Talha’s Blog

Al-Rihlah: Team Update, Major Changes to Ride, Kick-off Event

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Dear Al-Rihlah supporters!

This is Imran and Omar Ghani here saying hello. It’s been a while since we’ve updated you on things but now that the ride is just around the corner we thought we’d bring you all up to speed. This past year of training and route planning has faced us with many challenges that have led to incredible physical and spiritual growth. We are ready to experience a unique Hajj trip and are excited to share it with you along the way.
Team Update
  • Thanks to your support we raised $11,136 during our LaunchGood crowd funding campaign. These funds were used to purchase our bicycles, traveling equipment, and food. Major thanks to our sponsors Bicycle World and Fifth Moon Studios for the support they have given our project.
  • Due to circumstances that occur in life many of our teammates will be unable to do the ride. Thank you Jaudy, Umer, Emad, Usman, and Talha for being amazing team mates. We love you and hope you have benefited from this endeavor. We are forever thankful to you for believing in this project. Omar and I will be remember you throughout the ride.


Major Changes to the Ride

  • Due to the political instability in Eurasia and the Middle East we have decided to change the cycling portion of al-Rihlah to here in the United States. The above map is the new route that we will be following.
  • The ride will be a combination of about 50-60 miles of cycling everyday and driving to safe camp sites.
  • We understand that our final project is NOT what we promised you when soliciting your financial support. If you would like your contribution returned then please message us and we will provide you a full refund. 
  • Important Dates:
    1. Sunday, July 19th – Send-off party!
    2. Monday, July 20th – Imran to start cycling from Houston towards the Guadalupe Mountains.
    3. Friday, July 31st – Omar to leave Houston and catch up to Imran at Guadalupe Mountains
    4. Cycling + Road Tripping to various National Parks in the Western U.S.
    5. Tuesday, August 18th – Imran to end cycling portion at Berkeley, CA and start school.
    6. Monday, September 7th – Omar to continue U.S. trip solo
    7. Saturday, September 12th – Leave Houston for Hajj
    8. Monday, September 28th – Return home


Kick-off Event
 Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 3.35.36 PM
The time has come friends!
Come out and wish us farewell before we hit the road. We have been planning, training, and praying tirelessly and ready for an amazing trip.
Sunday, July 19th @ 8-10pm
1127 Eldridge Pkwy #100, Houston, TX 77077
FB Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/937014206356387/
What to Expect During the Trip

  • Vlogs and blog posts by Imran and Omar
  • Photography, photography, and more photography!
  • Visiting masjids and other religious centers across America.
  • Sharing as many conversations as possible with the new people we meet .
  • Campgrounds!
With that being said we wanted to thank you once again for your support. Please pray that we are able to complete this journey safely and in good health. Please let us know if you have any questions or feedback.
Imran Ghani
Omar Ghani


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Cartoons can be funny and punny and oh so full of joy
They bring us giggles and wiggles and laughs like little girls and little boys

The drawings are clever they allow us to remember what’s really important for us
It’s to take what’s serious without being delirious to poke fun without a fuss

But as adults we forget to sometimes let our conscience guide our thoughts
Though it may be a right to spew with all our might, what have we really bought

But it is without question that violence and aggression are gross and certainly not in my name
The murders are surely the dogs of Hell where they shall dwell for bringing us horror and shame

They hoped we’d fall but instead we stand tall to fight as brothers and sisters united
We vow not to shout and scream,
to fall for their scheme for these actions are not me, nor he nor she.

The answer doesn’t lie in hate it is simply their bait to see us all divided

I, as a Muslim love you so, that you are to me a friend to know,
that I am not who you may think, a foe,
but I assure you that my love and the love of over a billion is real,
we fast and pray, we smile and say peace be unto you.

We wish we could fix it all but we simply bawl, we cannot take the tears,
you know not the fears we hold,
its not true what you’ve been told,
I am a human that says peace be unto you. Peace be unto you.
If only if only you knew.

-Talha bin Baqar



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We feel bad
For the dead
For what they had,

Things left unsaid
To mom and dad,
Shot and bled
In sheets they’re clad,

Mothers who pled
Threatening to go mad
To God she said
Save my lad!
Take me instead!

She stared at his notepad
For words unread,
At the ring on her hand
For weddings unwed,

The picture with his dad
The roads ahead
Seem empty and sad,

We sit in bed
The death toll they add
In the news we’re fed
Consumed like fads,

The Prohet (pbuh) said
If you see an evil act against what you see
Or speak against it with words, don’t just let it be
Or feel remorse in your heart, and that is the weakest of three

-Talha bin Baqar


We feel pain for the ummah wherever there is sadness, but with that pain we must not soon forget what we can do. Our duties don’t end at sharing a facebook post or a retweet, it begins with sincere Du’aa for the afflicted, then a plan to help however we can. That can include donations, raising awareness, and most importantly changing what is in our own hearts to align with our Lord because we cannot witness a change in our society without first seeing that change within ourselves.

Pray for Peshawar.




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From tree to tree
I fly for safety
Looking beneath my wings
I see the burning

I fly and see
The people before me
In sadness and misery
They run, they flee

Nearby a child sings
Flying with his wings
Happy and free
He says to me
How lucky you are
To be this far

He flutters around
Then looks to the ground
I ask his name
But he looks in shame

I ask twice
Hoping to be sufficed
When suddenly he yelps
“Why didn’t they help?”

I ask who, oh who
Was this so true
That when he needed a hand
He was put in the sand

I see a tear on his face
He says, “at least at this pace
Soon my parents will fly
With me in the sky
But I wonder when they’ll all learn
That to God we belong, and to Him we shall return.”


In our busy lives with finals coming up, work deadlines, and the vacations approaching, let’s make it a goal to pray for Palestine once during every Salah. Just imagine, subhanAllah! That’s 8 billion prayers a day! We can only do so much, but the least we can and will do, is pray.



Oh Why Do We Do the Things We Do

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Oh why do we do the things we do
Is it because we don’t know whether it’s true;
We sometimes sit and wonder as kids
What the meaning of all of this truly is,
Looking and staring at our hands in awe
At our thumbs and fingers, unlike a hoof or a paw

Oh why do we do the things we do
When we know in our hearts but we feel so blue;
Oh is there even a god in the sky
That looks over me when in my bed I lie,
Oh who are you that made me so
Perfect all from head to toe,
With a brain that thinks and eyes that see
Your existence I ponder in mystery

Oh why do we do the things we do
Is it only because we wish we knew;
Oh Lord in the sky I ask you to say
Something to me should I not go astray,
But when I rise from my shameful slumber
After years of wonder, toil and plunder,
I finally see that what you said to me
Was clear as day, perfect as can be

Oh why do we do the things we do
Are we blind to all that we see from you;
You say in this book about the origins of life
And how to live in peace instead of strife,
And how to be a good husband, son, and dad
And to please your mother, rather than wish you had,
And to give to the creation, of all there is
For He made it all, and all is His

Oh why do we do the things we do
Is it because we stay in our homes, caged in a zoo;
With love you created us from a bit of dust
And with that you gave us a whole lot of trust,
That we’d use what we have for help and do good
But all too often only wishing we would

Oh why are we, who we are today
And why do we do, what we do everyday
We wake and eat, work, and play
Without a thought, for what you told us to say
Should the ocean be ink for the knowledge you keep
The ocean would be dry, even before you speak

Oh why do we do the things we do
Oh Lord I ask you to show me what’s true
And wisdom and guidance, I ask for me
To spread your love to all humanity

-Talha bin Baqar

Ramadan Mubarak!

All too often, it seems that everyone ends up following the same boring paths we’re destined for. InshaAllah that involves a loving spouse, happy parents, and virtuous children. But somewhere in the monotony, lies all of the dreams and aspirations that we hoped we’d accomplish. All of the life questions we asked ourselves are somewhere in that mess. Are we really who we are and are our lives all they’re cut out to be? There’s a whole world out there. Al-Rihlah isn’t just about being young and crazy. We truly want to change ourselves from the inside out; to think outside the box; to be people of faith that know why we love Allah and why we’re so blessed to have a community with people as caring as yourselves.

We ask Allah to guide us in this blessed month of Ramadan, we ask Him to bless our beautiful community and the amazing communities that surround us. We ask Him to make us ponder our creation, our purpose, and to allow us to build bridges of peace throughout the people of the world as we humbly set off on our journey.