be drunk therewith ; and with them damsels, restraining their looks, large eyed; as though they were a sheltered egg ; and some shall come forward to ask others; and a speaker amongst them shall say, ‘ Verily, I had a mate, 50 who used to say, “ Art thou verily of those who credit ? What ! when we are dead, and have become earth and bones, shall we be surely judged ?”’ He will say, ‘ Are ye looking down ?’ and he shall look down and see him in the midst of hell. He shall say, ‘ By God, thou didst nearly ruin me ! 55 And had it not been for the favour of my Lord, I should have been among the arraigned.’ — ‘ What ! shall we not die save our first death ? and shall we not be tormented ? — Verily, this is mighty bliss ! for the like of this then let the workers work.’
60 Is that better as an entertainment, or the tree of Ez Zaqqûm? Verily, we have made it a trial to the unjust. Verily, it is a tree that comes forth from the bottom of hell ; its spathe is as it were the heads of devils; verily, they shall eat therefrom, and fill their bellies therefrom. 65 Then shall they have upon it a mixture of boiling water ; then, verily, their return shall be to hell.
Verily, they found their fathers erring, and they hurried on in their tracks; but there had erred before them most of those of yore, 70 and we had sent warners amongst them. Behold, then, what was the end of those who were warned, save God’s sincere servants !
- Ez Zaqqûm is a foreign tree with an exceedingly bitter fruit, the name of which is here used for the infernal tree.
- The unbelievers objected that the tree could not grow in hell, where the very stones (see Part Ⅰ, p. 4, note 1) were fuel for the fire.