Islamic history states that the Zamzam Well was revealed to Hagar (Hājar), the second wife of Ibrahim (Abraham) and mother of Ishmael. By the instruction of God, Abraham left his wife and son at a spot in the desert and walked away. She was desperately seeking water for her infant son, but she could not find any, as Mecca is located in a hot dry valley with few sources of water. Hagar ran seven times back and forth in the scorching heat between the two hills of Safa and Marwah, looking for water. Getting thirstier by the second, the infant Ishmael scraped the land with his feet, where suddenly water sprang out. There are other versions of the story involving God sending his angel, Gabriel (Jibra'il), who kicked the ground with his heel or wing(depending on which version of the story) and the water rose.
circa 600 CE
Archive picture of Zam Zam Well marker in the Mataf area. Millions of pilgrims visit the well each year while performing the Hajj or Umrah pilgrimages in order to drink its water. The well is in the Wadi Ibrahim (Valley of Abraham). The Zamzam well was excavated by hand, and is about 30 m (98 ft) deep and 1.08 to 2.66 m (3 ft 7 in to 8 ft 9 in) in diameter. The well originally (during the time of Prophet Muhammad) had two cisterns in the first era, one for drinking and one for ablution.
circa 2003 CE
An old entrance to the underground well of Zam Zam, closed as of 2003. Kaabah can be seen in the background. An older Ottoman era minbar can also be seen to the right. At the time of prophet Muhammad, it was a simple well surrounded by a fence of stones. Then in the era of the Abbasid caliph al-Mansur 771 CE (154/155 Hj.) a dome was built above the well for the first time, and it was tiled with marble.
circa 2003 CE
Source of Zam Zam well, water entering the well from the stony horizon. The name of the well comes from the phrase Zomë Zomë, meaning "stop," was a command repeated by Hagar during her attempt to contain the spring water. According to Islamic tradition, it is a miraculously generated source of water from God, which sprang thousands of years ago when Ibrahim's infant son ʾIsmaʿil was left with his mother Hajar in the desert, where he was thirsty and kept crying.
circa 1940 CE
The Building over the well of Zam Zam circa 1940 CE. This building was installed by Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid II in 1915 CE, during one of the most extensive restoration of Masjid al-Haram. To facilitate crowd control, the building housing the Zamzam was moved away from its original location, to get it out of the way of the Tawaf, when millions of pilgrims would circumambulate the Kaaba.
circa 1882 CE
Mouth-piece of Bir e Zam Zam (ZamZam Well), in the Museum of the Two Holy Mosques, with outer ring and covering. The pully at the top dates back to the end of the fourteenth century Hijrah (circa. 1970 CE). The bucket made of brass dates back to the early decade of fourteenth century Hijrah (circa. 1900 CE).