Surah al-Yunus, or The Chapter of Jonah, contains a total of *one* ayat about Jonah. I had thought this might happen when I set out to write my previous Jonah post, but maybe didn’t expect Jonah’s mention to be quite so brief. Most of this surah is spent in the ministries of Noah, Moses, and Muhammad. Jonah’s presence is striking though, and by the end of the surah we’ll recognize why his name gets top billing in this chapter.
I’m going to start off by saying that al-Yunus does not present us with very much new material to go through. It repeats many messages and stories from the prior suwar, and in particular it resembles al-An’am. They both were revealed during Muhammad’s fledgling ministry in Mecca where he faced strong rejection from the ruling tribe. Again here, the Quran consoles Muhammad by describing retribution towards his opposition, putting the burden of success or failure upon God’s will, supplying him with arguments, and likening his struggles with those of previous prophets. Today’s material is not going to add any new themes or material to our building knowledge of the Quran, but there will be occasional nuances and details to pick out as we go. Continue reading