The Well of Zamzam is a lasting miracle

Before the end of the Hajj or Umrah journey, visitors make sure to get a bottle or two of Zamzam water. (AN graphics)
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Updated 20 July 2021

The Well of Zamzam is a lasting miracle

  • With no impurities, its water contains a good amount of natural minerals and hence distinct heavy taste
  • Before the end of the Hajj or Umrah journey, visitors make sure to get a bottle or two of Zamzam water

MAKKAH: It is one of the most enduring miracles of Islam, representing God’s mercy. The Well of Zamzam first sprang 5,000 years ago under the feet of the Prophet Ismael after his mother Hagar, the second wife of Ibrahim, ran seven times between the two hills of Safa and Marwah looking for water to save her thirsty son.

The name of the well comes from the phrase Zome Zome, meaning “stop flowing,” a command repeated by Hagar as she attempted to contain the spring water.
The well’s ever-clean water has no moss, insects, fungus, or any other impurities. It contains a higher level of natural minerals than normal desalinated water. For this reason, it has a distinct, heavy taste.
Pilgrims are always keen to drink from the well and carry bottles filled with the water to their homelands since it is believed to be a natural source of healing for the sick, according to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).




The Holy Kaaba in the center of Makkah’s Grand Mosque on March 21, 1967. On the left is the entrance to the Zamzam well. Every year, millions of Muslims complete the Hajj pilgrimage to this sacred spot. (Getty Images)

The development and maintenance of the Well of Zamzam has been of major importance, with the water source protected for centuries in many ways. As the main source of water for visitors to Makkah in ancient times and for present-day pilgrims, the well has never stopped generating the blessed water for Muslims, except for a short period of time.
Throughout the ages, the well was guarded by Abd Al-Muttalib bin Hashim, grandfather of Prophet Muhammad, then by many Muslim caliphs up until modern times, when it fell under the protection of Saudi kings starting with the founder of current Saudi Arabia, King Abdul Aziz.
In the past, the holy well was protected in a primitive way, but during the late King Abdullah’s reign, a great leap was taken with regard to developing the way the well was maintained. He changed the methods of filling and distributing water across the Two Holy Mosques.
He also started the King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Zamzam Water Project (KPZW) in 2013.
With the increasing number of visitors coming for Umrah and Hajj, the demand for Zamzam water also rapidly increased. This necessitated more development for the well.
The construction cost of the project amounted to more than SR700 million ($187 million).
The project did away with many of the old unprofessional methods related to pumping, filtering, distributing and filling the water, replacing these with the newest, safest technologies.
In the past, the water used to be bottled manually in different-sized containers, without following an authorized bottling process, resulting in unwanted water pollution.
With this new project, however, there are two main sizes of authorized containers — five and 10 liters — in which the water is treated, bottled, stored, and distributed efficiently.
Before the end of the Hajj or Umrah journey, visitors make sure to get a bottle or two of Zamzam water before they leave, which in previous years used to result in chaos and unorganized queues. Today, the project allows water containers to be distributed to pilgrims inside buses or in airports in order to save time and prevent crowding.
Inside the Two Holy Mosques, the water is provided in coolers that undergo a daily cleaning and filling process.
The online purchase of Zamzam water is a part of the National Water Company’s project, which was initiated following the suspension of sales as a precaution during the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
Zamzam water is now distributed via the Saudi electronic business platform HNAK, which offers home delivery service as well.
Extraction, pumping and continued surveillance of storage and pipelines are achieved through the optical fiber technology of the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition network.
With all these technologies, the quality of Zamzam water’s natural minerals is preserved and sustained according to meticulous research carried out to determine the most suitable methods of pumping and filtering.
To prevent all the characteristics of Zamzam water from being affected by any external natural contaminations, the Zamzam Studies and Research Center has applied rigorous quality control.
“In order to be able to manage the Well of Zamzam in a sustainable manner, we need to have a full understanding of the environmental and hydrogeological setting of this holy well and the sources of water reaching it, including water conductors in the area,” Samer Showman, president of the research center, told Arab News.
“We need to see how the water is being stored and how fast it is moving and the types of minerals it extracts through its journey between the rocks to understand what characterizes the fingerprint of Zamzam water.
“We have linked the mathematical model with a rainfall data network and rainfall stations in a different part of the aquifer to determine the exact volume and quantity of water that can be extracted throughout the year in Wadi Ibrahim,” he added.
Showman said that a special laboratory for Zamzam water in Makkah tracks and tests different samples of the water, which are analyzed on a weekly basis to maintain water quality.

Decoder

Zamzam

● The name of the well comes from the phrase Zome Zome, meaning ‘stop flowing,’ a command repeated by Hagar during her attempt to contain the spring water. ● Zamzam has over 60 names, including, Zamam, Taybah, Barah, Maymounah, Siqayatu-l Hajj, Barakah, Mubarakah, Kafiyah, ‘Afiyah, Muathibah.


Saudi Arabia announces 14 more COVID-19 deaths

Updated 04 August 2021

Saudi Arabia announces 14 more COVID-19 deaths

  • The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom has increased to 511,318
  • A total of 8,284 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia announced 14 deaths from COVID-19 and 1,043 new infections on Wednesday.
Of the new cases, 214 were recorded in Makkah, 192 in Riyadh, 169 in the Eastern Province, 126 in Asir, 92 in Jazan, 65 in Madinah, 43 in Hail, 39 in Najran, 19 in Tabuk, 18 in the Northern Borders region, 16 in Al-Baha, and 11 in Al-Jouf.
The total number of recoveries in the Kingdom increased to 511,318 after 1,211 more patients recovered from the virus.
A total of 8,284 people have succumbed to the virus in the Kingdom so far.
Over 28.3 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine have been administered in the Kingdom to date.


Saudi anti-extremism initiative leads the world, says UN expert

Updated 04 August 2021

Saudi anti-extremism initiative leads the world, says UN expert

  • Head of UN Center for Counter-Terrorism ‘impressed by the pioneering research work’ carried out by Kingdom’s Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology
  • Center’s Gether2 initiative, which aims to raise awareness of the risks of extremism among people with hearing disabilities, singled out for particular praise

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology (Etidal) is a “world leader” in pioneering work to prevent and counter violent extremism, according to Jehangir Khan, director of the UN Center for Counter-Terrorism (UNCCT).

“Etidal is a world leader in this field and we are proud of it,” he said during a visit by a UNCCT delegation to Etidal’s headquarters in Riyadh on Tuesday. “We are very pleased … to be able to work closely with the center.

“We are impressed by the pioneering research work you are doing in this field. We have to follow your example on matters in which we need to cooperate.”

Khan in particular highlighted Eitdal’s Gether2 initiative, which aims to raise awareness among people with hearing disabilities of the risks of extremism, saying he had never seen any other initiatives designed to reach people with disabilities in this way.

“I congratulate you on this project and we would like to know more about it,” he said. “As you know, we in the United Nations have specific agencies that deal with matters of concern to people with disabilities from a humanitarian side only, unlike your side, where I think we should see the whole picture.”

The UN delegation was welcomed to the center by Etidal’s secretary-general, Mansour Al-Shammari. During the visit the two sides discussed ways to enhance cooperation in their efforts to prevent and combat terrorism and violent extremism.

The delegation also learned about the center’s monitoring and analysis mechanisms, the techniques it use and the models it is creating and developing, as well as the most prominent advanced technologies in the field.


Saudi Arabia to fine air passengers up to SR500k for COVID-19 travel ban breaches

Updated 02 August 2021

Saudi Arabia to fine air passengers up to SR500k for COVID-19 travel ban breaches

  • Similar penalties would also apply to operators or owners of the means of transportation

RIYADH: The Saudi Public Prosecution office has warned it will impose fines of up to SR500,000 ($133,323) on passengers breaching travel ban restrictions by boarding flights to countries hit by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Similar penalties would also apply to operators or owners of the means of transportation.

In a tweet on Sunday, officials added that severe punitive measures would be taken against travelers who failed to disclose they had visited any countries listed on the Kingdom’s COVID-19 travel ban list.


Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Development Company signs contract KACST to provide satellite data

Updated 02 August 2021

Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Development Company signs contract KACST to provide satellite data

  • The data is collected using satellites to monitor the progress of the Red Sea project
  • It will enable the company to know how the project is progressing and the impact it may have on the environment

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea Development Company signed a contract with King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) to provide high-resolution data for key locations at the company’s headquarters.
The data is collected using satellites to monitor the progress of the Red Sea project, which covers an area of ​​28,000 square kilometers, and to track developments in real estate assets more effectively.
The CEO of the Red Sea Development Company, John Pagano, said that this technical work will enable the company to monitor any unexpected effects in the development of real estate assets on the surrounding environment, and work immediately to find alternative solutions.
Pagano said the Red Sea Project’s stakeholders and its affiliates can obtain reliable and detailed images on a monthly basis, adding it was important to understand how the actual development processes affect the natural destination environments.
He also said that this partnership will enable the company to monitor the main assets, both natural and real estate, closely during the construction phase, which will support efforts to lead renewable tourism worldwide.

Pagano added that KACST, through the National Consortium on Remote Sensing in Transportation (NCRST), will capture monthly high-resolution data for the Red Sea project, using the GeoEye-1, WorldView, and Pleiades satellites.
This will allow the images to be color-balanced as they are on the ground, and each will carry the coordinates of its geographical location. The images will be integrated with the company’s Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and Building Information Modeling (BIM) systems and will be available to its employees from the planning, engineering, and environment departments.
The company’s GIS department will periodically compare the data provided by KACST with the latest versions of the master plans and detailed designs of the project to monitor changes and avoid any environmental damage.
The images will be used to determine the best methods and locations to perform construction and development activities. It will also be an important part of the project’s monthly progress reports.
Dr. Talal Alsedairy, the supervisor of the Space and Aeronautics Center at KACST, said that NCRST will support the company by providing them with high-resolution images of the project area that will enable them to have a more comprehensive perspective on how the project is progressing and the impact it may have on the surrounding environment.


Saudi military chief meets Bahraini counterpart

Updated 02 August 2021

Saudi military chief meets Bahraini counterpart

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Chief of the General Staff Gen. Fayyad bin Hamed Al-Ruwaili received Chief of Staff of Bahrain Defense Force Lt. Gen. Dhiyab bin Saqr Al-Nuaimi, and his accompanying delegation, at King Salman Air Base in Riyadh on Sunday.

During the meeting, they exchanged military views and discussed issues of common interest, stressing the strength of relations and ways to achieve the shared goals of the armed forces of the two countries.

Saudi Deputy Chief of the General Staff Lt. Gen. Mutlaq bin Salem Al-Azima, who is also the acting commander of the joint forces, then accompanied Al-Nuaimi on a visit to the Joint Forces Command and briefed him on the progress of the operations led by the Arab coalition forces to support legitimacy in Yemen.

They also discussed ways to support and enhance these to ensure regional security and stability.

Maj. Gen. Turki bin Bandar bin Abdul Aziz, commander of the Royal Saudi Air Forces, also received Al-Nuaimi in the Air Force Command. During the meeting, they discussed many issues of common interest.

 

 

 

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