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Is Zaqqum Tree Real or Fake? Learn Most Shocking Facts

As a Muslim or theologian, have you heard the reference to the Zaqqum tree, wondering if it’s even real?

The Zaqqum tree is mentioned in the Islamic holy book of the Quran, described as a mythical tree that grows in Hell and bears bitter fruit, which is forcibly fed as a punishment.

Did you know there is a real tree in Africa, often confused for Zaqqum?

Read on to find out whether the Zaqqum tree is real or not.

What is a Zaqqum Tree?

Also known as Zakum or Zaqum in various languages, it refers to a mythical or symbolic tree in Islam.

The readers may find it mentioned in the Quran in Surah As-Saffat (Chapter 37), verses 17:60, 37:62-68, 44:43, and 56:52, describing it as a species that grows in the depths of Hell (Jahannam in Arabic).

The tree springs out of the bottom of hell and bears fruit resembling the heads of devils, fed to wicked and disbelievers as a punishment upon arriving in hell.

Although the Quran does not mention the origin or nature of the tree, we can conclude that it is an invincible tree species.

zaqqum tree graphics
This is a visual representation of the Zaqqum tree.

It grows through the fires of hell and bears fruits constantly but is unique to Islamic teaching.

Is Zaqqum Tree Real or Fake?

The Zaqqum tree is not a real tree with practical uses. But more of a symbol of the punishment that those who reject God will face in hell.

Experts believe that the reference to the tree of hell in the Quran will discourage practitioners from doing activities forbidden in the religion.

Therefore, its concept originated with Islam some 1,500 years ago and mainly advocated by Islamic scholars as a part of Islamic teaching.

Is Euphorbia Abyssinica a Zaqqum Tree?

Although brushed off as a mythical tree, the origin of the tree links to a natural plant found in Africa.

Euphorbia Abyssinica, which grows in the rocky hills of Sudan and surrounding regions, closely resembles the mythical plant.

Commonly known as Ethiopian Euphorbia or African milk tree, it is a toxic succulent that grows in arid regions.

Like Zaqqum, the African milk tree grows to a height of 10 meters, appearing as a tree, with branched covered in spines and slightly colorful fruits.

Almost all plants produce latex sap that causes skin irritation, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and blindness.

Many unhealthy health symptoms may occur when touched or consumed, like many poisonous plants.

However, whether the Quran references Euphorbia Abyssinica as Zaqqum remains a mystery.

Similarly, Jordanians refer to Balanites aegyptiaca as Zaqqum, but it does not reference a tree of hell.

From Editorial Team


The Zaqqum tree is a symbolic element in Islamic teaching, which should be kept as such.

It is not a real tree with a history, origin, or practical uses but serves a significant religious and moral purpose.