He is only 18 years old, but Muhammad Haqim Mohd Farid is determined to answer the call as a pilgrim this year without being accompanied by family members. In fact, the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) graduate from Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Panchor, Seremban admitted that he was friendly and not awkward in getting along with other congregants who were older. As an only child, he said, he likes to travel long distances as a solo traveller, including riding a motorcycle alone to Genting Highlands last year, in addition to adopting an attitude of helping others.
Credit: NSTP/SYUHADA CHOO ABDULLAH
"I accepted the offer to perform the Hajj while I was busy preparing for the SPM exam. I had to balance the time between the need to attend additional classes and the Hajj course at the weekend," he said.
"The notification of the offer was sent to my mother's THiJARI account because I was still 17 years old at the time. I really didn't think I would get an offer to perform Hajj because I was still young. My mother was surprised herself!" he added.
"At first, I wanted to reject the offer, but my mother and father advised me to just accept it when Allah SWT calls... don't delay because I may not be able to go later," he said, who is from Batu Pahat, Johor.
Muhammad Haqim said he was happy to become a pilgrim after being registered by his mother in 2007, thus considering it as the greatest personal experience.
"I once came to the Holy Land in 2018 to perform Umrah. Alhamdulillah, I also became diligent in the Holy Land," said the student, who is active in football by joining an amateur club as a goalkeeper. Sharing more about his experience, the son of a retired couple, Mohd Farid Mohd Yatim, 70, and housewife, Rozilina Ishak, 60, is not only light-hearted in helping other congregations, including contributing energy as a College Companion (Hujjaj), but has also been a bilal as well as leading prayers at the surau of the hotel.
Since arriving in the Holy Land, he said, he has helped pilgrims who lost their way in the Haram Mosque several times, including sending an aunt home by taking a taxi to accompany her to the hotel. Muhammad Haqim said, he emulated the attitude of his grandfather, the late Ishak Safar Khan, who during his lifetime liked to help clean up the cemetery, besides wanting to further his studies in the field of religion and interested in pursuing a career as a mutawif.