"I cried when I first arrived": Pilgrim who walked from the UK to Saudi for Hajj
Of the hundreds of thousands of Muslims arriving in Makkah for Hajj, perhaps none had a more arduous journey than Adam Mohammed.
The 53-year-old electrical engineer from the UK travelled around 4,000 miles on foot to reach Saudi Arabia.
It took him 11 months and 26 days, walking through the Netherlands, Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan to reach his destination.
"I cried when I first arrived,' Adam told AFP at Makkah's Masjid al-Haram.
"It's an unbelievable feeling, which leaves me at a loss for words. I feel serene and very close to Allah with much spirituality."
The Saudi authorities gave him and his family visas to perform the Hajj after discovering his exploits.
"The Saudi government granted my family and I Hajj permits when it knew that I am travelling from UK to Makkah on foot. I met with my family in Madinah after they arrived from the UK, and we walked together to Makkah. I feel grateful to them (the Saudi government)," said Adam.
The long journey
Adam said it was a difficult journey but one he felt he had to make for Allah.
"I would feel mentally exhausted, unable to eat or drink too. But then something inside me would tell me 'What are you afraid of? You have Allah by your side and you can make it.' I have lived for 52 or 53 years for myself, why can't I dedicate 10 or 11 months to Allah?"
The Iraqi-Kurd, who has lived in the UK for about 25 years, set out to go to the holy land after he had a dream in August last year.
He set off from his home in Wolverhampton that month, walking an average of 12 miles a day with his three-wheeled mobile vehicle, which he built himself.
Adam reached Ayesha Mosque in Makkah on June 26, where a huge crowd of people received him and celebrated.
Throughout the journey, Adam has documented his progress on social media. His TikTok account is very active, with over 2.8 million likes.
Worshippers from all over the world have arrived in Makkah this week as the city gets ready for the biggest Hajj pilgrimage since the coronavirus pandemic.
The authorities have finalised preparations in Mina, also known as the city of tents, which will accommodate.
The first batch of worshippers have left Makkah and have already started arriving in Mina before Hajj officially begins on Thursday.
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