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HIRA

Encyclopaedia of Ismailism by Mumtaz Ali Tajddin

Jabal al-Noor (Mount of Light) is situated near Mecca, with the cave of Hira where the Prophet received the first revelation. (96: 1-5). On the Sail Kabeer road to Taif, just three miles away from the downtown Mecca city in its north-east there stands the mountain of light (Jabal al-Noor). This is the mountain, which has the honour of having the cave, Hira, where the first revelation of the Koran was bestowed upon the Prophet. The mountain is prominently seen from everywhere in Mecca. Even before entering the city from Jeddah people can see it from their own vehicles. It is an important part of the city skyline when seen from inside or the outskirts.

Although it remained in the periphery of the city till recently, today the Mecca city has expanded to such a great extent that the Jabal al-Noor having Hira has to be counted very much in the city area. The area has many other mountains surrounding Jabal al-Noor but this mountain is easily recognized as it has a crown-like upper part which makes it so distinctive as if it is the queen of the mountains. The nearby mountain called Thabeer and other hills around it are triangular shaped mountains with a usual ascent and descent but Jabal al-Noor can be divided into three portions.

First is the normal ascent for the mountain, which ascends at an angle of 35-40 degrees. After it comes the more vertical area with a slope making an angle of less than 70 degrees horizontally which makes it a bit difficult for those not used to climbing on the mountains. The last portion then is an almost flat part with an easy ascent, coiling around the hill and then descending a bit to embrace Hira.

In the construction of the walls of the Kaba stones were brought from five different mountains, one of them being the Jabal al-Noor. Its two neighbouring mountains and the mountain of Thabeer are also called two waves of the sea.

It has been estimated that the height of the cave from sea level is 2,500 feet whereas its altitude from the ground level is 200 metres. The cave can be seen at the left side while going to the Mina area from Mecca.


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