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According to the Quran, Zaqqum (Arabic: زقوم‎‎) is a tree that "springs out of the bottom of hell-fire" or Jahannam. It is mentioned in verses 17:60 (as the "cursed tree"),[1] 37:62-68,[2] 44:43,[3] and 56:52,[4] of the Quran.[5]

Religious references[edit]

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.[6]


The name zaqqum has been applied to the species Euphorbia abyssinica by the Beja people in eastern Sudan.[7] In Jordan, it is applied to the species Balanites aegyptiaca.[8] In Turkey, zaqqum (zakkum) is Nerium oleander.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Quran 17:60
  2. ^ Quran 37:62-68
  3. ^ Quran 44:43
  4. ^ Quran 56:52
  5. ^ Farooqi, M.I.H. "Zaqqum in light of the Quran". Islamic Research Foundation International, Inc. Retrieved 30 December 2014. 
  6. ^ Quran 44:43 Translation of M. H. Shakir.
  7. ^ 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).
  8. ^ The Waters That Heal, Kirk Albrecht and Bill Lyons, Saudi Aramco World, March/April 1995, pp. 34–39.

See also[edit]