s wife is trying to seduce her slave! Love for him consumes her heart! It is clear to us that she has gone astray.’
Would the fact that she is his master’s wife also make her Joseph’s mistress?
31When she heard their malicious talk, she prepared a banquet and sent for them, giving each of them a knife. She said to Joseph, ‘Come out and show yourself to them!’ and when the women saw him, they were stunned by his beauty, and cut their hands, exclaiming, ‘Great God! He cannot be mortal! He must be a precious angel!”32She said, ‘This is the one you blamed me for. I tried to seduce him and he wanted to remain chaste, but if he does not do what I command now, he will be put in prison and degraded.’
33Joseph said, ‘My Lord! I would prefer prison to what these women are calling me to do. If You do not protect me from their treachery, I shall yield to them and do wrong,’ 34and his Lord answered his prayer and protected him from their treachery– He is the All Hearing, the All Knowing.
Well, I’m NOT all-knowing. So how did God protect Joseph from these treacherous, lecherous women? We don’t know because whoever writes scriptures doesn’t know how to tell a story.
35In the end they a thought it best, after seeing all the signs of his innocence, that they should imprison him for a while.
Because that’s where the innocent belong, in prison. Of course that would be “best”. Why would any Abrahamic scriptures tell a tale that had actual justice or morality or that made any sense?
36Two young men went into prison alongside him. One of them said, ‘I dreamed that I was pressing grapes’; the other said, ‘I dreamed that I was carrying bread on my head and that the birds were eating it.’ [They said], ‘Tell us what this means
I would have said, “It means that one of you is a drunkard, and the other has lice”.
– we can see that you are a knowledgeable man.’
Wait, what is it about the shirtless slave Bieber–who was found in the bottom of a well–that makes anyone think he is knowledgeable? He certainly doesn’t know how to keep himself out of prison!
37He said, ‘I can tell you what this means before any meal arrives: this is part of what my Lord has taught me. I reject the faith of those who disbelieve in God and deny the life to come,
That is not a faith-based belief. That is an absence of faith, often replaced by the presence of reason.
38and I follow the faith of my forefathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Because of God’s grace to us and to all mankind, we would never worship anything beside God, but most people are ungrateful.
Why worship anything at all?
39Fellow prisoners, would many diverse gods be better than God the One, the All Powerful? [No indeed!] 40All those you worship instead of Him are mere names you and your forefathers have invented, names for which God has sent down no sanction. Authority belongs to God alone, and He orders you to worship none but Him: this is the true faith, though most people do not realize it.
That’s because “true faith” is an oxymoron, a figure of speech in which contradictory terms appear in conjunction. Truth doesn’t require faith, and faith doesn’t care whether a belief is really true.
41Fellow prisoners, one of you will serve his master with wine; the other will be crucified and the birds will peck at his head. That is the end of the matter on which you asked my opinion.’ 42Joseph said to the one he knew would be saved, ‘Mention me to your master,’ but Satan made him forget to do this, and so Joseph remained in prison for a number of years.
Remember that in Genesis 39:21, that “the LORD was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison”, yet still left a righteous innocent in prison. Because, you know, all-knowing justice and all. Then in the Qur’an, Satan was there instead of God, and prolonged Joseph’s sentence by many years, with the omniscient deity apparently unaware of that.
43The king said, ‘I dreamed about seven fat cows being eaten by seven lean ones; seven green ears of corn and [seven] others withered. Counsellors, if you can interpret dreams, tell me the meaning of my dream.’ 44They said, ‘These are confusing dreams and we are not skilled at dream-interpretation,’
No one is “skilled” at dream interpretation, because it is not a science, because dreams do not have objective meaning. They certainly aren’t prophetic like these people imagine that all dreams must be. Dreams are when your mind goes on auto-pilot, like throwing paint at a canvass. Then our waking minds try to interpret that as if it were a Rorschach test.
Whatever you think you “see” wasn’t designed or intended to be that.
45but the prisoner who had been freed at last remembered [Joseph] and said, ‘I shall tell you what this means. Give me leave to go.’ 46‘Truthful Joseph! Tell us the meaning of seven fat cows being eaten by seven lean ones, seven green ears of corn and [seven] others withered, 47then I can return to the people to inform them.’ Joseph said, ‘You will sow for seven consecutive years as usual. Store all that you reap, left in the ear, apart from the little you eat. 48After that will come seven years of hardship which will consume all but a little of what you stored up for them; 49after that will come a year when the people will have abundant rain and will press grapes.’
I would’ve warned the king about an imminent zombie apocalypse effecting even cows and corn. Because how often do you get an opportunity to punk someone so gullible?
50The king said, ‘Bring him to me,’ but when the messenger came to fetch Joseph, he said, ‘Go back to your master and ask him about what happened to those women who cut their hands– my Lord knows all about their treachery.’
I forgot to ask, why did the women cut their hands? What possible purpose could that serve?
51The king asked the women, ‘What happened when you tried to seduce Joseph?’ They said, ‘God forbid! We know nothing bad of him!’ and the governor’s wife said, ‘Now the truth is out: it was I who tried to seduce him– he is an honest man.’ 52[Joseph said, ‘This was] for my master to know that I did not betray him behind his back: God does not guide the mischief of the treacherous. 53I do not pretend to be blameless, for man’s very soul incites him to evil unless my Lord shows mercy: He is most forgiving, most merciful.’
Your “Lord” endorses, permits, promotes and perpetuates slavery. That makes him evil. You owe no alliance to a slave-master.
54The king said, ‘Bring him to me: I will have him serve me personally,’ and then, once he had spoken with him, ‘From now on you will have our trust and favour.’ 55Joseph said, ‘Put me in charge of the nation’s storehouses: I shall manage them prudently and carefully.’ 56In this way We settled Joseph in that land to live wherever he wished: We grant Our mercy to whoever We will and do not fail to reward those who do good. 57The reward of the Hereafter is best for those who believe and are mindful of God.
So if God wants someone to be the new senior accountant in Egypt, you first have to be kidnapped, enslaved, maybe raped, and imprisoned for many years. Because the Lord works in delirious ways.
58Joseph’s brothers came and presented themselves before him. He recognized them– though they did not recognize him– 59and once he had given them their provisions, he said, ‘Bring me the brother [you left with] your father! a Have you not seen me giving generous measure and being the best of hosts? 60You will have no more corn from me if you do not bring him to me, and you will not be permitted to approach me.’ 61They said, ‘We shall do all we can to persuade his father to send him with us, indeed we shall.’ 62Joseph said to his servants, ‘Put their [traded] goods back into their saddlebags, so that they may recognize them when they go back to their family, and [be eager to] return.’
How would this band of brothers not recognize one of their own? At least the Bible says that he disguised himself somehow. The Qur’an says it’s in Arabic so that all will understand, but if you didn’t already know the Hebrew version of this story, it won’t make any sense.
63When they returned to their father, they said, ‘Father, we have been denied any more corn, but send our brother back with us and we shall be given another measure. We shall guard him carefully.’ 64He said, ‘Am I to entrust him to you as I did his brother before? God is the best guardian and the Most Merciful of the merciful.’
You may think so, but your son was taken from you to be enslaved and imprisoned for many years, for no reason that makes any sense to a sane and sensible person.
65Then, when they opened their packs, they discovered that their goods had been returned to them and they said, ‘Father! We need no more [goods to barter]: look, our goods have been returned to us. We shall get corn for our household; we shall keep our brother safe; we shall be entitled to another camel-load of grain– an extra measure so easily achieved!’ 66He said, ‘I will never send him with you, not unless you swear by God that you will bring him back to me if that is humanly possible.’ Then, when they had given him their pledge, he said, ‘Our words are entrusted to God.’
You know, liars swear in the name of God all the time, even when they believe in God and know that they’re lying in his name.
67He said, ‘My sons, do not enter all by one gate– use different gates. But I cannot help you against the will of God: all power is in God’s hands. I trust in Him; let everyone put their trust in Him,’ 68and, when they entered as their father had told them, it did not help them against the will of God, it merely satisfied a wish of Jacob’s. He knew well what We had taught him, though most people do not.
How did it not help? What did Jacob know? Why can’t scripture tell a story properly?
69Then, when they presented themselves before Joseph, he drew his brother apart a and said, ‘I am your brother, so do not be saddened by their past actions,’
Here translator Abdel Haleem has a footnote explaining that that the band of brothers consists of only two people rather than the ten that are in the Bible. Why do we have to get this speculation based on the questionable authority of subsequent hadiths? Because Whoever wrote the Qur’an doesn’t know how to keep God’s perfectly infallible “word” from changing with every retelling.
70and, once he had given them their provisions, he placed the drinking-cup in his brother’s pack. A man called out, ‘People of the caravan! You are thieves!’ 71and they turned and said, ‘What have you lost?’ 72They replied, ‘The king’s drinking-cup is missing,’ and, ‘Whoever returns it will get a camel-load [of grain],’ and, ‘I give you my word.’ 73They said, ‘By God! You must know that we did not come to make mischief in your land: we are no thieves.’ 74They asked them, ‘And if we find that you are lying, what penalty shall we apply to you?’ 75and they answered, ‘The penalty will be [the enslavement of] the person in whose bag the cup is found: this is how we punish wrongdoers.’ 76[Joseph] began by searching their bags, then his brother’s, and he pulled it out from his brother’s bag. In this way We devised a plan for Joseph– if God had not willed it so, he could not have detained his brother as a penalty under the king’s law– We raise the rank of whoever We will. Above everyone who has knowledge there is the One who is all knowing.
So this jumbled mess of mutual treachery of lies and planted evidence is how God’s will works?
77[His brothers] said, ‘If he is a thief then his brother was a thief before him,’ but Joseph kept his secrets and did not reveal anything to them. He said, ‘You are in a far worse situation. God knows best the truth of what you claim.’
This is stupid. Why would these brothers even try to accuse their long lost other brother, whom they tossed down a well so many years ago? In their minds, he should be irrelevant to anything going on now. Accusing him wouldn’t help their situation at all. Genesis 42 tells this story very differently. Therein the brothers say that they are twelve in all, including the lost brother, Joseph, who they believe to be dead. That is at least a plausible thing to say in their predicament.
78They said, ‘Mighty governor, he has an elderly father. Take one of us in his place. We can see that you are a very good man.’
If you’re not already familiar with the Bible’s version of this story, you might not have even realized until this point that these boys have different mothers. The Qur’an only serves as a commentary to recap the tales in the Jewish Bible. It adds a lot of interpolations and changes details inappropriate ways, but it doesn’t tell any of these stories very well at all.
79He replied, ‘God forbid that we should take anyone other than the person on whom we found our property: that would be unjust of us.’
So scape-goating is unjust? Do you hear that, Christians?
80When they lost hope of [persuading] him, they withdrew to confer with each other: the eldest of them said, ‘Do you not remember that your father took a solemn pledge from you in the name of God and before that you failed in your duty with regard to Joseph? I will not leave this land until my father gives me leave or God decides for me– He is the best decider–
So these boys eliminated their brother by throwing him down a well. Then they lied to their own father about that, all while believing in this god, who is said to be the source of morality. Why didn’t belief in that god prevent them from doing what they did? Nor did belief in that god prevent their cattle rustling father from cheating his own master back in the day.
81so go back to your father and say, “Your son stole. We can only tell you what we saw. How could we guard against the unforeseen? 82Ask in the town where we have been; ask the people of the caravan we travelled with: we are telling the truth.”’ 83Their father said, ‘No! Your souls have prompted you to do wrong! But it is best to be patient: may God bring all of them back to me– He alone is the All Knowing, the All Wise,’
This is so different from Genesis 44 that it’s like comparing Tim Burton’s 2010 version of Alice in Wonderland with Disney’s version from 1951.
84and he turned away from them, saying, ‘Alas for Joseph!’ His eyes went white with grief and he was filled with sorrow. 85They said, ‘By God! You will ruin your health if you do not stop thinking of Joseph, or even die.’ 86He said, ‘I plead my grief and sorrow before God. I have knowledge from God that you do not have. 87My sons, go and seek news of Joseph and his brother and do not despair of God’s mercy– only disbelievers despair of God’s mercy.’
Why is Jacob suddenly demanding news of the boy that he still thinks was torn apart by wolves so many years ago?
88Then, when they presented themselves before Joseph, they said, ‘Mighty governor, misfortune has afflicted us and our family. We have brought only a little merchandise, but give us full measure. Be charitable to us: God rewards the charitable.’ 89He said, ‘Do you now realize what you did to Joseph and his brother when you were ignorant?’ 90and they cried, ‘Could it be that you are Joseph?’ He said, ‘I am Joseph. This is my brother. God has been gracious to us: God does not deny anyone who is mindful of God and steadfast in adversity the rewards of those who do good.’ 91They said, ‘By God! God really did favour you over all of us and we were in the wrong!’ 92but he said, ‘You will hear no reproaches today. May God forgive you: He is the Most Merciful of the merciful. 93Take my shirt and lay it over my father’s face: he will recover his sight. Then bring your whole family back to me.’
So when Jacob’s eyes “went white”, he became blind? I missed that.
94Later, when the caravan departed, their father said, ‘You may think I am senile but I can smell Joseph,’ 95but [people] said, ‘By God! You are still lost in that old illusion of yours!’ 96Then, when the bearer of good news came and placed the shirt on to Jacob’s face, his eyesight returned and he said, ‘Did I not tell you that I have knowledge from God that you do not have?’ 97The [brothers] said, ‘Father, ask God to forgive our sins– we were truly in the wrong.’ 98He replied, ‘I shall ask my Lord to forgive you: He is the Most Forgiving, the Most Merciful.’
Your imaginary “Lord” took your son away and sold him into slavery then imprisoned him for many years while you were left blinded by grief. How merciful is that?
99Later, when they presented themselves before Joseph, he drew his parents to him– he said, ‘Welcome to Egypt: you will all be safe here, God willing’– 100and took them up to [his] throne. They all bowed down before him and he said, ‘Father, this is the fulfilment of that dream I had long ago. My Lord has made it come true and has been gracious to me– He released me from prison and He brought you here from the desert– after Satan sowed discord between me and my brothers. My Lord is most subtle in achieving what He will; He is the All Knowing, the Truly Wise.
So we shouldn’t blame Jacob for showing such favoritism to the sons of his first wife that he neglected all his other sons that he had with her slaves? Nor should we blame these other boys for allowing their jealousy to become a murderous blood lust? Instead we should pretend that the devil made everyone do whatever they did wrong? Then whenever they do good, we’re told that it was because God stepped in at those moments; where he must have been absent when Satan stepped back in. Is no one responsible for their own actions? How come God and Satan are never seen in the same room at the same time?
101My Lord! You have given me authority; You have taught me something about the interpretation of dreams; Creator of the heavens and the earth, You are my protector in this world and in the Hereafter. Let me die in true devotion to You. Join me with the righteous.’
Mind you, this was NOT the original dream that was described in Genesis 37: (6) “I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed: (7) For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf. (8) And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words.” Notice, that Joseph shared this dream with his brothers in the Bible, where the Qur’an says that he didn’t, because his father, Jacob told him not to. Jacob, the guy who bragged that had beaten God at wrestling even though God cheated. Notice also that Joseph’s brothers “interpreted” his dream themselves, since he made it pretty obvious that they would bow to him in “obeisance”, which is quite insulting.
102This account is part of what was beyond your knowledge [Muhammad]. We revealed it to you: you were not present with Joseph’s brothers when they made their treacherous plans. 103However eagerly you may want them to, most men will not believe.
Well, the Bible and the Qur’an do tell very different stories, and neither of which should be considered true.
104You ask no reward from them for this: it is a reminder for all people 105and there are many signs in the heavens and the earth that they pass by and give no heed to–
This coming from those who deny and ignore empirical evidence.
106most of them will only believe in God while also joining others with Him. 107Are they so sure that an overwhelming punishment from God will not fall on them, or that the Last Hour will not come upon them suddenly when they least expect it?
108Say, ‘This is my way: based on clear evidence, I, and all who follow me, call [people] to God– glory be to God!– I do not join others with Him.’
Um, no, you have no “evidence”. All you have are stories, wild improbable tales full of absurdities, inconsistencies and contradictions and which still would not indicate God even if this story was true.
109All the messengers We sent before you [Muhammad] were men to whom We made revelations, men chosen from the people of their towns. Have the [disbelievers] not travelled through the land and seen the end of those who went before them? For those who are mindful of God, the Home in the Hereafter is better. Do you [people] not use your reason?
It’s pretty obvious to me that anyone citing these stories as if they were evidence is not using reason, because what actual evidence could lead reason to this conclusion?
110When the messengers lost all hope and realized that they had been dismissed as liars, Our help came to them: We saved whoever We pleased, but Our punishment will not be turned away from guilty people.
And there is no way to tell which is which, which prophets were “helped” and which were not, only that everyone claiming to be on a mission from God will be punished, perhaps by God.
111There is a lesson in the stories of such people for those who understand. This revelation is no fabrication: it is a confirmation of the truth of what was sent before it; an explanation of everything; a guide and a blessing for those who believe.
No, this is clearly just a fabrication.