Jonah and the Whale

illumination (13 × 26 cm) — 1313-1314 Museum University Library, Edinburgh

This work is linked to Jonah 2:10

Tags: Jonah

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In Sura 37:139-148 the Qur'an tells the story of Jonah and the Whale, in a shorter version than the biblical story. The prophet Jonah (or Yunus) flees by ship from his calling, ends up in the sea during a storm, and is swallowed and spit out by a huge fish.

In the Bible Jonah sacrifices himself in order to save the ship. The Qur'an has it that he drew the wrong lot. On the beach Allah grows a "tree of gourd", to provide shadow and food to the weakened prophet. After that episode Jonah would perform his tasks as prophet.

This painting was made with gouache paint, gold and ink. It is an illustration in a 14th century manuscript by Rachid al-Din Tabib, a Persian physician and historian of Jewish descent. Tabib lived in the city of Tabriz, in northwestern Persia.

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