Cave of Blood in Mount Qasiyun

So many things happened in here, first murder in human history, Hz. Ibrahim عليه اسلام and Hz. Isa عليه اسلام prayed here, 40 Abdal descend here every night and pray here and ascend at dawn and so much more

Damascus, Syria

Coordinates: 33.540091, 36.287891

Cave of Blood in Mount Qasiyun

On the slopes of Jabal Qasiyun is a cave steeped in legend. It is said to have been inhabited at one point by the first human-being, Hz. Adam عليه اسلام; and there are various stories told about Hz. Ibrahim عليه اسلام, and Hz. Isa عليه اسلام also having prayed in it.

It is mentioned however in Medieval Arab history books as having been the place where Qabil (Cain) killed Hz. Habil عليه اسلام.

One narration mentions that after he killed his brother Hz. Habil عليه اسلام, Qabil fled to Yemen. The wording of that narration is as follows: “And he fled from his father, Hz. Adam عليه اسلام , and headed towards Yemen.”

On the right side of the road that leads from Damascus to Az-Zabdani and Baludan, there is a mountain that overlooks the valley of the Burdi River; the mountain is situated in the area of At-Takiyyah.

There is a grave thereabouts that measures 15 long; some believe it is the grave of Hz. Habil عليه اسلام

Because of the murder that took place there, claimed to be the first committed, it is called Magharat al-Dam (the Cave of Blood).

Where Prayers are accepted

It was also known for hundreds of years as a place where prayers were immediately accepted, and especially in times of drought rulers of Damascus would climb to the cave and pray for rain.

Maqam al-Arba’in

Cave of Blood is also called as Maqam al-Arba’in by locals because next to this is a small shaft into the mouth of the mountain which is believed to be, according to local tradition, the place where 40 saints descends every night and ascends with the break of dawn.

A small mosque has been built over the Cave of Blood containing these mihrabs.

The mihrabs (prayer niches) on the upper floor of the shrine are believed to be where the 40 saints pray the night vigil prayers every night.

Two other sacred mihrabs are located on the lower level of the shrine and are believed to be the spots at which Hz. Ibrahim عليه اسلام and Hz. Khidr عليه اسلام prayed respectively during their flight through Damascus.

Mounth in the rock

A ‘mouth of the mountain’, a gaping cavern with a rock shaped and positioned like a tongue, as well as the place where the Hz. Jibrael عليه اسلام put his hand in the roof of the cave to stop the mountain falling.

Nearby is the stone with which Qabil killed Hz. Habil عليه اسلام and a stone basin where the mountain’s ‘tears’ are still gathered.

There is an image of a mouth in the rock, said to have been formed when the cave cried out at the awful deed of murder of Hz. Habil عليه اسلام

Another Cave story in Mount Qasiyun

Further down the mountain from the ‘Cave of Blood’, there was another cave known as Magharat al-Ju (the Cave of Hunger).

Stories about this cave are somewhat confused. Some say that forty saints died there of hunger; al-Harawi, however, who lived in the 13th century, writes that it is said that forty prophets died there of hunger.

At present, the cave has been concealed by surrounding houses, but that spot is called al-Juyuiyah (Roughly ‘the Place of the Hungry’).

On another flank of the same mountain is yet another cave, which has come down in local legend as being the cave of the Seven Sleepers, mentioned in Islamic sources, as well as in the early Christians ones, where they are known as the Ashab al-Kahf (Companions of the Cave).

This is rather dubious, however, and it is only one of many caves in this part of the world that share the claim. A madrassah has been built over the cave, but pilgrims are still granted access.