“…Fear the Fire whose fuel is Men and Stones, which is prepared for those who reject Faith.” (Surah Al-Baqara 2/24) Why does the word “stone” is used instead of “wood” in this verse?

The Details of the Question
“…Fear the Fire whose fuel is Men and Stones, which is prepared for those who reject Faith.” (Surah Al-Baqara 2/24) Why does the word “stone” is used instead of “wood” in this verse?
The Answer

Dear Brother / Sister,

These two points are emphasized in particular about the issue of “stones” in Tafsirs. (commentary)

The word of “Hijaratu” in the verse refers to the sculptures and graven images. It is also stated that the word “Waqudu” (fuel) refers to the people and sculptures to be worshipped that cause Hellfire to kindle. However, there is no doubt that the word of “wal-hijara” includes a scientific explanation. It also informs that there are stones such as firewood and coal which kindle fire, which scientists say it is “bituminous coal”. (Elmalılı, Tafsir of the related verse)

The fire mentioned in the verse is the “fire” of Hell. It is thought provoking that this fire’s fuel is stones and man. Hundreds of years after the revelation of this verse, when people discovered the coal and lighted it, they understood that objects like stones are ignitable. Who knows what kind of stones the fuel of hell are? It is more appropriate to evaluate this stone fuel as an object which is unknown by earthmen and belongs to the world of Ghayb (the Unknown).

According to the hadiths, the fire of Hell is seventy times more scorching than the fire in the world. (Bukhari, “Bad’ul-khalq”, 10; Tirmidhi, “Hell”, 7.) Today, diamond is cut by lasers. It is also possible for the stones to be burned by fires whose true nature and severity we do not know. Even the thought of torture of a tender matter like human body in such a fire without dying and being exhausted is dreadful. As you see, the Holy Qur’an has been sent to people in order to save them from this fire and call them to the mercy of Allah (SWT), Paradise, and eternal happiness. (Diyanet Tefsiri, Kur’an Yolu: I/33.)

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