|Well of Zamzam|
Pilgrims visiting the well.
|Location||Masjid al-Haram, Mecca|
|Area||about 30 m (98 ft) deep and 1.08 to 2.66 m (3 ft 7 in to 8 ft 9 in) in diameter|
|Founded||Traditionally about 2000 BC|
|Governing body||Government of Saudi Arabia|
|Official name: Zamzam|
The Well of Zamzam (or the Zamzam Well, or just Zamzam; Arabic: زمزم) is a well located within the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, 20 m (66 ft) east of the Kaaba, the holiest place in Islam. According to Islamic belief, it is a miraculously generated source of water from God, which began thousands of years ago when Abraham's (Ibrāhīm) infant son Ishmael (ʼIsmāʻīl) was thirsty and kept crying for water. Millions of pilgrims visit the well each year while performing the Hajj or Umrah pilgrimages, in order to drink its water.
Traditional origin of the Zamzam Well
Islamic tradition states that the Zamzam Well was revealed to Hagar (Hājar), the second wife of Abraham and mother of Ishmael. By the instruction of God, Abraham left his wife and son at a spot in the desert and walked away. She was desperately seeking water for her infant son, but she could not find any, as Mecca is located in a hot dry valley with few sources of water. Hagar ran seven times back and forth in the scorching heat between the two hills of Safa and Marwah, looking for water. Getting thirstier by the second, the infant Ishmael scraped the land with his feet, where suddenly water sprang out. There are other versions of the story involving God sending his angel, Gabriel (Jibra'il), who kicked the ground with his heel (or wing), and the water rose. A similar story about a well is also mentioned in the Bible.
The name of the well comes from the phrase Zomë Zomë, meaning "stop flowing", a command repeated by Hagar during her attempt to contain the spring water.
According to Islamic tradition, Abraham rebuilt the Bayt Allah ("House of God", cognate of the Hebrew-derived place name Bethel) near the site of the well, a building which had been originally constructed by Adam (Adem), and today is called the Kaaba, a building toward which Muslims around the world face in prayer, five times each day. The Zamzam Well is located approximately 20 m (66 ft) east of the Kaaba.
According to IslamOnline, the well originally had two cisterns in the first era, one for drinking and one for ablution. At that time, it was a simple well surrounded by a fence of stones. Then in the era of the Abbasid caliph Al-Mansur 771 AD (154/155 AH) a dome was built above the well, and it was tiled with marble.
In 775 AD (158/159 AH), Al-Mahdi rebuilt the well during his caliphate, and built a dome of teak which was covered with mosaic. One small dome covered the well, and a larger dome covered the room for the pilgrims. In 835 AD (220 AH) there was further restoration, and the dome was covered with marble during the caliphate of Al-Mu'tasim.
In 1417 (819/820 AH), during the time of the Mamluks, the mosque was damaged by fire, and required restoration. Further restoration occurred in 1430 (833/834 AH), and again in 1499 (904/95 AH) during the time of Sultan Qaitbay, when the marble was replaced.
In modern times, the most extensive restoration took place to the dome during the era of the Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid II in 1915 (1333/1334 AH). To facilitate crowd control, the building housing the Zamzam was moved away from its original location, to get it out of the way of the Tawaf, when millions of pilgrims would circumambulate the Kaaba. The water of the well is now pumped to the eastern part of the mosque, where it was made available in separate locations for men and women.
The Zamzam well was excavated by hand, and is about 30 m (98 ft) deep and 1.08 to 2.66 m (3 ft 7 in to 8 ft 9 in) in diameter. It taps groundwater from the wadi alluvium and some from the bedrock. Originally water from the well was drawn via ropes and buckets, but today the well itself is in a basement room where it can be seen behind glass panels (visitors are not allowed to enter). Electric pumps draw the water, which is available throughout the Masjid al-Haram via water fountains and dispensing containers near the Tawaf area.
Hydrogeologically, the well is in the Wadi Ibrahim (Valley of Abraham). The upper half of the well is in the sandy alluvium of the valley, lined with stone masonry except for the top metre (3 ft) which has a concrete "collar". The lower half is in the bedrock. Between the alluvium and the bedrock is a 1⁄2-metre (1 ft 8 in) section of permeable weathered rock, lined with stone, and it is this section that provides the main water entry into the well. Water in the well comes from absorbed rainfall in the Wadi Ibrahim, as well as run-off from the local hills. Since the area has become more and more settled, water from absorbed rainfall on the Wadi Ibrahim has decreased.
The Saudi Geological Survey has a "Zamzam Studies and Research Centre" which analyses the technical properties of the well in detail. Water levels were monitored by hydrograph, which in more recent times has changed to a digital monitoring system that tracks the water level, electric conductivity, pH, Eh, and temperature. All of this information is made continuously available via the Internet. Other wells throughout the valley have also been established, some with digital recorders, to monitor the response of the local aquifer system.
Zamzam water is colourless and odorless, but has a distinct taste, with a pH of 7.9–8.0, indicating that it is alkaline to some extent.
as reported by researchers at King Saud University
|Total dissolved solids||835||0.000483|
- "Zamzam Studies and Research Centre". Saudi Geological Survey. Archived from the original on June 19, 2013. Retrieved June 2, 2014.
- Bible. Genesis 16:3 A Hebrew – English Bible, Retrieved July 13, 2011
- Cite error: The named reference
Kazmiwas invoked but never defined (see the help page).
- Mahmoud Isma'il Shil and 'Abdur-Rahman 'Abdul-Wahid. "Historic Places: The Well of Zamzam". Archived from the original on February 23, 2008. Retrieved August 6, 2008.
- Except where stated all dates are Julian calendar
- Calendar Converter
- Gregorian calendar
- Nour Al Zuhair, et al. A comparative study between the chemical composition of potable water and Zamzam water in Saudi Arabia. KSU Faculty Sites, Retrieved August 15, 2010
- Hawting, G. R. (1980). "The Disappearance and Rediscovery of Zamzam and the 'Well of the Ka'ba'". Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. 43 (1): 44–54. JSTOR 616125.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Zamzam Well.|
- Careem, S. H. A. "The Miracle of Zamzam". Sunday Observer. Retrieved June 5, 2005. Provides a brief history of the well and some information on the alleged health benefits of Zamzam water.