And they sold him for a paltry price—for some dirhems counted down, and at no high rate did they value him.

And he who bought him—an Egyptian—said to his wife, “Treat him hospitably; haply he may be useful to us, or we may adopt him as a son.” Thus did we settle Joseph in the land, and we instructed him in the interpretation of dark sayings, for God is equal to his purpose; but most men know it not.

And when he had reached his age of strength we bestowed on him judgment and knowledge; for thus do we recompense the well doers.

And she in whose house he was conceived a passion for him, and she shut the doors and said, “Come hither.” He said, “God keep me! Verily, my lord hath given me a good home: and the injurious shall not prosper.”

said he, “This is a youth!” And they kept his case secret, to make merchandise of him. But God knew what they did.

But she longed for him; and he had longed for her had he not seen a token from his lord.9 Thus we averted evil and defilement from him, for he was one of our sincere servants.

And they both made for the door, and she rent his shirt behind; and at the door they met her lord. “What,” said she, “shall be the recompense of him who would do evil to thy family, but a prison10 or a sore punishment?”

He said, “She solicited me to evil.” And a witness out of her own family11

She said, “This is he about whom ye blamed me. I wished him to yield to my desires, but he stood firm. But if he obey not my command, he shall surely be cast into prison, and become one of the despised.”

He said, “O my Lord! I prefer the prison to compliance with their bidding: but unless thou turn away their snares from me, I shall play the youth with them, and become one of the unwise.”

And his Lord heard him and turned aside their snares from him: for he is the Hearer, the Knower.

Yet resolved they, even after they had seen the signs of his innocence, to imprison him for a time.

And there came into the prison with him two youths. Said one of them, “Methought in my dream that I was pressing grapes.” And the other said, “I dreamed that I was carrying bread on my head, of which the birds did eat. Declare to us the interpretation of this, for we see thou art a virtuous person.”

witnessed: “If his shirt be rent in front she speaketh truth, and he is a liar:

But if his shirt be rent behind, she lieth and he is true.”

And when his lord saw his shirt torn behind, he said, “This is one of your devices! verily your devices are great!

Joseph! leave this affair. And thou, O wife, ask pardon for thy crime, for thou hast sinned.”

And in the city, the women said, “The wife of the Prince hath solicited her servant: he hath fired her with his love: but we clearly see her manifest error.”

And when she heard of their cabal, she sent to them and got ready a banquet for them, and gave each one of them a knife, and said, “Joseph shew thyself to them.” And when they saw him they were amazed at him, and cut their hands,12 and said, “God keep us! This is no man! This is no other than a noble angel!”

He said, “There shall not come to you in a dream any food wherewith ye shall be fed, but I will acquaint you with its interpretation ere it come to pass to you. This is a part of that which my Lord hath taught me: for I have abandoned the religion13 of those who believe not in God and who deny the life to come;

  By PanEris using Melati.

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