Located within the Sacred Mosque in Mecca – Masjid Al Haram, Zamzam well is situated about 20 m east of the Kaaba alongside the wall where the “Black Stone” is enshrined. Millions of pilgrims visit the Masjid-ul-Haram every year to perform Umrah and drink the holy water. The name “Zamzam” comes from the Arabic word “zome zome” which means “stop flowing”. It is a special kind of water that came into existence by a miracle in the middle of the desert. Consistently providing water for the last thousands of years, it is a small well – 30 m (98 ft) deep and 1.08 to 2.66 m (3 ft 7 inch to 8 ft 9 inch) in diameter, far away from any other source or body of water but never dries up. It is self-replenishing and constantly replenishing itself to produce gallons of water for the consumption of pilgrims and bottled up to be taken as gifts and distributed worldwide.
History and Importance of Zamzam water (Aab e Zam Zam)
The origin of the Zamzam well goes back to the times of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) when he was commanded by Allah (SWT) to take his wife Hajirah (RA) and son Ismael (AS) to Makkah and leave them in the desert. Ismael (AS) was just an infant at the time and started crying because of the thirst and hunger. His mother Hajirah (RA) looked for water everywhere without success. She climbed to the top of Mount Safa in search of water while praying to Allah (SWT) for help and then she climbed to the top of Mount Marwah and did the same seven times. The Angel Jibreel (AS) was sent by Allah (SWT) to strike the earth and the Zamzam water appeared.
Neither Prophet Ibrahim (AS) knew the wisdom behind leaving his wife and his only son in a deserted valley nor did Hajirah (RA) that Allah has a special reward in store for her because of the deep faith and patience she showed.
Ibn Abbas reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said,
“May Allah have mercy upon the mother of Ismael. If she had not hastened to take water, the Zamzam well would have become a flowing spring.”
(Sahih Bukhari, 3183)
[Read Also: Saa’ee between Safa and Marwa Hills]
The Miracles of Zamzam in Makkah
According to Arab historians, the sacred well of Zamzam has been in use for around 4000 years except for the time when it became dry and was buried under the sand.
So where does it come from? What is the source of Zamzam?
The city of Makkah is built on a mass of igneous rock, and these rocks have no pores. Partial melting of the minerals cause any existing pores in the rock to close up. Scientifically, water reservoirs can only exist in rocks that are highly porous and permeable. Zamzam is different from other wells. Its main source is not the valley but the cracks in the rocks that seep water from the mountains that surround Makkah.
The origin of the Zamzam water was a mystery but when tunnels were dug around Makkah, engineers found fractures in the solid mass of rock stretching for kilometres in every direction through which Zamzam was seeping out. These extensive fractures could only be caused by a mighty force. According to Sunnah, it is because of the strong blow with which the Angel Jibreel (AS) struck the earth that Zamzam came into existence and Ismael (AS) was able to drink.
[Read Also: Zamzam and its Significance]
Amazing Facts about the Water of Zamzam
Here are some of the most interesting facts and virtues of Zamzam which most people do not know about:
- Zamzam is naturally pure. With 366 mg/l of bicarbonates, it is, in fact, the purest water on earth. The water from the highest part of the French Alps marketed by brands such as Evian has a high mineral content and a high percentage of bicarbonates (357mg/l).
Imaam Ibn Al-Qayyim al-Jawziyah said:
“Zamzam water is the best and noblest of all waters, the highest in status, the dearest to people, the most precious and valuable to them. It was dug by Jibreel and is the water with which Allah quenched the thirst of Isma’eel.”
- Zamzam water is free of contamination. Common wells see the growth of algae or bacteria formation with time resulting in the change in taste and odour of the water. Zamzam is different and no bacteria can form at the Zamzam well. It doesn’t go mouldy and doesn’t change colour, taste or smell. Zamzam is naturally pure and sterile without any germs in it.
- As Muslims, we have always known about the healing nature of Zamzam. But now even science accepts that Zamzam contains healing components. It contains fluorides that have an effective germicidal action resulting in the improvement of cellular function and health.
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)
- Zamzam water can be used as a substitute for the food. An individual can survive only on Zamzam water.
It was reported that the Prophet (PBUH) said to Abu Dharr (RA) who had stayed near the Kaabah and its coverings for forty days and nights with no food or drink other than (Zamzam):
“How long have you been here?” Abu Dharr said: “I have been here for thirty days and nights.” The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Who has been feeding you?” He said, “I have had nothing but Zamzam water, and I have gotten so fat that I have folds of fat on my stomach. I do not feel any of the tiredness or weakness of hunger and I have not become thin.” The Prophet (PBUH) said: “Verily, it is blessed; it is food that nourishes.”
(Sahih Muslim, 2473)
- Zamzam can be drunk with an intention to fulfil any need or desire such as healing from sickness or being freed from poverty and distress and Allah fulfils these desires.
The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said:
“The water of Zamzam is for whatever it is drunk for.”
(Ibn Maajah, 3062)
10 Amazing Health Benefits of Drinking Zamzam Water
- Fasting on Zamzam water helps to increase blood platelets. By detoxifying the body and increasing WBCs and RBCs, it helps in increasing the immunity of the body.
- Zamzam water helps in weight loss by reducing the impacts of hunger.
- Regular intake of Zamzam helps to nourish the body and maintain the ideal body weight.
- Applying Zamzam over your eyes or washing eyes with this water helps to brighten the eyesight and can cure many eye-related disorders.
- Zamzam helps in reducing acidity and heartburn by neutralizing the excess acid formed in the stomach.
- Zamzam water is good for teeth as it effectively increases tooth resistance against acid dissolution.
- Zamzam is alkaline in nature and contains high levels of Fluoride, Mg, Ca, Chloride, Sulfate, and Nitrate, which is why Zamzam water refreshes tired pilgrims.
- Drinking Zamzam water relieves anxiety. It is said to be a cure for many diseases.
- Zamzam has a good effect on thyroid patients as it has a sufficient amount of Iodine.
- The Prophet (PBUH) used to sprinkle Zamzam over sick and people with an illness.
[Read Also: Maqam-e-Ibrahim and its Historical Significance]
Dua When Drinking Zam Zam Water (Aab e Zamzam)
Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) told us to drink Zamzam to the fill because it has barakah in it. According to a Hadith on Zamzam water narrated by Ibn Maajah, the Prophet (PBUH) said,
“The difference between the believers and the hypocrites is drinking one’s fill of Zamzam water.”
(Al-Manaasik, 1017; al-Haakim, 1/472)
A person drinking Zamzam should intend and hope for healing, blessing and whatever he wishes to ask from Allah (SWT). The Prophet taught the following dua for drinking Zamzam water:
اللَّهُمَّ إنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ عِلْماً نَافِعاً، وَرِزقاً طَيِّباً، وَعَمَلاً مُتَقَبَّلاً
(Allaahumma inni as’aluka `ilman naïf`an wa `amalan mutaqabbalan wa rizqan wasi`an wa shifa’an min kulli da’in)
O Allah, I ask of You to grant me beneficial knowledge, acceptable deeds, abundant provision, and healing/cure from all ailments.
Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr reported: I was sitting with Abdullah ibn Abbas when a man came and he said, “From where did you come?” The man said, “From the Zamzam well.” Ibn Abbas said, “Did you drink from it as you should?” The man said, “How is that?” Ibn Abbas said, “When you drink from it, then face the direction of prayer and remember the name of Allah and drink three times and drink your fill. When you finish, then praise Allah the Exalted. I heard the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, say,
“Verily, the sign between us and the hypocrites is that they do not drink Zamzam water.”
(Sunan Ibn Majah, 3061)
Ibn Abbas (RA) reported:
I gave the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, a drink of water from the Zamzam well and he drank it while standing.
(Sunan An-Nasa’i, 2965)