Hira (Arabic: حراء Ḥirāʾ ) or the Cave of Hira (غار حراء Ġār Ḥirāʾ ) is a cave about 2 mi (3.2 km) from Mecca, on the mountain named Jabal al-Nour in the Hejaz region of present day Saudi Arabia. The cave itself is about 12 ft (3.7 m) in length and 5 ft 3 in (1.60 m) in width.
Taking 600 steps to reach, the cave is at a height of 270 m (890 ft) and the radius is 263.23 m (863.6 ft) During the Hajj around 5,000 Muslims climb up to the Hira cave daily to see the place where Muhammad received the first revelation of the Quran on the Night of Power. Muslims do not typically consider seeing the cave an integral part of the pilgrimage. Nonetheless many visit it for reasons of personal pleasure and spirituality, and some think it a place of worship, although the latter view conflicts with orthodox interpretations -- while the Cave of Hira is an important place to know in the Al-sīra (prophetic biography) it is not as holy as, say, Masjid Al-Haram. Under most interpretations, the same reward is received for praying here as any other place in Mecca.
- In pictures: Hajj preparations Pictures #4 and #5 are of Jabal an-Nūr and the Hira cave.