Saturday, 7 August 2010
The Meaning of the Prophet (s.a.w.) Saying, ‘Do not hold me superior to Yunus ibn Muta (a.s.)'
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
The following is extracted from ‘From the Gardens of Tafsir’ by Shaykh Ibrahim Niyas (q.s.).
A king once invited some ‘ulama to have dinner with him, and he asked them the following question, “What is the meaning of the saying of the Prophet (s.a.w.): ‘Do not hold me superior to Yunus ibn Muta (a.s.),’ while Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) is superior to all the prophets and Messengers?”
They replied, “This question can only be answered by one scholar.” They then brought him forward and the king repeated the question.
The scholar said, “The meaning of ‘Do not hold me superior to Yunus ibn Muta (a.s.)’ is that Allah does not have a fixed place nor does He have a direction. The Rasul (s.a.w.) was Raised to the sky (on the Isra’ wa al-Mi’raj) and he passed the skies, the throne of Allah and the Kursi and was close to Allah Taʿala when he said, ‘I cannot encompass Your praises; You are as You have Praised Yourself.’
As for Yunus (a.s.), he drowned in the ocean, was swallowed by a fish that was then swallowed by another fish in the depths of the ocean. He was in the fish’s stomach that itself was in the stomach of another fish. Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) was not closer to Allah than Yunus (a.s.) who is in the depths of the sea although he was above the skies. That is the meaning of, ‘Do not hold me superior to Yunus ibn Muta.’”