Apr 20, 2012

Purity of Intentions in Good Actions

By M


The beauty of a good deed and the magnitude of its worth lies in its intention. It can raise a person from the depths of sorrow to the pleasant comfort of healing. A person, who sincerely submits to Ultimate Love, will never be left empty handed when asking for help. 

Indulge me if you will. 

I think it’s safe to assume that we’ve all felt complete sorrow. 

Imagine that feeling again. 

Imagine the isolation that accompanies it. The suppressive feeling of having no way out. Of being misunderstood.

But more than anything, the intensity of sorrow and vulnerability that engulfs your entire being. 

Now imagine the darkest of stormy nights, winds lapping viciously, being swallowed whole by a huge creature in the dark, and feeling the environment around you move down into the deep recesses of the earth, and not being able to do a thing about it. 

Suppressive isn’t it? 

This is probably an inkling of what Prophet Jonah (Yunus) felt as he plummeted to the depths of the ocean, after being swallowed by a whale divinely instructed to cut through a watery path on a dark stormy night, to get to him immediately after he was thrown off the ship on which he sailed. 

It’s quite awe inspiring to fathom that a huge gigantic whale is instructed to swallow you, to know exactly where you are, at precisely the exact time you’re thrown off a ship, albeit hesitantly. 

Just some background: Yunus aleyhi salaam was an honourable man, hesitantly thrown off a ship with some of its contents to lighten the load aboard it, in the hopes that it wouldn’t sink during a storm. He was aboard this particular ship after becoming very discouraged by the people of Nineveh, to whom he was sent as a Messenger, after they had denied his message. 

So in his disheartenment, he turned away from his mission, leaving them to their misery as he called it. Fearing the Wrath of Allah might follow he boarded a ship leaving his troubles behind him. At this time the sky began to brew a looming trial for the people of the town. 

The storm looked ferocious, dangerous, and the townsfolk journeyed to higher ground until the sounds of their prayers for Forgiveness and Mercy from their Lord filled the air. 

Allah's Mercy and Forgiveness descended upon them and they prayed for the return of Jonah, to guide them once again. 

Now the weather was pretty fair and pleasant when our Prophet aleyhi salaam left the shore, until nightfall. The waves then began to strike the ship as if it were to split it, rising like high mountains and crashing upon the deck. 

Commands had been issued by Allah to one of the biggest whales in the sea, to surface and follow the ship. 

The people of the ship tried to lighten their load to no avail, and finally decided to cast lots (a polytheistic ritual in which Yunus was unhappy to participate) to throw one person over. Three times was it attempted and three times did Yunus's aleyhi salaam name come up. It was done three times as the crew were not so willing to cast off such an honourable man. 

He realized that the Will of Allah was in this, and he jumped off the ship, continuously mentioning Allah’s name. 

After being swallowed by the whale, residing in the darkness of its belly, his heart was moved by the thought of Allah, and his tongue cried out to its Lord as it mirrored the sincerity in his heart. 

And [mention] the man of the fish, when he went off in anger and thought that We would not decree [anything] upon him. And he called out within the darknesses, "There is no deity except You (oh Allah); Exalted are You. Indeed, I have been of the wrongdoers” (Surah Al-‘Anbiya’ 21:87) 

And with the pure sincerity of the weighty good intention, a mere utterance of sincere repentance and truth, his healing began. He continued praying, and the creatures of the sea hearing the celebration of their Creator issuing forth from within the whale, began to gather around the whale praising their Creator in their own language. 

Allah, Hearing this immediately, commanded the whale to surface and release Jonah upon the shore of an island. Jonah's inflamed body began to ache as the rays from the rising sun fell upon him, and on the verge of screaming, he continued invoking Allah, whereupon Allah caused the exceptionally long vine of a gourd to grow around him, covering his damaged skin and inducing recovery. 

Allah told Jonah had he not been for his praying to Him, that he would have remained in the belly of the whale until Judgment day. 

He gradually regained strength and proceeded to his hometown, where he was pleasantly surprised to find that the entire population of a hundred thousand or more had turned as believers to their Creator and welcomed Jonah. 

There is a hadith narrated by ibn Abbas where the Prophet salAllahu aleyhi wasallam says “One should not say that I am better than Jonah Ibn Matta”. 

A tiny act of sincerity, of pure intention can raise a whale, heal an entire body, help you find your way back home, bring you back to favour. 

When we are willing to put anger aside, we see clearly, and allow ourselves to reap the rewards of pure intentions. 

I'd love to hear your views on this topic. Please post in the comments section below! :)


Jazakallah Khairan for this article,i love it but please give a strong isnad for the hadith you have mentioned above and its commentary if you can. :)

Jazakallah Khairan for this article,i love it but please give a strong isnad for the hadith you have mentioned above and its commentary if you can. :)

Alhumdulilah, this came at a very good time. My daughter is need of Guidance and this was the best story to share withh her,
Allah Akbar!!!

Subhanallah, I had never heard the story of Yunus in its entirety.  Jazaki Allahu khairan for sharing it and one of its beneficial morals. It's an excellent example of getting out of one's misery by relying on our Creator and the numerous benefits one can reap. Masha Allah, tabarak Allah!

A wonderful inspiring story of the life of prophet Yunus.We all agree to the fact that we all turn to Allah when we are in despair but sometimes it takes a little longer to submit ourselves to the will of Allah.But Allah's will only prevails like always

thanks for the touching comment

Ibn Kathirs stories of the Prophets may be of interest if you'd like to read other stories of Prophets


Jazak Allah Khairan for this article. Alhamdulillah, it felt as if Allah was talking to me. I truly needed to read this as I am feeling a little lost and alone right now. Just this morning I was saying to myself that we all hurt at some point or another in our lives. Why is it easy (at least it seems this way from the outside) for some to get beyond the pain and others succumb to their emotions and return to former behaviors?

The answer that came to me is its easier to do what you know how to do, which is why we can return to behaviors that no longer serve us. It occurred to me that it is all about choices. We can indulge in our emotions and fall into the trappings of our nafs or we can submit to our creator and allow him to ease the burden, pain, emptiness, etc. If we strive to submit to the will of Allah soon submission will become the easier choice and engaging in old behaviors will become more difficult.

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