The Cave of Hira in photos: Islam’s starting point to the universe

The Cave of Hira near Mecca is the venue from where divine revelation descended upon Prophet Muhammad.

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The Cave of Hira near Mecca was the venue from where the first words of divine revelation are said to have descended upon Prophet Muhammad to light up the universe.

At a height of 634 meters in the Jabal Al-Nour, the Cave of Hira is four kilometers away from the Kaaba in Mecca. The cave overlooks the north and its entrance points directly towards the Kaaba.

According to Mohie ElDin Al-Hashmi, researcher of studies on the Two Holy Mosques, the cave has a space big enough for six adults at a time.

The top of Jabal Al-Nour is highly recognizable by its highest tip, which takes the shape of a camel’s hump.

Visiting the cave requires a lot of effort due to its location at the top of the Nour mountain, which requires visitors to walk for 20 meters to and from the cave.

Al-Hashmi voiced his concerns that some visitors had damaged the holy site by either removing its stones for souvenirs, or by engraving words and symbols on the cave’s walls, which is difficult to remove because of the mountain’s uneven surface.

At 40 years, Prophet Muhammad had resorted to spending a whole month in the cave for his usual retreat. It was there during the final 10 days of the month of Ramadan where Archangel Gabriel commanded him to recite the first verse of the Quran as follows:

“Read. In the name of thy Lord and Cherisher, who created man, out of a clot of congealed blood: Proclaim, and thy Lord is Most Bountiful,” Who taught by the pen, Taught man that which he knew not.”