Saudis reject Mecca holy water scare

Saudi authorities have rejected claims that holy Zamzam water from a spring inside the Grand Mosque complex of Mecca is polluted. The pilgrims treat the water as sacred and having miraculous healing powers.

Last Updated: May 08, 2011, 20:59 PM IST

Jeddah: Saudi authorities
have rejected claims that holy Zamzam water from a spring
inside the Grand Mosque complex of Mecca is polluted and
stressed there were no health risks.

The Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques Affairs said in
a statement on Saturday it had no reports suggesting there was
any issue with Zamzam water which was safe for drinking.

A spokesman for the presidency, Ahmad al-Mansuri, told
AFP, daily samples were being taken from the 31-metre
(105-foot) deep well, and measures were taken to ensure it was
safe.

According to Islamic tradition, the spring has never
gone dry for over 4,000 years and pilgrims treat the water as
sacred and having miraculous healing powers.

The British media had reported this week that the well
was polluted and that drinking from it could cause diseases
such as cancer.

Meanwhile, the Saudi embassy in London issued a
statement insisting Zamzam water was "not polluted" and that
analysis at European laboratories in March confirmed it to be
safe.

King Abdullah inaugurated in September a
700-million-riyal (USD 187 million) factory capable of
bottling 200,000 bottles a day in Mecca.

Worshippers at the Grand Mosque are able to drink
Zamzam water from hundreds of scattered taps. Saudi
authorities have banned any commercial exports of the water.

Muslims believe Zamzam came into being to provide
Hagar, Abraham`s wife according to Islamic teachings, and her
baby Ishmael with water in the hot, dry valley of Mecca where
God ordered Abraham to leave them.

In her desperate search for water for the baby, Hagar
ran seven times between the hillocks of Safa and Marwa until
she saw water running between the legs of her baby.

Part of the hajj pilgrim of Muslims is called "Saiy",
a run between Safa and Marwa in commemoration of Hagar`s run
in search of water.

PTI