Bismillahir rahmenir raheem
Not only was Yusuf (as) blessed with a noble lineage, the Prophet (saw) narrated that “Yusuf and his mother were given half of all the beauty in the world.” (Tabari)
This beauty was to come as a test, not only because it incited the jealousy of his brothers, but it was the motivating factor of his later imprisonment. Allah swt tested Yusuf (as) from a very early age, but He swt also blessed him with knowledge.
After Yusuf (as) was sold into slavery in Egypt, his beauty saved him by the will of Allah and the Aziz of Egypt purchased him for his household. Yusuf’s (as) beauty was so stunning that the wife of the Aziz, Zulaykha began to desire him. Yusuf (as) being as knowledgeable as he was about Allah swt due to the teachings of his father, shunned her advances but this only made her desire him even more.
This point of the story in particular shows us the importance of teaching our children about Allah swt. Too often we say “let them just be children”, but if Yaqoob (as) thought like this, only Allah swt knows if Yusuf (as) would have succumbed to the temptations of Zulaykha.
On one day in particular, Zulaykha tried to seduce Yusuf (as). He sought refuge in Allah swt and ran towards the door to get away from her. Zulaykha ran after him and ripped the back of his shirt. The Aziz was on the other side of the door and upon seeing him Zulaykha immediately accused Yusuf (as) of seducing her. Yusuf (as) denied any wrong doing. On examining his shirt, it was evident that Yusuf (as) was truthful. If he had advanced on her the front of his shirt would have been ripped from the front, however Zulaykha had advanced on him as he was running away so the shirt was ripped from the back.
The Aziz examined the shirt and indeed Zulaykha was in the wrong, he admonished his wife and Allah swt recorded it in the Qur’an.
“And, [my wife], ask forgiveness for your sin. Indeed, you were of the sinful.” (Qur’an 12:29)
Word spread about Zulaykha trying to seduce her slave among the aristocratic ladies in Egypt. Rather than admit her faults and seek refuge in Allah swt, Zulaykha invited the ladies over for a banquet to prove that Yusuf (as) was indeed beautiful beyond measure and that she was not at fault for desiring him.
After dinner, Zulajkha served the women fruit and provided a knife for them to cut it with. At the moment that they were cutting, she called Yusuf (as) into the room. So intoxicated were they by his beauty, they cut their hands claiming they had seen an angel.
Now, let’s reflect. How many times have we heard brothers and sisters say “I couldn’t help it, they were just too irresistible.” I would urge all of us to fear Allah swt, for the unchaste will not enter jannah unless they seek the forgiveness of Allah swt. The punishments of the people of zina are so shocking, subhanAllah you would leave zina altogether! There are 7 that will be under the shade of Allah swt on the day where there will be no other shade. One of them, as narrated in Bukhari and Muslim, is a man/woman who is called by a beautiful person and they say ‘I fear Allah’. This is exactly what Yusuf (as) did, he sought refuge in Allah swt rather than commit zina (fornication).
From this moment in the life of Yusuf (as) we see the importance of preserving our chastity and honour. Here, they are inexplicably linked. If Yusuf (as) would have given into the temptations of Zulaykha, the Aziz would have no basis to pardon him, grant him his freedom and make him the overseer of all the grain in Egypt, Allahu Akbar. We live in an overly sexualised world brothers and sisters and your chastity is more valuable than ever. Don’t let that go for a quick fumble or even a glance that may land you to the hellfire. We ask Allah swt to protect us from the fitna of zina and put us under His swt shade on the Day of judgement. Ameen.