Friends gearing up to drive from Blackburn to Saudi Arabia

Asian Image: HERE WE GO The group of friends from East Lancashire prepare for their epic minibus journey across Europe and part of Asia to the Hajj pilgrimage HERE WE GO The group of friends from East Lancashire prepare for their epic minibus journey across Europe and part of Asia to the Hajj pilgrimage

A GROUP of friends have set off for the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia – by road.

They have left East Lancashire in an eight-year-old minibus and are due to arrive in Saudi Arabia at the start of the Hajj on October 17.

The journey has been 18 months in the planning for the friends who hope to inspire younger people with their efforts.

The Hajj is the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca and is the fifth pillar of Islam, a religious duty that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so.

The ten friends are all from the Blackburn area and are made up mainly of professionals and businessmen aged 40 and over. They had originally planned to travel the full distance by road but the deteriorating situation in Syria forced them to reconsider because it would have meant driving through a battle zone.

Pharmacist Haroon Patel said, “We are undertaking a great journey so we can take part in the greatest journey which is the Hajj.

“We will be travelling by road to Istanbul then catching a plane to Jordan.

“The journey will then continue by road from Jordan to Saudi Arabia.

“It is the next best available option to us.

“We had been advised not to got through Syria. Whilst in Jordan we will be journeying to the Holy Lands in Palestine and Masjid-e-Aqsa.” The group is travelling in a 16-seater minibus and started planning the journey in December 2010.

Faruk Valli, who runs KQF Foods in George Street West, Blackburn, said, “We asked all our group of friends over 18 months ago and decided that this was to be the plan.

“After some discussion, ten of us decided we could take part.

“From then on we have had regular meetings and even set-up sub-committees on each aspect of the journey.

“Our wellness committee aimed to get some of us into shape! Everyone is responsible for particular issues.

“We took part in a camping trip to Wales to get used to camping and visited the London Hajj Exhibition.

“The journey from Jordan to Saudi Arabia should not take more than 24 hours.

“On the way back we are driving by road from Istanbul. Before that we will be visiting Egypt.”

Faruk added: “We appreciate the help from Jack Straw’s office in helping to facilitate overland visas with the Saudi Embassy in the UK.

“They too have been very helpful and receptive to our needs.”

The group is reporting its progress via Twitter @RTM 2012UK or @asianimage.

Comments (15)

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1:55pm Thu 11 Oct 12

Open_Mind says...

May Allah’s blessing light your way, strengthen your faith and bring joy to your heart as you praise and serve him today, tomorrow and always.

I look forward to seeing pictures and a follow up article when they return.
May Allah’s blessing light your way, strengthen your faith and bring joy to your heart as you praise and serve him today, tomorrow and always. I look forward to seeing pictures and a follow up article when they return. Open_Mind

2:02pm Thu 11 Oct 12

noddy57 says...

maybe shell uk can facilitate a fuel card for your great journey in recognition of your devotion to your god,,im sure this would be very rewarding for their company with regard to publicity,,
maybe shell uk can facilitate a fuel card for your great journey in recognition of your devotion to your god,,im sure this would be very rewarding for their company with regard to publicity,, noddy57

3:24pm Thu 11 Oct 12

cathedral citi says...

Have a good journey, lads. Your adventure will begin as soon as you set off from east Lancashire.

Many different cultures and countries along the way, will surely inspire your understanding of the wonderful and different world that we all live in!

Safe journey!
Have a good journey, lads. Your adventure will begin as soon as you set off from east Lancashire. Many different cultures and countries along the way, will surely inspire your understanding of the wonderful and different world that we all live in! Safe journey! cathedral citi

3:33pm Thu 11 Oct 12

sen c ble says...

Good luck and see you on your arrival.

Sen

P.S. Don't forget to mention my name!
Good luck and see you on your arrival. Sen P.S. Don't forget to mention my name! sen c ble

4:24pm Thu 11 Oct 12

district01 says...

Faruk added: “We appreciate the help from Jack Straw’s office in helping to facilitate overland visas with the Saudi Embassy in the UK.

Well done to Jack Straw for looking after his constituents!
Faruk added: “We appreciate the help from Jack Straw’s office in helping to facilitate overland visas with the Saudi Embassy in the UK. Well done to Jack Straw for looking after his constituents! district01

7:18pm Thu 11 Oct 12

accy lad and proud says...

Well done lads, make sure you pack some stout walking boots though ! Your choice of mode of transport an LDV Minibus would not be mine, you will be lucky to get out of the UK in one of them ! Very poor reliability !!!
Well done lads, make sure you pack some stout walking boots though ! Your choice of mode of transport an LDV Minibus would not be mine, you will be lucky to get out of the UK in one of them ! Very poor reliability !!! accy lad and proud

8:17pm Thu 11 Oct 12

jack daniels says...

Good on ya.

Flying all the way to Saudi Arabia would have made the trip so much easier. Driving that distance over the next few days will take a bit more effort, be more spiritual for you all and should make your trip all the more uplifting.
Good on ya. Flying all the way to Saudi Arabia would have made the trip so much easier. Driving that distance over the next few days will take a bit more effort, be more spiritual for you all and should make your trip all the more uplifting. jack daniels

10:28pm Thu 11 Oct 12

ghanto says...

district01 wrote:
Faruk added: “We appreciate the help from Jack Straw’s office in helping to facilitate overland visas with the Saudi Embassy in the UK. Well done to Jack Straw for looking after his constituents!
These People are great and allah give them strenght

However my concersn are about tour operators and the Suadi Arabia?

They looting people and making money for over £1000s making haj impossible for others

haj is farz and people do have money but now tour operators are asking £5000 per person

Saudis should make Haj affordable to all as its not holiday but once in a life time journey ( not make hige profit)

People who cannot perform haj due to such looting the Saudis would have to answer Allah
[quote][p][bold]district01[/bold] wrote: Faruk added: “We appreciate the help from Jack Straw’s office in helping to facilitate overland visas with the Saudi Embassy in the UK. Well done to Jack Straw for looking after his constituents![/p][/quote]These People are great and allah give them strenght However my concersn are about tour operators and the Suadi Arabia? They looting people and making money for over £1000s making haj impossible for others haj is farz and people do have money but now tour operators are asking £5000 per person Saudis should make Haj affordable to all as its not holiday but once in a life time journey ( not make hige profit) People who cannot perform haj due to such looting the Saudis would have to answer Allah ghanto

10:36pm Thu 11 Oct 12

ghanto says...

These people are great and Allah would give them strenght

My concerns about Saudis and tour operators

Both are conning people over £1000s for their own shelfish profits

They must make haJ affordable to ALL as its once in a life time.

Go on Jack straw where are you when you are needed

People not performing haj due to conners and Saudis are to answer Allah
These people are great and Allah would give them strenght My concerns about Saudis and tour operators Both are conning people over £1000s for their own shelfish profits They must make haJ affordable to ALL as its once in a life time. Go on Jack straw where are you when you are needed People not performing haj due to conners and Saudis are to answer Allah ghanto

10:59pm Thu 11 Oct 12

Rimbus says...

ghanto wrote:
These people are great and Allah would give them strenght

My concerns about Saudis and tour operators

Both are conning people over £1000s for their own shelfish profits

They must make haJ affordable to ALL as its once in a life time.

Go on Jack straw where are you when you are needed

People not performing haj due to conners and Saudis are to answer Allah
"White youth, black youth, better find another solution. Why not phone up Robin Hood and ask him for some wealth distribution?'

Joe Strummer & Mick Jones, 1978
[quote][p][bold]ghanto[/bold] wrote: These people are great and Allah would give them strenght My concerns about Saudis and tour operators Both are conning people over £1000s for their own shelfish profits They must make haJ affordable to ALL as its once in a life time. Go on Jack straw where are you when you are needed People not performing haj due to conners and Saudis are to answer Allah[/p][/quote]"White youth, black youth, better find another solution. Why not phone up Robin Hood and ask him for some wealth distribution?' Joe Strummer & Mick Jones, 1978 Rimbus

11:22pm Thu 11 Oct 12

Rimbus says...

Ghanto said

"My concerns about Saudis and tour operators
Both are conning people over £1000s for their own shelfish profits"

Never mind the Saudis and tour operators, whilst we're on the subject of shellfish profits have you seen the price of whelks, cockles and mussels lately?
Ghanto said "My concerns about Saudis and tour operators Both are conning people over £1000s for their own shelfish profits" Never mind the Saudis and tour operators, whilst we're on the subject of shellfish profits have you seen the price of whelks, cockles and mussels lately? Rimbus

11:23pm Thu 11 Oct 12

Rimbus says...

Ghanto said

"My concerns about Saudis and tour operators
Both are conning people over £1000s for their own shelfish profits"

Never mind the Saudis and tour operators, whilst we're on the subject of shellfish profits have you seen the price of whelks, cockles and mussels lately?
Ghanto said "My concerns about Saudis and tour operators Both are conning people over £1000s for their own shelfish profits" Never mind the Saudis and tour operators, whilst we're on the subject of shellfish profits have you seen the price of whelks, cockles and mussels lately? Rimbus

10:30pm Fri 12 Oct 12

jellybiff says...

don't forget the duty frees and the cigs.oh and don't try to smuggle back too many immigrants under the seats.shiskkabob
don't forget the duty frees and the cigs.oh and don't try to smuggle back too many immigrants under the seats.shiskkabob jellybiff

10:27pm Sun 14 Oct 12

trevhd says...

hopefully one way trip
hopefully one way trip trevhd

11:42pm Sun 14 Oct 12

Rimbus says...

trevhd wrote:
hopefully one way trip
Could well be, have you seen what they're driving?
[quote][p][bold]trevhd[/bold] wrote: hopefully one way trip[/p][/quote]Could well be, have you seen what they're driving? Rimbus

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