Jabal An-Nur

Jabal al-Nour
Elevation 642 m (2,106 ft)
Jabal al-Nour
Location of Jabal al-Nour
Location Mecca, Saudi Arabia

21°27′29″N 39°51′41″E / 21.45806°N 39.86139°E / 21.45806; 39.86139Coordinates: 21°27′29″N 39°51′41″E / 21.45806°N 39.86139°E / 21.45806; 39.86139

Jabal al-Nour (also Jabal an-Nur or Jabal Nur),which can be translated from Arabic(جبل النور),"The Mountain of Light", or "Hill of Illumination",is a mountain near Mecca in Saudi Arabia's Hejaz region. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Mecca. The mountain houses the famed Ghar-E-Hira or Hira cave. The cave is quite small, four arm's length long by 1.75 arm's length wide.[1] The mountain is barely six hundred and forty meters tall. It does however, take two hours to make it to the cave and is extremely strenuous on the individual. However, the mount and the cave hold tremendous significance from Muslims throughout the world. The Prophet Muhammad is said to have spent a great deal of time in the cave meditating and it is believed that he had received his first revelation from the archangel Gabriel, inside this cave from God.


Since this is where the Prophet received the first verses of the Quran(the Muslim holy book), the mountain was giving the title "Jabal-al-Nour". "Jabal" in Arabic means mountain and "Nour" or "Noor" means light or enlightenment.This experience is sometimes identified with the beginning of revelation; hence the present name.[2] As for the exact date of the first revelation it can be seen through investigation to fix the time to Monday the 21st of Ramadan at night, i.e. August, 10, 610 C.E. or exactly 40 lunar years, 6 months and 12 days of age i.e., 39 Gregorian years, 3 months and 22 days.[3]

Why this mountain?

Before the Prophet Muhammad’s first revelation he would have pleasant dreams. Among these dreams showed signs of his Prophethood starting to appear as well as signs that the stones in Makkah would great him with Salam which in turn proved true. These dreams lasted for six months.[4] Also an increasing need for solitude, lead him to seek seclusion and meditation in the rocky hills which surrounded Mecca.[5] There he would retreat to Hira cave for one month,[6][7] each year, engaging in tahannuth,[8] which means self-justification for the purpose of the Quraysh to engage during Jahiliyyah.[9][10] He would take provisions along with him during this retreat, and would feed the poor that would come to him. Then before returning home to his family for more previsions he would circumambulate the Ka'ba seven times, or however may times God willed; then he would go home.[11] In the blaze of day and during the clear desert nights, when the stars seem sharp enough to penetrate the eye, his very substance was becoming saturated with the ‘signs’ in the heavens, so that he might serve as an entirely adequate instrument for a revelation already inherent in these ‘signs.’ It was then that he was undergoing a preparation for the enormous task which would be placed upon his shoulders, the task of prophethood and conveying the true religion of God to his people and the rest of humanity.

How Jabal-al Nour looks today

One physical feature that differentiates it from other mountains and hills is its strange looking summit, which makes it look more like two mountains on top of each other. The top of the Mountain of Nour in the mountainous desert is one of the loneliest of places. However, the cave within, which faces the direction of the Ka’ba, is even more isolated. While standing in the courtyard back then you can only look over the surrounding rocks. Now a day you are still able to see the surrounding rocks as well as buildings that are hundreds of meters down and hundreds of meters to many kilometers away. Hira is both without water or vegetation other than a few thorns. Hira is higher than Thabir, and is crowened by a steep and slippery peek, which the Apostle with some companions once climbed. Muhammad was in the habit of staying here with his wife.[12]

3D Tour of Hira Cave

3D Tour of Hira Cave

See also

Saudi Arabia portal
Geography portal


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