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A Description of Hellfire (part 3 of 5): Its Food and Drink

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Description: The heat of Hell, and the food and drink prepared for its inhabitants.

  • By Imam Kamil Mufti
  • Published on 29 May 2006
  • Last modified on 04 Jan 2015
  • Printed: 2369
  • Viewed: 182443 (daily average: 45)
  • Rating: 4.5 out of 5
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The intense heat, food, and drink of the people of Hell is described in Islamic religious sources.

Its Heat

God says:

"And the companions of the left – what are the companions of the left?  (They will be) in scorching fire and scalding water and a shade of black smoke, neither cool nor beneficial." (Quran 56:41-44)

Everything people use to cool down in this world – air, water, shade – will be useless in Hell.  The air of Hell will be hot wind and the water will be boiling.  The shade will not be comforting or cooling, the shade in Hell will be the shadow of black smoke as mentioned in the verse:

"And shadow of black smoke." (Quran 56:43)

In another passage, God says:

"But he whose balance (of good deeds) will be light, will have his home in a (bottomless) pit.  And what will explain to you what this is?  (It is) a Fire blazing fiercely." (Quran 101:8-11)

God describes how the shade of Hell’s smoke will rise above the Fire.  The smoke that rises from Hell will be divided into three columns.  Its shade will neither cool nor offer any protection from the raging Fire.  The flying sparks will be like huge castles similar to string of marching yellow camels:

"Proceed to a shadow (of smoke) having three columns (but having) no cool shade and availing not against the flame.  Indeed, it throws sparks (as huge) as a fortress, as if they were yellow camels (marching swiftly)." (Quran 77:30-33)

The Fire consumes everything, leaving nothing untouched.  It burns skin reaching all the way to the bones, melting the contents of the stomach, leaping up to the hearts, and exposing the vital organs.  God speaks of the intensity and affect of the Fire:

"I will drive him into Hellfire.  And what can make you know what is Hellfire?  It lets nothing remain and leaves nothing (unburned), altering the skins." (Quran 74:26-29)

The Prophet of Islam said:

"Fire as we know it is one seventieth part of the Fire of Hell.  Someone said, ‘O Messenger of God, it is enough as it is!’  He said, ‘It is as if sixty-nine equal portions were added to fire as we know it.’" (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)

The Fire never extinguishes:

"So taste you (the results of your evil deeds).  No increase shall We give you except in torment." (Quran 78:30)

"…Whenever it abates, We shall increase for them the fierceness of the Fire." (Quran 17:97)

The torment will never be reduced and the unbelievers will not have any break:

"…Their torment shall not be lightened nor shall they be helped." (Quran 2:86)

The Food of its Inhabitants

The food of the people of Hell is described in the Quran.  God says:

"No food will there be for them except from a bitter, thorny plant which neither nourishes nor avails against hunger." (Quran 88:6-7)

The food will neither nourish nor taste good.  It will only serve as a punishment to the people of Hell.  In other passages, God describes the tree of zaqqum, a special food of Hell.  Zaqqum is a repulsive tree, its roots go deep into the bottom of Hell, its branches stretching all over.  Its ugly fruit is like the heads of the devils.  He says:

"Indeed, the tree of zaqqum is food for the sinful, like murky oil, it boils within bellies, like the boiling of scalding water." (Quran 44:43-46)

"Is that (Paradise) better as hospitality or the tree of zaqqum?  Indeed, We have made it a torment for the wrongdoers.  Indeed, it is a tree issuing from the bottom of the Hellfire, its emerging fruit as if it was heads of the devils.  And, indeed, they will eat from it and fill with it their bellies.  Then, indeed, they will have after it a mixture of scalding water.  Then, indeed, their return will be to the Hellfire." (Quran 37:62-68)

"Then indeed you, O those astray (who are) deniers, will be eating from trees of zaqqum and filling with it your bellies, and drinking on top of it from scalding water, and will drink as the drinking of thirsty camels.  That is their hospitality on the Day of Recompense." (Quran 56:51-56)

People of Hell will get so hungry that they will eat from the obnoxious tree of zaqqum.  When they will fill their bellies with it, it will start to churn like boiling oil causing immense suffering.  At that point they will rush to drink extremely hot water.  They will drink it like thirsty camels, yet it will never quench their thirst.  Rather their internals will be torn.  God says:

"…They will be given to drink boiling water, so that it cuts up their bowels (to pieces)." (Quran 47:15)

The thorny bushes and zaqqum will choke them and stick in their throats because of their foulness:

"Surely, with us are fetters (to bind them) and a ranging Fire (to burn them), and a food that chokes and a penalty grievous." (Quran 73:12-13)

The Prophet of Islam said:

"If a drop from zaqqum were to land in this world, the people of earth and all their means of sustenance would rot.  So how must it be for one who must eat it?" (Tirmidhi)

Another food served to the people of Hell will be festering puss that oozes out of their skin, the discharge that flows from the private parts of adulterers and the decaying skin and flesh of those being burnt.  It is the "juice" of the people of Hell.  God says:

"So no friend has he here this Day, nor has he any food except filth from the washing of wounds which none do eat but those in sin." (Quran 69:35-37)

"This – so let them taste it – is scalding water and (foul) purulence.  And other (punishments) of its type (in various) kinds." (Quran 38:57-58)

Lastly, some sinners will be fed fire from Hell as a punishment.  God says:

"Indeed, those who devour the property of orphans unjustly are only consuming into their bellies fire." (Quran 4:10)

"Indeed, they who conceal what God has sent down of the Book and exchange it for a small price – those consume not into their bellies except the Fire." (Quran 2:174)

Its Drink

God tells in the Quran about the drink of people of Hell:

"They will be given to drink boiling water, so that it cuts up their bowels (to pieces)." (Quran 47:15)

"…And if they call for relief, they will be relieved with water like murky oil, which scalds (their) faces.  Wretched is the drink, and evil is the resting place." (Quran 18:29)

"Before him is Hell, and he will be given a drink of purulent water.  He will gulp it but will hardly (be able to) swallow it.  And death will come to him from everywhere, but he is not to die.  And before him is a massive punishment." (Quran 14:16-17)

"A boiling fluid and fluid dark, murky, intensely cold." (Quran 38:57)

The types of drink people of Hell will get to drink are as follows:

·       Extremely hot water as God says:

"They will go around between it and scalding water, heated (to the utmost degree)." (Quran 55:44)

"They will be given drink from a boiling spring." (Quran 88:5)

·       Flowing puss from the flesh and skin of an unbeliever.  The Prophet said:

"Anyone who drinks intoxicants will be made to drink the mud of khabal.  They asked, ‘O Messenger of God, what is the mud of khabal?’  He said, ‘The sweat of the people of Hell’ or the ‘juice of the people of Hell.’" (Saheeh Muslim)

·       A drink like boiling oil described by the Prophet as:

"It is like boiling oil, when it is brought near a person’s face, the skin of the face falls off into it." (Musnad Ahmad, Tirmidhi)

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