Monday, October 10, 2016

Pilgrim Cycles from China to Saudi to Perform Hajj

A Chinese Muslim has cycled 8,150 kilometers for two months from his home in the city of Xinjiang to Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj, UAE daily Gulf News reported.
The cyclist named only as Mohammad cycled by himself to the Saudi city of Taif, where he was welcomed by the local cyclist club, who joined him. From Taif they made their way to Makkah.
The report did not explain why he decided to make the vast trip – especially since this year there are 37 flights from China to Saudi Arabia for the purpose of Hajj - the fifth pillar of Islam.
According to the Saudi Administration for Religious Affairs about 14,500 Chinese citizens will go to Saudi to perform Hajj, 11,000 of which have already arrived.
In 2007, a 63-year-old Muslim man from Chechnya cycled about 12,000 kilometers to perform Hajj, according to Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty - because of a promise he made to his dying mother, who had asked him to perform Hajj, even if that meant he had to cycle.
A Chineese Pilgrim Man rides bicycle bike from China to Makkah to perform Hajj in Hajj 2016.
Pilgrim Cycles from China to Saudi to Perform Hajj

The rider reportedly left his home in Xinjiang, in northwest China, and cycled around 8,150km before arriving in the western Saudi city of Taif, where he was accorded a special welcome by the local cycling club.
Following a brief stay in the city, the Chinese rider, Mohammad, was accompanied by members of the Taif cycling club to Makkah, Saudi news site Sabq reported.
“We were the first cycling club in Saudi Arabia to welcome the Chinese rider and we look forward to other clubs reaching out to him and introducing him to their cities,” Nayef Al Rawas, the head of the Taif club said.
On Saturday, China’s State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA) said that 14,500 Chinese Muslims would perform Haj this year.
China has by Friday sent 37 charter flights to carry Chinese Muslims for Haj, and a total of 11,000 Chinese pilgrims have already arrived in Makkah, Xinhua News Agency said.
Haj, the annual gathering of around three million Muslims to perform the fifth pillar of Islam, will be held next month.
Despite formidable challenges, the idea of riding into Saudi Arabia for Haj or Umrah had often been taken up by Muslims, mainly from Asia.
In May 2014, a group of Malaysians rode their bicycles from Kuala Lumpur to Madinah.
The 12 men left from the Malaysian capital and made their way on eight motorbikes and a small van across 12 countries with stops in 53 cities.
The group said the two-month ride was mostly smooth and that the only serious problems they encountered were at the borders of the countries they crossed.
They added that every time they crossed into another country, the Malaysian embassies had to come forward to facilitate their entry.
“It was mostly precautionary measures by the guards at the borders,” they said.
The team leader said that the main purpose of the 60-day ride was to perform Umrah in Makkah. He added that he had made the same trip on three occasions.

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