An amazing story

This story was written by a doctor who worked in South Africa.

One night I had worked hard to help a mother ; but in spite of all we could do she died leaving us with a tiny premature baby and a crying two-year-old daughter. We would have difficulty keeping the baby alive, as we had no incubator. (We had no electricity to run an incubator.) We also had no special feeding facilities. Although we lived on the equator, nights were often chilly with treacherous drafts.

One student midwife went for the box we had for such babies and the cotton wool the baby would be wrapped in. Another went to stoke up the fire and fill a hot water bottle.

She came back shortly in distress to tell me that in filling the bottle, it had burst. Rubber perishes easily in tropical climates. And it is our last hot water bottle!” she exclaimed.

As in the West it is no good crying over spilled milk, so in Central Africa it might be considered no good crying over burst water bottles. They do not grow on trees, and there are no drugstores down forest pathways.

“All right,” I said, “put the baby as near the fire as you safely can, and sleep between the baby and the door to keep it free from drafts. “Your job is to keep the baby warm.”

The following noon, as I did most days, I went to have prayers with any of the orphanage children who chose to gather with me. I gave the youngsters various suggestions of things to pray about and told them about the tiny baby. I explained our problem about keeping the baby warm enough, mentioning the hot water bottle. The baby could so easily die if it got chills. I also told them of the two-year-old sister, crying because her mother had died.

During the prayer time, one ten-year-old girl, prayed with the usual blunt conciseness of our African children. “Please, Allah,” she prayed, “send us a water bottle. It’ll be no good tomorrow, Allah, as the baby will be dead, so please send it this afternoon.”

While I gasped inwardly at the audacity of the prayer, she added by way of a corollary, “And while You are about it, would You please send a dolly for the little girl so she’ll know You really love her?”

As often with children’s prayers, I was put on the spot. Could I honestly say, “Ameen?” I just did not believe that Allah could do this. Oh, yes, I know that He can do everything. The holy book says so. But there are limits, aren’t there? The only way Allah could
answer would be for a package to arrive from the homeland. I had been in Africa for almost four years at that time, and I had never, ever received a parcel from home. Anyway, if anyone did send me a parcel, who would put in a hot water bottle? I lived on the equator!

Halfway through the afternoon, while I was teaching in the nurses’ training school, a message was sent that there was a car at my front door. By the time I reached home, the car had gone, but there, on the verandah, was a large twenty-two pound parcel.
I felt tears pricking my eyes. I could not open the parcel alone, so I sent for the orphanage children. Together we pulled off the string, carefully undoing each knot. We folded the paper, taking care not to tear it unduly. Excitement was mounting.

Some thirty or forty pairs of eyes were focused on the large cardboard box. From the top, I lifted out brightly colored, knitted cotton jerseys. Eyes sparkled as I gave them out. Then there were the knitted bandages for the leprosy patients, and the children looked a little bored. Then came a box of mixed raisins and sultanas – that would make a batch of buns for the weekend. Then, as I put my hand in again, I felt the…could it really be? I grasped it and pulled it out — yes, a brand-new, rubber hot water bottle, I cried. I had not asked Allah to send it; I had not truly believed that He could. the ten year old was in the front row of the children. She rushed forward, crying out, If Allah has sent the bottle, He must have sent the dolly, too!”

Rummaging down to the bottom of the box, she pulled out the small, beautifully dressed dolly. Her eyes shone! She had never doubted. Looking up at me, she asked: “Can I go over with you, Mummy, and give this dolly to that little girl, so she’ll know that Allah
really loves her?”

That parcel had been on the way for five whole months. Packed up by my former school class, whose leader had heard and obeyed Allah’s prompting to send a hot water bottle, even to the equator. And one of the girls had put in a dolly for an African child – five months before — in answer to the believing prayer of a ten-year-old to bring it “that afternoon.”

“Before they call for prayer, I will answer all prayers!”


11 responses to “An amazing story

  1. Thank you, that story brought tears to my eyes. Our prayers are not said in vain, we should pray believing that they will be answered the best possible way. In my own life — all my prayers have been answered the best possible way. Alhamdulillah!

  2. thank you for sharing this wonderful story with me… it is so amazing to see Allah subhanawatallah’s miracles…. Allah is always by our sides and is there watching us at all times… that is why it is good to be the best person you can be because in the afterlife…. you will see unlimited amount of miracles and will be rewarded for every good deed you did…

  3. the anonymous person before this is me…. ADEEBAAAAAAA lol sorry i forgot to put my name there be4

  4. Thanks Ahmad for sharing this amazing story….it increases your belief anytime.However, I read somewhere that many a times when we feel our prayers are not answered, Allah is actually delaying the process because HE loves this this mere act of obedience and also dependence….so to cut it short..we’ve to remain persistent..nothing goes in vain for sure

  5. oh man…i should have read this at home and not at work…im chockin back the tears.. dat def. made my day hom-eh!

  6. Pingback: Just reposting a favourite « We are who we choose to be

  7. thank you for posting this story!

  8. GeekiSiddiqui

    Usman: True, its hard to remember that sometimes.

    Rasheed: 🙂

    Haleem: np, its one of my favourites 🙂

  9. Its an amazing story, GeekiSiddiqui.

    A true Iman refresher.

  10. Np, its one of my favourite stories 🙂

  11. The last line is my favourite

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