I found Surah 12 to be one of the most enjoyable and well written parts of the Quran. Unlike most of the preceding Surah, “Yusuf” was mostly in narrative form. It told the story of Jacob’s 12 son’s. Yusuf, the eleventh born and Rachael’s first, was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers (This was due to a vision he saw from Allah fortelling his rise to power, and in the Hebrew Bible, Jacob gave Joseph the technicolor dreamcoat (yes, the very one that Andrew Lloyd Weber made famous in his musical rendition of this story) as a symbol of his future leadership role int he family. His brothers later brought it back to Jacob to identify, saying that Joseph had been eaten by a wolf, when in reality, they pushed him down a well). Once in Egypt, Joseph gained prestige and standing due to his ability to decipher the meaning of the Pharoah’s dreams. He then later reconnected with his father and brothers and proved to them that indeed he was chosen by God to rise up as a leader.
This story definitely stirs up my imagination and touches my spirit. I love the idea of the eleventh-born son rising to a leadership role, symbolizing God’s favor of those who are the last and the least. The symbol of Joseph’s rise to power through adversity, through the darkness of hopelessness and being betrayed by your family, is his amazing technicolor dreamcoat.
What’s your amazing technicolor dreamcoat? What symbolizes for you, that God is always with you, that God can guide your through tough times to become the person God created you to be? What helps you “keep the faith” in tough times?
For me, my technicolor dreamcoat hasn’t been a tangible item, but the time and effort spend by my parents in supporting my passions and goals in life. It is their support and encouragement, telling my that I can be anything and encouraging me to ‘never give up’ (the Hofmeister motto), that has given me the perseverence to become who God has created me to be. It is through their influence on my life that I remember that God guides my path and is Immanuel, God-With-Us.
The symbolism of the dreamcoat teaches us that when we travel to a foreign land, when we are a stranger and find ourselves away from our family, alone, God is still with us. And this opportunity may help us to grow into our true identity and become who God created us to be…just as Joseph did. It reminds us, even when things seem hopeless, God through us can create amazing things…amazing technicolor dreamcoat things.
Below are some picture of my time in Isntabul, Turkey, and in Cairo, Egypt. In Istanbul, the Ottoman Empire’s Topkapi Palace claims to have the original technicolor dreamcoat of Joseph. And Egypt is where Joseph claimed his authorty as a leader from God.