Tree of Zaqqum
Now, let us listen to another verse of our Lord:
Verily the tree of Zaqqum will be the food of the Sinful like molten brass; it will boil in their insides. Like the boiling of scalding water. (A voice will cry:) "Seize ye him and drag him into the midst of the Blazing Fire! Then pour over his head the Penalty of Boiling Water; Taste thou (this)! Truly wast thou Mighty full of honour! Truly this is what ye used to doubt.” (ad-Dukhan 43-50)
The tree of Zaqqum mentioned in the verse is the tree that God Almighty created in Hell and named as "cursed tree". When the people of Hell get hungry, they go to this tree and eat from it. This tree boils like hot water in their abdomens. God Almighty makes the tree of Zaqqum boil like molten copper in their abdomens.
The Prophet (pbuh) sates the following about the tree of Zaqqum:“If one drop from the tree of Zaqqum were to fall into the seas of the world, it would turn the life of everybody upside down. What about the state of those who will eat Zaqqum?” (Tirmidhi, Jahannam, 4; Hakim, al-Mustadrak, 2/294)
There are several kinds of torture in Hell. Hunger and thirst are two of them. A person feels so hungry that he chooses to eat from the tree of Zaqqum in order to be saved from the pain and agony caused by hunger though he knows that it will boil like molten copper in his abdomen. Then, he feels so thirsty that he chooses to drink boiling water and pus. I wonder what kind of pain hunger and thirst cause to make a person choose to eat from the tree of Zaqqum and drink boiling water. What a strange state it is!
O my soul! Now, I will ask you some questions; answer them honestly:
Is it better to eat from the tree of Zaqqum and drink boiling water or to eat the food of Paradise and drink from the rivers of Paradise?
O my soul! What are the difficult things that your Lord wants from you in return for Paradise and that you avoid doing? Is what He wants so difficult? Are performing prayers five times a day, giving away one-fortieth of your property as zakah and going to hajj once in your life if you are rich difficult?
O my soul! I wonder for what pleasure of the world you agree to eat from the tree of Zaqqum and drink boiling water. For what pleasure do you accept to burn in hellfire and to be chained? What pleasure in this short world can make you agree to burn in hellfire?
O my soul! Does the feeling of not being able to enter Paradise not distress you? The Quran informs us about some of the talks between the people of Paradise and the people of Hell. Yes, God Almighty sometimes removes the curtain and the people of Paradise and the people of Hell see and talk to one another. Can you imagine the agony of seeing Paradise from Hell?
To burn in Hell or not to be able to enter Paradise… However, there is something worse. Does your ingratitude toward your Lord, who created you out of nothing and who made you live in this world like a coy baby, not distress you? What will you say to your Lord on the Day of Reckoning?
O my soul! By leaving Hell aside, I want to ask you this question: How will you bear the torture in the grave? You can even leave the torture in the grave aside and think as follows:
Suppose that Allah Almighty revived us in the grave but He did not torture us; that is, the walls of the grave did not fall on us, Munkar and Nakir (the grave angels) did not question us and we did not have the other grave troubles; how would you bear loneliness, darkness and that tight place if you were to be revived and left alone? Could you put up with the nest of worms, foreign place and place of loneliness? Would this not be enough for grave torture? How would you put up with the torture in Hell though you could not put up with the darkness of the grave and you were overwhelmed with fear when you thought of the grave? Your courage originates from your ignorance and not thinking about death and Hell. However, you should know it that they will not let you stay in this world because you close your eyes. One day, they will say, “Go out!” You should say to the world, "Go out!", throw it out of your heart and be saved before the world says, “Go out!” to you!
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