What are the benefits of Zamzam, how should it be drunk? How was Zamzam water found? What are the advantages and benefits of it? Is it necessary to drink it while standing? Cannot we drink it while sitting?
The short history of Zamzam is as follows:
Hazrat Abraham (Ibrahim) (pbuh), upon gods command, left his wife Hagar and his son Ismaeel (pbuh) who was still a baby in the place where the Zamzam Well is located today. Nobody lived in Makkah at that time, and there was no water to drink. Hazrat Ibrahim (pbuh) left some water and some dates for his wife and son and left the place. It was difficult for Hagar to live in a deserted place where there was no water and food. However, it was wrong to think about it because God Almighty demanded Hazrat Ibrahim to do that. Allah, who gives food to the living beings, will surely see their situation.
Some time later, they ran out of water. Ismaeel started to cry and wanted to drink water. His mother did not know what to do. There was no milk or water. She could not stand the cries of Ismaeel any more. She climbed up to Safa hill. She looked around to see whether there was someone around or not. When she did not see anyone, she started to run between Safa and Marwa hills. When she came to Marwa for the seventh time, she heard something. She saw Gabriel (Jibril) near the Zamzam Well. Gabrail (pbuh) was digging the ground with his wing (with his foot according to another narration). Finally, the water came out. Hagar was very delighted for that. She said Zam zam meaning stop, stop when water started to flow away. She blocked it and made it like a pond. At the same time she was filling her pitcher with water. It was coming out more while she was taking water. After that, she drank from her pitcher and started to breastfeed Ismaeel. Meanwhile Gabriel said to Hagar:
Never be afraid of being perished. This is the place of Baitullah (Holy Kaaba). It will be built by that child and his father. Certainly, God Almighty shall not destroy the experts of the duty. (1)
That is how the Zamzam Well emerged. If Hagar (pbuh) had not blocked the water and let it go, it would have been a river. The Prophet (pbuh) expresses that truth in a hadith as follows:
May Allah mercy Hagar, the mother of Ismaeel. If she had let Zamzam flow in its own course or had not grasped it; it would surely had flown and become a river. (2)
Zamzam is sacred and nutritious. Hazrat Hagar and Ismaeel lived on that water without eating anything for a long time. In a hadith, the Prophet pointed out that feature of Zamzam. (3)
It is said in another hadith : Zamzam will cure whatever it is drunk for(4)
As for drinking Zamzam while standing:
It is reported from Ibni Abbas that the Prophet drank Zamzam while standing. Ibni Abbas tells:I offered Zamzam to the Prophet (pbuh) and he drank it standing.(5)
As it is known, the prophet forbade drinking water while standing in his hadiths.(6) So, hadith scholars united those different narrations. Nawawi, who explained Sahih Muslim gives information about those different hadiths:
"The prohibition in those hadiths is tanzihan makruh (slightly abominable). It is to explain that it is permissible to drink water while standing." Imam Suyuti explains the Prophets drinking Zamzam while standing as follows:
The prophet (pbuh) drank Zamzam while standing to explain that drinking water while standing is religiously permissible. Hanefi scholars regarded drinking Zamzam while standing as mustahab (recommended) based on hadith reported from Ibni Abbas.
1. Bukhari, Badu'l-Halk: 29.
3. Fathu'r-Rabbani, 23:248.
4. ibid, 23 247.
5. Muslim, Ashriba: 117; Ibni Majah, Ashriba: 21
6. Muslim, Ashriba: 112; Abu Dawud, Ashriba: 13
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