This Couple Is Traveling To Mecca From Malaysia In A Modified Camper

Travel Contributor

Despite the convenience of booking a flight to Mecca, this married couple from Malaysia has chosen to travel by road across six countries to reach the Holy Land, in order to fulfill the fifth pillar of Islam.

Both retired lecturers, Adnan Abdullah, 66, and his wife Hadibah Idris, 64, have been on the road since they kickstarted this journey of a lifetime on May 2.

Their mode of transportation? A modified Ford Ranger 2.5 WLT which also houses a kitchenette built by their children so they could cook simple meals along their journey.

Interestingly, the vehicle is named Unta Kurus or Lean Camel as it serves a nod to a verse in the Quran, which calls upon Muslims to travel to Makkah to perform the hajj despite the hardship they would face.

Indeed, it was their very intention to travel the hard way.

“The verse in Surah Al-Haj translated as ‘And proclaim the haj among mankind. They will come to you on foot and (mounted) on every lean camel, they will come from every distant pass’ (Quran 22:27).”

“The Arabs regard lean camels as the best type of camels to work with. I always regarded this verse as describing the hardship of the journey to perform the haj,” he said in an exclusive interview with the New Straits Times.

“Whenever people ask me, why don’t you and your wife take a flight to perform the haj? I will simply say to them: I prefer to do the journey the hard way,” he said.

So far, the couple has traveled through Thailand, India, Nepal, and Pakistan. By the time they reach Mecca, they will have traveled across at least 8 countries.

Along the way, the couple either sleep in hotels or camps at designated spots and have also had to camp in a police station and military camp on separate occasions due to security reasons.

The couple share that this trip has been a lifelong dream for them both and although they have encountered some challenges along the way, they enjoyed every second of it.

Some of the challenges they faced include fasting in the heat of summer during Ramadhan when they passed through Myanmar and India. Keeping to a simple diet, the couple lost some weight throughout their journey.

Despite so, they are well aware of the health and safety risks of traveling to certain places. With Hadibah being diabetic, they made sure to include her insulin, kept in the refrigerator of their modified car.

In preparation for medical emergency or health scares, they also have a big box filled with medication that was recommended by their two children who are doctors.

Another challenge they faced was when the couple had their journey delayed for more than a month after they reached Islamabad due to a temporary setback.

Apparently, they experienced an issue with their visa application for one of the countries they were planning to go to.

Thankfully with the help of several people, they managed to resolve the issue although it put a halt to their plans.

“For every hardship that we faced, Allah has always helped us along the way as people came in to assist in the most unexpected of times and places,” said Adnan.

In addition to their pure intentions of wanting to fulfill the fifth pillar of Islam, the couple decided to embark on this trip to make up for all the times they had wanted to travel when they were younger and was busy raising their five children.

“This trip was to compensate for all those challenging years of balancing family and work life.” Now, THIS is what you call ‘couple goals’!


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