Being of service to others leads to happiness. In an
authentic hadith, the Prophet (Blessings and Peace be upon him) said:
"Verily, Allah will say to His slave as He is
taking account of him on the Day of Judgment, 'O' son of Adam, I was hungry and
you did not feed me? He will answer, 'How can I feed you and you are the Lord of
the worlds!' He will say, ‘Did you not know that my slave so and so who is the
son of so and so felt hunger, and you did not feed him. Alas! Had y0u fed him
you would have found that (i.e. reward) with Me. O’ son of Adam, I was thirsty
and you gave me nothing to drink. He will say, ‘How can I give you drink, and you
are the Lord of the worlds!” He will say, ‘Did you not know that my slave so
and so, the son of so and so felt thirsty and you did not give him drink. Alas!
If you had given him, you would have found that (i.e. reward) with Me. O’ son
of Adam, l became sick and you did not visit Me.” He will say, “How can I visit
you and you are the Lord of the worlds!” He will say, “Did you not know that my
slave so and so, the son of so and so became sick and you did not visit him.
Alas! Had you visited him, you would have found me with him."’
Here is an interesting point, in the last third of the
hadith are the words: "...you would have found Me with him."
This is unlike the first two parts of the hadith:
"You would have found that (i.e. the reward for feeding and giving drink)
The reason for the difference is that Allah, the Allah-Merciful,
is with those whose hearts are troubled, as is the case with the person who is
sick. And in another hadith, the Prophet (bpuh) said:
“There is reward in each moist liver (i.e. to do
service to any living creature will be rewarded)."
Also, know that Allah admitted the prostitute from the
children of Israel into Paradise because she gave a drink to a dog that was thirsty.
So what will be the case for the one who feeds other humans, giving them drink
and removing from them hardships! In an authentic hadith, the Prophet (bpuh)
"Whoever has extra provision should give from it
to the one who has no provision. And whoever has an extra mount should give
with this extra to the one who has no mount.”
Commanding his servant to search out for guests, Hatim
said in some of his more beautiful verses:
"Burn the coals, for truly, the night is chilly,
If you bring me a guest, then I have set you free.”
And he said to his wife:
"Whenever you make food, then search for he who
is hungry, as I do not eat alone."
Ibn Mubarak’s neighbor was a Jew. He would always feed
him before feeding his own children and would provide clothing for him first
and then for his children. Some people said to the Jew, “Sell us your
house." He answered, "My house is for two thousand dinars. One
thousand is for the price of the house and one thousand is for having Ibn
Mubarak as a neighbor!" Ibn Mubarak heard of this and he exclaimed,
"O’ Allah, guide him to Islam." Then, by the permission of Allah, he
On another occasion, Ibn Mubarak passed by a caravan
of people who were traveling to make the pilgrimage to Makkah, and he too was
on his way to do the same. He saw one of the women from the caravan take a dead
crow from a cesspit. He sent his servant to inquire about this and when he
asked her, she replied, "We have had nothing for three days except that
which finds its way into it." When Ibn Mubarak heard of this, his eyes
swelled with tears. He ordered for all of his provision to be distributed among
those of the caravan, and having nothing with which to continue the journey, he
returned to his home and gave up making the pilgrimage for that year. Later, he
saw someone in a dream saying, "Your pilgrimage has been accepted, as have
your rites; and your sins have been forgiven."
(And give them preference over themselves, even though
they were in need of that themselves) (Quran 59: 9)
One poet said:
"Even if I am a person who is far, from his
friend in terms of distance,
I offer him my help and wish to alleviate his
difficulties, And I answer his invitation and his call to me for help, And if
he dons a wonderful new outfit I will not say, Alas, were I to be blessed with
the clothes that he wears."
By Allah, how wonderful are good manners and a
No one regrets having done well even if he was
extravagant in doing so. Regret is only for the mistake or for the wrong done,
even when that wrong is a minor one.