18 August 2019   16. Zul Hijja 1440
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Thursday, 08 August 2019 13:51

“Tour de Hajj” cyclists travel 6,500 km from England to Saudi Arabia

The arrival of a group of British Muslims –after cycling 6,500km from England to perform Hajj - arrived in Saudi Arabia to a warm welcome as they were greeted by Mishaal Al Touhami, the Chairman of the Society of Culture and Arts in Madinah.

The cyclists hoped convey a better picture of Islam "as a religion of peace and tolerance among the countries they passed through." The cyclers also hoped to use their journey to raise money for charity.

The "Tour de Hajj" group were also well-received by locals and cycling enthusiasts who threw them a traditional welcome – they were served Arabian coffee, dates, and Zamzam water.

In an interview the group's captain, Taher Hasan Akhtar - a seasoned cyclist who has previously led trips to Makkah for Hajj - shared details of the epic journey.

"The trip was amazing - we came through 17 countries. It's a spiritual, beautiful journey," he said.

The British pilgrims were impressed by the warm welcome and lauded the facilities that made it easier for them to arrive for Hajj this year.

The men began their journey by visiting Madinah thereafter proceeding to Makkah to complete their pilgrimage rites.

In 2017, the man arrived in Makkah along with seven other British Muslims after five gruelling weeks of cycling.

Known as the "Hajj Riders," the men biked through the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Italy, Greece, and Egypt before arriving in Saudi Arabia for the sacred Islamic pilgrimage.

The "Hajj Riders" aren't the only cyclist to make such a journey.

In 2016, Mohammad, a Muslim Chinese cyclist rode his bike all the way to Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj.

Mohammad, reportedly took off from his home in Xinjiang, China, to the western Saudi city of Taif in Makkah province. His journey covered 8,150 km, which would take a professional cyclist almost three months to complete.

Darul Ihsan Media Desk

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