Stricken By Calamities Trials and Tribulations
In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Beneficial
Our beloved Prophet ( صلى الله عليه وسلم ) said, “On the Day of Resurrection people will wish that their skins had been cut with scissors in this world, when they see the reward of those who were struck with calamity.” 
A woman is going through a divorce; a man has lost his father who he loves dearly; and a family have lost their home to an earthquake. Many of us either go through trials or know people who have been afflicted with some type of calamity.
Are these calamities a trial or a punishment and how should we react in such a situation? The nature of man is that he will go through a range of emotions such as happiness, sadness, anger and remorse. These emotions are ever changing and so we maybe happy one day and sad another. Our lives may pass trouble free one year and difficult to bear the next, as the great companion Ibn Masud (radiallahu anhu) said “For every moment of joy there is a moment of sorrow, and no house is filled with joy but it will be filled with sorrow.”
So it is with certainty that we will face a calamity, but how do we react?
10 Steps to Draw Closer to Allah
It should be the desire of every Muslim to draw nearer and closer to Almighty Allah the most compassionate and the most merciful. By drawing closer and near to Allah we gain his help in every aspect of our lives in this world and to be merciful to us so that we may gain mercy in the hereafter in order to enter Jannah in the next world.
When we call upon him he would answer our calls and when we ask of him for anything he would give it to us and when we draw nearer to him then our sincerity and intentions will enable us to become closer to him.
So we should strive to draw nearer to Allah, the Glorified the Exalted, who is the majesty of honour and generosity and the giver of peace, the most high and the most honoured.
So what can we do to draw closer to him?
The following are 10 steps for us to draw closer to our Almighty Allah:
Faith in Islam means to consider, without doubt, something to be true. It can only be bestowed upon a person by Allah and includes the belief and acknowledgement of Allah as the One and Only God. A person with faith understands and accepts his or her position as Allah’s slave and acknowledges Allah’s right to be obeyed and thanked. Faith also involves knowing that Allah’s promises to His faithful slave are true and will come to pass.
Faith or Imaan is something to be spoken in words, to be believed in within the heart, and to be put into action.
Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said that faith had seventy-odd branches, the greatest of which is to say ‘There is no (true) god but Allah’ and the lowest of which is to remove an obstacle from the road.”[Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim]
Faith is expressed with the words “La ilaha illa Allah wa Mohammad rasulullah”, meaning: There is no true deity but Allah and Mohammad is His messenger. Faith is put into action by following the five pillars of Islam and resides in the heart with belief in the six pillars of faith.
Supplication is a Cure
Supplication is from the most beneficial types of healing, it is the enemy of illness and affliction - repressing it and treating it, preventing its occurrence, removing it or at least alleviating it. It is the weapon of the believer as is reported by al-Haakim in his 'Mustadrak' from the hadeeth of Alee bin Abee Taalib (RA) from the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam that he said, "Supplication is the weapon of the believer, the pillar of the religion, and the light of the heaven and earth." (Abu Ya`laa)
Supplication takes one of three positions against illness: 1 It is stronger than the illness and therefore represses it. 2 It is weaker than the illness and therefore the illness overcomes it and afflicts the servant, however it is still possible that it alleviate the illness. 3 That they be of equal strength and prevent each other from happening in the servant.
Al-Haakim reports from the hadeeth of Aa`ishah (RA) that the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said, "Caution is of no avail against the decree but supplication benefits those things that have occurred and have not yet occurred. For indeed while the tribulation is descending the supplication meets it and they remain struggling with one another until the Day of Judgement." (Haakim, at-Tabaraanee)
Importance of Seeking Knowledge
No other religion or institution gives as much importance to knowledge as the religion of Islam. The religion has made seeking knowledge incumbent upon all Muslims and has deemed that not doing so as a sin. The Prophet, may Allah praise him, said in an authentic narration (hadeeth):
“Seeking knowledge is an obligation upon every Muslim.” (Al-Tirmidhi)
This obligation is not limited to a certain sex or class, but rather it is as much as an obligation upon women as it is for men, the young and the old, and the poor and the rich. Allah has raised the ranks and status of those who have knowledge, and has praised them in many places in the Quran. Allah says:
“Allah raises of those who believe and those who have been given knowledge many levels.” (Quran 58:11)
There is a great difference between a Muslim who has knowledge and one who does not. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him ) described this in his saying:
“The excellence of a scholar over another (ordinary) worshipper is like the excellence of the full moon over the rest of the heavenly bodies.” (Abu Dawood)
He also said:
“The excellence of a scholar over another (ordinary) worshipper is like the excellence of me over the least of you.” (Al-Tirmidthi)