the cave of hira


For those of us seeking the direct experience of ourselves and God, the relief and rest and recovery and the reliable miracles which ensue, we simply have to build darkrooms in the absence of a comfy cave. And so we do.

Around the time the Prophet Muhammad reached the age of forty, on or near the year 610 AD, he was in residence in the cave of Hira (Ghar Hira) on Jabal An-Nur when he received a vision of the angel Gabriel.  The words of Gabriel as they are written may be the oldest verses in the Qu’ran.

Muhammad probably made periodic visits to his cave for a time, before his following grew too large. And every year now, hundreds of thousands of devotees climb Jabal An-Nur in search of a stirring pilgrimage experience.

And yet if were Muhammad came back for a visit, he would probably recommend for each of them to go home and come back alone in the cave as he did. it is spending time in the cave, alone with oneself, one’s heart, one’s body, one’s god, not the visiting of the cave.
as Rumi says, “I entered the mountain cave of Hira and then went as far as Qandhar but God I found not ….. Finally, I looked into my own heart and there I saw Him; He was nowhere else”

The cave  or the darkroom. Whatever the place is where the body can naturally rest, repair and rejuvenate. And complete darkness is necessary, for only in darkness does the body produce melatonin which is the healer and rejuvenator of all the cells in the body.


I searched for God among the Christians and on the Cross and therein I found Him not.
I went into the ancient temples of idolatry; no trace of Him was there.
I entered the mountain cave of Hira and then went as far as Qandhar but God I found not.
With set purpose I fared to the summit of Mount Caucasus and found there only ‘anqa’s habitation.
Then I directed my search to the Kaaba, the resort of old and young; God was not there even.
Turning to philosophy I inquired about him from ibn Sina but found Him not within his range.
I fared then to the scene of the Prophet’s experience of a great divine manifestation only a “two bow-lengths’ distance from him” but God was not there even in that exalted court.
Finally, I looked into my own heart and there I saw Him; He was nowhere else.”
~ Jalaluddin Rumi ~

credits: the complete pilgrim

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