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Zamzam Well

The Well of Zamzam is a well located in Mecca near the Holy Ka'bah. In the Islamic religion, the well is said to be the source of a life-giving water that can satisfy both hunger and thirst, and cure illness. Recent scientific study has revealed that the water contains elevated levels of calcium and magnesium, as well as high amounts of fluoride.

According to Islamic tradition, the well was shown to Hagar, wife of Abraham, when she was in search of water to feed Ishmael. Since then, millions have quenched their thirst and still continue to do so. The water is served to the public through coolers stationed throughout Masjid al Haram and is transported to Masjid al Nabwi , the Prophet's mosque in Madina, where also, several coolers are stationed throughout the mosque. Each year, during the Pilgrimage, millions of people fill up their large water canisters through special taps and take it back home to distribute among relatives and friends.

The History of Zamzam

According to Arab historians, the Zamzam Well, except for a few periods when it became dry or was buried under sand, has been in use for around 4000 years. The well marks the site of a spring that, miraculously, had issued forth from a barren and desolate wadi (non perennial stream) where the Abraham, under Allah's command, had left his wife Hagar and their infant son Ishmael. Prophet Abraham settled his family there as part of God's mission for him.

Many traditions believe that the Zamzam well was to provide Hagar and Ishmael with water in the hot, dry valley they were in. In her desperate search for water, Hagar 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. She was searching for it while watching at her son and would run whenever she could not see Ishmael.

According to Islamic religion, God then sent the Angel Gabriel, who scraped the ground, causing the spring to appear. On finding the spring, and fearing that it might run out of water, Hagar enclosed it in sand and stones. The name Zamzam originates from the phrase "zomŽ-zomŽ", meaning "stop flowing", a command repeated by Hagar during her attempt to contain the spring water. The area around the spring, which was later converted to a well, became a resting place for caravans, and eventually grew into the trading city of Mecca, birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad.

The well of Zamzam retained its importance in later generations. The grandfather of the Prophet Muhammad, Abdul Muttalib , was honored with the responsibility of taking care of the well and the pilgrims to Mecca.

Last updated: 02-08-2005 11:31:32
Last updated: 05-02-2005 19:48:03