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.)
Allah states that the news of what happened between the wife of the `Aziz and Yusuf spread in the city, that is, Egypt, and people talked about it,
(And women in the city said...), such as women of chiefs and princes said, while admonishing and criticizing the wife of the `Aziz,
(The wife of the `Aziz is seeking to seduce her (slave) young man,), she is luring her servant to have sex with her,
(indeed she loves him violently;), her love for him filled her heart and engulfed it,
(verily, we see her in plain error.), by loving him and trying to seduce him.
(So when she heard of their accusation,) especially their statement, "indeed she loves him violently.'' Muhammad bin Ishaq commented, "They heard of Yusuf's beauty and wanted to see him, so they said these words in order to get a look at him. '' This is when,
(she sent for them), invited them to her house,
(and prepared a banquet for them.) Ibn `Abbas, Sa'id bin Jubayr, Mujahid, Al-Hasan, As-Suddi and several others commented that she prepared a sitting room which had couches, pillows ﴿to recline on﴾ and food that requires knives to cut, such as citron. This is why Allah said next,
(and she gave each one of them a knife), as a part of her plan of revenge for their plot to see Yusuf,
(and she said (to Yusuf): "Come out before them.''), for she had asked him to stay somewhere else in the house,
(Then, when) he went out and,
(they saw him, they exalted him) they thought highly of him and were astonished at what they saw. They started cutting their hands in amazement at his beauty, while thinking that they were cutting the citron with their knives. Therefore, they injured their hands with the knives they were holding, according to several reports of Tafsir. Others said that after they ate and felt comfortable, and after having placed citron in front of them, giving each one of them a knife, the wife of the `Aziz asked them, "Would you like to see Yusuf'' They said, "Yes.'' So she sent for him to come in front of them and when they saw him, they started cutting their hands. She ordered him to keep coming and going, so that they saw him from all sides, and he went back in while they were still cutting their hands. When they felt the pain, they started screaming and she said to them, "You did all this from one look at him, so how can I be blamed
(They said: "How perfect is Allah! No man is this! This is none other than a noble angel!'') They said to her, "We do not blame you anymore after the sight that we saw.'' They never saw anyone like Yusuf before, for he, peace be upon him, was given half of all beauty. An authentic Hadith stated that the Messenger of Allah passed by Prophet Yusuf, during the Night of Isra' in the third heaven and commented,
(He was given a half of all beauty.) Mujahid and others said ﴿they said﴾: "We seek refuge from Allah,''
(No man is this!) They said next,
("This is none other than a noble angel!'' She said: "This is he (the young man) about whom you did blame me...'') She said these words to them so that they excuse her behavior, for a man who looks this beautiful and perfect, is worthy of being loved, she thought. She said,
(and I did seek to seduce him, but he refused) to obey me. Some scholars said that when the women saw Yusuf's beauty, she told them about his inner beauty that they did not know of, being chaste and beautiful from the inside and outside. She then threatened him,
(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.) This is when Prophet Yusuf sought refuge with Allah from their evil and wicked plots,
(He said: "O my Lord! Prison is dearer to me than that to which they invite me...'') illegal sexual acts,
(Unless You turn away their plot from me, I will feel inclined towards them) Yusuf invoked Allah: If You abandon me and I am reliant on myself, then I have no power over myself, nor can I bring harm or benefit to myself, except with Your power and will. Verily, You are sought for each and everything, and our total reliance is on You Alone for each and everything. Please, do not abandon me and leave me to rely on myself, for then,
("I will feel inclined towards them and be one of the ignorant.'' So his Lord answered his invocation) Yusuf, peace be upon him, was immune from error by Allah's will, and He saved him from accepting the advances of the wife of the `Aziz'. He preferred prison, rather than accept her illicit call. This indicates the best and most perfect grade in this case, for Yusuf was youthful, beautiful and full of manhood. His master's wife was calling him to herself, and she was the wife of the `Aziz of Egypt. She was also very beautiful and wealthy, as well as having a great social rank. He refused all this and preferred prison, for he feared Allah and hoped to earn His reward. It is recorded in the Two Sahihs that the Messenger of Allah said,
(Allah will give shade to seven, on the Day when there will be no shade but His: A just ruler, a youth who has been brought up in the worship of Allah, a man whose heart is attached to the Masjid, from the time he goes out of the Masjid until he gets back to it, two persons who love each other only for Allah's sake and they meet and part in Allah's cause only, a man who gives charitable gifts so secretly that his left hand does not know what his right hand has given, a man who refuses the call of a charming woman of noble birth for illicit intercourse with her and says: "I am afraid of Allah, and a person who remembers Allah in seclusion and his eyes are then flooded with tears.'')
(35. Then it occurred to them, after they had seen the proofs (of his innocence), to imprison him for a time.)
Allah says, `Then it occurred to them that it would be in their interest to imprison Yusuf for a time, even after they were convinced of his innocence and saw the proofs of his truth, honesty and chastity.' It appears, and Allah knows best, that they imprisoned him after the news of what happened spread. They wanted to pretend that Yusuf was the one who tried to seduce the `Aziz's wife and that they punished him with imprisonment. This is why when the Pharaoh asked Yusuf to leave jail a long time afterwards, he refused to leave until his innocence was ascertained and the allegation of his betrayal was refuted. When this was successfully achieved, Yusuf left the prison with his honor intact, peace be upon him.
(36. And there entered with him two young men in the prison. One of them said: "Verily, I saw myself (in a dream) pressing wine.'' The other said: "Verily, I saw myself (in a dream) carrying bread on my head and birds were eating thereof.'' (They said): "Inform us of the interpretation of this. Verily, we think you are one of the doers of good.'')
Qatadah said, "One of them was the king's distiller and the other was his baker.'' Each of these two men had a dream and asked Yusuf to interpret it for them.
(37. He said: "No food will come to you as your provision, but I will inform its interpretation before it comes. This is of that which my Lord has taught me. Verily, I have abandoned the religion of a people that believe not in Allah and are disbelievers in the Hereafter.'') (38. "And I have followed the religion of my fathers, - Ibrahim, Ishaq and Ya'qub and never could we attribute any partners whatsoever to Allah. This is from the grace of Allah to us and to mankind, but most men thank not.)