The Tomb of the Prophet Harun stands on Mount Hor (Jebel Nebi Harun or Mount of the Prophet Aaron) not far from Petra in the Kingdom of Jordan. Aaron or Harun is a prophet in three faiths – Islam, Christianity and Judaism. The remote desert location of this holy tomb makes it even more sacred and a unique experience if you have a chance to visit.
Who was the Prophet Harun?
The Prophet Harun is mentioned 20 times in the Muslim Quran and in the Judo-Christian Bible he is known as Aaron, brother of Moses. And so there are two traditions involving this figure. The Muslim story of the Prophet Hanun tells of Musa (Moses) being commanded by Allah to go to the Pharaoh and ask for his brother Harun to be ordained as a prophet so that he could serve at Musa’s side. Musa had a speech impediment and wanted Harun to accompany him to speak to the people in his place. Unlike Musa Harun was a gifted speaker. Harun is said to have lived for 122 years.
According to Jewish tradition Harun (Aaron) was a Jewish High Priest. Like the Islamic tradition the Old Testament tells of Aaron accompanying his brother Moses and doing the talking for him, spreading God’s word. Jews believe that Aaron, Moses’ brother, died on Mount Hor. The mount is one of 42 Stations of the Exodus marking places the Israelites stopped on their exodus from Egypt. There are many local legends surrounding Harun and how his remains ended up on this mountain.
The Tomb of Aaron
Since the Byzantine era there have been other structures marking the burial site of Aaron. The present white building housing the remains of the prophet is thought to have been built in the 13th century by Mameluk Sultan Al Nasir Mohammad. Local Islamic legend tells of 10 year old Prophet Mohammed visiting the site. The tomb is topped with a white dome and there are stairs going to the roof of the tomb where there are wonderful views across the desert. For years the local Bedouins would protect the site from non-Muslims but today visitors of all faiths can visit.
In the Biblical book of Numbers we read of Mount Hor being on the edge of the land of Edom which is present-day Jordan. The mount has two peaks and stands at an elevation of 1350 meters above sea level. It is surrounded by smaller summits of the Edomite Mountains and is the highest peak in the area. The name Mount Hor is given to two locations in the Old Testament – one on the eastern shore of the Dead Sea (in Jordan) and the other in northern Israel on the coast. On the peak of Mount Hor is the Tomb of Aaron which is believed to stand over Aaron’s grave.
Tours to the mount should only be made with a knowledgeable guide. You can only reach the foot of the mountain with transport, after which you need to hike the last stretch of the trip.