As a kid growing up in Saudi Arabia, I have had my fair share of adventures climbing mountains and hills of all kinds. Fortunately, I’ve also had the opportunity to climb and see some of these mountains known for being mentioned in Islamic history in one place or another. I started to think of all the famous mountains or caves that I have come across either while reading or simply because they are known for their significance due to being attributed to someone or something special. Here are 8 famous ones that I could think of:
1. Mountain of Noor (Cave of Hira)
Jabal al-Noor (Mountain of Noor), located in Makkah is perhaps one of the most famous and well known mountains in the Muslim world. At the top of the mountain is the famous cave of Hira where Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) used to go worship primarily before the declaration of his Prophethood. At the age of 40, it was in this cave where the first revelation was revealed to him by the angel Jibraeel.
2. Cave of Thawr
The cave of Thawr is on top of a mountain located on the outskirts of Makkah. This is the cave where the Prophet (pbuh) hid in during the migration with Abu Bakr, as the enemies tried to track him down in order to kill him. However, once inside the cave, through the miracle of Allah (swt), a spider made a web on the entrance of the cave and a bird laid eggs outside of it. This caused the enemies, who were being led by one of the best trackers of the time to ignore the cave as they assumed that no one could have entered it without disturbing the nest and breaking the web.
3. Mountain of Abu Qubais
The mountain of Abu Qubais is also located in Makkah, Saudi Arabia. Today it is better recognized by the large tunnels carved through it, but this mountain is considered to be the very first mountain on earth. Furthermore, it was also on this mountain that the Prophet (pbuh) performed the miracle of the splitting of the moon. It was also on this mountain that Abdul Muttalib (ra) went to when Abraha was coming to attack the Ka’ba.
4. Cave of Ashaab e Kahf
The story of the Companions of the Cave is well documented in the Qur’an (in Surah Kahf). These few men escaped their homeland and on the way entered into a cave where they fell asleep. By the will of Allah (swt) they ended up sleeping for a few centuries and woke up not even realizing initially that they had slept this long. While the location of the cave itself is disputed, alleged cave locations can still be visited today in Jordan, Syria and even in China!
5. Cave of Prophet Ibrahim
During the time of Nimrod, he was informed that there would be a boy who would bring destruction to his kingdom. Nimrod ordered the women and men to be separated; however the mother of Ibrahim (as) conceived him on the same night (and showed no signs of pregnancy by the miracle of Allah [swt]). Nearing the birth, she left the house and went to a cave where she gave birth to Prophet Ibrahim (as). She left him in this cave, and closed the mouth of the cave with a boulder. It was in this cave where Prophet Ibrahim (as) initially grew up. Allah (swt) caused milk to flow from his thumb. It is said that Ibrahim (as) grew at a much faster pace than a normal child. In a day he would grow up as much as what a normal child would grow up in a month (or some say a week).
6. Mount Sinai
The mountain of Sinai (referenced in Surah Teen) is a mountain located in Egypt. It was on this mountain where Prophet Musa (as) conversed with Allah (swt) and received divine commandments. Today the mountain is visited by Jews, Christians and Muslim tourists alike.
7. Mount Judi
The mountain where the ark of Nuh (as) came to rest; it has also been mentioned by name in the Qur’an. Allamah Majlisi records in his Hayat al Qulub the following:
From authentic traditions it is quoted from Imam Musa Ibn Ja‘far that when Nuh boarded the ship and started sailing by the order of Allah, Allah revealed to the mountains, “I want to make my servant, Nuh stay on one of you.” Hearing this all the mountains raised their heads except for Mount Judi in Mosul. It remained humble and modest and said, “I am not worthy enough that Nuh’s Ark may berth upon me.” Allah appreciated the humility and designated the ship to halt on Mount Judi. Hence, when the ship touched, Mount Judi trembled, The people thought the ship might wreak and sink. Nuh looked out from a small window of the ship and said, “My Lord! Steady the boat!” And in some traditions it has come that he said, “O Sustainer do us a favor!”
8. Mountain of Arafat
Also known as Jabal al-Rahmah (Mountain of Mercy); it is one of the most important areas that the Hajj pilgrims go to. It is also the location where the Prophet (pbuh) delivered one of his last farewell sermons. It was here that Prophet Adam (as) and his wife Hawa met after being separated for many years and their repentance was accepted by Allah (swt).
Some other prominent mountains that are also well known include Mount Safa and Marwah, between which the pilgrims and those performing Umrah do the act of Sa’ee. The mountain of Uhad is another famous one; this is where the Muslim archers were placed during the battle of Uhad.