It was stated in the previous verses that, while in Egypt, a royal bowl was concealed in the baggage of Benyamin, the younger brother of Sayyidna Yusuf (علیہ السلام) . Then, by recovering it as planned, a charge of theft was levelled against him.
As in the first of the verses cited above, when the stolen property was recovered from Benyamin's baggage before the brothers of Sayyidna Yusuf (علیہ السلام) ، they were so ashamed that they said in irritation: إِن يَسْرِقْ فَقَدْ سَرَقَ أَخٌ لَّهُ مِن قَبْلُ , that is, if he has committed a theft, it is not much of a surprise, for he had a brother who, like him, had committed a theft before. The sense was that he was not their real brother. He was their step brother. And he had a real brother who had also committed a theft.
On this occasion, the brothers of Sayyidna Yusuf (علیہ السلام) accused him too of a theft, which refers to an event which took place during his child-hood when the way a conspiracy was hatched here to blame Benyamin for theft, a similar conspiracy was staged against Sayyidna Yusuf (علیہ السلام) at that time with him being totally unaware of it. As for his brothers, they were fully aware of the fact that he was totally free from this blame. But, being angry with Benyamin on this occasion, they have made out that event too as of theft and have put its blame on his brother, Yusuf (علیہ السلام) .
What was that event? Reports differ about it. Referring to Muhammad ibn Ishaq and Tafsir authority, Mujahid, Ibn Kathir has reported that soon after the birth of Sayyidna Yusuf (علیہ السلام) ، Benyamin was born. This birth of his became the cause of his mother's death. When both Yusuf and Benyamin were left without their mother, they were raised by their paternal aunt. Allah Ta’ ala had blessed Sayyidna Yusuf (علیہ السلام) from his very childhood with such an attractive personality that whoever saw him became deeply attached to him. His paternal aunt was no exception. She would not let him disappear from her sight at any time. On the other hand, no different was the condition of his father who was very fond of him. But, being a minor child, it was necessary that he be kept under the care of a woman. Therefore, he was put under the care of his paternal aunt. When he had learnt how to walk, Sayyidna Ya` qub (علیہ السلام) thought of having him come to live with him. When he talked to his paternal aunt, she showed her reluctance to let him go. After that, having been under compulsion, she somehow handed Sayyidna Yusuf (علیہ السلام) over to his father, but she did make a plan to take him back. She had an antique waist-band which had come to her as the legacy of Sayyidna Ishaq (علیہ السلام) and was highly valued. Sayyidna Yusuf's paternal aunt tied this band on his waist underneath his dress.
After he had gone, she spread the news around that her waist-band has been stolen by someone. When searched for, it turned out to be with young Yusuf (علیہ السلام) . According to the Shari` ah of Sayyidna Ya` qub (علیہ السلام) ، the paternal aunt now had the right to keep him as her slave. When Sayyidna Ya` qub (علیہ السلام) saw that the paternal aunt has become the owner of Yusuf (علیہ السلام) on the authority of the religious law of the land, he handed young Yusuf (علیہ السلام) over to her. Sayyidna Yusuf (علیہ السلام) kept living with her as long as she was alive.
This was the event in which the blame of theft was imputed to Sayyidna Yusuf (علیہ السلام) following which the truth came to light and everybody found that he was free of even the least doubt of theft. It was the love of his paternal aunt for him that had made her conspire to keep him. The brothers knew this truth all too well. Given this reason, it did not behove them that they would attribute theft to him. But, of the series of excesses inflicted on Sayyidna Yusuf ill by his brothers, this too was the last.
Now in the second sentence of the first verse (77) it was said: فَأَسَرَّهَا يُوسُفُ فِي نَفْسِهِ وَلَمْ يُبْدِهَا لَهُمْ that is, Sayyidna Yusuf (علیہ السلام) heard what his brothers had to say and kept it in his heart for they still seemed to be after him and were now blaming him for theft. But, he kept his reaction to himself and did not let his brothers know that he had heard what they had said and was affected by it in any way.
Said in the next and last sentence of the verse was: قَالَ أَنتُمْ شَرٌّ مَّكَانًا ۖ وَاللَّـهُ أَعْلَمُ بِمَا تَصِفُونَ that is, ` Sayyidna Yusuf (علیہ السلام) said (in his heart): ` You are even worse in position (as you accuse your brother of theft, falsely and knowingly). And Allah knows best of what you allege (whether what you are saying is true or false).' The first sentence has been uttered in the heart. The other sentence may possibly have been said publicly as his response to what his brothers had said.