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Dad Does Hajj: Going to Mecca With Diapers on the Brain

 

Playwright Wajahat Ali is going on hajj, a Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca. But there's one challenge: He's got small children.

 

As parents of varying faiths have come to realize, religioning while parenting can be tough. The former is about you and your relationship with God, and the latter is about the little people you've produced and their relationships with the four basics: eating, sleeping, excreting and whining.

 

This push and pull can be an exercise in contrasts, leaving Ali to attempt to reconcile his role as a parent with his role as a pilgrim.

 

"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 the five pillars of our faith," writes Ali. "And yet here I am, sitting in my kitchen feeding tiny bites of chicken kebab and rice to Ibrahim, my insomniac 3-year-old, as we finish an episode of 'Paw Patrol' on his iPad. Nusayba, my 1-year-old daughter, circles us. She just learned to walk, and is now a tyrant in diapers."

 

So what's more important, the day-to-day mundanity of child care in Virginia or the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of preparing for a spiritual moment in Mecca that only some Muslims get to experience?

 

READ MORE [New York Times]

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