What is the tafseer of this verse in Soorat Yoosuf (interpretation of the meaning):
“And indeed she did desire him, and he would have inclined to her desire”
If Yoosuf (peace be upon him) was chaste and refused to answer the call of the wife of al-‘Azeez, how could he have inclined towards her desires (i.e., how could that have entered his mind)?.
Praise be to Allaah.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And indeed she did desire him, and he would have inclined
to her desire, had he not seen the evidence of his Lord”
Her desire was to commit
sin, but as for Yoosuf (peace be upon him), if he had not see the evidence
of his Lord, he would have inclined to her desire – because of human nature
– but he did not, because of the evidence mentioned.
Because he hadseen seen the evidence of his Lord, he did not
incline to her desire.
Abu Haatim said: I used to recite ghareeb al-Qur’aan
to Abu ‘Ubaydah, and when I reached the verse (interpretation of the
meaning): “And indeed she did desire him, and he would have inclined to
her desire” [Yoosuf 12:24], Abu ‘Ubayd said: This is to be understood as
meaning that he saw the proof of his Lord, and so he did not incline to her
Al-Qurtubi, al-Jaami’ li Ahkaam al-Qur’aan, 9/165.
Al-Shanqeeti said in Adwa’ al-Bayaan (3/58):
This may be answered from two angles:
1 – That what is meant by saying “Yoosuf would have inclined
to her desire” is that a thought crossed his mind, but the influence of
taqwa (piety) deflected that thought. One of them said: this is the natural
inclination and the instinctive desire that is restrained by taqwa. There is
no sin in that because this is something that is instilled in man and is not
under his control. It says in the hadeeth that the Prophet (peace and
blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to divide his time equally among his
wives and treat them fairly, then he would say: “O Allaah, this is how I
divide that over which I have control, so do not take me to task for that
which is beyond my control” – meaning the inclination of the heart. [Abu
Dawood, al-Sunan, hadeeth no. 2134.
This is like the fasting
person’s inclination towards cold water and food, while at the same time his
taqwa prevents him from drinking or eating whilst he is fasting.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
said: “Whoever thinks of an evil action but does not do it, one hasanah will
be recorded for him.” [Narrated by al-Bukhaari in his Saheeh, no.
6491; Muslim, no. 207]
2 – Yoosuf (peace be upon him) did not think of doing
anything at all, because he was prevented from doing so because of the
proof of his Lord. This view which was favoured by Abu Hasaan and others is
more correct according to the rules of the Arabic language.
Then he started to quote the evidence to support the view he
favoured. Based on the above, the meaning of the verse – and Allaah knows
best – is that if Yoosuf (peace be upon him) had not seen the proof of his
Lord, he would have inclined towards her desire, but because he had seen the
proof of his Lord he did not incline towards her desire and did not think of
it at all. Similarly, just thinking of something without doing it is not
regarded as a sin. And Allaah knows best. May Allaah send blessings and
peace upon his noble Prophet.