Prayer is a powerful shield that leads to success. The people of Jonah, on whom be peace, were saved from impending punishment on account of their weeping and prayers. In my understanding, the word muhawatat means “anger”. The Arabic word hoot means “fish” and the word noon in Arabic is used for both “anger” and “fish”. In short, Jonahas was overwhelmed by a state of anger. The fact of the matter is that when the punishment had been averted, thoughts of objection and complaint arose in his mind in that the prophecy made by him and his prayer had gone to waste. He was also upset that what he had foretold did not come to pass. All these thoughts constituted his state of anger.
The lesson we learn from this is that Allah can alter the decree of fate, and that weeping and wailing and charity can reduce a verdict of punishment to nothing; hence the principle of giving charity. These are the ways to please Allah.
In the science of the interpretation of dreams, wealth is represented by one’s liver. This is why giving alms is equivalent to giving away one’s life, as it were. When a person gives charity, they exhibit an immense degree of sincerity and steadfastness. However, the fact of the matter is that mere words are of no use until they are supported by practice. The reason charity is called “sadaqah” in Arabic is because it is the hallmark of the Truthful (Sadiqin). In the life account of Jonahas, Durr-e-Manthur has recorded that Jonahas said to Allah Almighty:
“I always knew that if anyone came before You, You would have mercy.”
As God states:
ایں مشت خاک را گر نہ بخشم چہ کنم
“If I do not forgive this handful of dust then what am I to do?”
(Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, Malfuzat, Vol. 1, pp. 243-244)