In an attempt to put on full display to the world that Islam is indeed a religion of peace, British national Farid Feyadi, 40, has undertaken a journey of thousands of miles to reach Mecca from London – entirely on foot.
A Mancunian designer and inventor, Fayedi said, "As a Muslim, I believe each of us is an ambassador of this religion. We have a big responsibility on our shoulders to represent Islam and Muslims in the best way to the world. I tried to do something in a very peaceful way to show Islam is a wave of peace that draws from the word 'Salaam' (the Arabic word for peace)," he said, decrying the "bad impression" of the religion and "horrible" deeds committed by the ISSI terrorist organization, supposedly in its name.
Though he initially wanted to make the pilgrimage via bicycle, he later decided to go on foot once he found out that others had made the journey in the same manner.
"I said if they can do it, why shouldn't I? So, I decided to do it by walking. When I told my friends, they didn't believe me," he recalled.
Making the pilgrimage to Mecca – a religious obligation for Muslims with sufficient means – on foot is an honor and blessing, he said. "I started this journey on Nov. 3, 2019. I have never experienced travel like this, I have traveled by plane; I have booked nice hotels, but never like this. I was so excited," he said.
Feyadi plans to arrive in the sacred city of the Kaaba, where millions of Muslims journey every year, in July, as the scorching summer heat takes hold of the region.