وَ لَقَدۡ ہَمَّتۡ بِہٖ ۚ وَ ہَمَّ بِہَا لَوۡ لَاۤ اَنۡ رَّاٰ بُرۡہَانَ رَبِّہٖ ؕ کَذٰلِکَ لِنَصۡرِفَ عَنۡہُ السُّوۡٓءَ وَ الۡفَحۡشَآءَ ؕ اِنَّہٗ مِنۡ عِبَادِنَا الۡمُخۡلَصِیۡنَ ﴿۲۵﴾
وَلَقَدۡ هَمَّتۡ بِهِۦۖ وَهَمَّ بِهَا لَوۡلَآ أَن رَّءَا بُرۡهَٰنَ رَبِّهِۦۚ كَذَٰلِكَ لِنَصۡرِفَ عَنۡهُ ٱلسُّوٓءَ وَٱلۡفَحۡشَآءَۚ إِنَّهُۥ مِنۡ عِبَادِنَا ٱلۡمُخۡلَصِينَ
1373. The wife of Joseph’s master intended a thing about Joseph (i.e. copulation). Similarly, Joseph intended a thing about her, i.e. resisting her evil intention. That Joseph did not intend anything evil is clear from the previous verse. His only object was to dissuade her from her evil purpose. (close)
1374. By 'manifest Sign' are meant the heavenly Signs which Joseph had already witnessed, e.g. the wonderful dream which foretold his future greatness (v. 5), the revelation he had received when cast into the well, which also pointed to his later eminence and glory (v. 16) and also his being taken out alive from the well. (close)
1375. Just as an attempt was made to tempt Joseph away from the path of piety and rectitude, similarly, the idolaters of Mecca made an unsuccessful attempt to make the Holy Prophet give up preaching the Unity of God by offering to make him their king or to collect great wealth for him or to give him in marriage the most beautiful girl in Arabia. The offer was of course contemptuously rejected by the Holy Prophet with the historic words, 'If you place the sun on my right hand and the moon on my left hand, even then I will not give up preaching God’s Unity (Hisham). (close)
This verse tells us that the wife of Joseph’s master intended a thing about Joseph (i.e. copulation) in which she did not succeed. Similarly, Joseph intended a thing about her (i.e. turning her to pure thoughts), but he too did not succeed in his endeavour. That Joseph did not intend anything evil is clear from the previous verse. His only purpose was to dissuade her from her evil course.
By "manifest sign" is meant the heavenly signs which Joseph had already witnessed, e.g. the wonderful dream which foretold his future greatness (v. 5) and the revelation he had received when cast into the well, which also pointed to his later eminence and glory (v. 16). Surely, the person who was being prepared for the exalted office of a Prophet could not debase himself before an idolatrous woman.
The words, that We might turn away from him evil and indecency, signify that a person who had witnessed such signs could not stoop to evil. They may also mean that God brought about these circumstances so that Joseph should no longer live in the evil company of his master’s wicked wife and her evil companions which might have exercised a pernicious influence on him.
Here there is another point of resemblance between Joseph and the Holy Prophet. Just as an attempt was made to tempt Joseph away from the path of piety and rectitude, similarly, the idolaters of Mecca made an unsuccessful attempt to make the Holy Prophet give up preaching the Unity of God by offering to make him their king or amass great wealth for him or give him in marriage the most beautiful girl in Arabia. The offer was of course disdainfully rejected by the Prophet with the historic words, "If you place the sun on my right hand and the moon on my left hand, I will not give up preaching the Oneness of God." (Zurqani & Hisham). This constitutes the eleventh resemblance between these two great Prophets. (close)
وَ اسۡتَبَقَا الۡبَابَ وَ قَدَّتۡ قَمِیۡصَہٗ مِنۡ دُبُرٍ وَّ اَلۡفَیَا سَیِّدَہَا لَدَا الۡبَابِ ؕ قَالَتۡ مَا جَزَآءُ مَنۡ اَرَادَ بِاَہۡلِکَ سُوۡٓءًا اِلَّاۤ اَنۡ یُّسۡجَنَ اَوۡ عَذَابٌ اَلِیۡمٌ ﴿۲۶﴾
وَٱسۡتَبَقَا ٱلۡبَابَ وَقَدَّتۡ قَمِيصَهُۥ مِن دُبُرٖ وَأَلۡفَيَا سَيِّدَهَا لَدَا ٱلۡبَابِۚ قَالَتۡ مَا جَزَآءُ مَنۡ أَرَادَ بِأَهۡلِكَ سُوٓءًا إِلَّآ أَن يُسۡجَنَ أَوۡ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٞ
When Joseph saw that all his exhortations and admonitions to his master’s wife to desist from her evil course were of no avail, he thought he should no longer stay in the room, lest it might give rise to unfounded suspicions. So he hastened to leave her presence. Thereupon the woman, in order to prevent him from leaving the room, ran to the door to reach it before Joseph succeeded in getting out. There was thus a sort of race for the door. It was most probably at the door that the woman pulled Joseph’s shirt in order to pull him back and in so doing she tore his shirt at the back.
Here, again, the Bible differs from the Quran. The Bible says that when the woman caught hold of Joseph’s garment, he left it in her hand (Gen. 39:12). But as the Hebrews used to wear one garment only, which was generally long enough to cover the whole body, it is inconceivable that Joseph should have run away naked, leaving the only garment he was wearing in the woman’s hand. So the Quranic account that Joseph’s shirt was torn in the scuffle seems to be more reasonable. (close)
قَالَ ہِیَ رَاوَدَتۡنِیۡ عَنۡ نَّفۡسِیۡ وَ شَہِدَ شَاہِدٌ مِّنۡ اَہۡلِہَا ۚ اِنۡ کَانَ قَمِیۡصُہٗ قُدَّ مِنۡ قُبُلٍ فَصَدَقَتۡ وَ ہُوَ مِنَ الۡکٰذِبِیۡنَ ﴿۲۷﴾
قَالَ هِيَ رَٰوَدَتۡنِي عَن نَّفۡسِيۚ وَشَهِدَ شَاهِدٞ مِّنۡ أَهۡلِهَآ إِن كَانَ قَمِيصُهُۥ قُدَّ مِن قُبُلٖ فَصَدَقَتۡ وَهُوَ مِنَ ٱلۡكَٰذِبِينَ
Nothing can approach the nobility of mind of God’s Elect. In spite of the fact that Joseph was grievously sinned against, he bore himself with great dignity and refrained from exposing the evil deed of his temptress. But when she herself had the hardihood to bring an utterly false accusation against him, he was compelled to state the facts. A person who appeared to have noticed that Joseph’s shirt had been torn at the back at once came to the conclusion that the woman was to blame. Without having the courage to incriminate her, but wishing to exculpate Joseph, he gave his evidence in a general manner as if he were blaming no one, but was merely laying down a principle by which the culprit could be discovered. (close)
وَ اِنۡ کَانَ قَمِیۡصُہٗ قُدَّ مِنۡ دُبُرٍ فَکَذَبَتۡ وَ ہُوَ مِنَ الصّٰدِقِیۡنَ ﴿۲۸﴾
وَإِن كَانَ قَمِيصُهُۥ قُدَّ مِن دُبُرٖ فَكَذَبَتۡ وَهُوَ مِنَ ٱلصَّـٰدِقِينَ
See note on the preceding verse. (close)
فَلَمَّا رَاٰ قَمِیۡصَہٗ قُدَّ مِنۡ دُبُرٍ قَالَ اِنَّہٗ مِنۡ کَیۡدِکُنَّ ؕ اِنَّ کَیۡدَکُنَّ عَظِیۡمٌ ﴿۲۹﴾
فَلَمَّا رَءَا قَمِيصَهُۥ قُدَّ مِن دُبُرٖ قَالَ إِنَّهُۥ مِن كَيۡدِكُنَّۖ إِنَّ كَيۡدَكُنَّ عَظِيمٞ
1376. The pronoun 'he' stands for the master of the house and not for the man who bore witness. (close)
1377. In his endeavour to screen his wife so far as possible Potiphar seems to accuse the whole fair sex of cunning and guile. (close)
The pronoun "he" in the clause, when he saw his shirt, stands for the master of the house and not for the man who bore witness.
The words, Your device is indeed mighty, will thus be taken to have been spoken by Joseph’s master, and the pronoun "your" refers to "women" generally. In his endeavour to screen his wife as far as possible, he appears to accuse the whole of the fair sex of cunning and guile. But cunning is no characteristic of women; only those women who are oppressed and tyrannized over and whose rights are trampled upon generally develop a tendency to conspiring and adopting wily and cunning ways to avenge themselves on their oppressors. Moreover, the words of a man spoken casually cannot be regarded as an established truth and must be treated with reserve. (close)
یُوۡسُفُ اَعۡرِضۡ عَنۡ ہٰذَا ٜ وَ اسۡتَغۡفِرِیۡ لِذَنۡۢبِکِ ۚۖ اِنَّکِ کُنۡتِ مِنَ الۡخٰطِئِیۡنَ ﴿٪۳۰﴾
يُوسُفُ أَعۡرِضۡ عَنۡ هَٰذَاۚ وَٱسۡتَغۡفِرِي لِذَنۢبِكِۖ إِنَّكِ كُنتِ مِنَ ٱلۡخَاطِـِٔينَ
Here again there is a difference between the Bible and the Quran. According to the Bible Joseph’s master believed the allegation of his wife to be true and held Joseph to be guilty and was angry with him (Gen. 39:19). But other verses of the Bible itself contradict this statement and support the Quran. In Genesis it is stated that when Joseph was sent to prison, its keeper committed all the prisoners to his care. The prison was under the charge of Potiphar, captain of the guard (Joseph’s master), nay, it was in Potiphar’s own house, as the following Biblical verses show: And Pharaoh was wroth against two of his officers, against the chief of the butlers, and against the chief of the bakers. And he put them in ward in the house of the captain of the guard, into the prison, the place where Joseph was bound (Gen. 40:2,3). Now it does not stand to reason that the keeper of the prison who was subordinate to Potiphar, Joseph’s master, should have given the latter a position of honour in the prison when his superior looked upon him as one who sought to commit an outrage upon his wife. Not only that but we find that Potiphar himself put two of Pharaoh’s officers, the chief of the butlers and the chief of the bakers in charge of Joseph while the former were sent to the same prison (Gen. 40:4). These facts clearly show that Joseph’s master believed him to be innocent of the heinous charge brought against him by his wife. (close)
وَ قَالَ نِسۡوَۃٌ فِی الۡمَدِیۡنَۃِ امۡرَاَتُ الۡعَزِیۡزِ تُرَاوِدُ فَتٰٮہَا عَنۡ نَّفۡسِہٖ ۚ قَدۡ شَغَفَہَا حُبًّا ؕ اِنَّا لَنَرٰٮہَا فِیۡ ضَلٰلٍ مُّبِیۡنٍ ﴿۳۱﴾
۞وَقَالَ نِسۡوَةٞ فِي ٱلۡمَدِينَةِ ٱمۡرَأَتُ ٱلۡعَزِيزِ تُرَٰوِدُ فَتَىٰهَا عَن نَّفۡسِهِۦۖ قَدۡ شَغَفَهَا حُبًّاۖ إِنَّا لَنَرَىٰهَا فِي ضَلَٰلٖ مُّبِينٖ
1378. Al-‘Aziz stands for Potiphar. He was the captain of the King’s guard. It seems that at the time of the Holy Prophet the chiefs and dignitaries of Egypt were known by this title. (close)
1379. The Arabic expression means that the woman’s love of Joseph had entered beneath the pericardium of her heart; or, love of him had struck or smitten her or had rent the Shighaf (pericardium) of her heart (Lane). (close)
1534. Important Words:
العزیز (The ‘Aziz) is derived from عز which means, he was or became mighty, potent, powerful or strong; or he was or became high or elevated in rank or condition or state; عزیز means, mighty, potent, powerful or strong; high or elevated in rank or condition or state; noble, honourable, glorious or illustrious; proud, disdainful; invincible; a mighty king or a glorious king. العزیز is one of the names of God signifying the Mighty, Who overcomes everything; or He Who resists or withstands so that nothing overcomes Him; or the Incomparable or Unparalleled. It also signifies "king," because he has the mastery over the people of his dominions and the word was especially used about the ruler of Egypt i.e. the valley of the Nile together with Alexandria. It is a surname like النجاشی (Negus) applied to the King of the Abyssinians and قیصر (Kaiser) applied to the Emperor of the Romans (Lane & Aqrab).
شغفھا (he has infatuated her with love). شغفه means, he or it struck or smote the pericardium of his heart. شغف بالشیء means, he was or became vehemently desirous of the thing. شغفه المال means, the property became embellished to him so that he loved it. The expression قد شغفھا حبا means, he has affected her so that love of him has entered beneath the pericardium of her heart; or, love of him has struck or smitten or has rent the شغاف (pericardium) or the حجاب (midriff) of her heart (Lane & Aqrab).
Al-‘Aziz stands here for Potiphar. According to modern technicality the rulers of Egypt are known by this title. But Potiphar was only the captain of the King’s guard. It seems that at the time of the Holy Prophet the chiefs and dignitaries of Egypt were also known by this title. It is also possible that those women might have used this high title for Potiphar merely by way of flattery.
It appears that the incident of the wife of ‘Aziz having made evil approaches to Joseph became public and the womenfolk of the locality began gossiping about it as is their wont. (close)
فَلَمَّا سَمِعَتۡ بِمَکۡرِہِنَّ اَرۡسَلَتۡ اِلَیۡہِنَّ وَ اَعۡتَدَتۡ لَہُنَّ مُتَّکَاً وَّ اٰتَتۡ کُلَّ وَاحِدَۃٍ مِّنۡہُنَّ سِکِّیۡنًا وَّ قَالَتِ اخۡرُجۡ عَلَیۡہِنَّ ۚ فَلَمَّا رَاَیۡنَہٗۤ اَکۡبَرۡنَہٗ وَ قَطَّعۡنَ اَیۡدِیَہُنَّ وَ قُلۡنَ حَاشَ لِلّٰہِ مَا ہٰذَا بَشَرًا ؕ اِنۡ ہٰذَاۤ اِلَّا مَلَکٌ کَرِیۡمٌ ﴿۳۲﴾
فَلَمَّا سَمِعَتۡ بِمَكۡرِهِنَّ أَرۡسَلَتۡ إِلَيۡهِنَّ وَأَعۡتَدَتۡ لَهُنَّ مُتَّكَـٔٗا وَءَاتَتۡ كُلَّ وَٰحِدَةٖ مِّنۡهُنَّ سِكِّينٗا وَقَالَتِ ٱخۡرُجۡ عَلَيۡهِنَّۖ فَلَمَّا رَأَيۡنَهُۥٓ أَكۡبَرۡنَهُۥ وَقَطَّعۡنَ أَيۡدِيَهُنَّ وَقُلۡنَ حَٰشَ لِلَّهِ مَا هَٰذَا بَشَرًا إِنۡ هَٰذَآ إِلَّا مَلَكٞ كَرِيمٞ
1379A. They thought very highly of him. (close)
a. 12:51. (close)
1380. The expression, cut their hands, may signify that when the women looked at Joseph, they were so struck with his saintly and handsome visage that in a state of forgetfulness some of them happened to cut their hands with the knives they were holding in their hands. Or the sentence may be taken as figuratively expressing their wonder and amazement. The Arabic expression, ‘Addul Anamili, i.e. biting the finger-ends is also used to express surprise, and because sometimes the whole of a thing is used for a part, the word 'hands' may be said to have been here used for 'finger-ends.' According to the Talmud, oranges were served to the guests and the women inadvertently cut their hands owing to their being engrossed in looking at Joseph (Jew. Enc. & Talmud). (close)
b. 12:52. (close)
a. 12:51. (close)
1535. Important Words:
متکا (repast) is derived from وکأ. They say, واکأعلی یدیه i.e. he leaned upon his hands or arms. اوکأه means, he set up for him a thing upon which to recline. اتکأ means, he sat leaning upon one of his sides; he leaned or rested his back or his side against a thing; he leaned or reclined upon a thing; he reclined upon a cushion. They say اتکأنا عند فلان i.e. we ate a repast with such a one. متکأ means, a place in which one reclines: a chamber or sitting room; that upon which one leans or reclines in eating, drinking or talking; food or repast, so called because high people used to recline when they sat to eat (Lane & Aqrab).
حاش لله (Allah be glorified). حاش is derived from حشی which means, he breathed short or he panted for breath or was out of breath. حاشاه منھم means, he set him aside as excluded from the description of the company or party; he excluded him from them, i.e. made an exception in regard to him. حاش لك means, far art thou from being included among those of whom I speak. حاش لله means, I ascribe unto God remoteness from every imperfection or freedom therefrom; generally implying wonder or admiration. The expression may be rendered as "How far or how free is God from every imperfection!" It is also used in the sense of معاذ الله i.e. I seek protection by God (Lane).
The verse purports to say that when Potiphar’s wife heard of what the women in the city were saying about her infatuation for Joseph, she thought they really believed her to be guilty though outwardly they talked in such a manner as to show that they sought to exculpate her. So in order to remove their suspicions, she invited them to a feast. Tables were laid and a knife was provided for each of them. When all the guests were assembled, she asked Joseph to come out and serve them, but hardly had they cast a glance over his face when his innocent look and angelic appearance made them convinced of the purity of his conduct and all their suspicions so far as Joseph was concerned were dissipated.
The expression, cut their hands, may mean that when the women looked at Joseph, they were so struck with his saintly appearance that in a state of forgetfulness some of them happened to cut their hands with the knives they had. Or the sentence may be taken as figuratively expressing their wonder and amazement. The Arabic expression عض الانامل (biting the finger ends) is also used to express surprise, and, as sometimes the whole is used for a part, therefore the word "hands" may be said to have been here used for "finger-ends." According to the Talmud, oranges were served to the guests and the women inadvertently cut their hands owing to their being engrossed in looking at Joseph (Jew. Enc. & Talmud).
Incidentally, the verse shows that the word "angel" can also be used for a righteous and holy man. The verse also throws interesting light on the social customs of those days—the laying of cushioned seats and the use of knives, etc. (close)
قَالَتۡ فَذٰلِکُنَّ الَّذِیۡ لُمۡتُنَّنِیۡ فِیۡہِ ؕ وَ لَقَدۡ رَاوَدۡتُّہٗ عَنۡ نَّفۡسِہٖ فَاسۡتَعۡصَمَ ؕ وَ لَئِنۡ لَّمۡ یَفۡعَلۡ مَاۤ اٰمُرُہٗ لَیُسۡجَنَنَّ وَ لَیَکُوۡنًا مِّنَ الصّٰغِرِیۡنَ ﴿۳۳﴾
قَالَتۡ فَذَٰلِكُنَّ ٱلَّذِي لُمۡتُنَّنِي فِيهِۖ وَلَقَدۡ رَٰوَدتُّهُۥ عَن نَّفۡسِهِۦ فَٱسۡتَعۡصَمَۖ وَلَئِن لَّمۡ يَفۡعَلۡ مَآ ءَامُرُهُۥ لَيُسۡجَنَنَّ وَلَيَكُونٗا مِّنَ ٱلصَّـٰغِرِينَ
Having made the women admit that their suspicions were baseless and that the sinful act had not yet been committed, Potiphar’s wife made an open confession before her guests who were her friends that she had failed in her efforts to tempt Joseph into sin. This unqualified confession of Potiphar’s wife gives the direct lie to the absurd allegation of some commentators that Joseph had become almost inclined towards committing the foul deed.
Strange are the ways of God. The very way by which this woman sought to bring disgrace upon Joseph proved to be the means of his future greatness. (close)
قَالَ رَبِّ السِّجۡنُ اَحَبُّ اِلَیَّ مِمَّا یَدۡعُوۡنَنِیۡۤ اِلَیۡہِ ۚ وَ اِلَّا تَصۡرِفۡ عَنِّیۡ کَیۡدَہُنَّ اَصۡبُ اِلَیۡہِنَّ وَ اَکُنۡ مِّنَ الۡجٰہِلِیۡنَ ﴿۳۴﴾
قَالَ رَبِّ ٱلسِّجۡنُ أَحَبُّ إِلَيَّ مِمَّا يَدۡعُونَنِيٓ إِلَيۡهِۖ وَإِلَّا تَصۡرِفۡ عَنِّي كَيۡدَهُنَّ أَصۡبُ إِلَيۡهِنَّ وَأَكُن مِّنَ ٱلۡجَٰهِلِينَ
It is extremely regrettable that although Potiphar’s wife, who wanted to entice Joseph into sin, herself openly confessed to his innocence and her women-guests also bore witness to Joseph’s piety, and though in the present verse Joseph himself says that through God’s special grace he was saved from inclining to the commission of the evil deed, yet some commentators, writing long centuries after the event, do not hesitate to accuse Joseph of feeling inclined towards that evilly-disposed woman. (close)