The New York Times

Preparing for Hajj With a Case of 'Dad Brain'

It’s midnight, three days before I leave for my first hajj, the five-day religious pilgrimage that’s among the most meaningful experiences in a Muslim’s life. When I arrive in Mecca, I’ll join nearly 2 million believers who’ve traveled from Virginia, Kabul, and everywhere in between: a dysfunctional but tight-knit family of believers, dreamers and sinners, briefly united under the piercing sun of Mecca.

Wearing white garments that conceal any clues about our professions or possessions, we’ll embark on a journey retracing the steps and rituals of Abraham and the Prophet Muhammad and satisfying one of

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