Saudi Arabia resumes Zamzam water distribution across the kingdom

Priority for distribution of the holy water will go to people with special needs

Saudi workers load carboys of "zamzam" water containers at the Zamazemah United Office in Mecca, on November 7, 2010. According to Islamic belief, zamzam is a miraculously-generated source of water from God, which began thousands of years ago when Abraham's infant son Ishmael was thirsty and crying for water when it discovered a well by kicking the ground. Millions of pilgrims visit the well each year while performing the Hajj or Umrah pilgrimages, in order to drink its water.  AFP PHOTO / MUSTAFA OZER (Photo by MUSTAFA OZER / AFP)
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Saudi Arabia will resume the distribution of Zamzam water in Makkah from Tuesday, said Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al Sudais, head of the country’s top religious authority.

According to Islam, Zamzam is holy water that has flowed for thousands of years.

Prophet Abraham's son Ismail was with his mother Hajar in the desert, thirsty and crying for water, when the Zamzam well sprang up.

Millions of pilgrims visit the well each year while performing Hajj or Umrah.

A five-litre bottle is 5.50 Saudi riyals ($1.47), with a quota of four bottles a person every 15 days.

Priority is given to people with special needs, King Abdullah’s Project for Zamzam said.

The National Water Company, the official overseer of Zamzam, will distribute water for a few hours every day except Friday, from 1pm until 9pm local time.

A maximum of 60 customers will be allowed to enter the customer care centre at a time.

Zamzam will also be available at project headquarters and authorised hypermarkets and shops, which have been supplied with more than five million bottles across the kingdom.

"I am so happy we can get Zamzam soon even in supermarkets and especially during Ramadan," Hanan Mufti, a Saudi teacher in Jeddah, told The National.

"We are lucky to be living in Saudi Arabia, the only place we can get Zamzam, and looking forward to using the app."

The project was built at a cost of 700 million riyals, with advanced technology to ensure the quality of Zamzam, which comes from Zamzam Well in the Holy Mosque in Makkah

"Zamzam is a miracle for us," said Farhan Saeed, a Pakistani living in Riyadh.

"For all Muslims in the kingdom who look forward to praying in Makkah and Madinah and can't go this year, drinking Zamzam reminds one of Makkah."

The Zamzam project was inaugurated in 2010 by the late King Abdullah to enable the distribution of the water to pilgrims at the Holy Mosques in Makkah and Madinah.