Maryani’s Hajj dream which started 26 years ago will finally come true when she travels this week for the pilgrimage.
To accomplish this dream, the 64-year-old Indonesian trash scavenger kept saving money for nearly three decades, Anadolu Agency reports on August 5.
“I’ve always wanted to go for Hajj,” she said while getting ready to visit Makkah next Friday.
Maryani, who goes by only one name, said that her desire to go for Hajj grew stronger after her husband died in the 1980s and she had been saving money since 1993.
At the time, the mother-of-four widow didn’t have a clue on how to get money for the pilgrimage as she was left widowed with four kids to raise. “So, I started collecting the junks,” said Maryani.
The annual Islamic Hajj pilgrimage is a religious obligation for adult Muslims, who must make the journey at least once in their lifetime if financially and physically able.
Maryani worked as a scavenger at dawn, until the call to prayer at 5 am every morning. She also collected junks such as used plastic cups, bottles, and cardboard that could be sold.
“After a heavy rain, I also collected sands to sell.”
Since then, she has worked hard collecting trashes and sands to pay off the remaining costs of $699.82.
She kept the Hajj savings secret from her family and relatives for years. Even her children didn’t know that all this time their mother was collecting trashes and sands to pay for pilgrimage costs.
The Muslim woman admitted that 26 years was a very long period, but she said she never worried about when she’ll be able to go to the holy land.
“The most important thing was that I saved up. I never gave up, always full of spirit and never felt tired,” she added.
Maryani didn’t sell the items she collected right away but sold them after piling them up for a year. “Once sold, I would get around $84 a year. I’d save $70 and spend the rest,” she informed about her plan.
As for the daily expenses, Maryani was supported by her children, most of whom are already married and live separately.
Muslims from around the world pour to Makkah every year to perform Hajj, one of the five pillars of Islam.
Hajj consists of several rituals, which are meant to symbolize the essential concepts of the Islamic faith, and to commemorate the trials of Prophet Abraham and his family.
Every able-bodied adult Muslim who can financially afford the trip must perform Hajj at least once in a lifetime.
Hajj 2019 will commence on Friday, 9th of August 2019 and will continue till Wednesday, 14th of August 2019; in the evening time.