Out of numerous Hajj travel adventures, the story of the Bosnian Muslim Senad Hadzic will always remain unique and mesmerizing. You may have heard many stories about Muslims taking unusual path to submit to Allah’s given duty i.e., to go for Hajj, Such as Muslims cycling from Kenya, London, India to Makkah and also Muslims walking to Masjid al Haram to do Hajj from distant places. These stories would have given goosebumps into your nerves but story of Senad will give you something more than that.
Senad Hadzic, A 47 years old onfoot Hajj pilgrim who risked his life number of times in the journey from Bosnia to Makkah just to reach Makkah and prove his devotion and determination to Allah. He defied -35C in Bulgaria, risked his life in deadly battle zone of Syria and burned himself in scorching heat of Jordan with apparently no money with him.
Senad Hadzic, A Bosnian national started his journey in December 2011 from his hometown near Sarajevo in Bosnia. It took him 314 days to reach his destination. He traveled 5650 Km, walked 7 countries, crossed two deserts with just a backpack weighing 20 Kg on his back.
He took a print of Holy Qur’an & Bible with him alongwith maps of different places, some clothes, a torch, flags of six countries he crossed and other little essentials. He always carried flag of Bosnia & Herzegovina with him.
For Qur’an, he said, “Qur’an was my visa for my journey” explaining how armies in Syria let him travel only because of Qur’an. He traveled 10-20 miles each day depending on the place he was walking.
Senad mostly walked day & night and often slept at Mosques, parks, public places and even sometimes at the streets. He walked through Bosnia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Syria, Jordan and finally Saudi Arabia. His experience as a solo Hajj traveler was adventurous except in Serbia where people turned out hostile towards him and pelted stone at him because of his religion but he didn’t mind them at all and kept moving.
He had to wait for week twice in his journey, once at Turkey where officials took weeks to grant him permit to walk on the Bosphorus bridge connecting Europe with Asia which is not open for pedestrian. And again, at war torn Syria where he waited for months to obtain a travel permit from Syrian ministry.
He never took any skip with any other means of transport solely trusting on his feet. Many people offered him airplane ticket but he gently denied the offer stating he is doing it solely for Allah and cannot cheat in between.
Out of overall experience of the Journey, his travels in Syria was little horrible for him. He had to negotiate his way through numerous checkpoints – some manned by the army, others by rebels. He said, an officer in President Bashar al-Assad’s army “asked me to pray for him in Mecca, if I managed to get out of Syria alive”.
Both rebels and Army personnel when came to know about his intentions allowed him to go without harming him at all. Upon his faith in Allah he said, “If I didn’t believe that Allah was with me, the he was protecting me and guiding me, I wouldn’t have even reached Bulgaria, let alone Mecca.
Finally, Senad reached Mecca in the year 2012 around the month of August. People of Mecca welcomed him meanwhile he already became a celebrity in his home country for such an adventurous and courageous journey. Senad himself believes that without Allah it was impossible for him to continue.
“I walked in the name of Allah, for Islam, for Bosnia-Herzegovina, for my parents and my sister.” These were the words of Senad when asked about his intentions behind the journey. He defied the bullets in Syria, heat in Jordan, cold in Bulgaria, abuses in Serbia. If it would have been a man other than himself he would have left the journey far ago.
Senad Hazic is a true inspiration for all Muslim youths and elderly.May Allah make us enough able to be like him and take us a journey to his home.