Eight British Muslims have embarked on a journey to perform the annual Hajj pilgrimage, on their bikes!
A group of eight Britain men who work for Human Aid, a London based humanitarian charity are are cycling to Medinah in order to raise £1 million ($1.3m) for medical aid to help those who are suffering due to the Syrian war.
One of the riders, Abdulla Wahid has said that "We are trying to use this ride to raise as much money as possible to help restore some dignity that has been taken away from the Syrian people over the last six years,"
Now identified as the 'Hajj Riders', the eight men will be cycling over 3500 km in a span of six weeks, and pass through eight countries of Europe. They began their journey from the United Kingdom, and will be travelling through France, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Egypt, and their last stop will be Saudi Arabia.
According to news, their ideal route was originally to reach Saudi Arabia via Turkey, Syria and Jordan, however due to security reasons they will be taking a ship from Greece to Egypt, before arriving to their final spot.
Regarding their journey, Wahid told Al Arabiya news “People say you have to change everything about you when you become Muslim. I had a lot of time to think about how I can merge my lives. I thought I love cycling and I want to go to Hajj, so why don’t we go back to the old way of journeying?" He further added "The spirit of Hajj has been lost. People used to travel for half a year or a year to go to Hajj. Some people would have been gone for two years at a time. It is a spiritual journey and it is a chance for us to see different people. We will be talking to people and educating them about our cause,”
As the cyclists are not professional athletes, the group will be travelling on their bikes during the day and resting at night. They will be assisted throughout Europe by a support car, nevertheless after reaching Middle East the cyclists will be on their own.
The riders are expecting to reach Medinah by the end of August, before the Hajj Pilgrimage begins. Once they reach their destination, they will be taking a bus to Mecca due to the restrictions on movement imposed by the Saudi Government during Hajj.
The Hajj Ride will mark the first time anyone has ever cycled from England all the way to Saudi Arabia for Hajj. Previously, one man cycled his way to Hajj frtom China.