(By Allah! Indeed you know that we came not to make mischief in the land, and we are no thieves!) `Ever since you knew us, you, due to our good conduct, became certain that,
(we came not to make mischief in the land, and we are no thieves!) They said, `Theft is not in our character, as you came to know.' Yusuf's men said,
`(What then shall be the penalty of him), in reference to the thief, if it came out that he is one of you,'
(if you are (proved to be) liars) They asked them, `What should be the thief's punishment if he is one of you'
(They said: "His penalty should be that he, in whose bag it is found, should be held for the punishment. Thus we punish the wrongdoers!") This was the law of Prophet Ibrahim, peace be upon him, that the thief be given as a slave to the victim of theft. This is what Yusuf wanted, and this is why he started with their bags first before his brother's bag, to perfect the plot,
(Then he brought it out of his brother's bag.) Therefore, Yusuf took Binyamin as a slave according to their judgement and the law which they believed in. So Allah said;
(Thus did We plan for Yusuf.) and this is a good plot that Allah likes and prefers, because it seeks a certain benefit using wisdom and the benefit of all. Allah said next,
(He could not take his brother by the law of the king,) as a captive, for this was not the law of king of Egypt, according to Ad-Dahhak and several other scholars. Allah only allowed Yusuf to take his brother as a captive after his brothers agreed to this judgement beforehand, and he knew that this was their law. This is why Allah praised him when He said,
(We raise to degrees whom We will,) just as He said in another Ayah,
(Allah will exalt in degree those of you who believe.) 58:11 Allah said next,
(but over all those endowed with knowledge is the All-Knowing.) Al-Hasan commented, "There is no knowledgeable person, but there is another person with more knowledge until it ends at Allah the Exalted and Most Honored. In addition, `Abdur-Razzaq recorded that Sa`id bin Jubayr said, "We were with Ibn `Abbas when he narrated an amazing Hadith. A man in the audience said, `All praise is to Allah! There is an all-knowing above every person endowed with knowledge.' Ibn `Abbas responded, `Worse it is that which you said! Allah is the All-Knowing and His knowledge is above the knowledge of every knowledgeable person.' Simak narrated that `Ikrimah said that Ibn `Abbas said about Allah's statement,
(but over all those endowed with knowledge is the All-Knowing (Allah).) "This person has more knowledge than that person, and Allah is above all knowledgeable persons." Similar was narrated from `Ikrimah. Qatadah said, "Over every person endowed with knowledge is a more knowledgeable person until all knowledge ends with Allah. Verily, knowledge started from Allah, and from Him the scholars learn, and to Him all knowledge returns." `Abdullah bin Mas`ud read the Ayah this way, (وَفَوْقَ كُلِّ عَالِمٍ عَلِيمٌ) "And above every scholar, is the All-Knower (Allah)."