Once upon a time, there was a prophet. His name was Abraham. He had two wives, Sara and Hagar. First wife Sara did not have any children but Hagar gave birth to Ismail, who became another prophet of a Series of Prophets. Abraham was unemployed and Allah did not send food stamps either. The triple had no money to buy milk or water for the newly born son. So Abraham sent Hagar and her newborn son hundreds of miles away and abandoned them in the middle of the desert. When Hagar was running between the hills of Safa and Marwa in the search of water with an empty feeding bottle, baby Ismail became impatient and kicked the sand. Hurray! A pool of water surfaced and shaped itself into a well, the famous holy hole that will be called “Zam Zam”.
Muhammad, the quack doctor used to sprinkle the holy water of Zam Zam on sick people and make them drink the same. Since then, Zam Zam water became the holy water for Muslims. Every year, Muslims from all over the world visit Mecca and dance around the black cubicle. Pilgrims drink from Zam Zam to purify their souls and supposedly be cured from any disease that they may have. They also rub their noses and clean the wax of their ear with this holy water, a process called ablution or wuduu. Upon receiving the certificate of “Al-Haj”, they collect a bottle of Zam Zam water that will be used as medicine when they return home. They also dip their future burial clothes in the Zam Zam.
The Ganges River, also known as Ganga of Indian sub-continent that runs for 1560 miles from Himalayas to the ocean is more than just flowing water. When Hindus take a bath in this holy river, their sins are washed away. Their souls become pure by touching the water of Ganges or by consuming it. Obviously, Hindus call this river, “savior of this world”.
There are many conflicting and confusing stories regarding the origin of Ganga. According to Valmiki’s Ramayana, Ganga was the daughter of Himalaya and Menaka. Himalaya is a mountain, whereas Menaka was a nymph and a nymphomaniac as well. Menaka cheated her husband and disappeared with her boyfriend Vishwamitra. During Menaka’s absence, her daughter Ganga was forced to live in a vessel. Menaka had good connections with other gods. According to Krittivas’ Ramayana, the deities wanted Ganga to marry Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva was a very powerful god and as handsome as Elvis Presley. Until today, Hindu women worship the private part of Lord Shiva’s body. Anyway, Menaka called Ganga’s cell phone but no response! She called all of Ganga’s friends but none had a clue. Being unable to find Ganga, Menaka cursed Ganga and it became a river.
In an oasis, a small pond with a continuous supply of water may be a geological wonder but not a miracle. Yet Muslims believe, Zam Zam is a miracle because it never runs out of water. There are many natural wonders in this world that follow nature’s rule and Geyser is one of them. Geysers are hot springs that erupt hot, steaming water, sometimes at random and sometimes at a regular interval of time. The eruption of water stays for 1-20 minutes and it may go as high as 200 ft. There are several geysers in the Yellowstone park of America, one square mile basin of this park is home to hundreds of geysers and some are very hot springs, at the surface boiling point of 199° F / 93° C.
Fortunately, Muhammad or Allah did not know about these geysers. If they had the knowledge of geysers; they would have accepted these Geysers as miracles and command Muslims to throw all infidels in the boiling waters instead of grilling them.
People of other religions did not find enough holy water to take shower, so they depend on blessed water. The biblical river Jordan has lost its glamor and importance due to political unrest of Middle East. Now Christians, Jews and Buddhists use blessed water from their priests to drive away evils and be sanctified.
The irony of this story is the peculiar similarities between Muslims and Hindus despite their enmity. Muslims believe the myth of Zam Zam and Hindus are convinced with the story of Ganges water. They have one thing in common- “Purify soul with miracle water”.
Can a bottle of Zam Zam water clean the dark soul of a terrorist or a bucket of dirty and unhygienic water of Ganges change the heart of a Hindu? It was OK for ancient people to practice these ancient rituals but not for the people of the 21st century! Zam Zam water, blessed water and Ganges water are not the miracles; the miracle is the people of 21st century who believe them.
Definitely, the people of 80th century will be shocked when they learn about this holy water business and they will be laughing their heads off. So, let’s honor our future generation and take a moment to laugh!