There he was, alone with her. Her husband to be gone all day at work.
Her appearance intensely beautified with everything for him to see.
The doors, locked by her own hands. There was no escape.
And if all this wasn’t enough, she even called to him.
“Hayta lak!” (Come and take me!)
After trying to avoid her for so long, Prophet Yusuf found himself in a position no man could ever resist. Alone with a beautiful woman and not a single person around.
And to make matters worse, it was she who was calling him.
Yet, somehow Yusuf was able to resist her.
How? How could any man ever resist that type of fitnah (test)? It seems almost impossible, right? What did Prophet Yusuf do?
Allah subhāna wa ta‘āla says Yusuf did three things to successfully avoid falling into danger (12:23-25).
1. He sought protection in Allah. Immediately he said, “ma‘ādh Allah!” (I seek refuge in Allah), asking Allah for help. Instead of relying on himself, he relied first on Allah.
2. He recalled the favors of His Lord. Yusuf went from the bottom of a damp and dirty well to living in a baller mansion. By remembering what Allah has blessed him with, it made the thought of disobeying Him so unsightly, Yusuf said, “for sure, the ones who do wrong will never succeed.”
3. He ran away from the sin. Allah says Yusuf raced to the doors to escape her. He didn’t hesitate. He didn’t think it over. He didn’t rationalize and say, “just this once,” or “I’ll just ask for forgiveness later.” He ran for his life from even the thought of displeasing Allah.
And this is how Yusuf, peace be upon him, resisted a temptation that no man could ever resist.
• First, turn to Allah. By doing this, Yusuf showed us that the power of overcoming sin doesn’t come from being a prophet or being “religious.” It comes from turning to Allah. So seek His help when the going gets rough.
• Remember His favors on you. You’ll be forced to ask yourself, “how can I possibly sin against Allah after all He’s done for me?” and insha’Allah like Yusuf, you’ll be able to avoid sin.
• Run away from the sin. After giving it up to Allah, it’s your turn. Close that website. Stop talking to that guy. Quit flirting with your co-worker. Whatever it is. Like Yusuf did, you have to take action.
So the next time you find yourself in a locked room with Shaytan inviting you to sin, remember the strategy of Yusuf and inshaAllah you, too, can overcome the impossible.
Want more from Surah Yusuf?
For more on the incredible story of Prophet Yusuf, peace be upon him, join us for Beautiful Patience: Tafsir Surah Yusuf, from AlMaghrib Institute. Click here for more information.