Upon Inquiry, I Learned From One Of The Persons
Who Had Descended In The Time Of The Wahabys To Repair The Masonry, That
The Water Was Flowing At The Bottom, And That The Well Is Therefore
Supplied By A Subterraneous Rivulet.
The water is heavy to the taste,
and sometimes in its colour resembles milk; but it is perfectly sweet,
and differs very much from that of the brackish wells dispersed over the
When first drawn up, it is slightly tepid, resembling, in this
respect, many other fountains of the Hedjaz.
Zemzem supplies the whole town, and there is scarcely one family that
does not daily fill a jar with the water: this only serves, however, for
drinking or for ablution, as it is thought impious to employ water so
sacred for culinary purposes or on common occasions. Almost every hadjy,
when he repairs to the mosque for evening prayer has a jar of the water
placed before him by those who earn their livelihood by performing this
service. The water is distributed in the mosque to all who are thirsty
for a trifling fee, by water-carriers with large jars upon their backs:
these men are also paid by charitable hadjys for supplying the poorer
pilgrims with this holy beverage immediately before or after prayers.
The water is regarded as an infallible cure for all diseases; and the
devotees believe that the more they drink of it, the better their health
will be, and their prayers the more acceptable to the Deity.
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