One day, Mahdi, Hassan and Ali went to Masoud’s house. While they were playing, Masoud’s elder brother came in and took some photographs. When the children returned to home, Mahdi wanted their father to buy them a camera.
His father agreed, but as he was very busy, he did not have time to buy it. Every night, when their father came home, they would ask him whether he had bought the camera or not.
As their father saw how badly they wanted a camera and that he did not have time to buy them one, he quickly went to their uncle and asked him to buy them one.
Their uncle accepted and the children were very pleased. Day and night they would go to him, asking whether he had bought it or not.
Many days passed, and their uncle too did not have time to buy the camera.
The children became angry and disappointed, and did not ask him any longer.
One day, their uncle visited their home and called them to give them the camera he had bought.
They were overjoyed and were asking themselves what had happened. Their uncle had bought them the camera, even though they had not reminded him for so long.
Mahdi said, “After today’s morning prayer, I prayed to God for our uncle to buy us the camera.”
Their mother heard their conversation, and was so pleased with Mahdi that she said, “God is kinder to us than our parents; if we obey him and sincerely ask for something, he will give it to us.”
Ahmad said, “Mother, once I asked God to give me a knife. Why did he not give it to me?”
Mother replied, “If you asked me to give you a knife, I would not, as it could cut your hand and would be harmful for you. God is kinder and more concerned about your welfare than your mother. If you pray for something bad from God, he will not give it you.”
A few days earlier, Mahdi’s brother, Ali, got ill, and the doctor was called. They received a prescription and bought some medication. They gave the medicine to Ali gradually as the doctor had instructed. At night his fever increased. He was groaning, and Mahdi, who was staying in the same room, pitied him and became very upset.
Eventually Mahdi fell asleep. Early in the morning, when he woke up, he saw his mother supplicating after her prayer.
Mahdi then made his ablutions and prayed also. He then asked his mother, “Dear mother, how is Ali?”
She said, “He is fine, God willing.”
Mahdi said. “Mother, what does supplication mean?”
His mother replied, “My dear son, since childhood I would always observe my mother and father supplicating to God when they had trouble with work, and they would ask God to remove their difficulty. Since then, whenever my work gets too difficult or I have a problem, I pray to God.”
Mother continued, “I and all who know God, see that whenever we have troubles in this world, or whenever we become completely disappointed in life, there is only one who can help us remove our troubles, and that is God.
When I am alone with nothing except nature around me, I feel He is with me.”
Mahdi said, “Maybe it is just a feeling.”
His mother replied, “I have asked Him several times and He has always given to me – that cannot simply be a figment of the imagination. One must ask Him not just once, but consistently, in order for us to reach certainty about who God is and experience the effect that prayer has on us.”