The history and merits of Zamzam
Sayyidina Rasul-ullah (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) said, “My roof was opened when I was in Makkah, and Jibreel (peace be upon him) came down and opened my chest, then he washed it with Zamzam water…” [Bukhari]
Allah Ta’ala has made all living creatures out of water. People require water for almost for everything but not all water carries the same value and significance. Muslims refer to the water of Zamzam as something revered and unique. They crave this mysterious liquid and love to drink it whenever they can. And for those who managed to go to the Hajj, they return home carrying it for thousands of miles as a prized possession and to give as special gift to their friends and families.
So what is so special about Zamzam water? In a word: Everything! There is nothing ordinary about it. The miracle of how it came to being in the middle of a desert, its consistency throught out 1000s of years, the beneficial qualities it has, the fact that it never dries up. This water is special.
The fact is, this small and only ‘ 5 ft deep well ‘ is far away from any other source or body of water. It is self replenishing. It is constantly replenishing itself in order to produce gallons upon gallons of water for the consumption of thirsty pilgrims plus the additional amount that is bottled up and also the amount that is taken as gifts and distributed worldwide to millions. SubhanAllah!
Zam zam water has scientifically been proven to contain healing qualities due to its higher content of Calcium and Magnesium Salts and also natural fluorides that encompass a germicidal action.
It is also an established scientific fact that pools or water wells tend to grow vegetation such as algae– especially in warm climates. Amazingly this is not the case in the well of Zamzam. It has remained free from bilogical contaminations.
History of Zamzam Water
Zamzam is the name of a famous well in al-Masjid al-Haraam [the Sacred Mosque in Makkah], which is thirty-eight cubits away from the Ka’bah. It is the well from which Allah quenched the thirst of Ismaa’eel the son of Ibraaheem (peace and blessings of Allah be upon them both) when he was an infant. His mother(Haajra(peace and blessings of Allah be upon her) looked for water for him, but could not find any. She climbed to the top of Mount al-Safaa, praying to Allah to help her and give her water for Ismaa’eel, then she climbed to the top of Mount al-Marwah and did the same. Allah sent Jibreel(peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) , and he struck the earth, and water appeared.
The scholars (may Allaah have mercy on them) agreed that it is mustahabb (recommended) for pilgrims on Hajj and ‘Umrah in particular, and for all Muslims in general, to drink Zamzam water, because of the saheeh hadeeth in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) is reported to have drunk the water of Zamzam. (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 3/492). According to the hadeeth of Abu Dharr (may Allaah be pleased with him), the Prophet (peace be upon him) said concerning the water of Zamzam,
“It is a blessing, and it is food that satisfies.” (Reported by Muslim, 4/1922).
Al-Tayaalisi added, in a version that he narrated: “and a cure for the sick. – but this is when he drinks it with faith and sincerity, as proven in the hadeeth of Abu Dharr al-Ghifaari who stayed in Makkah for a month without any nourishment except Zamzam water.
Al-‘Abbaas ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib (may Allaah be pleased with him) said:
“The people used to compete over Zamzam during the time of Jaahiliyyah(ignorance). People who had children used to bring them and give them to drink, and this was their early-morning victuals. We used to used to think that it was a help for people who had children.”
“During the Jaahiliyyah, Zamzam was known as Shabaa’ah (satisfaction).
“Al-‘Allaamah al-Abbi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
“(The water) is for whatever purpose it is drunk for, and Allaah made it food and drink for Ismaa’eel and his mother Haajar.”
Ibn al-Mubaarak entered Zamzam and said,
“O Allaah, Ibn al-Mu’ammal told me, from Abu’l-Zubayr from Jaabir that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: ‘The water of Zamzam is for whatever purpose it is drunk for,’ so, O Allaah, I am drinking it (to quench) my thirst on the Day of Resurrection.”
Virtues and characteristics of the water of Zamzam
The two angels washed the heart of the Prophet (peace be upon him) when he was a child, after they had taken it out, then they put it back. Al-Haafiz al-‘Iraaqi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: “The reason why the Prophet’s chest was washed with Zamzam water was to make him stronger so that he could see the kingdom of heaven and earth, and Paradise and Hell, because one of the special qualities of Zamzam is that it strengthens the heart and calms the soul. The report about the chest of the Prophet (peace be upon him) being washed with the water of Zamzam is proven in the hadeeth of Abu Dharr (may Allaah be pleased with him), who reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“My roof was opened when I was in Makkah, and Jibreel (peace be upon him) came down and opened my chest, then he washed it with Zamzam water. Then he brought a gold basin full of wisdom and faith, poured it into my chest, and closed it up again. Then he took me by the hand and ascended with me into the first heaven.” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 3/429).
It is sunnah to drink one’s fill of Zamzam water and to quench one’s thirst.The fuqaha have mentioned the etiquette that is mustahabb (recommended) when drinking Zamzam water, such as facing the Ka’bah, saying Bismillah, pausing to take a breath three times, drinking one’s fill, praising Allaah after one finishes As regards the hadeeth of Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him), who said,
“I gave the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) Zamzam water to drink whilst he was standing,” (reported by al-Bukhaari, 3/492), it is taken to mean that it is permissible to drink zamzam whilst standing; showing the utmost respect.
The scholars also recommended that the person who drinks Zamzam water should sprinkle some of it on his head, face and chest, make lots of du’aa’ when drinking it, and to drink it for a purpose that will benefit him in this world or the next, because of the hadeeth in which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
“The water of Zamzam is for whatever purpose it is drunk for.” (Reported by Ibn Maajah, 2/1018; see Al-Maqaasid al-Hasanah by al-Sakhaawi, p. 359).
It was reported that when Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) drank from the water of Zamzam, he said:
“O Allaah, I ask you for beneficial knowledge, plentiful provision and healing from every disease.”
Al-Daynoori reported that al-Humaydi said:
“We were with Sufyaan ibn ‘Uyaynah, and he told us the hadeeth about the water of Zamzam being drunk for whatever purpose it is drunk for. A man got up and left the gathering, then he came back and said, ‘O Abu Muhammad, is the hadeeth which you told us about the water of Zamzam saheeh?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ The man said, ‘Just now I drank a bucket of Zamzam so that you would tell me one hundred hadeeths.’ Sufyaan said, ‘Sit down,’ so he sat down and he told him one hundred hadeeths.”
Some fuqaha’ recommended that people should take some Zamzam water back with them to their countries, because it is a cure for those who seek healing. ‘Aa’ishah(R.A.) reported that she took Zamzam water home with her in bottles, and said,
“The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) took some of it away with him, and he used to pour it on the sick and give it to them to drink.” (Reported by al-Tirmidhi, 4/37).
Al-Haafiz al-Sakhaawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Al-Maqaasid al-Hasanah:
“Some people said that the virtue (of Zamzam water) remains only so long as it is in its place (of origin), and that when it is taken away,it changes. This is an idea that has no basis. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) wrote to Suhayl ibn ‘Amr: “If my letter reaches you at night, do not wait until morning, and if it reaches you during the day, do not wait until evening, to send me some Zamzam water.” He sent him two containers full, and at that time he was in Madeenah, before the Conquest of Makkah. This hadeeth is hasan because of corroborating evidence. ‘Aa’ishah also used to take Zamzam water away with her, and she reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to do this; he used to carry it in small vessels and buckets, and pour it onto the sick and give it to them to drink. Whenever a guest visited Ibn ‘Abbaas he would honour him by giving him Zamzam to drink. ‘Ata’ was asked about taking Zamzam water away, and he said: “The Prophet (peace be upon him), al-Hasan and al-Husayn all took it away with them.”And Allaah knows best. (See: Fath al-Baari,3/493; al-Mughni, 3/445; Nihaayat al-Muhtaaj, Shifa’ al-Gharaam bi Akhbaar al-Balad al-Haraam, by al-‘Iraaqi, 1/258)
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
Myself and others tried seeking healing with Zamzam water and saw wondrous things. I sought healing with it from a number of illnesses, and I was healed by the permission of Allaah. I saw someone who nourished himself with it for a number of days, half a month or more, and he did not feel hunger; he performed Tawaaf along with the other people just as they did. And he told me that he consumed nothing but Zamzam water for forty days and he had the strength to have intercourse with his wife, to fast and to perform Tawaaf numerous times. (Zaad al-Ma’aad, 4/319, 320).
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah preserve him) said:
So you should have the intention of what you want to gain by drinking this water. He should drink his fill, ie. fill his stomach with it until it is filled to the ribs, because this water is good. A hadeeth has been narrated concerning this: the difference between the believers and the hypocrites is drinking one’s fill of Zamzam water.(Narrated by Ibn Maajah)
It was reported in Saheeh Muslim that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to
Abu Dharr, who had stayed near the Ka’bah and its coverings for forty days and nights with no food or drink other than (Zamzam): “How long have you been here?” Abu Dharr said: “I have been here for thirty days and nights.” The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “Who has been feeding you?” He said, “I have had nothing but Zamzam water, and I have gotten so fat that I have folds of fat on my stomach. I do not feel any of the tiredness or weakness of hunger and I have not become thin.” The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Verily, it is blessed, it is food that nourishes.” (Narrated by Imaam Muslim, 2473).
Some incidents relating to the Miracles of ZamZam
Yusria Abdel-Rahman Haraz said that she was affected by a ulcer in her eye. It affected her by a severe headache which could not be cured by tablets. She was about to become blind in the affected eye. She went to a famous doctor who suggested to give her an injection which will stop the headache but it will also dysfunction the affected eye and consequently she will loose the sight in the affected eye. Mrs.Yusria was confident of the mercy of Allah. She thought of performing Umra and supplicated to Allah to cure her. She come to Makkah and performed Tawaf, there were not many people and the areas not crowded, therefore, she could be with the Zamzam water for long time. She washed her eyes. When she came back to the hotel she found that her affected eyes was cured and the ulcer disappeared. This event proves that it is a confirmation of the Hadeeth which says, “Zamzam water fulfils the purpose for which it has been drunk, if you drink it for getting cured Allah cures you, if you drink it for stomach satisfaction Allah will satisfy you and if you drink it for quenching thirst Allah will quench your thirst.” [Refer to El-Dar Gatni and El-Hukm and Zad]
There are many of such events, which proves the truth of what Prophet Muhammed(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam) said and the holy nature of Zamzam water. Dr. Farooque Antar tells his own story. He says that he had been affected by a stone in his ureter and the doctor could not remove or destroy it without a surgical operation. But he postponed the operation two times. Meanwhile he performed Umra and supplicated to Allah to cure him without undergoing operation. He drank from Zamzam water and prayed two Rakaats. Then he felt a benching in his ureter and hurried to relieve himself, only to see the stone come out and he was cured without undergoing a surgical operation. The doctors who were treating Dr. Farooque were surprised at this.
A man from Yemen was fond of reading Quran from a small Mushaf. As he became old he found that he couldn’t read Quran easily from that book because his sight was becoming weak. He heard about the water of Zamzam and its advantage of fulfilling the purpose for which it has been drunk. He came to Haj and he drank from Zamzam. He started reading from that small Mushaf of Quran easily and without any sight problems. He achieved what he wanted because he was confident of that and had deep faith in the saying of the Prophet(sallallahu alaiyhi wassallam), “The water of Zamzam fulfils the purpose for which it has deep drunk” He was also confident and had deep belief in the Quranic sign in which Allah says, “When my servants ask thee concerning me, I am indeed close (to them): I listen to the prayer of every supplicant when he collect on me, let them also with a will listen to my call, and believe in Me. That may walk in the right way”. [2:186] Source: “You ask about the scientific miracles of Quran an Sunna and Shaikh Zindani answers” By Shaikh Abdel Majeed El Zindani
Some Ahadeeth about the Zamzam Water:
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) 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.” (Saheeh al-Jaami’, 3302).
It was reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) drank it, did wudoo’ with it and poured it on his head. He used to carry Zamzam water in small vessels and large containers in order to pour it on the sick and give it to them to drink. (al-Silsilat al-Saheehah, 883).
One of the Sahaabah said: we used to call it al-Shabbaa’ah (satisfying) and it helped us to take care our families (ie. it was filling and helped them to do without food, it was also sufficient to nourish children). (al-Silsilat al-Saheehah li’l-Albaani, 2685).
The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The water of Zamzam is for whatever it is drunk for.” (Narrated by Ibn Maajah)
The Messenger of Allah, salallahu alayhe wa sallam has said:” The most sublime of all earthly waters is that of zamzam; therein one finds food for the hungry and medicne for the ill.” [ At- Tabarani ]
“Zamzam water is what one intends to drink it for. When one drinks it to be healed, Allah heals him; when one drinks it to be full, Allah makes him full; and when one drinks it to quench his thrist, Allah quenches it. ” [ Ahmad, and Ibn Majah]
Since Zamzam water serves whatever purpose and intention for which it is drank; provided it is with sincerity: The scholars and the righteous have tried this and they drank from it with the intention of fulfilling their needs and seeking cure for the sick or relief from poverty or catastrophe and surely Allah eased for them achieving their needs. So next time when one gets the opportunity to drink Zamzam, one should grab the opportunity to pray for: a healthy body, sharp mind, forgiveness for sins, life in Jannah after death, an honorable death on the day of Jummah, and all one’s physical and spiritual needs of this world and Hereafter.