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Zaqqum (Arabic: زقوم‎) is a tree that Muslims believe grows in Jahannam (hell). The Khati'un are compelled to eat Adh-Dhari, bitter fruit, to intensify their torment (Qur'an 69:36-37). The Khati'un may eat only the fruit or Ghislin (foul pus from the washing of their wounds) (Qur'an 69:36). Its fruits are shaped like devils' heads (Qur'an 37:62-68). According to Shaykh Umar Sulayman Al-Ashqar, a professor at the University of Jordan, once the palate of the sinners is satiated, the fruit in their bellies churns like burning oil. Some Islamic scholars believe the fruit tears their bodies apart and releases bodily fluids. The Qur'an says:

[44.43] Surely the tree of the Zaqqum,
[44.44] Is the food of the sinful
[44.45] Like dregs of oil; it shall boil in (their) bellies,
[44.46] Like the boiling of hot water.[1]

The name zaqqum has been applied to the species Euphorbia abyssinica by the Beja people in eastern Sudan.[2] In Jordan, it is applied to the species Balanites aegyptiaca.[3]


  1. ^ Qur'an, chapter 44. Translation of M. H. Shakir.
  2. ^ Trees in the Koran and the Bible, L. J. Musselman, Unasylva: an international journal of forestry and forest industries, #213: Perceptions of forests (54, #2, 2003).
  3. ^ The Waters That Heal, Kirk Albrecht and Bill Lyons, Saudi Aramco World, March/April 1995, pp. 34–39.


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