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Names of Naar: Sa’eer

March 24, 2009


Sa’eer appears 16 times in the Qur’an, and is one of the more common names and descriptions of Hell-Fire.

Allah azza wa jal says,

وَكَذَ‌ٰلِكَ أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ قُرْآنًا عَرَبِيًّا لِّتُنذِرَ أُمَّ الْقُرَىٰ وَمَنْ حَوْلَهَا وَتُنذِرَ يَوْمَ الْجَمْعِ لَا رَيْبَ فِيهِ ۚ فَرِيقٌ فِي الْجَنَّةِ وَفَرِيقٌ فِي السَّعِيرِ

“And thus We have revealed to you a Qur’an in Arabic that you may warn the Mother of the Towns (Makkah) and all around it, and warn (them) of the Day of Assembling of which there is no doubt: when a party will be in Jannah (Paradise)  and a party in the Sa’eer (a blazing fire)” (42:7)

Sa’eer comes from the word sa’ar (سعر) which means to set something ablaze. It means to make the fire bigger and to keep it burning. When a fire dies out, you add more fuel to it so that it blazes and increases in flames. Sa’eer refers to a fire that has been set ablaze, it is not dying out or almost finishing, it is not an ordinary fire that is set on the stove; it is fierce, it is furious and severe in its flames, and its fuel is of men and stones.

Allah ta’ala says:

وَأَعْتَدْنَا لِمَن كَذَّبَ بِالسَّاعَةِ سَعِيرًا

“and for those who deny the Hour, We have prepared a flaming Fire” (25:11)

He describes their state on the Day of Judgment:

وَنَحْشُرُهُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ عَلَىٰ وُجُوهِهِمْ عُمْيًا وَبُكْمًا وَصُمًّا

“and We shall gather them together on the Day of Resurrection on their faces, blind, dumb and deaf” (17:97)

Allah azza wa jal will gather them on their faces such as they will be upside down as if walking on their faces. Moreover they will be unable to see, hear and speak. They won’t be able to see their Rabb or see Jannah. They will dumb out of the shock and fear that they will not able to express anything.

إِذَا رَأَتْهُم مِّن مَّكَانٍ بَعِيدٍ سَمِعُوا لَهَا تَغَيُّظًا وَزَفِيرًا

“When it sees them from a far place, they will hear its raging and its roaring.” (25:12)

Imagine when you hear a frightening noise from far away, as you come closer to that noise, does your fright increase?

The disbelievers will not even see the Sa’eer yet, but they will hear it even though they are far. The Hell-Fire is unlike any fire; it is like a lion watching its prey very closely, waiting for the right time to pounce on it.

What will they hear from this Sa’eer?

تَغَيُّظًا taghayyudhan, a furious rage of anger. Ghaydh is the anger in which the person’s blood is boiling and they express their anger: red face, furious words, wild eyes. The nature of this fire Fire is as if it going to burst out with rage against the disbelievers.

With this furious rage they will also hear:

زَفِيرًا, zafeera, a roaring, and this word literally means to exhale out. Think of the roaring of a lion, it inhales and roars at the same time. Think of when a volcano is about to erupt, you can hear loud sounds from it.

They will hear this raging and roaring before entering and then:

إِذَا أُلْقُوا فِيهَا سَمِعُوا لَهَا شَهِيقًا وَهِيَ تَفُورُ

“When they are thrown therein, they will hear the (terrible) drawing in of its breath as it blazes forth.” (67:7)

They will be thrown in there; for who will enter the Sa’eer willingly?

They will hear the  fire شَهِيقًا shaheeqan: shaheeq is used for the braying of the donkey and inhaling in. It is as if they are entering and the hell-fire is inhaling them in and a horrible sound is coming out.


وَهِيَ تَفُورُ wa hiya tafoor, while it is boiling. As if it boiling with anger and fire, it is about to burst from this rage, and the sound is being made as the people are going in.

Hell-Fire, brothers and sisters, is a living monster.

In this dunya, we know that everything will come to an end sooner or later. If we have an injury, then we know one day the pain will subside and we will move on with our lives. But Allah azza wa jal describes to us the situation of the Companions of Hell-Fire:

كُلَّمَا خَبَتْ زِدْنَاهُمْ سَعِيرًا

“Whenever it subsides, We shall increase for them the fierceness of the Fire.” (17:97)

Whenever the Fire is about to die out or go away, Allah says He will increase them in their burning and the fire will never be extinguised on them.

Each time the punishment will become less because their skins are burned, their skins will be replaced and their ability to burn will be renewed.

Imagine brothers and sisters, whenever those in Hell-Fire will think they have a break from this punishment, they will be increased in it.

Not only will they be increased in this punishment, but they will never be removed from it, nor will they receive any assistance:

خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا أَبَدًا ۖ لَّا يَجِدُونَ وَلِيًّا وَلَا نَصِيرًا

“Wherein they will abide for ever, and they will find neither a protector nor a helper.” (33:65)

They will not find one who will help them in the task of trying to get out of the fire, nor any defender to come and save from the punishment.

Next time you are inclined to commit a sin, next time Shaytan whispers to you to disobey your Rabb, remember this description of Sa’eer: those who enter it will remain alone in this raging, roaring, fiercely and furiously burning fire.

Allahumma ajirnaa min an-Naar, O Allah, save us from the Fire. Ameen.

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