Three Tales from the Book
Standing on top of
While there is no archaeological evidence to show that Moses existed, the story is an ancient one and these stories do not appear from nowhere. There will be an origin. For now, it is enough that the story is sanctified by centuries of belief.
Photo Adrienne Higham
The remains of a first century Christian church have been found here. Jesus was thirty when John baptised him. An early Christian seeking the site in the first century could have visited this place within living memory of John the Baptist’s mission as described in Luke’s Gospel. It is plausible that this is the right spot.
The story of ZamZam water is even older than that of Moses. In
the Genesis story, Abraham (Ibrahim) has a child, Ishmael, by Hagar (Hajar) the
slave of his wife Sara. At Sara’s bidding, Abraham abandons Hagar in the
desert, where according to Genesis Chapter 16 Verse 7 …the angel of the LORD [Gabriel or Jibreel] found her by the fountain of water in the wilderness…
Muslims trace their descent and the descent of the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) from Ibrahim by Ishmael’s line.
The Islamic traditional story (there is more than one
version) has it that Hajar walked between two hills in the desert seven times
looking for water and help. The angel
Jibreel came down and created a spring.
Hajar, seeing the water going to waste cried out “Zam, zam!” [Stop, stop],
hence the name of the well, which is sited close to the Kaaba at
Muslim pilgrims recreate Hajar’s walk between the two hills
as sanctioned by the Holy Qur’an at Sura 2: Safa
and Marwa [the two hills] are among
the rites of God. Whoever makes the Pilgrimage to the House, as performs the
Umrah, commits no error by circulating between them…
Three tales from the Book and a common reverence for water show that we all base much of our culture and beliefs on a small set of very old stories.