Surah “Yûnus-Jonah”


This Sûrah, as usual, symbolically has been taken its name from verse 98, in which there is a mention of Prophet Yûnus (Jonah).  However, the topic of discussion of this Sûrah is not the story of Prophet Yûnus.


Place of Revelation:

We learn from traditions and the contents of Sûrah support it -- that this complete Sûrah was reveled in Makkah.  It is opinion of some people that some of its verses are of the Madanni period, but this is a shallow guess.  It is very clear from the continuity of the speech that this is not a collection of isolated verses or discourses revealed on different occasions – but from the beginning to the end it is a complete speech that would have been revealed at the same time, and the contents of the speech itself is a clear proof that it is a speech of Makki period.


Period of Revelation:

We could not find any tradition about the period of revelation.  However, it appears from the subject matter that it would have been revealed during the last period of the Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam's stay at Makkah.  Because the style of the speech gives the feelings that the hostility of the opponents of the Message has reached to the limits, they are not ready to tolerate the presence of the Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and his followers among themselves, now there is no hope that they would come to the straight path in a peaceful way, and now the time has come to warn them from the consequences they would have to face for not accepting the Message of Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.  These characteristics of the subject clearly show us that which Sûrahs are related to the last period of Makkah.  But there is no mentioning of emigration (Hijrat) in this Sûrah, this is why the period of revelation of this Sûrah should be considered before those Sûrahs in which we do find some type of indication about the emigration --- after determining about the time period there is no need to present its historical background, because the historical background of that period has already been stated in Sûrah Al-An'âm (VI) and Sûrah A’râf (VII).



The topics of the speech are -- the invitation, advice and warning.  The speech starts like this:


The people are surprised that a human being has presented a Message of Prophethood and they are blaming him of being a magician, whereas whatever he is presenting has nothing strange and has no connection with magic.  He is warning you of two realities.  First, Allâh subhaana wa ta’aala, WHO is creator of the universe and practically managing it, HE Alone is your Master and Owner and HE Alone has the right to be served.  Second, there will be another life period after the life in this world, in which you will be bring back to life again, there will be full accountability of this worldly life and will be rewarded or punished according to the basic question whether acknowledging HIM as your Master you obeyed Allâh subhaana wa ta’aala and adopted the righteous attitude according to HIS Command or acted against HIS Command. Both of these realities, which he is presenting before you -- are Realities in themselves whether you accept them as such or not.  He invites you to accept these and regulate your lives according to them.  If you will accept his this invitation -- you will have a very blessed end, otherwise will see the evil end.



After this introduction -- the following topics come in a special order:

  1. The proofs in reference to the doctrines of oneness of Allâh subhaana wa ta’aala (Tauhid), and Life-after-death, which can provide mantel satisfaction to those people who are not involve in narrow-mindedness of ignorance and have sole intention of safeguarding themselves against divergence and its evil consequences and not just for the sake of useless arguments.
  2. The revocation of those misunderstandings and warning on that negligence which were (and always have been) hindering people from accepting the doctrines of oneness of Allâh subhaana wa ta’aala (Tauhid) and the Hereafter.
  3. The answers of those doubts and objections which were being raised about the Prophethood of Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the Message brought by him.
  4. Forewarning about the happening of the life in the Hereafter, so that human beings should mend their ways now -- later no time for repentance.
  5. Warning on the fact that the life in this world is a life of a test and a trial, and that the only time you have for this test is until the last breath of the earthly life.  If you wasted this precious opportunity and did not prepare for the success in this test by embracing the Message of Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam – then there will be no other opportunity for you.  The arrival of the Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and providing the true Knowledge through Al-Qur'ân, is a precious and only opportunity you are getting.  If you will not benefit from it – afterward you will be regretful forever in the eternal life of Hereafter.
  6. Pointing towards those open laws of ignorance and deviations which were present in their lives because they were living their lives without the Guidance of Allâh subhaana wa ta’aala.

In this connection, a brief story about Prophet Noah and detailed story of Prophet Musâ has been narrated; there are four things to learn from it:

First, the behavior you are adopting towards Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam; is like the one which has been adopted by your predecessors towards Prophet Noah and Prophet Musâ, and be certain the consequences they have suffered for this act -- you will also meet with the same.  Secondly, today you are observing the situation of helplessness and weakness of the Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and his followers -- you should not take it for granted that it will remain forever.  You should know that the same Allâh subhaana wa ta’aala is supporting them WHO supported Prophet Moses and Aaron, and that HE turns the circumstances in such a way that no one can foresee it.  Thirdly, the opportunity Allâh subhaana wa ta’aala is giving you to mend your ways -- if you wasted it – then like Fir’aun (Pharaoh) if you repented at the last moment it will not be accepted.  Fourthly, those people who had brought Faith in Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam were advised that they should not be dishearten because of the severity of the opposition and their helpless condition, and they should know how to work in such circumstances.  In addition, they have been warned not to adopt the behavior which was adopted by the Israelites, when Allâh subhaana wa ta’aala rescue them from this situation.

At the end of this Sûrah it has been announced that this is the Faith and the Right Path, which Allâh subhaana wa ta’aala has commanded HIS Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam to follow – in it no change can be made at all, whosoever will embrace it he/she will do so for his/her own good and whosoever will reject it and does evil deeds he/she will do so at his/her own risk."

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