Jeddah, MINA – The pilgrimage spiritual journey is a historic event for Muhammad Fauzan, a teacher, 28 years old, by bicycle covering a distance of about 5,000 kilometers on the way from Indonesia to Saudi Arabia.
Fauzan’s journey took more than 7.5 months.
Bangkok-Jeddah route was taken by airplane because he could not get a visa to enter Myanmar.
The Indonesian youth departed from Magelang, Central Java, starting November 4, 2021 and performed Umrah after arriving in Makkah last week.
He hopes to be able to join other pilgrims from Indonesia, who this year received a quota of 100,051 pilgrims from Saudi Arabia.
“My intention is to perform Hajj and visit the Three Holy Mosques in Islam, the Grand Mosque in Mecca, the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina and the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem,” he said in an interview with the Saudi Gazette, Sunday, June 12, 2022.
After performing the pilgrimage, he plans to continue his cycling trip to Palestine to visit the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
He revealed, his bicycle pilgrimage made things that ordinary people thought impossible became possible.
“Everyone told me that it would be impossible for you to complete this difficult mission. But now I can show them that God made it possible for me,” he said.
“Everything that we think is impossible, can happen if we have good intentions, coupled with tireless hard work to achieve goals, and of course earnest prayers,” he said.
Fauzan, who holds a master’s degree and is fluent in Arabic, said he thought this was the best way to perform Hajj without waiting years.
“Usually Indonesians have to wait about 40 years for their turn to perform the hajj after registration. But I can’t wait to visit the holy places of Islam and perform the pilgrimage. That’s why I started my preparations by saving from my salary as a teacher,” said Fauzan.
Fauzan is a religion teacher by profession, earning a bachelor’s degree in Arabic and Islamic Studies from Makassar University in South Sulawesi province.
“My main intention is to perform Hajj and pray for my parents who are still alive as well as family and relatives,” said Fauzan, who has a wife and two children.
His daughter was born while he was traveling to Makkah.
Talking about his travel experience, Fauzan said that he departed from his hometown after his master’s graduation from the Islamic University of Malang. The journey began with the provision of his savings, amounting to 10 million rupiah.
He also gets extra money to cover his travel expenses by selling traditional herbal medicine he brought from Indonesia. In addition, he earns money by doing cupping in mosques along his journey from Magelang.
“My first destination was Jakarta, which is almost 500 km from my hometown. From Jakarta, I took a ferry to Sumatra Island. After passing through Jambi province, I crossed to Batam Island, then took a ferry to get to Singapore,” he said.
Even though he was tired on the way, Fauzan continued to fast during the month of Ramadan when he was traveling. He used to break his fast at mosques along his route during Ramadan in Singapore and Malaysia.
He participated in the celebration of Eid al-Fitr in Malaysia.
Fauzan also recalled the warm welcome given to him at the Indonesian Embassy in Singapore and Malaysia.
“During the reception in Kuala Lumpur, the Indonesian Ambassador to Malaysia Hermono came with me on a bicycle to convey his solidarity with my mission,” he said.
Through the Forest
Fauzan said that his trip was mostly through the forest and met some animals, especially monkeys.
“I don’t carry any weapons in self-defense. I am only determined with courage to complete my mission with the belief that where there is a will, there is a way, with Allah’s permission,” he added.
In the bag on the back of his bicycle, only a change of clothes, toiletries, bicycle parts, food, ihram cloth and hajj supplies were in.
He had gone through the heavy rainy season in several areas he passed. He also rested and slept more during the day after setting up a tent by the roadside.
He noted that most of the trips were made at night.
He prepared tea and snacks in the tent and used to buy lunch at the restaurant.
Fauzan hopes to get permission to perform Hajj in the near future, according to the required procedures.
The 28-year-old said that he would soon be cycling to Medina to visit the Prophet’s Mosque and make a pilgrimage to the tomb of the Prophet Muhammad.
Referring to his plans after the hajj, Fauzan said that the priority after the hajj was to visit the Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest place for Muslims.
“I plan to visit Palestine before flying back to Jakarta,” he said.
Stuck in Myanmar
Fauzan recounted the difficulties he encountered in getting a travel permit when passing through Myanmar, after a long journey through Thailand.
“All my attempts to get an entry visa to Myanmar were in vain and so I was forced to quit. I was forced to stop my cycling trip at the Thai border after crossing nearly 4,000 km,” he recalls.
Therefore, he then flew from Bangkok directly to Riyadh on May 26, 2022.
Arrive in Riyadh
Upon arrival in Riyadh, he was received by the Indonesian Ambassador Abdul Aziz Ahmad and Deputy Head of Mission and Chargé d’Affaires Arief Hidayat and the Head of the Special Branch of Muhammadiyah (PCIM) Saudi Arabia.
It took a week to reach Makkah from Riyadh, cycling nearly 900 km.
In Jeddah, he visited the Indonesian Consulate General and was greeted by the Indonesian Consul General Eko Hartono and other Indonesian Consulate General officials. (T/RE1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)