Prophet Yunus aayah in the Holy Quran

Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,

As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.  (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)



One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:

"So wait with patience for the Command of thy Lord, and be not like the Companion of the Fish, when he cried out in agony. Had not Grace from his Lord reached him, he would indeed have been cast off on the naked shore, in disgrace. Thus did his Lord choose him and make him of the Company of the Righteous." from Qur`an, Al-Qalam, Surah 68:48-50 Can you elaborate the meaning of the above aayat? It will be so helpfull if you reply as soon as possible and give some light on this matter. Thank you: one of your admirer


(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)




Prophet Yunus aayah in the Holy Quran

In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol,  no person,  no grave, no prophet,  no imam,  no dai,  nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad(saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.


When Allah commanded the Prophet (saws) to declare the Revelation of the Quran to his people and invite them to the deen of Islam in the early period of Makkah,  some of the people of Makkah believed in the Message,  while most (especially the ones who were leaders,  rich,  and arrogant) disbelieved and denied his Mission and his Message.   


The Messenger of Allah (saws) tried sincerely as a well-wisher and a brother to save the people who disbelieved from the Inevitable and Impending Fire of Hell, but most of them just simply refused to believe in his noble Mission.    At times the Prophet (saws) would feel grief and pain in his heart for he sincerely wished them well, and was not asking anything from them in return for his services; and in spite of his sincere and untiring efforts, most of them blatantly refused to believe in him.    They would not only belie him, but they called him a liar and a magician and a sorcerer and one who was possessed!  


The Messenger of Allah (saws) was trying very hard to convince these people of the Truth of his Mission; when Allah revealed this Surah of the Holy Quran, Surah Qalam; and in it warned the disbelievers of their fate if they did not believe,  and as a consolation and comfort to the Prophet (saws) of the Mighty Scheme of the Lord of the Worlds.


Allah says in the same Surah Qalam in the verses immediately preceeding the ones quoted above:

44      Then leave Me alone with such as reject this message: by degrees shall We punish them from directions they perceive not.

45      A (long) respite will I grant them: truly powerful is My plan.

46      Or is it that thou dost ask them for a reward so that they are burdened with a load of debt?

Or that the Unseen is in their hands so that they can write it down?


After warning the disbelievers for their disbelief, Allah Subhanah comforts and commands the Messenger of Allah (saws) to be patient and wait for the Command of the Almighty Lord; and advises him (saws) not to be impatient like the Prophet Yunus, who is termed by Allah here as the Companion of the Fish; and then subsequently Allah goes on to admonish the Prophet (saws) of the consequence of the impatience of Prophet Yunus towards his people; and how he prayed for forgiveness to Allah, and how Allah Subhanah forgave him and included him amongst the Righteous.


Prophet Yunus was sent as a Prophet to the people of a city called Nineveh, about 230 miles north-west of modern day Baghdad in Iraq.   The people were steeped in wickedness, and Prophet Yunus exerted his utmost in guiding them to the Straight Path,  but his people belied him.   Prophet Yunus warned them of the coming of the punishment of Allah in three days, and in his wrath and anger, and without the specific permission and command of Allah Subhanah, he impatiently departed the place and boarded a ship to go far away from the disbelievers and the coming punishment of Allah!   


Incidentally, after his departure, the people of Yunus realized their mistake and repented before the scourge of Allah came upon them; and the Merciful Lord forgave them.  


But because Prophet Yunus showed impatience, and departed his place of mission without the permission and command of Allah, he was put in a severe trial by his Lord.   To make a long story short, Yunus boarded the ship, and as Allah would have Willed, the river became violent to such an extent that the people of the ship threw away all its weight to keep the ship afloat!  But the ship was still in danger of capsizing, and as was the norm in those days, they cast a lot, and the name of Prophet Yunus was casted as the one who should be thrown into the river to lighten the load of the ship.  When Prophet Yunus was thrown into the river, a huge fish swallowed him, and he stayed in the belly of the fish for three days… and it was from the depths of the river, that the Prophet Yunus humbly implored his Lord to forgive him his error of impatience; and the Merciful Lord forgave him, and the fish cast  him on a naked shore,  and he returned back to his people.

(The whole story of Prophet Yunus is described in detail in the Holy Quran in Chapter 37 Surah Saafaat verses 139-148).


Thus, in the above quoted verses of Surah Qalam quoted by you, Allah is commanding the Prophet Mohamed (saws) to have patience and wait for the Command of Allah on what to do next; and subsequently advises the Prophet (saws) not to be impatient like the Prophet Yunus (a.s.)!      


We have tried to give you only a basic background and context in which the above aayahs of Surah Qalam were revealed. If you need further information, or clarification; please do not hesitate to write to us and we will try to answer your queries to the best of our ability and knowledge, Insha Allah.


Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me.  Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.



Your Brother in Islam,






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