Jabal al-thawr ( Cave of Thawr, Mount Thawr)

Located in the lower part of Makkah, Saudi Arabia, in the south of Misfalah district, the cave of Thawr is known for the awe-inspiring miracles that happened during Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)’s Hijrah – migration from Makkah to Madinah. Also known as Jabal al-Thawr, Mount Thawr, Ghar e Soor and Ghar Thawr, the cave of Thawr holds great significance in Islam. According to Islamic history, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his beloved companion Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA) found shelter for three days in Ghar e Soor while fleeing from the Quraysh’s search parties.

It is believed that in order to protect Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his companion, Allah (SWT) miraculously had a spider weave a web at the cave’s entrance on the third day of their stay. This web prevented the soldiers of Abu Jahal from entering the cave, hence saving them from getting caught. Read on to learn more about the miracles of the cave of Thawr.

The Cave of Thawr Story – What happened?

Upon arriving at Ghar al-Thawr, Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA) requested Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to stay outside while he entered the cave and cleaned it. While doing so, Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA) cleared away anything that might injure the beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

He even blocked all the open holes by stuffing them with pieces of cloth. Once Ghar e Soor was cleaned, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) entered it and went to sleep in Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA)’s lap.

That’s when a snake from the hole that Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA) had mistakenly left open, crawled out and stung the companion on his foot. However, regardless of the severity of the pain, Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA) didn’t twitch, fearing that he might wake Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

While patiently bearing the pain, tears began rolling down Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA)’s cheeks, and they dropped onto Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)’s face, resulting in him waking up. On seeing Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA) in excruciating pain, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) miraculously cured the poisonous bite by applying his saliva onto the injury. Both of them stayed in the Ghar e Soor for three nights and days.

During this period, Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA)’s son Abdullah would pass his nights guarding Ghar Thawr while he returned to Makkah in the morning so that the Quraysh wouldn’t have any idea that he had slept somewhere else. In simpler words, Abdullah acted as a messenger; during the day, he collected information about the Quraysh’s plan and brought it to his father and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)’s knowledge at night.

Moreover, Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA)’s slave Amir Bin Fuhayra (RA) grazed the companion’s goats near the cave so that both Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA) could drink some fresh milk. Amir would then take the goats back to Makkah through the same route as Abdullah to keep the Quraysh in mystery as to their whereabouts. During their stay, the Quraysh army got closer to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)’s hideout in the south of Makkah.

That’s when, in order to safeguard His beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and follower Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA), Allah SWT ordered a spider to spin a web at the entrance of Ghar Thawr and a pair of doves to make a nest and lay some eggs between the spider and tree. In short, miraculously, Allah SWT made the cave seem like no one had entered it for days as entering the cave wouldn’t have been possible without breaking the spider’s web and damaging the dove’s nest.

On the other hand, Quraysh troops got closer to the edge of the Ghar e Soor. Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA) started panicking about Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)’s safety on witnessing the entire situation. That’s when Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) reassured him by saying, “How can you be apprehensive about two with whom is a third, especially when the third one is Allah?” And so, everything went according to Allah SWT’s plan. The Quraysh, on seeing the dove’s nest and spider’s web, concluded that no one could have entered the cave, and so they went back.

Soon after, Asma, Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA)’s daughter, came to them with the news that they were safe as the Quraysh were headed towards Madinah. She also handed over her father and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) some food for the journey. When they were about to step out of the cave, Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA) and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) realized that they had nothing to tie their saddle with.

To provide a solution, Asma undid her waistband and tore it in half. She tied one end to the food and wore the second half. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) named her “She of the two waistbands for her problem-solving skill.”

What Is the Significance of Jabal Al-Thawr?

Allah SWT, while summarizing the events of Ghar Thawr, states in the Holy Quran that “If ye help not (your Leader) (it is no matter): for Allah did indeed help him: when the unbelievers drove him out: he had no more than one companion: they two were in the cave, and he said to his companion “have no fear for Allah is with us”: then Allah sent down his peace upon him and strengthened him with forces which ye saw not and humbled to the depths the word of the unbelievers. But the word of Allah is exalted to the heights: for Allah is exalted in might, Wise.” [Surah at-Tawbah, Ayat 40]

In simpler words, the miracles of the Ghar e Soor teach us to have faith, stay patient and only ask Allah SWT for help and guidance. Just like Allah SWT protected His beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA) from the Quraysh by ordering the spider to spin a web and a dove to build a nest and lay its eggs at the cave’s entrance, making it seem like no one entered and miraculously saved Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA) from the snake’s venom, Allah SWT is there for all of His creations, and with a little bit of faith, He will help us find a way out from even the most impossible situations.

Miracles in the Cave of Thawr

The sojourn at Ghar e Saur also known as the cave of Thawr wasn’t easy for Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his companion. However, despite all the challenges and struggles, the two of them somehow managed to ditch the Quraysh soldiers and stay hidden successfully. During this period, with the command of Allah SWT, several miracles took place in Ghar e Soor that reaffirmed the faith of Muslims in Allah SWT’s benevolence. Two of those miracles are as follows:

The Snake Bite

snake bit abu bakr ra in jabal al thawrWhen taking refuge in Ghar Thawr, Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA) entered the cave first and cleaned it to ensure the safety of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). While doing so, Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA) blocked all the holes by stuffing them with pieces of clothing, except he forgot one. And so, when Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) entered the Ghar e Soor, he decided to rest on Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA)’s lap.

During this time, a snake resting inside the open hole came out and bit Hazrat Abu Bakr’s (RA)’s leg. However, despite the excruciating pain, the beloved companion didn’t move, fearing the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) would wake up. But because of the pain he felt, tears started rolling out of his eyes and fell on the Prophet’s (PBUH) face. Upon waking up, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) saw Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA) suffering from unbearable pain. He then took his saliva and applied it onto the wound, which ended up miraculously healing the snake bite and subsiding the pain. Thus, Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA) was saved!

The Spider’s Web

spiders web protect prophet muhammad saw and abu bakr raOn the third day of them hiding in the cave, the Quraysh army closed in on Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and almost reached Ghar e Soor. Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA) panicked after seeing this. That’s when Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) comforted him by saying that Allah SWT was their third companion and so He will protect them. And well, that’s exactly what happens.

In those very moments that the Quraysh troops were getting closer, on Allah SWT’s command, a dove laid some eggs, and a spider spun a web at the cave’s entrance. This gave the impression that no man had entered the cave for quite some time, so the soldiers returned without looking any further.

Who Was in the Cave with Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)?

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)’s close friend and companion, Hazrat Abu Bakr al-Siddiq (RA), took shelter with him (PBUH) in Ghar Thawr.

Was Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA) in the Cave?

According to Islamic history, Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA) took shelter along with Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in Ghar Thawr.

How Long Did Prophet Muhammad (PBIH) Spend in the Cave?

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA) had spent three consecutive nights and days inside Ghar e Soor during the migration from Makkah to Madinah.

Summary of Jabal Al-Thawr

Located 4km south of Makkah, Jabal al-Thawr beholds great significance in the history of Islam. This is because Ghar Thawr is the very place where Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his companion Hazrat Abu Bakr (RA) took three days of shelter while migrating from Makkah to Madinah.

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