Surah Yunus (سُورةُ يونُس), meaning Jonah, is the tenth surah in the Noble Quran. The reason it is called Yunus is that a brief mention of the story of Jonah is made in one of its verses. Most of the verses of this surah were revealed in Mecca, making this surah a Makki surah. This surah also tells the story of Noah and Moses. In this article on Islam4u, the following topics will be discussed:
Facts about Surah Yunus
|Order of revelation||51|
|No. of verses||109|
|No. of words||1844|
|No. of letters||7593|
Benefits of Reciting Surah Yunus
- Being rewarded ten times the number of people who believed in or rejected Jonah: Prophet Muhammad has said, “Whoever recites this surah, he will be rewarded ten times the number of people who believed in or rejected Jonah, as well as the number of those who drowned with the Pharaoh. 1
- Not being among the unaware: Abu Abdullah Ja‘far ibn Muhammad has said, “Whoever recites surah Yunus once every two or three months, he will be rest assured that he will not be among the ignorant and unaware, and on the Day of Judgment, he will be among those who are near to Allah. 2
- Easy delivery: Whoever recites this surah to a woman who is giving birth with a pure intention while paying full attention to Allah, Allah will cause her to have an easy delivery. 3
Themes in Surah Yunus
Surah Yunus talks about many subjects such as:
- The Manifestations of Allah’s Power
- Proofs of Allah’s Existence
- The Delegation of Prophets
The Manifestations of Allah’s Power
In surah Yunus, Allah mentions the manifestations of His enormous power over all things. For example, He talks about the creation of the heavens and the earth as one of the signs of His power:
إِنَّ رَبَّكُمُ ٱللَّـهُ ٱلَّذِى خَلَقَ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٰتِ وَٱلْأَرْضَ فِى سِتَّةِ أَيَّامٍ ثُمَّ ٱسْتَوَىٰ عَلَى ٱلْعَرْشِ ۖ يُدَبِّرُ ٱلْأَمْرَ ۖ مَا مِن شَفِيعٍ إِلَّا مِنۢ بَعْدِ إِذْنِهِۦ ۚ ذَٰلِكُمُ ٱللَّـهُ رَبُّكُمْ فَٱعْبُدُوهُ ۚ أَفَلَا تَذَكَّرُونَ ﴿3﴾
Indeed, your Lord is God who has created the heavens and earth in six days, afterwards He came to the throne to manage the affairs [of the creation, and you should know that] no one can intercede without His permission. That is God, your Lord, so worship Him [alone]. Do you not pay heed? 4
Many other verses of this surah show Allah’s power over different things such as verse five and six:
هُوَ ٱلَّذِى جَعَلَ ٱلشَّمْسَ ضِيَآءً وَٱلْقَمَرَ نُورًا وَقَدَّرَهُۥ مَنَازِلَ لِتَعْلَمُوا۟ عَدَدَ ٱلسِّنِينَ وَٱلْحِسَابَ ۚ مَا خَلَقَ ٱللَّـهُ ذَٰلِكَ إِلَّا بِٱلْحَقِّ ۚ يُفَصِّلُ ٱلْـَٔايَـٰتِ لِقَوْمٍ يَعْلَمُونَ ﴿5﴾
It is He who made the sun a radiance and the moon a light, and ordained its phases that you might know the number of years and the calculation [of time]. Allah did not create all that except with justice. He elaborates the signs for a people who have knowledge.
إِنَّ فِى ٱخْتِلَـٰفِ ٱلَّيْلِ وَٱلنَّهَارِ وَمَا خَلَقَ ٱللَّـهُ فِى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٰتِ وَٱلْأَرْضِ لَـَٔايَـٰتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَتَّقُونَ ﴿6﴾
Indeed in the alternation of night and day, and whatever Allah has created in the heavens and the earth, there are surely signs for a people who are Godwary. 5
The Believers Will Reside in Paradise According to Surah Yunus
After stating that the abode of disbelievers will be hell, 6 Allah says in surah Yunus how Allah will guide the believers based on their faith in Allah. Their reward will be gardens of bliss with rivers flowing underneath them:
إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ وَعَمِلُوا۟ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ يَهْدِيهِمْ رَبُّهُم بِإِيمَـٰنِهِمْ ۖ تَجْرِى مِن تَحْتِهِمُ ٱلْأَنْهَـٰرُ فِى جَنَّـٰتِ ٱلنَّعِيمِ ﴿9﴾
Indeed, those who believe and perform good deeds, God will guide them because of their belief, they will be admitted into the garden of bliss through which rivers flow. 7
Even while being in heaven, they will praise their Lord and say how He is immaculate and glorified, and how all praise belongs to Him only:
دَعْوَىٰهُمْ فِيهَا سُبْحَـٰنَكَ ٱللَّـهُمَّ وَتَحِيَّتُهُمْ فِيهَا سَلَـٰمٌ ۚ وَءَاخِرُ دَعْوَىٰهُمْ أَنِ ٱلْحَمْدُ لِلَّـهِ رَبِّ ٱلْعَـٰلَمِينَ ﴿10﴾
Their call therein will be, ‘O Allah! Immaculate are You!’ and their greeting therein will be, ‘Peace!’ and their concluding call, ‘All praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of all the worlds.’ 8
The Quran Is the Ultimate Revelation of Allah According to Surah Yunus
Verse 15 of surah Yunus reads:
وَإِذَا تُتْلَىٰ عَلَيْهِمْ ءَايَاتُنَا بَيِّنَـٰتٍ ۙ قَالَ ٱلَّذِينَ لَا يَرْجُونَ لِقَآءَنَا ٱئْتِ بِقُرْءَانٍ غَيْرِ هَـٰذَآ أَوْ بَدِّلْهُ ۚ قُلْ مَا يَكُونُ لِىٓ أَنْ أُبَدِّلَهُۥ مِن تِلْقَآئِ نَفْسِىٓ ۖ إِنْ أَتَّبِعُ إِلَّا مَا يُوحَىٰٓ إِلَىَّ ۖ إِنِّىٓ أَخَافُ إِنْ عَصَيْتُ رَبِّى عَذَابَ يَوْمٍ عَظِيمٍ ﴿15﴾
And when Our clear signs are recited to them, those who do not hope to meet Us in [the Hereafter] say, “[O Muhammad!] Bring us another Qur’ān or change this one!” Say “I myself am not allowed to change it [without my Lord’s permission because] I only obey [the revelation] which is sent down to me. Indeed, I am fearful of the punishment of the great Day if I disobey my Lord.” 9
The polytheists at the time of the Prophet thought the Quran that his holiness brought forth was from himself. Consequently, they told the Prophet to bring another Quran or change it in the way that suits their tastes. The Prophet was commanded by Allah to tell them that this Quran is nothing but the revelation of Allah and is not something that he has control over. Verse 16 states:
قُل لَّوْ شَآءَ ٱللَّـهُ مَا تَلَوْتُهُۥ عَلَيْكُمْ وَلَآ أَدْرَىٰكُم بِهِۦ ۖ فَقَدْ لَبِثْتُ فِيكُمْ عُمُرًا مِّن قَبْلِهِۦٓ ۚ أَفَلَا تَعْقِلُونَ ﴿16﴾
Say, ‘Had Allah [so] wished, I would not have recited it to you, nor would He have made it known to you, for I have dwelled among you for a lifetime before it. Do you not exercise your reason?’ 10
This verse shows that Prophet Muhammad (ṣ) was commanded by Allah to recite the Quran to people. This also shows the truthfulness of his prophethood. Therefore, it becomes clear that the words of the Prophet are in truth revelation. As surah Najm says, the Prophet does not speak out of his own desire; what he speaks is a revelation that Allah reveals to him. 11
The State of the Friends of Allah as Stated in Surah Yunus
Verses 62-64 of surah Yunus read:
أَلَآ إِنَّ أَوْلِيَآءَ ٱللَّـهِ لَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْهِمْ وَلَا هُمْ يَحْزَنُونَ ﴿62﴾
[O people! You should] know that God’s friends will neither fear nor will they grieve.
ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ وَكَانُوا۟ يَتَّقُونَ ﴿63﴾
Those who believe and are pious [who observe God’s law].
لَهُمُ ٱلْبُشْرَىٰ فِى ٱلْحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنْيَا وَفِى ٱلْـَٔاخِرَةِ ۚ لَا تَبْدِيلَ لِكَلِمَـٰتِ ٱللَّـهِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ هُوَ ٱلْفَوْزُ ٱلْعَظِيمُ ﴿64﴾
[Give] them good news in the life of the world and the Hereafter [that they will be rewarded by their Lord]. God’s words are not changed [because it is according to the absolute truth]. That is the great triumph. 12
The friends of Allah, who are known as awliyā’ullāh (اولياءُ الله), are people who have a very strong faith in Allah. They love Allah and the only thing that concerns them is bringing Allah’s pleasure. They are very careful of their actions and activities in life. They are Godwary and do not even approach sinful acts. Allah says in the above verse of surah Yunus that they will have no fear and will not grieve in the Hereafter, and perhaps in the life in this world as well.
Historical Accounts in Surah Yunus
Surah Yunus tells the story of three prophets:
Noah’s story is told beginning with verse 71. Moses’ story is told next starting with verse 75. A brief mention of Jonah is made in verse 98 of surah Yunus.
Verse 98 of surah Yunus reads:
فَلَوْلَا كَانَتْ قَرْيَةٌ ءَامَنَتْ فَنَفَعَهَآ إِيمَـٰنُهَآ إِلَّا قَوْمَ يُونُسَ لَمَّآ ءَامَنُوا۟ كَشَفْنَا عَنْهُمْ عَذَابَ ٱلْخِزْىِ فِى ٱلْحَيَوٰةِ ٱلدُّنْيَا وَمَتَّعْنَـٰهُمْ إِلَىٰ حِينٍ ﴿98﴾
Why has there not been any town that might believe, so that its belief might benefit it, except the people of Jonah? When they believed, We removed from them the punishment of disgrace in the life of this world, and We provided for them for a while. 13
Jonah’s people were about to be punished, however, Allah removed the punishment from them because they supplicated Allah and repented of their sins. Nevertheless, Prophet Jonah left the city thinking his people would be punished, as he had cursed them and Allah had told him that He would punish his people. In any case, a large fish swallowed Jonah and Jonah repented to Allah while he was in the belly of the fish until Allah accepted his repentance. When Jonah regained his health, he went back to his people and noticed that they were ready to believe in him. Therefore, the people of Jonah were delivered and lived in peace and comfort for a while.
In conclusion, we get to know that surah Yunus is a surah that its recitation brings many virtues and benefits for the reader. Moreover, it is a surah that teaches many things to us by telling the story of Noah, Moses, and Jonah. God willing, by reciting this surah, we will get closer to Allah and learn more about the Quran and its teachings.
- Majma‘ al-Bayān, vol. 3, beginning of the commentary on surah Yunus.
- Benefits of the Verses of the Noble Quran, p. 88.
- Quran 10:3 (Foroutan).
- Quran 10:5-6 (Qara’i).
- Cf. Quran 10:7-8.
- Quran 10:9 (Foroutan).
- Quran 10:10 (Qara’i).
- Quran 10:15 (Foroutan).
- Quran 10:16 (Qara’i).
- Cf. Quran 53:3-4.
- Quran 10:62-64 (Foroutan).
- Quran 10:98 (Qara’i).