Z The Holy Qur'an
The Story of Jonah

Jonah was a simple man who lived in a large town on the shores of the sea. He was appointed by God to be His messenger and to preach faith in His unity and virtuous conduct. But the people jeered at him and paid no heed to his call. Jonah became angry and lost patience; he was so disgusted with the attitude of his people that he decided to leave his town and take to the sea. When his ship was in deep waters, it was rocked by storm and Jonah was thrown overboard and swallowed by a big fish. As he lay in the belly of the fish, Jonah wondered why he was being punished when God had chosen him to be His messenger; where had he gone wrong? He then realized that he should not have acted in anger, because God wished that he be patient and more persuasive. He prayed for forgiveness and for another opportunity to prove himself.

[Bismillah al-rahman al-rahim] Thus did his Lord choose him and make him of the company of the righteous. [68:50]

God listened to his prayers and miraculously took him out of the belly of the fish and cast him, albeit in a sickly condition, upon a deserted shore. Having recovered in the shadow of a gourd-tree, he went to the nearby town, where he pursued his mission, this time with greater persuasion and forbearance and despite all the jeers of the people, continuing with his work to bring them to the right path. God told Jonah:

[Bismillah al-rahman al-rahim] Had your Lord so wished, all people everywhere would have been believers. But that is not His way, hence do not force anyone to take to Our path unless they do so willingly. No one can believe except by the will of God; only those who are skeptics do not understand His message. [10:99-100]

[Sadaqa allahu alazim]

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