Kalim Rana, Houston, USA
The day after my youngest daughter’s wedding, my son Bilal, who was about 22 at the time, came to me and said something that I had never expected. He told me that he also wanted to get married so that he could focus on his education. I told him, reluctantly, that I did not have the funds to afford another wedding at the time, but when I did, I would arrange for his wedding. My son replied that if that was the case then he would not be responsible for what happened next.
The way he said this, and the way he expressed himself, struck a chord in my heart. I immediately began thinking and planning for any way to make this possible, but I realised I had no other way than to implore Allah the Almighty for help. I calculated my savings and how much more money I needed for his wedding. At the time the normal expenditure for weddings was around $40,000, which included booking the wedding hall, catering, preparations, decorations, wedding outfits, etc. However, I managed to find ways to cut costs, and the exact amount I calculated was $11,342.
I generally never took any loans. I remember that Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad (ra), the Second Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, once stated that even if we have to ask for shoe laces, we should only ask of God Almighty. Furthermore, when I migrated from Pakistan to the USA, my father gave me one piece of advice: that I could loan money to others but that I should never take a loan myself. Thus, aside from the mortgage for my home, and one other instance (which I shall describe later), I had not taken any loans.
In any case, there was only one way that I could get this money I needed, and that was to beg Allah Almighty. I prostrated before Allah Almighty and prayed, ‘You know that I have never taken a loan aside from my mortgage, and my son wants to get married, and this is the amount I have, and this is the amount I need, so please provide this money because I don’t see any worldly means by which I can get it.’ I prayed to God and cried, ‘O Allah, arrange this for me!’
Six days passed and I received an unfamiliar envelope in the mail. I wasn’t expecting anything, but to my surprise I pulled a cheque from the envelope. It was written out to me, with an amount of exactly $11,342! There was an investment in a company that I had lost a few years back and forgotten all about. The other shareholders had sued that company and won the lawsuit. As a result, the judge decided that all the shareholders be reimbursed. I had no expectation of receiving any money, nor any knowledge of what the amount would be. What I received was the exact dollar amount that I asked of Allah Almighty, and He provided it to me.
This reminded me of what the Promised Messiah and founder of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) once said:
‘When a child being driven by hunger cries for milk, then milk is generated in the mother’s breasts. The child does not know what prayer is, but his cries draw the milk. This is a universal experience. Sometimes when the mother does not perceive the presence of milk in her breasts, the child’s cries help to draw it. Then can our cries before God Almighty draw nothing? They certainly draw everything. But those sightless ones, who parade themselves as scholars and philosophers, cannot see it. If a person were to reflect on the philosophy of prayer, keeping in mind the connection and relationship which a child has with its mother, he would find it easy to understand.
The second type of mercy comes into operation after supplication. Go on asking and you will go on receiving. “Pray unto Me, I will answer your prayer,” is not mere verbiage, but is a characteristic of human nature. To supplicate is human; to respond is Divine. He who does not understand and does not believe is false. The illustration of the child that I have set forth expounds the philosophy of prayer in an excellent way.’
Then, in another place, he has stated:
‘It is at a time of trial that the wonderful and rare qualities and effects of prayer are manifested. The truth is that our God is recognised only through prayers.’
My belief in these statements of the Promised Messiah (as) was further strengthened on the other occasion I took out a loan, many years after Bilal’s marriage. There was a house that I had been renting out, and the tenant had left it in such a bad state that it required repairs. The estimated cost was $10,000. I didn’t have the funds at the time so again I prayed to God, and I took out a loan, but didn’t tell anyone about it. After about ten days, I was visiting Bilal and he said he wanted to give me something. I said that there was no need for this, but he insisted and handed me a cheque. When I later looked at the amount, it was for $10,000. I immediately paid off the loan that I had taken. This was how Allah Almighty provided for me after submitting to Him, and when He takes care of our needs, what need do we have to ask others for help?
1. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as), The Essence of Islam – Volume II (Tilford, Surrey: Islam International Publications Ltd., 2004), 198-199.
2. Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as), The Essence of Islam – Volume II (Tilford, Surrey: Islam International Publications Ltd., 2004), 199.