Prophet yunus As and the Fish
Which prophet was known as Dhun Nun?لقب بذي النون
Prophet Sayyedina Yunus Alaihe salam is known as the Lord of the Fish (Dhan-Nun) and was sent down to the
people of Ninevah. The inhabitants of the town of Nineveh were idolaters who lived a shameless life.
He presumed that he should leave, the place which was going to be visited by the scourge of Allah. This was not by itself an offence but it was an offence for a Prophet to leave the place of his mission without the permission of Allah.
He was then swallowed by a huge fish in whose stomach he remained for 3 days.
Why was Prophet Yunus AS swallowed by the fish?
(1) The vessel which the Prophet Jonah (peace be upon him) boarded was already overloaded.
(2) Lots were drawn in the vessel probably at a time when during the voyage it was felt that the lives of the passengers had been endangered due to the overloading; therefore, lots were cast to pick oat a person to be thrown overboard.
(3) The lot fell on the Prophet Jonah (peace be upon him), and so he was thrown into the sea and a fish swallowed him.
(4) The Prophet yunus (peace be upon him) was so afflicted because he had fled and abandoned the place of his mission without the permission of his Master (Allah Almighty).
فَالۡتَقَمَهُ الۡحُوۡتُ وَهُوَ مُلِيۡمٌ (37:142) Then a fish swallowed him, and he was blameworthy.
When Prophet yunus (peace be upon him) confessed his fault, and began to glorify Allah like a true and sincere believer, the fish spat him up on the beach by Allah’s command. The beach was a bare plain, without any vegetation on it, or anything to provide him shade, or any means of food.
Here, the rationalists have been heard expressing the misgiving that it is impossible for a man to come out alive from the belly of a fish. But, towards the end of the last century, an event took place near the sea-shores of England (the center of this so-called rationalism), which belies this claim.
In August, 1891, some fishermen went to the high sea to hunt whales in a ship called Star of the East. There they injured a great fish which was 20 feet long, 5 feet wide and weighed a hundred tons, but during the struggle the fish swallowed a fisherman, James Bartley, in front of the very eyes of his companions.
Next day the same fish was found dead on the sea. The fishermen hauled it up on board and when they cut open its belly, James Bartley came out alive. He had remained in the fish’s belly for full 60 hours. (Urdu Digest, February, 1964). Obviously, when such a thing is possible in normal circumstances naturally, why should it be impossible under abnormal conditions as a miracle of God?
Dua of Prophet Yunus as
There is a dua associated with Hazrat Yunus A.S which he made during these 3 days. Muslims all around the world recite this Ayat of the Holy Quran during the time of trouble. “There is no deity except You; exalted are You. Indeed, I have been of the wrongdoers.”لا إله إلّا أنت، سُبحانك إنّي كنت من الظّالمين) – Quran 21:87
وَاَنۡۢبَتۡنَا عَلَيۡهِ شَجَرَةً مِّنۡ يَّقۡطِيۡنٍۚ
(37:146) and caused a gourd tree to grow over him
The Arabic word yaqteen applies to a tree which does not stand on a stem but grows and spreads like a creeper, e.g. a pumpkin, cucumber, water-melon, etc. In any case, a creeper was produced miraculously, so that its leaves should provide shade to the Prophet Jonah and its fruit should serve him both as food and as shade.
So Allah Almighty commanded that the whale throw sayyedina Yunus on dry land, and he took shelter in a plant and ate from its fruits and put some of its leaves on his body until God Almighty saved him, and this plant is is a pumpkin plant
It is said that “The fish, by Allah’s order, spit him out on a shore. He was ill and felt fragile. Allah grew a plant for him whose leaves protected him from burning sunlight and flies. A wild goat used to provide him with fresh milk.”
Upon being better and healthy, prophet Yunus A.S. went back to Ninevah and preached Allah’s message again. This time the people listened to him and put their faith in Allah. Allah forgave them for their past deeds.
The famous commentator Qatadah in his commentary of (verse 98 of Surah Younus) says: There has been no habitation which disbelieved and might have believed after the arrival of the scourge, and then might have been left unpunished. The only exception were the people of the Prophet Jonah (peace be upon him). When they searched for their Prophet and did not find him, and felt that the scourge had approached near at hand, Allah put repentance in their hearts. (Ibn Kathir, vol. II, p. 433).
There is a mosque in Palestine which is called Masjid-e-Yunus. It is believed that the shrine/tomb of the Prophet Yunus is there.
The mosque was built by the Ayyubids in 1226 CE and is located in a town called Halhul, north of Hebron. It is built on Mount Nabi Yunus, the highest peak in the West Bank, Palestine.
Lessons learned from the story of Yunus, peace be upon him
The following lists a set of lessons learned from the story of Prophet Yunus, peace and blessings be upon him:
- May God Almighty protect His righteous servants in their difficult times.
- Knowing that after patience there is great relief from God Almighty.
- Praise and praise be to God Almighty in times of distress.
Read Quran reflection
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