Friday, February 11, 2011

Prophet Yunus (Jonah) a.s. And A Mother In Labour


... I knew the man was lonely and depressed and needed someone in his life. So, I began to 'witness' to him about the Lord. I read to him out of the book of Jonah in the Old Testament. I shared the story of the prophet Jonah who had been sent by the Lord to call his people to the correct way. Jonah had left his people and escaped by boat to leave his city and head out to sea. A storm came up and the ship almost capsized and the people on board threw Jonah over the side of the ship. A whale came up to the surface and grabbed Jonah, swallowed him and then went down to the bottom of the sea, where he stayed for 3 days and 3 nights. Yet because of God's Mercy, He caused the whale to rise to the surface and then spit Jonah out to return back home safely to his city of Nineveh. And the idea was that we can't really run away from our problems because we always know what we have done. And what is more, God also always knows what we have done...

******


That is what was read in the previous post two days ago, of preacher Yusuf Estes, who was preaching Christianity to a Catholic Priest.



Prophet Yunus (Jonah) alaihis salam, also known as Dhan-Nun, was sent to Nineveh, in the region of Mosul, who were idolaters.
He was to teach them the worship of ALLAH.
The people disliked His interference in their way of worship, and they rejected Him.
They argued, "We and our forefathers have worshipped these gods for many years and no harm has come to us."
He tried hard to convince His people of their foolishness in idol worship and of the Goodness of ALLAH's laws, but they ignored Him.
He warned them that if they kept on with their foolishness, ALLAH's punishment would soon follow.
He reminded them that tormenting punishment would dawn on them in three days if they did not repent.

Instead of fearing ALLAH, they told Yunus a.s. that they were not afraid of His threats,
"Let it happen," they told Him.
Disheartened, Yunus a.s. said, "In that case, I will leave you to your misery!"
So saying, He left Nineveh, fearing that ALLAH's anger would soon follow.

Hardly had Yunus a.s. left the city, the skies began to change its colour.
The skies were overcast with black cloud, strong dark smoke smoking, and it was descending, until their city was covered in it, making their roofs black.
The punishment was right above their heads- when they saw that they knew for sure that the promised destruction was true.
The people of Nineveh were filled with fear by the sight that looked as if they were set to be on fire.
They recalled the destruction of the people of 'Ad, Thamud and Noah a.s.
Was theirs to be a similar fate?

They looked for their Prophet Yunus a.s., but failed to find Him.
Slowly faith seeped into their hearts.

With wives, children, livestock, and dressed in sackcloth, they all gathered on the mountain and started to beseech ALLAH for HIS Mercy and Forgiveness.
The mountains echoed with their cries.
It was a momentous hour, filled with sincere repentance.
They set apart each mother from her son, humans and animals too, so that each one longed for the other.
They humbled themselves towards GOD.
They said they believe in what the message their Prophet a.s. had brought to them. 

"Why was there not a single township (among those We warned), which believed,- so its faith should have profited it,- except the people of Jonah? When they believed, We removed from them the penalty of ignominy in the life of the present, and permitted them to enjoy (their life) for a while." - Surah Yunus 98

So Their LORD had Mercy on them, and Answered their call, and Lifted from them the punishment, after they humbled themselves.
ALLAH removed His wrath and Showered HIS Blessings upon them once again.
When the threatening storm was lifted, they prayed for the return of their Prophet Yunus a.s. so that he could guide them.

******

Meanwhile, Yunus a.s. had boarded a small ship in the company of other passengers.
When night came, the sea suddenly changed.
A horrible storm blew, wild waves tossed the ship and sweeping over the deck, as if it were going to split the ship into pieces.
The chief crewman asked the crew to lighten the ship's heavy load.
They threw their baggage overboard, but this was not enough.

Their safety lay in reducing the weight further, so they decided among themselves to lighten their load by removing at least one person.
They will make lots with all travellers' names.
The one whose name is drawn, will be thrown into the sea.

The lot was drawn and "Yunus a.s." appeared.
The people on board the ship knew Him as the most honourable among them.
Therefore, they decided to draw a second and third lot.
Still, His name was drawn.

Prophet Yunus a.s. realised that ALLAH's Hand was in all this, for He had abandoned His mission without HIS consent.
Yunus a.s was then thrown into the dark, furious sea.
He kept mentioning ALLAH's name as He went into the raging sea and disappeared beneath the huge waves, and was swallowed by a whale (?), into its stomach.

He was in three kinds of darkness, the darkness of the animal's stomach, the night, and of the bottom of the sea.
Prophet Yunus a.s. was alert when He found He could move.
He knew that he was alive but imprisoned.

"And [remember] Him of the great fish – when He went off in wrath, thinking that WE had no power over Him! But then He cried out in the deep darkness [of His distress]: none has the right to be worshipped but YOU (O ALLAH), Glorified (and Exalted) be YOU (above all that evil they associate with YOU), Truly, I have been of the wrong doers.
And so WE responded unto Him and delivered Him from [His] distress: for thus do WE deliver all who have faith." - Surah Anbiya' 87 - 88
Prophet Yunus a.s.'s heart was moved by remembering ALLAH.
He continuously saying:

لا إِلَهَ إِلا أَنتَ سُبْحَانَكَ إِنِّي كُنتُ مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ
 
None has the right to be worshipped but YOU (O ALLAH), Glorified (and Exalted) be YOU (above all that evil they associate with YOU), Truly, I have been of the wrong doers.

All the creatures that lived in the sea, animals and plants, heard the voice of Yunus a.s. praying, heard the celebration of ALLAH's Praises.
All these creatures began to celebrate the Praises of ALLAH in their turn, each in its own way and in its own language.

******

Prophet Yunus a.s. continued praying to ALLAH, repeating this invocation.
ALLAH Almighty Knew His sincere repentance and Heard His invocation, and the whale was commanded to surface and eject the Prophet onto an island.
His body was inflamed because of the acids inside the animal's stomach.
He was ill, but endured all pain and continued to repeat his invocation to ALLAH.




لا إِلَهَ إِلا أَنتَ سُبْحَانَكَ إِنِّي كُنتُ مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ

None has the right to be worshipped but YOU (O ALLAH), Glorified (and Exalted) be YOU (above all that evil they associate with YOU), Truly, I have been of the wrong doers.

Almighty ALLAH caused a vine to grow to considerable length over Him for protection.
Then HE Exalted, caused the Prophet to recover and Forgave Him.
ALLAH told Yunus a.s. that if it had not been for His praying to HIM, the Prophet would have stayed in the whale's stomach till the Day of Judgment. 

"And, verily, Jonah was one of the Messengers. When he ran to the laden ship, he agreed to cast lots and he was among the losers, Then a big fish swallowed him and he had done an act worthy of blame. Had he not been of them who glorify ALLAH, he would have indeed remained inside its belly (the fish) till the Day of Resurrection. But We cast him forth on the naked shore while he was sick and We caused a plant of gourd to grow over him. And We sent him to a hundred thousand people or even more, and they believed; so We gave them enjoyment for a while." - Surah As Saffaat 39-148

Gradually Yunus a.s. regained His strength and found His way to His hometown, Nineveh.
He was pleasantly surprised to notice the entire population welcome Him.
The change was there in His people.
They had believe in ALLAH.
Together they pray, thanking their Merciful LORD.

******

It was in the 80s, 7.35pm, Maghrib time.
After a brief check, I was asked to move to the labour ward.
Then a nurse entered the room I was in.
Then, I was all alone, by myself, in the delivery room.

She asked, "Pernah dengar do'a Nabi Yunus?"
"Pernah," I said.
"Tau do'anya?" She asked again.
"Tau." I said.
She asked me to recite, and said, "Amalkan do'a tu. Jangan berenti. Terus baca."
"InsyaALLAH."

A short while later, doctor with his team were made busy.
I delivered a Baby Girl at 7.55pm.

Other mothers in the checking room were full of surprise...
I was already home by 9.30am the next day.

******

After many years passed, My Late Father, who was visiting me then, said,
"Engkau tinggal tempat orang. Bapak nak pesan engkau satu barang. Pernah dengar do'a Nabi Yunus. Tau do'anya?"
"Tau." I said.
"Jangan berenti. Terus amalkan." He advised.
"Dulu pun pernah ada orang pesan."
"Sapa?" He was surprised.
"Nurse kat hospital." 

Then He was silent, and I did not probe further.

******
لَّا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنتَ سُبْحَانَكَ إِنِّي كُنتُ مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ

None has the right to be worshipped but YOU (O ALLAH), Glorified (and Exalted) be YOU (above all that evil they associate with YOU), Truly, I have been of the wrong doers. 
******
Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. had said that if one recites the prayer, GOD would definitely respond to him or her. 
The prayer in the Holy Qur'an is well known, and is often invoked in time of distress.

Prophet Yunus a.s. found himself in a difficult situation; and our existence on earth is not any better
His dark night is of no different to our unknown future,
His stormy sea akin to the instability in our lives, and 
The huge whale that swallowed Him is the vast lowly desires of our souls.

We are in deep darkness, often feeling insecure.
More often, we can make no sense of what is going on around us, yet we often forget THE CREATOR of heavens and earth.
Our lowly soul can, at any time, engulf us in danger. 
The deep anxieties, the yearnings in us, of our inner self, Only THE CREATOR and the Sustainer of All Things is able to answer them.
HE is our Source of hope, the refuge of us, human beings.

Set the right of mind for effective prayer, like Prophet Yunus a.s. realised, only the Disposer of All Things could be His rescuer.
HE is the ONE and ONLY who has Power over or souls and our future.
Every thing is under HIS Control.

لا إِلَهَ إِلا أَنتَ سُبْحَانَكَ إِنِّي كُنتُ مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ

None has the right to be worshipped but You (O ALLAH), Glorified (and Exalted) be YOU (above all that evil they associate with YOU), Truly, I have been of the wrong doers.

       

3 comments:

Ibu said...

Salam Ummi
Thank you for the n3.

Ummie said...

Wa 'Alaikum Salam
Just sharing the unforgetful experience.

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