Pakistan’s HUB: An old Pakistani shepherd wandering the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah, barefoot and frail, with a long muslin cloth draped over his turban, became an unlikely social media sensation when a video of him recently went viral, prompting Turki Al-Sheikh, adviser to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to tweet asking how to contact him.

Abdul Qadir Bakhsh, 82, returned to his home in the village of Goth Haji Rahim in Hub, Balochistan, on Saturday after doing Umrah, although he does not even own a phone.

Bakhsh had been saving for the trek for 15 years, and the first time he saw his popular video was during an interview with Arab News in his hut on Sunday.

“I feel like all my worries have vanished,” he stated. My heart is full. I am not even hungry, and I am content. My aspiration to see the holy prophet’s shrine and Makkah has been granted.”

Bakhsh can be seen on the video, which has now received over 1 million views, strolling alone and frequently turning around, as if lost and looking for someone.

His appearance moved Arab social media users, with some comparing his simplicity and humility to prominent Islamic personalities.

Back in his hamlet, he sat on the floor in a sparse shanty structure constructed of tree trunks and grass, as ecstatic guests came and went, congratulating him on making the trek, a dream for many in Balochistan.

Bakhsh sold his goats for years to save up for his goal.

When he visited Makkah for the first time, he noticed that his joy knew no boundaries. He arrived in the city without a guide and only spoke Balochi, making it difficult to ask for directions. But, he claimed, his prayers were answered when he arrived at the Kaaba.

“I wandered around until I finally got there,” he said, adding that he wept at the prophet’s shrine. “I said to God, ‘You’ve shown me the way and brought me here.'”

It was there that an unknown individual created and published the video that quickly went viral.

Bakhsh then returned to Makkah to undertake Umrah once more. Now that he’s returned home, he’s already planning to gather enough money to fulfill his lifelong dream of performing Hajj.

“I prayed at the Kaaba, ‘Allah, I don’t know this place, so you are my guide.'” I don’t have a guide here. If I’m not well, this environment is better for me; I’m not well-educated and have poor eyesight. ‘Guide me like you are my sole guide… lead me to your mysteries,’ he murmured.

And his prayers had been answered, he added.

* To read the original version of this article, visit Arab News Pakistan.



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