Mecca’s Hera Cave, one of early Islam’s rarest relics

This is about a site which isn’t officially part of the haj, but which many pilgrims to Mecca include during their pilgrimage. The Wahabi clergy who dominate in Saudi Arabia discourage visiting the cave, calling the practice an innovation, or even sinful. But thousands make the long climb up the mountainside to the cave aannually.

…Mount al-Nour, which Muslims believe is the place where the Koran was first revealed to Prophet Mohammad as he was praying in a small cave tucked between slabs of rock near the top of the mountain. Its name is Hera Cave.

The mountain is in the outskirts of Mecca and, upon arrival at the area, pilgrims are greeted with a sign that tells them visiting the cave is not a part of the pilgrimage.

Pilgrims surrounded the tiny cave, which barely have room for two persons, and waited impatiently to take a glimpse of the place where Archangel Gabriel is said to have appeared to a 40-year-old Mohammad and told him: “Recite!”

“Recite in the name of your Lord who created,” read the first verse revealed to the Prophet who was stunned and ran to his wife to tell her about what had just happened as he shivered.

A stairway goes up the mountainside, but the climb can take 30 minutes to two hours, depending upon how physically fit you are.

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Why do you think Wasabi do not want people to visit this site? From reading the link, it sound like a place for potential conflict since the cave is small and everyone wants to get in it to pray. Not sure what is the point of this post.

The religious authorities in KSA are opposed to shrines, devotions, memorials, relics, etc., which they associate with “sufism”. They frown on pilgrimages associated with these types of sites. They argue that all honor belongs to God alone and no religious devotion should be shown to human beings or their history. Prophets point only to God, not to themselves, and so we should focus solely upon God and God’s message. There is a puritan hatred of image, depth, and symbology.

So while they are perfectly happy to treat Medina and Mekka as tourist attractions, they are also destroying the history present at the sites. This can be seen in the historical carelessness with which they are planning to expand the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina, starting later this year, which has caused a great outcry across the Ummah.

thank-you for your explanation. Which one are you and how do you feel about this?

It is a recent news article which offers a look a dimension of Islam I was unfamiliar with. I assumed others would find it interesting as well.

Thank you, very much, for this explanation. The news article didn’t explain why the Wahabis were opposed to the practice. Your explanation helps greatly with understanding the context of the story. :thumbsup:

I will take your advice.

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And I did. Thank you for posting it :thumbsup:

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