Surah Yunus >> Currently viewing Surah Yunus Ayat 98 (10:98)

Surah Yunus Ayat 98 in Arabic Text

وَلَوْ شَآءَ رَبُّكَ لَـَٔامَنَ مَن فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ كُلُّهُمْ جَمِيعًا ۚ أَفَأَنتَ تُكْرِهُ ٱلنَّاسَ حَتَّىٰ يَكُونُوا۟ مُؤْمِنِينَ
Falaw laa kaanat qaryatun aamanat fa nafa’ahaaa eemaanuhaaa illaa qawma Yoonusa lammaaa aamanoo kashafnaa ‘anhum ‘azaabal khizyi fil hayaatid dunyaa wa matta’naahum ilaa heen

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 98

Sahih International
Then has there not been a [single] city that believed so its faith benefited it except the people of Jonah? When they believed, We removed from them the punishment of disgrace in worldly life and gave them enjoyment for a time.

Yusuf Ali
Why was there not a single township (among those We warned), which believed,- so its faith should have profited it,- except the people of Jonah? When they believed, We removed from them the penalty of ignominy in the life of the present, and permitted them to enjoy (their life) for a while.

Abul Ala Maududi
Did it ever happen that the people of a town believed on seeing God’s chastisement and its believing profited them? (There is no such instance) except of the people of Yunus. When they believed We granted them reprieve from humiliating chastisement in this world, and We let them enjoy themselves for a while.

Muhsin Khan
Was there any town (community) that believed (after seeing the punishment), and its Faith (at that moment) saved it (from the punishment)? (The answer is none,) – except the people of Yunus (Jonah); when they believed, We removed from them the torment of disgrace in the life of the (present) world, and permitted them to enjoy for a while.

Pickthall
If only there had been a community (of all those that were destroyed of old) that believed and profited by its belief as did the folk of Jonah! When they believed We drew off from them the torment of disgrace in the life of the world and gave them comfort for a while.

Dr. Ghali
So, was there a town that believed (and) so its belief profited it, except the people of Y‍ûnus? As soon as they believed, We lifted off from them the torment of disgrace in the present life, (Literally: the lowly life, i.e., the life of this world) and We gave them enjoyment for a while.

Abdel Haleem
If only a single town had believed and benefited from its belief! Only Jonah’s people did so, and when they believed, We relieved them of the punishment of disgrace in the life of this world, and let them enjoy life for a time.

Quran 10 Verse 98 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Yunus ayat 98, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(10:98) Did it ever happen that the people of a town believed on seeing God’s chastisement and its believing profited them? (There is no such instance) except of the people of Yunus.[98] When they believed We granted them reprieve from humiliating chastisement in this world,[99] and We let them enjoy themselves for a while.[100]


98. Though Prophet Jonah (peace be upon him) 860-784 B.C. was an Israelite Prophet, he was sent to Iraq for the guidance of the Assyrians, who have been called the people of Jonah for this reason. At that time, Nineveh, a very ancient and famous city, was their capital. Its vast remains are scattered on the left bank of the Tigris, opposite to the city of Mosul, and one of the mounds bears the name of Prophet Jonah. In order to form an estimate of the glory of these people, suffice it to say that the circumference of their capital Nineveh was 60 miles or so.

99. As regards to the question why the threatened torment was warded off from the people of Jonah as an exception to the divine principle, “Why was there not a (single) township (among those We warned) that believed so its belief benefited it,” the Quran does not give any details of this, but merely refers to the story at three places. See (Surah Al-Anbia, Ayats 87, 88); (Surah As-Sajadah, Ayats 139-148); (Surah Al-Qalam, Ayats 48-50). Though the story contained in the Book of Jonah gives some details, these cannot be depended upon because it was neither composed by Prophet Jonah nor it is a revealed Book but was written by some unknown person and then inserted in the Bible. Besides this, it contains some apparently absurd things which cannot be accepted as true. Nevertheless if we consider this deeply in the light of the allusions made in the Quran and details in the Book of Jonah, the explanation given by various commentators of the Quran seems to be correct. Prophet Jonah left the place of his mission without divine permission after warning the people of the torment. Therefore Allah forgave the Assyrians when they repented after seeing some signs of the coming torment. This was in accordance with the divine principles as stated in the Quran. For, according to one of these, Allah does not inflict any torment on any people, till He has the message fully demonstrated to them. As the Prophet did not continue his admonition in accordance with the appointed term and left the place of his mission of his own accord, Allah’s justice did not inflict the chastisement because the legal argument against his people had not been fulfilled. For further explanation see ((((E.N. 85 of Surah Yaseen))).

100. When the Assyrians believed in the message, they were given a new lease of life. But after some time, they adopted the wrong ways of thought and deed. Prophet Nahum (720-698 B.C.) warned and admonished them but without any effect. Then Prophet Zephaniah (640-609 B.C.) gave them the last warning that “He …. will destroy Assyria and will make Nineveh a desolation”, but it also proved in vain. At last in about 612 B.C. Allah made the Medes dominant over them.

The Median king, with the help of the Babylonians, invaded Assyria, and their army was defeated and was besieged within the walls of Nineveh. They put up a stiff resistance for some time but then the floods in the Tigris swept away the city wall and the invaders swarmed into the city and burnt it to ashes along with the surrounding countryside. The Assyrian king set fire to his palace and was himself burnt to death. Thus the Assyrian Empire and its culture came to an end forever. The recent archaeological excavations reveal widespread effects of the fire.

Ibn-Kathir

98. Was there any town (community) that believed (after seeing the punishment), and its faith (at that moment) saved it (from the punishment)– except the people of Yunus; when they believed, We removed from them the torment of disgrace in the life of the (present) world, and permitted them to enjoy for a while).


Belief at the Time of Punishment did not help except with the People of Yunus

Allah asked, `did any town from the previous nations, believe in its entirety when they received the Messengers All of the Messengers that We sent before you, O Muhammad, were denied by their people or the majority of their people.’ Allah said,

﴿يحَسْرَةً عَلَى الْعِبَادِ مَا يَأْتِيهِمْ مّن رَّسُولٍ إِلاَّ كَانُواْ بِهِ يَسْتَهْزِءُونَ ﴾

(Alas for mankind! There never came a Messenger to them but they used to mock at him.)(36:30)

﴿كَذَلِكَ مَآ أَتَى الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ مِّن رَّسُولٍ إِلاَّ قَالُواْ سَـحِرٌ أَوْ مَجْنُونٌ ﴾

(Likewise, no Messenger came to those before them but they said: “A sorcerer or a madman!”)(51:52) and

﴿وَكَذَلِكَ مَآ أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ فِى قَرْيَةٍ مِّن نَّذِيرٍ إِلاَّ قَالَ مُتْرَفُوهَآ إِنَّا وَجَدْنَآ ءَابَآءَنَا عَلَى أُمَّةٍ وَإِنَّا عَلَى ءَاثَـرِهِم مُّقْتَدُونَ ﴾

(And similarly, We sent not a warner before you to any town (people) but the luxurious ones among them said: “We found our fathers following a certain way and religion, and we will indeed follow their footsteps.”)(43:23) As found in the authentic Hadith,

«عُرِضَ عَلَيَّ الْأَنْبِيَاءُ فَجَعَلَ النَّبِيُّ يَمُرُّ وَمَعَهُ الْفِئَامُ مِنَ النَّاسِ، وَالنَّبِيُّ يَمُرُّ مَعَهُ الرَّجُلُ، وَالنَّبِيُّ مَعَهُ الرَّجُلَانِ، وَالنَّبِيُّ لَيْسَ مَعَهُ أَحَد»

(The Prophets were displayed before me. There was a Prophet who passed with a group of people, and a Prophet who passed with only one man, a Prophet with two men, and a Prophet with no one.) Then he mentioned the mulititude of followers that Musa had, peace be upon him, then that he saw his nation of people filling from the west to the east. The point is that between Musa and Yunus, there was no nation, in its entirety, that believed except the people of Yunus, the people of Naynawa (Nineveh). And they only believed because they feared that the torment from which their Messenger warned them, might strike them. They actually witnessed its signs. So they cried to Allah and asked for help. They engaged in humility in invoking Him. They brought their children and cattle and asked Allah to lift the torment from which their Prophet had warned them. As a result, Allah sent His mercy and removed the scourge from them and gave them respite. Allah said:

﴿إِلاَّ قَوْمَ يُونُسَ لَمَّآ ءَامَنُواْ كَشَفْنَا عَنْهُمْ عَذَابَ الخِزْىِ فِى الْحَيَوةَ الدُّنْيَا وَمَتَّعْنَاهُمْ إِلَى حِينٍ﴾

(Except the people of Yunus; when they believed, We removed from them the torment of disgrace in the life of the world, and permitted them to enjoy for a while.) In interpreting this Ayah, Qatadah said: “No town has denied the truth and then believed when they saw the scourge, and then their belief benefited them, with the exception of the people of Yunus. When they lost their Prophet and they thought that the scourge was close upon them, Allah sent through their hearts the desire to repent. So they wore woolen fabrics and they separated each animal from its offspring. They then cried out to Allah for forty nights. When Allah saw the truth in their hearts and that they were sincere in their repentance and regrets, He removed the scourge from them.” Qatadah said: “It was mentioned that the people of Yunus were in Naynawa, the land of Mosul.” This was also reported from Ibn Mas`ud, Mujahid, Sa`id bin Jubayr and others from the Salaf.

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