One of the most amazing and secret places revered by Muslims is the Cave of Hira on Jabal al-Nour (Mountain of Light) in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. This cave is of great significance in the history of Islam and is considered to be the place where Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) received his first revelation of Allah through angel Gabriel.
According to Islamic tradition, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) spent a long time in this cave in deep reflection before he received the first verses of the Quran. It was there, in the month of Ramadan in 610 A.D., that angel Gabriel appeared to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and recited the first verses of the Quran.
Hira is a small narrow, low-ceilinged cave. Its interior is quite simple. The cave has a small entrance and dim lighting inside. Visitors have to crouch and literally crawl in order to enter the cave, and space inside is very limited.
The walls of the cave are rough and uneven. There are no constructions or artifacts inside. Visitors can notice small stones or pebbles on the ground, which are believed to have survived from the time when Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) spent long days there in deep reflection.
The Cave of Hira is open to visitors, but it is hard to get there. To reach the cave, pilgrims have to climb the steep Mountain of Jabal al-Nour. It is a difficult and tough trek. The ascent can take from 1 to 3 hours, depending on one’s fitness level and experience. Nevertheless, many pilgrims visiting Mecca try to climb Jabal al-Nour in order to reach the entrance of the cave and pay their respects to this important site.
As the cave is located on a mountain, it can be quite dangerous to reach the cave without proper equipment and guidance. Therefore, visitors are advised to hire a guide or join a tour group in order to ensure their safety and learn more about the significance of this place.
The Cave of Hira is usually not included in the official Hajj or Umrah programs, but many visitors to Mecca choose to visit this site as part of their pilgrimage. The cave is open all year round, but during the Hajj season there may be more people here.
It is important to note that visitors to the Cave of Hira should respect the inviolability of this site and observe Islamic customs. In addition, they should also be mindful of the fragile ecosystem of the mountain and try not to damage the environment.
Despite its historical and spiritual significance, the Cave of Hira is little known among non-Muslims and is a hidden gem known only to a few. It remains an important place of pilgrimage and reflection for Muslims around the world.
GSV "Russia - Islamic World"
Photo: Creative Commons