Travelers at Will Rogers World Airport may notice people waiting for large containers of water along with luggage in the baggage claim area.
In the last few days, many Oklahoma Muslims have been arriving back in the state from their Hajj journey and most of them have brought back Zam-zam water. Imad Enchassi, imam of the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, said Zam-zam water is a precious gift that Hajj pilgrims bring back to share with others who did not make the Hajj journey. Hajj is observant Muslims’ annual religious pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is one of the five pillars of Islams.
Enchassi said last year, the Travel Security Administration (TSA) developed specifications for pilgrims desiring to bring the holy water back to the United States. He said pilgrims don’t want to simply bring back a small bottle of the water. They typically want to bring back gallons of Zam-zam, which they consider miraculous.
Enchassi said the good news is customs officials in Saudi Arabia were aware of the complexity of traveling with the water, plus it was packaged to meet TSA specifications this year.
According to the Council on Islamic American Relations, many Muslims believe that the water from a well in Mecca is divinely blessed. According to Islamic tradition, Zam-zam water is water that Allah presented to Hagar, who cried out for water for her son, Ishmael when they were alone in the desert.
CAIR advised Hajj pilgrims to pack their Zam-zam water it in their checked baggage if the container was larger than three ounces, pursuant to the TSA’s liquids regulations.