By Houda El Mouatassim
By Houda El Mouatassim
Morocco World News
Marrakech, October 27, 2012
Annually, particularly during the twelfth month of the Islamic year, Millions of Muslims from every social status, color, ethnicity and culture make pilgrimage to Mecca as it is one of the five pillars of Islam. Hajj is one of the most important gatherings in Islam where Muslims get together in the same place, wearing the same clothes, performing the same rituals that will bring them closer to God and purifies their bodies from their earlier sins.
In order to reach Mecca, Muslims from every corner of the world take different means of transportation varying from planes to auto cars to even boats depending on how close or how far their countries are from Mecca.
However, what is new this year is that a Bosnian named Senad Hadzic chose to reach Mecca using no means of transportation other than his two feet. The 47 year old man started his journey from his hometown Banovici in northeastern Bosnia back on December 10th 2011 setting his mind on reaching Mecca during the following year’s season of Hajj which was due to commence this October.
Senad attained Mecca on October 18th after crossing 5700km on foot and facing many difficulties along the way amongst which are bearing -35 °C in Bulgaria and 55 °C in Jordan, waiting for permission to walk across the Bosphorous Bridge connecting Europe to Asia for 20 days since it is only allowed for vehicles, trekking through war-zones in the Syrian terrain, and being held up on the Saudi Arabian border for two months. “I’m not afraid of a tank or a bullet, only God. And then when I get to Mecca I will say a prayer for all of us.” said Senad Hadzic in his interview with NPR’s The World.
Senad said that he decided to travel on foot after dreaming about it. He started his journey with a very insignificant sum of money, some maps, the Quran, and added to these belongings the flags of all seven countries he crossed before reaching his holy destination. He endured staying the night in mosques or in the street when he had nowhere else to go, but most of the time, he was welcomed to stay in the homes of different people from different religious beliefs and ethnicities who admire his faith, devotion and sense of adventure. “An old Turkish wise man appeared and when he saw that I came from Bosnia to Istanbul on two feet, he offered me the money to sit on an airplane and go directly to Mecca for the Hajj, but I rejected this.” Senad said.
Unlike many people who find excuses for not going to Hajj such as having too much business to tend to, being too old or too young to do it, Senad decided to fulfill the fifth pillar of Islam and chose to take the longest and hardest way to go to Mecca. By walking there, he proved that everything he endured was for the love of God and hopes to be an inspiration to everyone who hears about his exceptional act of faith.
Prophet Mohamed peace be upon him taught us that Muslims are rewarded for every step they take to reach a Mosque in order to do their prayers, thus comes Senad’s unprecedented choice in such a journey. Walking for 314 days, devoting it to thinking about God and about a new way to worship Him and be closer to Him is an act of courage and piety worthy of our respect and admiration.
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