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Zamzam with D3

Recently, I came across an ad promoting Zamzam water for sale. For people not familiar with the story behind the name, it starts with Abraham from the Bible, about 4,000 years ago. In my unpublished manuscript, Muslim Mechanics, I share the Christian beginning of the story and the Muslim ending. At the urging of his first wife, Sarah, Abraham gives his second wife, Hagar, and her son sired by Abraham, Ishmael, food, and water and sends them off. "She went on her way and wandered in the desert of Beersheba" (Genesis 21:14). It is at this point that Biblical scriptures and Islamic traditions separate with different stories. The Bible suggests that Hagar and Ishmael wander in the desert and survive with divine intervention. Genesis 21:20 says, "God was with the boy as he grew up." Ishmael does grow up, marries an Egyptian woman, and sires twelve sons who become tribal rulers.

According to the legend passed down by the Prophet Muhammad, Abraham accompanied Hagar and Ishmael through the wilderness to the location of Mecca, in current day Saudi Arabia, a distance less than 900 miles. Genesis 21:21 says that Ishmael lived in the Desert of Paran, a site that traditional Islam refers to as the wilderness and mountains towards Mecca's location. A well-known spring called Zamzam, just 66 feet east of the Kaaba, still flows after thousands of years. The Zamzam spring made Mecca a convenient stop for trading caravans going from Yemen and Arabia to Persia and Palestine and back again. Muslims even suggest the Zamzam spring is referred to in the Bible in Psalms 84:6.

There are hadith that attribute the Prophet Muhammad suggesting the water cures diseases. One hadith reads as "Water of Zamzam is good for whatever (purpose) it has been drank." With that kind of endorsement, it is no wonder that millions of Muslims drink the water frequently.

Scientific studies have shown Zamzam water to be alkaline, with a pH near 8. It is well known that Zamzam water has high amounts of sodium, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and fluoride. Studies have noted that no algae or fungus grows in or near the well. The water does not look, taste, or smell foul, and that millions of people swear that their good health comes from drinking it regularly.

That brings me to the reason I'm writing about this water. A little research shows that selling Zamzam water has become a lucrative cottage industry. First, Saudi Arabia does not allow the water to be exported for commercial use. Tourists can bring back small amounts from Saudi Arabia, where it is provided free to residents and tourists. However, you can go on Amazon, Alibaba, or even Etsy and order Zamzam water. Some sites even add vitamin D3. So, the healthiest water in the world is made more nourishing, fortified with vitamins. To Muslims, Zamzam water is holy water. To a Christian, this would be the same as drinking water blessed by the Pope. Why would you need D3?

One last reminder. Buying Zamzam water from a commercial retailer is risky. If Saudi Arabia doesn't allow exports, then how are these vendors getting the volume of water need to sell to millions of people? I would be careful as to what you buy. There are people out there that will take advantage of your need for holy water.

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