How to Drink Zamzam

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

The following was answered by Ustadzah Zaynab Ansari.  The fiqh of drinking Zamzam as much as possible, taking one’s fill of it, and drinking it for the affairs of this world and the hereafter.  So if one wishes to drink it for Forgiveness or recovery from an illness and the like, he faces the qiblah, mentioning the Name of Allah (s.w.t.), then says, ‘O Allah, it has reached me that Your Messenger (s.a.w.) said, ‘The water of Zamzam is for that which it was drunk for.’  O Allah, I drink it so that You may Forgive me.  O Allah, Forgive me.’  Or, ‘O Allah I drink it seeking Healing from illness; O Allah, Heal me.’”

It is recommended that one drink it in three breaths like with any other beverage, and when done, to praise Allah (s.w.t.).  There are numerous ahadits on this issue.  From Abu Dzarr (r.a.) reported that the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) said of Zamzam, “It is Blessed.  It is nourishing food, and a healing for sickness.”

‘Utsman ibn al-Aswad (r.a.) reported that he talked to someone who had sat with ibn ‘Abbas (r.a.).  This person told ‘Utsman (r.a.), “ibn ‘Abbas asked me where I was coming from.  I told him I had just finished drinking from Zamzam.  ibn ‘Abbas then asked me if I had drunk like I was supposed to.  I asked him, how should I drink?  He said, ‘When you drink, face the qiblah, then mention Allah’s Name, then drink it in three breaths, and drink as much as you can.  When you are done, praise Allah because the Prophet ( used to say, '’A major difference between us and the hypocrites is that they do not drink their fill of the water of Zamzam.’’”

To sum up, the etiquette of drinking Zamzam is: To face the qiblah; to mention Allah’s (s.w.t.) Name; to sip it in three breaths; to drink one’s fill; to look at the Ka’bah every time you sip if you are in Makkah; to sprinkle a little water on your head, face, and chest; to say increased supplication; and to drink it for whatever you need of this world or the hereafter; to say “O Allah, it has reached me that your Messenger (s.a.w.), ‘The water of Zamzam is for that which it was drunk for.’  O Allah, I drink it for such and such.”  Then name what you want from this world or the hereafter.  Then say, “O Allah, please Do this out of Your Bounty.”

Alternatively, to say the du'a of ibn ‘Abbas (r.a.), “O Allah!  Grant me beneficial knowledge, bountiful provision, and a healing from every disease.”  And finally, to praise Allah (s.w.t.) when finished.  Additionally, scholars have said that the benefits of Zamzam are not limited to the drinker, meaning that if someone drinks Zamzam for their child or brother for example, the benefits can reach this person if the drinker has sincere intentions.

Scholars have differed over whether one should drink Zamzam seated or standing.  Some have said that it is sunnah to sit, and have said that the hadits of ibn ‘Abbas (r.a.) where he gave Zamzam to the Prophet (s.a.w.) while the Prophet (s.a.w.) was standing was just to show the permissibility of standing.  They quote the hadits of ibn Majah (r.a.) from ‘Asim (r.a.) where ‘Ikrimah (r.a.) swore that the Prophet (s.a.w.) could not have drunk Zamzam while standing because he was riding at the time.


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