While most Muslims fly, drive or sail from all over the world to perform the annual pilgrimage of Haj in Makkah, a 29-year-old man from Kerala has set out on an 8,640 km journey on foot to Makkah to perform Haj 2023.
Shihab Chottur, who runs a supermarket, set off on his incredible journey from Athavanad, near Kottakkal, in Malappuram district, Kerala, on June 2. Every day, he walks at least 25 kms.
He will reach Makkah for Haj in 2023 after traversing India, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, and Kuwait, and will finally reach Saudi Arabia sometime in early February 2023.
He will apply for the Haj pilgrimage after his arrival in Saudi Arabia and plans to cover the entire distance in 280 days.
Shihab, grew up hearing stories of people travelling all the way from Kerala to the holy land of Makkah on foot during ancient times which made it his life’s dream to walk all the way to Makkah.
As per multiple media reports, Shihab’s mother’s support and encouragement is what drove him to take the trip. His wife and other family members were also very supportive.
Shihab is currently accompanied by three of his friends on this journey from Kerala to Makkah. A six-member team from Karnataka is following him in the current extension to facilitate their journey.
It is reported that research and preparations for the journey took around nine months and the most difficult part was getting the visa papers ready for their journey on foot.
“I am eager to perform the series of rites as part of Haj. Performing Haj sincerely, solely for the sake of Allah, will turn a person as pure as he was on the day his mother gave birth to him. I hope to come back from Mecca as a pure soul,” Shihab was quoted by The New Indian Express.
Shihab has been getting a rousing welcome as he passes through states with a large number of people thronging roads to greet him and catch a glimpse of him.