He was the son of Matta according to a Hadith quoted in Sahih Bukhari.
Disappointment of Hazrat Yunus
He was appointed Prophet by Almighty Allah for the people of Nineveh (North Western Iraq). However, these people were extremely stubborn and so sinful & conceited that they refused to listen to his teachings.
Hazrat Yunus tried to preach to them, to show them the true way of life, but they ignored his advice.
Eventually, he became annoyed and upset with the lack of progress with the people. In his disappointment, he prayed to Almighty Allah to punish the people for not listening to His words, and without hesitation, decided to take a boat to another territory.
Crossing the Ocean
When he boarded a boat, a huge storm took over the ocean and great tidal waves began to engulf it.
When it became apparent that the boat would sink, the captain of the boat addressed the passengers, saying that there was someone amongst them who had run away from his master. They decided that this person should come forward so that he could be thrown into sea and save the boat from capsizing.
Eventually, the sailors held Hazrat Yunus responsible for the storm and decided to throw him overboard. The other passengers disagreed. They decided to draw lots to decide whether or not he should be thrown into the ocean.
"And indeed Yunus is one of the Noble Messengers.
When he left towards the laden ship,
Then lots were drawn and he became of those who were pushed into the sea."
[Surah Al-Saffat, verse 139-141]
They drew lots and the result not in favour of Hazrat Yunus. The sailors threw him into the sea, upon which the storm subsided immediately and all onboard the boat were saved.
The Incident of the Fish
As for Hazrat Yunus, a large fish with a huge belly swallowed him alive. At this point, Hazrat Yunus realized that he had not pleased Almighty Allah by leaving behind his duties as a Prophet.
He repented for his rage whilst in the belly of the large fish, and eventually the fish spat him out on to dry land. His skin eroded from the digestive juices of the fish, and he suffered great pain and discomfort from insects and sunlight.
"The fish then swallowed him and he blamed himself (for not waiting for Allah’s command),
And were he not one of those who glorified Allah,
He would have remained in its belly till the Day when all will be raised."
[Surah Al-Saffat, verse 142-144]
He sincerely sought forgiveness from Allah for having abandoned his mission, repeatedly reciting, “There is no Allah except You, Purity is to You; I have indeed committed a lapse.”
"And remember Dhun-Noon, when he left in anger, assuming that We would not restrict him - he therefore called out in the realms of darkness, saying, "There is no Allah except You, Purity is to You; I have indeed committed a lapse."
[Surah Al-Ambiya, verse 87]
Almighty Allah forgave him, and caused a plant to grow near him under which he took shelter and rested in its shade, and reflected over the extraordinary occurences.
"We then put him ashore on a plain, and he was sick.
And We grew a tree of gourd (as a shelter) above him."
[Surah Al-Saffat, verse 145-146]
Improvement of the People
When Hazrat Yunus regained his health, he returned to his people to fulfil his mission of preaching the Truth. A great change had taken over them, and the people of Nineveh repented and followed the commands of their Prophet.
Almighty Allah showered His Mercy upon them and they prospered remarkably, leading pure & enriched lives.
"So if only had there been one dwelling* that believed and its belief would have benefited it - except the nation of Yunus (Jonah)!
When they accepted faith, We removed the disgraceful punishment in the life of this world from them, and let them enjoy for a while."
[*That was destroyed after being warned.]
[Surah Al-Yunus, verse 98]
Hazrat Yunus lived amongst his people to a long and ripe age, and they promised to live by his teachings.
Eventually the people of Nineveh returned to their evil ways of life & indulged in idol-worship and shamelessness, and were eventually destroyed.
Hazrat Yunus’ Burial
It is reported that when he passed away, he was buried near the same place where the fish had spat him out.
Many devout followers started to build their homes at this location and it soon developed into the bustling city of Kufa.
It is said that the grave of Hazrat Yunus is located at the bank of the river Euphrates.
Sayyidina Rasulallah says about Hazrat Yunus ibn Matta:
“And I do not know that there is anybody better than Yunus ibn Matta.”
[Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 4, Book 55, Hadith no. 626]
"None should say that I am better than Yunus bin Matta."
[Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 4, Book 55, Hadith no. 627]