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Then has there not been a [single] city that believed so its faith benefited it except the people of Jonah? When they believed, We removed from them the punishment of disgrace in worldly life and gave them enjoyment for a time.(quran, 10:98)

so the people of jonah are the only city that benefited from faith? why? does it because they fast 40days?

Bible Jonah:3(4-10)

4Then Jonah began to go through the city one day’s walk; and he cried out and said, “Yet forty days and Nineveh will be overthrown.” 5Then the people of Nineveh believed in God; and they called a fast and put on sackcloth from the greatest to the least of them. 6When the word reached the king of Nineveh, he arose from his throne, laid aside his robe from him, covered himself with sackcloth and sat on the ashes. 7He issued a proclamation and it said, “In Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles: Do not let man, beast, herd, or flock taste a thing. Do not let them eat or drink water. 8“But both man and beast must be covered with sackcloth; and let men call on God earnestly that each may turn from his wicked way and from the violence which is in his hands. 9“Who knows, God may turn and relent and withdraw His burning anger so that we will not perish.” 10When God saw their deeds, that they turned from their wicked way, then God relented concerning the calamity which He had declared He would bring upon them. And He did not do it.

  • This isn't really an answer, but maybe it will be useful to you. Tafsir Ibn Kathir comments as follows: ...between Musa and Yunus, there was no nation, in its entirety, that believed except the people of Yunus, the people of Naynawa (Nineveh). And they only believed because they feared that the torment from which their Messenger warned them, might strike them. Maybe this could mean that the people of Nineveh were the first to finally listen, the first ever to be afraid? – SaganRitual Jul 17 '16 at 23:00
  • Of course that doesn't explain why they listened, but I thought it might be useful information. – SaganRitual Jul 17 '16 at 23:01
  • @GreatBigBore a quote with a litlle more context from ibn Kathir would underline that this seems to be the answer. – Sassir Jul 20 '16 at 6:39
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From Tafhim al-Qur'an, by Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi, in his tafsir on Yunus

As regards the question why the threatened torment was warded off from the people of Jonah as an exception to the Divine principle...the explanation given by various commentators of the Qur'an seems to be correct.-Prophet Jonah left the place of his Mission without Divine permission after warning the people of the torment. Therefore Allah forgave the Assyrians (Nineveh was the capital of Assyria), when they repented after seeing some Signs of the coming torment.

  • the people of israels who got lot of great miracles from god, doesn't benefited from faith. the people of jesus(christians) seems also doesn't benefited faith. more over, seems like the people of quran(ie muslims) also doesn't benefited from faith.(certainly some individuals in these groups benefited the faith). but the people of Nineveh benefited from faith. is it because they have fasted 40 days? if god willing i will know the answer. – suhailvs Aug 3 '16 at 3:27
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All perfect praise be to Allah

What it means by the true beneficiaries of their belief were them. It means that they had belief and they used it in such a way that Allah over-ruled his own divine principle. It's a principle that when Allah decides to destroy a nation for something. He never reverts his decision. But only these people asked for forgiveness in such a way that allah reversed his decision.

This is not to compare with others, it's just a good thing about that which Allah has told us through quran. That this is how to get true benefit from your faith. Allah tells stories of the past nations in quran only because we can learn from them.

Qatadah said: "No town has denied the truth and then believed when they saw the scourge, and then their belief benefited them, with the exception of the people of Yunus. When they lost their Prophet and they thought that the scourge was close upon them, Allah sent through their hearts the desire to repent. So they wore woolen fabrics and they separated each animal from its offspring. They then cried out to Allah for forty nights. When Allah saw the truth in their hearts and that they were sincere in their repentance and regrets, He removed the scourge from them.'' Qatadah said: "It was mentioned that the people of Yunus were in Naynawa, the land of Mosul.'' This was also reported from Ibn Masud, Mujahid, Said bin Jubayr and others from the Salaf.

Read further tafseer(explanation) of this ayah for more details.

Allah knows best

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