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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