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History Of Zamzam Water, Its Importance And Benefits

zamzam water

Zamzam water is believed to be blessed holy water in Muslims. The source of this water is the Zamzam well is situated within Masjid-al-Haram in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The well is located 20 metres east of the Al-Kaaba, which is known as the holiest place in Islam. The history of Zamzam water is as interesting as its benefits, and both re-emphasize its religious importance.

History of Zamzam Water

As narrated by Ibn ‘Abbaas, Prophet Ibrahim was ordered by Allah to take away his wife, Hagar and his son, Ismail to Makkah. During this time, Makkah was a barren land. Following the commands of Allah, the Prophet left his wife and son with some dates and water and returned home. After spending some time on this barren land, the dates and water ran out. As young Ismail started crying with thirst, Hagar started looking for water. She went running up and down seven times the hills of Safa and Marwa (that is why circumambulating the Kaaba seven times is an important ritual of Umrah and Hajj both). In this fretful state, young Ismail began kicking the ground. Suddenly, Hagar noticed water flowing out from the spot that Ismail was kicking. She carefully collected some water for herself and started feeding it to Ismail. The water that gushed out came to be known as the blessed water of Zamzam.

Zamzam well circa 1960 CE (the entrance to the well can be seen in the right)


Story of Zamzam Water: Versions & Narrations

A different version of the story says that it was Jibreel, an angel sent by Allah, and not Ismail who kicked the ground with his heel. A few narrations, also take the story forward to tell that the flow of the fountain was later restricted by Hagar to become a well.

An extension of this ancient historic legend is that the discovery of Zamzam water led to the settlement of Jurhum, an ancient Arab tribe. However, they soon started to restrict other people from using the Zamzam water, and as a result were ousted from Makkah. The well remained unused and undiscovered for many years thereafter.

zamzam water haram mosque
Pilgrims having Zamzam water at Al-Haram mosque

Scholars believe that it was resurrected much later by Abdul-Muttalib, the paternal grandfather of the Prophet. Abdul-Muttalib discovered the well following consequent dreams of an eternal spring amid the desert. After a long quest, he found the well, and was honoured with the exclusive privilege of providing Zamzam water to the pilgrims. This is often referred to as the rebirth of the divine well of Zamzam.

In all versions and narrations of the history of the Zamzam well, one thing that remains common and undisputed is the religious significance of the holy well and its divine water.

The Miracle of Zamzam Water

The Prophet (PBUH) said, “The best water on the face of the earth is the water of Zamzam; it is a kind of food and a healing from sickness.” – Saheeh al-Jaami, 3302

The miracle of zamzam well and it holy water is what makes it an important part of Islamic history. Some of the well-known properties of the zamzam water include:

  1. It helps curb pangs of hunger
  2. Applying it on eyes helps improve eyesight and other problems related to eyes.
  3. It helps reduce acidity.
  4. It is helpful in preventing dental caries.
  5. It is a good source of nourishment and improves overall health.
  6. It fulfills the wishes and duas of pilgrims.
  7. It helps repair damaged skin cells.
  8. It forties the immune system of the human body.

Ibn al-Qayyim said,

“Myself and others tried seeking healing with Zamzam water and saw wondrous things. I sought healing with it from a number of illnesses, and I was healed by the permission of Allah. I saw someone who nourished himself with it for a number of days, half a month or more, and he did not feel hunger; he performed Tawaaf along with the other people just as they did. And he told me that he consumed nothing but Zamzam water for forty days and he had the strength to have intercourse with his wife, to fast and to perform Tawaaf numerous times.”

Zamzam Water Benefits & Spiritual Significance

Zamzam water in Arabic is also referred to as ‘Murwiya – meaning quenched’ and ‘Shabbaa – meaning satisfying’. The Prophet said that Zamzam water is a nourishing food and not just water. It is blessed by Allah and is said to be a cure for all illnesses. It is also believed that if a person makes a wish after completely drinking Zamzam water, his wish will be fulfilled.

Zamzam water tanks at Madinah mosque

Five Interesting Facts About Zamzam Water

  1. Tests have proved that Zamzam water has 366mg/1 of bi-carbonates and that makes it the purest water on earth.
  2. The Zamzam well is 30 meters deep, out of which 13 meters is filled with compressed sediments and 17 meters comprise igneous rock. Through the hairline fractures of the rock, the water seeps on and gains its high mineral content beneficial for the humans.
  3. Zamzam water has no colour or smell but a distinct taste.
  4. Zamzam water is considered to have healing properties due to it having a high content of calcium and magnesium salts.
  5. It is considered that drinking Zamzam water increases the immunity of the body.

Zamzam Water As A Souvenir

Pilgrims from around the world travel to Makkah for Hajj. Drinking Zamzam water is an essential aspect of the holy pilgrimage. As mentioned, the water has several health benefits; hence, pilgrims store it in containers and take it back with them to their homes. It is one of the best Saudi Souvenirs to gift to family and friends. The water is rich in calcium and has a distinct taste which is loved by many. Muslims can also purchase the water from any old souk in Makkah or Madinah.

Must Read: Things To Buy In Saudi Arabia: Memorable Saudi Souvenirs For Tourists

During Hajj, pilgrims drink the holy water and also use it to cleanse themselves. They also take some of it back home for their family and friends. For healing properties and the uncommon composition of its water, the sacred well continues to be a point of extreme religious significance for the Muslims.

History of Zamzam FAQs

What is Zamzam water?

Zamzam Well is situated within the premises of Masjid-al-Haram in Makkah, Saudi Arabia. The Zamzam water is believed to be blessed and holy amongst the Muslim community.

What is Zamzam water used for?

Zamzam Water has numerous benefits and immense spiritual significance. It is considered to be a cure for all illnesses. Also, it is believed if a person makes a wish after drinking Zamzam water, the wish will be fulfilled. During Hajj, pilgrims drink this water and use it to cleanse themselves.

What is the source of Zamzam water?

Zamzam Water is sourced from the Zamzam Well, which is situated inside Masjid-al-Haram in Makkah.

What makes Zamzam water special?

Zamzam water is the purest water on earth and is believed to have healing properties.

How old is Zamzam Well?

Zamzam Well is believed to have existed for more than 5000 years.

How Zamzam Well was made?

Prophet Ibrahim son kicked the ground in distress from the thirst and Zamzam water started pouring out from the ground.

What are the health benefits of Zamzam water?

Zamzam water has high calcium that helps bones in a human body.

Dr Omar Ayoub

Dr. Omar Ayoub is a tech enthusiast and a part time researcher and accounts authorship of several international publications. He holds a PhD in Computer Science from USA and has an experience of more than 10 years in Saudi Arabia working in tourism, hospitality, education, technology and retail sector. His interests include traveling, writing, and exploring trending technologies.

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