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Jabal Abu Qubais (Mount Abu Qubais)

Mount Abu Qubais viewed from the side of the Haram
Mount Abu Qubais viewed from the side of the Haram

Jabal Abu Qubais (Arabic: جبل أبو قبيس) is a mountain adjacent to Masjid al-Haram. It is believed that it was from the top of this mountain that the Prophet (ﷺ) pointed to the moon and split it into half.

  • The western wall of Jabal Abu Qubais (facing the Ka’bah) was called ‘Fadih’. The mountain was also known as ‘al-Amin’, an Arabic word meaning ‘the trustworthy’ when used to describe a person’s honourable character, but which can be understood to mean the ‘safekeeper’. 
  • This name arose from the tradition that this mountain safeguarded the Hajar al-Aswad (the Black Stone of the Ka’bah) when the flood in the time of Prophet Nuh (عليه السلام) rushed through Makkah, destroying it along with the Ka’bah. Jabal Abu Qubais, believed by some to have been the first mountain on earth created by Allah (ﷻ) is narrated in several records as having been the final resting place of the Hajar al-Aswad during this catastrophic event. Then, as these records assert, once Prophet Ebrahim (عليه السلام) had been guided to the location of the Ka’bah’s foundations and was subsequently engaged in reconstructing it, he was further guided to where the Hajar al-Aswad was resting upon Mount Abu Qubais. He was then informed that it was a stone that had descended from Jannah (Paradise) and was told where it should be placed on the Ka’bah.
Mount Abu Qubais
The present structures built on top of Mount Abu Qubais
  • Other narrations say that the angel Jibraeel (Gabriel) had lifted the stone when the flood took place, and then later descended to give the stone to Ebrahim (عليه السلام). If both narrations are strong enough to be authentic, or have support from authentic hadith, then it seems that what is meant is that Jibraeel (عليه السلام) had lifted the stone up from the Ka’bah and placed it securely within Jabal Abu Qubais. Then, when Ebrahim (عليه السلام) was commanded generations later to reconstruct the Ka’bah on its original foundations, Jibraeel (عليه السلام) then descended and showed Ebrahim (عليه السلام) where the Black Stone was. 
  • As for the name Abu Qubais, narrations state that in the early pre-Islamic era, a man named Qubais was the first to build a home on this mountain, so the mountain was called Abu Qubais after his name. 
  • According to at-Tabari, Prophet Adam (peace be upon him) died at the foot of Jabal Abu Qubais and was subsequently buried there.
  • The Umayyad governor Hajjaj bin Yusuf fired a catapult from the top of Mount Abu Qubais onto the Ka’bah during the siege of Makkah in 691 CE. This resulted in the subsequent killing of Abdullah bin Zubair (رضي الله عنه).
  • During the reign of Caliph Harun al-Rashid (786-809 CE), Abdallah bin Malik al-Khuza’i erected several minarets upon Mount Abu Qubais and other mountains so that the adhan (call to prayer) could be heard throughout Makkah. This was due to some of the valley’s residents complaining that they had missed some of their prayers due to not being able to hear the sound of the adhan.
     
  • A royal palace currently exists on top of the mountain.

References:  Atlas of the Qur’an – Dr. Shauqi Abu Khalil, AlMiskeenah.com, Local Makkan guide, Makkah at the time of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) – BinImad Al-Ateeqi