Jabal Al Nour – The mountain of light
Jabal Al Noor is a mountain renowned for having the Cave of Hira. This cave is the spot where Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was blessed with the first revelation. Along with the breathtaking view of Masjid Al-Haram and the Holy Kaaba from the top of the mountain, Jabal Al Noor is also a famous tourist spot among Muslim pilgrims from all over the world.
Jabal Al Noor is also known as the “Mountain of Light,” and the “Hill of Illumination.” Keep reading to learn more about Jabal Al Noor and its significance in Islam.
What Is Jabal Al Noor?
According to the Holy Quran, on the “Night of Power” in the last ten days of Ramadan of 610 CE, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) received the first revelation of the Holy Quran from Allah SWT through Angel Jibreel (AS).
Even before receiving prophethood, the Messenger (PBUH) of Allah SWT used to spend days worshipping in the cave of Hira, reflecting on worldly life and searching for the true light.
Jabal Al Noor isn’t like every other mountain. It features an unusual summit. Although stairs have been installed to make the ascent easier, it will still take you at least two hours to climb to the entrance of the cave. During the Hajj season, pilgrims from around the world climb to the top of Jabal Al Noor and visit the Cave of Hira to seek the blessings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
Where Is Jabal Al Noor Located?
Jabal Al Noor is located outside the holy city of Makkah in the Hejaz region of Saudi Arabia in the Cave of Hira. Jabal Al Noor is approximately 4 kilometres away from the Holy Kaaba in Makkah.
The Mountain of Light is 634 metres high and overlooks the northeastern entrance of Masjid Al Haram.
What Is the Significance of Jabal Al Noor?
Jabal Al Noor Mountain holds great significance in Islam and is believed to be the place where Allah SWT sent down the first revelation to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in the last ten days of Ramadan (610 CE).
Although the Cave of Hira is only four metres in length and only wide enough for five people to fit in, Hajj and Umrah pilgrims wait in queues to pray inside the sacred cave.
History of Jabal Al Noor
The history of Jabal Al Noor dates back to pre-Islamic days when Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was a merchant traveling around Syria and Palestine. This busy life made young Muhammad (PBUH) realise the significance of finding the true light (God) and so he decided to take a break from everyday hustle and bustle.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) found solitude 634 metres above ground within the stone walls of Jabal Al Noor – inside Cave Hira. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) would frequently climb up the walls of the mountain and meditate for hours and even days. According to Islamic history, the Messenger (PBUH) of Allah SWT used to return home only to restock everyday supplies of food and water.
Finally, at the age of 40, during the last Ashra of Ramadan of 610 CE, on the “Night of Power,” Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was presented the first revelation from Allah SWT through Angel Jibreel (AS).
The beloved angel appeared in front of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as a human, carrying a piece of silk brocade featuring an engraving that said “Read.” To this, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) looked up to the angel and said, “I cannot read!”
The angel replied, “Read! In the Name of your Lord, Who has created (all that exists), He has created man from a clot (a piece of thick coagulated blood), Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous, Who has taught (the writing) by the pen. He has taught man that which he knew not.”
Angel Jibreel (AS) then gave Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) the first revelation which affected him so deeply, that Muhammad (PBUH) started trembling all over and turned pale. Prophethood of Muhammad (PBUH) began, and as he moved out of the cave and was halfway down the mountain, he (PBUH) heard a voice in his ears saying, “O Mohammad, you are the Messenger of God, and I am Jibreel.”
The Messenger (PBUH) of Allah SWT was surprised to see angel Jibreel (AS) spreading over the horizon. Upon going back home, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) mentioned what has transpired to his wife Khadija (AS) and asked her to put a blanket over him so he could relax.
After encouragement from Khadija (AS) and her cousin, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) accepted the message of Allah SWT and from that moment onwards, he (PBUH) devoted his life to preaching the teachings of Islam to the idolaters of Makkah and non-Muslims of the world.
How Long Does it Take to Climb Jabal Al Noor?
Jabal Al Noor is situated at a distance of approximately four kilometres from the city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia. Climbing Jabal Al Noor takes about 45 minutes to three hours, depending upon a person’s physical ability and strength. Note that vehicles aren’t allowed to go beyond Bilal bin Rabah Mosque and so you will have to walk from there.
Though the peak of Jabal Al Noor is visible for many metres, it is advised to bring a water bottle in order to stay hydrated throughout the climb. Reaching the Cave of Hira takes around 1200 steps. On reaching your destination, you will see a sign painted on a stone, marking the entrance of the historical cave.
Height of Jabal Al Noor
Jabal Al Noor is located in the Cave of Hira at a height of 634 metres or 2080.05 feet from the ground. This is the place where Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) received the first Divine words of revelation from Allah SWT via Angel Jibreel (AS).
Summary – Jabal Al Noor
Otherwise known as the “Hill of Illumination” and/or the “Moutain of Light,” Jabal Al Noor is located on the outskirts of the holy city Makkah. It is the famous spot that houses the Cave of Hira that is deeply revered in Islam. It is the place where Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had spent a lot of time meditating in solitude in search of the true light.
It was inside Jabal Al Noor where all the prayers of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) were answered and also where he received the first-ever revelation from Allah SWT through Angel Jibreel (AS). Pilgrims (Hajj and Umrah) from all over the world climb Jabal Al Noor to visit the holy cave and pray two Rakats at the spot where the Messenger (PBUH) used to meditate.