Mohammad Zaman is currently walking from Batley, Yorkshire, to London, visiting community groups and projects along the way to shine a light on ordinary people going the extra mile to bring people together. It’s an admirable adventure to embark upon – particularly as Mohammad is currently fasting for Ramadan.
The Great Big Walk is a national movement in the form of five walks starting from Batley on 29 May to London, Cornwall, Northern Ireland, Wales, and Scotland in the lead up to The Big Lunch, the UK’s annual get-together for neighbours. The five routes spanning the UK will stop at over 100 community projects on their way, as the walkers head home in time to join the biggest community celebration the UK has ever seen.
Mohammad is one of the walkers heading the 616 miles home to London, and for him, the physical challenge of fasting makes the experience a more testing one. He explained before the walk that “it’s during Ramadan when I’ll be fasting for 18+ hours every day, with 2.8 million UK Muslims. It’s going to be hard.”
At sundown on the first day of walking, Mohammad and his team were welcomed into Jamia Swafia Masjid, Wakefield, to open his fast and enjoy Iftar at the mosque, and other points on the journey have seen him lay down his prayer mat on the side of the road whilst walking to a community stop. Mohammad has previously completed a half marathon whilst fasting and is confident that his mental strength, as well as physical strength, will prevail.
In fact, Mohammad believes it is particularly important that he completes The Great Big Walk whilst observing Ramadan: Mohammad’s Muslim faith is his guiding light and inspiration when it comes to his interactions with those around him, and it has also been his motivation when overcoming his own personal hurdles – including homelessness. As Mohammad’s faith guides him to support and celebrate community, he’s certain that it will also sustain him through The Great Big Walk which has provided a platform for him to do just that.
Mohammad says “I am dedicated to bringing positive change, hope, and peace to communities across Britain, among people from different backgrounds. The nation needs a platform to encourage bonds between us and make this country strong. I think The Great Big Walk is that platform. I want to take part and also share my experience on the walk to help build strong communities and encourage people to stand together.”
Within days, Mohammad became known for his infectious positivity and enthusiasm: when asked about his journey and his energy he responds “I’m still walking and fasting, and I’m still smiling.”
Visit thegreatbigwalk.com to find out more about Mohammad’s journey as well as tracking where him, and the other teams of walkers, are heading to next. You can join in the celebrations by supporting the walkers as they pass through your area or simply by walking in Mohammad’s footsteps – and stay smiling.
Finally, anyone who is fasting can get involved in The Big Lunch on 18 June by holding a Lunar Lunch and inviting family, neighbours, and colleagues to join you as you open your fast. You can find out more about Lunar Lunches and how to host one by going to our website, www.TheBigLunch.com, and searching for ‘Lunar Lunch,’ or by checking out The Big Iftar UK on Facebook.
Article by Muslim Vibe