The boy said “You will never be able to kill me until you do what I say.”
The king said “Ok, what do I do?” Notice the reversal of roles–who’s in control now?
So the boy said “gather the people, cruficy me on a tree trunk, put your arrow in the middle of the bow, say ‘in the name of Allah, Lord of the worlds’ and fire.” And the king did just that, so obsessed to kill the boy he didn’t realize what the effect would be. He plotted, and Allah planned, and Allah is the best of planners.
He shot the boy. The boy died. The people said “We believe in the Lord of the boy.” The whole city became Muslim.
But didn’t they believe in the boy before?
They believe in the one who is able. When they saw the king unable to kill the boy, powerless, then able to kill the boy in the name of Allah, they believed. The irony is that if the king left the boy alone, and Allah knows best, he would not have achieved such an effect so quickly on the people as his death caused.
Ibrahim Hindy. “People of the Ditch.” UTM MSA. University of Toronto At Mississauga, Mississauga.