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Yunus (Jonah) (PUH)
They mentioned that God sent him to the people of Nineveh and it is a village that belongs to Al-Mosul in Iraq, and it is also an agricultural village near Kufa and it is now beside the shrine of Al-Husain the son of the prince of believers, the martyt of Karbala, may greetings and blessings be upon them who fell there and peace, and Yunus ben Mattâ's (Jonah ben Amittai) story was told by God in many chapters in His holy book, in Al-Nisâ', Al-An`âm, Yunus, Al-Anbiyâ', Al-Sâffât, Al-Qalam..etc. He is also the man of the whale and Dhu'n-Nun [Arabic: Nun = Whale], and perhaps he is one of the Israelites and nothing is known about him except that he is the son of Amittai as it was mentioned in narrations and interpretations. As it was mentioned, he was sent to the people of Nineveh and he was thirty years old that time and they counted as many as one hundred thousand or more, and some said one hundred and thirty thousand, and he lived with them for thirty three years calling them all the time for God and to obey Him and none did answer except of two men, a worshipper and a scholar, and the worshipper's name was Melikha and the scholar's name was Rubeel, and he (Rubeel) was a man from the house of knowledge and prophecy with wisdom and he was an old friend for Jonah before God sent him with prophecy, and Melikha, or Tenukha was a weak man, a woshipper that worships all his time and had no knowledge nor wisdom, and Rubeel was a shepherd and Tenukha was a wood-cutter, and Rubeel had a place near Jonah another than that of Tenukha for his wisdom and his old friendship.
The people of Nineveh were extremely tyrant and Jonah wanted to pray against them, and the worshipper pointed out that he (Jonah) must pray against them and the scholar forbade him and said: God doesn't like to destroy His slaves even if they were disbelievers and they are appointed to the doomsday and their reward would be in hell, and they are in this life reproducing and working on earth and others are having benefits with their works and their crafts and God wants to give time to His servants, and God shall answer your pray upon them and they have among them the handicapped and the children, and by their destruction animals would be so also and the whole land would be destroyed by the destruction of servants. It is mentioned that he (Jonah) didn't listen to him and was not convinced, and the worshipper was insisting on praying against them, and then he prayed against them to be destroyed and God answered his prays in a special time that was appointed by Him and that was after forty days after the pray and after warning them, and perhaps his pray was on the fifteenth of Ramadhan [9th month in lunar calendar], and it is mentioned that the day of the punishment was to be on wednesday in the middle of Shawwâl [10th month in the lunar calendar] and he foretold them about it, but they didn't care about it, but the scholar remained between them and warned them against God's wrath, and when it was the time, Jonah and the worshipper went out of the village waiting for the punishment to be done, and when the signs of the punishment appeared, the scholar ordered them to repent and be faithful and to go out from the village with humiliation and crying for God, and to separate children from their mothers and animals from their offsprings and to cry to God to forgive them, and they did all that and the scholar was with them in all of their conditions, and at the appointed time, the punishment was revealed as a yellow wind the came from the east while they were sitting as we described before, and the punishment turned around over their heads and then spreaded in the mountains and they were saved from the punishment.
And in the second day, thursday the sixteenth of Shawwâl from that year, Jonah and the worshipper Melikha came to see what happened to them and they saw them in the best conditions and nothing was done to them, and for this they say that God never stopped a punishment except for the folk of Jonah, and Jonah used to call them back to the faith but they refuse and he prayed against them and his pray was answered but then it was avoided for what we mentioned before, and then Jonah went out with anger and reached the seashore and saw a ship with a cargo that was near the land so he asked its owners to carry him with them and they answered him and made him ride with them, and when the ship moved and been in the middle of the sea, a large whale appeared for them in front of the ship and blocked its sailing and Jonah moved from his place to the other side and found out that the whale was opening his mouth and wants to swallow him and Jonah ran away with fear, and they said that someone in the ship shouted out and said: one who did a sin let him show himself, but none did answer him and then they made a lot and the arrow pointed at Jonah and they were sure that he was the sinner so he threw himself into the sea and the whale swallowed him, so God said: And lo! Jonah verily was of those sent (to warn), When he fled unto the laden ship, And then drew lots and was of those rejected; And the fish swallowed him while he was blameworthy; And had he not been one of those who glorify (Allah), He would have tarried in its belly till the day when they are raised; Then We cast him on a desert shore while he was sick; And We caused a tree of gourd to grow above him; And We sent him to a hundred thousand (folk) or more, And they believed, therefor We gave them comfort for a while(Al-Sâffât:139-148).
It is probable that the whale casted him on a desert shore as it is shown in the holy phrase, and it is the land of no plants and for this God planted for him a gourd tree to shade him against the sun's heat because he was casted while he was sick, and he was swallowed while he was angry and confused so he is considered a sick as well, and he remained in the billy of the whale for three days, and some said nine hours, and others said seven days..etc. They say that Jonah was delighted for the gourd tree and out of sudden there were an insect that were eating its base so it dried out and the wind carried it away and he was sad for this, and then a call from God came saying: are you sorry for a gourd that doesn't care of itself and the Creator wouldn't care about a village made of one hundred thousand or so that He wants to guide them from their wrong-doing and likes to avoid them from His punishment? Then God sent him back to them and they believed in him and they enjoyed the life for some time.
and Jonah for the people of the Scriptures [meaning jews and christians] is called Yonan ben Amittai [in Hebrew he is called Yonah, so the name seems in Aramaic], and he had a book with advices and regulations, and included in it that God ordered him to go to Nineveh because their evil is growing, and so then Yonan went to escape to a village called Tarshish and so he stayed in Yâfâ (Yafo) and there he found a ship that would sail to Tarshish, so when the ship sailed while he was on it, God sent a severe wind that made the ship almost sinking with everyone on it, and everyone of them was calling his god while Yonan was sleeping in the base of the ship so they woke him up and they made a lot to know who was the reason of the anger of God and the lot pointed to him and then he told them about his story and they wanted to go back to the shore but they couldn't, so he pointed out for them to throw him into the sea so that the anger of God may fled away from them, and they did so and a great whale swallowed him then the sea calmed down after, and the content is almost the same for the truth for which was founded in interpretations and history.
Then, most of what was mentioned of stories and opinions are from the Israelites and some of what was mentioned in them is against what was mentioned in Quran, and they mentioned whatever seemed right in their opinions and ornamented what they understood and manipulated of clues that they hanged on and whoever is interested in their sayings let him check their books, and in the chapter of Al-Qalam it was said to the prophet (PUH): But wait thou for thy Lord's decree, and be not like him of the fish, who cried out in despair, Had it not been that favour from his Lord had reached him he surely had been cast into the wilderness while he was reprobate, But his Lord chose him and placed him among the righteous(Al-Qalam:48-50). In another chapter: 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(Yunus:98), and what is understood from the holy phrase is that the previous nations that disbelieved in God, when a punishment was revealed on them, their faith would be useless except for the folk of Jonah for their faith was of benefit for them when the punishment was revealed upon them and God carried it away from them, and also God said: 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 Allah 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(Al-Anbiyâ':87-88).
The meaning is, and only God knows, in God's saying "deemed that We had no power over him" that he deemed that God will relief him when he goes out from his people and he wouldn't have to tell his message, as in His saying: But whenever He trieth him by straitening his means of life, he saith: My Lord despiseth me(Al-Fajr:16), and "cried out in the darkness" [note that darkness has no plural in English but in Arabic it has and the plural is mentioned in the holy phrase], means the darkness of the night and the darkness of the sea and the darkness in the billy of the whale so they are three levels of darkness, and when he went off in anger, he had anger against his people and for God because they were tyrants and stubborn and forbid him to had have anger against God! how come and he is the infallible prophet and avoided from doing anything against obeying God, and he is a holy prophet that can't deem wrongly about his Creator according to the justice and the Godly wisdom, or even claim that He is not able to deal with him or with others, but everyone is under His rule without a doubt and everything against this should be interpreted in a right way, in opposition to the ideas of some ignorants who said that he was angry against God and for this he was punished and rejected and swallowed by the whale. No doubt that such thing and such ideas do oppose the idea of infallibility and suggests that he didn't know the power and the ability of God in such a way that he would not be forgiven for, and this is as it is said in the tales of Abdul-Wahâb (Al-Najjâr).
We say that there are levels for the gifts and characteristics for the prophets and for the viceroys and also the believers, so they are different in the levels of their good nature like patience, how much they depend on God, complete satisfaction and the presence of mind, and all infallible people that gather around the faith of God share the complete knowledge of His greatness and His will with His mercy and forgiveness and how can He punish the rebellious people, and people in such things do differ in every manner and the difference between them is necessary such as the difference in their faces and shapes and their ages and their possessions and their children and their understanding and so on of such things in deep inside or in obvious for every man of a brain that is able to think and differentiate, and God made them different for purposes that only He knows, so Jonah ben Amittai doesn't have what Moses and Job had of patience and not what Abraham had of dependance on God and no prophet has what is for the beloved to God, Muhammad ben `Abdullah may peace be upon him and on his Household, from all the characteristics and describtions. It is probable then that Jonah (PUH) was weaker than other prophets in such a way that does not conflict with the state of infallibility. So, he called his people for thirty three years as it was told and they didn't listen to him and didn't care about him so he got bored of them and he prayed against them and then got out of their lands because of their bad treatment with him. Then he was tested by being thrown into the sea and being swallowed by the whale, but his faith didn't shake and the connection to his God was not cut and he never stopped to serve his Lord, and he was sanctifying God while he was inside the whale and fearing His punishment and saw nothing but God and seeking no one but Him, and he feared God so much that no one can imagine how much it was, so may peace be upon him and on our prophet and his Household.
As attributed to Al-Bâqir (PUH) he said: Jonah ben Amittai went away from his people and then got back to them with prophecy and a message and they believed in him for four weeks, then he (PUH) said: the punishment arrived on wednesday in the middle of Shawwâl [10th month in lunar calendar] and the punishment also went away from them in the same day, so then Jonah went away with anger on thursday so it took him seven days to reach the sea and then spent seven days inside the whale, and spent seven days under the tree in the desert and then it took him seven days to get back to his people, so the total period of time for his going and coming was twenty eight days, and then he came to them and they believed in him and followed him, and for this God did say: 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(Younus:98).
Also attributed to Al-Bâqir (PUH): the punishment was revealed upon the folk of Jonah so that they were able to touch it by their spears, so then they wore garments and wools and put robes in their necks and the ashes upon their heads and all of them shouted with one voice to their Lord and said: we believed in the God of Jonah, and then God gave them a relief and pushed the punishment away from them up to the mountains, and in the morning Jonah went to them and he thought that they were doomed but he found them in a good situation, so he got angry and got out until he got into a ship with two men, and then the ship faced storms and the captain said: O folks! my ship has a wanted man, and then Jonah said: I am the one, and he stood up to throw himself and he saw then the fish opening its mouth and he got afraid and the two men stopped him and said to him: you are alone and we are two men, and they made a lot and the arrow pointed to him, and at that time the law was that if the arrow pointed three times in the same direction then it cannot be wrong, and so he threw himself and the whale swallowed him and it journeyed with him the seven seas up to the "sea kept filled" and there Korah is being tortured..etc. ["sea kept filled" or "the filled sea" is a name used in Quran in the chapter of Al-Toor(6) for a sea. Could it be the Mediterranean?]
There is also some tidings concerning the father of Jonah, and he is the one called Amittai, and as attributed to Al-Sâdiq (PUH) he said: once David (PUH) said: O Lord tell me who is my companion in heaven, and then God inspired to him: that is Amittai, the fahter of Jonah, he (PUH) continued: then he had a permission from God to visit him, so he went out with his son Solomon until they reached his house, and found out that it was made of palm leaves, and people told them that he (Amittai) is in the market, and they asked for him there and people told them to go to the carpenters, and then they asked for him there and they were told that they are waiting for him to come back, so they sat down waiting for him with the others and then he showed up with a bundle of woods upon his head, and then the people went to him and took off the woods from him, so he thanked God and said: whoever is willing to buy a perfume from me with an exchange of another? So then one man nagotiated the price and another increased the price and so on until he bought it from someone, and then they (David and Solomon) greeted him and he said to them: let's go home, and then he bought food with what he got and then he ground it and kneaded it into a paste and put it then into the fire and he sat talking with them, and then he got his bread when it was made and he broke it into halves and spreaded some salt on it and on his side he put a water carrier, and he sat on his knees and took a piece, and when he put it into his mouth he said: by the name of God, and when he swallowed it he said: thank be to God, and so he did until he finished, and then he took the water and drank with mentioning God's name and when he finished he said: thank be to God, O Lord, whom did You give him what You gave to me? You fixed my vision and hearing and my body and made me strong so that I went to a tree that I didn't plant and didn't care about, and You made it for my living, and You made someone to buy it from me and then I bought with its price some food that I didn't plant, and You made me the fire so that it was cooked so well and You made me eat with desire so that I can be able to obey You, so thanks be to You, and then he cried. Then said David to Solomon: O son, let's go, for I didn't see someone that thank God as much as this man, and they got back from where they came. So may peace and prays of God be upon our prophet and his Household and upon them as well and thank be to God the Lord of the worlds.

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