Surah Yunus

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About Surah Yunus

Sūrat Yūnus (Arabic: سورة يونس‎‎, Jonah) is the 10th chapter (surah) of the Qur'an with 109 verses. It is a Meccan surah. It is named after the prophet Jonah.
According to the Islamic tradition, the chapter is predominantly revealed during the Meccan phase (610–622) of Muhammad's prophethood (before his move to Medina), therefore, a Meccan sura.[1] Based on its context, some verses appeared to date to when Muhammad just started his call to Islam.[1] According to the fifteenth century commentary Tafsir al-Jalalayn, some said that the sura was revealed sometime after Muhammad's Night Journey (c. 621).[1] Verses 40 and 94–96 appeared to be an exception and were revealed in Medina.

The sura contains 109 verses (ayah) and is the first of six surahs which open with the tri-letters alif, lam and ra'.

The initial verses of the chapter (1–70) presents an argumentative dialogue between Islam and its unbelievers. The rest contains the stories of Noah (known as Nuh in the Islamic tradition), Moses (Musa) and Jonah, all considered prophets in Islam.[2][3]

The chapter presents the Meccan pagans' objections against the Quran, and responds to them.[1][4] The pagans said that Muhammad was a "manifest sorcerer" and that he fabricated the Quran.[1] They also challenged Muhammad to immediately bring the punishment of God, if his claim was true.[1] They also demanded that Muhammad change the Quran to no longer condemn their practice of idolatry and using intercessors when worshipping God.[1][5]

The chapter's response to these objection is a mix of "argument, threat, promise and reproach".[4] It defends the Quran's divine origin, not a fabrication of Muhammad's, and says that Muhammad could not change it even if he wanted to.[6][1][4] As for the challenge to bring God's punishment, the chapter says that God may defer punishment in this world if he wants to.[4] It also tells of the punishment against unbelievers in the past, such as the people of Noah and Moses.[5] It says that if the pagans waited for the punishment before believing, it would be too late, as was the case with the Pharaoh of Moses.[7] According to the Quran, the Pharaoh only believed in God just before drowning, and that belief was too late and did not benefit him.

The chapter also mentions the People of Jonah, who at first rejected Jonah's message, but then repented and believed.[3] Therefore, unlike the people of Noah and Moses, they were averted from God's punishment.[3] The mention of Jonah in verse 98 gives the chapter its name.[2] The chapter then instructs Muhammad if he had any doubt about the truth of what was revealed to him, he could ask other People of the Book (i.e. the Jews and the Christians) who would be able to confirm the Quran's account of these people of the past.

The chapter is named after Jonah who was known as Yunus in the Islamic tradition, who is mentioned in the verse 98. Despite the chapter being named after him, this verse is the only one (out of 109) where the chapter mentions him.[10] This is not unusual in the Quran, a chapter's name is usually taken from a prominent or unusual word in it, which might or might not relate to its subject matter.

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