Bosnian man walks 5,700km to Makkah to perform hajj
Don't forget to share this article after reading
MAKKAH - Walking thousands of miles through six countries on foot, a 47-year-old Bosnian Muslim has finally reached the holy city of Makkah to fulfil his life-time dream of performing hajj.
“I arrived on Saturday in Makkah. I am not tired, these are the best days of my life,” Senad Hadzic, 47, said when reached by phone on a Saudi mobile number. He said he had covered some 5,700 kilometres in 314 days of walking through Bosnia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Syria and Jordan to the Muslim holy city in south-western Saudi Arabia, with a backpack weighing 20 kilos.
He charted his progress on his Facebook page, where he posted a picture apparently of an entry/exit card for foreigners issued by the Syrian interior ministry. “I passed through Syria in April. I walked some 500 kilometres in 11 days. I went through Aleppo and Damascus and passed dozens of check-points held by pro-government and rebel forces alike, but I was never detained,” Hadzic said.
“At a check-point held by [President Bashar] Al Assad’s forces the soldier ordered me to empty my backpack ... When I showed them my Quran and explained I was making the pilgrimage on foot, they let me go,” he told AFP. “I walked in the name of Allah, for Islam, for Bosnia-Hercegovina, for my parents and my sister,” he added.
On his Facebook page he said God had shown him the way in dreams, including to go through Syria instead of Iraq. During the pilgrimage, Hadzic faced temperatures ranging from minus 35 degrees Celsius in Bulgaria to plus 44 degrees Celsius in Jordan. He said he had to wait in Istanbul for several weeks to get permission to cross the Bosphorus Bridge on foot and two months at the border between Jordan and Saudi Arabia to obtain an entry visa. The Haj is one of the five pillars of Islam and must be undertaken at least once in a lifetime by all Muslims who are able to.
Aspiring to perform hajj, Hadzic started his lengthy trip from his hometown Banovici in northern Bosnia in December.
Covering between 12 to 20 miles a day, Hadzic managed to cross six countries, including Turkey, Jordan and Syria before entering Saudi Arabia this week.
In his back bag, he carried his copy of the Noble Qur'an wrapped in plastic to protect it from weather elements.
He also carried a bible, maps and flags of the six countries he plans to cross.
Hadzic said in a You-Tube film that he walked all that distance because he had no money.
I slept at mosques, schools and other places, including houses offered to me by good people, he said in the You-Tube video.
Some people asked me whether I was scared when passing through wild places and I told them why should I? God is with me.
The majority of pilgrims have already arrived in Saudi Arabia for hajj, the world's largest annual gathering.
Muslims from around the world pour into Makkah every year to perform hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam.
Every able-bodied adult Muslim who can financially afford the trip must perform hajj at least once in a lifetime.Hajj starts on the eighth day of the lunar month of Dhul Hijjah, which falls this year on October 24.
*Report a broken link or spelling mistake
Stay Connected With Free Updates