Allah mentions the favors that He granted Yusuf, peace be on him, by which He made the man from Egypt who bought him, take care of him and provide him with a comfortable life. He also ordered his wife to be kind to Yusuf and had good hopes for his future, because of his firm righteous behavior. He said to his wife,
(Make his stay comfortable, maybe he will profit us or we shall adopt him as a son.) The man who bought Yusuf was the minister of Egypt at the time, and his title was `Aziz'. Abu Ishaq narrated that Abu `Ubaydah said that `Abdullah bin Mas`ud said, "Three had the most insight: the `Aziz of Egypt, who said to his wife,
(Make his stay comfortable...), the woman who said to her father,
(O my father! Hire him...), (28:26) and Abu Bakr As-Siddiq when he appointed `Umar bin Al-Khattab to be the Khalifah after him, may Allah be pleased with them both.'' Allah said next that just as He saved Yusuf from his brothers,
(Thus did We establish Yusuf in the land), in reference to Egypt,
(that We might teach him the interpretation of events.) the interpretation of dreams, according to Mujahid and As-Suddi. Allah said next,
(And Allah has full power and control over His affairs,) if He wills something, then there is no averting His decision, nor can it ever be stopped or contradicted. Rather, Allah has full power over everything and everyone else. Sa`id bin Jubayr said while commenting on Allah's statement,
(And Allah has full power and control over His affairs,) "He does what ever He wills.'' Allah said,
(but most of men know not.) meaning, have no knowledge of Allah's wisdom with regards to His creation, compassion and doing what He wills. Allah said next,
(And when he attained), in reference to Prophet Yusuf, peace be upon him,
(his full manhood), sound in mind and perfect in body,
(We gave him wisdom and knowledge), which is the prophethood that Allah sent him with for the people he lived among,
(thus We reward the doers of good.) because Yusuf used to do good in the obedience of Allah the Exalted.
(23. And she, in whose house he was, sought to seduce him (to do an evil act), and she closed the doors and said: "Come on, O you.'' He said: "I seek refuge in Allah! Truly, he is my Rabb! He made my living in a great comfort! Verily, the wrongdoers will never be successful.'')
Allah states that the wife of the `Aziz of Egypt, in whose house Yusuf resided and whose husband recommended that she takes care of him and be generous to him, tried to seduce Yusuf! She called him to do an evil act with her, because she loved him very much. Yusuf was very handsome, filled with manhood and beauty. She beautified herself for him, closed the doors and called him,
(and (she) said: "Come on, O you.'') But he categorically refused her call,
(He said: "I seek refuge in Allah! Truly, he is my Rabb! He made my living in a great comfort!'') as they used to call the chief and master a `Rabb', Yusuf said to her, `your husband is my master who provided me with comfortable living and was kind to me, so I will never betray him by committing immoral sins with his wife,'
(Verily, the wrongdoers will never be successful.) This was said by Mujahid, As-Suddi, Muhammad bin Ishaq and several others. The scholars differ in their recitation of,
(Hayta Laka), whereby Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid and several other scholars said that it means that she was calling him to herself. Al-Bukhari said; "Ikrimah said that,
(Hayta Laka') means, `come on, O you', in the Aramaic language.'' Al-Bukhari collected this statement from `Ikrimah without a chain of narration. Other scholars read it with the meaning, `I am ready for you'. Ibn `Abbas, Abu `Abdur-Rahman As-Sulami, Abu Wa'il, `Ikrimah and Qatadah were reported to have read this part of the Ayah this way and explained it in the manner we mentioned, as `I am ready for you'.
(24. And indeed she did desire him, and he would have inclined to her desire, had he not seen the evidence of his Lord. Thus it was, that We might turn away from him evil and immoval sins. Surely, he was one of Our Mukhlasin servants.) This is about the thoughts that cross the mind, according to Al-Baghawi who mentioned this opinion from some of the analysts. Al-Baghawi next mentioned here a Hadith that he narrated from `Abdur Razzaq, from Ma`mar, from Hammam, from Abu Hurayrah, from the Messenger of Allah ,
(Allah the Exalted said, `If my slave intends to perform a good deed, then record it for him as one good deed; if he performs it, then record it for him multiplied ten folds. If he intends to commit an evil act but did not commit it, then record it for him as one good deed, if he left it for My sake. But if he commits it, then write it as one evil deed.') This Hadith was also collected in the Two Sahihs using various wording, this is one of them. It was also reported that the Ayah means that Yusuf was about to beat her. As for the evidence that Yusuf saw at that moment, there are conflicting opinions to what it was. Ibn Jarir At-Tabari said, "The correct opinion is that we should say that he saw an Ayah from among Allah's Ayat that repelled the thought that crossed his mind. This evidence might have been the image of Ya`qub, or the image of an angel, or a divine statement that forbade him from doing that evil sin, etc. There are no clear proofs to support any of these statements in specific, so it should be left vague, as Allah left it. Allah's statement next,
(Thus it was, that We might turn away from him evil and immoral sins.) means, `Just as We showed him the evidence that turned him away from that sin, We save him from all types of evil and illegal sexual activity in all his affairs,' because,
(Surely, he was one of Our Mukhlasin servants.) meaning, chosen, purified, designated, appointed and righteous. May Allah's peace and blessings be on him.''
(25. So they raced with one another to the door, and she tore his shirt from the back. They both found her master (i.e. her husband) at the door. She said: "What is the recompense (punishment) for him who intended an evil design against your wife, except that he be put in prison or a painful torment'') (26. He (Yusuf) said: "It was she that sought to seduce me;'' and a witness of her household bore witness (saying): "If it be that his shirt is torn from the front, then her tale is true and he is a liar!'') (27. "But if it be that his shirt is torn from the back, then she has told a lie and he is speaking the truth!'') (28. So when he (her husband) saw his (Yusuf`s) shirt torn at the back, he (her husband) said: "Surely, it is a plot of you women! Certainly mighty is your plot!'') (29. "O Yusuf ! Turn away from this! (O woman!) Ask forgiveness for your sin, verily, you were of the sinful.'') Allah says that Yusuf and the wife of the `Aziz raced to the door, Yusuf running away from her and her running after him to bring him back to the room. She caught up with him and held on to his shirt from the back, tearing it so terribly that it fell off Yusuf's back. Yusuf continued running from her, with her in pursuit. However, they found her master, her husband, at the front door. This is when she responded by deceit and evil plots, trying to exonerate herself and implicate him, saying,
(What is the recompense (punishment) for him who intended an evil design against your wife...), in reference to illegal sexual intercourse,
(except that he be put in prison)
(or a painful torment) tormented severely with painful beating. Yusuf did not stand idle, but he declared the truth and exonerated himself from the betrayal she accused him of,
(He (Yusuf) said), in truth and honesty,
(It was she that sought to seduce me), and mentioned that she pursued him and pulled him towards her until she tore his shirt.
(And a witness of her household bore witness (saying): "If it be that his shirt is torn from the front...''), not from the back,
(then her tale is true) that he tried to commit an illegal sexual act with her. Had he called her to have sex with him and she refused, she would have pushed him away from her and tore his shirt from the front,
(But if it be that his shirt is torn from the back, then she has told a lie and he is speaking the truth!) Had Yusuf run away from her, and this is what truly happened, and she set in his pursuit, she would have held to his shirt from the back to bring him back to her, thus tearing his shirt from the back. There is a difference of opinion over the age and gender of the witness mentioned here. `Abdur-Razzaq recorded that Ibn `Abbas said that,
(and a witness of her household bore witness) "was a bearded man,'' meaning an adult male. Ath-Thawri reported that Jabir said that Ibn Abi Mulaykah said that Ibn `Abbas said, "He was from the king's entourage.'' Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Al-Hasan, Qatadah, As-Suddi, Muhammad bin Ishaq and others also said that the witness was an adult male. Al-`Awfi reported that Ibn `Abbas said about Allah's statement,
(and a witness of her household bore witness) "He was a babe in the cradle. '' Similar was reported from Abu Hurayrah, Hilal bin Yasaf, Al-Hasan, Sa`id bin Jubayr and Ad-Dahhak bin Muzahim, that the witness was a young boy who lived in the `Aziz's house. Ibn Jarir At-Tabari preferred this view. Allah's statement,
(So when he saw his (Yusuf's) shirt torn at the back,) indicates that when her husband became certain that Yusuf was telling the truth and that his wife was lying when she heralded the accusation of betrayal at Yusuf,
(he said: "Surely, it is a plot of you women!...'') He said, `This false accusation and staining the young man's reputation is but a plot of many that you, women, have,'
(Certainly mighty is your plot!) The `Aziz ordered Yusuf, peace be upon him, to be discrete about what happened,
(O Yusuf ! Turn away from this!), do not mention to anyone what has happened,
(And ask forgiveness for your sin,) addressing his wife. The `Aziz was an easy man, or gave excuse to his wife because she saw in Yusuf an appeal she could not resist. He said to her, `Ask forgiveness for your sin, the evil desire that you wanted to satisfy with this young man, and then inventing false accusations about him,'
(verily, you were of the sinful.)
(30. And women in the city said: "The wife of the `Aziz is seeking to seduce her (slave) young man, indeed she loves him violently; verily, we see her in plain error.'') (31. So when she heard of their accusation, she sent for them and prepared a banquet for them; she gave each one of them a knife, and she said (to Yusuf): "Come out before them.'' Then, when they saw him, they exalted him (at his beauty) and (in their astonishment) cut their hands. They said: "How perfect is Allah! No man is this! This is none other than a noble angel!'') (32. She said: "This is he (the young man) about whom you did blame me, and I did seek to seduce him, but he refused. And now if he refuses to obey my order, he shall certainly be cast into prison, and will be one of those who are disgraced.'') (33. He said: "O my Lord! Prison is dearer to me than that to which they invite me. Unless You turn away their plot from me, I will feel inclined towards them and be one of the ignorant.'') (34. So his Lord answered his invocation and turned away from him their plot. Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.)