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Zamzam water…the inexhaustible water for pilgrims. Where does it come from and what is the story of its first appearance?

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One poet said:

Let us have a drink of Zamzam water
It will be safe for us in the time of attack

Another said:

Our pilgrims prayed at the pillars of the shrine
And in Zamzam we brought pure water

A third said:

Its water is sweet and fragrant
You see in it healing and the best medicine

All of these verses and more have been sung by the ancients and the later ones about Zamzam water and its virtues. According to Muslims, it is the best water on earth, blessed, it cures sickness, and prayers are answered when drinking it. Ibn al-Qayyim said about it in his book “Zad al-Ma’ad”: Zamzam water is the master of waters, the most exalted, the most honorable in terms, and the most beloved of all. Souls, the most expensive and most precious to people, is the defeat of Gabriel and God gave Ishmael to drink. I and others have tried amazing things to heal with Zamzam water, and I recovered from several diseases with it, so I was cured, God willing, and I witnessed someone being nourished with it for days of a number of close to half a month or more, and he did not find anything. Starving.

Pilgrims recall the story of Zamzam water and the wisdom of it in the ritual of walking between Safa and Marwah, the story of the father of the prophets, Abraham, his wife Hagar, and his son, the Prophet Ishmael, and the words of God Almighty in Surah Ibrahim: “Our Lord, I have made some of my descendants dwell in a valley next to Your Sacred House without crops Our Lord, let them establish prayer, so make hearts of people, incline toward them, and provide them with fruits that they may be grateful.

Zamzam Well…blessed, inexhaustible water in an uncultivated valley

It is difficult to determine an exact date for digging the Zamzam well, but the Islamic narrative dates it back to the era of the Prophet Ibrahim, peace be upon him. He had left his wife Hagar and his son Ismail in the desert, so Zamzam water saved the mother and her son from thirst, and was a sign of God’s mercy toward His servants.

The Saudi Geological Survey says that the Zamzam Well is about 20 meters away from the Holy Kaaba in the east direction, and is fed by three main directions, one from the northwest, the second from the east, and the third from the south. The geographical location of the blessed Zamzam Well is considered one of the miracles, because it In a blessed area next to the Sacred House, it is the lowest point in the area of ​​the Holy Mosque in Mecca within the Wadi Ibrahim basin, which the Lord Almighty described as an uncultivated valley.

Zamzam Waterthe Inexhaustible Water For Pilgrims Where Does It Come

At its beginning, Zamzam Well was surrounded by a stone wall until the era of Abu Jaafar Al-Mansur. He was the first to build a dome over Zamzam Well, and after that, the well and its surroundings were decorated with marble and mosaics. The Ottomans were interested in renovating the architecture of the dome of the well, and it was the largest renovation process during the reign of the Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid II, before expanding the Grand Mosque in Mecca, changing the location of the well, and delivering its water to its new place in the eastern part of the Grand Mosque in Mecca.

Researcher Azza Abdel Rahim Shaheen says in her research entitled “The Ottomans’ Efforts to Provide Water in the Hijaz” that in the year 1908, an Indian man threw himself into the Zamzam Well to seek its blessing, and his body was not exhumed until a long time later, so the Ottoman Empire at that time placed iron nets. Above the well, to protect it and preserve its water.

Gabriel’s blow…an eternal miracle that saves Hagar and Ishmael

Muhammad bin Abdullah Al-Azraqi mentioned in his book “Akhbar Mecca” that Abdullah bin Abbas said that when there was nothing between Ismail bin Ibrahim’s mother and Sarah, Abraham’s wife, Abraham, peace be upon him, approached Ismail’s mother and her son, who was young, and she was breastfeeding him, until he came with them to Mecca. And Ismail’s mother had a bag (i.e., an old waterskin) containing water from which she drank and fed it to her son, but she had no food with her. So he took them to a doha above Zamzam at the top of the mosque, and placed them under it. Then Ibrahim headed out on his mount, and Umm Ismail followed in his wake.

Ibn Abbas says: Ismail’s mother said to him: To whom will you leave us and our son? He said, “To God Almighty.” She said, “I am satisfied with God.” So Ismail’s mother returned, carrying her son until she sat under the tub. She placed her son next to her, and hung up her bag to drink from it and feed her son, until the water in her bag ran out and her bag stopped, so her son became hungry and his hunger increased, until his mother looked at him getting thirsty. She thought that he would die, which made her sad, so she said: If I were to be absent from him so that I would not see his death.

Ibn Abbas says: So Umm Ismail went to Al-Safa when she saw it overlooking it, to seek clarification over it, that is, she saw someone in the valley, then she looked at Al-Marwah and then said, “If I walked between these two mountains, I would climb until the boy died and I would not see him.” Ibn Abbas said: Umm Ismail walked between them three or four times, and she does not pass through the middle of the valley in that way except through sand (a kind of fast walking), then she returned to her son and found him fussing as she had left him, which made her sad, so she returned to Al-Safa, making excuses until he died and she did not see him, so she walked between Al-Safa. And Al-Marwah as she walked the first time, until she walked between them seven times. Ibn Abbas said: Abu Al-Qasim, peace and blessings be upon him, said: That is why people circumambulated between Al-Safa and Al-Marwah.

Then he said: So Ismail’s mother returned to look at her son and found him as she had left him, fussing, so she heard a voice that had rebuked her, and no one else was with her, so she said, “I may hear your voice, so help me if you have any good.” So Gabriel, peace be upon him, came out to her, so she followed him until he struck his foot on the place of the well, and water appeared above it. The ground where Gabriel examined.

Ibn Abbas says: Abu al-Qasim, peace and blessings of God be upon him, said: Umm Ismail gave him some dirt to bring back, fearing that he would miss it before she brought her sheep, so she drew water and drank, and turned to her son.

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Ahmed Gabin, in his research entitled “The Well of Zamzam… a site of pilgrimage and therapeutic water in Islam,” mentions the same story, but with different details mentioned in the Book of Genesis, which states that when Hagar saw water, she collected it in an earthen pool, so that the water would remain there in the form of a well. Were it not for that pond that Hagar made, Zamzam would have turned into a spring whose water flowed uselessly. According to one account, the angel Gabriel announced that Zamzam water would be sufficient for the inhabitants of the region, as well as for the future guests of God, i.e. pilgrims.

The absurdity of dragging them… immoral acts and corruption in the house and filling the Zamzam well

Zamzam water was not just a spring that exploded to water Hagar and her child, but it quickly became the first nucleus for the reconstruction of the desolate Mecca Valley, before the place turned into a center for the holiest places on the face of the earth, where the hearts of millions fell, and the Jarhum tribe was the first tribe to descend on the site of Zamzam.

Muhammad Lutfi Jumaa narrates in his book “The Revolution of Islam and the Hero of the Prophets, Abu al-Qasim Muhammad bin Abdullah” that Hagar died and did not witness the construction of the House of God, but she witnessed the landing of the Jarhum tribe near its spring. He says: The origin of this is that a group of people riding on their trail passed by water, so they asked them, “Whose water is this?” She said it is mine. When she gave them permission, they went down and sent to their families. They came to them and lived under Doha and occupied the throne over her. She and her son were with them until the boy grew up. When Ismail grew up, they married him to Amara bint Saeed bin Osama, one of the notables of the Jarhum tribe.

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The Prophet Ishmael and his sons took over the supervision of the Kaaba after its construction, and they followed the religion of the Prophet Abraham until the death of Ishmael. The Kaaba and its surroundings became a center of conflict between the descendants of Abraham and the Jarhum tribe. The sons of Ishmael – who were few in number – were expelled from the holy place, and the Kaaba became the center of authority of the Jarhum tribe. Spoilers on earth.

Ibn Katheer says in his book “The Beginning and the End”: Then Jurhum conquered the House out of greed for their sister’s sons, so they ruled in Mecca and its environs in place of the sons of Ishmael for a long period. Then Jurhum invaded Mecca, and increased corruption therein, and committed apostasy with the Sacred Mosque, until it was mentioned that a man among them was called He had Asaf bin Baghi and a woman called Na’ila bint Wael. They met in the Kaaba and he committed an indecent act against her, so God turned them into stones.

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Jurhum invaded and oppressed the land of Mecca, until it was defeated by the Khuza’a tribe. Khuza’a was one of the nobles of the Arabs, and they were descendants of Mudar bin Nizar bin Ma’d bin Adnan, according to the words of Ibn Ishaq. An internecine war broke out between the two tribes, in which blood flowed inside the Kaaba.

When Jurham realized its defeat, its master, Amr bin Rabia bin Al-Harith, collected the treasures of the Kaaba, then they filled in the well before they left Mecca, and the Well of Zamzam remained in that state.

Abdul Muttalib bin Hashim re-digs the well… signs of prophecy

Khuza’a remained in charge of the House for about 300 years, and it was said that 500 years. Ibn Katheer said in “The Beginning and the End”: They replaced the religion of Abraham and Ishmael, peace be upon them, with something else, so they worshiped idols and became as the nations before them were of misguidance, and in that case there were remnants of the era of Abraham, peace be upon him, which they adhered to, such as venerating the House, circumambulating it, Hajj and Umrah. Standing at Arafat and Muzdalifah, offering the body, and performing Hajj and Umrah, while including in it what is not part of it.

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The well remained buried throughout the time of Khuza’a and beyond, until a sacred vision brought life back to the well decades before the birth of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, so his grandfather Abdul Muttalib bin Hashim dug the well again. Ibn Kathir says in “The Beginning and the End”: Then, while Abdul Muttalib was sleeping in the stone, he was brought and ordered to dig Zamzam.

Abdul Muttalib said: I was sleeping in the stone when someone came to me and said to me, “Dig a good pit.” I said, “What is a good thing?” Then he left me, and the next day I went back to my bed and slept. He came to me and said, “Dig a hole.” I said, “What’s a hole?” Then he left me, and the next day I went back to my bed and slept. He came to me and said, “Dig the Madhnoonah.” I said, “What is the Madhnoonah?” Then he left me, and the next day I went back to my bed and slept in it. He came to me and said, “Dig Zamzam.” I said, “What is Zamzam?” He said, “Never bleed and never censure. It provides water for the greatest pilgrims. It is between the dung and the blood, at the crow’s nest, at the village of ants.”

Abdul Muttalib said: When he explained to me its status and indicated its location, he knew that he had told the truth. So Abdul Muttalib went tomorrow with his pickaxe, and with him was his son Al-Harith bin Abdul Muttalib, and he dug. When it appeared to Abdul Muttalib that he was folding, he said “Allahu Akbar,” and the Quraysh knew that he had realized his need, so they went to him.

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Researcher Muhammad Lutfi Jumaa says: When it was dug, buried artifacts were found in its bottoms, including swords, gold jewelry, shields, and tools of war, but those who had watering cans before Abdul Muttalib did not think about them. As for the one who submerged the treasure in the Zamzam well and buried it, it was Amr bin Al-Harith Al-Jarhami, and that is because His people had caused accidents to the Kaaba, and they were assigned someone who had expelled them from Mecca, so Amr sought the precious things and put them in Zamzam, and he went to great lengths to cover them up after that, and he fled to Yemen with his people. From that era, Zamzam remained unknown, until the veil was lifted from it, and Abdul Muttalib began to conquer it. Dig it.

“By God, we will never quarrel with you in Zamzam.” The end of the ambitions of the Quraysh

Ibn Kathir narrates that the Quraysh were driven by greed for the well, so they came to Abdul Muttalib and said: O Abdul Muttalib, this is the well of our father Ismail and we have a right to it, so share it with you. He said: I will not do this. This matter was specifically assigned to me and not among you, and I was given it from among you. They said to him: So be fair with us, for we will not leave you until we dispute with you over it. He said: So put between me and you whoever you want, with whom I will judge you. They said: The priestess of Banu Saad bin Hudhaim. He said: Yes.

It was in the nobles of the Levant, so Abdul Muttalib rode with him a group of Banu Umayyads, and a group of Quraish rode from each tribe, so they went out while the land was empty, until when they were in some of it, the water of Abdul Muttalib and his companions ran out, and they became thirsty until they were certain of death, so they drew water from those with them, but they refused, and they said: We are in distress, and we fear for ourselves the same as what happened to you. Abdul Muttalib said: I see that each man among you should dig his own hole, with the strength you have now. Whenever a man dies, his companions push him into his hole, then hide him until the last of them is one man.

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So they set off until when Abdul Muttalib set off his camel, a spring of fresh water burst from beneath its shoe, so Abdul Muttalib and his companions said “Allahu Akbar,” and then he descended and drank and his companions drank and drank until they filled their watering cans. Then he called the Quraish tribes while they were looking at them in all these conditions, and he said: “Come to the water, for it is forbidden.” May God give us water.

So they came and drank and drew water, all of them, then they said: By God, it has been decided for you over us, and by God, we will never quarrel with you over Zamzam. Indeed, the one who gave you this water to drink in this desert is the one who gave you drink of Zamzam, so return to your watering as an adult. So he returned and they returned with him, but they did not reach the priest, and they remained alone between him and Zamzam.

“The well of Zamzam surpasses all wells.” Symbolism in pre-Islamic times and Islam

The Saudi researcher Samir Ahmed Barqa, who specializes in Meccan history, states that there are approximately 28 wells in the Great Mosque of Mecca, and there are those who say that there are 58 wells within the walls of Mecca, which allows the question about the distinction of the Zamzam Well and the holiness assigned to it from other wells of Mecca.

The Zamzam Well is linked to three reasons that gave it holiness for decades: The first reason is that it was linked to the father of the prophets, Abraham, peace be upon him, or the father of monotheistic religions, as some researchers say, and the story of Hagar and her son Ishmael, and the wisdom of the Creator and his mercy toward his creation.

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The second reason is that Abdul Muttalib bin Hashim – the grandfather of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him – was the one who revived the Zamzam Well.

The third reason is the spiritual and historical link between Muhammadan Islam and Abrahamic Islam, as God Almighty says in Surah Al Imran: “Abraham was neither a Jew nor a Christian, but he was an upright Muslim, and he was not of the polytheists,” and there is no clearer evidence of this than the obligation of sa’i In Hajj, which is invoked Hagar, the wife of the Prophet Abraham, peace be upon him, ran between Safa and Marwah, before the Zamzam spring burst from the ground.

Researcher Ahmed Ghaben says in the study “Zamzam Well… a site of pilgrimage and therapeutic water in Islam”: The sanctity of Zamzam water links beliefs about water to the history related to the well.

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First: The Qur’an says that water is the source of every living thing, and that it is the best means by which people purify themselves before prayer. Zamzam represents the water of life, and also provides a context for important events in the founding of Islam.

Second: Since Zamzam water saved the lives of Hagar and her son Ismail, peace be upon them, the water also saved the life of the great grandfather of Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, and his tribe.

Third: The appearance of Zamzam and the construction of the Kaaba led to the founding of the city of Mecca and the pilgrimage to it in pre-Islamic times and Islam, and the main ritual that commemorates the appearance of the well is the sa’i ritual. Immediately after completing the circumambulation around the Kaaba, and before the pilgrim performs Sa’i between Safa and Marwah as Hajar did, he goes to Zamzam and drinks from it until he is relieved.

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The importance of the well in Islam is also linked to the rediscovery of the site by Abd al-Muttalib, the grandfather of the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, shortly before the emergence of Islam. He began building a barrier to preserve water in a pond so that he could water it for the pilgrims, and in this way the custom of watering for the pilgrims of Mecca was renewed.

This is what Ibn Kathir also said – quoting Ibn Ishaq – that there were many wells in Mecca before the appearance of Zamzam in the time of Abdul Muttalib, and he enumerated and named them, and mentioned their locations and the names of their diggers, but “the well of Zamzam outgrew all the wells,” according to Ibn Ishaq. “All the people went to it, because of its location in the Sacred Mosque and its superiority over other waters, and because it was the well of Ismail bin Ibrahim, and the Banu Abd Manaf were proud of it over all of the Quraysh and over all the Arabs.”