The legend about Yusuf and Zulaikha for centuries was one of the most commonly used and favorite themes in the East, especially in Turkic literature. The life story of Prophet Joseph, as told in Torah (Genesis, 37-50) and the 12th surah of the Holy Qur`an, served as the inspiration for this theme. With time, the original version of this parable, given in the sacred books, underwent changes. However, the main motifs were preserved and reflected in literary works. It is known that since the XIII century in the literature of the Turkic-speaking peoples, there have been more than fifty works of “Yusuf and Zulaikha” written in verse or prose. The poem “Qissa-i Yusuf” by Qul Ali is considered the first work on this theme in Turkic literature. “Qissa-i Yusuf” is the only work of the poet known to science, and, according to a number of scientists, the language of the poem is closer to the language of the Kypchak and Oguz Turks. This article is dedicated to the research of the primary sources of “Qissa-i Yusuf” and gives a brief overview of the poem. The result of research showed that Qul Ali took Sura Yusuf as a basis and also turned to folklore and folk art. Based on the examples given from the poem, it became known that the poet included in his work some episodes that took place in the Torah and in many commentaries on Surah Yusuf, including Tafsiri-Tabari, Tafsiri-Kabir by Fakhr ad-Din Razi, Muhammad Masoud Ayashi or Abulhasana Ali Qumi, as well as the 11th century poet Abu Bakr Atik Nishapuri, known as Surabadi.

Keywords: Qul Ali, Yusuf and Zulaikha, Qissa-i Yusuf, primary sources, Qur`an, Torah, Jarir Al-Tabari, Tafsirs