“Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshipper, lover of leaving. It doesn’t matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.”
Every year we choose a piece of coast to walk along in the south of England. Along the route we stop to recite verses of Qur’an, poetry and devotional song.
Our simple concept stems from the long-held tradition, both Islamic and English, of walking- or rather sauntering. The idea of walking as a spiritual endeavour, through nature and the wilderness, has long been espoused by sufi’s and scholars and composers of poetry and prose alike.
As Henry David Thoreau put it: “I have met with but one or two persons in the course of my life who understood the art of Walking, that is, of taking walks — who had a genius, so to speak, for sauntering…”- those who are “without land or a home, which…will mean, having no particular home, but equally at home everywhere. For this is the secret of successful sauntering. He who sits still in a house all the time may be the greatest vagrant of all; but the saunterer, in the good sense, is no more vagrant than the meandering river, which is all the while sedulously seeking the shortest course to the sea.”
“Indeed! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, there are indeed signs for men of understanding” Q: Al-Imran: 190
“Now I yearn for one of those old, meandering, dry uninhabited roads, which lead away from towns, which lead us away from temptation…where you may forget in what country you are travelling…where my spirit is free…where your head is more in heaven than your feet are on Earth…” Henry David Thoreau
“Come forth into the light of thing. Let nature be your teacher.” William Wordworth
“I found him in the shining of the stars.” Lord Tennyson