Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Jabal Hira

The main picture above shows Jabal Hira (the mountain of Hira), which lies about two miles from the Ka’bah. Near the top is a small cave, a little less than 4 meters in length and a little more than one and a half meters in width. It was here that the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) received the first revelations of the Holy Quran during the month of Ramadhan in 610 CE. The mountain is also known as Jabal Noor (the mountain of light).

- The Prophet (s.a.w.) first began to have revelations in the form of good dreams which came true. Then he began to like solitude. He would go to the cave of Hira and meditate there in solitude for a number of days and nights. He would take provisions with him to stay for an extended period, and when he returned to Khadeejah (r.a.), he would stock up again and go back to the cave. This was his practice until Truth was revealed to him by an angel while he was in the cave of Hira.

- During Tahajjud time one night, when he was alone in the cave, there came to him an angel in the form of a man. The angel said to him, “Recite!”. “I cannot read,” the Prophet (s.a.w.) replied. The angel took hold of him a second time and pressed him until he could not endure it any longer. After letting him go, the angel again said, “Recite!”. Again the Prophet (s.a.w.) replied “I cannot read,” The angel further embraced him again until he had reached the limit of endurance and said “Recite!”. for the third time the Prophet (s.a.w.) said “I cannot read,” . The angel released him and said:

“Read in the name of your Lord, the Creator. He Who created man from a clot. Read! And your Lord is the Most Bounteous. Who taught by the Pen, taught man what he knew not.” [96:1-5]

- This was the first day of his Prophethood and these were the first verses of the Quran revealed to him. He recited these words after the angel, who thereupon left him; and he said; “It was as though the words were written on my heart.” He was very alarmed by the experience and feared that he had become possessed.

- The Prophet (s.a.w.) fled from the cave, and when he was halfway down the slope of the mountain he heard a voice above him saying: “ O Muhammad, thou art the Messenger of God, and I am Jibraeel (Gabriel).” The Prophet (s.a.w.) stood gazing at the angel; then he turned away from him, but whichever way he looked the angel was always there on the horizon, whether it was to the north, east , south or west. Finally the angel turned away. The Prophet (s.a.w.) was terrified and his heart was pounding hard. He returned home to Khadeejah (r.a.) and said, “Cover me!” Khadeejah (r.a.) covered him and helped him calm down.

The Quran tells us that the first revelation descended in Ramadan on the ‘Night of Power’.

“The month of Ramadan is the month in which the Quran was revealed.” (2:185)

“We have indeed revealed this message during the Night of Power.” (97:1)”

- A narration from Abu Hurairah (r.a.) states that the Prophet (s.a.w.) was once on Mount Hira with a few Sahabah (r.a.) when the mountain started to tremor. The Prophet (s.a.w.) addressed it saying, “ Be still, O Hira because on your back today are none other than a Nabi, a Siddeeq and martyrs.” With the Prophet (s.a.w.) that day was Abu Bakr (r.a.), Umar (r.a.), Uthman (r.a.), Ali (r.a.), Talha (r.a.), Zubair (r.a.) and Sa’d bin Abi Waqqas (r.a.).

Jabal Thawr

Jabal Thawr is the mountain that contains the cave in which the Prophet (s.a.w.) and Abu Bakr (r.a.) sought refuge for three days and nights from the Quraysh, as they left Makkah and emigrated to Madinah.

- When the Prophet (s.a.w.) and Abu Bakr (r.a.) arrived at the cave on Mount Thawr, Abu Bakr (r.a.) entered first to clear away anything that might injure the Prophet (s.a.w.). He found a few holes and stuffed them with pieces of cloth. The Prophet (s.a.w.) then entered and went to sleep on Abu Bakr(r.a.)’s lap. Suddenly , something stung Abu Bakr(r.a.)’s foot, but he did not twitch, fearing he would wake the Prophet (s.a.w.). The pain was so intense that tears began to run down his cheeks and onto the Prophet (s.a.w)’s face. The Prophet (s.a.w.) woke up and saw that Abu Bakr (r.a.) was in pain. He applied his spittle on the injury and the pain disappeared.

- For three consecutive nights the Prophet (s.a.w.) and Abu Bakr (r.a.) remained hidden in the cave. During this period, Abu Bakr (r.a.)’s son, Abdullah, would pass his nights nearby. The young man would return to Makkah very early in the morning so that the Quraysh had no idea that he had slept elsewhere. Each day in Makkah he collected information about the activities of the Quraysh, and each night went back to Jabl Thawr to inform the Prophet (s.a.w) and his father Abu Bakr (r.a.).

- Abu Bakr (r.a.)’s slave, Amir bin Fuhayra (r.a.), would graze Abu Bakr (r.a.)’s goats near the cave so that both men could drink fresh milk. Early the next morning Amir would drive the goats back to Makkah along the same route that Abu Bakr (r.a)’s son took, to obscure his footprints.

- When they were inside Allah (swt) sent a spider to spin a web from a bush across the entrance to the cave. Allah (swt) also commanded two doves to fly down between the spider and the tree, make a nest and lay eggs. Meanwhile the Quraysh search party scoured the area south of Makkah where the Prophet (s.a.w) and Abu Bakr (r.a.) where hiding. They came upon the mouth of the cave, and had they looked down while standing at the edge of the cave, they would have surely found the men they were hunting.

- With the Quraysh so close to discovering their hiding place, Abu Bakr (r.a.) became very tense about the Prophet (s.a.w.)’s safety. The Prophet (s.a.w.) reassured him, “How can you be apprehensive about two with whom is a third, especially when the third one is Allah?”

- On seeing the spider’s web and dove nest, the Quraysh concluded that no one could have entered the cave and left. Describing this scene the Holy Quran mentions in Surah Taubah:

“If ye help not (your leader), (it is no matter): for Allah did indeed help him, when the Unbelievers drove him out: he had no more than one companion; they two were in the cave, and he said to his companion, "Have no fear, for Allah is with us": then Allah sent down His peace upon him, and strengthened him with forces which ye saw not, and humbled to the depths the word of the Unbelievers. But the word of Allah is exalted to the heights: for Allah is Exalted in might, Wise.“ [9:40]

- After three days when they learnt that the search by the Quraysh had petered out left the cave and headed towards Yathrib. Asma (r.a.), the daughter of Abu Bakr (r.a.) came to them bringing food for the journey. When they were about to start she could find nothing to tie it to their saddles with and so she undid her waistband, tore it in two, wore half and tied the food with the other half. This ready solution won her praise from the Prophet (s.a.w.) who also named her ‘She of the two waistband’. And ever after that the Muslims knew her by that name.

Masjid al-Jinn

Masjid Jinn, also known as Masjid Haras, is built on the place where the Prophet (s.a.w.) drew a line for Abdullah bin Mas’ood (r.a.) who had accompanied him after he had been commanded to recite the Qur’an to the Jinn.

- Abdullah bin Mas’ood (r.a.) narrates, “While in Makkah, the Prophet (s.a.w.) once said to the Sahabah (r.a.), “Whoever wishes to see what the Jinn are all about should come along.” Besides myself no-one else came. When we reached the place in the Ma’la district of Makkah the Prophet (s.a.w.) used his foot to draw a circle on the ground. He then instructed me to sit inside the circle. After proceeding a little further, the Prophet (s.a.w.) started reciting the Qur’an. It then happened that Jinn started to arrive in troops as they gathered there. So many came that I could not even see the Prophet (s.a.w.) nor hear him. The Prophet (s.a.w.) then continued talking with a group of them until Fajr, when he came back to me saying, “ I have given them bones and dung as their provisions so you people should ensure that you never use bones and dung to clean yourselves after relieving yourselves.”” [Tafseer ibn Kathir]

Masjid Shajarah

This building is Masjid Shajarah (Masjid of the tree) and is located opposite Masjid al-Jinn. The Masjid marks the spot from where the Prophet (s.a.w.) called a tree and it came to him. Note that this masjid is not to be confused with the masjid in Dhul Hulayfah which is sometimes referred to by the same name.

- Umar (r.a.) reports that the Prophet (s.a.w.) was onced at Hajoon when some of the Mushrikeen (disbelievers) rejected his invitation to Islam. The Prophet (s.a.w.) prayed, “O Allah! Show me such a sign after which I would have no concern for the rejection of the people.” He was then told to call a nearby tree to him. When the Prophet (s.a.w.) did so, the tree came to him and greeted him with Salam. He then instructed it to return and it duly complied. After this the Prophet (s.a.w.) said, “I now have no concern for the people’s rejection. “

Jannatul Ma’la

The picture above shows Jannatul Ma’la, the principle historical graveyard in Makkah which is located in a valley east of the Masjid ul Haram. Several members of the Prophet (s.a.w.)’s family and many Sahabah (r.a.) are buried here.

- The following personalities are buried in this graveyard:

Ummul Mu’mineen Khadeejah (r.a.), the first wife of the Prophet (s.a.w.)

Qasim, the eldest son of the Prophet (s.a.w.) from his wife Khadija (r.a.); he died in infancy.

Abdullah, the second son of the Prophet (s.a.w.) from his wife Khadija (r.a.); he was also known as Tahir and Tayyab.

Abu Talib – the uncle of the Prophet (s.a.w.)

Abdul Muttalib – the grandfather of the Prophet (s.a.w.)

On no account should anybody pray towards a grave or seek supplication through them as this is tantamount to committing shirk, associating partners with Allah (swt).

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