Hajj pilgrims visit lesser known sacred cave outside Mecca

World Today

Mecca A Muslim pilgrim feeds pigeons as worshipers arrive for a prayer at Mecca’s Grand Mosque, home of the cube-shaped Kaaba or “House of God” that Muslims believe was built by Abraham 4,000 years ago, on September 29, 2014 as hundreds of thousands of Muslim worshipers started pouring into the holy city for the annual hajj pilgrimage. This year’s hajj comes as the authorities strive to protect pilgrims from two deadly viruses, Ebola and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus or MERS. AFP PHOTO/MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH

Muslims believe that the cave of Hira, located two miles away from the ancient city of Mecca, is the birthplace of their religion. CCTV America’s Adel El Mahrouky took a journey to the mountain where the cave is located.

In the shadows of the pilgrimage rituals in the city of Mecca lies a holy place on the outskirts of the city. All Muslims know about it, but very few go there. Step by step, dozens climb up the 600 steps of the mountain just to see the Cave of Hira.

For the athletically fit, the climb can take only 30 minutes, but for most people, the journey can take upwards of two hours.

Hajj pilgrims visit lesser known sacred cave outside Mecca

Hajj pilgrims visit lesser known sacred cave outside Mecca

Muslims believe that the cave of Hira, located two miles away from the ancient city of Mecca, is the birthplace of their religion. CCTV America's Adel El Mahrouky took a journey to the mountain where the cave is located.

This isn’t just any cave. It’s believed that it was here that the prophet Muhammad meditated and the first teachings of Islam came to light. Muslims also believe the cave was where God sent the archangel Gabriel, who ordered Muhammed to recite or read.

Today, nearly 23 percent of the world’s population is Muslim.