Reflecting on Surah Al Humazah

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

وَيْلٌ لِكُلِّ هُمَزَةٍ لُمَزَةٍ

104-1: Sorrowful is the state of every slanderer, defamer,

الَّذِي جَمَعَ مَالًا وَعَدَّدَهُ

104-2: who accumulates wealth and keeps on counting it.

يَحْسَبُ أَنَّ مَالَهُ أَخْلَدَهُ

104-3: He thinks that his wealth will make him immortal.

كَلَّا ۖ لَيُنْبَذَنَّ فِي الْحُطَمَةِ

104-4: No, he will definitely be flung into the crushing one.

وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا الْحُطَمَةُ

104-5: And what will make you realize what the crushing one is?

نَارُ اللَّهِ الْمُوقَدَةُ

104-6: (It is the) fire of Allah, kindled,

الَّتِي تَطَّلِعُ عَلَى الْأَفْئِدَةِ

104-7: which is made to rise over the hearts,

إِنَّهَا عَلَيْهِمْ مُؤْصَدَةٌ

104-8: it will certainly be closed on them,

فِي عَمَدٍ مُمَدَّدَةٍ

104-9: in columns that are stretched.

Slander defaming and attachment with wealth are discouraged and such people are warned with punishment in hellfire, which is described as “the crushing one”. One may question, how can the fire crush? According to physics as temperature increases pressure also increases. And if we consider the explanation of hellfire given in this hadith:

It was narrated from Abu Hurairah that the Prophet (ﷺ) said: “The Hell-Fire was kindled for one thousand years and turned white. Then it was kindled for another thousand years and it turned red. Then it was kindled for another thousand years and it turned black. So it is black like the darkest night.” (Sunan Ibn Majah, Vol. 5, Book 37, Hadith 4320, At-Targheeb wat Tarheeb 4/339, Al Jami Al Sagheer 2784)

It looks like the ahadith are describing the life of a massive star which eventually ends up as a black hole – where not even light can escape due to very high gravity which explains its black color and nature as the hadith compares it to the darkest of nights – the crushing in hell seems to be due to the black hole effect with high gravity. Allah knows best!

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