Praise be to Allaah.
There is no report in the Holy Qur’aan or the Sunnah of the
Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) to prove or disprove
that Yoosuf (peace be upon him) married the wife of al-‘Azeez, whose name
was said by some to be Ra‘eel and by others to be Zulaykha; al-Haafiz Ibn
Katheer suggested that Zulaykha was her title.
There is a report about Yoosuf (peace be upon him) marrying
Ra‘eel that was narrated from a well-known imam of seerah and history,
Muhammad ibn Ishaaq (may Allah have mercy on him) who said:
With regard to Yoosuf saying to the King,
“Set me over the store‑houses of the land; I will indeed
guard them with full knowledge” [Yoosuf 12:55],
the king said: I will do that. So he appointed him instead of Itfeer and
dismissed Itfeer from his post. Allah says: “Thus did We give full
authority to Yoosuf (Joseph) in the land, to take possession therein, when
or where he likes…” [Yoosuf 12:56].
He said: It was mentioned to me – and Allah knows best – that
Itfeer died during those nights and that the King al-Rayyaan ibn al-Waleed
gave Itfeer’s wife, Ra‘eel, to Yoosuf in marriage, and when she entered upon
him he said: Is this not better than what you wanted? And they claimed that
she said: O Siddeeq, do not blame me, for I was a woman who was, as you see,
beautiful and enjoying a life of luxury, and my husband could not have
intimate relations with women, and you are as Allah made you, very handsome,
and I could not help myself.
They claimed that he found her a virgin and he had
intercourse with her and she bore him two sons: Afra’eem ibn Yoosuf and
Maysha ibn Yoosuf. The son of Afra’eem was Noon, the father of Yoosha‘ ibn
Noon, and Rahmah the wife of Ayyoob (peace be upon him). End quote.
Narrated by Ibn Abi Haatim in al-Tafseer, 7/2161;
al-Tabari in Jaami‘ al-Bayaan, 16/151.
A similar report was narrated from Zayd ibn Aslam, the great
Taabi‘i, and from Wahb ibn Munabbih, from the Israa’eeliyyaat
(reports from Jewish sources).
That was also narrated by al-Suyooti in al-Durr
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
Chapter 27: One who gives up his beloved to avoid a haraam
relationship and then was enabled to be with his beloved in a halaal way, or
Allah compensated him with some one better, as Yoosuf al-Siddeeq avoided the
wife of al-‘Azeez for the sake of Allah, and chose prison over immoral
action, and Allah compensated him by giving him full authority in the land
to take possession therein when or where he wanted, and the woman came to
him humbly asking for a halaal relationship, so he married her and when he
entered upon her he said: This is better than what you wanted.
Think about how Allah, may He be glorified and exalted,
rewarded him for the hardship of prison and gave him full authority in the
land to take possession therein when or where he wanted, and subdued for him
the wife of al-‘Azeez, and she and the other women attested to his
innocence. This is what Allah ordained for His slaves in the past and at
present until the Day of Resurrection.
End quote from Rawdat al-Muhibbeen, p. 445
This does not mean that this story is definitively true;
rather it seems that it was taken from the People of the Book, and we have
been commanded not to believe them and not to disbelieve them either. The
Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Do not believe the
People of the Book and do not disbelieve them. Say: We believe in that which
has been revealed to us and revealed to you, our God and your God is One,
and we submit to Him.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4485; classed as saheeh by
al-Albaani in Silsilat al-Ahaadeeth al-Saheehah, 422
And Allah knows best.