His blessing, or the blessing of Jonah, returned upon his people, for they believed, and their belief profited them and removed the chastisement from them (cf. Qur’an), because God attached them to him in the way that the part is attached to the whole or the branch to the root; and the properties of the root are valid for the branch. Therefore, when the grace and mercy of God reached Jonah, it also reached his people, as He said, “Why was there never a city that believed, and its belief profited it? — Except the people of Jonah” (Qur’an). And that, or the return of his blessing upon his people, was in spite of his anger for Him, when his breast became straitened by the extent to which he reminded them but they did not remember and continued in their disbelief, so he left them. And he thought that would be permissible since he only did it out of anger for God, zeal in His religion, and hatred for disbelief and the disbelievers. But he should have been patient and awaited permission from God to leave them. So he was stricken with the belly of the fish. And since his blessing returned upon them in spite of his being angry with them for God, how would it have been if his state with them had been the state of satisfaction?

He thought well of God, as He reported, “And he thought that we would not straiten him” (cf. Qur’an), or We would not harass him for his leaving his people without waiting for God’s command, so He delivered him out of grief because of the blessing of that thought. Even so, does He deliver the believers (cf. Qur’an), i.e., those who are sincere in their states, like Jonah was sincere in his state, i.e., his anger in God. And in His kindness and His grace towards him, He “caused to grow over him a tree of gourds” (cf. Qur’an) — for one of the benefits of this kind of tree is that flies do not gather near it — so he took shelter in its shade when he came out of the fish’s stomach like a baby bird without feathers; for if flies had alighted on him, they would have annoyed him. Then when he cast lots with them, i.e. the people of the ship, when he left his people in anger and boarded the ship, and it stopped; so they said, “There is a runaway among us”, it is the belief of sailors that a ship will not move if it is carrying a runaway; he made himself one of them, i.e., one of the people of the ship, so he said, “Cast lots”, and the lot came out against him, so he threw himself in the water.

So the mercy embraced all of them as a result of the blessing of his making himself one of them during the casting of lots; for the fish swam along with the ship, lifting its head out of the water while Jonah breathed within it and praised God. And it did not leave them until they reached the shore. It spits him out healthy, nothing of him having changed. So when they saw that, Mercy encompassed them, and they submitted their wills to God.

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