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Prophet Yunus (or Jonah) in the Noble Quran


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Author Topic: Prophet Yunus (or Jonah) in the Noble Quran  (Read 6568 times)
Zeynab
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« on: August 22, 2012, 05:52:42 am »

 

BismEm


Prophet Yunus (or Jonah) is mentioned in three Surahs (or Chapters) of the Noble Quran.  These three Surahs are:

-  Surah Yunus  (Chapter 10:98)
-  Surah Al-Anbiya  (Chapter 21:87-88)
-  Surah As-Saffat  (Chapter 37:139-148)

Although Surah Yunus takes its title after V.10:98 where the name of Prophet Yunus is mentioned, the most detailed account of the life of Prophet Yunus is in Surah As-Saffat where the description of the events of his life are brief, yet vivid.   Within Verses 139 to 148 of Surah As-Saffat, all relevant information concerning Prophet Yunus are stated.  Many readers have not followed it well enough probably because of the rapid style of the narration.  But if one concentrates a little, the brief and successive verses from 139 to 148 connect amazingly well without any confusion.

We will discuss the mention of Prophet Yunus in all three Surahs.   It will then be easy for the reader to know how systematically the information on Prophet Yunus in Surah Yunus and Surah Al-Anbiya are in conformity with the more detailed description in Surah As-Saffat.

Surah As-Saffat, Verses 139 to 148 quoted as follows:
   
"And lo! Jonah verily was of those sent (to warn)   (37:139)
When he fled unto the laden ship,  (37:140)
And then drew lots and was of those rejected;   (37:141)
And the fish swallowed him while he was blameworthy;  (37:142)
And had he not been one of those who glorify (Allah)   (37:143)
He would have tarried in its belly till the day when they are raised; (37:144)
Then We cast him on a desert shore while he was sick;  (37:145)
And We caused a tree of gourd to grow above him;   (37:146)
And We sent him to a hundred thousand (folk) or more    (37:147)
And they believed, therefor We gave them comfort for a while."   (37:148)


Prophet Jonah was one of the messengers of Allah sent to warn and inform the community of the Truth.

As in Verse 37:140 .... إِذْ أَبَقَ إِلَى الْفُلْكِ الْمَشْحُونِ
'Idh 'Abaqa 'IlaŠ Al-Fulki Al-Mashĥūni (transliteration)
"When he fled unto the laden ship,"  (translation)
The word abaqa (أَبَقَ ) in Arabic is used for flight or escape of a slave from his master's house.

Therefore, here is how we could interpret Verses 37:140-142:

Prophet Yunus at first avoided (or fled) from the responsibility of his mission entrusted to him by Allah.  He fled onto a ship.  The vessel in which he boarded after fleeing was overloaded with too many people.  To avoid overloading and to lessen the number of people on board, they apparently had a system for rejecting passengers by 'lucky draws,' similar to a lottery.  The name of Prophet Yunus came in the lot, thus he was a rejected passenger of the ship and was thrown overboard into the sea and was swallowed by a big fish.  This affliction was caused to Prophet Yunus because he had abandoned his mission without the permission of his Master, Almighty Allah.  The evidence or confirmation for this interpretation is the word abaqa in Verse 37:140, and also word mulim in Verse 37:142 .... فَالْتَقَمَهُ الْحُوتُ وَهُوَ مُلِيمٌ    --  Fāltaqamahu Al-Ĥūtu Wa Huwa Mulīmun.  (transliteration).   "And the fish swallowed him while he was blameworthy;"  (translation).    Mulim (مُلِيمٌ ) means a person who is blameworthy because of his own mistake, whether or not others blame him.

Now let's look at the next Verses, 37:143-144 of Surah As-Saffat:  Prophet Yunus was not heedless of Allah, but he was of those who constantly remembered, loved and glorified Allah.  Thus Allah says that if Yunus was not among those who glorified Allah, he would have stayed in the belly of the fish as a punishment until the Day of Judgment.  This does not mean that the fish would have lived till the Day of Resurrection and that Prophet Yunus would have remained alive in its belly till then.  But it simply means that as a penalty, Allah would not rescue him and he would have died after being swallowed by the fish, to be raised on the Day of Resurrection.   This aspect is also elucidated in Surah Al-Anbiya, Verses 21:87-88, quoted as follows:

Surah Al-Anbiya, Verses 21:87-88:

"And (mention) Dhu'n-Nun, when he went off in anger and deemed that We had no power over him, but he cried out in the darkness, saying: There is no God save Thee. Be Thou Glorified! Lo! I have been a wrong-doer.  Then we heard his prayer and saved him from the anguish. Thus we save believers."   (21:87-88 -- Surah Al-Anbiya).  These two verses of Surah Anbiya connect with Verses 37:142-144. of Surah As-Saffat.    Dhu'n Nun is another name for Prophet Yunus.  From what I know, it means 'man of the fish.'   Crying out in darkness refers to his repentance inside the belly of the big fish.   The cry of Prophet Yunus expressing remorse and repentance that reads in Verses 21:87-88:  "La ilaha illa anta subhana ini kunto minaz zalimeen" translated as "There is no God save Thee.  Be Thou Glorified!  Lo! I have been a wrong-doer."  This is a very famous and widely recited Quranic supplication also known as Ayat-e-Karima .. a supplication or dua for repentance.

Coming back to Surah As-Saffat, Verses 37:145-146 in continuation:   When Prophet Yunus acknowledged his fault, repented and glorified Allah as a sincere believer, he was helped by Allah.   The fish spat him out on the beach by Allah's will.  The beach was apparently a barren place with no shade, no vegetation and no food.   Allah caused a gourd tree to grow to provide Yunus with shade and food.   Gourd is basically a green fruit but can also be eaten as a vegetable. 

Next Verses of Surah As-Saffat, 37:147-148  "And We sent him to a hundred thousand (folk) or more  And they believed, therefor We gave them comfort for a while."  --   The mention of "a hundred thousand people or more" does not mean that Allah had any doubt about their number, but it means that a casual observer would have estimated the population to be more than a hundred thousand people in any case.   Probably it was the same place where Prophet Yunus returned after he had previously left.  When Prophet Yunus returned to his people after being forgiven by Allah, the community of his people believed in the message he conveyed to them from Allah and thus they became believers (followers of Monotheism or Tawheed).  For that reason Allah mentions that He "gave them comfort for a while."   This also indicates the temporary nature of earthly life where every comfort or every affliction is temporary, for a while.

To further understand Verses 37:147-148 of Surah As-Saffat, one should keep in view Verse 98 of Surah Yunus.

Surah Yunus, Verse 10:98:

"If only there had been a community (of all those that were destroyed of old) that believed and profited by its belief as did the folk of Jonah! When they believed We drew off from them the torment of disgrace in the life of the world and gave them comfort for a while."  (10:98)  Surah Yunus.     The fact that the community of Prophet Yunus became believers is also confirmed in this Verse.



Finally .. here is an interesting piece of reading.   Concerning the topic of Prophet Yunus being swallowed by a fish, critics have expressed doubts claiming that it's impossible for a man to come out alive from the belly of a fish.  But during the end of the 19th century, an event took place near the sea-shores of England 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 tried to catch a huge fish which was about 20 feet long, 5 or 6 feet wide.  It weighed more than a hundred tons.  During the struggle, the whale swallowed a fisherman named James Bartley, which was witnessed by his colleagues. 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 15 hours.  Bartley was sick and had to be hospitalized but he survived.   When such a thing, though rare yet is certainly possible in normal circumstances,  should it be impossible under extra-ordinary circumstances as a miracle of Almighty God?   The answer is, NO, not at all.

Read the true story.  It's not an urban legend as some Western skeptics claim, only with the view to refute the incident of Prophet Yunus (Jonah).

Swallowed by the whale - James Bartley - true story



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« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2012, 04:20:02 am »



Excellent post sister and thanks.  It helped me a lot.  I had myself been trying to understand the references of many of these verses on the life of Prophet Yunus.  
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« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2019, 04:37:20 am »



I was directed to this wonderful post from Istighfar thread.  Though I had read it earlier, somehow didn't remember to mention how interesting this Quranic narration is.  Alhumdulilah.

Talking on whales reminds me, I guess not many people would know that the waters around the world presently consist of millions of tons of plastic from land based sources (due to marine pollution) according to UN Environment reports.  In 2018, about 6 or 7kg plastic cups and bottles came from the stomach of a dead whale.  In early 2019 a dead whale in the Philippines had approximately 40kg plastic garbage in its stomach.  Most recently a dead whale in Scottish waters was discovered with 100kg plastic and other land garbage in its stomach, all in recognizable condition that included fishermen nets, ropes in bundles, plastic cups and gloves.   

So, if Allah Almighty wants to help one of His devoted slaves, that's no difficult task for Him even if that person has been swallowed by a big fish.  "Kun Faya Kun" is all what Allah has to say.


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« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2019, 04:38:00 pm »



 Shocked    wow!   Read that link ..... look at the bundles of rope still visibly intact from its stomach.




So, if Allah Almighty wants to help one of His devoted slaves, that's no difficult task for Him even if that person has been swallowed by a big fish.  "Kun Faya Kun" is all what Allah has to say.



so true sister.

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« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2019, 05:36:51 pm »



Concerning the story of James Bartley, as usual repudiators prop up to discredit anything unusual they learn.  The fault finders include an American university professor, Edward B. Davis, and the wife of the ship's captain, so-called Mrs. John Killam.   

Davis admits there was a ship named Star of the East and its captain, J.B. Killam.   His only two findings he claims as "evidences" are: 

(1) Though he confirmed a man named Bartley was treated in a London hospital  for the effects of the whaleís gastric juices on his skin, he could not find any "substantiation for it."   What substantiation is Davis looking for?  And how does that missing "substantiation" refute the incident altogether?   Many patients want privacy of the details of their medical problems, particularly medical issues arising from an episode that makes headlines.

(2) Davis claims he found a few sketchy documents about this voyage and didn't find James Bartley's name listed as a crew member.  This is a very flimsy evidence or no evidence.  It goes both ways.  Remember there weren't any computerized records in those days.  Many such inventories and records back in the 1800s (for that matter even at present) do not list the names of each and every person, particularly the very junior workers in a voyage or land expedition etc.  So, if decades later Davis assumes a document or two infer there was no James Bartley in that voyage, what's the authenticity of the list which confirms that it included the names of every single person in that voyage?  Davis hasn't spoken on that.   Even when the Titanic sank in 1912, many of the names of the dead as well as the survivors were later found to be conflicting with the names listed in whatever documents recovered.   

Concerning Mrs. John Killam, her story is a complete hearsay.  She claims she was in this voyage.  No one including Davis tried to confirm this through any documents.  This woman supposedly wrote a letter to a friend or acquaintance (name never mentioned) claiming she accompanied her husband on every voyage of the Star of the East and she never saw or knew of anyone falling overboard and that the sailors spun a "sea yarn."   Confirmation nor evidence of Mrs. Killam's travel history are neither mentioned nor available. No one ever spoke directly to this woman nor did she gave any direct statements to the press or any other official source.  Yet her story becomes an "evidence" to refute the James Bartley incident which is a lot more widely known in the history of medieval voyages. 

The problem is that trouble-making fault pickers have an advantage because no one bothers to mull through the yarn they weave to construct their own narratives.

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« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2019, 06:54:05 pm »



Very, very weak "evidences" from Davis and so-called madam Killam.   Not even worth publishing, waste of ink. 

Thanks for the details brother TS. 




Davis claims he found a few sketchy documents about this voyage and didn't find James Bartley's name listed as a crew member.  This is a very flimsy evidence or no evidence.  It goes both ways.  Remember there weren't any computerized records in those days.   

Even computerized data make tons of mistakes.  After all it's the people who program and run them.  Moreover, it's also very likely Bartley's name wasn't missed out.  In many such lists, crew members, particularly those of junior cadre, are often listed using their nick names (or workplace monikers of buddy co-workers) if they had one .. and many did.  Whaling was an informal sea mission, hunting whales for their meat and blubber very much in demand when industrialization began in Europe in the 1800s.   The atmosphere in such ships was unceremonious and matey.  Names were also listed in the same spirit.

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« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2019, 06:59:41 pm »



Why didn't Davis try to investigate how James Bartley's skin got affected by  whale's gastric juices of all things?  How did it happen?   Was Edward Davis wary that digging into too many details would cast aspersions on his own research?   As for this Killam woman, she just made an attempt to seek her 20-minutes of fame writing a so-called letter to anonymous.  The fib teller wasn't even gutsy enough to push her claims any farther. 

Btw, love this original post, story of Prophet Yunus elucidated by sister exactly as it goes in the Noble Quran.   SubhanAllah. 


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« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2019, 07:05:03 pm »



Very perceptive analysis brother and sisters.  Eventually, as brother TS stated, the biggest issue is the lack of scrutiny concerning the evidence-free and insubstantial refutals and frail rebuttals of these sort of thoughtless disputants. Davis' research is undeniably too wobbly.  And most likely that woman wasn't any wife of any captain.  Thus she never gave her first name, she's only known as "Mrs. John Killam."  Didn't she have her own first name?  But giving your first name can get you caught more easily when you're lying particularly when you don't even know the real name of the person you're trying to masquerade as.   She also says she accompanied her husband in all his voyages.  No wife does that, not even nowadays, let alone back then.  The flaming oversight is, if she knows so well that no one fell overboard, it's impossible her husband wouldn't know.  But there were no such refutals from him, nor were there any statements from the captain confirming the version of his so-called wife.  

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« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2019, 07:07:51 pm »



Yes right.  Those are also very sensible and logical points, sisters.
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