Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him).
I suffer from a severe affliction. I have visited the pious, and have asked Allah for relief from this. What is the way out of this affliction?
The answer is to absolutely lower yourself to Allah and turn to Him completely. Also try to relieve the hardships of those around you, according to your ability. Try to make other people happy. Go to the needy people that no-one cares about and honour them and treat them well. These are some of the most effective means of relieving afflictions. You must also have trust in your Lord, and remain at His door in a state of brokenness, pleading with Him and beseeching Him, and He will respond to you. Do not be hasty in concluding that “I supplicated and He did not respond to me.” Prayers to Allah in the night are arrows which do not miss their target, but those prayers are only answered at the time which Allah has decreed. Remember that Allah afflicts and tests His servants for a purpose. Perhaps they will find great goodness in that affliction that they would not have found had they not been through it. So have etiquette with your Lord and have hope in Him.