Jabal al-Nour

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Jabal an-Nour
Jabbal An-Nour - Makkah (2241558560).jpg
Jabal al-Nour in Mecca.
Highest point
Elevation 642 m (2,106 ft)
Coordinates 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
Map of Saudi Arabia Showing the location of Jabal al-Nour
Map of Saudi Arabia Showing the location of Jabal al-Nour
Jabal al-Nour
Location of Jabal al-Nour in Saudi Arabia
Location Mecca, Saudi Arabia

Jabal an-Nour (Arabic: جبل النور‎, translit. Jabal an-Nūr, lit. 'Mountain of Light' or 'Hill of Illumination') is a mountain near Mecca in Saudi Arabia's Hejaz region.[1] The mountain houses the famed Ghar Hira or Hira cave, the mountain and the cave hold tremendous significance for Muslims throughout the world, as the Islamic prophet Muhammad is said to have spent a great deal of time in the cave meditating, and it is widely believed that it was here that he received his first revelation which consisted of the first five ayats of Surah Al-Alaq from the archangel Gabriel. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Makkah, the cave is quite small: four arm-lengths deep by 1.75 arm-lengths wide.[2] The mountain itself is barely 640 m tall; nonetheless two hours are needed to make the strenuous hike to the cave.


Since this is where Muhammad is said to have received the first verses of the Quran, the mountain was given 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.[3] 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.[4]


The entrance to the Hira cave in the mountain.

Before Muhammad's first revelation, he was said to have pleasant dreams, among these dreams were signs that his Prophethood was starting to appear, and signs that the stones in Mecca would greet him with Salaam which is believed to have been proved true. These dreams lasted for six months.[4] An increasing need for solitude led Mohammed to seek seclusion and meditation in the rocky hills which surrounded Mecca.[5] There he would retreat to Hira Cave for one month,[3][6] each year, engaging in tahannuth,[3]</ref> which means self-justification for the purpose of the Quraysh to engage during Jahiliyyah.[6][3] 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 provisions he would circumambulate the Kaaba seven times, or however many times Allah willed; then he would go home.[6]


Jabal an-Noor

One physical feature that differentiates Jabal al-Nour 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 this mountain in the mountainous desert is one of the loneliest of places. However, the cave within, which faces the direction of the Kaaba, is even more isolated. While standing in the courtyard back then, people could only look over the surrounding rocks. Nowadays, people can see the surrounding rocks as well as buildings that are hundreds of meters below 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 crowned by a steep and slippery peak, which Muhammad with some companions once climbed. [7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Jabal al-Nour (The Mountain Of Light) and Ghar Hira (Cave of Hira)". 16 September 2015. 
  2. ^ Mubārakpūrī, Ṣafī R. (2002). Ar-Rahīq al-Mak̲h̲tūm [The Sealed Nectar]. Riyadh. 
  3. ^ a b c d Weir, T.H.; Watt, W. Montgomery. "Ḥirāʾ". In Bearman,, P.; Bianquis,, Th.; Bosworth,, C.E.; van Donzel,, E.; Heinrichs, W.P. Encyclopaedia of Islam (2nd ed.). Brill Online. Retrieved 7 October 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Mubārakpūrī, Ṣafī R. (1998). When the Moon Split. Riyadh. 
  5. ^ Peterson, Daniel C. (2013). Muhammad, prophet of Allah. Grand Rapids, Mich. 
  6. ^ a b c al-Tabarī, Abū Ja'far Muhammad B. Jarīr, (1988). Watt, W. Montgomery; McDonald, M.V., eds. Ta'rīkh al-rusul wa'l-mulūk [The history of al-Tabarī]. 6. Albany, N.Y.: State University of New York Press. 
  7. ^ Weir, T. H.. "Ḥirāʾ." Encyclopaedia of Islam, First Edition (1913-1936). Edited by M. Th. Houtsma, T.W. Arnold, R. Basset, R. Hartmann. Brill Online, 2013. Reference. Augustana College. 07 October 2013 <http://referenceworks.brillonline.com/entries/encyclopaedia-of-islam-1/hira-SIM_2820>

External links[edit]