A Closer Look at Zamzam
The water from the well of Zamzam is both mysterious and miraculous. In recent times, it has been the subject of a great deal of research and investigation, in order to identify its special qualities. A team of four senior experts from the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC), M. A. Khan, A. K. M. Sheriff, K. M. Idris and M. Alamgir, have found the water of the Zamzam well is superior to tap or solar pump water after analyzing test samples.
The team also analyzed the chemical composition of Zamzam water in order to discover what gives it a curative effect.
Chemical composition of Zamzam water
· Alkaline in nature, the Zamzam water can neutralize excess hydrochloric acid formed in the stomach and reduces heartburn.
· Iodide, sulphate and nitrate contents are also much higher in the Zamzam water. Supply of iodide through Zamzam may sufficiently fulfill the requirement of iodide for the thyroid gland.
· Macro-nutrients like magnesium, sodium and potassium were much higher in Zamzam water than in tap and solar pump water.
The scientists said all the data indicated that Zamzam water had much greater nutritive values than ordinary underground water.
The hardness of Zamzam water is four times that of tap and solar pump water but it is within the acceptable limit set by the WHO, the researchers found.
A closer view of the Zamzam well
In 1971, an Egyptian doctor wrote to the European Press alleging that the Zamzam water was not fit for drinking purposes. The letter was dismissed as biased and prejudiced against the Muslims since his statement was based on the assumption that since the Ka'bah was located in a shallow place (below sea level) in the center of the city of Makkah, the wastewater of the city collecting through the drains fell into the Zamzam well.
King Faisal was the ruler of Saudi Arabia at that time, and embarked on a mission to disprove the Egyptian doctor's provocative statement. He immediately ordered the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources to investigate and send samples of Zamzam water to European laboratories for testing the potability of the water.
The ministry then instructed the Jeddah Power and Desalination Plants to carry out this task. A desalting engineer who was chosen to carry out this assignment has described the entire process of testing the samples of Zamzam water. He says:
"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 Hajjis ever since it came into existence at the time of 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."
Thereupon, the engineer suggested another idea. It was decided that the water be withdrawn rapidly with the help of a big transfer pump which was installed at the well for the Zamzam water storage tanks. In this way, the water level would drop enabling the researchers to locate the point of entry of the water.
However, nothing was observed during the pumping period by which the point of entrance of the water to the well could be discerned. The process was repeated but the man operating the pump was to stand still at one place and carefully observe any unusual activity inside the well. The engineer narrates, "After a while, he suddenly raised his hands and shouted, "Alhamdullillah! I have found it. The sand is dancing beneath my feet as the water oozes out of the bed of the well."
The man moved around the entire well during the pumping period and noticed the same phenomenon everywhere in the well, with the flow of water into the well through the bed being equal at every point, thus keeping the level of the water steady. Samples of the water were taken for testing in European laboratories.
The results of the water samples tested by the European laboratories and the one analyzed locally were found to be almost identical.
The difference between Zamzam water and other water samples from ordinary sources was in the higher percentage of calcium and magnesium salts in Zamzam water. The water also contained fluorides that have an effective germicidal action. Moreover, the European laboratories certified that the water was fit for drinking.
Some of the other features unique to Zamzam water are:
· This well has never dried up
· It has always maintained the same salt composition and taste ever since it came into existence.
· Its potability has always been universally recognized, unlike ordinary water that tastes different at different places.
· This water has never been chemically treated or chlorinated as is the case with water pumped into the cities.
· There has been no sign of the biological growth and vegetation that usually occurs in most wells, often making the water unpalatable or causing an unpleasant taste and odor. In the case of the Zamzam well, there is no sign of any biological growth.