The Mount Thawr (جبل ثور), is a rocky mountain, located some 4 kilometers south of Mecca and is known for its historical and religious significance in Islam. In Islamic tradition it is believed that prophet Muhammad took refuge here, in one of the caves, when the Quraish followed to capture him.
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The Jabal Thawr (literally meaning the "mount of the bull") stands some 760 meters tall, which is about 120 meters higher than the Jabal Nour. The name of this mount is also recorded in sources as the Athal or Thawr Athal.
According to Islamic tradition, Mount Thawr played a pivotal role in the life of the Prophet Muhammad. In 619 CE, the Prophet and his close companion, Abu Bakr, were forced to flee from Mecca to Medina in what became known as the Hijra. They sought refuge in a cave on the slopes of Mount Thawr to avoid being captured by their enemies.
The cave is called Ghar Thawr, or the Cave of Thawr, and it is said to have provided shelter for the Prophet and Abu Bakr for three days and nights. During this time, they were protected by Allah, who sent a spider to weave a web across the entrance of the cave and a dove to lay eggs at the mouth of the cave. When the enemies searched for the Prophet and Abu Bakr, they saw the web and the eggs and believed that the cave had not been entered for a long time, and so they moved on.
The story of the Prophet's escape to Mount Thawr and his subsequent journey to Medina is considered one of the most important events in Islamic history. It marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar and is celebrated each year during the month of Muharram.
The Cave of Thawr () is located on the north-western ridge of the mount. It is a small cave, measuring some 3.1 feet at its widest, and total length is about 18 spans and width is 11 spans. There are two entrance in to the cave, one from the east and the other from the west.
According to the tradition prophet Muhammad and Abu Bakr left the city and took shelter in this cave atop the Thawr mountain before continuing their journey to elude the Quraysh party pursuing them led by Suraqa bin Malik. They stayed in the cave for three days before resuming their journey.
Mount Thawr is a part of the larger mountain range known as the Hijaz Mountains, which extends along the western coast of Saudi Arabia. The Hijaz Mountains are part of the larger Arabian Shield, a geological region that spans over 1.5 million square kilometers and is composed of volcanic and plutonic rocks that were formed during the Precambrian era.
The geological structure of Mount Thawr consists of granitic rocks, which are a type of intrusive igneous rock that formed from the cooling and solidification of magma deep within the Earth's crust. The granitic rocks of Mount Thawr are believed to have been formed during the Precambrian era, approximately 500-600 million years ago.
The mountain has a steep, rugged terrain, with steep slopes and rocky outcrops. The higher elevations are characterized by barren rocky surfaces with sparse vegetation, while the lower elevations have a more moderate climate and are covered with sparse shrubs and trees.
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