The Aadaab Of Khidmat (Service To Others)
Some persons do not prefer accepting service from others. The one who wishes to render service to such persons should not insist on doing so. The one who is served is perplexed and inconvenienced by such service. The attitude of a person can be understood either by his explicit refusal or by some other indication.
Upon accomplishing a duty which someone has requested of you, inform him after it has been done. In most cases, he will be waiting in expectation.
Rendering physical service to one's shaykh on the first occasion of meeting him is very irksome to him. Should one be eager to render service to the shaykh , one should first establish an informal and friendly relationship.
While there is comfort in Khidmat, there are three conditions to it (Khidmat):
Sincerity: The motive of rendering the service must be nothing other than Muhabbat (affection). Most people utilize Khidmat as a medium for the attainment of motives.
Congeniality: The hearts of the Khaadim (the one who renders the service) and the Makhdoom (the one who is being served) should be at one. There should be congeniality (Munaasabat) between them. They should not be strangers.
Ability: The Khaadim should know how to render the service he is to undertake.
Service rendered to Muslims in Makkah Mu'azzamah should be regarded as a worship and good fortune, provided there is no Shar'ee prohibition involved in rendering the service.
Respect and honour people according to their rank.
As far as possible aid a person in need. If you are unable to assist, intercede on his behalf so that someone else may render the assistance. However, when interceding establish whether your intercession will not inconvenience the person.
By assisting orphans one will be blessed with the companionship of Rasoolullaah sallallahu alayhi wasallam in Jannah .
Those who earn and see to the needs of widows and needy relatives, obtain the thawaab (reward) of jihaad.
Aiding the Mazloom (one against whom injustice or oppression is committed) is very necessary. Sympathy for the Zaalim (oppressor) is to prevent him from committing injustices.
The service of giving people water to drink is an act of great thawaab. Rendering this act in a place where water is available in abundance is the equivalent of emancipating a slave. Where water is less, the thawaab of rendering this act is the equivalent of resurrecting to life a dead person.
By assisting someone with insignificant items, e.g. some salt for the food, the thawaab is as if one has prepared the food.
Serve your parents even though they happen to be non-Muslims. Obey parents in all things lawful in the Sharee'ah. (In the process of serving and obeying non-Muslim parents, the laws of the Sharee'ah should not be violated. If for example, one's non-Muslim father dies and one's mother wishes one to participate in the funeral service, such obedience and service will not be permissible. In short, service and obedience to parents should be within the confines of Islaam).
Meeting with and rendering service to the friends of one's parents after their death are also acts which are regarded in Islaam as service to parents.
If one's parents had died while they were displeased with one, then one should always make du'aa and Istighfaar for them. It is hoped that Allah will ensure that they become happy with their children. (Thus the relationship will be restored on the Day of Qiyaamah ). Be kind and render service to relatives even though they may be unkind to you.
Service to neighbours occupies a very important place in Islaam. Be kind to them. Tolerate their indiscreetness and disturbances. Do not do anything which will upset them or annoy them. If they are in need, tend to them as best as you can.
The Aadaab of Hadyah (Gift)