HAZRAT YUNUS (a s,)
￼n 780 B.C., there was a town named Nineveh in Iraq. In those times, people used to live in tribes. The tribe living there was called the tribe of Nineveh. The religion of the tribe was polytheism, which means they were idol worshippers. They worshipped many gods, made by themselves with clay and stones. Like other tribes, there was a chief, who controlled the law and orders of the tribe.
Nineveh was an ancient town and was one of the villages of Mosul. Tigris river was between Nineveh and Mosul.
Nineveh and Mosul were opposite to each other with the river in between. Mostly trade took place between these two villages through the river. And therefore, boats used to go to and fro to both villages.
HISTORY OF RELIGION OF NINEVEH:
If we take a look at the history of their religion, they had gone out of the path centuries after their Ibraheem's religion, which was monotheism,i.e., worshipping only one God.
ASCENDENCE OF ALLAH'S PROPHET:
Allah sent Hazrat Yunus(a.s) as a prophet to the town, Nineveh.
In the Qur'an and historical sources, his prophethood has been confirmed.
Nineveh near Mosul is mentioned as the place he lived and was chosen in 780 B.C. for prophethood.
He preached monotheism and instructed them to return to their ancestor's religion which was, of course, worshipping one God. But they were stubborn and used to say that their ancestors were also polytheistic.
DIFFICULTIES FOR HAZRAT YUNUS(a.s):
￼Hazrat Yunus (a.s.) guided and instructed every now and then, but they did not want to listen. Instead, they started to tease and taunt him. They laughed at him and made him feel silly at his prophethood. But when Hazrat Yunus (a.s), did not stop preaching, they became violent. The chief of the tribe guided his people to call him a liar and instructed them to tell false stories about him. They made the children throw stones at him whenever he passes by.
Hazrat Yunus (a.s) had become very disappointed and depressed. He prayed to Allah to either make them believe or give them punishment. He cried to Allah with depression and disappointment.
ALLAH'S WARNING TO THE TOWN:
￼Allah listened to his prayers and gave orders to tell and scare people about Allah's torment.
Allah's torment was that if the people of the tribe will not accept the religion within the given days, then a fiery red cloud will come and destroy all the tribe as if it never existed.
Hazrat Yunus(a.s) gave the message of Allah and went away in depression because no one from his nation would accept his preachings. He was not only depressed but also angry with his people for not believing him.
￼On the other hand, when the given days were over, suddenly a red fiery cloud started to appear. Within hours, the cloud grew so big that it covered the whole townThe chief of the tribe was now worried. He had listened to stories from his forefathers about prophet Loot (a.s) and his nation that how his nation was destroyed so badly. But he had never believed those stories. Now, after seeing the signs of torment, he believed that now they will definitely be punished.
He gathered his people in a big open ground and told them that this is the same kind of torment that came to the nation of Hazrat Loot(a.s). He assured them that they will definitely be punished by Allah not only for denying religion but also for the cruel behavior towards the prophet of Allah. He ordered people to bring Hazrat Yunus (a.s) to show his readiness to believe in God.
HAZRAT YUNUS(a.s) LEFT THE VILLAGE:
Hazrat Yunus (a.s) was angry and depressed. He left his people without waiting for the orders of Allah and went towards the sea so that he could go away from his people.
PEOPLE CRYING FOR FORGIVENESS:
￼When people and the chief became disappointed to find his prophet, they all started crying for their forgiveness. The chief separated the children from their mothers and also young animals from their mothers. The children cried for their mothers and mothers for their children. The elderly we're crying looking at the sky. Finally, they all repented. This condition even impressed the angels. After four days, the signs of torment started to diminish.
FORGIVENESS OF THE WHOLE TRIBE:
Finally, Allah removed the shadow of punishment from them.
Allah accepted their repentance, as it is mentioned in verse 98 of the Qur'an surah 10. History shows that this was a nation that accepted the religion all at one same time. Otherwise, all nations accepted religion either slowly or partially.
REMOVING HAZRAT YUNUS (a.s) FROM THE BOAT BY BALLOT METHOD:
￼On the other hand, Hazrat Yunus (a.s) did not know about the repentance of the tribe. He had taken a boat to go to the other side of the town.
There were many people in the boat. Due to the signs of the torment, the sea was also not stable. After traveling a little, their boat was bouncing too much because of the overweight boat. At first, they threw some luggage to lighten it. But still, they could not get results. Then they decided that someone from the boat should dive down the river from the boat so that other people could live.
In those days, the most common method to make a decision was the ballot method. So, they all wrote names on the paper and made a draw from those ballots.
First time, by Allah's, will, the name of Hazrat Yunus(a.s) was drawn. Everyone knew that he was a pious and respectful person, so they decided to make a draw again. But Allah's will was against the will of the people. They made draw three times and astonishingly all three times the name of Hazrat Yunus (a.s) appeared.
SWALLOWING BY A HUGE WHALE:
￼Thus, Hazrat Yunus (a.s) decided to jump in the water as it was Allah's will. As he jumped in the river, a big whale came near him and swallowed him.
Allah ordered the whale not to eat Hazrat Yunus (a.s) as its food and not to harm him. He was in the belly of the whale for 40 days, during which the whale did not eat anything in order to avoid making any harm to him.
Hazrat Yunus (a.s) had realized that he had left the town without the permission of Allah. He should have waited for His orders and for the repentance of his nation.
As a duty of prophet, he should be available there when the people of the tribe we're looking for him to affirm their belief to God.
FORGIVENESS OF HAZRAT YUNUS (a.s):
Allah told him that all his nation had accepted the religion at one same time as this was a miracle. Hazrat Yunus(a.s) realized his faults and regretted his doings in anger. He prayed for forgiveness to Allah all the 40 days. Finally, Allah forgave him.
RELEASING OF HAZRAT YUNUS(a.s):
By the order of Allah, the whale went up to the surface of the sea and released Hazrat Yunus (a.s) near a coast which was three days walk away from Nineveh.
GROWING OF BUSH NEAR HIM:
￼He had not eaten anything for forty days. So, by the order of Allah, a bush grew near his head. Some said that it was squash. He ate from the squash and then after some days was ordered to return to Nineveh.
RETURNING TO NINEVEH:
￼On his way, Hazrat Yunus (a.s) saw a shepherd who did not at fisrt recognize him. Hazrat Yunus (a.s) showed him a miracle by the grace of Allah and made a milkless sheep (due to the famine) able to produce milk.
When the shepherd saw the miracle he accepted his prophethood. Then, Hazrat Yunus (a.s) asked the shepherd to go to Nineveh and inform the people about his return. The chief and people accepted and welcomed him back.
So, we see that Allah mentions the details and even mistakes of the prophet in the Quran. The reason is that we should learn from the details of the Quran and also the mistakes of His prophets.
Author: Arooj Faheem.
Source: The Holy Quran and Hadith.