A 62-year-old Indian Muslim is set to perform his 26th Hajj pilgrimage this year, adding to his already 25 consecutive spiritual journeys he started in 1994.
“For me, this is an honor from Allah and I wouldn’t miss it for the world,” Taqiullah Khan told Khaleej Times.
“Most people consider themselves lucky if they are able to undertake the journey once in their lifetime. Allah has blessed me to perform Hajj every year.”
Khan’s first journey to Hajj was in 1994, one year after he sent his parents for the journey in 1993.
“I requested that they pray for me to be able to visit the blessed land. When my mother came back, she told she had made this particular dua (supplication) so much that she believed I would perform Hajj every year.”
Just like his mother predicted, Khan’s journey began in 1994. “I went as a Haji (pilgrim) like any other Muslim back then. I went back again the next year with my wife.”
Things became easier in 1996 after he founded Tawakkul Tours and Travels in 1996 and applied for the Hajj quota, coming every year with the pilgrims.
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He has also performed Umrah for an epic 126 times, coming to Makkah at least five times a year.
“So you see, Allah has blessed me so much that this is actually my bread and butter, too,” he said.
Khan said he starts preparing for the Hajj season as soon the fasting month of Ramadan ends. “That’s when the government of India announces the Hajj quotas.”
Khan’s biggest strength is his family. “They have been very supportive of my endeavors. Not once have they asked me to depute someone else to lead the groups since they, too, believe that this is an honor.”
Reports earlier this year revealed that a Pakistani Muslim has performed 3,199 Umrahs in 17 years, setting an enviable achievement as the one performing the highest number of Umrahs in the world.
Each year, more than two million Muslims commit to Hajj, a spiritual journey that represents the 5th Pillar of Islam and one of the largest annual human gatherings on the planet.
Every Muslim who is physically and financially able to do so is expected to make this pilgrimage once in their lifetime.
According to the 2018 report of the General Authority of Statistics in Saudi Arabia, a total of 2,371,675 Muslims performed Hajj last year in a steady and substantial annual increase during the past 92 years.