Mecca being the birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad abounds with manmade and natural sites that are connected to him. The mountains and caves around Mecca therefore have great historical and religious significance as they are invariably linked with the history of Islam. Thour Mountain is one such site as it contains the cave that provided shelter to Islam’s greatest religious figure at a critical time.
Located in a stark and rugged desert environment the cave almost at the summit of Thour Mountain is where the Prophet Muhammad and Abu Baker his trusted companion sought refuge for three days, while being pursued by members of the Quraish tribe who did not relish the fact that many of their people were turning to the new religion being preached at the time. An interesting oft repeated anecdote connected to the event is that the pursuers came to the entrance of the cave but an acacia tree with a nesting dove was found covering the entrance in addition to a spider’s web stretched across it. Reasoning that no person could have gotten into the cave without disturbing the web, the pursuers went away leaving the Prophet and his companion to make their way safely to Medina.
Located at the southern end of Mecca, the 760 metre mountain is a prominent landmark close to the city. While visiting the site is not a part of the holy pilgrimage, many devotees try to make the ascent because of its connection to the Prophet and its part in the rise of the religion. A short half an hours’ journey by vehicle will take visitors to the foot of the mountain. However, the journey to the cave mouth is somewhat arduous as there is no clear path and the loose rock and sand are liable to cause accidents. But for the devout this will be one more task worth undertaking.
Right in the middle of Islam’s holiest city opposite the Grand Mosque, Raffles Makkah Palace offers the ideal location and facilities and amenities to suit the requirements of its international clientele throughout the year. Stay at one of the most prominent hotels in Mecca to enjoy well appointed contemporary rooms and suites, restaurants and lounges that serve a range of local and international delicacies, a well equipped modern business centre and relaxing spaces. Additionally the Makkah hotel location in the Abraj al Bait complex offers guests easy access to its convention centre and leisure facilities.
Uditha Dharmawardhane is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Roland Lefevre. He specializes in creating features on leisure as well as business travel destinations across the globe.