https://www.khutbah.info/prophet-yunus/ The Quran contains the best of narratives. They are full of reminders and great meanings. For people to reflect upon, take heed and rectify their lives. The narrative of the Prophet Yunus, peace be upon him, contains many important lessons. Allah sent Yunus to a village in which the people were worshipping idols and were attached to the deceased and superstitions. So Yunus, peace be upon him, conveyed the message of his Lord and renewed the banners of tawhid (Divine unity) that had faded. He encouraged them with the gifts of their Lord should they repent and worship Him alone. And warned them of His punishment and his might, should they disbelieve and associate others with Him. He stayed with them as an advisor and reformer as long as Allah willed. However, the response of his people was nothing but turning away, callousness, repelling and disobeying. And due to his deep conviction in his call he was infuriated with his people. So he left their dwellings and was angry. Al Anbiya (21) 87: And [mention] the man of the fish [i.e., Jonah], when he went off in anger Yunus, peace be upon him, left the village that he was sent to before his Lord permitted him to do so. And the basis is that each prophet remains in the place of his calling until permitted to emigrate or leave. Consider our Prophet ﷺ . He was looking forward to emigrating. And Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) used to seek permission from him in that regard. So the Prophet ﷺ would tell to him to wait, and that he was waiting for permission to be given to him. Then he ﷺ went to Abu Bakr after that to inform him of the good tidings that he been granted permission to emigrate.
إِنَّ الْحَمْدَ لِلَّهِ ,نَحْمَدُهُ ,وَنَسْتَعِينُهُ وَنَسْتَغْفِرُهُ , وَنَعُوذُ بِاللهِ مِنْ شُرُورِ أَنْفُسِنَا وَمِنْ سَيِّئَاتِ أَعْمَالِنَا ,مَنْ يَهْدِهِ اللهُ فَلَا مُضِلَّ لَهُ , وَمَنْ يُضْلِلْ فَلَا هَادِيَ لَهُ , وَأَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ
Verily, all praise is for Allah. We praise Him, we seek His assistance and we ask for His forgiveness. And we seek refuge in Him from the evils of our selves. Whoever Allah guides, none can misguide. Whoever He misguides, none can guide. And I bear witness that there is no deity other than Allah and I bear witness that Mohammad is His slave and messenger.
يَا أَيُّهَا الّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلَا تَمُوتُنَّ إِلَّا وَأَنْتُمْ مُسْلِمُونَ – آل عمران:102
Al Imran 102 : O you who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared, and die not except in a state of Islam.
The Quran contains the best of narratives. They are full of reminders and great meanings. For people to reflect upon, take heed and rectify their lives. The narrative of the Prophet Yunus, peace be upon him, contains many important lessons.
Allah sent Yunus to a village in which the people were worshipping idols and were attached to the deceased and superstitions. So Yunus, peace be upon him, conveyed the message of his Lord and renewed the banners of tawhid (Divine unity) that had faded. He encouraged them with the gifts of their Lord should they repent and worship Him alone. And warned them of His punishment and his might, should they disbelieve and associate others with Him. He stayed with them as an advisor and reformer as long as Allah willed.
However, the response of his people was nothing but turning away, callousness, repelling and disobeying. And due to his deep conviction in his call he was infuriated with his people. So he left their dwellings and was angry.
وَذَا النُّونِ إِذْ ذَهَبَ مُغَاضِبًا
Al Anbiya (21) 87: And [mention] the man of the fish [i.e., Jonah], when he went off in anger
Yunus, peace be upon him, left the village that he was sent to before his Lord permitted him to do so. And the basis is that each prophet remains in the place of his calling until permitted to emigrate or leave. Consider our Prophet ﷺ . He was looking forward to emigrating. And Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) used to seek permission from him in that regard. So the Prophet ﷺ would tell to him to wait, and that he was waiting for permission to be given to him. Then he ﷺ went to Abu Bakr after that to inform him of the good tidings that he been granted permission to emigrate.
Yunus, peace be upon him, hastened to leave the people to whom he was sent. And he thought that his Lord would not restrict him because of leaving.
وَذَا النُّونِ إِذْ ذَهَبَ مُغَاضِبًا فَظَنَّ أَنْ لَنْ نَقْدِرَ عَلَيْهِ-الأنبياء:87
Al Anbiya (21) 87: And [mention] the man of the fish [i.e., Jonah], when he went off in anger and thought that We would not decree [anything] upon him.
The righteous man walked away, turning his face towards the sea, not knowing the fate and the calamity that awaited him. When he reached the sea shore he found a ship that was laden with people so he rode on it.
إِذْ أَبَقَ إِلَى الْفُلْكِ الْمَشْحُونِ-الصافات:140
As Saafaat (37) 140: [Mention] when he ran away to the laden ship.
That humble ship cast off and sailed across the sea, until when it was in the midst of the sea, the waves crashed into it.
And the winds tossed it, so the ship wobbled and swayed, and it tilted with its passengers pushing them onto each other. The people of the ship thought that they had been engulfed, and that surely they were on the brink of death and destruction.
In this distressful situation and dreadful moment, the people of the ship met and decided that some of the passengers must be sacrificed to lighten its load so that whoever remained would be saved. For some of them perishing is a lesser evil than all of them perishing.
And they chose a just way for who would be a victim at sea, they drew lots among them, and everyone hoped that it would not be them.
They drew lots and the lot of the noble prophet Yunus, peace be upon him, was selected. The one who went off in anger and thought that his Lord would not restrict him. So the lot was drawn another time and he was selected. Then it was repeated a third time and he was once again selected. So he was selected. Allah said:
فَسَاهَمَ فَكَانَ مِنَ الْمُدْحَضِينَ
As Saafaat (37) 141: And he drew lots and was among the losers.
Now, it was necessary for the noble Prophet to go into the thick of the sea, and Yunus advanced to the raging sea, to receive his unknown fate, and the awaiting possible doom.
It is a fate that has no way out, except from the One who removes the evil and relieves the distress. The righteous servant fell into the midst of the sea, with its waves and darkened water that went all the way to its bottom. Then the raging sea swallowed him up. And he did not wait long until he was swallowed once again, now by a fish of the sea.
فَالْتَقَمَهُ الْحُوتُ وَهُوَ مُلِيمٌ
As Saafaat (37) 142: Then the fish swallowed him, while he was blameworthy.
That is blameworthy for giving up hope on his people and leaving them without permission from Allah.
The fish caught the Prophet of Allah Yunus, and the noble Prophet passed between the jaws of the fish and then into its belly. Then the possibility of perishing looked certain. There was no light and no air and no food and no water. It was distress upon distress, and darkness upon darkness.
Here this righteous prophet remembered that he has a Lord who hears the appeal and relieves the distress. So he exclaimed and appealed with words from his heart before his tongue:
إذ نادى وهو مكظوم
Al Qalam (68) 48: When he called out while he was distressed.
He kept repeating over and over:
لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ سُبْحَانَكَ إِنِّي كُنْتُ مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ-الأنبياء:87
Al Anbiya (21) 87: There is no deity except You; exalted are You. Indeed, I have been of the wrongdoers.
It is the word of servitude to Allah and singling out Allah alone for worship and venerating Allah and admission of fault. There is no deity except You. Singling out and acknowledging the servitude to the One, the Prevailing. For He is – Glory be to Him – the Sovereign, the True Reality, there is no lord besides Him. And there is no god but Him. The greatest way that a person calls his Lord and gets nearer to the Merciful’s door, is through belief and acknowledgment that servitude is to only Allah, Glory be to Him.
Then the righteous servant declared his Lord to be free from defects, and magnified Him and glorified Him saying: exalted are You. Then he humbled himself to his Lord, and admitted his mistake, shortcoming, and haste saying: Indeed, I have been of the wrongdoers.
This brief statement had the causes for a supplication to be answered. The Prophet ﷺ said:
دعوة ذي النون, إذ دعا وهو في بطن الحوت: (لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ سُبْحَانَكَ إِنِّي كُنْتُ مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ), فإنه لم يَدْعُ بها رجل مسلِم في شيء قط إلا استجاب الله له” رواه الإمام أحمد والترمذي وصحَّحه الألباني.
The supplication of Dhun-Nun (Prophet Yunus) when he supplicated, while in the belly of the fish was: ‘There is no deity except You; exalted are You. Indeed, I have been of the wrongdoers.’ So indeed, no Muslim supplicates with it for anything, ever, except Allah responds to him. [Jami` at-Tirmidhi 3505]
And after the repeated glorification, confession, and supplication, the help of Allah and the mercy of Allah was with His distressed anxious servant.
For this call from the depths of the sea was heard by the One whose Hearing encompasses all sounds. And this distressful situation was seen by the Seer of the unseen. He knows what is on the land and in the sea. Not a leaf falls but that He knows it. And no grain is there within the darknesses of the earth and no moist or dry thing but that it is written in a clear record.
Here by the command of Allah the Exalted Who administers all, the factors of destruction stopped for the Prophet of Allah. Yunus lived in the fish’s belly like the fetus lives in the mother’s womb. Yunus stayed in the fish’s belly for some time while glorifying and supplicating his Lord. Then through the grace and mercy of his Lord, the fish cast him out in a deserted place devoid of trees:
لَوْلَا أَنْ تَدَارَكَهُ نِعْمَةٌ مِنْ رَبِّهِ لَنُبِذَ بِالْعَرَاءِ وَهُوَ مَذْمُومٌ-القلم:49
Al Qalam 49: If not that a favor [i.e., mercy] from his Lord overtook him, he would have been thrown onto the bare shore while he was censured.
Yunus exited from the fish’s belly proclaiming praise and gratitude to Allah. Allah had written for him a new life. He came out of the fish’s belly, and his condition was not the same. He came out with poor health and his body and skin were changed:
فَنَبَذْنَاهُ بِالْعَرَاءِ وَهُوَ سَقِيمٌ-الصافات:145
As Saafaat (37) 145: But We threw him onto the open shore while he was ill.
Ibn Masood said that he exited the fish like a new chick that does not have feathers. Then by Allah’s grace and kindness, He made a gourd tree grow for him. The leaves of the tree were a cover for him that shaded his body and protected him from the sun’s heat and the dryness of the wind.
Until his health and wellbeing was restored. He returned to his people that he had left angrily. And he returned to his previous mission and called them and called then. Then all of them believed.
So his return and call was a blessing and a savior for them. And they were the only people who believed in their prophet without a single person dissenting:
وَأَرْسَلْنَاهُ إِلَى مِائَةِ أَلْفٍ أَوْ يَزِيدُونَ * فَآمَنُوا فَمَتَّعْنَاهُمْ إِلَى حِينٍ-الصافات: 147-148
As Saafaat (37) 147-148: (147) And We sent him to [his people of] a hundred thousand or more. (148) And they believed, so We gave them enjoyment [of life] for a time.
And their belief was the reason for lifting the punishment from them:
فَلَوْلَا كَانَتْ قَرْيَةٌ آمَنَتْ فَنَفَعَهَا إِيمَانُهَا إِلَّا قَوْمَ يُونُسَ لَمَّا آمَنُوا كَشَفْنَا عَنْهُمْ عَذَابَ الْخِزْيِ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَمَتَّعْنَاهُمْ إِلَى حِينٍ-يونس: 98
Yunus (10) 98: Then has there not been a [single] city that believed so its faith benefited it except the people of Yunus? When they believed, We removed from them the punishment of disgrace in worldly life and gave them enjoyment [i.e., provision] for a time.
أَقُولُ مَا تَسْمَعُونَ وَأَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ لِي وَلَكُمْ مِنْ كُلِّ ذَنْبٍ فَاسْتَغْفِرُوهُ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ
I say what you have heard and I seek forgiveness from Allah for me and you from every sin. So seek forgives from Him, Verily He is Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful.
الحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ, وَالصَّلَاةُ وَالسَّلَامُ عَلَى رَسُولِ اللهِ , وَ أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَاْ إِلَهَ إِلَّاْ اَللهُ وَحْدَهُ لَاْشَرِيْكَ لَهُ وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّدَاً عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُوْلُهُ
All praise is to Allah, and peace and blessings upon the Messenger of Allah, and I bear witness that there is no deity other than Allah and I bear witness that Mohammad is His slave and messenger.
In the narrative of Yunus, peace be upon him, there are great lessons. From them is the secret in Yunus being saved and his distress being lifted came clearly in the verse:
فَلَوْلَا أَنَّهُ كَانَ مِنَ الْمُسَبِّحِينَ * لَلَبِثَ فِي بَطْنِهِ إِلَى يَوْمِ يُبْعَثُونَ-الصافات:143-144
As Saafaat (37) 143-144: (143) And had he not been of those who exalt Allah, (144) He would have remained inside its belly until the Day they are resurrected.
And his exalting of Allah was not limited to when he was in the fish’s belly. It describes the permanent state of Yunus, peace be upon him. For all of his life was full of exalting, obeying and worshipping Allah. So when he exalted Allah in the fish’s belly this was an extension to his exalting in his life previously.
And from the lessons of the narrative is that the righteous deeds in times of ease accompany a person in difficult times and a reason by the help of Allah for relieving distress and lifting hardship. And the confirmation of that is the Prophet’s ﷺ words to Ibn Abbas:
تعرَّف إلى الله في الرخاء, يعرفْك في الشدة
Recognize Allah in times of prosperity, and He will remember you in times of adversity. [Sahih Al Jami’ 2961]
For Yunus, peace be upon him, knew his Lord at the time of ease. So his Lord remembered him in his distress when he invoked him. On the other hand, pharaoh only knew his Lord and supplicated to Him in his distress and was about to drown and it was too late. Allah said:
ءَآلۡـَٰٔنَ وَقَدۡ عَصَيۡتَ قَبۡلُ وَكُنتَ مِنَ ٱلۡمُفۡسِدِينَ
Yunus (10) 91: Now? And you had disobeyed [Him] before and were of the corrupters?
And from the lessons is that Iman (faith) removes someone from an affliction and is reason for being saved from a tribulation. For Allah saved Yunus from his distress and then promised:
وَكَذَلِكَ نُنْجِي الْمُؤْمِنِينَ-الأنبياء: 88
Al Anbiya (21) 88: And thus do We save the believers.
And when the people of Yunus believed, their faith pushed awaiting punishment away from them.
And from the benefits of the narrative of Yunus is the importance of the worship of tasbih (saying Subhan Allah) , exaltation of Allah. For it is a reason for pushing away anxiety, and lifting anguish:
وَلَقَدْ نَعْلَمُ أَنَّكَ يَضِيقُ صَدْرُكَ بِمَا يَقُولُونَ * فَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ وَكُنْ مِنَ السَّاجِدِينَ-الحجر:97-98
Al Hijr 97-98: (97) We know that your heart feels distressed for what they say. (98) So exalt [Allah] with praise of your Lord and be of those who prostrate [to Him].
And from the lessons of the narrative is that patience in the face of affliction elevates a person’s rank with his Lord. Allah raised the mention of Yunus after his affliction. His people believed in his message and affirmed his call without a single one of them dissenting.
We ask Allah Almighty to make us among those who know Him in times of ease and prosperity. And that He grant us patience in the face of an adversity. And that He facilitate for us constant remembrance and exaltation of Him. And that He bless us with following the way of His prophets and that he resurrects us in their group. Indeed Allah is All Hearing, Near and Responsive.
هَذَا وَصَلُّوا وَسَلِّمُوا عَلَى نَبِيِّكُم كَمَا أَمَرَكُمْ بِذلِكَ رَبُّكُمْ , فَقَالَ
I conclude with this and send prayers of blessings and peace upon your Prophet as your Lord commanded:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ ۚ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا
Al Ahzaab (33) 56: Indeed, Allah confers blessing upon the Prophet, and His angels [ask Him to do so]. O you who have believed, ask [ Allah to confer] blessing upon him and ask [ Allah to grant him] peace.
اللَّهُمَّ اهْدِنا فِيمَنْ هَدَيْتَ وَعَافِنا فِيمَنْ عَافَيْتَ وَتَوَلَّنا فِيمَنْ تَوَلَّيْتَ وَبَارِكْ لنا فِيمَا أَعْطَيْتَ وَقِنا شَرَّ مَا قَضَيْتَ إِنَّكَ تَقْضِي وَلاَ يُقْضَى عَلَيْكَ وَإِنَّهُ لاَ يَذِلُّ مَنْ وَالَيْتَ تَبَارَكْتَ رَبَّنَا وَتَعَالَيْتَ
O Allah, guide us with those whom You have guided, grant us well-being among those You have granted well-being, be an ally to us along with those whom You are an ally to, and bless what You have bestowed upon us, and save us from the evil of what You have decreed. For verily You decree and none can decree over You. He whom You support can never be humiliated. Glory is to You, our Lord, You are Blessed and Exalted.
اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّا نَسْأَلُكَ مِنَ الْخَيْرِ كُلِّهِ عَاجِلِهِ وَآجِلِهِ مَا عَلِمْنا مِنْهُ وَمَا لَمْ نَعْلَمْ وَنَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الشَّرِّ كُلِّهِ عَاجِلِهِ وَآجِلِهِ مَا عَلِمْنا مِنْهُ وَمَا لَمْ نَعْلَمْ اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّا نَسْأَلُكَ مِنْ خَيْرِ مَا سَأَلَكَ عَبْدُكَ وَنَبِيُّكَ وَنَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّ مَا عَاذَ بِهِ عَبْدُكَ وَنَبِيُّكَ اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّا نَسْأَلُكَ الْجَنَّةَ وَمَا قَرَّبَ إِلَيْهَا مِنْ قَوْلٍ أَوْ عَمَلٍ وَنَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ النَّارِ وَمَا قَرَّبَ إِلَيْهَا مِنْ قَوْلٍ أَوْ عَمَلٍ وَنَسْأَلُكَ أَنْ تَجْعَلَ كُلَّ قَضَاءٍ قَضَيْتَهُ لَنا خَيْرًا
O Allah, We ask You for all that is good, in this world and in the Hereafter, what we know and what we do not know. O Allah, we seek refuge with You from all evil, in this world and in the Hereafter, what we know and what we do not know. O Allah, we ask You for the good that Your servant and Prophet has asked You for, and we seek refuge with You from the evil from which Your servant and Prophet sought refuge. O Allah, we ask You for Paradise and for that which brings one closer to it, in word and deed, and we seek refuge in You from Hell and from that which brings one closer to it, in word and deed. And we ask You to make every decree that You decree concerning us good
عِبَادَ اللّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالْإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَيَنْهَىٰ عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ
Servants of Allah. Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded.
اُذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ الْعَظِيمَ يَذْكُرْكُمْ واشْكُرُوهُ يَزِدْكُمْ واسْتَغْفِرُوهُ يَغْفِرْ لكُمْ واتّقُوهُ يَجْعَلْ لَكُمْ مِنْ أَمْرِكُمْ مَخْرَجًا وَأَقِمِ الصّلَاة
Remember Allah, the Great – He will remember you. Thank Him for His favors – He will increase you therein. And seek forgiveness from Him – He will forgive you. And be conscious of Him – He will provide you a way out of difficult matters. And, establish the prayer.
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