Three rivers of Hell
Fatwa No: 87802

  • Fatwa Date:25-5-2004 - Rabee' Al-Aakhir 6, 1425
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What are the three rivers of Hell?


Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds; and may His blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his Family and Companions.


We do not know of any Hadith or source which suggests that the rivers of Hell are three.

However, we found in the books of interpretation of the Holy Qur'an three names each of which is said to be a river in hell: Al-Muwbiq, Al-Ghay, and Al-Atham.

In the interpretation of the meaning of the Qur'an, Al-Qurtubi said regarding the verse of Allah: {…and We shall put Maubiqa  between them.} that 'Ikrimah said that it is a river in hell which flows with fire.  On its sides there are snakes like black mules, when they reach out to eat them, they rescue themselves by plunging into hell.' [6/11].

In Tafseer Al-Tabari, narrated by Abu Ishaq when he was asked about the verse: {…So they will be thrown in Ghay.} he said: ‘It is a river in hell, pernicious and very deep.’

The author of Al-Dur Al-Manthour says: ‘Ibn Jarir Al-Tabari, Ibn Mardawayh, Al-Bayhaqi reported in the book Al-Ba’th that Abu Umama narrated that the Prophet (Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam) said: “If a stone of a weight of ten ounces is thrown from the edge of hellfire, it will not reach its depth until after 70 years, then it will end at Ghay or Atham.” I said: ‘What is Ghay and Atham?’  He said: “They are two rivers in the depths of hell in which the pus of the people of hell flows.”


Allah knows best.

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