The exceptional qualities of Zamzam water


8 May 2010

Medicine / Health

Dr. Knut Pfeiffer

Nashwa Al Ruwaini

This undated clip from Dubai TV’s Nashwa talk show presents Knut Pfeiffer, a medical doctor from Munich, Germany discussing the health benefits Zamzam water (a spring in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, in the precinct with the Ka’ba) with Nashwa Al-Ruwaini, the show’s host.

Pfeiffer suggests that the water contains special “energy”.  He also discusses how people’s energy changes from prayer as well.

There are many different versions of this video available, typically approximately 5, 8 or 10 minutes long, although none include the beginning of the segment.  The subtitles included vary; this version includes Arabic and Spanish subtitles.  This clip also includes labels discussing the Mahdi that were added by individuals circulating the video at some point.  Very few descriptions of the video identify Al-Ruwaini.


The material on Islam is within the bounds of what Muslims have historically understood as acceptable.  Pfeiffer unfortunately makes some fairly bigoted comments about “Arabic people” (which he seems to think describes all Muslims) and Christians, who he suggests do not “pray deeply”

The presentation of science here does not conform with contemporary science.  Pfeiffer makes claims about different “electromagnetic fields” around water from Munich versus Zamzam. It is unclear what is meant by that and, as far as we can search, there are no results that are published in any peer-reviewed journals. Pfeiffer promotes “electromagnetic field theory”, which is a form of alternative medicine and the claims are not supported by contemporary science. At one point, there is a specific claim of zamzam water being 1000 times heavier than regular water. This claim is almost certainly likely to be false, as water (two atoms of hydrogen, and one of oxygen) has the same composition. There is something called “heavy water” that includes an isotope of hydrogen called deuterium instead of hydrogen – but this is not what is being referred here. Even then, the weight of the deuterium water molecule is not that much different from a regular hydrogen water molecule as oxygen dominates the weight. Most of the presentation here is bad science.

There is insufficient historical material on which to base an evaluation.