Holy Cave of Hira is Full of Trash – Pictures

July 22, 2008  |  Thoughts

When we hear the Saudis have demolished holy sites and made them into toilets and parking lots, its usually difficult for some people to truly understand or feel emotion. The connection that wahabi-influenced Western Muslims have to, say, the Hazrati Khadijas (R) old house and the Prophet’s (S) birthplace is shaky at best.

However, few places are mentioned as often in childrens tales as the Cave of Hira at Jabl al-Nur (Mountain of Light). Even these people with confused ideologies find their hearts drawn to the stories of the cave. What would it be like to see that cave, pray where the Prophet (S) first received Quran?

Recently family members have come back from Umrah and took some pictures of the situation of the cave.

First we see the standard Bidaa/Innovation disclaimer one would expect from the Wahabi’s who control and are ‘guardians’ of the holy places. Not many people make the trip up the mountain, especially after reading this warning. Only two men traveled up alone to see these sights, they encountered no rush of littering people. Much of this seems to have been sitting there for months or years.

Jabl al-Nur / Cave of Hira - Wahabi Bidaa Disclaimer

Of course, this means they will give little care to maintaining this place, its all “Bidaa” to them.

Once you are finally up the mountain, the path immediately before the seating place of the Prophet (S):

Jabl al-Nur / Cave of Hira - Immediately before outside view

Its difficult to compare this to times in the past when entire contingents were paid by the government/people to keep places such as this in spectacular condition.

Climb up through these boulders to see where the Prophet (S) would sit and meditate:

Jabl al-Nur / Cave of Hira

This is the view of the area, the large rock in the center may have served as the Prophet’s (S) chair:

Jabl al-Nur / Cave of Hira - Where the Prophet (S) Sat to Meditate - Full of Trash

Supposedly before construction one could look outwards to see the Kabaah from here, yet its difficult to get past the view of the garbage:

Jabl al-Nur / Cave of Hira
The entire area is littered with not only actual garbage but also graffiti, visitors will often pray here:

Jabl al-Nur / Cave of Hira - Full of Trash and Graffiti

Jabl al-Nur / Cave of Hira

The mountain side

Jabl al-Nur / Cave of Hira - Graffiti

Interesting snippet of an article about the Wahabis work on Islamic sacred sites:

Dr Irfan al-Alawi, historian, founder and former executive director of the Islamic Heritage Research Foundation, who is one of the most vocal opponents of the destruction of the Haramayn and their environs, says that last year the Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs distributed a pamphlet in the Masjid-e Nabawi calling for the demolition of the green dome. Endorsed by Abdul-Aziz al-Sheykh, the kingdom’s current grand mufti, the pamphlet brazenly declared: “The green dome shall be demolished and the three graves [where the Prophet, Abu Bakr and Umar are laid to rest] flattened in the Prophet’s Mosque.” The groundwork for such sacrilegious statements was prepared by another prominent Saudi scholar, the late Muhammad ibn al-Uthaymeen, who for 35 years delivered khutbas in the Masjid al-Haram. “We hope one day we’ll be able to destroy the green dome of the Prophet Muhammed [saws],” he said, in a recording provided by Dr Alawi.

Dr Alawi estimates that 300 historic sites have been destroyed or are scheduled for destruction. An old house that had belonged to Umm al-Mu’mineen Khadijah al-Kubra (ra) was recently razed to make room for a public toilet facility, among other things. The birthplace of the Messenger (saw) in Makkah was first turned into a library and named “Maktabat Makka al-Mukarrama”, and is now being turned into a parking lot. While libraries are important, the plan was not based on the Wahhabis’ desire for learning but on their determination to destroy all vestiges of Islam’s heritage. The few remaining historical sites in Makkah can be counted on one hand and will probably not survive much past the next Hajj, according to Dr Alawi. “It is incredible how little respect is paid to the House of Allah [in Makkah].”

An ATM (cash-dispensing machine) has opened on the site where the ancient mosque named after the first khalifah, Abu-Bakr Siddiq (ra), once stood. The sites of the historic battles at Uhud and Badr have become parking lots. The graves of Amir Hamza (ra) and the other shuhada of Uhud have suffered even greater indignity: garbage litters the site and the Wahhabis expressly forbid any identification-markers on them, again under the spurious excuse that this would lead to shirk. The 1,200-year-old mosque and tomb of Sayyid Imam al-Uraidhi ibn Ja‘far al-Sadiq, four miles from Masjid-e Nabawi in Madinah, was destroyed by dynamite and flattened on August 13, 2002. Imam al-Uraidhi was ninth in line from the Prophet (saw).




  1. As-salaamu alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuhu
    As-salaatu wasalaamu alaika Yaa Rasul Allah sallallahu alaihi wasallam

    That’s so sad. Feel like going there now to clear away all the litter….


  2. Salam

    Very sad and true. I had the blessings of climbing it in 1990 alhamdullah. And I noticed subhanallah a Man from Africa chissling steps feesabelllah. May Allah reward him,

    Now the Saudis firstly dont care about the area, nor do they encourage climbing it. So naturally they wont maintain the area.

    Until the Saudis learn repect for the treasures of Hijaz the responsibilty to keep it clean lays with us and those who climb it.


  3. Sallam alaykum.

    Jazallahu ana Sayiduna Muhammad, salallahu alayhi wassallam, ma huwa ahlu.

    Thank so very much for the info. I agree with sister Farah. When I first saw the pictures, i felt like going there and cleaning up. I’ve heard that the Saudis are good at cleaning the streets, especially those in Madinah. Masha’Allah that’s excellent but what about the holy sites like Hira? They deserve more respect.

    May Allah guide them. Ameen.

    Thank you very much again for informing us of this. May Allah reward and bless you. Ameen.

  4. Asalaamu alaikum,
    Gosh, this is really depressing! I can’t believe nobody has the impulse to keep it clean, and for that matter, who is OK with leaving their litter?Yuck!
    That sign is very bad! The message itself is contradictory. I don’t quite understand their reasoning.

  5. Assalamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullah
    I pray that you are in the best of health & imaan.
    This is a short message to notify you that this entry has been selected for publishing on IJTEMA, a venture to highlight the best of the Muslim blogosphere. Please visit the site to find out more about our initiative.
    May Allah bless you for your noble efforts.

  6. What the? It’s biddah to climb the mountain where the Prophet (saas) climbed? This is strange. May Allah (swt) guide us all.

    This pictures really piss me off. We should bring this to the attention of the Saudi government who have recently (and slowly) distant themselves from extremist Saudi scholars. In fact King Abadallah had that interfaith event in Spain, which is totally taboo with the extreme Saudi scholars.

  7. or we could wake up and realize who the enemies of Islam are. They don’t view any of this as extreme. Even the moderates want to destroy every trace of the Prophet (S) on this earth.

  8. Assalamu’alaikum,

    How can anyone who’s privileged enough to be a Muslim not feel sad, when the very place where Islam was initially revealed is treated as such?

    This is terrible. May Allah guide us all.

  9. AA- Yursil,

    “or we could wake up and realize who the enemies of Islam are.”

    Hmmm…that’s pretty harsh don’t you think? No love lost here for my Saudi hosts, but c’mon, enemies of Islam?

    On a brighter note, I just got back from a weekend at Madinah and we were blessed to visit the cave in one of the hills of Uhud where the Prophet (s) was rushed away by the sahaba for his safety and protection. The cave was very clean and even had bottles of musk thrown around inside, giving it a nice fragrance. Clearly the work of some sincere lovers of our dear Prophet (s).

  10. As-salaamu alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuhu
    As-salaatu wasalaamu alaika Yaa Rasul Allah sallallahu alaihi wasallam

    Dr Irfan al-Alawi has been doing many presentations around the country with his slide show of historic sites/Islamic heritage – unfortunately I missed one presentation a few months ago.


  11. BismillahirRahmanirRahim
    Salamu’alaykum Naeem,

    “The groundwork for such sacrilegious statements was prepared by another prominent Saudi scholar, the late Muhammad ibn al-Uthaymeen, who for 35 years delivered khutbas in the Masjid al-Haram. “We hope one day we’ll be able to destroy the green dome of the Prophet Muhammed [saws],” he said, in a recording provided by Dr Alawi”

    If that is not an enemy of Islam, I don’t know what is.

  12. Two remarks.

    1) Did it ever occur to anyone that the people leaving this trash are those who are visiting these sacred sites — i.e. the cave of Hira — out of a (misguided?) sense of religious obligation? If the Salafi scholars consider it an innovation to climb the hill, then who is leaving behind this rubbish and vandalizing the walls with graffiti? Obviously those of the ummah who don’t share such religious views? If the government tells you not to go to area X, and you go there and trash the place, is the government to blame for the trash? or you?

    2) The author of the quoted article is an apologist for “Imam” Khomeini. Please think whose hands you are playing into by spreading such (mis)- information

  13. BismillahirRahmanirRahim

    1) Or they could be other tourists or the baboons that live in the mountains. Kids looking for a fun place to play. The government doesn’t tell people not to go to the caves for a picnic, or to relieve oneself. Its not closed off. The government only tells people its a Bidaa to go to the caves for religious purposes/benefits.

    Regardless, some places, you aren’t supposed to step on the grass (because they want it to look good), and if there is trash there, people are paid to pick it up.

    2) His facts in this matter are straight, thats all that I care about.

  14. So it ain’t backbiting, I called you an ignoramus here: http://muslimmatters.org/2008/07/24/a-madinan-tale/#comment-23293 . May Allâh give you what you deserve. Âmîn!

  15. Rashid, it’s a fair point you raise, however regardless of whether tourists dropped the litter or not, isn’t it the responsibility of the Saudis, who are ‘in charge’ of the sacred sites, to clean the area?
    governments are there to provide a service, and one of these is to make sure environments are clean.
    We’re all so quick to clean up our homes and streets and yet we leave our sacred relics to rot? What’s better, to please the eyes of people, or to please the eyes of God himself?
    This cave is one of the most important places in Islam. The same cave where the Prophet, may Allah shower blessings upon him, was told to “read in the name of your Lord.”

    I’m trying my best to not judge and get angry, but it annoys me that the so called ‘guardians of the sacred relics’ aren’t doing a good job.

    Lastly, since when was it bida to to sit where the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, sat? To walk where he, peace and blessings be upon him, walked?
    We follow his sunnah wherever it maybe.

  16. BTW sidi Yursil, keep up the good work! I’m glad you raised this issue. Thanks again.

    Your brother.


  17. Akhi, why didn’t you post my comment from earlier today?

  18. BismillahirRahmanirRahim
    Salamu’alaykum Ahmed,

    Because I don’t want to get into a debate about the Wahabi methodology of Tabarruk on a blog post. This is not a debate forum.

  19. So did whoever took these photographs take the time to clean up the Cave?
    I sincerely hope they did because if they took these photos and didn’t–that really says something and makes me even more sad.

    Honoring these sites and giving them at least the same dignity we give to our homes and workplaces is the least that should be done.

  20. It always so disappointing to see important religious and historical sites neglected like this…actually this is more than neglect. One would think with all of the profits Saudi Arabia is receiving from sky high oil prices a small portion could be used to make sure locations like this cave be maintained to a high standard so future generations can have the chance to experience them.

  21. Asslamo Allaikum,

    Although I agree with the stance of Saudi Government & Scholars that visiting Cave of Hira is not part of any worship, nor proven from the Salaf etc. but as a historical location it should be preserved.

    All Islamic historical places should be preserved and Muslims should be educated to visit these sites from a “Historical Perspective”.

    When visiting Cave Hira it brings back beloved memories of the Prophet (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) and so it should.

    Wanton destruction of History by Saudi Authorities is non-sense.

    They have done the same to Prophet’s house and other historical places in and around the two Haramain.

    Take a look at other civilisations as to what lengths they go to preserve History and then take a look at the behavior of “Muslims” in trying to destroy our History.

    This is all really bad.

    Educate People on how to behave and not go around and destory History just because you want to end Bid’ah!!!

  22. Salamu’alaykum

    im leaving for 3omrah today, im leaving from lebanon, inshallah when i go there, ill do my best to clean it up :D :D, but still sad to see its all dirty like that :( :(, inshallah they start having people clean it full time..

  23. By mere stats, 98% of the people who visit Ghar-e-Hira are Muslims! and we are the ones making a mess at such a holy place! It’s not only sad but PETHATIC!

    the disgracful sights show nothing more than complete disrespect to our Prophet (p.b.u.h), and we as muslim ummah need to mend our ways!

  24. Salaam!
    Just wanted to post my thoughts and feelings. Although i’ve interest in Salafi/Wahabi & dont see much wrong in their words and practice as it gives peace & tranquility to my heart sticking strict on Sunnah & not taking from anyone or everyone.
    I loved Saudi in terms of religion (but i know it’s not practiced properly) but one thing i was always against & kept on asking questions every year for the last 3-4 years when going for Umrah is the destruction of Islamic Heritage & old places, scenes. I feel upset because seeing all these modern things around Haramayn Sharifayn doesn’t make us feel as though we’re in the time of Rasulillah!
    Allah Guide Them & us!
    MAke Dua for all

  25. Most of the pictures are of the path one follows to reach Ghar-e-Hira, while walking on the flattened top of Jabal-e-Noor. Only the 5th (or second last ) picture is that of The Cave it self, which is not littered. People litter the path and do not throw trash inside the cave itself. I have written an 8 page article on the cave. Being a geologist I have looked at it not only from the religious but technical and historical perspective. The article was first published in the Daily Dawn, and also presented in Seminars in Bangladesh, Al-Ain (UAE), apart from within Pakistan, and was much appreciated. It can be provided to whoever may show interest.
    By the way Saudis generally do not go there. It is mostly people from Indo-Pak and other Muslim countries. So the littering is by these visitors.

    However, the destruction of the Islamic heritage by Saudis is deplorable to say the least. The last things that may remain are probably the two caves (Hira and Thaur), because they fortunately do not provide a hindrance to the development of any infrastructure.

  26. Its true that the cave of Hira is changed into trash. But the question is that who have done this. It is only the people (all of us) who go there and throw garbage there. Saudi Govt. is not the sole responsible for that. All the people who go to this cave are Muslims and it is assumed that they are very civilized people. It is not the responsibility of the Saudi Govt. to teach every visitor about ethical and responsible behavior. We all muslims must ashamed of our behavior. It is very shameful that we are pointing our fingers towards Saudi Govt. but we do not want to change our behavior.

  27. assalam-o-alaikum
    i am feeling so sad,i feel like going there and clear away all the garbage.people should realize that it is a Holly place not a picnic place.government should take steps to control this situation.

  28. Salaams:

    This doesn’t surprise me. Anywhere us Muslims go most of the time, we leave garbage behind. We assume the maid, the masjid cleaning crew or, in the case of historic sites, the government, will pick up after us. I’ve been to plenty of masjids that include people from all over the Muslim-populated world. Same everywhere. People don’t do this in churches and synagogues.

  29. today the pilgrimage is a joke…looking at the state of the cave I dont think that the people who visit and trash the place are worth calling muslims….they are all hell dwellers.

    Its regretful that Islam is made up of such believers who dont understand the true meaning of Islam itself…
    When you can trash the place of the Prophet..as in the photos..then the people no matter how many times do the haj and cry out their croc tears….are all gone to waste and will burn in hell…

    Allah sees all and knows all…its the actions that count not just words….
    Islam is a simple religion…look how complicated and prehistoric we have made it… what a same…

  30. If visiting the hira cave is not a recommended act from the Islamic Historical point of view rather it is called bidaa, and every bidaa leads to hell-fire then in the minds of many vistors it is permitted to throw dirts and garbages into the Hira cave.But if in the mind of the visitors it is recommended to visit the hira cave and throwing garbages,etc, is sinful and cleaning it you will earn rewards as cleanliness is half of iyman and that Allah loves those who clean their hearts and mind from kufur, shirk, riyah,etc and clean themselves, homes and environments, then I hope many will not throw into it and many will voluntarily clean hira cave. Why not organize Hira cave cleaners?

  31. Astaghfirullah. Things like this make your blood boil. Were non-Muslims doing this, the Ummah would rightfully be aflame, but somehow the Saudis can commit these outrages with impunity. How can the Haramain be in the hands of these know-nothing fanatics?

  32. Goin to Hirra is neither a command by Allah nor Prophet PBUH. He PBUH only visited once with his companions to this place and his companions did not make it a ritual later.

    It’s us who visit the place in the love of Prophet PBUH. I visited the cave today. I would also like to know who initiated this ritual of praying two nafils in the cave? Anyone from Sahaba RA?

    Now, we are the people who throw trash there.

    Saudis very rightly do not support the whole endeavor that’s why they do not do anything about that in an unvoiced attempt to discourage the whole business.

    All other sacred places are well secured and cleaned.

    However, they have wrongly demolished some places eg. The Ajiyad Palace the last sign of Ottomam empire. They erected a concrete abomination known as Makkah clock tower with the All seeing eye on top! By doing this actually they are serving the western civilization.

    Because Rasool Allah PBUH denounced building or even spending money on building luxurious houses let alone 7 star hotels and mega mall right on top of Kaaba.

    Wallaho Alam.

    Going to Hirra will get you nothing but a relief that you visited the place where Quran was initiated and where your beloved Prophet PBUH used to come.

    Masaajids are the best places to visit. But He PBUH only advised for an intentional travel of only three of the Masajid 1. The Bait Allah 2. The Prophet’s (PBUH)Masjid and 3. Masjid Al Aqsa.

    Hirra or Thaur stand nowhere.

    I hope it makes sense.

    Your personal liking / disliking / school of thought / opinion do not formulate the religion.


Leave a Reply

Comment moderation is enabled, no need to resubmit any comments posted.