We came here again to perform the Omrah, and I am reminded of thewonders of Zum-zum. Let
me go back to how it all started. In 1971, an Egyptian doctor wrote to the European Press,
a letter saying that Zum-zum water was not fit for drinking purposes. I immediately
thought that this was just a form of prejudice against the Muslims and that since his
statement was based on the assumption that since the Ka'aba was a shallow place (below sea
level) and located in the center of the city of Makkah, the wastewater of the city
collecting through the drains fell into well holding the water.
Fortunately, the news came to King Faisal's ears who got extremely angry and
decide! d to disprove the Egyptian doctor's provocative statement. He immediately ordered
the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources to investigate and send samples of Zum-zum
water to European laboratories for testing the potability of the water. The ministry then
instructed the Jeddah Power and Desalination Plant to carry out this task. It was here
that I was employed as a desalting engineer (chemical engineer to produce drinking water
from sea water). I was chosen to carry out this assignment. At this stage, I remember that
I had no idea what the well holding the water looked like. I went to Makkah and reported
to the authorities at the Ka'aba explaining my purpose of visit. They deputed a man to
give me whatever help was required.
When we reached the well, it was hard for me to believe that a pool of!
water, more like a small pond, about 18 by 14 feet, was the well that supplied millions of
gallons of water every year to hajis ever since it came into existence at the time of
Hazrat Ibrahim A.S., many, many centuries ago. I started my investigations and took the
dimensions of the well. I asked the man to show me the depth of the well. First he took a
shower and descended into the water. Then he straightened his body. I saw that the water
level came up to just above his shoulders. His height was around five feet, eight inches.
He then started moving from one corner to the other in the well (standing all the
while since he was not allowed to dip his head into the water) in search of any inlet or
pipeline inside the well to see from where the water came in. However, the! man reported
that he could not find any inlet or pipeline inside the well. I thought of another idea.
The water could be withdrawn rapidly with the help of a big transfer pump which was
installed at the well for the Zum-zum water storage tanks. In this way, the water level
would drop enabling us to locate the point of entry of the water. Surprisingly, nothing
was observed during the pumping period, but I knew that this was the only method by which
you could find the entrance of the water to the well. So I decided to repeat the process.
But this time I instructed the man to stand still at one place and carefully observe any
unusual thing inside the well. After a while, he suddenly raised his hands and shouted,
"Alhamdollillah! I have found it. The sand is dancing beneath my f! eet as the water
oozes out of the bed of the well." Then he moved around the well during the pumping
period and noticed the same phenomenon everywhere in the well. Actually the flow of water
into the well through the bed was equal at every point, thus keeping the level of the
After I finished my observations I took the samples of the water for European
laboratories to test. Before I left, I asked the authorities about the other wells around
Makkah. I was told that these wells were mostly dry. When I reached my office in Jeddah I
reported my findings to my boss who listened with great interest but made a very
irrational comment that the Zum-zum well could be internally connected to the Red Sea. How
was it possible when Makkah is about 75 kilometres away from the sea and the well! s
located before the city usually remains dry?
The results of the water samples tested by the European laboratories and the one We
analysed in our own laboratory were found to be almost identical. The difference between
Zum-zum water and other water (city water) was in the quantity of calcium and magnesium
salts. The content of these was slightly higher in Zum-zum water. This may be why his
water refreshes tired hajis, but more significantly, the water contains fluorides that
have an effective germicidal action. Moreover, the remarks of the European laboratories
showed that the water was it for drinking. Hence the statement made by the Egyptian doctor
was proved false. When this was reported to King Faisal he was extremely pleased and
ordered the contradiction of the! report in the European Press. In a way, it was a
blessing that this study was undertaken to show the chemical composition of the water.
Infact, the more you explore, the more wonders surface and you find yourself believing
implicitly in the miracles of this water that Allah bestowed as a gift on the faithful
coming from far and wide to the desert land for pilgrimage.
Let me sum up some of the features of Zum-zum water. This well has never dried up.
On the contrary it has always fulfilled the demand for water. It has always maintained the
same salt composition and taste ever since it came into existence. Its potability has
always been universally recognised as pilgrims from all over the world visit Ka'aba every
year for Hajj and umrah, but have never complained about it. Instead, the! y have always
enjoyed the water that refreshes them. Water tastes different at different places. Zum-zum
water's appeal has always been universal. This water has never been chemically
treated or chlorinated as is the case with water pumped into the cities. Biological growth
and vegetation usually takes place in most wells
This makes the water unpalatable owing to the growth of algae causing taste and
odour problems. But in the case of the Zum-zum water well, there wasn't any sign of
biological growth. Centuries ago, Bibi Hajra A.S. searched desperately for water in the
hills of Sufwa and Murwa to give to her newly born son Hazrat Ismail A.S. As she ran from
one place to another in search of water, her child rubbed his feet against the sand. A
pool of water surfaced, and by the grace of Allah, shaped itself into a well which came to
be called Zum-zum water.
Please pass this on to everyone to know the facts of great wonders of Zum-zum. For
Allah Loveth those who do good. - (Sura Imran Verse 148)