Zulaikha's Feelings for Joseph
The wife of the chief minister, Zulaikha, watched Joseph from day to day. She sat with him, talked with him, listened to him, and her wonder increased over the passage of time.
Joseph was soon confronted (with his second trial). The chief minister's wife, Zulaikha, could not resist the handsome Joseph, and her obsession with him caused her sleepless nights. She fell in love with him, and it was painful for her to be so close to a man, yet be unable to hold him. Yet, she was not a wayward woman, for in her position she could get any man she desired. By all accounts she must have been a very pretty and intelligent lady, or why would the chief minister have chosen her of all the pretty women in the kingdom? Although she bore him no child, he would not take another wife, as he loved her passionately.
The Qur'an raises the curtain on the scene of this fierce and devouring love on the part of the lady. Allah the Almighty told us: And she, in whose house he was, sought to seduce him (to do an evil act), she closed the doors and said: "Come on, 0 you." He said: "I seek refuge in Allah (or Allah forbid)! Truly, he (your husband) is my master! He made my stay agreeable! (So I will never betray him). Verily, the Zalimun (wrong - and evil-doers) will never be successful." And indeed she did desire him and he would have inclined to her desire, had he not seen the evidence of his Lord. Thus it was, that We might turn away from him evil and illegal sexual intercourse. Surely, he was one of Our chosen, guided slaves. Surah 12: 23-24
Joseph's Feelings for Zulaikha
Commentators are unanimous about her (Zulaikha) intention of disobedience but disagree about his own intention. There are those who say that she tempted him and he tempted her to sin, although he did not follow through with his intent. Others say that she merely wanted him to kiss her, and he attempted to strike her. Yet others say that this anxiety had been there before this incident. There was a psychological disturbance in Joseph when he reached adolescence, which Almighty Allah rid him of.
The safest commentary for us is that there is temptation and resistance in the verse, for He Most High stated: And indeed she did desire him and he would have inclined to her desire..." Surah 12: 24
Abu Ubaidah said that this is a temptation and resistance meaning that she had tried to seduce him; had he not seen the proof of Allah, he would have been seduced. This is in keeping with the infallibility of prophets, as it suits the words which immediately follow: Thus it was, that We might turn away from him evil and illegal sexual intercourse. Surely, he was one of Our chosen, guided slaves. Surah 12: 24
This verse proves that Joseph was an upright worshiper of Allah; it also testifies to his rescue from the authority of Satan. The Almighty said to the devil (Iblis) on the Day of Creation, "Certainly, you shall have no authority over My slaves, except those who follow you of the Ghawin (Mushrikeen and those who go astray, criminals, polyt heists, and evil-doers, etc.)" Surah 15: 42