The Quran is replete with numerous inspirational narratives and historical
events which expound guidance and underscore wisdom for mankind.
"Verily, there is, in their stories, a lesson for men
endued with understanding. It is not a tale (Arabic: Hadithan)
invented, but a confirmation of the existing scripture
bayna yadayhi) *, a detailed exposition of all
things, and a guide and a mercy to any such as believe"
* (For an understanding of the term 'bayna
yadayhi' please see related article  below).
However, one finds that there is absolutely
no mention of Hagar or the
Hagar-Ishmael narrative in the entire Quran from which the Zam Zam narrative is
Furthermore, one finds absolutely no mention of Zam Zam in the Quran. Safa
and Marwa which are widely accepted in Muslim thought to be linked to this story
are merely referred to as 'symbols' and never as mountains. Neither is
the Arabic word 'Jibaal' used (mountain) for them nor is the Arabic word 'Tur'
used for them (a mountain which produces trees such as 'Tur Sineen' - Mount
If the text of the Quran is further studied, it is clear that the 'tawaaf'
(circumambulation) of Safa and Marwa was a custom that the Pagan Arabs were
clearly familiar with from a period before Islam was revealed to them (Period of
Furthermore, the Quran merely allowed the practice
of 'tawaaf' around Safa and Marwa to continue as optional. There is no connection
made in the Quran with the Hagar-Ishmael incident which is widely accepted by
Muslims as fact today. These narratives only originate and find support
from Islamic Secondary Sources.
"Indeed! Safa and Marwah
are among the symbols (Arabic: sha'airi) of
God. It is therefore no sin for him who is on pilgrimage to the House or visits
it, to go around them (Arabic: Yattawwafa).
And he who does good of his own accord, (for him) lo! God is Grateful, Aware"
If the above verse is studied carefully, it seems clear that a question must have arisen
amongst the newly converted Muslims (ex pagans) as to whether the current
practice of circuiting these two symbols (Safa and Marwa) was a rite that should
continue as a part of Islamic practice. In this context the instruction was
clearly imparted by the Quran. "It is therefore no sin for
him who is on pilgrimage to the House or visits it, to go around them"
It is interesting to note that the Quran here is
not necessarily prescribing or imposing a ritual practice for Muslims. Rather,
it is clarifying an existing practice of the Pagan Arabs and if one desires to perform it of their own accord.
The Quran is absolutely clear about what is good for mankind and many examples
have been expounded by the Quran. It is significant to note that despite these
examples, there is no mention of Zam Zam, its healing or its beneficial