Meaning of word ‘Woe’ in Arabic
Fatwa No: 109766

  • Fatwa Date:29-6-2008 - Jumaadaa Al-Aakhir 25, 1429
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Question

Asslamu alaikum wa rahmarullahi wa barakatu respected scholars, in surah Mursalat, the words in ayah 15 are repeated throughout the surah, its meaning in tafsir ibn Kathir is "Woe that Day to the deniers". is the word "وَيْلٌ" also describing a river in hell fire which is full of filth and puss from which the disbelievers will drink. if so which meaning is referred to in those repeating ayahs. jazakallahu khairan for clearing up my confusion.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

 

The origin of the Arabic word Wayl means destruction and punishment and some scholars  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them like Sa’eed ibn Al-Musayyab, stated that it means a valley in Hellfire, which is actually a kind of destruction and punishment.

However, we have not come across any scholar who said that it means a river in Hellfire. Nonetheless, ‘Abdullaah ibn Mas’ood  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him interpreted the saying of Allaah (which means): {So they are going to meet evil.}[Quran 19:59] to mean a river in Hellfire.

Allaah Knows best.

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