Translated by: Jasim al-Rasheed
The Assyrians lived in big cities on the rivers of the Tigris. Naynawa was the biggest of their cities. It was the capital of their country.
Over one hundred thousand people lived in Naynawa.
They lived on agriculture. They sowed their wide fields and grazed their cattle in that fertile land.
Our prophet Younis was born in that big city. When he grew up, he saw his people worshipping idols.
Allah, the Glorified, chose His servant Younis (A.S.) as a prophet. Younis believed in Allah, the One and Mighty. He understood that the idols were mere useless stones.
Allah, the Glorified, sent Younis to the people of Naynawa to ask them to serve Allah, the Glorified, and to refrain from worshipping idols.
The people of Naynawa were good but they associated partners with Allah. They worshipped idols for a long time.
Our prophet Younis came to them. He preached to them, advised them, and said tot hem: “Serve only Allah, the Glorified. Don't associate anyone with Him.”
The people of Naynawa were accustomed to worshipping idols. Thus, they refused to accept Younis's message, and then they resisted him.
All the prophets taught people how to serve Allah, the One and Only. All the messengers preached Allah's oneness.
The people of Naynawa deviated from the right path. They worshipped idols. They thought that the idols would have an effect on their lives.
Our prophet Younis came and urged them to serve Allah, the One and Only.
However, Younis's efforts were in vain.
The Prophet warned them against the final result of their stubbornness. He said to them: “If you worship idols, Allah, the Glorified, will punish you.”
Our prophet Younis was angry with the people of Naynawa. He warned them against Allah's punishment.
Our prophet Younis left Naynawa and went away.
He headed for the Mediterranean Sea. He thought that Allah would punish the people of Naynawa.
Many days passed. However, our prophet Younis heard nothing of the people of Naynawa.
He asked many travelers about them: “How are the people of Naynawa?” “They lead a good life,” answered the travelers.
Our prophet Younis was astonished. Allah had not punished the people of Naynawa.
For this reason, Younis continued his journey to the Mediterranean Sea.
RepentanceNow let our prophet Younis continue his journey to the Mediterranean Sea. Let's return to the large city of Naynawa.
What happened in the city? Why didn't Allah punish the people of Naynawa?
When our prophet Younis left Naynawa, he was angry. After some days the people of Naynawa saw fearful signs.
The sky was full of black clouds. There was something like smoke in the sky.
Some righteous persons saw those signs. They concluded that Allah would punish the people of Naynawa and destroy them all.
They understood that Allah would turn Naynawa into ruins.
For t his reason the righteous persons warned the people of Naynawa against Allah's punishment. They said to them: “Have mercy on your selves. Have mercy on your sons and your daughters. Why are you stubborn? Younis never tells lies. Allah will surely punish you.”
The people of Naynawa saw the signs of Allah's punishment. Thus, they began thinking of their final result and the final result and the final result of their sons, their daughters, and their city. They understood that idols would not avail them. They understood that idols were mere stones their fathers made with their own hands. Thus, they asked each other: “Why do we worship idols? Why don't we serve Allah?”
The people of Naynawa wanted to repent. They were heedless, and then they became attentive. They were asleep, and then they woke up.
For this reason they began looking for our prophet Younis. They announced their faith in Allah, the Glorified.
However, our prophet Younis had left Naynawa for a distant place. No one knew where he had gone.
So they gathered at a place. One of the righteous persons came and said to them: “People of Naynawa, announce your faith in Allah. Allah is merciful to His servants. Show Him that you have repented. Take suckling babies and make them weep. Take your animals away from the pastures. Make them hungry so that they may cry loudly.”
The people of Naynawa did this. They took babies from their mothers. The babies and their mothers wept for each other. Animals cried owing to hunger. Thus, there was no activity in the city of Naynawa.
All the people of Naynawa wept over their sins, and then they believed in Allah, the One and Only.
So the black clouds scattered gradually, and then the clear blue sky began to appear.
The sun shined again. The people of Naynawa rejoiced at Allah's great mercy and the blessing of faith and life.
The people of Naynawa waited for the return of their Prophet. However, their waiting was useless. Our prophet Younis was angry when he went away. He did not come back. Where did he go?
In the SeaOur Prophet Younis arrived in the Mediterranean Sea. He stopped at the port. He was waiting for a sailboat to go to one of the islands.
A sailboat came. The boat was full of passengers. When the boat stopped at the port, some passengers disembarked and others embarked. Our prophet Younis was among those who embarked.
The sailors raised the sails and the boat began a voyage. When the boat was in the middle of the Sea, storms blew and waves became high.
While the boat was moving through the rough water, a sperm whale appeared. The whale rose in the midst of the waves and then it fell striking the water with its tail. It created noise as strong as an explosion. The fishes were frightened, so they swam away.
The whale stopped for a while, and then water gushed from its mouth like a fountain.
The whale rushed towards the boat, and then it turned quickly. It moved its tail to make a huge wave. The wave shook the boat strongly.
The sailors of the boat said to each other: “The whale wants to drown and destroy the boat.” The whale was big but the boat was small.
The boat's Captain had only one solution. Had to satisfy the whale with one of the passengers.
So the passengers gathered and drew lots. The lot fell upon Allah's Apostle, Younis.
Younis walked forward to face his fate bravely.
Our prophet Younis knew that what had happened was according to Allah's will. So he was not afraid and when he threw himself into the deep water.
The passengers and the sailors saw the whale coming towards the victim. After that they saw nothing.
Younis and the whale disappeared. The boat was safe from danger. What happened in the deep water?
In the Whale's StomachThe waves swallowed up our prophet Younis. As Younis was swimming to save himself from danger, he saw the whale coming towards him opening its big, fearful mouth.
Moments passed. Younis was in the whale's mouth, and then he was in its big, dark stomach.
In those moments our prophet Younis understood that he had to return to Naynawa, and not go to the island.
In the whale's stomach, Younis said: “There's no god but You. Glory belongs to You. Surely I was among those who wronged themselves.”
Younis said these words because he had faith in Allah, Who has power over all things.
Our Prophet Younis felt that he had to return to Naynawa, and not go to the remote island.
Allah, the Glorified, is the Owner of land and sea. He is the Creator of whales in deep seas.
For this reason our prophet Younis began
Hours passed. Younis was in the whale's stomach. More hours passed, but the whale was going about the deep water.
Our prophet Younis was still glorifying Allah, saying: “There's no god but You. Glory belongs to You. Surely I was among those who wronged themselves.” Days and nights passed this way.
The Beach of SafetyAllah, the Glorified, wanted to the whale to go to the beach of one of the islands. While the whale was approaching the beach, its stomach shrunk and water came out of it. So Younis was on the waves, and then he was on the smooth sand of the beach.
Allah had mercy on Younis. He made him settle on a beach without rocks. If there had been rocks on the beach, the rocks would have torn Younis's skin.
Younis was now very weak. He was about to die of thirst.
Younis was unable to move. He was in need of a complete rest in the shade. What did he do when he was alone on the sand?
Allah, the Glorified, created a gourd plant and made it shade our prophet Younis. Our prophet Younis sat in the shadows of the large leaves of the gourd plant. Meanwhile he ate gourds.
It is worth mentioning that gourds contain materials useful for rebuilding the skin and strengthening the body. Besides flies do not approach gourd plants.
Allah, the Glorified, saved Younis from the whale's stomach. So our prophet Younis understood that Allah had power over all things.
Our prophet Younis became well again and went back to his city Naynawa.
The people of Naynawa received our prophet Younis warmly. They all believed in Allah, so Allah did not punish them. Thus, children played. Men worked on their farms. Animals grazed in fields peacefully. Younis was happy when he understood that his people had believed in Allah.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
 And Yunus was most surely of the messengers.
 When he ran away to a ship completely laden,
 So he shared (with them), but was of those who are cast off.
 So the fish swallowed him while he did that for which he blamed himself
 But had it not been that he was of those who glorify (Us),
 He would certainly have tarried in its belly to the day when they are raised.
 Then We cast him on to the vacant surface of the earth while he was sick.
 And We caused to grow up for him a gourdplant.
 And We sent him to a hundred thousand, rather they exceeded.
 And they believed, so We gave them provision till a time.
Koran, 37, 139-148.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
 And Yunus, when he went away in wrath, so he thought that We would not straiten him, so he called out among afflictions: There is no god but Thou, glory be to Thee; surely I am of those who make themselves to suffer loss.
 So We responded to him and delivered him from the grief and thus do We deliver the believers.
Koran, 21, 87-88.