zamzam waterAccording 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 Prophet Ibrahim (Peace be upon him-pbuh), under Allah’s command, had left his wife Hajar and their infant son Ismail (pbuh). In her desperate search for water, Hajar ran seven times back and forth in the scorching heat between the two hills of Safa and Marwa to provide water for Ismail (pbuh), who was dying of thirst.

Allah, in His mercy, 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, Hajar enclosed it in sand and stones. The name Zamzam originates from the phrase Zomë Zomë, meaning ‘stop flowing’, a command repeated by Hajar 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 Makkah, birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

Prophet Ibrahim (pbuh) later returned to rebuild the first Bait-ul-Allah (House of Allah), originally build by Adam (pbuh). Because of its square shape, it is called The Ka’ba. It is the holiest Muslim shrine. The Ka’ba now stands in the center of the Holy Mosque, also called Al-Haram. The Zamzam well is located within the Holy Mosque at about 20 m east of the Ka’ba.

All able-bodied Muslims with sufficient financial means are obliged to make the pilgrimage to Makkah, known as the Hajj, at least once in lifetime. During the Hajj, pilgrims perform a number of rituals in the Al-Haram and outside Makkah at Muna, Arafat, and Muzdalifa. One of the rituals known as the Umrah, includes Tawaf (seven times circling) of Ka’ba and Sai between the hills of Safa and Marwa, which is to re-enact Hajar’s search for water Umrah can be performed at any time of the year. Millions of Umrah pilgrims visit Makkah throughout the year, the peak season being the month of Ramadan. Muslims drink Zamzam water during their visit and also carry it back home

 

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