Articles on Zamzam Water

History of Zamzam Water
Virtues and characteristics of the water of Zamzam  
What is the status of Zamzam water?
A Story of Repentance

 

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 of
Ismaa’eel the son of Ibraaheem (peace and blessings of Allah be upon them both),
from which Allah quenched the thirst of Ismaa’eel when he was an infant. His 
mother looked for water for him, but could not find any. She climbed to the top 
of al-Safaa, praying to Allah to help her and give her water for Ismaa’eel, then 
she climbed to the top of al-Marwah and did the same. Allah sent Jibreel, and 
he struck the earth with his heels, 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 (61) added, in a version that he narrated: “and a cure for the sick.” 
I.e., drinking the water of Zamzam means that a person does not need to 
eat, and it will cure his sickness – 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. 
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.” Al-‘Abbaas said: “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, and sitting whilst drinking it, as one should do when drinking 
other kinds of drinks. 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 whilst standing, and the disapproval of doing so is understood to
 mean that it is makrooh. 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 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).

The fuqaha’ agreed that it is permissible to use Zamzam water
to purify oneself, but they advised that it should not be used for 
any inappropriate purposes such as removing najaasah (impurity) 
and so on. Al-‘Allaamah al-Bahooti (may Allaah have mercy on him)
said in his book Kashshaaf al-Qinaa’: “Only this (using Zamzam water
to remove najaasah) is considered to be makrooh, out of respect, but it 
is not makrooh to use it to purify oneself, because ‘Ali said: ‘The Messenger
of Allaah peace be upon him) departed (from Muzdalifah) and called for 
a bucket of Zamzam water. He drank from it, then did wudoo’. 
(Reported by ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Ahmad with a saheeh isnaad).” 
(See Nayl al-Awtaar, Kitaab al-Tahaarah, Baab Tahooriyyat al-Bahr).

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)

 

The virtues of Zamzam water

Imaam Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
Zamzam water is the best and noblest of all waters, the highest in status, 
the dearest to people, the most precious and valuable to them. It was dug 
by Jibreel and is the water with which Allaah quenched the thirst of Ismaa’eel.
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).

Other scholars added, with their own isnaads, “… and a healing 
for sickness.” This was narrated by al-Bazzaar (1171, 1172) and 
al-Tabaraani in al-Sagheer (295). In Sunan Ibn Maajah (al-Manaasik, 3062)
it was reported from Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allaah that the Prophet 
(peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: 
“The water of Zamzam is for whatever it is drunk for.” The Salaf 
and ‘ulamaa’ acted upon this Hadeeth. When ‘Abd-Allaah ibn al-Mubaarak 
went for Hajj, he came to Zamzam and said, “O Allaah, Ibn Abi’l-Mawaali
told us from Muhammad ibn al-Munkadir from Jaabir (may Allaah be 
pleased with him) that Your Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah
be upon him) said, ‘The water of Zamzam is for whatever it is drunk for.’
I am drinking it to ward off thirst on the Day of Resurrection.” Ibn Abi’l-Mawaali 
is thiqah (trustworthy) so the hadeeth is hasan (good).

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, i.e., 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 in al-Manaasik, 1017; al-Haakim, 1/472).Al-Boosairi said: 
this is a saheeh isnaad; its men are mawthooqoon [trustworthy].

This is because Zamzam water is not sweet; it is somewhat salty, 
and the believer only drinks this somewhat salty water out of faith,
 believing that there is barakah (blessing) in it. So when he drinks 
his fill of it, this is a sign of faith. (Sharh al-Mumti’, 7/377, 378, 379).

Perhaps Allaah did not make it sweet so that people would not 
forget that the meaning of drinking it is an act of worship. Whatever 
the case, its taste is fine and there is nothing wrong with it. We ask 
Allaah to quench our thirst from the Cistern (al-Hawd) of His Prophet 
on the Day of the greatest thirst. May Allaah bless our Prophet 
Muhammad, Ameen.

  

From Abu Muntasir,
A Story of Repentance

Layla Al Helw, a Moroccan woman, had been afflicted by cancer, 
and the doctors were completely helpless with no hope in her case. 
She lost hope in all but Allah subhanah wa ta'ala, whom she has never sought His 
help before…and so she went to His holy house (in Mecca)…
and there was the answer…Now, dear reader, I leave you with sister
Layla to tell you all about her story herself…
She says, “9 years ago I found out that I have a very dangerous disease, cancer…
everyone here knows this name is scary, and in Morocco we usually call it “ Al ghoul” 
(ogre) or the wicked disease!” My faith in Allah was very weak... I was 
completely drifted away from the remembrance of Allah subhanah wa ta'ala, and I used to
think that one’s beauty and health shall remain his/her life… I never ever thought 
I would be afflicted by a disease like cancer… so when I found out, it did 
shake me so strongly from in the inside… I  thought of escaping… but, where? 
Where in the world I can escape from this disease that is inside me 
wherever I go??… I thought of committing suicide!… But… I was deeply in love
with my husband and my children… but I did not think of Allah’s punishment 
if I commit such sin…Because, as I told you before, I was far away from 
remembering Allah… It was of Allah’s will that this disease was the reason
of my guidance and the reason of guiding a lot of people as well…

I went to Belgium, and I visited many doctors there… They told my husband
that I first have to remove my breasts, then go on certain medication! I knew 
that such medication would make my hair fall and my eye lashes and brows 
to disappear… it shall also grow a beard on my face and make the nails
and teeth fall as well… so I completely refused this solution… “ I would rather
die with my breasts, teeth and everything that Allah has created for me than to 
live without them”, I said… I asked the doctors to give me another medication 
course that is less effective… and so they did…

I went back to Morocco… I used the medication course and it did not
cause any bad effect on my body which made me so happy… I thought; 
may be the doctors were wrong and I didn’t have cancer… However, after
about six months, I started losing weight quickly, my color started to change
and I had a continuous pain… My  Moroccan doctor advised me to go back
to Belgium, and so I did…

There was the disaster!… The doctors told my husband that the disease has
spread all over my body, that the lungs were completely infected and that
they now have no solution for my case… They said, “You better take your wife
back to her country so that she dies there!”… My husband got shocked… and
instead of going back to Morocco, we went to France thinking that we might
reach to a solution there… But, we have reached to nothing more than what we
reached to in Belgium! Finally, we decided to enter the hospital to remove
my breasts through a surgical therapy and go on the strong medication (the
doctor prescribed before)…

However… my husband thought of something that we forgot… something that was
always away from our thoughts… (God) has inspired my husband to take me to
His holy house in Mecca… Maybe we can stand in front of Allah and ask Him to
help us find a way out of this problem…

We left Paris saying, “Allahu Akbar, La Ilaha Illa Allah” (Allah is the Greatest, 
No God But Allah)… I was very happy because this was the first time for me
to visit the Holy House of Allah and see the “Kaba”… I bought a copy of the
Quran from Paris! And we went to Mecca… When I entered the holy mosque
and first saw the Kaba I cried a lot… I cried because I regretted all the past 
years I spent without praying and seeking Allah’s help… I said, “O Lord, 
the doctors were disabled to cure me… (You) have the cure for every
disease… All the doors are locked in front of me… I have nothing left to
seek except Your door, so please… please Lord, don’t close Your door 
on me…” I kept on praying to Allah and making Dua’a while I was going
around the Kaba… I asked Him not to disappoint me or send me back with 
empty hands…

As I said before, I was completely ignorant regarding the religion of Allah, 
so I went to the scholars there and asked them to guide me to the little 
books and supplications that can be easy to read… They advised me to
read as much as I can from the Quran… They have also advised me to
make a lot of “Tadhalloo” from Zamzam water (Tadhalloo is to drink a lot 
of water until the water reaches your ribs)… They also advised me
to mention Allah’s name a lot and make Salat on the prophet SAAWS… 
In Allah’s holy place I felt very peaceful and relieved… I asked my husband
to allow me not to go back to the hotel and stay in the “Haram”
(the holy mosque)… He gave me the permission to stay there… 

In the holy mosque, there were some Egyptian and Turkish sisters 
beside me, who saw me crying a lot… They asked me about the reason… 
I told them that I came to the holy house of Allah and I never thought
I would love it that much! I also told them that I have cancer… They 
kept beside me all the time and did not leave me… They also took the
permission of their husbands to stay with me at the mosque… During that
time, we rarely slept… we ate very little quantities of food… but we
drank a lot of “Zamzam” water… And as the prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said,
 “Zamzam water is for whatever you drink it for” If you drink it for the 
intention of being cured, Allah subhanah wa ta'ala shall cure you… If you drink it 
because you are thirsty, Allah shall quench you out of thirst… etc.
and so we didn’t feel hungry… We kept on doing Tawaf (going around
the Kaba) continuously… and read Quran a lot… This was the way
we were day and night…
When I came to the holy house of God I was very thin, and upper part of my
body was filled with swells, blood and pus!… For the cancer was completely
spread all through the upper part of my body… so the sisters kept on begging
me to wash the upper part of my body with Zamzam water… but I was very
afraid even to touch it… I was afraid to remember my sickness that shall
occupy my thoughts instead of remembering Allah and worshipping Him in
complete submission… so I was always washing my body without touching that
part…

On the fifth day, my friends insisted that I should go through my body with
Zamzam water… at the beginning I refused… but I felt something forcing me to
do it! I slowly started trying to go through the parts I always avoided… I
became frightened again… then I felt this thing forcing me again… I
hesitated… and on the third turn, I forced my hand in my upper part and went
through my breasts! Something unbelievable happened… there were no swells…
no blood… no pus!!! I couldn’t believe what I felt… I went through my upper
part with my hand again, and it was true! Yes that was true!… I shivered!!

But I remembered that Allah subhanah wa ta'ala is capable of doing anything what 
so ever… I  asked one of my friends to touch my body with her hand
and look for the swells… she did!… and they all automatically shouted, 
Allahu Akbar… Allahu Akbar!!! I ran to my husband in the hotel… 
When I saw him, I tore my shirt up and said, look at Allah’s mercy!!!
I told him of what happened and he couldn’t believe it!!… He cried and cried… 
He said, do you know that the doctors swore that you shall die within a 
period of three weeks only?… I said, all the fate is within the Hands 
and Will of Allah (Praised be He), No one knows what the 
future is holding for us except for Him subhanah wa ta'ala…

We stayed in the holy house of Allah for one week.  I thanked Him for His
uncountable Graces… Then we went to the prophet mosque in Medina…then we
traveled to France… There, the doctors were confused and surprised… they had
nearly become crazy!! “Are you the same person?!”, they asked me… I was very
proud to say, YES!!… and this is my husband… we have returned to God… and I
now fear nothing but Allah subhanah wa ta'ala… The fate is from Him… They told me that mine
is a very strange case… they said they want to examine me again, and they
found… nothing! Before, I could hardly breath because of the swells… but
when I went to Allah’s holy place and asked Him to cure me, this all has
gone… I looked for the “seerah” (biography) of the prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and his
companions (may Allah be pleased with them)… I read them and I cried a lot…
I cried regretting all what I have missed in my past life… I missed the love
of Allah and His prophet… I cried for the time I have wasted away from Allah
subhanah wa ta'ala… I ask Allah to forgive me, my husband and all Muslims… and to accept me
as His sincere adorer…
Translated from the book titled, “Those Who Repented To Allah” by Ibrahim
Abdullah Al Hazemy.