English Translation and Commentary of the Holy Quran (2010)

by Maulana Muhammad Ali

Chapter 12: Yusuf — Joseph (Revealed at Makkah: 12 sections, 111 verses)

Section 7 (Verses 12:50–12:57): Joseph Cleared of the Charges

Translation:

12:50 And the king said: Bring him to me. So when the messenger came to him, he said: Go back to your lord and ask him, what is the case of the women who cut their hands? Surely my Lord knows their intrigue.
12:51 (The king) said: What was your business when you sought to seduce Joseph? They said: Holy Allah! We knew of no evil on his part. The chief’s wife said: Now has the truth come out. I sought to seduce him and he is surely truthful.
12:52 (Joseph said:) This is that he might know that I have not been unfaithful to him in secret, and that Allah does not guide the plan of the unfaithful.1
Part 1312:53 And I do not call myself sinless; surely (man’s) self is apt to command evil, except those on whom my Lord has mercy. Surely my Lord is Forgiving, Merciful.2
12:54 And the king said: Bring him to me, I will choose him for myself. So when he talked with him, he said: Surely you are in our presence today dignified, trusted.
12:55 He said: Place me (in authority) over the treasures of the land; surely I am a good keeper, knowing well.
12:56 And thus did We give to Joseph power in the land — he had mastery in it wherever he liked. We bestow Our mercy on whom We please, and We do not waste the reward of the doers of good.
12:57 And certainly the reward of the Hereafter is better for those who believe and guard against evil.

Commentary:

  1. These are the words of Joseph, who explains his conduct in preferring to remain in prison until his innocence was established.
  2. When a man addressed Jesus as good master, he said: “Why do you call me good? No one is good but One, that is, God” (Mark 10:18). The righteous never attribute any good to themselves, but attribute all good to the Great Source of goodness — God. Man’s self is here called ammārah, i.e. one apt to command evil. It is the lowest stage in spiritual growth. See also 75:2 and 89:30.

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