A group of nine British pilgrims have arrived in Saudi Arabia’s Medina on their bikes after a six-week long journey from London, which took them over 3,000 km through France, Switzerland, Italy, Greece and Egypt.
The trip, according to the British riders, was aimed at conveying a picture of Islam as a religion of peace and tolerance among the countries they passed through.
They are expected to complete their tour within the Kingdom from Jeddah through Medinah, before embarking on the performance of the pilgrimage rituals in Mecca.
“The ‘Hajj Ride’ is the first ever cycle ride for charity set up with the end goal being the performance of the most challenging physical worship in the five pillars of Islam, the hajj pilgrimage,” a statement from the group’s website read.
The group of cyclists hope to raise 1 million British pounds on their journey for Syrian refugees through the charity Human Aid UK.
People can donate money to Hajj Ride and the money the group raises will be used for emergency services in Syria. Human Aid and a few other organizations in UK and in Malaysia organized a unity convoy and since April they have sent 80-85 ambulances to Syria.
The funds raised during Hajj Ride will be used to replenish these ambulances and give them the equipment they need. Abdul Wahid, the founder of Hajj Ride conceptualized the project when he converted to Islam 11 years ago.
“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?” Wahid told Al Arabiya English back in July just before their journey began from London.