Zamzam Well

The photo shows the source of the Zamzam water within its well. The Zamzam well has provided some 4000 years of almost continuous water supply, a living miracle.

  • Ebrahim (upon him be peace) took his son Ismail (upon him be peace) and the child’s mother Hajrah (upon her be peace) to Makkah where he left them with only some water and dates as provisions. Once the provisions ran out, mother and son became thirsty and restless. Hajrah (upon her be peace) climbed up Mount Safa to see whether she could sight any people from whom she could get water. When she saw nothing, she crossed the valley and then climbed up Mount Marwah for the same reason. When she saw nothing here either, she started running from Safa to Marwah and back again in her anxiety. When she had done so seven times and was atop Mount Marwah, she heard a sound. When she returned (to where her son lay), she saw that an angel had struck his wing on the ground, causing water to gush forth from the spot. The name of the well comes from the phrase ‘Zome Zome’, meaning ‘stop flowing’, a command repeated by Hajra (upon her be peace) during her attempt to contain the spring water.

  • When the Jurhum tribe from Yemen arrived in Makkah some time afterwards, they settled there and Ismail (upon him be peace) married one of them. It was the children of Ismail. (upon him be peace) who had the honour of looking after the Ka’bah and after them, the Jurhum tribe assumed responsibility. However, once these people started violating the sanctity of the place, the Zamzam well dried up as a form of punishment for them and eventually no sign was left of it. For centuries, people did not even know where it was located.
  • Abdul Muttalib’s son, Abdullah, the father of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him), was a handsome youth. He was called “Dhabih” (the sacrificed) in reference to the rediscovery of Zamzam . When Abdul Muttalib was digging beside the Ka’bah in search of the old well, the Quraysh watched him idly. Once he began to reach wet soil, they insisted on sharing in his discovery, and they raised a great clamour. Abdul Muttalib vowed to Allah that he would sacrifice one of his ten sons if he were allowed to uncover the well. In the end, Abdul Muttalib continued excavating and discovered the old well.
  • Afterwards, he drew lots to determine which son he would sacrifice and Abdullah was chosen. Abdul Muttalib took Abdullah to the Ka’bah and was prepared to sacrifice him, but the Quraysh, particularly Abdullah’s brother and maternal uncles, were opposed to the sacrifice. Finally, it was decided that one hundred camels should be sacrificed in his place. Hence the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) is called the descendent of the “two sacrificed ones” for Ismail (upon him be peace) was ransomed for a ram and his father for a hundred camels.
  • When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) was a young boy and playing with other children near Haleemah As-Sadiyah’s house, Jibraeel (upon him be peace) appeared and made him lie down. He then opened up the boy’s chest, took out his heart and extracted a lump of flesh from it, saying: “This is the portion of Shaitan in you”. Then he put his heart in a golden tray filled with Zamzam water, washed it and replaced it in his chest. Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) later said that he saw the scar on the Prophet’s chest where it had been sewn back together.
  • There is healing power in Zamzam. Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) reports that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said,“The best water on the face of the earth is the water of Zamzam. In it is complete nourishment and healing from sickness.” [At-Tabarani]
  • Jaabir (may Allah be pleased with him) says, “I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) say: ‘Zamzam is a cure for any purpose for which it is drunk’.” Another Hadith states,“If you drink it to quench a thirst, it will do so, and if you drink it to fill the stomach in place of food, it will do so, and if you drink it for a cure from some illness, it will do so.” [It-Haaf]
  • Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) reports that when the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) drank Zamzam he said the following prayer: “O Allah, grant me beneficial knowledge, abundant sustenance and a cure from all diseases.”
  • The Bible makes a reference of the miracle of Zamzam when it talks about the passing through of Ismail (upon him be peace) and his mother through the valley: “Blessed is the man whose strength is in Thee; in whose heart are the ways of them who passing through the valley of Bacca make it a well.” [Psalm 84:5-6. Note that the Quran also refers to Makkah as Bakkah]
  • The Zamzam well is approximately 30m deep. Up until 1953 water was drawn by bucket, electric pumps now pump water into tanks.

References:  The History of Makkah Mukarramah – Dr Muhammad Ilyas Abdul Ghani, Holy Makkah – Shaikh Safiur-Rahman Mubarakpuri, When the Moon Split – Shaikh Safiur-Rahman Mubarakpuri, Virtues of Hajj – Sheikh Zakariyya Kandhalvi, Muhammad – Martin Lings, Wikipedia

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