Being of service to others is a way of life that leads to happiness. The Prophet (Blessings and Peace be Upon him) is reported to have said:
"Verily, Allah will say to his slave when He will be taking account of him on the Day of Judgement, 'O' son of Adam, I was hungry and you did not feed me.' He will answer: 'How could I feed you? 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 you 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 reply: 'How could I give You drink? 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, I became sick and you did not visit Me.' He will answer: 'How can I visit You? 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 wherein: 'You would have found that (i.e. the reward for feeding and giving drink) with Me.'
The reason for this is that Allah is with those whose hearts are troubled, as is the case with the person who is sick.
Also, know that Allah made the prostitute from the children of Israel to enter Paradise because she gave a drink to a dog who was thirsty. So what will be the case for the one who feeds other humans, giving them drink and removing from them hardships!
It is reported in an authentic hadith that the Prophet (Blessings and Peace be upon him) said: "Whoever has extra provision, he should give from it to the one who has no provision. And whoever has an extra mount, he should give with this extra to the one who has no mount."
Hatim said in some of his beautiful couplets, commanding his servant to search for guests: "Burn the coals, for truly, the night is chilly, If you bring me a guest, then I set you free."
And he said to his wife: "Whenever you make food, then search, for the one who is hungry, as I do not eat alone."
Ibn Mubarak's neighbour was a Jew. He would always feed him before 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 neighbour!' Ibn Mubarak heard of this and he exclaimed, 'O' Allah! guide him to Islam.' Then, by the leave of Allah, he accepted Islam.
On another occasion, Ibn Mubarak passed by a caravan of people who were travelling to make the pilgrimage to Makkah and he himself was on his way to do the same. In the caravan, he saw a woman taking 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 joumey, 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.'
Allah, the All-Compassionate, says: "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."
Another poet said: "Good remains, even if time prolongs, And evil is the most vile of things to keep possession of."
"I shall pass through this world but once. Any good thing that I can do or any kindness that I can show any human being, let me do it now and defer it, for I will not pass this way again."
No one regrets having done well even if he was extravagant in doing so. Regret is for the mistake only, or for a wrong done, even if it was small.
One day, a poor boy who was selling goods from door to door to pay his way
through school, found he had only one thin dime left, and he was hungry. He
decided he would ask for a meal at the next house. However, he lost his
nerve when a lovely young woman opened the door. Instead of a meal he asked
for a drink of water. She thought he looked hungry so brought him a large
glass of milk. He drank it slowly, and then asked, "How much do I owe you?"
"You don't owe me anything," she replied "Mother has taught us never to accept payment for a kindness."
He said... "Then I thank you from the bottom of my heart."
As Howard Kelly left that house, he not only felt; stronger physically, but his faith in God and man was strong also. He had been ready to give up and quit.
Years later that young woman became critically ill. The local doctors were baffled. They finally sent her to the big city, where they called in specialists to study her rare disease.
Dr. Howard Kelly was called in for the consultation. When he heard the name of the town the young woman came from, a strange light filled his eyes.
Immediately he rose and went down the hall of the hospital to her room. Dressed in his doctor's gown he went in to see her. He recognized her at once. He went back to the consultation room determined to do his best to save her life. From that day he gave special attention to the case. After a long struggle, the battle was won.
Dr. Kelly requested the business office to pass the final bill to him for approval. He looked at it, then wrote something on the edge and the bill was sent to her room. She feared to open it, for she was sure it would take the rest of her life to pay for it all. Finally, she looked, and something caught ; her attention on the side as She read these words.... "Paid in full with one glass of milk." (Signed) Dr. Howard Kelly.
Tears of joy flooded her eyes as her happy heart prayed: "Thank You, GOD, that Your love has spread abroad through human hearts and hands."