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Allah has sent 124,000 Prophets out of which one was Hazrat Yunus عليه السلام who was later swallowed by a whale. Prophet Yunus عليه السلام was not only a Prophet but a Rasool of Allah.
- Biblical name: Prophet Jonah.
- 6 differences between a Rasool and Nabi
Prophet Yunus Birth
Prophet Yunus عليه السلام was born in the 9th century BC in the village of Gath-Hepher (Israel) and died in the 8th century BC. The Holy Bible places Jonah’s life during the reign of Jeroboam II (786–746 BC).
Amittai, the father of Hazrat Yunus عليه السلام was 70 years old at the time of his birth but he passed away shortly.
Prophet Yunus in Quran
The name of Prophet Yunus عليه السلام is mentioned 5 times in the Holy Quran at different places. Quran calls him 4 times as Yunus and one time as Zun-Nun (ذُو ٱلنُّوْن) which means the man of the fish.
City of Ninevah
Prophet Yunus عليه السلام was sent down to the city of Ninevah, located in the modern-day city of Mosul in northern Iraq. The 5 fates of the city have been excavated and the ancient city is open for tourists to visit.
As per the Holy Quran, there were more than 100,000 men and women living in the city of Ninevah where Hazrat Yunus عليه السلام was sent. – As-Saffat 37:147
According to Saeed bin Jubair رضي الله عنه, around 170,000 people used to live in the city of Ninevah at that time.
The inhabitants of the town of Nineveh were idolaters who lived shameless life. Prophet Yunus عليه السلام preached to them for a long time but the majority of them did not listen to him.
3 days before Allah’s torment
Prophet Yunus عليه السلام was a Rasool and not a simple Nabi. It is a sunnah of Allah that whenever he sends a Rasool towards a group of people and people refuse to listen to him, Allah torments them and wipes out the entire group of people.
However, in the case of Hazrat Yunus عليه السلام, he left the people of Ninevah 3-days before the start of the torment when he started feeling the signs.
He left them before receiving express permission from Allah to leave the area. This is the reason, Allah gave him a lesson with the below-mentioned incident.
Allah reverted the torment
Then, in the daytime when the scourge approached and the people realized that they would all perish, they began to search for the Prophet but did not find him.
At last, they took their families and their cattle and came out into the desert and expressed belief and repentance. So, Allah showed them mercy and accepted their prayer.
There has been no habitation which disbelieved and might have believed after the arrival of the scourge, and then might have been left unpunished except the people of Prophet Yunus عليه السلام.
Prophet Yunus was swallowed by a whale
Prophet Yunus عليه السلام used a ship to escape/flee Ninevah, but unfortunately, he was thrown from the ship because the ship was carrying a lot many passengers which it became heavy.
It was difficult to continue a safe journey and one had to be thrown away to save the rest. Unfortunately, He was thrown. Hazrat Yunus عليه السلام was then swallowed by a whale.
It is evident from the Quranic verses that Allah was not happy with the act of leaving the people of Ninevah earlier than His explicit orders. Allah uses the words fled اَبَقَ and مُلِيۡمٌ for him.
- اَبَقَ: The word abaqa in Arabic is used for the flight and escape of a slave from his master’s house.
- مُلِيۡمٌ: Muleem is a blameworthy person.
Prophet Yunus Dua
When he entered the fish, he turned to Allah alone and glorified Him. There is a dua associated with Prophet Yunus عليه السلام. According to Imam Jafar Sadiq رحمة الله عليه he stayed inside the whale for 3 days.
- لَّآ إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّآ أَنتَ سُبْحَـٰنَكَ إِنِّى كُنتُ مِنَ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ
- There is no god ˹worthy of worship˺ except You. Glory be to You! I have certainly done wrong.” – Al-Anbya 21:87
Allah says that if he had not been one of those who glorify Allah, he would certainly have died inside the stomach of the whale. – As-Saffat 37:144
Muslims all around the world recite this Ayat of the Holy Quran during times of trouble and it is also called Aayat-al-Kareema.
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said: So indeed, no Muslim man supplicates with لَّآ إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّآ أَنتَ سُبْحَـٰنَكَ إِنِّى كُنتُ مِنَ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ for anything, ever, except Allah responds to him. – Jami` at-Tirmidhi 3505
Whale spitted Prophet Yunus
When Prophet Yunus عليه السلام began to glorify Allah like a true and sincere believer, the fish spat him up on the beach by Allah’s command. The beach was a bare plain, without any vegetation on it, or anything to provide him shade, or any means of food.
As Hazrat Yunus عليه السلام had nothing to eat or drink, Allah created a pumpkin plant and a goat. The goat used to graze around throughout the day and used to offer its milk to him.
Before you think that it is not possible, in 1891 AD a fisherman James Bartley was swallowed by a whale in front of other fishermen. In order to rescue him, they injured the whale badly.
The 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 after staying inside the whale for 15 hours. – Source
He was sent back to Ninevah
After this, Allah ordered Prophet Yunus عليه السلام to go to a nation of more than 100,000 people. Most Islamic scholars believe that he was sent back to the city of Ninevah so that the people should believe in him as a Prophet and become Muslims formally.
Prophet Yunus Tomb
After that Prophet Yunus عليه السلام continued living there until his death. He died in the 8th century BC and got buried in Mosul, Iraq. There is a big Masjid there and his grave is inside it.
- Hazrat Yunus tomb location.