Zam Zam Holy Water Is ‘Unsafe for Human Consumption’

A recent report by the BBC has revealed that holy water from Mecca known as ‘Zam Zam’ is contaminated with high levels of arsenic

It seems that these days nothing is holy. First the holy waters of the River Jordan were found to be sewage infested and now the ‘Zamzam’ holy waters of a sacred well in Mecca have tested high in arsenic, which is a poisonous carcinogenic. An undercover investigative report by the BBC has revealed that Zamzam water sold in the UK and also bottled at source in Mecca were poisonous and not safe for human consumption.

Genuine Zamzam water comes from a sacred well in Mecca in Saudi Arabia. It is illegal to export the water or to sell it commercially, therefore any water outside Saudi Arabia which claims to be Zamzam water should be treated with suspicion.

However, the BBC report found that large quantities of the water were being sold to the Muslim communities in east and south London and also in Luton in the UK. Dr Duncan Campbell, president of the Association of Public Analysts noted that the water was poisonous, particularly if consumed regularly.

Zamzam water is believed to be sacred as it is taken from a well discovered by the prophet Ismail when he was a baby when his mother, Hajar, the wife of the Prophet Ebrahim, was desperately searching for water in the desert.

It is believed that the water has healing properties and it is drunk by Muslims across the world. Many pilgrims returning from hajj, the Muslim pilgrimage in Mecca, will usually bring small amounts of Zamzam water as gifts for their friends and family.

Reports from the UK’s Food Standards Agency has been warning Muslim consumers not to drink bottled ‘Zamzam’ water since 2005 due to concerns over the high levels of arsenic found in the water.

During Ramadan in 2010, the Agency told Muslims to consider avoiding all drinking bottle water described or labelled as Zamzam water as “tests carried out on water described as Zam Zam in the UK over the past few years, including water brought into the country for personal consumption, have indicated the presence of arsenic at almost three times the legal limit.”

The Food Standards Agency also highlighted the health implications of continuing to consume contaminated Zamzam water:

“Drinking ‘Zam Zam’ water that is contaminated with arsenic could contribute to increasing people’s risk of cancer. People should consider avoiding drinking any water described as Zam Zam because there is no completely safe level of arsenic in water – and the more arsenic consumed the greater the risk.”

Although most Muslims tend to only drink small amounts of Zam Zam water during Hajj or from water brought home from Mecca by Pilgrims, more transparency is needed to explain why there is such a high level of arsenic in Zamzam water.

It appears that both ‘dubious’ and genuine Zamzam water is contaminated and so Saudi Arabia (which has failed to comment on the BBC report) needs to take on board this information and tackle the source of the contamination- for the safety and health of all those Muslims who consume it.

:: BBC Report

:: Image via Mohammed Adow/ Al Jazeera

Read More on Hajj:

Swine Flu and Other Challenges of Hajj Pilgrimages to Saudi Arabia in 2009

Case Study: We Measure One Family’s Hajj Carbon Footprint

Four Steps to A Greener Hajj

37 thoughts on “Zam Zam Holy Water Is ‘Unsafe for Human Consumption’

  1. akidos

    Why are we preventing natural selection ? Let it be … MUSLIMS , PLEASE DRINK MORE TO PROVE AGAINST THIS FAKE CLAIMS !

    Reply
  2. Don't you worry

    Us Muslims drink ZamZam water…

    Quotes from [http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/dcpc/data/ethnic.htm]
    Cancer percentages by ethnics.
    In 2010, incidence rates were highest among black men (553.2), followed by white (495.2),
    In 2010, incidence rates were highest among white women (409.9), followed by black (388.8),

    Now please, shut up.

    Reply
  3. Asif Iqbal

    please donot miss to use aabe jum jum water,its highly pure and all time drink or consumption illness insha allah safe and better of life to enjoy and pray of namaj continious.
    don’t ignour

    asif
    kolkata

    Reply
  4. umroh surabaya

    My partner and i indulge in, bring about I came across what precisely I used to be having a look to get. You could have broken this several working day very long quest! Lord Bless you guy. Use a terrific day. L8rs

    Reply
  5. Umair

    Simply a Bull Shit Report!!!….We REJECT this report!!! It is as like Fake report of Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq and attacked and killed thousands of people!!!

    The policy of West to keep continue their False Propaganda against Islamic Values!!!

    People Drinking Zamzam for Thousands of years… and now some psychopaths stand and forward their Fake researches.

    One more thing for sure……Our Prophet (Sallallah o Alaih e Wassallam) allowed us to drink this water and as per some Ahadith Zamzam is the best Water on earth. so WE DON NOT WANT ANY FAKE RESEARCHES AT ALL…………

    Reply
  6. ariff

    fake..totally fake..the zamzam is contaminated.yeah right..until now i have drinking zamzam my family brought from mecca..healthy and no cancer..just fine..

    Reply
  7. TANZIA

    ONE MORE THING Zam Zam water is sacred to Muslims and comes from a specific source in Saudi Arabia. Under Saudi law, Zam Zam water cannot be exported from Saudi Arabia for sale. Any water on sale in the UK that is labelled as Zam Zam is therefore of uncertain origin…WHERE THE HELL UK GOT REALZAM ZAM WATER.. ITS RIDICULOUS…
    1ST TIME I HEARD IT!! UK SELLS THEIR SO CALLED ZAMZAM WATER…

    Reply
  8. TANZIA

    ITS TRUELY FAKE.. I THINK ALL MUSLIMS KNEW? FROM 4000 YEARS.. BILLIONS MUSLIMS & HAJJIS & MACCA PPL DRINKING THIS WATER FRM CENTURIES…. IT ALLAH’S GRAONE OF ALLAH’S MIRACLE…
    I DONT UNDERSTAND WHICH IS ACTUAL ZAMZAM WATER HOW COME THEY TESTED IT?THEY R NOT ALLOWED OUR HOLY PLACE,WHERE THEY GET GENUINE WATER FROM ZAMZAM WELL?I M REALLY CONFUSED…
    MUSLIMS NEVER BELIEVE THIS.. ZAMZAM WATER IS SAFE & HEALTHY

    Reply
    • Fredericks Willaims

      Prophet Muhammed lived in the period 570 CE to 632CE who founded Islam. How do you say Muslims lived for 4000 years

      Reply
  9. shabeer hOosen

    Well, it’s clear to the world. The BBC has just released info that the water of the U.K is not fit for human consumption. There’s no doubt that the water tested was not Zam Zam because this holy water is not exported and instead the water analysed was actually water that originated in the U.K and sold as fake Zam Zam.
    Warning,”Danger”. Do not drink tap water when visiting the U.K, always buy bottled water, it’s a health risk! Proven by U.K health standards.

    Reply
  10. shakil rahman

    shit…not logical…. 100% fake n fucking report………zamzam is a miracle of god n auspicious for all who belives in god….may allah bless me 2 drink abe zamzam whole life…..la ilaha illalah muhammadur rasoolallah…..

    Reply
  11. Khalid Sulaiman

    Amazing, what a conspiracy! So you mean majority of the people in Maccah are Cancer patients? Why didnt they died for centuries back? Do you think Maccah is like the cursed Pompeii, that Allah showed to them His anger for committing sins shamelessly? We are sorry but you need to research again.

    Reply
  12. Haroon Muntaz

    Technical information:-

    The Zamzam well was excavated by hand, and is about 30 m (98 ft) deep and 1.08 to 2.66 m (3 ft 7 in to 8 ft 9 in) in diameter. It taps groundwater from the wadi alluvium and some from the bedrock. Originally water from the well was drawn via ropes and buckets, but today the well itself is in a basement room where it can be seen behind glass panels (visitors are not allowed to enter). Electric pumps draw the water, which is available throughout the Masjid al-Haram via water fountains and dispensing containers near the Tawaf area.[1]
    Hydrogeologically, the well is in the Wadi Ibrahim (Valley of Abraham). The upper half of the well is in the sandy alluvium of the valley, lined with stone masonry except for the top 1-metre (3 ft 3 in) which has a concrete “collar”. The lower half is in the bedrock. Between the alluvium and the bedrock is a 1⁄2-metre (1 ft 8 in) section of permeable weathered rock, lined with stone, and it is this section that provides the main water entry into the well. Water in the well comes from absorbed rainfall in the Wadi Ibrahim, as well as run-off from the local hills. Since the area has become more and more settled, water from absorbed rainfall on the Wadi Ibrahim has decreased.
    The Saudi Geological Survey has a “Zamzam Studies and Research Centre” which analyses the technical properties of the well in detail. Water levels were monitored by hydrograph, which in more recent times has changed to a digital monitoring system that tracks the water level, electric conductivity, pH, Eh, and temperature. All of this information is made continuously available via the Internet. Other wells throughout the valley have also been established, some with digital recorders, to monitor the response of the local aquifer system.[1]
    The water level is 3.23 m (10.6 ft) below the surface. A pumping test at 8,000 litres per second (280 cu ft/s) for more than a 24 hour period showed a drop in water level from 3.23 m (10.6 ft) below surface to 12.72 m (41.7 ft) and then to 13.39 m (43.9 ft), after which the water level stopped receding. When pumping stopped, the water level recovered to 3.9 m (13 ft) below surface only 11 minutes later[citation needed]. This data shows that the aquifer feeding the well seems to recharge from rock fractures in neighbouring mountains around Mecca.[citation needed]
    Zamzam water has no colour or smell, but it has a distinct taste, and its pH is 7.9–8.0, indicating that it is alkaline to some extent and is similar to seawater.
    Minerals Mass concentration as reported by researchers at King Saud University.[6]
    Sodium 133 mg/L (4.8×10−6 lb/cu in)
    Calcium 96 mg/L (3.5×10−6 lb/cu in)
    Magnesium 38.88 mg/L (1.405×10−6 lb/cu in)
    Potassium 43.3 mg/L (1.56×10−6 lb/cu in)
    Bicarbonate 195.4 mg/L (7.06×10−6 lb/cu in)
    Chloride 163.3 mg/L (5.90×10−6 lb/cu in)
    Fluoride 0.72 mg/L (2.6×10−8 lb/cu in)
    Nitrate 124.8 mg/L (4.51×10−6 lb/cu in)
    Sulfate 124.0 mg/L (4.48×10−6 lb/cu in)
    pH 8
    Total dissolve alkalinity 835 mg/L (3.02×10−5 lb/cu in)

    Reply
  13. Haroon Muntaz

    This is fake report, please find below reply

    The BBC’s findings have drawn mixed reactions from the Muslim community.[10] Environmental health officer Dr Yunes Ramadan Teinaz told the British broadcaster about commercially marketed Zamzam that, “People see this water as a holy water. They find it difficult to accept that it is contaminated, but the authorities in Saudi Arabia or in the U.K. must take action.”[11] The Saudi authorities have stated that water from the well was tested by the Group Laboratories of CARSO-LSEHL in Lyon, licensed by the French Ministry of Health for the testing of drinking water. According to reports of these results, the level of arsenic in Zamzam water taken at its source is much lower than the maximum amount permitted by the World Health Organization.[12] The Saudi authorities have thus said that the water is fit for human consumption.[13] Zuhair Nawab, president of the Saudi Geological Survey (SGS), has claimed that Zamzam is tested on a daily basis, in a process involving the taking of three samples from the well. These are said to be examined in the King Abdullah Zamzam Water Distribution Center in Mecca, which is equipped with advanced facilities.[12]

    Reply
  14. Nayef

    My fellow Muslims, do not delude yourselves. This kind of blind defense you are making for zamzam is what detracts other people from Islam and religion in general. Just because zamzam is healthy in general does not mean it is immune to being contaminated. I agree that an investigation needs to be done to verify if this is true so that we can root out the source of the contamination and gain back the full purity of our blessed zamzam water. Peace everyone.

    Reply
  15. sohail ahmed

    please dont misguide the people zam zam water is completly safe water and also have a nutritional value dont disgrace the islamic values.

    Reply
  16. sohail ahmed

    who says the zam zam water is unsafe for human zam zam water is completly safe and healthy water on earth this is the holy water And it is running from centuries without break It is a miracle of God

    Reply
  17. Arwa Aburawa Post author

    An attack on Muslims??? Why?? This isn’t personal, it’s just an investigation that needs to be looked into. It doesn’t take away from the holiness of Zamzam water..anything can get contaminated

    @Hijaureeen: I am confused, what has this got to do with alcohol??

    I think we all need to take a deep breath and just deal with the problem.

    Reply
  18. Al Hindi

    This is another attack on Islam from non mumslims.
    Anti muslim forces do what ever they want and with their full power and finally the muslims will win as the force of ALLAH.
    Did they ever thought that in desert of Saudi Arab this only holy well of Zam Zam is giving water to millions muslims 24×7 and all of them get benefits from holy water of Zam Zam in their life ,what is this power?

    Reply
    • Karin Kloosterman

      I think progress in societies can be made when people stop acting so defensive about their problems, and rather than point blame, take responsibility for the issues at hand.

      Reply
      • Jarral

        Hi keran
        You need to do home work on your ignorance first,zamzam is tested every day by a franch company who give certificate for human consumption,it is not swimming pool water,and government there is not like your that richest in the world still pushing people in sixties to go for job work for Israel,retire at 70 and die in waiting for doctor,down with your health system,Bbc and CNN can prove 2 towers siting on there feet only to fools in west who always find excuse to blockade or dropping educated healthy bombs which never kill innocent,and 25000+people dying every year with the help of healthy alcohol,drink poison sensibly,that is advice about alcohol,look in mirror can you advice

        Reply
  19. Hijaureen

    I don’t believe it! It is OK if Arsenio of Zam Zam enter my body rather than Alcohol from wine enter my body.. I think it is just a conspiracy..

    Reply
  20. Hijaureen

    If there is any Arsenic… I am ready to have it from Zam Zam rather than taking Alcohol from wine..

    Reply
  21. Arwa

    There are actually concerns over BOTH the water brought in by pilgrims from Mecca and also over water sold (illegally) in the UK as Zamzam water. Both were contaminated with some nasty stuff.

    I agree with Batir that some testing for clarity is the way forward and if there is a problem with contamination then some action needs to be taken to resolve it.

    Luckily, it seems that there has been no serious consequences so far from the water but that’s all the more reason to make sure everything is okay…Of course, this is a sensitive issue and should be handle with care…not ignored.

    Reply
  22. Batir Wardam

    This is a highly sensitive issue for Muslim and I am sure the first reaction would be denial. However, there should be a scientifically sound monitoring system for the water quality from zamazam well itself throughout the year before reaching a conclusion. The testing of water coming from Mecca by pilgrims should also take into consideration cross contamination from amy other source.

    Reply
    • amira jordan

      @karin its people like you that cause societys to destroy them selfs… for hundreds of years ppl have drank this water with no side affects or deaths…. yet ppl like you think you can destroy our beliefs and and put dout in our minds about our religion… as muslims we dont point no blame, and we do take responsability for OUR problems…. dont challange our religion and we wont be so defensive… you ppl think you can be little us, yet we have more morals and respect than you GAFFER will ever have…. god gave us our lives, god gave us that water, god will take our life… so be it… if zam zam watet makes me ill then i embrace it… what god wills will be… zam zam is safe and will always be safe… the day will come when you have no water and you will cry for our contaminated water….. and just so u no, because your so smart ISREIL does not excist… it PALISTINE

      Reply
      • Karin Kloosterman

        Hi Amira. Sorry your argument makes you sound like a raving lunatic full of hate. You can’t own environmental problems… the burden is shared by the planet, by all. I don’t know what you mean by you people, but I am on your side.

        Reply
        • Wahdee

          Hi Karin. Don’t listen to Amira. You know, Our Prophet already warned us about this day; the day when what we think true is not true (and vice versa). First of all, let Jew, Christiant, and Muslim scholars find where the real middle-earth is; so that we will know the real ZamZam Well, Mount Sinai, Solomo Temple, and many others.. And when the time comes all of us will finally understand that there is only One GOD, the same GOD who sent Abram, Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed. Always try to find the truth within the deepest of your heart.

          Reply
  23. Khayra

    I’m confused, did they test the bottled “Zamzam” water or the actual Zamzam water brought to the UK by someone coming from Mecca?

    Reply
  24. Maurice

    It’s probably no worse than drinking bottled water from somewhere else.

    And if only drank during the Hajj, once or twice won’t hurt one.

    Reply

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