It seems like common knowledge that the prophet Yusuf was a handsome man.

Allah the Almighty says in the surah Yusuf:

So when she heard of their scheming, she sent for them and prepared for them a banquet and gave each one of them a knife and said [to Joseph], "Come out before them." And when they saw him, they greatly admired him and cut their hands and said, "Perfect is Allah ! This is not a man; this is none but a noble angel." 12:31

This verse seems to be the proof for his beauty or handsomeness. Why did the women in Sura 12.30-31 cut their hands when they saw how "beautiful" Joseph was? seems relevant here, however none of the answers give any feedback from tafsir as it seems. If any tafsir interpret it otherwise I'd be glad to know.

However what I'm asking about is that in this context I often heard a statement saying:

" Yusuf peace be upon him was given half of the beauty/handsomness "
يوسف عليه السلام أوتي شطر الجمال

What is the source -e.g. is it mentioned in a hadith?- and authenticity of this statement?

  • 1
    Strictly speaking the word used was "حسن" (husn) instead of "جمال" (jamal).
    – Medi1Saif
    Apr 9, 2021 at 8:59

1 Answer 1


It is mentioned in an authentic hadith of Sahih Muslim recounting the incident of Isra and Mir'aj:

[...] Then I was taken to the third heaven and Gabriel asked for the opening (of the door). He was asked: Who are you? He replied: Gabriel. He was (again) asked: Who is with you? He replied Muhammad (ﷺ). It was said: Has he been sent for? He replied He has indeed been sent for. (The gate) was opened for us and I saw Yusuf (peace of Allah be upon him) who had been given half of beauty. He welcomed me prayed for my well-being. [...] (Sahih Muslim)

Meaning, as most people interpret it, is that if all the world's beauty were combined, Yusuf (AS)'s would make up half of that.

  • I think that the translation "half of (world) beauty." is problematic as this is not what the prophet () literally said.
    – Medi1Saif
    Apr 9, 2021 at 8:57
  • @Medi1Saif I think the brackets serve to show it is not from the literal words, but I removed it nonetheless.
    – The Z
    Apr 9, 2021 at 15:12

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