The Zamzam Well is the only source in the whole world that offers the purest known water among Muslims. Zamzam water is considered holy by the pilgrims who visit Mecca at the times of Hajj and Umran. People also bring back Zamzam water in bottles so they can share the experience with those who could not make it to Hajj due to personal difficulties. The Zamzam well is located only two meters east of the Kaaba, welcoming over three million pilgrims every year. Here are some things you should know about Zamzam water.
It is believed to be a miracle
Muslims believe that the water source appeared when Abraham’s son Ishmael and his mother Hajar were lost and tired in the desert. The water sprang out of the ground and became a continuous source of water. Hajar ran seven times back and forth between the Safa hills to look for a drop of water for Ishmael. When Ishmael started scraping the land out of thirst, he found the water source.
Zamzam means stop flowing
Despite the everflowing nature of the source, it is named Zamzam. Zamzam originates from the Arabic phrase Zome Zome, which means “stop flowing.” Since the water is available in such abundance, Hajar repeated it to contain the spring water from overflowing. But fortunately, the water did not listen to her request and still provides relief to the pilgrims.
The dome of marble that we see today was not built at the beginning of its discovery. For years the water was surrounded by a simple fence of stone. Some also believe that the well had two cisterns when it was first found. One was for drinking and the other for ablution. In 771 AD, Abbasid Caliph Al Mansur has orders to build a dome above the well. It was tiled and marbled. The well was later restored in 835 AD when the dome had another marble coating under Al-Mu’tasim.
The recent restoration
The recent restoration of water was done in 1925, under the rule of Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid. It was an extensive restoration of the Zamzam well, which created separate housing for the well. The water was then connected to these housings with water pumps delivering the water to taps inside and outside the Grand Mosque. There are separate locations for men and women to drink water. You can find the signs over the taps indicating who can use the taps.
Do not sell
Noone in the UAE is allowed to sell Zamzam water. The Saudi government implemented the rule to ban the commercial export of Zamzam water outside the kingdom. It also prevents the locals from using Zamzam water for any commercial purposes. However, the world may not be in need of Zamzam water as there are still speculations about the safety of the Zamzam water. A BBC report revealed that the water might contain chemicals that are harmful to our health, including high levels of nitrate.