مَا جَزَآءُ مَنْ أَرَادَ بِأَهْلِكَ سُوءًا

(What is the recompense (punishment) for him who intended an evil design against your wife…), in reference to illegal sexual intercourse,

إِلاَ أَن يُسْجَنَ

(except that he be put in prison)

أَوْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ

(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,

هِىَ رَاوَدَتْنِى عَن نَّفْسِى

(It was she that sought to seduce me), and mentioned that she pursued him and pulled him towards her until she tore his shirt.

وَشَهِدَ شَاهِدٌ مِّنْ أَهْلِهَآ إِن كَانَ قَمِيصُهُ قُدَّ مِن قُبُلٍ

(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,

وَإِنْ كَانَ قَمِيصُهُ قُدَّ مِن دُبُرٍ فَكَذَبَتْ وَهُوَ مِن الصَّـدِقِينَ

(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,

وَشَهِدَ شَاهِدٌ مِّنْ أَهْلِهَآ

(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,

وَشَهِدَ شَاهِدٌ مِّنْ أَهْلِهَآ

(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,

فَلَمَّا رَأَى قَمِيصَهُ قُدَّ مِن دُبُرٍ

(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,

قَالَ إِنَّهُ مِن كَيْدِكُنَّ

(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,’

إِنَّ كَيْدَكُنَّ عَظِيمٌ

(Certainly mighty is your plot!) The `Aziz ordered Yusuf, peace be upon him, to be discrete about what happened,

يُوسُفُ أَعْرِضْ عَنْ هَـذَا

(O Yusuf ! Turn away from this!), do not mention to anyone what has happened,

وَاسْتَغْفِرِى لِذَنبِكِ

(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,’

إِنَّكِ كُنتِ مِنَ الْخَـطِئِينَ

(verily, you were of the sinful.)

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