By Neelam Rahim
For Muhammad Fauzan, the lifetime spiritual journey of Hajj was arduous on a bicycle. He travelled nearly 5,000 kilometres from Indonesia to Saudi Arabia on a bicycle, taking more than seven and a half months.
The young Indonesian travelled from Magelang, Central Java, on Nov. 4, 2021, and performed Umrah after reaching Makkah last week. He will join other pilgrims from Indonesia, the most populous Muslim nation, sending the largest contingent of 100,051 pilgrims for the upcoming Hajj. So far, around 21,000 Indonesian pilgrims have arrived in Madinah.
“I intend to perform Hajj and visit the Three Holy Mosques in Islam — the Grand Mosque in Makkah, the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah and the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. After performing Hajj, I have plans to continue my bicycle journey to Palestine to visit the Aqsa Mosque and also visit other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) States,” he said.
In an interview with Saudi Gazette, Fauzan said that his bicycle pilgrimage is the best example of how Almighty God makes possible things that ordinary people think impossible.
“Everybody told me that it is impossible for you to accomplish this difficult mission but I can now demonstrate to them that God made it possible for me. My message is also that we can make it possible anything that we may think impossible if we have the goodwill and the earnest supplication to God coupled with tireless hard work to attain the goal,” he said.
Fauzan, a holder of a master’s degree and well versed in Arabic, said that he thought this was the best way to perform Hajj without long years of waiting.
“Normally Indonesians have to wait for around 40 years for their turn to perform Hajj after their registration. But I was impatient to visit Islam’s holiest places and perform the annual pilgrimage and hence started preparations by saving money from my salary as a teacher,” said Fauzan.
The journey began with savings amounting to 10 million Indonesia rupiah (SR2,567). He also earned more money to meet his travel expenses by selling traditional herbal medicines.
He brought these medicines from Indonesia and carried out cupping at mosques along his route from Magelang.