Yunus (AS) and the Whale

Yunus (AS) was the prophet who was swallowed by a whale as punishment from Allah.

Yunus (AS) is also known as Zun-nun.

The only people who were saved from Allah’s punishment because they realised the truth when they saw the punishment about to happen, were the people of Yunus (AS).


Yunus (AS) was the prophet of a major city in Iraq. The people of Yunus (AS) were idol worshippers who had turned away from the message of Allah. Yunus (AS) called them back to worship the One God, but they were arrogant and rejected his message. He continued to call them but they became irritated and would not listen, until eventually he became sick of their stubbornness.

Yunus (AS) warned his people about the punishment of Allah, telling them that if they did not turn back to the straight path Allah would destroy them as He had to so many nations before them. However the people just laughed at him and showed great arrogance. At this, Yunus (AS) became so sick with his own people that he decided to abandon them, to try to find some other people that may actually listen to his message.

Soon after he left, the sky over the city turned as red as fire. The people realised that the punishment of Allah as about to come, and realised what Yunus (AS) had been saying was right all along. They all gathered at a mountaintop and sincerely begged for Allah’s forgiveness. Allah forgave them, and slowly the sky changed back to normal.

Lugger ship vector imageMeanwhile, Yunus (AS) had boarded a ship to take him far away from Iraq. At first the sea was calm and the sky was clear, but as night fell the situation changed. All of a sudden a storm appeared, with violent winds and terrible waves. The ship began to shake and groan, and eventually even began to sink. When this happened, the crew of the ship began to throw their luggage into the sea, in order to lighten the load.

Still the ship continued to sink. So they decided that they needed to throw one of the passengers in as well, and to do this they drew lots. The name that was picked out was none other than Yunus (AS). The crew did not want to throw him out because they knew that he was very righteous man, and so they drew lots once more. Again, the name that was picked out was Yunus (AS). One more time they drew lots, and when Yunus’s (AS) name was chosen again he knew that this was from Allah. He realised that Allah was angry with him for abandoning his mission, and so he threw himself into the sea.

Colored whaleAllah ordered a whale to swallow Yunus (AS) whole. When he awoke, he could see nothing and did not know where he was. Eventually he realised he was in the belly of the whale. The stomach juices of the whale began to burn his skin, and he was terrified. Yunus (AS) cried out to Allah: ‘There is no one worthy of worship except You! Glorified are You and certainly I have been one of the wrongdoers.’

He continued to pray and repeat this du’a while he remained in the belly of the whale, until Allah answered his call. The whale spat him up on the land, where Yunus (AS) lay in pain as he had been burned by the stomach acid. Allah ordered that a vine grow over him to protect him from the sun and provide food for him, and so Yunus (AS) spent some time recovering there until he was able to return to Iraq.

When he returned he was amazed by how his people had changed. They welcomed him warmly, and explained how they had just been about to suffer the wrath of Allah until they had begged for his forgiveness. Over 100 000 people lived in that city, and all of them had turned to Allah through his mercy. Yunus (AS) spent the rest of his life with them, teaching them to worship Allah alone and encouraging people to be honest and righteous.


Remember Allah and He will remember you. When you are in a difficult situation, have patience and turn to Allah for help. Only He alone has the solutions for your problems.