Jabal Al Noor, which means the ‘Mountain of Light’, is a mountain found close to Makkah, in Saudi Arabia. Although the mountain is quite small, being less than seven hundred metres tall, it bears immense religious significance for Muslims. The legendary cave of Hira, where the Muslim prophet, Prophet Muhammad, was first visited by the archangel Gabriel with a message by God, is located here. In fact, the mountain was given its name as it is believed that Islam was first revealed to the Prophet here.
According to legend, Prophet Muhammad used to go to the cave frequently to meditate. One time while he was meditating at the cave he was visited by Gabriel who revealed the first verses of the Quran (the Islamic holy text) to him. This was during the month of Ramadan, and although the exact date is unknown it is revered as the ‘Night of Power’ and is the reason many Muslims spend the nights of Ramadan in prayer. Muslims usually visit the cave, which is roughly fifty metres below the peak, when they go on pilgrimage to Makkah.
Makkah, situated in the western part of Saudi Arabia, is considered the most sacred place in the world by Muslims. Entry into the city is strictly controlled with one having to apply for a special visa to get in. Non-Muslims are prohibited. The city is home to the Sacred Mosque which is the site of the annual Hajj Pilgrimage that takes place during the Islamic month of Dhul Hijjah. During this time Makkah is at its most crowded receiving roughly three million devotees although outside of Dhul Hijjah the numbers drop significantly. Other major landmarks in the city include the Hill of Arafat and Jabal Rahma, where Prophet Muhammad gave his last sermon; Muzdalifah; Jabal Al Thur, the cave where the Prophet hid as he fled Makkah; Masjid e Taneem and Jannat ul Mualla.
Visitors looking for Makkah hotels with a convenient location can try the Raffles Makkah Palace. The Makkah hotel is the ideal place to stay being just a few steps away from the Sacred Mosque giving guests amazing views of the Kaaba.
Thanuja Silva is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Auburn Silver. She has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.