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

About Arwa Aburawa

Arwa is a Muslim freelance writer who is interested in everything climate change related and how Islam can inspire more people to care for their planet and take active steps to save it while we can. She is endlessly suspicious of all politicians and their ceaseless meetings, especially as they make normal people believe that they are not part of the solution when they are the ONLY solution. Her Indian auntie is her model eco-warrier, and when Arwa is not busy helping out in the neighborhood alleyway garden, swap shopping or attempting fusion vegetarian dishes- with mixed success, she’d like to add- she can be found sipping on foraged nettle tea. You can find all of Arwa’s published work on her freelance site, and check out her musing on her blog. You can contact her @arwa_journalist or via arwa (at)

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

  1. muntasir dowlut

    Even if you deny us from drinking the Zam Zam water due to whatever disease, we gonna drink it cause without Allah not even a disease can be spread. So if i drink the water and it happens that i get cancer. It’s obviously must have been the Almighty’s will.

  2. mike Roy

    If this water cures cancers and other diseases.Why cancers still killing millions all over the world?Just give everyone the water and viola you cure them.Why are we still wasting billions in rehearsing for a cure.Are we that gullible?C’mon!

  3. Ahmed


    Science, at a very later stage, reveals new secrets about Zamzam water

    .” Emoto took a sample of Zamzam water, and said: “I couldn’t crystallize it, even by diluting the water by 1,000.”

    Following was written Dr. Masaru Emoto:

    The quality/purity of Zamzam water has, will not be find any where else in the water on this earth.

    He used the technology named NANO, and researched a lot on Zamzam water. And found out that if one drop of Zamzam water mix in 1000 drops of regular water, regular water will get the same quality like Zamzam water.

    He also found that a mineral in one drop of Zamzam water has its own importance that will not be find any other water on this earth.

    He also found in some tests that the quality or ingredients of Zamzam water can not be changed, why, science does not know the reason.

    Even he re-cycled the Zamzam water, but no change it was still pure.

    Subhan’Allah!!! Surely this is a Miracle of Allah’s..

    ZamZam water level is around 10.6 feet below the surface. It is the miracle of Allah that when ZamZam was pumped continuously for more than 24 hours with a pumping rate of 8,000 liters per second, water level dropped to almost 44 feet below the surface, BUT WHEN THE PUMPING WAS STOPPED, the level immediately elevated again to 13 feet after 11 minutes.

    8,000 liters per second means that

    8,000 x 60 = 480,000 liters per minute

    480,000 liters per minutes means

    that 480,000 x 60 = 28.8 Million liters per hour

    And 28.8 Million liters per hour

    means that 28,800,000 x 24 = 691.2 Million liters per day

    So they pumped 690 Millions liters of Zamzam in 24 hours, but it was re-supplied in 11 minutes only.

    There are 2 miracles here, the first that Zamzam was re-filled immediately, & the second is that Allah Holds the extra-ordinarily powerful Aquifer for not throwing extra Zamzam out of the well, otherwise the world will SINK.

    Allah says in the Holy Quran;
    “We will soon show them Our signs in the Universe and in their own souls, until it will become quite clear to them that it is the truth. Is it not sufficient as regards your Lord that He is a witness over all things?” (41:53)

  4. Hannatu

    I’d believe this report if it followed up with research that shows most pilgrims developed cancer after performing the hajj!

  5. Fatima

    Praise be to Allah An the prophets. I love Allah so much ?I am so sad. That people always try to bring down the food that Allah has given to use. Allah never makes mistakes or never misleads is to do wrong. It is very sad that people are so miserable. That they must say an do anything to mislead an try to make us doubt our wonderful merciful father Allah. This world/the people in it are so wicked an jealous of Allah an Muslims. Because they are not close to Allah. But that is their own fault . Allah never turns from us. It is the people them selfz who turn away from Allah. Because they are selfish an they are their own greedy gods. An the ZamZam will be here An safe to drink from the time it was revealed an until almighty Allah wishes for it to be gone. I believe in Allah’s words not mans. Because Allah is creator of all. An there is nothing Allah does not know of or created without our Allah. An there is nothing we can do or hide from Allah. ?

  6. Mohommed Iqbal

    You are so funny , hahaha ZamZam was best water on earth and it will be till we kill all you jews………..

    • Nihal

      V human beings our knowledge is a pin comparing to Quaran hadises so stop researching about this and u don’t know anything about it…

  7. akidos

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

  8. Don't you worry

    Us Muslims drink ZamZam water…

    Quotes from []
    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.

  9. 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


  10. 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

  11. 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…………

    • Faezul

      Do you have reading deficiency? They said that the fake zamzam water distributed in the uk are the one’s which contains high levels of arsenic. Not the one’s from the original source and muslims should be aware of tge fake zamzam. fyi it is illegal to commercialize zamzam water. its even illegal just to export it out for commercial purposes.

  12. 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..

  13. 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…

  14. TANZIA


  15. 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.

    • Faezul

      Do you have reading deficiency? They said that the fake zamzam water distributed in the uk are the one’s which contains high levels of arsenic. Not the one’s from the original source and muslims should be aware of tge fake zamzam. fyi it is illegal to commercialize zamzam water. its even illegal just to export it out for commercial purposes..

  16. 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… ilaha illalah muhammadur rasoolallah…..

  17. 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.

  18. 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)

  19. 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]

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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

  23. 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.

    • Arbaz khan

      Brother I m suggesting you please first research and then post your comment the author of this article is non muslim or jewish.bc

  24. 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?

    • 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.

      • 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

  25. 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..

  26. Hijaureen

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

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

    • 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

      • 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.

        • 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.

        • Shabeer Hoosen

          Is the physical location of Zam Zam in Islam’s holy land Makkah not proof enough to suggest that the Bible has mislead people into believing that Zam Zam’s location is in a so called place named Israel (Palestine). Actually I am very doubtful about who’s side you are on. Let’s not hide like a wolf under sheep skin!!!

  29. 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?

  30. 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.


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