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Yunus (as)

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Yunus (AS) Jonah:

 

 

 

Peace and Blessings be upon our Master, the most noble Prophet Muhammad. We praise Allah, thank Him, and seek His help, guidance, and forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from the evil in our souls and the sinfulness of our deeds. "He whom Allah guides, he is the rightly-guided; but he whom He sends astray will find no guiding advocate" (TMQ, Al-Isra’: 97)[1].

 

The Issue of Patience

 

I will start again from where I ended in the previous episode by mentioning some of the significant meanings in the story of Yunus (AS) (Jonah). Then, I will move on to the story of Ayyub (AS) and talk about enduring hardship, as our topic today is patience.

 

In brief, Yunus Ibn-Matta was also known as Dhun-Nun and was associated with the whale in the Holy Qur'an. The Almighty sent Yunus to a town called Naynuna (Nineveh). Narrated in one of his Hadith, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) met a young boy named Adas [outside of Ta’if]. The Prophet asked the boy where he came from and he said from Naynuna. The Prophet then said that Naynuna is the country of the righteous man Yunus Ibn-Matta. The boy questioned how he knew of Yunus. The Prophet replied, "He is my brother. He was a Messenger and I am a Messenger."

 

Naynuna was a wealthy community whose population surpassed a hundred thousand inhabitants. However, its people worshipped idols and were disobedient and sinful. Hence, Allah gave Yunus the responsibility of preaching His religion to them. The significance of this is that whomever Allah guides to the right path should not only fast and pray but should also be responsible for those around him. On the Day of Judgment, Allah will question you about why you did not preach His religion to the people around you.

 

Yunus preached to the villagers but they did not respond to what he said. Allah told Yunus that a punishment would befall them in three days and that he must stay amongst them. Yunus conveyed the message to them but they refused to listen to him. So, he became angry and decided to leave the village even though Allah did not order him to do so.

 

From this point I direct the following Qur'anic verse to each of you: " You (Muslims) are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind; you enjoin Al-Ma‘rûf (righteous actions) and forbid Al-Munkar (evil actions), and you believe in Allâh…" (TMQ, Al-Imran: 110). Observe how believing in Allah came after doing good and forbidding evil. This is so that none of you assumes that he is only required to do good and forbid evil after he feels that his faith is complete. On the contrary, you must do good and forbid evil while trying to complete your faith because you need to continue righteous acts in order to complete your faith. For example, if you advised your friend to lower his glance while you don't, you will become ashamed of yourself and will then lower your gaze.

 

Some say this is forbidden because in another verse Allah says what can be translated as, "Enjoin you Al-Birr (piety, righteousness and every act of obedience to Allâh) on the people and you forget (to practice it) yourselves" (TMQ, Al-Baqarah: 44). I respond by saying that you can do good if you don't practice it as long as you have the intention to practice it and, therefore, that will help you reform yourself. The issue of preaching the religion of Allah should be every Muslim's main concern.

 

"And (remember) Dhun-Nûn (Jonah), when he went off in anger, and imagined that We shall not punish him." (TMQ, Al-Anbiya: 87). The previous verse means that Yunus thought that Allah would not trouble him because he was a faithful believer and they were the sinners. Considering this story, I warn you never to humiliate an immoral person about his immoral acts.

 

Al-Tirmidhy narrates that the Prophet (PBUH) said, "Whoever humiliates his brother for a misdeed might lead the brother to leave it and he might then practice it". This is possible only when your intention is to express truth and justice; but if your intention is to poke fun, then do not do it.

 

A dark cloud began to form around the village and the people saw it. They said this is what Yunus promised them and this is what happened to the people of Lut (Lot) and Saleh. This is why when the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) saw changes in the weather he recalled these stories and prayed to Allah for things to turn out well.

 

We tend to assume that Allah will not afflict us with anything but we must fear His anger when something of the sort occurs.

 

The village then began to repent and to witness that there is no God but Allah. So, the cloud eventually disappeared and everyone became a believer but Yunus was gone. The Almighty says what can be translated as, "Then he (agreed to) cast lots, and he was among the losers. Then a (big) fish swallowed him as he had done an act worthy of blame." (TMQ, As-Saffat: 141-142).

 

They began to throw their belongings from the ship and Yunus thought that someone amongst them must have angered Allah without realizing that it was actually him who did so. It is possible for any of us to sin without realizing it, such as not preaching Islam to people.

 

Think of how the whale is a worshipper of Allah while you sin, and of how Yunus was thrown into the darkness.

 

This reminds us of Adam's story when he ate from the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Knowledge and did not know about repentance. This is mentioned in the following verse that can be translated as, "Then Adam received from his Lord Words. And his Lord pardoned him. Verily, He is the One Who forgives, the Most Merciful." (TMQ, Al-Baqarah: 37). Allah taught him to say certain words so that he could redeem his deeds. Adam said those words and he was forgiven.

 

When Allah tests you in moments of difficulty, He sends down the solution as well because He loves you. However, sometimes you do not see it. Allah sends down difficult trials with mercy but the devil blinds you from seeing Allah's mercy by making you concentrate on the problem itself. In order to see clearly, you need to have had a good relationship with Allah prior to the occurrence of your problem or obstacle.

 

"But he cried through the darkness (saying): None has the right to be worshipped but You (O, Allâh), Glorified be You! Truly, I have been of the wrongdoers. So We answered his call, and delivered him from the distress. And thus We do deliver the believers." (TMQ, Al-Anbiya: 87-88). If he did not admit his mistake, Allah would not have saved him.

 

Those who say the dua’a, “None has the right to be worshipped but You (O, Allâh), Glorified be You! Truly, I have been of the wrongdoers. So We answered his call, and delivered him from the distress. And thus We do deliver the believers" are always answered and saved from depression to the point that some scholars say those who pray using God's greatest names get their prayers answered. If you make your plea with it you will be answered and I greatly advise you to do so.

 

Hence we do not attend those lectures [just] take pills when we have problems. Instead, we want to build a generation that is truly close to Allah.

 

I will repeat the method once again. Wake up 15 minutes before Fajr prayer, pray 2 rak'as (a two-units prayer). Finish 5 minutes before Fajr prayer. Sit and ask Allah for forgiveness by making dua'a, then pray Fajr, say the morning Dhikr, and then go back to sleep. This validates your day and you will not extra forms of worship except for praying in congregation or praying on time. Follow these guidelines and you will change for the better even if it is only by 10%.

 

Yunus's skin began to peel as he prayed to the Almighty [inside the whale]. Allah says what can be translated as, "But We cast him forth on the naked shore while he was sick. And We caused a gourd plant to grow over him." (TMQ, As-Saffat: 145-146). This reveals Allah's love for Yunus for providing a gourd plant, since it has many leaves and prevents the flies from landing on it. So, it can be eaten raw.

 

Yunus began to assume that he was getting better. Yet, when the plant withered he cried and Allah revealed to him that He was questioning how he could cry for the plant and not cry for the misguidance of a hundred thousand people or even more.

 

What would you say if Allah said that to you on the Day of Judgment?

 

Yunus returned to the one hundred thousand people and they all submitted to Allah. Consequently, this story of Yunus teaches us not to lose hope when preaching Islam to people.

 

However, there are some other points that must be taken into consideration. Consider the difference between Musa (AS) (Moses) and Yunus. How many mistakes did Musa make? The answer is many. When he found that his people were worshipping the calf, he threw and broke the tablet that Allah wrote. He grabbed the hand of a prophet [Harun (Aaron)] and dragged him by his beard despite the fact that he was his brother. He killed someone in a moment of anger even though it is wrong, nevertheless, Allah loves him and honors him and He placed him in an extremely high rank. Allah says to him what can be translated as, "O Mûsâ I have chosen you above men by My Messages, and by My speaking (to you). So hold that which I have given you and be of the grateful." (TMQ, Al-A'raf: 144).

 

In contrast, Yunus disobeyed Allah only once and was thrown into the whale's stomach. Does this mean that Allah prefers one prophet over the other? Of course not; because Allah is the Most Just.

 

If you have a great number of good deeds and your erred six or seven times then Allah will erase what you previously gained. Musa stood in front of the Pharaoh all alone and he faced the desert on his own. Therefore, his mistakes were like a black dot on a white piece of paper. On the other hand, Yunus did not have as much as Musa. Also, if Yunus did not have enough good deeds he would not have been taken out of the whale's stomach. Allah says what can be translated as, "Had he not been of them who glorify Allâh. He would have indeed remained inside its belly (the fish) until the Day of Resurrection." (TMQ, As-Saffat: 143-144).

 

However, Pharaoh did not have a history of good deeds so when he drowned and said that he believed that there is no God but Allah, the One in whom the people of israel believed, Allah says what can be translated as, " Now (you believe) while you refused to believe before and you were one of the Mufsidûn (evil-doers, the corrupters)." (TMQ, Yunus: 91).

 

It is therefore important to have a large amount of good deeds. Even if you did not sin, or maybe you slipped up only once or many times, you would still have a history of the honorable things that you did. Whoever remembers Allah in moments of comfort Allah will remember him in moments of difficulty. No one knows when he will sin.

 

For example, how did the three people who were locked in a cave make it out? They got out because each of them remembered a good deed that they solely and wholeheartedly did for the sake of Allah.

 

A question still remains: did the rank of Yunus decrease after his mistake? Does the one who sins and repents return to his previous rank, the one in which he was before he sinned? Scholars have differed in this issue. Those who say that he returns to the same rank used the evidence that repentance is amongst the greatest acts of righteousness and Allah is very pleased with those who repent. Those who disagree with that opinion say that it is impossible for two people who are walking together to be in the same level if one of them stops.

 

Nevertheless, this controversy depends on the level of your repentance because some commit a sin but do not return to the same rank because their repentance was weak. Others might have a stronger feeling of repentance and will therefore return to the previous rank. There are many examples of sinners who repent and become much better than those who always obey. This only goes to prove that this is certainly a great religion. With strong repentance your status becomes closer to Allah to the extent that you advance over someone that never repented.

 

One of the reasons that Allah takes into account the sins of His worshippers is that they are able to taste the sweetness of repentance as an act of worship. Even the messengers made mistakes; but they were not sins because Allah protects them from sinning to make them as examples for the people to follow. However, it depends on the order of importance. For example, Yunus was going to preach Islam to others but he abandoned that main priority when he gave up. Why didn’t Allah stop him from doing that? The reason is to allow him to taste the sweetness of his repentance. Repentance is an act of worship that is dear to Allah because it is followed by a broken and humble heart.

 

After all, if you did not make a mistake and seek Allah's forgiveness, how could Allah be the Most Forgiving? In a Hadith, the Prophet (PBUH) said, "One should not claim to be better than Yunus Ibn Matta." (Bukhari).

 

Dawud (AS) (David asked Allah once “Where can I find you?” Allah, be He exalted, replied, “You will find me at those whose hearts are broken and humbled for me”.

 

It is said that a worshipper kept on circulating the Ka'ba asking Allah to keep him away from sinning. He then went to sleep and saw someone telling him: "You have asked what all of the believers also wish for but if I did keep you away from sinning then who will I give My mercy and forgiveness to? For I am the most Merciful and Forgiving."

 

It is said that after Adam ate from the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge he kept crying even after he repented. Allah, be He exalted, told him what means; “Oh Adam I examined you because I like to show My mercy, forgiveness and bounties. Oh Adam you used to come by My door as a king meeting a King but after your mistake you come by My door as a slave facing his King and this is far more close to My heart. Oh Adam do not fear from My saying leave the heaven, for in it I created you but descend to the earth and labor for My covenant till you miss Me come to Me I will open the gates of heaven for you. Oh Adam a mistake by which you are humbled to Me is far close to My heart than a worship you brag about. Oh Adam the sorrow of the repentant is more close to My heart than the worship of the boasters. Oh Adam if I abstain you and your sons and daughters from sins for whom then shall I bestow My mercy, forgiveness and bounties. It is Me the Forgiving and the Gracious. Oh Adam If you are ever to ask and pray for Me I will never withhold you from My Forgiveness for whatever you might have done even if your sins were to reach the heavens. Oh Adam if you are ever to approached My door with the earth’s worth of sins, worshipping no one but Me I will come to you with an earth’s worth of forgiveness”.

 

The significant point is that Yunus, with his repentance and regret, reached a higher rank than before committing that mistake.

 

 

 

 

 

AmrKhaled(contact admin if its a beneficial link) © ÌãíÚ ÍÞæÞ ÇáäÔÑ ãÍÝæÙÉ

This Article may be published and duplicated freely for private purposes, as long as the original source is mentioned. For all other purposes you need to obtain the prior written approval of the website administration. For info: dar_altarjama[at]amrkhaled(contact admin if its a beneficial link)

 

 

 

 

 

[1] TMQ=Translation of the Meaning of the Qur'an. This translation is for the realized meaning, so far, of the stated (Surah:Ayah) of the Qur'an. Reading the translated meaning of the Qur'an can never replace reading it in Arabic, the language in which it was revealed.

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