There was once a king who was an evil disbeliever. The Muslims waged war against him and managed to defeat him, taking him captive. After capturing him, they asked one another, “What method of execution should we use to kill him?” As they were determined to torture him and give him a painful death, they finally decided that they would place him in a large cauldron (of water) and boil him alive.
They thus placed him into the cauldron, lit a fire beneath it and began to stoke and fan the flames. Seeing the predicament that he was in, the king began to pray to his various deities and idols, one by one. He implored them to come to his aid saying, “O so-and-so! Did I not worship you, pray to you, wipe (and clean) your face, and do so many other things for you? (I did all that for you,) so please save me from this situation!”
The king continued to plead to his different deities, but to no avail. Eventually, when he realized that his deities could not benefit him in the least, he turned his face to the sky, recited “Laa ilaaha illallaah”, and made sincere, heartfelt du‘aa to Allah Ta‘ala.
Allah Ta‘ala accepted his du‘aa and sent a cloud which rained over him, extinguishing the fire beneath the cauldron. Allah Ta‘ala then sent a strong wind which lifted the cauldron into the sky and carried it to another land.
Throughout his journey in the cauldron, the king continued reciting the kalimah. Thus, when the cauldron descended to the ground, the people of that land found that it contained a man reciting the kalimah. They were absolutely astonished and took him out of the cauldron, asking him who he was and how he had come to them in the cauldron. The king informed them that he was the king of a certain land, and related to them the incident of how Allah Ta‘ala had miraculously saved him when all his idols had failed him. Hearing this, those people were inspired to bring imaan.
(Az-Zuhd lil Imaam Ahmad #1829 and Shu‘abul Imaan #6711)
The heavens, the earth and every creation are all in the sole control of Allah Ta‘ala. It is Allah Ta‘ala alone who provides for us, takes care of us, protects us and saves us when we are experiencing problems. Thus, we should turn to Him at all times, as there is no difficulty in which He cannot help us and no predicament from which He cannot deliver us.