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[LISTEN] The ‘Adventurous Hajj’

Umm Muhammed Umar

Hafidh Ibrahim Moosa spoke to Radio Islam about the ‘Adventurous Hajj’. There are always those Hujjaaj who embarked on their Hajj journey by boat, on foot, by cycling, and so forth.  This includes some Hujjaaj from South Africa.

Hafidh Ebrahim has investigated 3 people who have chosen the ‘Adventurous Hajj’ this year, to try to understand what had motivated them to do so. One is a young Indonesian, Mohammed Fawzan, who had cycled for seven and a half months. An Afghan had also set on a cycle but had experienced some mishaps along the way. The third is a British Iraqi who decided to walk. Meanwhile, a young man from Kerala State in India also set off for the Hajj on foot, sparking some debate amongst the country’s Ulama, with some saying that one should use the facilities available and not make things difficult for oneself.

Hafidh Ibrahim noted, “while we are talking literally today, there are people who have already begun this journey for next year. So, a person who has to contemplate a journey by a bicycle, or via walking for Hajj, they have to plan long in advance.” He took as an example Mohammad Fawzan, who would have had to travel these 5000 kilometres to Saudi Arabia. He said, “in this Ramadhaan gone past he was already on his journey, and was breaking his fast at mosques along the way.” Hafidh Ibraheem added, “You also have to think carefully about the conveyance that you use. So, is it a bicycle? Is it a motorbike?  In his case he wanted to use a motorbike initially, and then after that discovered that certain countries wouldn’t allow entry by motorbike. They also have to look at the different country requirements from country to country.”

One does not have to be an adventure freak to choose an “Adventurous Hajj”. Mohammed Fawzan holds a master’s degree, and is well versed teacher in the Arabic language, who teaches Quran memorization and the like is his own community, defeating the stereotype that might be associated with a person who goes on this (kind of) journey.” While this type of Hajj journey might appear to be taking the long route, its actually the quicker route.  Hopeful Hujjaaj from Indonesia sometimes will have to wait for 40 years to go for Hajj. Hafidh Ibraheem said, “But doing it this way, you could circumvent all of that, and you’ll probably get in faster.” He advised, “Some other factors to consider is that you have sufficient funds for the journey, and along the way, sometimes you’d have to create additional income.” In the case of Mohammed Fawzan, he created cupping services along the way and sold herbal medicines. Hafidh Ibraheem said it was definitely is not for the faint hearted. Mohammed Fawzan had to travel through jungles, and experienced face to face encounters with several animals. He had to sleep in the rain, and on the roadside. Hafidh Ibraheem quoted the verse from the Quraan: “They will come to you on foot and on every lean camel, they will come from every deep and distant (wide) mountain highway (to perform Hajj).” He said, “in every era people try to do it the hard way, even though easier options are available. And in the case of Fawzan, he says that it was something that he had set his eyes on, and the fact that he’s made it now, he says that it proves the power of Dua, and hard work, to attain the goal.”

Further, in the case of Adam Mohammed, the Iraqi pilgrim who wished to do the journey on foot, crossing 11 countries in 11 months, it was a spiritual experience.  Hafidh Ibraheem said, “During the COVID pandemic he immersed himself in the study of the Quran and one day he woke from sleep with the intuition that he was going on foot to Makkah.” He added, “So do to break those stereotypes, he says it was he didn’t do it to get sympathy from anybody or break any records. He did it purely for the sake of the Almighty, so it’s very much a spiritual calling and different people would want to achieve spirituality in different ways. And this is the manifestation for that to occur.”

 

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