Does the statement of the women who cut their hands saying, "Allah preserve us" in verse 31 of the chapter of Yusuf not show that they believed in the religion of oneness?

The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

"When she heard of their malicious talk, she sent for them and prepared a banquet for them: she gave each of them a knife: and she said (to Joseph), ‘Come out before them.’ When they saw him, they did extol him, and (in their amazement) cut their hands: they said, ‘Allah preserve us! no mortal is this! this is none other than a noble angel.’" (Yusuf, 12/31)

Belief in Allah exists in polytheistic belief. However, they associated partners with Him. They regarded idols as means of approaching Allah and worshipped them. The faith of the polytheists is explained as follows in the Quran:

"…We only serve them in order that they may bring us nearer to Allah..." (az-Zumar 39/3)

Belief in Allah exists in primitive religions and in almost all of the other faith systems. It is understood from the expression of the verse that Egyptians believed in Allah as well as angels. This shows that the principles of belief were conveyed to people in the first ages and that people distorted the religion of oneness in the course of time and tended to idolatry.  

The god described in Egyptian texts is a lofty being “that created everything, that is pre-eternal, that is the owner of time, that has endless knowledge, that is invisible but that accepts prayers.” However, those attributes were used for more than one god. Those secondary gods can be regarded as various names and manifestations of the one god. (see ERE, VI, 275)

As a matter of fact, the statement of Hz. Yusuf that addressed the prisoners in the prison in Egypt mentioned in the Quran supports this view:

“If not Him (Allah), ye worship nothing but names which ye have named,- ye and your fathers.” (Yusuf, 12/40)

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