In an attempt to understand a well-known though often unexamined exegetical principle,
this article offers a reading of the story of Joseph in light of two Quranic passages, namely 39:23
and, most importantly, 95:4-6. What links these texts is the concept of beauty. In 39:23, the
Quran is referred to as “the most beautiful discourse,” while 95:4 says that human beings were
created in “the most beautiful stature.” At the same time, Sūrat Yūsuf is spoken of as being “the
most beautiful of stories” (12:3). We thus have the most beautiful discourse, which contains the
most beautiful of stories, and all of this is for the benefit of God’s creatures, who are created in
the most beautiful of statures. ……………………..