The picture on the left 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.
Jabal Hira has the actual name Jabal Al-Noor (Mountain of Light or Mountain of Enlightenment) located in Hijaz district. This Mountain is the House of Cave Hira; a small cave that has a length of four arms long and 1.75 arms wide. This mountain 640m tall and takes about 2 hours straight to climb to the cave of Hira. This was the favorite spot of Prophet صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم to meditate and he used to spend a great deal of time there alone or with Khadija رضي الله عنها. This cave is the place where first Quranic revelation took place.
The name of this cave Hira means darkness in Arabic and diamond in Sanskrit. If we combine both meanings we come to a solution that a diamond is always found in the darkest places so this cave being a very dark area helps to reveal the bright diamond from within the person who comes here and seek enlightenment. The modern day name Jabal Al-Noor was given to this mountain after Quranic revelation to Prophet صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم as Quran is a light to be followed.
This mountain has a distinctive feature of overlapping stones which gives an impression that there are two mountains, on top of each other. The top of this mountain is the loneliest place in this mountainous desert. The cave Hira faces directly towards Kaaba, and is even more isolated and lonely. While standing at the backyard of the cave one can see Kaaba, but now due to modern construction the surrounding buildings can be seen. Cave Hira is without water and any vegetation.
Prophet Mohammad صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم spent much more time in this cave when the series of pleasant dreams started, which all came true. He used to take provisions with him to the cave and stayed there for several days and nights, and came back to Khadija رضي الله عنها when provisions ended which were refilled by her, and returned to the cave.
It was after six months of the first true dream in month of Ramadan at the time of tahajjud that Jibrael عليه السلام came in the form of a human and said to him, "Recite." Prophet answered, “I cannot read." The angel took hold of Prophet صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم and pressed him against his chest until he was out of breath, then again asked him to recite and got the same answer, upon which the angel embraced him again with more strength till the limits of endurance, and asked third time to read but Prophet صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم answered the same. This was when the angel embraced with the greatest force, then asked," 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!
This was the first revealed verses of Quran and start of prophethood. The angel left and Prophet صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم said “It was as though the words were written on my heart.” This incident left him in shock and alarmed that he feared. He instantly returned home to Khadija رضي الله عنها.
While walking down from the cave Prophet صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم heard a voice," “O Muhammad, thou art the Messenger of God, and I am Jibraeel (Gabriel)”. The Prophet turned and looked at the angel and tried to turn away from him as he was scared but angel was everywhere throughout the horizon, and after some time angel turned back. Prophet was so feared that he was shivering and heart pounding when reached home to Khadija رضي الله عنها, who then helped him calm down.