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(812 words)

Author(s): Awa, Salwa M.S.
The tree of Zaqqūm, or the cursed tree mentioned four times in the Qurʾān, with three explicit references ( q 37:62; 44:43; 56:52) and one implicit ( q 17:60). Unlike the beautiful trees with clustered fruits in paradise (q.v.; q 69:23), the good tree of “the good word” ( q 14:24) and the heavenly tree of eternity (q.v.) from which Adam and Eve (q.v.) were prohibited to eat ( q 20:120), the tree of Zaqqūm stands out as the ugliest and the most terrifying tree described in the Qurʾān (see trees; agriculture and vegetation). It grows at the bottom of hellfire (see hell and hellfire ), its blossom ( ṭalʿu…


(814 words)

Author(s): El-Awa, Salwa M.S.
Religious and/or political fanaticism. The main qurʾānic stand on zealotry is expressed in q 2:143 where the Muslim community is described as a “community of the middle,” a community that is “in the middle between any two extremes,” thereby assigning to its members the responsibility of maintaining a community that is just and moderate in all its beliefs and practices (Quṭb, Ẓilāl, 130-2; see ¶ moderation ). This characteristic is, according to the exegetes (see exegesis of the qurʾān: classical and medieval ), what makes the Muslim community the “best community” applauded in q 3:110, “…