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Sura 10
Aya 1

Chapter 10

JonahYūnus ( يونس )

109 verses • revealed at Meccan

»The surah that mentions the repentance of the people of the Prophet Jonah as an exception among the communities to whom the prophets came. They heeded Jonah’s call. Thus, God shed His grace upon them and exempted them from ruin. “Yūnus” is the Arabic for “Jonah”, the prophet whose account appears in this surah (verse 98). It stresses God’s power, the authenticity of the Quran, and the fate of evildoers. God’s anger at those who consistently deny the truth of His revelations and signs is made clear, as is the fact that, were it not for His decision to await the Day of Resurrection, His judgement would already have fallen upon them. The Prophet is encouraged to be patient and reminded of the fact that he cannot force people to believe.«

بِسمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحمٰنِ الرَّحيمِ

Muhammad Asad: In The Name of God, The Most Gracious, The Dispenser of Grace:

الر ۚ تِلكَ آياتُ الكِتابِ الحَكيمِ

Muhammad Asad

THIS SURAH, which derives its title from the solitary mention of "the people of Jonah" in verse 98, was almost certainly revealed in its entirety at Mecca, and probably not earlier than in the year preceding the Prophet's exodus to Medina. Some authorities are of the opinion that verses 40 and 94-95 belong to the Medina period, but there is no convincing evidence to this effect. On the other hand, there does not seem to be any doubt that, chronologically, this surah must be placed between surah 17 (Al-Isra') and surah 11 (Hud). The central theme of Yunus is revelation - in particular, the revelation of the Qur'an to Muhammad, and the impossibility of its having been "composed" by the latter and fraudulently attributed by him to God, as the deniers of the truth assert (verses 15-17, 37-38 and 94). Woven around this theme are references to earlier prophets - all of whom were given the lie by the majority of their people - as well as a many-sided exposition of the fundamental tenets of Islam: the oneness, uniqueness and omnipotence of God, the continuity of His revelation to man, the certainty, of resurrection and of God's final judgment - culminating in the reminder (in verse 108) that "whoever chooses to follow the right path, follows it but for his own good: and whoever chooses to go astray, goes but astray to his own hurt".
Alif Lam Ra.1 THESE ARE MESSAGES of the divine writ, full of wisdom.2
  • See Appendix II.
  • The term hakim - which, when qualifying an animated being, may be translated as "wise" has here the connotation of a means of imparting wisdom. Some of the classical commentators (e.g., Tabari) are of the opinion that the "divine writ" (kitab) mentioned here is the Qur'an as a whole, while others (e.g., Zamakhshari) see in it a reference to this particular surah. In view of the sequence, it seems to me that the former interpretation is preferable.