Mount Uhud is one of the most famous mountains in the Arabian Peninsula and among the greatest geographical and historical landmarks of the blessed city of Medina.
It is one of the mountains that the people of Medina frequently visit out of their sheer love for the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). According to a narration by Hadhrat Anas (may Allaah be pleased with him), the Prophet (peace be upon him) once said: “Uhud is a mountain that loves us and we love it.”
The mountain has many distinguishing features, most important of which is that it is made of volcanic rocks. Its unique landscape consists of valleys and reefs and the historical monuments built on it, such as imposing castles and rock engravings date back centuries and are a favorite haunt for visitors.
A historical vantage point
Dr. Taneeb al-Faidi, the researcher of the history and landmarks of the blessed city of Medina stresses the historical importance of the mountain, as its name figures in several Hadith. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Stand still Uhud, there is a prophet, an honest man and two martyrs,” narrated by al-Bukhaari, Abu Dawood and Tirmidhi.
He added that the naming of Mount Uhud (which means ‘the one’ in Arabic) is unique. Its southern ranges witnessed the steadfastness, heroism and sacrifices of the Prophet’s companions; its blessed plains also witnessed the throes and injuries they sustained in one of the battles, known as the Battle of Uhud.
The researcher points out that there are still some old buildings near the top of Mount Uhud. Standing atop the peaks of the mountain, one can clearly see all sides of Medina, which is a very enthralling experience. He added that the mountain includes natural cavities (called Maharis), which entrap rainwater for most of the year. Several unique trees and plants vegetate the hills, such as (Luz Al Nabi), a small plant with wide leaves.
There is also an acid plant, which is characterized by the sour taste of its pink leaves. The mountain also hosts plants like Matrimony vine, Acacia tortilis, Acacia ehrenbergiana, Ziziphus spina-christi, in addition to the Colocynth and Echinops spinosissimus.
According to the official spokesman of the Saudi Geological Authority Tariq Aba el-Khail, Mount Uhud is one of the most important Islamic landmarks in Medina, located about 4 km from the Prophet’s mosque, with a maximum height of about 1077 meters from sea level.
The petrology of Uhud
The rocks that form the mountain ranges belong to the pre-Cambrian age (800-690 million years ago). The Director of the Department of Geological Survey of the Saudi Geological Authority, Dr. Wadi’e Qashqari points out that the rocks found on Uhud mountain hardly deform and have high level of hardness. Majority of the geology of Mount Uhud consists of red-pink Rhyolite and light gray Dacite, as well as rocks of hardened volcanic rocks from the Brescia and hardened volcanic ash.
Qashqari noted that the north-eastern side of the mountain consists of dark-green Andesite rocks, the Rhyolite rocks and the hardened volcanic rocks fragments. The Rhyolite rocks undergo some changes in color to the white with lights of green. The less deformed and less cohesive fields are formed due to the effect of hot water solutions. The thermal transformation of underground rocks consisting of Granite and Granodrite appear in the northern parts of the mountain.