Ramadan reflections: The wonder water that satisfies the faithful’s needs

One of the most enduring miracles of Islam, the well of Zamzam first gushed forth some 4,500 years ago

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By Aftab H. Kola

Published: Mon 11 Apr 2022, 9:58 PM

Breaking the fast by drinking Zamzam water and eating dates is a time-honoured tradition followed by Muslims across nations. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) referred to Zamzam as a blessed drink, a good feed and a cure for diseases.

One of the most enduring miracles of Islam, the well of Zamzam first gushed forth some 4,500 years ago. Hajar, the wife of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) — desperate to find water for her thirsty infant son Ismail — ran between the hills Safa and Marwa in Makkah seven times, until she saw the angels at a spot digging the earth when a pool of water gushed forth and shaped itself into a well which came to be known as Zamzam.

Walking between the same hills seven times is now one of the rituals of Hajj and Umrah. Some 4,500 years have passed, and there has been no depletion of Zamzam water which continues to flow unabated, bringing relief to millions of Muslims. Many studies have been undertaken and the water has been found to have no impurities, moss, insects or fungus. It contains a higher level of natural minerals and thus has a distinct, heavy taste.

Zamzam is soothing and refreshing and gives the drinker a feeling of contentment. The author of ‘Fi Rihab Al Bait Al Haram’ quotes Minawi as saying: “Zamzam water satisfies the need and purpose for which it is drunk.”

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) encouraged people to drink large quantities of Zamzam for “it satisfies the need and purpose it is drunk for. If you drink it with the intention to be cured from desire, you will be cured by the will of Allah. If you drink it to be protected against the mischief of the whisperer, God will protect you. If you drink it to feel full, Allah will make you feel full and contented.”

Known by variants like Shabbaa, Shifa Sagham and Sughya Ismail, Zamzam water is fed to sick and dying persons, considering the spiritual attachment Muslims give to it. There are certain rules to be followed for drinking this wonder water. It is recommended that the water should be gulped in three mouthfuls first and then drunk one’s fill. One should face the Kaaba and after the drink, one should thank Allah.

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