Jabal al-Nur, “the Mountain of Light,” is a hallowed location in Islamic history—at its top lies the cave of al-Hira, where the Prophet Muhammad often retreated to meditate. It was during one of these moments of solitude that Muhammad received the first revelation of the Holy Koran from the Angel Gabriel: Iqra bismi rab bikal lathee khalaq—“Read! In the Name of your Lord, Who has created (all that exists).” Given the site’s significance, it’s no surprise that pilgrims flock to climb the 2,000-foot peak to get a firsthand glimpse of the cave. It’s a fairly easy walk up mostly paved stairs and should take 45 to 90 minutes each way, depending on your fitness level; given the heat, though, we suggest going early in the morning or later in the afternoon. Just don’t expect much solitude of your own when you arrive at the cave’s mouth—it’s thronged by people and can be difficult to access, but remains a profoundly moving experience.
Depending on traffic, it can take 20 to 30 minutes to reach the base of Jabal al-Nur from the Conrad Makkah. Ask the hotel to arrange a car, or call a taxi or an Uber.
Jabal al-Nur: Mecca 24238, Saudi Arabia