Last year we covered the amazing story of two South African Muslims who had cycled all the way to Mekkah. Not much more you could do to top that we thought at the time, but we were wrong. A 47-year old man from Bosnia has walked all the way from his village to the holy city of Mekkah. With only €200 in his pocket, he said he couldn’t afford to make the sacred pilgrimage any other way. Wakling between 12 to 20 miles a day, Senad Hadzic crossed six countries and entered Saudi Arabia last week in time for Hajj and the upcoming Eid celebrations. Now that’s what I call a green pilgrimage!
“I slept at mosques, schools and other places, including houses offered to me by good people,” Hadzic said in the YouTube 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.” Hadzic carried with him a copy of the Qur’an, a Bible and a map of the six countries he planned to cross. Hadzic spent 314 days walking across Bosnia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Syria and Jordan to get to Mekkah.
As one of the five pillars of Islam, Muslims from all around the world flock to Mekkah every year to perform the sacred pilgrimage. Every able-bodied Muslim who is finanically able is required to perform hajj once in their lifetime. Most pilgrims, however, fly to their destination which negatively contributes to climate change. As such, environmental campaigners have been looking into ways to make the journey greener as well as ensuring that pilgrims reduce their energy consumption and waste during their stay in Mekkah.
Dr Husna Ahmed, the co-author of the 2011 Green Guide to Hajj told GreenProphet in an interview that Muslims need to be re-using items like water bottles and also thinking about what they can do beyond their hajj. “Hajj is a time for embracing good habits and reconsidering moral behaviours, so it’s the ideal time to change our outlook on the environment,” she added. Dr Husna is also keen to point out that Hajj is meant to be a once in a lifetime experience and states that those who have been on the pilgrimage several times need to think carefully about the impact of their travel.
:: You can download the Green Guide to Hajj here.
For more on Green Hajj see: