10. Illuminated Quran: Yunus 

In this surah of Quran it says that the heavens and the earth were created in 6 days.  If you want to cover this sequence of creation in more detail please see the Days of Creation project:

Discussion question:  when the universe and the earth were created what came first middle and last?

This surah tells us that Allah (s) has sent a messenger to every people on earth, meaning that no people have been left without guidance.  The number of messengers mentioned is 124,000 prophets.  In many mythological traditions of the world there are prophet like figures mentioned and I have often wondered if these figures were perhaps prophets.

Discussion question: what are the characteristics of prophets?  What knowledge do they bring to people?

This surah says that Yunus (a) was sent to warn the city of Nineveh in Mesopotamia. Yet despite the prophets sent to guide people it says that no soul can believe unless it is the will of Allah (s)  and that Allah (s) determines who is in doubt.  This is very complicated but very important to understand because faith and tolerance are such important values and the example of the prophets is to demonstrate faith and tolerance to the people but in the story of Yunus (a) he loses patience with the people of Nineveh and leaves them and he is then swallowed by a large fish.  After his delivery from the fish he is thrown on the shore and covered with a vine.  In his absence the people of Nineveh had turned to faith and he found the people of Nineveh receptive to his message when he returned.

Discussion question:  why do some people believe and others do not believe?  How do the prophets appeal to people who do not believe?

If you would like to read the full story of Prophet Yunus (a) to your children there is a chapter devoted to his story in My Little Lore of Light by Hajjah Amina Adil:

Please share your ideas for teaching children about the Tafseer of Quran.

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