The Huge Size of the People of Hell
When the People of Hell enter the Fire they will be huge in size, in a form that none can comprehend, except the One Who Created them.
According to a hadith narrated by Abu Hurayrah, the Messenger of Allah (Salallaahu Alaihi Wasalaam) said: “ The distance between the shoulders of the Kaafir in Hell will be like three day’s travelling for a fast rider” (Muslim, 4/290)
Abu Hurayrah reported that the Messenger of Allah (Salallaahu Alaihi Wasalaam) said: ” The molar of the kaafir or the eye-tooth of the kaafir, will be like Uhud, and the thickness of his skin will be like a journey of three (days) “. (Muslim, 4/2189, at-Tirmidhi, al-Haakim, Ibn Maajah and Ahmad)
Abu Hurayrah reported that the Prophet (Salallaahu Alaihi Wasalaam) said: “ The kaafir’s skin will be forty-two cubits thick and his molar will be like Uhud and the space he occupies will be as wide as the distance between Makkah and Madinah .” (at-Tirmidhi) (Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh 3/103, sahih hasan)
This increasing of the kaafir’s body size will increase his suffering and torment. Commenting on the hadith narrated by Muslim on this subject, an-Nawawi said, “All of this is in order to intensify the suffering, and all of this is possible for Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala). We must believe in it, because the truthful (Prophet) has told us about it” [Sharh an-Nawawi ‘alaa Muslim, 17/186].
Ibn Katheer in a comment on these hadith said, “So that their punishment and suffering may be more severe, as Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala) the Severe in punishment says:
“… that they may taste the Penalty”. ( 4:46)
[Ibn Katheer, an-Nihayah, 2/139]
The food of the people of Hell
The Tree of Zaqqum
“Is that [Paradise] the better entertainment or the tree of Zaqqum [a horrible tree in Hell]? For We have truly made it [as] a trial for the wrongdoers. For it is a tree that springs out of the bottom of Hellfire, The shoots of its fruit-stalks are like the heads of devils; Truly they will eat thereof and fill their bellies therewith. Then on top of that they will be given to drink a mixture made of boiling water. Then, shall their return by to the blazing Fire of Hell “. (37:62-68)
Elsewhere in the Qur’an, Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala) says:
“Then, will you truly – O you that go wrong, and treat [Truth] as Falsehood]! You will surely taste of the tree of Zaqqum. Then you will fill your insides therewith, and drink boiling water on top of it. Indeed you will drink like diseased camels raging with thirst! Such will be their entertainment on the Day of Requital !”(56:51-66)
What we may understand from these aayaat is that this tree is a repulsive tree, whose roots go deep into the bottom of Hell, and whose branches stretch forth all over. Its fruits are so ugly that they are likened to the heads of devils, so that everyone may easily understand just how ugly they are, even though they have never seen them. Although this tree is so vile and obnoxious, the people of Hell will become so hungry that they will have no choice but to eat from it until they are full. When they have filled their bellies, this food will start to churn like boiling oil, which will cause a great deal of suffering to them. At that point they will rush to drink al-Hameem, which is an extremely hot water, and they will drink it like camels that drink and drink but their thirst is never quenched because of some disease. Then it will tear their innards:
“..[they] will be given to drink, boiling water, so that it cuts up their bowels [to pieces ]” (47:15)
This is the hospitality that will be offered to them on that awesome Day. May Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala) protect us from this by His Grace and Mercy.
The Prophet (Salallaahu Alaihi Wasalaam) portrayed for us the ugly and terrifying nature of az-Zaqqum:
“If one drop from az-Zaqqum were to land on this world, the people of earth and all their means of sustenance would be destroyed. So how must it be for the one who must eat it ?” It was reported by at-Tirmidhi, who said, it is a sahih hasan hadith. [Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, 3/105, narrated by Ibn ‘Abbaas]
Another kind of food that will be eaten by the people of Hell is al-Ghasleen. Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala) says:
” So no friend has he here this Day, Nor has he any food except corruption [or filth] from the washing of wounds [al-Ghasleen], which none do eat but those in sin “. (69:35-37)