The Well of Zamzam is a well located within the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, 20 m (66 ft) east of the Kaaba, the holiest place in Islam. According to Islamic belief, it is a miraculously-generated source of water from God, which began thousands of years ago when Abraham’s (Ibrāhīm) infant son Ishmael was thirsty and kept crying for water. Millions of pilgrims visit the well each year while performing the Hajj or Umrah pilgrimages, in order to drink its water.
How the Zamzam came into being?
All traditions agree that Allah (S.W.T) created the well to provide Hajira, the wife of Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him), and her baby Prophet Ismail (peace be upon him) with water in the hot, dry valley they were in, around the year 2000 BC.
In her desperate search for water, Hajira ran seven times back and forth in the scorching heat between the two hills of Safa and Marwa to provide for her baby who was dying of thirst. Today, this same act is a necessary rite of Hajj pilgrimage all Muslims, mothers and fathers, must complete.
Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) settled his family there as part of Allah’s mission for him. The first thing Hajira had to do then was to look for water in the area. She was searching for it while watching at her son and would run whenever she could not see Ismail. Allah (S.W.T) saw her effort and miraculously blessed the spot with a water spring, at the feet of Prophet Ismail (as).
Zamzam water: the power drink and a cure for sickness
One of the miracles of Zamzam water is its ability to satisfy both thirst and hunger. One of the Companions of the Prophet said that before Islam, the water was called “Shabbaa’ah” or satisfying. It was filling and helped them nourish their families.
After Islam, this powerful ability to quench thirst and fill stomachs remained. Prophet Muhammad 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.”
According to the Muslim collection of Hadith, Abu Dharr al-Ghifari, a Companion (Sahabi), noted that when he first arrived in Makkah during the early days of Islam, not only did he satisfy his hunger and thirst but he survived only on Zamzam water for a whole month.
More recently, in the last few decades, scientists have collected samples of Zamzam water and they have found certain peculiarities that make the water healthier, like a higher level of calcium.
Apart from its ability to serve as satisfying food and drink, Zamzam water’s health benefits are also commended.
Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him and his family) said it was a healing from sickness. This is why pilgrims to Makkah to this day collect it in bottles to bring for relatives and friends back home who are ill.
Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him and his family) used to carry Zamzam water in pitchers and water skins back to Madinah. He used to sprinkle it over the sick and make them drink it.
Wahab Ibn Munabbah,, said ‘I swear by Him in whose possession my life is, Allah Ta’ala will relieve the person of all illnesses who drinks Zamzam to his fill and will also grant him good health.’
Zamzam water and Hajj pilgrimage:
During Hajj and Umra, pilgrims are recommended to drink Zamzam water to their fill to quench their thirst. They also continue the tradition of bringing it back for family and friends.