A Pair of Shoes – Khadiza Binte Mostafiz
“Hey Jashim, Look what I found.”
“You are so lucky, Zaid. This shoe almost looks brand new. I wonder why they threw it into the dustbin. Must be nice being rich. You can dump your good shoe and buy a new one. You are really lucky, you know. You can sell it for a good price.”
“No, I’m not going to sell it. I’m going to wear this shoe. I walk barefooted that’s why every time I step into the mosque to pray, it gets dirty. I don’t want that also other people get really angry at me. But now, I have this shoe. It’s a little bigger than my size, but it’s okay. I feel so happy.”
“Seriously, Zaid? Are you crazy? It’s been days you didn’t eat something decent. If you sell it, you can have money for food.”
“I don’t need that. I’m just happy that I got a shoe which I can wear to the mosque.”
“You are a complete idiot. I don’t understand you at all. Do you want to starve to death one day? When you got extra money some days ago, you brought a new shirt to wear to mosque, instead of saving your money you drop it to that charity box. Seriously, why do you do these things? Do you always want to live this miserably? Do you like to eat from the dustbin and sleep in that cold train station?”
“No. Of course, I don’t like that.”
“Then use your money wisely. Work all day instead of going to pray to that mosque. Save your money. And when you get the chance, steal. If you do these things then your situation will change. “
“Jashim, I want my situation to change but i don’t want to do those. Because those are bad deeds. You know, when my mother died, she told me, never to skip prayers. Because if I do that, Allah will be angry at me. And in the mosque, I heard the Imam say, stealing is bad. So, I don’t want to do those. And if I pray and do good things, then I can go to heaven. And the Imam said, in heaven, you can eat all you want, you can have a huge palace as your home. You will never feel cold there. And you can play with many toys. You can have whatever you wish to have.”
“You are really naive, Zaid. Allah doesn’t love the poor. That is why we are poor. There’s no heaven for us. Do what you want. I don’t care anymore.
Saying that Jashim walked away. Zaid used to live with his father and mother in the village. They were always very poor, so Zaid’s father came to the city to find a job. But months passed, he never came back. Zaid’s mother and Zaid were forced to come to the city. They tried to find his father but failed. His mother started working as house maid and days were going by. But one day, his mother became sick and soon died.
“Son, always pray to Allah, okay? If you don’t pray, he will become angry with you. So, don’t forget that, okay my son? If you pray, you can go to heaven. And in heaven you can have anything you want. You will never be hungry again. So, never miss prayers. Allah will take care of you. Don’t worry he will cure my sickness too. And then we will return to the village.”
Those were the last words of his mother. He was only ten years old then. After losing his mother he was all alone. He didn’t have any relatives and he couldn’t go back to the village. He started living in the train station. There, he met Jashim. Jashim is one year older than him. There are some other children who lives there as well. Zaid was only ten years old when his mother died. Two years passed somehow and Zaid is now twelve. Many days went by but Zaid didn’t forget his mother’s words. There were days when he starved but he never missed a single prayer.
“Hey Zaid, you are very early today. Don’t tell me, are you done for the day? “
” Yes, Kamal. “
“Why are you changing your shirt? Are you going to the mosque? ”
“Yes. I’m going to the mosque to pray Jumma prayer. I don’t want to wear my dirty shirt to the mosque. That is why I’m changing. Look, I also found a shoe today. Now I don’t have to go to the mosque barefooted ”
“Hahahaha haha you sure are devoted. “
“Ok, Kamal. I’ll go now.”
As Zaid walked the path to the mosque, many thoughts poked into his head. He was really happy. Like everyone else, he is wearing nice cloth and he is not walking barefooted today.
Zaid entered the mosque and he kept his shoe a bit far from the entrance. When the prayer ended, Zaid wore his shoe and came out of the mosque. But as soon as he started walking out of the mosque, someone screamed.
“Catch that shoe thief!!! “
“Are you talking to me, sir? I’m not a shoe thief. This is my shoe. “
“You little liar. This is my shoe. There’s a mark in there just like my shoe.”
“Look closely sir, there’s no mark in here. This is my shoe”, Zaid said to him
“You little thief! You must’ve erased the mark. Everyone teaches this little punk a lesson. He is a shoe thief”, the man shouted.
And before Zaid could say anything, everyone started beating him mercilessly. He kept screaming, “I’m not a thief. I didn’t steal that shoe. That’s my shoe. Please let me go. Please believe me. I’m really not a thief”. But no one believed him.
As the Muazzin started reciting the call for the Asr prayer, Zaid tried to stand up. Because he has to pray. His whole body was filled with bruises. It was very painful. But still, Zaid tried his best to stood up. Because he can’t miss prayer.
“Oh Allah, in heaven, along with a palace, lots of delicious foods and many toys, please give me a pair of nice shoes”, Zaid mumbled to himself as he lost consciousness.
“Hey Jashim, finally you are back.”
” yes, Kamal. But why are you alone? Where is Zaid? It is getting dark.”
“I don’t know, he went to the mosque to pray jumma prayer. But he didn’t return after that. Oh look, Farid and Abdullah are coming back! Hey Farid! Hey Abdullah!!”.
” Guys, we collected many good things today. Today is such a lucky day. And Abdullah was able to steal a nice shoe from the mosque. Show it to them, Abdullah”, Farid said to Abdullah.
“Yeah. Today is a lucky day. This is the shoe I stole. I can sell it for some good money”, Abdullah said while showing the shoe to Jashim and Kamal.
“Nice Abdullah! But this is really surprising. Today, Zaid also found a shoe like this one. But it didn’t have that black mark.”