PROPHET YUNUSBack

Yunus son of Amittai in the clan of Judah was appointed prophet by Allah towards the people of Ninewa (North Western Iraq). The people were very head strong and obstinate. They refused to listen to his teachings. He got disgusted and disappointed with the lack of progress with the people. He prayed to Allah to punish the people fo defying him, and decided to take the river ferry to go another territory.

While crossing the river, great swells engulfed ferry. When it appeared that the boat would sink with next swell, the captain of the boat addressed the passengers and said that there must be someone amongst them who had run away from his master. He should give himself up and come forward so that he may be tossed overboard to save the rest. No one moved for a while. When the next swell struck the boat, and it was evident that the end was near, they decided to toss a coin and it fell for Yunus. So he was thrown in the river. The storm subsided immediately and all on board the ferry were saved.

As for Yunus, a large fish swallowed him and carried him to the banks of the river where he was ejected on to dry land. His skin got eroded from the digestive juices of the fish. He suffered great pain and disappointment because o the flies and the sun. He sought forgiveness from Allah for having abandoned his mission. Allah made a plant come up by his side and he convalesced under its shadow by the river bank, and reflected over the extra-ordinary experience.

In the meantime, his people had realized their error. They repented for their sin and ventured out in search of Yunus. They found him and rejoiced seeing him alive. They took him back and promised to live by his teachings. He lived amongst his people to a long and ripe age. When he died, he was buried near the same place where the great fish had ejected him. Many devout followers started to build their homes at this location and it soon developed into a bustling city. The city of Kufa is located at the same historic site and the grave of Prophet Yunus is located at the bank of the river.

Yunus is also known as Zunnun since he had emerged from the stomach of a fish.

References: al Qur'an: Sura Nisaa', Anam, Yunus, Anmbiya'. Saffat, Qalam.

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