Jabal Musa in South Sinai

Sacred to both Muslims and Christians, this mount is said to the place where Hz. Musa عليه اسلام talked to Allah and recieved 10 commandments

South Sinai, Egypt

Coordinates: 28.539735, 33.975244

Traditionally known as Jabal Musa, Mount Sinai is a mountain in the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt that is a possible location of the biblical Mount Sinai, the place where Hz. Musa عليه اسلام is said to have received the Ten Commandments.

The summit has a mosque that is still used by Muslims, and a Greek Orthodox chapel, constructed in 1934 on the ruins of a 16th-century church, that is not open to the public. The chapel encloses the rock which is considered to be the source for the biblical Tablets of Stone.

At the summit also is “Hz. Musa عليه اسلام’ cave”, where Hz. Musa عليه اسلام was said to have waited to receive the Ten Commandments.

There are two location that claims to be Jabal Musa (Mount sinai), one is in Egypt and other is in Saudi Arabia.

Not to be confused with the Incident of Valley of Tuwa

There are actually two incident when Hz. Musa عليه اسلام is said to have talked to Allah.

First Incident

The first incident is when he was travelling with his family from Madyan back to Egypt than on the way Allah talked to Hz. Musa عليه اسلام in the sacred Valley of Tuwa. It is said that the Prophethood was given to him on that day. Also the miracle of stick and shining hand also happened here. This is the site where he talked to the burning bush (acc to the Christian texts).

The exact location incident of Valley of tuwa is unknown. However there is a bush in St. catherine Monastery which acc. to christian tradition is the place where Hz. Musa عليه اسلام talked to Allah and also the miracle of the hand and the stick took place here.

The source of this info whether Hz. Musa عليه اسلام talked to Allah here is almost true for muslims as well because Our master Prophet Muhammad ﷺ signed a document called as Ashtiname of Muhammad ﷺ in which he granted protection and other privileges to the followers of Hz. Isa عليه اسلام, given to the Christian monks of Saint Catherine’s Monastery. It is sealed with an imprint representing Prophet Muhammad’s ﷺ hand. This document is kept till date in the monastery.

Second Incident

The second incident of Hz. Musa عليه اسلام talking to Allah is when he was travelling with Bani Israel, taking them to the sacred land, than on the way Allah commanded him to go the mountain for 30 days and than added 10 more days making it a total of 40 days. It is said in the christian texts that this incident took place in today’s Mount Sinai.

There are two possible location in which it is said that Hz. Musa عليه اسلام spent these 40 days. First one is Mount Sinai in Egypt and the second one is Jabal al-Lawz and Jabal al-Maqla in Saudi arabia.

Both of the incident are mentioned in Quran.

Incident on Mount Sinai (Narrated by Ibn Kathir)

Hz. Musa عليه اسلام Fasts for Forty Days

After the drowning of Firawn, the days of restless wandering began. Each day ended where it began and began where it ended. Bani Israel started walking to no destination, day and night, morning and evening. They entered Sinai.

Hz. Musa عليه اسلام came to the same place where he had spoke to Allah for the first time. He appealed to Allah for guidance in judging over his people. Allah instructed him to purify himself by fasting for thirty days, after which he was to go to Mount Sinai, where he would be given the law by which he would govern his people.

The ancients said that after Hz. Musa عليه اسلام fasted thirty days, he hated to speak to his Lord because of the odor of his mouth. He ate a plant of the earth and then his Lord said to him: “Why did you break your fast?” Hz. Musa عليه اسلام said: “O my Lord, I disliked to speak to You with my mouth not having a pleasant smell.” Allah said: “Do you not know, Moses, the odor of the faster’s mouth is more fragrant to Me than the rose. Go back and fast ten days; then come back to Me.” Hz. Musa عليه اسلام did what Allah commanded.

Hz. Musa عليه اسلام Speaks to Allah – Quranic

Almighty Allah declared:

And We appointed for Hz. Musa عليه اسلام thirty nights and added to the period ten more, and he completed them term, appointed by his Lord, of forty nights. And Musa said to his brother Harun: “Replace me among my people, act in the Right Way (by ordering the people to obey Allah and to worship Him Alone) and follow not the way of the Mufsideen (mischief makers).”

And when Musa came the time and place appointed by Us, and his Lord spoke to him, he said: “O my Lord! Show me (yourself), that I may look upon You.” Allah said: “You cannot see Me, but look upon the mountain if it stands still in its place then you shall see Me.” So when his Lord appeared to the mountain, He made it collapse to dust, and Musa fell down unconscious. Then when he recovered his senses he said: “Glory be to You, I turn to You in repentance and I am the first of the believers.”

Allah said: “O Moses, I have chosen you above men by My Messages, and by My speaking to you. So hold that which I have given you and be of the grateful.”

And We wrote for him on the Tablets the lesson to be drawn from all things and the explanation of all things (and said): “hold unto these with firmness, and enjoin your people to take the better therein, I shall show you the home of Al Fasiqeen (the rebellious, disobedient to Allah).

I shall turn away from My Ayat (verses from the Quran), those who behave arrogantly on the earth, in a wrongful manner, and even if they see all the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) they will not believe in them.

And if they see the way of righteousness (monotheism, piety, and good deeds), they will not adopt it as the Way, but if they see the way of error (polytheism, crimes, and evil deeds), they will adopt that way, that is because they have rejected Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) and were heedless to learn a lesson from them. Those who deny Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) and the Meeting in the Hereafter (Day of Resurrection), vain are their deeds. Do they expect to be rewarded with anything except what they used to do?”

(Ch 7:142-147 Quran)

The Ten Commandments in the Quran

The Earlier scholars said that The Ten Commandments of the Torah are included in two verses of the Quran. “Say: “Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited you from: Join not anything in worship with Him; be good and dutiful to your parents; kill not your children because of poverty – We provide sustenance for you and for them; come not near to shameful sins (illegal sexual intercourse, etc.) whether committed openly or secretly; and kill not anyone whom Allah has forbidden, except for a just cause (according to Islamic law).

This He has commanded you that you may understand. And come not near to the orphan’s property, except to improve it, until he or she attains the age of full strength; and give full measure and full weight with justice. We burden not any person but that which he can bear. And whenever you give your word (judge between men or give evidences, etc.) , say the truth even if a near elative is concerned, and fulfill the Covenant of Allah. This He commands you, that you may remember.”

(Ch 6:151-152 Quran)

Know This

The top of the mountain offers magnificient views at sunrise. The ascent takes around 6 hours and starts at around 12 in midnight.

No special permit is required except in order to have the best view of the rising sun, a mid night hike is necessary.

Physical fitness is necessary to climb up to the top. The terain could be a challenge to some, a 3hrs hike up but a camel ride is available but not the last 700 meters.

It is very very cool at the top for which blankets are provided by the last cafe on the mountain.

There are tea stalls and cafes about every hour as you climb the mountain.

Do not carry a lot of stuff along as it gets heavier and tougher to walk. But make sure you wear warm clothes.