Journey to Mecca video


Voiceover: It is 1325. A young scholar from Morocco bids farewell to his family. He sets off stubbornly alone on an epic journey to Mecca.

Susan Carland: Without this film, so many non-Muslims, and probably a lot of Muslims, would have no idea what Hajj is today and certainly what it was like back then.

Waleed Aly: I've been on the Hajj and I always struggle to talk about it because there's no way you can convey what it's like. This film goes about as close as you can possibly get to conveying it.

Susan Carland: One of the things they did really cleverly is it shows while a lot has changed from back when Ibn Battuta did it compared to now, so much is still the same, the heart of it is still the same. Voiceover: Experience for the first time on the giant screen one of the most extraordinary gatherings of people on Earth, the Hajj, as it continues to this day.

Waleed Aly: This is one of the most extraordinary collections of humanity that occurs. Where else do you get this many people from around the world in that one spot. It's a fundamentally fascinating event and if you want to understand it I think it's going to be hard to do that except through the lens that this kind of film provides. It really does put you there in a way that…I was skeptical, I didn't' think it'd be able to do it, but it actually does it quite extraordinarily well.

Mohammed El-leissey: I think it's a way of really trying to reconnect with your faith by going through an experience, by going through a journey. Because there's two journeys when you do the Hajj, there's the physical journey of travelling and then there's also the emotional and spiritual journey you undertake as well. It's great to I think draw comparison from my own Hajj which was obviously a lot easier in terms of getting to the destination but also I think you do see a lot of similarities in that…what his outlook was on life and what my outlook was on life after the Hajj was actually probably a lot similar. I think you do go through a rebirth and that was great to draw those comparisons.

Susan Carland: I've never done the Hajj and so it was fascinating for me to see what was going on there. I kept wanting to turn to my husband and say, "Was it like that when you were there? Was it like that? I didn't expect it to look like that!" It was a really great overview and definitely I think it would have to build excitement because when you can visualise something it crystallises it.

Mostafa Haroun: I'd love to do it in the way that Ibn Battuta did it, obviously, because that's just amazing. That's better than the Amazing Race to tell you the truth. Don't put that on there or else I'll get in trouble! [laughs]

Mohammed El-leissey: I reckon Ibn Battuta gave us a few lessons on how to race. Usually it's good to have a bit of security with you. Don't get robbed. He probably would've raced a lot faster than we did even though he was on a camel. I reckon if you want to see how really to travel, you should definitely watch this film.

About this Video

Four Melbourne Muslims tell us what they thought of Journey to Mecca.
Length: 3:31