The Prophethood of Prophet Yunus (Jonah), peace be upon him, of Nineveh

 I take refuge with Allaah from the accursed devil.  

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـنِ الرَّحِيمِ 

  Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-Raheem: In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.  

 Welcome to my blog and praise the Magnificent Lord as you enter: Allahu Akbar: Allah is the Greatest .

  May the Peace and Blessing of Allah Azza wa Jal, our Lord Glorified and Praised be He, be upon our beloved Prophet, his Family, and Companions.

The Prophethood of Prophet Yunus (Jonah), peace be upon him, of Nineveh.

وَذَا النُّونِ إِذ ذَّهَبَ مُغَـضِباً فَظَنَّ أَن لَّن نَّقْدِرَ عَلَيْهِ فَنَادَى فِى الظُّلُمَـتِ أَن لاَّ إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ أَنتَ سُبْحَـنَكَ إِنِّى كُنتُ مِنَ الظَّـلِمِينَ

(87. And (remember) Dhun-Nun, when he went off in anger, and imagined that We shall not punish him! But he cried through the darknesses (Zulumat) (saying): “There is no God but You, Glorified be You! Truly, I have been of the Zalimin wrongdoers.”)

 فَاسْتَجَبْنَا لَهُ وَنَجَّيْنَـهُ مِنَ الْغَمِّ وَكَذلِكَ نُنجِـى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ

(88. So We answered his call, and delivered him from the distress. And thus We do deliver the believers.)

Surah 21 Al Anbiya Verse 87-88

Tafsir Ibn Kathir

This story is mentioned here, and in Surat As-Saffat and Surah Nun. Yunus bin Matta, upon him be peace, was sent by Allah to the people of Nineveh, which was a town in the area of Mawsil [in northern Iraq]. He called them to Allah, but they rejected him and persisted in their disbelief. So he left them in anger, threatening them with punishment after three [days]. When they realized that he was telling the truth and that a Prophet never lies, they went out to the desert with their children and cattle and flocks. They separated the mothers from their children, then they beseeched Allah and pleaded to Him, with the camels and their young groaning, the cows and their calves mooing, and the sheep and their lambs bleating, so Allah spared them from the punishment. Allah says:

(Was there any town that believed (after seeing the punishment), and its faith saved it Except the people of Yunus; when they believed, We removed from them the torment of disgrace in the life of the world, and permitted them to enjoy for a while) [10:98]. Yunus, meanwhile, went and traveled with some people on a ship, which was tossed about on the sea. The people were afraid that they would drown, so they cast lots to choose a man whom they would throw overboard. The lot fell to Yunus, but they refused to throw him overboard. This happened a second and a third time. Allah says:

(Then he (agreed to) cast lots, and he was among the losers.) [37:141] meaning, the draw went against him, so Yunus stood up, removed his garment and cast himself into the sea. Then Allah sent from the Green Sea — according to what Ibn Mas`ud said — a large fish which cleaved the oceans until it came and swallowed Yunus when he threw himself into the sea. Allah inspired that large fish not to devour his flesh or break his bones, (as if He said) Yunus is not food for you, rather your belly is a prison for him.

(And (remember) Dhun-Nun,) Here Nun refers to the fish; it is correct for it to be attributed to him here.

(when he went off in anger,) Ad-Dahhak said: “Anger towards his people.”

(and imagined that We shall not punish him!) meaning, constrict him in the belly of the fish. Something similar to this was reported from Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid, Ad-Dahhak and others. This was the view favored by Ibn Jarir, and he quoted as evidence for that the Ayah:

(and the man whose resources are restricted, let him spend according to what Allah has given him. Allah puts no burden on any person beyond what He has given him. Allah will grant after hardship, ease) [65:7].

(But he cried through the depths of darkness (saying): “There is no God but You, Glorified be You! Truly, I have been of the wrongdoers.”) Ibn Mas`ud said regarding the `depths of darkness’: “The darkness of the belly of the fish, the darkness of the sea and the darkness of the night.” This was also narrated from Ibn `Abbas, `Amr bin Maymun, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Muhammad bin Ka`b, Ad-Dahhak, Al-Hasan and Qatadah. Salim bin Abu Al-Ja`d said: “The darkness of the fish in the belly of another fish in the darkness of the sea.” Ibn Mas`ud, Ibn `Abbas and others said: “This was because the fish took him through the sea, cleaving it until it reached the bottom of the sea. Yunus heard the rocks at the bottom of the sea uttering glorification of Allah, at which point he said:

(There is no God but You, Glorified be You! Truly, I have been of the wrongdoers)” `Awf Al-A`rabi said: “When Yunus found himself in the belly of the fish, he thought that he had died. Then he moved his legs. When he moved his legs, he prostrated where he was, then he called out: `O Lord, I have taken a place of worship to You in a place which no other person has reached.”’

(So `We answered his call, and delivered him from the distress.) means, `We brought him forth from the belly of the fish and from that darkness.’

(And thus We do deliver the believers.) means, when they are in difficulty and they call upon Us and repent to Us, especially if they call upon Us with these words at the time of distress. The leader of the Prophets encouraged us to call upon Allah with these words. Imam Ahmad recorded that Sa`d bin Abi Waqqas, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “I passed by `Uthman bin `Affan, may Allah be pleased with him, in the Masjid, and greeted him. He stared at me but did not return my Salam. I went to `Umar bin Al-Khattab and said: `O Commander of the faithful, has something happened in Islam’ I said that twice. He said, `No, why do you ask’ I said, `I passed by `Uthman a short while ago in the Masjid and greeted him, and he stared at me but he did not return my Salam.’ `Umar sent for `Uthman and asked him, `Why did you not return your brother’s Salam’ He said, `That is not true.’ Sa`d said, `Yes it is.’ It reached the point where they both swore oaths. Then `Uthman remembered and said, `Yes, you are right, I seek the forgiveness of Allah and I repent to Him. You passed by me a short while ago but I was preoccupied with thoughts of something I had heard from the Messenger of Allah , which I never think of but a veil comes down over my eyes and my heart.’ Sa`d said: `And I will tell you what it was. The Messenger of Allah told us the first part of the supplication then a bedouin came and kept him busy, then the Messenger of Allah got up and I followed him. When I felt worried that he would enter his house, I stamped my feet. I turned to the Messenger of Allah , who said,

(Who is this Abu Ishaq) I said, “Yes, O Messenger of Allah.” He said,

(What is the matter) I said, “Nothing, by Allah, except that you told us the first part of the supplication, then this bedouin came and kept you busy.” He said,

Yes, the supplicaiton of Dhun-Nun when he was in the belly of the fish:

(There is no God but You, Glorified be You! Truly, I have been of the wrongdoers.)

(No Muslim ever prays to his Lord with these words for anything, but He will answer his prayer.)” It was also recorded by At-Tirmidhi, and by An-Nasa’i in Al-Yawm wal-Laylah. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Sa`d said that the Messenger of Allah said:

(Whoever offers supplication in the words of the supplication of Yunus, will be answered.) Abu Sa`id said: “He was referring to:

(And thus We do deliver the believers.)”

فَاصْبِرْ لِحُكْمِ رَبِّكَ وَلاَ تَكُن كَصَـحِبِ الْحُوتِ إِذْ نَادَى وَهُوَ مَكْظُومٌ

(48. So, wait with patience for the decision of your Lord, and be not like the Companion of the Fish when he cried out (to Us) while he was Makzum.)

لَّوْلاَ أَن تَدَارَكَهُ نِعْمَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّهِ لَنُبِذَ بِالْعَرَآءِ وَهُوَ مَذْمُومٌ

(49. Had not a grace from his Lord reached him, he would indeed have been (left in the stomach of the fish, but We forgave him), so he was cast off on the naked shore, while he was to be blamed.)

فَاجْتَبَـهُ رَبُّهُ فَجَعَلَهُ مِنَ الصَّـلِحِينَ

 (50. Then his Lord chose him and made him of the righteous.)

وَإِن يَكَادُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ لَيُزْلِقُونَكَ بِأَبْصَـرِهِمْ لَمَّا سَمِعُواْ الذِّكْرَ وَيَقُولُونَ إِنَّهُ لَمَجْنُونٌ

(51. And verily, those who disbelieve would almost make you slip with their eyes (through hatred) when they hear the Reminder (the Qur’an), and they say: “Verily, he is a madman!”)

 وَمَا هُوَ إِلاَّ ذِكْرٌ لِّلْعَالَمِينَ

(52. But it is nothing else than a Reminder to all the creatures (`Alamin).)

Surah 68 Al Qalam Verse 48-52

Tafsir Ibn Kathir

Allah says,

(So wait with patience) `O Muhammad, persevere against the harm your people cause you and their rejection. For verily, Allah will give you authority over them, and make the final victory for you and your followers in this life and the Hereafter.’

(and be not like the Companion of the Fish) meaning, Dhun-Nun, who was Yunus bin Matta, when he went off angry with his people. Various things happened to him, such as riding on a ship at sea, being swallowed by a (large) fish, the fish carrying him off into the ocean, being in the darkness and depth of the sea and hearing the sea’s and its dwellers glorification of the Most High, the Most Able (Allah). For He (Allah) is the One Whose execution of divine decree cannot be resisted. After all of this, he (Yunus) called out from the layers of darkness,

(“That none has the right to be worshipped but You (O Allah), Glorified (and Exalted) are You! Truly, I have been of the wrongdoers.”) (21:87) Then Allah said concerning him,

(So We answered his call, and delivered him from the distress. And thus We do deliver the believers.) (21:88) Allah also says,

(Had he not been of them who glorify Allah, he would have indeed remained inside its belly (the fish) till the Day when they are resurrected.) (37:143,144) So here (in this Surah), Allah says,

(when he cried out (to Us) while he was Makzum.) Ibn `Abbas, Mujahid and As-Suddi, all said, “while he was distressed.” Then Allah goes on to say,

(Then his Lord chose him and made him of the righteous.) Imam Ahmad recorded from `Abdullah that the Messenger of Allah said,

(It is not befitting for anyone to say that I am better than Yunus bin Matta.) Al-Bukhari recorded this Hadith and it is in the Two Sahihs reported from Abu Hurayrah.

وَإِنَّ يُونُسَ لَمِنَ الْمُرْسَلِينَ

(139. And verily, Yunus was one of the Messengers.)

إِذْ أَبَقَ إِلَى الْفُلْكِ الْمَشْحُونِ

(140. When he ran to the laden ship:)

فَسَـهَمَ فَكَانَ مِنَ الْمُدْحَضِينَ

 (141. Then he (agreed to) cast lots, and he was among the losers. )

 فَالْتَقَمَهُ الْحُوتُ وَهُوَ مُلِيمٌ

(142. Then a (big) fish swallowed him as he had done an act worthy of blame.)

 فَلَوْلاَ أَنَّهُ كَانَ مِنَ الْمُسَبِّحِينَ

(143. Had he not been of them who glorify Allah,)

لَلَبِثَ فِى بَطْنِهِ إِلَى يَوْمِ يُبْعَثُونَ

(144. He would have indeed remained inside its belly (the fish) till the Day of Resurrection.)

 فَنَبَذْنَـهُ بِالْعَرَآءِ وَهُوَ سَقِيمٌ

 (145. But We cast him forth on the naked shore while he was sick,)

وَأَنبَتْنَا عَلَيْهِ شَجَرَةً مِّن يَقْطِينٍ

(146. And We caused a plant of gourd to grow over him.)

وَأَرْسَلْنَـهُ إِلَى مِاْئَةِ أَلْفٍ أَوْ يَزِيدُونَ

 (147. And We sent him to a hundred thousand (people) or even more.)

فَـَامَنُواْ فَمَتَّعْنَـهُمْ إِلَى حِينٍ

(148. And they believed; so We gave them enjoyment for a while.)

Surah 37 As Saafaat Verse 139-148

Tafsir Ibn Kathir

We have already discussed the story of Yunus, peace be upon him, in Surat Al-Anbiya’ (21:87-88). In the Two Sahihs it is reported that the Messenger of Allah said:

(It is not right for any person to say I am better than Yunus bin Matta.)

(When he ran to the laden ship.) Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said, “It was filled with cargo.

(Then he (agreed to) cast lots,) means, to draw lots.”

(and he was among the losers.) means among those who have been overcome. This was because the ship was being pounded by the waves on all sides, and they were at risk of drowning, so they drew lots, and whoever lost would be thrown overboard so as to lighten the load. The Prophet of Allah Yunus, peace be upon him, lost the draw three times, but they did not want to throw him overboard. He took off his garment so that he could throw himself into the sea, and they tried to stop him. Then Allah commanded a large fish from the Green Sea (i.e., Mediterranian Sea) to cleave the oceans and come and swallow Yunus, peace be upon him, without cutting his flesh or breaking his bones. The fish came and Yunus, peace be upon him, threw himself overboard, and the fish swallowed him and took him away, traveling through all the seas with him. When Yunus had stayed for some time in the fish’s belly, he thought that he had died; then he moved his head and legs and arms, and saw that he was alive. He prayed in the belly of the fish, and one of the things he said in his main prayer was: “O Lord, I have taken as a place of worship to You a place which no other person has reached.” They differed as to how long he spent in the belly of the fish. Some said three days; this was the view of Qatadah. Some said seven days; this was the view of Ja`far As-Sadiq, may Allah be pleased with him. Some said forty days; this was the view of Abu Malik. Mujahid said, narrating from Ash-Sha`bi, “It swallowed him in the morning and cast him forth in the evening.” And Allah knows best how long exactly was. Allah says, 

(Had he not been of them who glorify Allah, He would have indeed remained inside its belly (the fish) till the Day of Resurrection.) It was said that, if he had not already done righteous deeds during his time of ease. This was the view of Ad-Dahhak bin Qays, Abu Al-`Aliyah, Wahb bin Munabbih, Qatadah and others, and it was the view favored by Ibn Jarir. This is what is indicated in the authentic Hadith which we quote below, if Allah wills. In a Hadith narrated from Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, he said:

(Remember Allah during times of ease and He will remember you during times of difficulty.) And it was said that what was meant by the Ayah:

(Had he not been of them who glorify Allah,) was the meaning of the following Ayat:

(But he cried through the darkness (saying): “La ilaha illa Anta, You are glorified! Truly, I have been of the wrongdoers.” So We answered his call, and delivered him from the distress. And thus We do deliver the believers.) (21:87-88). This was the view of Sa`id bin Jubayr and others. Ibn Abi Hatim recorded that Anas bin Malik, may Allah be pleased with him — and I do not know of anything narrated from Anas that he did not attribute to the Messenger of Allah :

(When it occurred to the Prophet Yunus, upon him be peace, to call upon Allah in these words when he was in the belly of the great fish, he said, “La ilaha illa Anta, Yo are glorified! Truly, I have been of the wrongdoers.” This call went and hovered around the (mighty) Throne, and the angels said, “O Lord, this is the voice of one who is weak but known, in a faraway strange land. Allah, may He be exalted, said, “How do you know this” They said, “O Lord, who is he” Allah, may He be exalted, said, “My servant Yunus.” They said, “Your servant Yunus, from whom there kept coming acceptable deeds and supplications which were answered!” They said, “O Lord, will You not have mercy on him for what he did during his time of ease, and save him from this trial and tribulation” He said, “Of course.” So, He commanded the great fish, and it cast him forth on the naked shore.) Allah says:

(But We cast him forth) meaning, `We threw him out,’

(on the naked shore) Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, and others said that this refers to land in which there is no vegetation and no buildings.

(while he was sick,) means, when he was weak of body.

(And We caused a plant of gourd to grow over him.) Ibn Mas`ud and Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with them both, Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Wahb bin Munabbih, Hilal bin Yasaf, `Abdullah bin Tawus, As-Suddi, Qatadah, Ad-Dahhak, `Ata’ Al-Khurasani and several others, all said that gourd means squash. Some of them mentioned that the squash has a number of benefits: it grows quickly, its leaves offer shade because of their large size and smooth texture, flies do not come near it, and its fruits provide good nourishment; they may be eaten raw or cooked, and both the pulp and the peel may be eaten. It was reported that the Messenger of Allah used to like squash and would look for it wherever it was on the serving dish.

(And We sent him to a hundred thousand (people) or even more.) It is as if he was commanded, after he came forth from the fish, to go back to those to whom he had been sent in the first place, and they all believed in him.

(or even more.) Makhul said, “They numbered one hundred and ten thousand. This was reported by Ibn Abi Hatim. Ibn Jarir said, “Some of the scholars of Arabic, the people of Basrah, said that this means up to one hundred thousand or more.” Ibn Jarir interpreted this Ayah as he interpreted the Ayat:

(And they believed;) means, these people to whom Yunus, peace be upon him, had been sent all believed.

(so We gave them enjoyment for a while. ) means, until the time of their appointed end. This is like the Ayah,

(Was there any town (community) that believed, and its faith (at that moment) saved it — except the people of Yunus; when they believed, We removed from them the torment of disgrace in the life of the (present) world, and permitted them to enjoy for a while.) (10:98)

(And similarly, We sent not a warner before you to any town (people) but the luxurious ones among them said: “We found our fathers following a certain way and religion, and we will indeed follow their footsteps.”)(43:23) As found in the authentic Hadith,

(The Prophets were displayed before me. There was a Prophet who passed with a group of people, and a Prophet who passed with only one man, a Prophet with two men, and a Prophet with no one.) Then he mentioned the mulititude of followers that Musa had, peace be upon him, then that he saw his nation of people filling from the west to the east. The point is that between Musa and Yunus, there was no nation, in its entirety, that believed except the people of Yunus, the people of Naynawa (Nineveh). And they only believed because they feared that the torment from which their Messenger warned them, might strike them. They actually witnessed its signs. So they cried to Allah and asked for help. They engaged in humility in invoking Him. They brought their children and cattle and asked Allah to lift the torment from which their Prophet had warned them. As a result, Allah sent His mercy and removed the scourge from them and gave them respite. Allah said:

(Except the people of Yunus; when they believed, We removed from them the torment of disgrace in the life of the world, and permitted them to enjoy for a while.) In interpreting this Ayah, Qatadah said: “No town has denied the truth and then believed when they saw the scourge, and then their belief benefited them, with the exception of the people of Yunus. When they lost their Prophet and they thought that the scourge was close upon them, Allah sent through their hearts the desire to repent. So they wore woolen fabrics and they separated each animal from its offspring. They then cried out to Allah for forty nights. When Allah saw the truth in their hearts and that they were sincere in their repentance and regrets, He removed the scourge from them.” Qatadah said: “It was mentioned that the people of Yunus were in Naynawa, the land of Mosul.” This was also reported from Ibn Mas`ud, Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr and others from the Salaf.

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