8. The Shortie Pyjamas

Aslam was preening in front of the mirror when his mother caught sight of him. He was busy trying on an almost new pair of shortie pyjamas that had been passed on to him, from his beloved cousin Abed. Abed had recently put on quite a bit of weight. This led to his clothes becoming tight on him so his mother had recently gone shopping for looser clothes for him. She thereafter cleaned out his cupboard of all his tight-fitting clothing and had sent some for Aslam. Most of the clothes sent were fairly new and Aslam was overjoyed, as Abed’s loss was now Aslam’s gain.

Aslam’s mother studied her son and was dismayed to notice how short the shortie pyjama pants he was trying on was. Aslam was so busy turning and admiring himself in the mirror that he didn’t see his mother frown. His joy was short-lived when his mother gently said, “I’m sorry Aslam, but those pyjamas will have to go.”

“But why?” asked Aslam. “See how smart they look on me! There’s nothing wrong with them!” “Oh, but there is something wrong! The pants are much too short and your knees and thighs are getting exposed,” said his mother. “Oh, that. That is not a problem,” said Aslam, “as I’m not even baaligh (mature) yet.”

“I’m sorry Aslam. You may not be baaligh, but since you’re already seven, your father and I have decided that we cannot allow you to wear very short pants anymore. Just like salaah, training children to wear shariah- compliant clothes has to start early too.” “But mum, these are such expensive pyjamas!” exclaimed Aslam. “Abed told me so. Can’t you make new pants for them?”

His mother examined the pyjamas and said, “I don’t think so. That’s a difficult colour to match.” “Well, couldn’t you try to extend the pants then,” he pleaded. “It may be a difficult colour to match but since it has a black design on it, you could add black extensions to lengthen it, couldn’t you? It wouldn’t even take you long to do so. Please mum, I really, really love these pyjamas.”

Aslam’s mother soon agreed on two conditions. She would alter the pants for him but would extend them to well below the knees. Aslam squealed with joy and hugged his mother saying, “Thanks mum, you’re the best in the world.” “Not so fast,” said his mum. “The second condition is that you’re also going to have to give me some of your own clothes for the poor, in exchange for any you accept from Abed.” “No problem,” said Aslam smiling.

A week later, when Abed and his parents paid them a visit, Aslam was wearing the pyjamas. When Abed’s mum saw Aslam wearing the shortie pyjamas with the pants now extended and no longer too short, she made a mental note to also start training Abed to wear shariah- compliant clothes. Afterall, Abed and Aslam were almost the same age.


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