Sūratu’l-Anbiyā’ [The Prophets]:(21:87).Part2

Sūratu’l-Anbiyā’ [The Prophets]:(21:87).Part2

فَنَادَىٰ فِي الظُّلُمَاتِ أَن لَّا إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا أَنتَ سُبْحَانَكَ إِنِّي كُنتُ مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ

But eventually he (Jonah) called out in the veils of darkness: “There is no deity but You, All-Glorified are You (in that You are absolutely above having any defects). Surely I have been one of the wrongdoers (who have wronged themselves).”(Al-Anbiyā’ 21:87)

There is another point to mention here concerning the pronouncement, “There is no deity but You!” Bediüzzaman Said Nursi points out that this pronouncement relates to our future. That is, from the point of view of the principle of acting in accordance or compliance with what is required by the circumstances, through the pronouncement of, “There is no deity but You!”, Prophet Jonah emphasized that it was only God Who would rescue him to the shore of safety. In other words, he asked for something related to the future. Proceeding from here, we can point to the fact that as it was only God Who would save Prophet Jonah, it is also only God Who will save us from every kind of darkness surrounding us.

Since the Divine name God (Allāh) encompasses all other Names such as the Lord (Rabb), the Creator (Khāliq), and the Provider (Razzāq), “There is no deity but You!” is a declaration of all dimensions of Divine Unity. That is, it carries the meanings: There is no Lord but You; there is no Creator but You; there is no Savior but You; there is no Provider but You. Prophet Jonah declared all dimensions of God’s Unity, but in accordance with his particular circumstances, he said, “There is no deity but You,” not “but God.” In the general circumstances in which we find ourselves, we had better say, “Lā ilāha illa’llāh” (There is no deity but God).

In the verse,

“God is the guardian of those who believe, bringing them out from all kinds of darkness into the light” (Al-Baqarah 2:257),

it is stressed that there are many kinds of veils of darkness. Therefore, if Prophet Jonah, upon him be peace, was thrown into the sea and swallowed by a fish at night, we can deduce that he remained in many kinds or behind many veils of darkness. One of these darknesses was the blur or uneasiness which his lapse caused to arise in his heart. His embarrassment coming from his lapse, the darkness of the belly of the fish, the darkness of the sea, and the darkness of night were other veils of darkness which surrounded him.

As a noble, illustrious Prophet of God who believed in His absolute Oneness and the sole Source of refuge, Jonah, upon him be peace, was not one who turned to God with glorification only when he was in the belly of the fish. He always turned to God with glorifications. His invocation, “All Glorified You are,” which showed his deep relationship with God, meant:

“My Lord! I take refuge in You acknowledging and declaring the right of Your Divinity and the actions due to or required by Your Wisdom. And I proclaim my helplessness in the face of the majesty of Your Divinity.”

The acknowledgement of, “Surely I have been one of the wrongdoers,” is the proclamation of the Prophets regarding their lapses or minor faults which they see as a great crime or wrongdoing. This acknowledgement implied: “I am in this state, and it is evident to You!” It was like the following saying of a poet: “I have many needs, and You have knowledge and understanding! My silence is such that it is the speech itself.”

In conclusion, it is evident what response would come to that invocation which a chosen servant of God said in a style peculiar to the chosen: 

“We saved him (Jonah) from distress” (Al-Anbiyā’ 21:88).

O God! Save us from distress and wretchedness, as You saved him from distress, for the sake of him whom You sent as a mercy for all the worlds! And bestow blessings on him and on his Family altogether!

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