4 Apr 2009

Visiting historical sites in Mekah Al Mukarammah

The mountain where the Prophet (pbuh) first got his revelation - Jabal Thur

On Saturday, 5th April, our group was taken for a tour of the historical places of Islam. The first areas were the usual ones - Arafah, Mina, Jabal Rahmah, Jabal Thurr, Gua Hira or the Hira Caves and so on. Arafat (the"t" is silent) is the place where we would all gather together on the day of Resurrection. It is here that we would have to spend the night if we are doing our haj. Now, without the normal huge crowds of people, the place looks eerie and silent. It is actually a desert area surrounded by tall mountains on 3 sides. Nowadays there are trees, planted there by the Saudi govt to give shade to pilgrims during the Haj season. Beneath each tree there is a small fawcet, with water flowing at intermittent times to water the trees.

Gua Hira or the Hira Cave was where the Prophet (Peace be upon him) hid when the Quraish, his enemies, were hunting for him. It was said that as soon as the Prophet (Pbuh) had hidden in the cave with his friend Abu Bakar, spiders wove a web at the entrance of the cave and a dove built a nest near its mouth to let the Quraish think that the Prophet Mohammad (Pbuh) or in fact no one had entered the cave. How could anybody enter the cave without disturbing the spider's web or stepping on the bird's nest? So after searching for him in vain the Quraish left. Mohammad had to stay inside the cave for at least 3 days before the Quraish gave up. The Prophet (pbuh) returned to Makkah quietly and was told in a revelation that they (the Muslims) had to move to Madinah or what at that time was called Yathrib where the prophet had relatives on his mother's side. By this time the Quraish knew that Mohammad was back and they planned to kill him as soon as he left the house. They surrounded his house so that he could not even creep out. Ali his young cousin told him he would sleep on the prophet's bed, and cover himself with the prophet's blanket. It was an old trick but it paid off. The Quraish, peeping in saw what they thought to be the Prophet, sleeping quietly in his bed so they waited outside. Allah had made the Prophet and Abu Bakar invisible as they walked out steathily. They managed to escape the guards posted around the house and were more than 20 miles away when they realised that they had been tricked yet again. By this time the prophet and his people were already on the way to Yathrib and a new life. The people in Madinah welcomed the Prophet (pbuh) and joyously took him as one of their own and be their leader.

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