The 1st Jamadi al-Thani, 654 A.H. (approximately 5th of June 1256 A.D.), minor earth tremors were felt in Madina. The frequency of the tremors was increasing with each passing day. On 6th of June, a strong earthquake had jolted Madina. Mafic lava was the reason for these tremors.
This Basaltic Lava was running out of the cracks of the Arabian Peninsula’s 40-kilometer thick layer. After that, there were hot volcanic explosions for 52 days and causing lava and ash to spew out from a massive 20 km crack in the southeast of Madina.[irp]
According to NMNH Global Volcanism Program, the lava flowed for 23 kilometers and endangered Madina, which is in the valley, itself. Finally, the lava reached to the city of Madina and just 4 km away from the city it was miraculously stopped.
The light from the burning lava lightened the night so much that it was lookalike a sunny bright day. The people of Madina were completely at a loss as to what they should do. They got together at the Prophet’s (blessings of Allah and peace be upon Him) mosque to pray to Allah to save them.
They prayed to stop this imminent danger or destiny. By the Divine Power of Allah, the lava changed its direction away from Madina, therefore, the city was saved from complete destruction. You can watch this speech of Shaykh Hamza Yusuf at the end of this article.
It was reported that how the numerous Bedouins had seen the necks of their camels and the light was sufficient to read by in places at a distance of a five-day journey! The area which was covered by lava from north to south is about 310 km and has a width of about 75 km.
It is an absolute wasteland that nothing goes to grow or live there anymore. There are just rough and sharp mounds, only black rock as far as the naked eyes could see. While moving towards the center of the Khyber tract, you will reach the Mount al-Qadar.
This mountain is basically an extinct volcano mountain. If you visit it, you will feel that the surface of the mountain is rugged. Lying at a height of 2000 meters above sea level, climbers find it difficult to climb because of its rough surface.
The lava from here been spread over an area of 50 km. The Mount al Qadr crater is deep and exhibits a number of cavities. As you move around, you can locate on another crater. This crater of Mount al-Abyad volcano which is quite near to the crater of Mount al-Qadr is a famous geological site.
This landmark has a unique color and different formation. To visit the deepest volcanic crater of the country, you need to visit Taif. The craters there are as deep as 240 meters. This deepest crater of Saudi Arabia Wahba Crater has a mouth as wide as 2,500 meters. It is indeed a fearful crater, deep and big in size!
Geologists and tourists around the world are attracted by these craters and volcanoes. These volcanoes are unique because of their color, characteristics, and formation. The geologists are amazed to discover the volcanoes of Saudi Arabia which are more than 2000 in number. Some of the land’s volcanic craters are categorized as the world’s most beautiful ones.
Dr. Abdulaziz bin Laaboun, who is a geology professor at the King Saud University claims that the land of Saudi Arabia hosts the most beautiful volcanic craters. Geologists, tourist, and researchers know the worth of these landmarks and thereby come here to explore them.
This volcanic lava eruption from volcanic field Harrat Rahat is maybe one of the signs of the day of Judgement. Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) said, “The Hour will not be established till a fire will come out of the land of Hijaz, and it will throw light on the necks of the camels at Busra.” – Sahih al-Bukhari 7118
Harrat Rahat is the largest lava field in Saudi Arabia. It is 20,000 sq km; it extends for 300 km south of the holy city of Al-Madina. Four coalescing lava fields erupted from offset NNW-trending vent systems comprise Harrat Rahat, which has an average width of 60 km.
A lava flow extends as far as 100 km west of the axis of the field. Basaltic cinder cones rule the Harrat Rahat, but the volcanic field has also produced more silicic trachy-basaltic to trachytic rocks. Small shield volcanoes and pelean-type lava, which generated pyroclastic flows, and surge deposits are also present.
The migration or movement of the Activity to the north has resulted in outbursts in ancient time near Madina. The well-known volcanic flow near Madina took place in 1256 AD when a 0.5 cu km lava flow erupted from 6 aligned cinder cones and covered 23 km to within 4 km of Madina. The old volcanic flow which departs when it is near Madina can be clearly shown in the satellite image.
Source: Al Arabiya