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Significance of Safa, Marwa and Zamzam

  • Jubayer Ahmad
  • 17th August, 2018 12:00:00 AM
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Significance of Safa, 
Marwa and Zamzam

Safa and Marwah are the two historical mountains/hills that are located in Masjid Al-Haraam (the Grand Mosque) in Makkah. The Sa‘ee (running) between Safa and Marwah is one of the main acts of Hajj and ‘Umra. Allah (SWT) says, “Indeed, Safa and Marwah are among the symbols of Allah. So whoever makes Hajj to the House or performs ‘Umrah – there is no blame upon him for walking between them. And whoever volunteers good – then indeed, Allah is Appreciative and Knowing.” (Sura Al-Baqarah: 158).

It is prescribed for men to run between Safa and Marwa, because this is what was done by the Prophet (Pbuh) and his companions. It was reported on the authority of Jaabir (Ra) that the Prophet (Pbuh) performed Sa‘ee between them seven times during his Farewell Hajj. (Sahih Bukhari and Muslim). According to another Hadith reported by Jabir (Ra), the Prophet (Pbuh) said, “Learn from me your rituals (of Hajj).” (Sahih Muslim).

In fact, performing Sa‘ee (running between Safa and Marwa) serves to commemorate and honour the story of Haajar's (mother of great prophet Ismail) search for water for her child. Because, the history of Sa‘ee between As-Safa and Al-Marwah can be traced back to the time of Ibraheem (AS). Prophet Ibraaheem (AS) was ordered by Allah to leave His wife Hajarah and their infant son Ismail (AS) alone in the desert of Arab (presently Mecca) near Safa and Marwa where there was not any water or tree. So he left his wife and child in desert alone with a jug of water and a bag of dates. Hajarah started drinking water from the jug and her milk increased for her child. She breastfed her son. When the jug of water ended she ascended the Safa hill and looked around, seeking of water. When she saw nothing, she came down and then ran up to another hill Marwa. She continued running until she had done this seven times. Finally, while Hajarah was on Marwah, she looked at her son’s feet and saw that a spring of water sprouting forth beneath his feet. She ran towards her child Ismail and fastened her hands so as to prevent the water from spreading saying, Zam Zam (stop flowing). Allah (SWT) accepted the act of Hajarah and ordered all the pilgrims from that time till the day of resurrection to complete seven rounds between Safa and Marwa. 

Zamzam is the historical well which is located within the Masjid Al Haram. It is a miraculously generated source of water from Allah. The water of Zamzam well is a great favour of Allah (SWT) for mankind. The Prophet (Pbuh) said, “The best water on the face of the earth is the water of Zamzam; it is a kind of food and a healing from sickness.” (Saheeh al-Jami). It has scientifically been proved that the water of Zamzam contains healing qualities due to its higher content of Calcium and Magnesium salts and also natural fluorides that encompass a germicidal action.

The water of Zamzam quenches the thirst of the people and at the same time it cures the sick. Abu Tharr Ghifari (Ra) reported that the Prophet (Pbuh) said, “The most sublime of all earthly waters is that of zamzam; therein one finds food for the hungry and medicine for the ill." (Musnad Al Bazzar). According to another narration, the water of Zamzam serves whatever purpose and intention for which it is drunk. Jaabir (Ra) narrated that the Prophet (Pbuh) said, “Zamzam water is what one intends to drink it for. When one drinks it to be healed, Allah heals him; when one drinks it to be full, Allah makes him full; and when one drinks it to quench his thirst, Allah quenches it.” (Ibn Majah).


The writer is a national award winner Qari and Khatib of Baitush Shafiq Mosque (near National University), Gazipur.