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The Tree of Zaqqum


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

This post talks about tree of Zaqqum as mentioned in the Noble Qur’ān

What Allāh Said

Allāh said:

Then indeed you, O those astray [who are] deniers, Will be eating from trees of zaqqum – Surah al-Waqi’a  1

And He said:

Is Paradise a better accommodation or the tree of zaqqum? – Surah as-Saaffat  2

And He said:

For them there will be no food except from a poisonous, thorny plant – Surah al-Ghaashiya  3

We get details of this cursed 4 5 tree from Qur’ān and hadīths. Let’s ponder over them

Purpose

Allāh said:

Indeed, We have made it a torment for the wrongdoers – Surah as-Saaffat  6

Indeed, the tree of zaqqum. Is food for the sinful. – Surah ad-Dhukhan 7

First thing we understand that this tree is not very nice looking. It’s sole purpose is torment for the zaalimun, the wrongdoers. Allāh  created it as a punishment for people of hell.

Location

Allāh said:

Verily, it is a tree that springs out of the bottom of Hell-fire – Surah as-Saaffat  8

It’s roots are in the bottom of Hell-fire. This is also to answer those who say “fire burns tree” – Allāh has told us that it’s roots are in the Hell-fire. And Allāh is able to do everything. He created both tree and fire. Did He not save Ibraahim  when he was thrown into fire? 9

Fruit

Allāh said:

The shoots of its fruit-stalks are like the heads of Shayatin (devils) – Surah as-Saaffat  10

Is food for the sinful. Like murky oil, it boils within bellies. Like the boiling of scalding water. – Surah ad-Dhukhan 11

Whether someone believes in unseen or not, everyone knows/believes that devil is ugly. How about people who will eat a thorny fruit that resembles heads of shaytaan? And we are certain that people will surely eat even though they will hate it as Allāh has told us:

Truly, they will eat thereof and fill their bellies therewith. – Surah as-Saaffat  12

And filling with it your bellies – Surah al-Waqi’a  13

In the first ayah (Surah as-Saaffat) the word used is

لَاءَاكِلُونَ

where this Laam is Laam Taakeed which means there is an emphasis on the context. Which resulted translator to use “truly” in the translation. This can also be translated as “surely” or “indeed” they will eat.

And when they eat from it, they will not be nourished.

Which neither nourishes nor avails against hunger. – Surah al-Ghaashiya  14

Description

We have description of this tree from sayings of our beloved Prophet ﷺ

If only a drop of Az-Zaqqum were to drip into the abode of the world, it would spoil the peoples’ livelihood, so how about the person for whom it is his food? – at-Tirmidhi  15Ibn Majah 16

All of this and everything from knowledge of unseen is not so we read and enjoy, it’s for us to take heed. If we do not take heed and do not start our preparation for the hereafter then know that we are doomed (unless Great Mercy of Allāh overtakes us).

Even if you’re a Muslim, do not feel secure. How can you be so sure that you will die as a Muslim? We should always be seeking refuge with Allāh from dying as non-Muslim and from Hell-fire and should keep asking Allāh to have Mercy on us. It’s not our deeds that will take us to jannah, it’s Mercy of Allāh as Prophet ﷺ said:

The good deeds of any person will not make him enter Paradise.” (i.e., None can enter Paradise through his good deeds.) They (the Prophet’s companions) said, ‘Not even you, O Allāh’s Apostle?’ He said, “Not even myself, unless Allāh bestows His favor and mercy on me.” So be moderate in your religious deeds and do the deeds that are within your ability: and none of you should wish for death, for if he is a good doer, he may increase his good deeds, and if he is an evil doer, he may repent to Allāh.” – al-Bukhari 17

 
May Allāh protect us. Āmeen