FEJ stands for every journey.
It’s a powerful idea that embodies our mission to create steadfast products to accompany people on their journeys of reflection, discovery and growth.
We were inspired by verse 22:27 of the Qur’an where Allah proclaims to Abraham and mankind the pilgrimage to Makkah. In English, the verse is interpreted like this:
“And proclaim to the people the Hajj [pilgrimage]; they will come to you on foot and on every lean camel; they will come from every distant pass.” (Sahih International)
The word “fej” is the Arabic word for a mountain pass or deep valley. To us it evoked imagery of desert mountains, rocky canyons, and soaring cliffs. We imagined how pilgrims used to make the journey in the days before buses and planes. They’d set out from the mountain villages of Afghanistan, the coastal towns of Tanzania, the tropical islands of Indonesia and the bustling markets of Morocco. They’d spend months on the back of faithful camels, enduring hunger, thirst, sea-sickness and untold dangers along the way. But they’d also forge powerful friendships, test the boundaries of their abilities and find renewed strength in their faith. But their greatest reward was reaching Makkah alive.
You see, in those days getting to Makkah and performing the hajj was far from guaranteed. So it was absolutely critical to cultivate the right intention from the outset of the journey. That way if one never made it, an honest and sincere intention would be sufficient to earn their deed.
Today, we don’t hear these stories anymore. The challenges of Hajj are of an entirely different nature. But at its core, the personal journey that one must undertake remains the same. Whether it’s to Makkah or the remote corners of the world, we draw inspiration from the paths that brave souls take in search of truth, knowledge and reflection. And from that we created FEJ with a singular purpose: to craft steadfast products to accompany your greatest journeys, and maybe life itself.
As FEJ gets ready for a journey of our own, we’d like to leave you with two things that we found inspiring. First is a beautiful account of the large caravans that used to set out from Cairo, Damascus, Istanbul and Baghdad in the 19th century from a 1974 issue of Aramco World Magazine. The second is a family photo taken around the same time of my grandfather with Mount Arafah in the background (below).
Do you have old stories of how traveling to the Hajj used to be? We’d love to hear them from you! Share them in the comments below or send them to firstname.lastname@example.org - we’d love to feature them here on the FEJ Blog.