Manners and rules of conduct in serving creation

“Both services of the lovers and the reward for their services is Allah the Almighty, or His pleasure, blessings and favors”

Mawlana Jalal al-Din Rumi

Serving creation is a social duty, which is asked by Allah the Almighty from His servants. A believer’s life becomes blessed and gains meaning and depth by serving creation. Service, which constitutes the greater part of Islamic ethics, means searching for Allah the Almighty and His pleasure through freeing the self from selfish thoughts and turning towards creation with an altruistic soul. All acts of services, which are away from egoistic thoughts of getting a worldly benefit and performed just for the sake of Allah the Almighty, are practical reflections of the quest and the ardent desire to unite with the Lord.

Therefore all service must be performed in a perfect manner and quality, and this can be realized by following some rules of conduct. In other words effort in performing both material and spiritual services is significant; it is also very significant that they were performed under what spiritual quality and state, because blessings of an act of service and its acceptance by Allah the Almighty depend on them. That is why Sufis expressed the importance of fol lowing specified manners and methods in service by saying:

“Serving creation is important but etiquette in service is more important.”

Because, Allah the Almighty looks not only at how sincerely we have done something but also how much we have observed the measures of piety. That is why a materially poor but sincerely generous believer may gain the blessings of Paradise just by giving half a date, however a believer who is materially rich but spiritually poor, that is heedless and sick in the heart can be greatly disappointed in the Hereafter even though he spends all his wealth in charity.

Therefore acceptance of our worships by Allah the Almighty depends on the level of our love and sincerity of our hearts. Many externally great religious deeds shrink to the level of naught in a small heart, while many outwardly small and simple deeds can be means of lofty rewards and eternal gains in a sincere heart.

Then the most important issue is the emotional state of our hearts or the conducts and principles followed by our hearts in our worships. This principle gains more significance in the case of serving creation. In fact the Prophet (pbuh) is ordered to pray in the Quba Mosque, which was sincerely and piously built, and to demolish the mosque of Dirar built by hypocrites on the foundations of instigation. When we look at them, we see that both of them are externally mosques, but if we look at them internally, there is such a huge difference between them like East and West or Heaven and Hell. This is the difference between services performed according to Islamically specified manners and services performed without observing them.

Then it is necessary to have knowledge, suitability, dignity, a strong character and personality. It is useless to expect to gain blessings and favorable benefits from insincere and heedless services.

A man of service should not be an arrogant person. On the contrary, for the salvation of the souls, he should be a devoted Muslim, who is ready to spend not just his wealth, time, pride and fame but also all his possessions. A real man of service gets into the habit of being in the vicinity of all kinds of misery and sorrow, near hopelessness. He/she performs his responsibilities with love; he/she is a person of soul, source of hope and faith.

We can enumerate the qualities and rules of conduct as follows:

1. To realize the importance of service:

First of all, a man of service should realize and accept the first principle of service, that service is a great blessing as well as a treasure. He should also know that continuance of blessings depends on being thankful to his/her Lord.

The loftiest one of the services is i’la Kalimat Allah or exalting the word of Allah[1]. This is a great cause and sacred duty entrusted to the faithful. The Holy Qur’an and Prophetic tradition are the trusts of Allah the Almighty and His Messenger to us. However the Companions of the Prophet and our pious predecessors carried this trust for more than 1400 years; we are obliged to do the same for the future generations. These services will hopefully be our principal in the Hereafter and our visas to Paradise.

My father Musa Topbas (q.s.), who devoted himself to serving creation, had expressed the significance and value of service as follows:

“One who is faithful should do his best in sincerely performing good deeds regardless of their magnitude; because many doers of good deeds neglect small ones. Whereas it is not known which one attracts the blessings and pleasure of Allah the Almighty.

It should be realized that opportunity to serve others does not fall everybody’s share. There are many people who have the ability to do good deeds but because of inconvenience of time and place they cannot serve others. Those who serve should accept service as a blessing from Allah; increase their modesty and they should even thank to those whom they serve for being a means to this blessing.”

Imam Rabbani expresses the importance and necessity of being grateful to those who are served:

“How a person can be the cause for the perfection of many others, many people, too, can be the cause for the perfection of one. Although a spiritual guide leads his disciples to the perfection, they certainly become the cause of the perfection of their teacher by mutual reflection.”

We should be aware of the blessings of Allah the Almighty upon us and endeavor to spend them in His path. This is the sign of our loyalty in faith. In fact this is stated in the following verse:

“The believers are only those who believe in Allah and His Messenger then they doubt not and struggle hard with their wealth and their lives in the way of Allah; they are the truthful ones.”(49; 15)

On the other hand, the limits of obligatory almsgiving from property are stated in the sources of Islam. In this way, a person who pays his alms performs his responsibility required to be performed according to his wealth. However, since it is impossible to determine the minimum limits of other capabilities given by Allah the Almighty, we should devote ourselves to work in the path of Allah as much as we could until our last breath; although this is unknown to us, it is known to Allah the Almighty,which is why we must do our best in helping and serving others.

Our Lord states: “Allah does not impose upon any soul a duty but to the extent of its ability;…” (2; 286) That is why what is required from a believer is not to be satisfied with his services and to look continuously for new ways to do good deeds. One of the best examples of this way of life is the life of a Companion Abdullah b. Maktum (may Allah be pleased with him). Because he was blind, he was exempted from going to battles. However, he joined the army in the war of Qadisiyah thinking that he could hold the banner. This was the manifestation of his concern about determining the minimum level of service he must do for the blessings of Allah the Almighty.

A believer should never fall into dismay and heedlessnesssimply by thinking that he is weak or incapable. He should never think that his services came to an end in the path of Allah. He shall live with the prolonged excitement of his good deeds until his very last breath.

In accordance with the following verse, every believer should know the requirement of serving others as long as he has the power to open and close his eyes.

وَاعْبُدْ رَبَّكَ حَتَّى يَأْتِيَكَ الْيَقِينُ

“And serve your Lord until there comes to you that which is certain.” (15; 99)

The following incident displays the measures that we should follow in this matter.

After the battle of Uhud, the Prophet (pbuh) ordered the martyrs and the wounded to be checked. He was especially concerned with the state of Sa’d b. Rabi’ (may Allah be pleased with him). The Messenger of Allah sent a Companion to the battlefield to find him, but no matter how much he tried, he could find Sa’d (may Allah be pleased with him) and did not get any response for his calls. Finally with one last hope he called:

“O Sa’d! The Prophet sent me and asked me to find out if you are among the martyrs or wounded.”

Sa’d was living his final moments but when he heard the name of the Prophet, he gathered all his strength and said:

“I am now among the dead.” The Companion run towards Sa’d, who had many sword wounds, and heard him faintly saying:

“By Allah, if you do not protect the Prophet (pbuh) from his enemies and let him get hurt as long as you have as much strength as to open your eyes, there will be no excuse to offer for you in the presence of Allah the Almighty.”[2] These were the last words of Sa’d (may Allah be pleased with him).

While Khalid b. Walid (may Allah be pleased with him) was at his final moments, he said:

“How sad it is for a warrior who fought all his life in the path of Allah to die in a bed like a weak person. Lift me up and let me die at least leaning against my sword.” These words reveal his deep awareness of his responsibility towards Islam.

We can expand this sentiment to all fields of service in the path of Allah. Every believer who is dedicated to serving creation must take a share from these sentiments and make it his life’s ideal measure. He should realize the enormity of his responsibility and consequences if he stops serving Islam as long as he has the strength to serve.

The prophets and friends of Allah achieved such merit by serving creation even when they were sick and on their deathbeds. Only the wise can use this as an example to understand the significance in serving humanity.

2. To adorn the heart with spiritual qualities:

The hearts of those who serve humanity must be filled with spirituality and enlightenment. Our souls’ prosperity is only achievable with spiritual nourishment. As a result of this maturity, our understanding, astuteness and feelings deepen. If Bahauddin Naqshiband, Aziz Mahmud Hudayi, Ghazali, Mawlana Jalal al-Din Rumi and other friends of Allah did not add spiritual understanding to their external knowledge, they would not attain such high levels in the heavens of our hearts like the star of Surayya.

Because these great friends of Allah observed all worldly matters from the windows of their hearts with the eyes of love, they became guides for their own society and all those whosought guidance. Even the Sultans who uncovered the secrets of science, reason and logic were honored with manifestations of Divine love. In fact, these revelations helped them achieve Divine love.

Even though bodies of these friends of Allah are under the earth for hundreds of years, their spiritual and saintly works have survived, and they will continue to be alive with these works, and services to humanity.

One of the most important objects of service is to guide people to the true path of Islam, and how this object actualizes depends upon the spiritual state of the spiritual guides. The more we practice Islam in our lives, the more we can influence the people around us. The heart is a window that opens to Divine secrets. For those who use this window wisely, eternity will become evident. Entering into the framework of Divine Unity makes the servant a traveler of eternity.

When we examine the life of our beloved Prophet (pbuh), we recognize that Divine revelation was first revealed into his heart. This is explained in a verse as follows:

“And most surely this is a revelation from the Lord of the worlds. The Faithful Spirit has descended with it, Upon your heart that you may be of the warners In plain Arabic language.”(26; 192-95)

This Qur’an revealed into his (pbuh) heart conduced to his character and behavior to be a live reflection of the Qur’an. The Companions admired this reflection in his character and personality and they got their own Muslim character and personality from the heart of the Prophet (pbuh). Those blessed people, who had lived a barbaric life before the accepting Islam, achieved perfection in their conduct after the enlightenment through the prophetic heart. Thus they became “the peak figures of virtue” in history. Believers who aim to serve the way to Allah the Almighty should imitate the lives of the Companions, get their shares from this lofty secret and try to fill their hearts with Qur’anic fayd or spiritual power.

Serving others without an enlightened soul is like pouring a bucket of water in a desert. A seed planted in dry land is doomed to be nourishment for a field mouse. That is why men of service should be careful about their spiritual nourishment. They should pay attention to spirituality in their worships; and to altruism, grace and refinement in their manners and transactions. They must reach spiritual maturity. Achieving such a spiritual state will allow the servant to reach Divine love. The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) says:

“…Allah loves the servant who is God-fearing and rich in his heart and is hidden (from the view of people) and is busy with purifying his/her soul.”(Muslim, Kitab al-Zuhd, 11)

The hearts of those who serve others must be like a fertile piece of land. All kinds of living beings walk over it and leave their waste. But earth purifies all these wastes and then produces numerous kinds of plants to feed the creatures wandering over it. The heart of a man of service must be like the earth; all beauty and goodness in his/her heart must reflect in his/her actions and service. In order to attain this state, the following four principles must be observed:

Heart’s constantly being with Allah the

It is stated in the Holy Qur’an that:

“Those who remember Allah standing and sitting and lying on their sides and reflect on the creation of the heavens and the earth: Our Lord! Thou hast not created this in vain! Glory be to Thee; save us then from the chastisement of the fire: Our Lord! surely whomsoever Thou makest enter the fire, him Thou hast indeed brought to disgrace, and there shall be no helpers for the unjust:”(3; 191-92)

“Those who believe and whose hearts are set at rest by the remembrance of Allah; now surely by Allah’s remembrance are the hearts set at rest..”(13; 28)

Remembrance of Allah does not mean just to recite the word “Allah,” but to be in a state of “God-conciousness.” Hearts can only be satisfied in this way, as it is the only way to reach divine nirvana and closeness to Allah.

When Maiyyat al-Ilahiyyah (or consciousness of being always together with Allah) takes its place in the hearts of those who serve creation, all hardship will be easy for him/her and he/she will keenly do his/her service. Eagerly performed services will both be sagacious and give pleasure to its doer. It should be cleaned from the love of anything other than Allah and filled with Divine love.
Ibn Arabi narrates the following Sacred Hadith in his Mishkat al-Anwar:

“O Son of Adam! I created you for Myself and created the things for you. Do not destroy yourselves with the world which I created for you.”[3]

Heart’s being filled with love for Allah and His Messenger:

Love in giving service is the beginning of spiritual advancement. In fact this is the starting point of everything. The heart begins its spiritual progress and exhibits its beauties after reaching love in giving service.

Love for Allah and His messenger must be greater than love for anything else in our lives. It is stated in the following verses:

“…Those who believe love ALLAH the most…” (2; 165)

“Say: If your fathers and your sons and your brethren and your mates and your kinsfolk and property which you have acquired, and the slackness of trade which you fear and dwellings which you like, are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger and striving in His way, then wait till Allah brings about His command: and Allah does not guide the transgressing people..”(9; 24)

If a heart is filled with love for Allah and His messenger, then all beauties will reflect in our soul. Allah and His messenger cannot be learned from the books but they can be known through the love in the hearts. The lover admires and imitates the beloved to the extent of his/her love; because love is like an electric line between two hearts. The beloved never escapes the lover’s heart, and the lover’s mind is constantly occupied with the beloved. They generously spend everything they own, even their lives for the sake of the beloved. So, in order for us to love the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) and to be worth of his love, we must always continue to send blessings (Salawat) for our hearts to be tied.

The more a heart gets reflection from the Messenger of Allah, the more it attains perfection. In a verse Allah the Almighty praises His messenger and says:

إِنَّ اللّٰهَ وَمَلٰئِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ يَاۤ أَيُّهَا
الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا

“Surely Allah and His angels bless the Prophet; O you who believe! call for (Divine) blessings on him and salute him with a (becoming) salutation..”(33; 56)

In another verse it is stated that:

“Certainly you have in the Messenger of Allah an excellent exemplar for him who hopes in Allah and the latter day and remembers Allah much.”(33; 21)

We observe the peak manifestation of these two verses in the lives of the Companions. Those who reached the source of love in Allah and His messenger will live as the eminent members of Muslim society until the day of Judgment and will be remembered with prayers and mercy. Two of the numerous examples of the lovers of the Messenger of Allah are as follows:

The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) used to send teachers to the tribes around Madinah to convey the message of Islam. However, some of the teachers were betrayed by the tribe members. One of these incidents called the “Raji’ incident” and took place in Raji’.

Some tribesmen from Adal and Qara went to Madinah and requested the Prophet (pbuh) to send some teachers with them who could educate their fellow tribesmen about Islam. The request was granted and about ten Companions were sent with them. When the group reached Raji’ they were entrapped by two hundred armed men waiting for them. Khubaib and Zaid bin Adathna (may Allah be pleased with them) were captured alive, while the others were martyred. Then they were sold to Meccan idolaters.

Later both of them were martyred. While facing death, Zayd (may Allah be pleased with them) was asked:

“Don’t you wish that you were spared and Muhammad (pbuh) got this punishment instead? Would not you like that you were resting comfortably in your home, while he was killed in your place?”

Zayd (may Allah be pleased with him) looked pityingly at Abu Sufyan and replied:

“By Allah, I could not be happy that a thorn should prick the foot of Muhammad (pbuh) at the cost that I rest in my home with my family.”

Abu Sufyan was astonished with this response and remarked to his associates: “See, the love of the Companions for Muhammad (pbuh) is unparalleled and unprecedented. I never saw anyone who likes his friends like Muhammad’s companions.”

Then they went to Khubaib (may Allah be pleased with him) and said that he would be freed if he renounced his religion. Both Khubaib and Zayd (may Allah be pleased with them) said: “Even if you had given us the entire world, we would not have given up our religion.”

Khubaib had one last wish before his martyrdom. He wanted to send his greetings to the Prophet (pbuh). But with whom could he send it? There was not any Muslim around. He raised his hands and started to pray:

“O Allah! There is nobody here to take my greetings to Your messenger (pbuh). Please You take my Salaams to him.”

Just then the Prophet (pbuh) sitting with his Companions in Medina responded someone’s greetings and said: “wa alayhi al-Salaam or Peace and greetings be upon him.” The Companions were confused:

“O Messenger of Allah! to whose greetings did you respond?” The Prophet (pbuh) said:

“Your brother Hubaib’s”

Finally infidels tortured and martyred both Companions. While facing death, Khubaib’s following words were very enlightening:

“As long as I die in Islam, it does not matter how I die…”[4]

Again because of their love for the Prophet (pbuh), the young Companions were racing to carry the Prophet’s letters to the leaders of foreign countries. They volunteered for the job without producing any excuses. They passed high mountains, isolated deserts and all kinds of hardship and took Allah’s messenger’s letters to the leaders of the kingdoms around Arabia. Even in the face of death, they read the Prophet’s letters and manifested their infinite love for the Prophet (pbuh).

This was the level of the Companions’ love and courage. While scenes from their lives shock us with awe, those lovers of Allah and His messenger never felt horrified. Adorning hearts with love for the Prophet will be a blessed fruit of sacred services.

Heart’s being filled with love for Muslim brothers and sisters:

Wherever there is brotherhood, there exists mercy and compassion. If a believer does not ask whatever he/she asks for himself/herself, his faith would not be perfect. Allah the Almighty says:

إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ إِخْوَةٌ فَأَصْلِحُوا بَيْنَ أَخَوَيْكُمْ
وَاتَّقُوا اللّٰهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ

“The believers are but brethren, therefore make peace between your brethren and be careful of (your duty to) Allah that mercy may be had on you.” (49; 10)

The Messenger of Allah states in one of his sayings:

“You shall not enter Paradise so long as you do not affirm belief and you will not believe as long as you do not love one another. Should I not direct you to a thing which, if you do, will foster love amongst you: (i. e.) give currency to (the practice of paying salutation to one another by saying) as-salamu alaikum.”(Muslim, Kitab al-Iman, 93)

Again in another hadith, it was expressed:

“The Prophet said, “Allah will give shade, to seven, on the Day when there will be no shade but His. (These seven persons are) a just ruler, a youth who has been brought up in the worship of Allah (i.e. worships Allah sincerely from childhood), a man whose heart is attached to the mosques (i.e. to pray the compulsory prayers in the mosque in congregation), two persons who love each other only for Allah’s sake and they meet and part in Allah’s cause only, a man who refuses the call of a charming woman of noble birth for illicit intercourse with her and says: I am afraid of Allah, a man who gives charitable gifts so secretly that his left hand does not know what his right hand has given (i.e. nobody knows how much he has given in charity), and a person who remembers Allah in seclusion and his eyes are then flooded with tears.”(Bukhari, Kitab al-Adhan, 36)

In a sacred Hadith, Allah the Almighty says:

“My Love is realized for those who love each other for Me; for those who give gifts to each other for Me; for those who trust each other and become friends for Me; for those who visit relatives and each other for Me.”(Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, V, 229)

Again the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) narrates the following story about brotherhood and love:

“A person visited his brother in another town and Allah deputed an Angel to wait for him on his way and when he came to him he said: Where do you intend to go? He said: I intend to go to my brother in this town. He said: Have you done any favour to him (the repayment of which you intend to get)? He said: No, excepting this that I love him for the sake of Allah, the Exalted and Glorious. Thereupon he said: I am a messenger to you from, Allah: (to inform you) that Allah loves you as you love him (for His sake)” (Muslim, Kitab al-Birr, 46; Ahmad b. Hanbal, Musnad, II, 292)

If men of service love each other, it will increase their strength and will generate a blessed ground for their services because it will warm their hearts to each other. With love there exists no hardship which cannot be overcome. Allah the Almighty praises the believers who stand shoulder to shoulder and work together:

إِنَّ اللّٰهَ يُحِبُّ الَّذِينَ يُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِهِ
صَفًّا كَأَنَّهُمْ بُنيَانٌ مَّرْصُوصٌ

“Surely Allah loves those who fight in His way in ranks as if they were a firm and compact wall.”(61; 4)

History has witnessed the range of victories of the armies which stood together with love and faith. One of the recent manifestations of this is the Battle of Dardanelles. Our army which was materially weak but spiritually very strong won a historic victory. Even the enemy forced to admit that the Ottoman army had Divine help. In fact British general Hamilton said:

“We were defeated by spiritual power of the Turkish army not by its material strength. We saw some beings descending from the sky.”

This was the manifestation of the aforementioned verse; because for those soldiers martyrdom was the greatest happiness, and living as a veteran was an honor. Each one of them was like an entire nation. They encountered the enemy in the Battle of Dardanelles with the heart of the entire Muslim nation.

Allah the Almighty prohibits bad qualities like mocking, backbiting, nitpicking and suspicion because, they damage feelings of love and brotherhood among believers. Those who have these bad characteristics are warned in the Qur’an as follows:

“Woe to every slanderer, defamer, Who amasses wealth and considers it a provision (against mishap);”(104; 1-2)

Therefore those who hurt people spiritually and materiality with their hands, tongues will be punished in the pits of Hell. Islam encourages believing souls to protect themselves from such an end by being forgiving and merciful and by praying for each other’s well-being. In fact the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) says:

“Avoid suspicion, for suspicion is the gravest lie in talk and do not be inquisitive about one another and do not spy upon one another and do not feel envy with the other, and nurse no malice, and nurse no aversion and hostility against one another. And be fellow-brothers and servants of Allah.”(Muslim, Kitab al-Birr, 30)

The prophet (pbuh) established an exemplary brotherhood among the Companions, which will light the believers’ path until the last days. As a matter of fact this brotherhood established between Meccan immigrants (Muhajirun) and Medinan helpers (Ansar) is an unparalleled historic scene. Medinan helpers presented all their wealth and shared all their possessions equally with their immigrant brothers. On the other hand Meccan immigrants showed no interest in their wealth and told them:

“My brother, I do not want your property. Just show me the way to the market; this is enough for me.” Their exemplary brotherhood is praised by Allah the Almighty and has the honor of being mentioned in the Qur’an:

“And those who made their abode in the city and in the faith before them love those who have fled to them, and do not find in their hearts a need of what they are given, and prefer (them) before themselves though poverty may afflict them, and whoever is preserved from the niggardliness of his soul, these it is that are the successful ones..”(59; 9)

The incident narrated by Hudayfa shows the Companions’ altruism:

We were in the Battle of Yarmuk. The battle had just ended. I was walking over the battle-field among the martyred and injured with a pitcher of water. I was looking for the son of my uncle. I found him lying in a pool of blood on the burning sand. He was about to die. I asked him whether he wanted water. Unable to speak, he gestured that he did.

I was just offering it to him when Iktima’s groaning was heard:

“Water! Water! Please, a drop of water!”

My uncle’s son, whose name was Harith, heard that and gestured that I should take the water to him. I hastened to Ikrima. Ikrima had not yet taken the pitcher when a similar groaning was heard. Refusing to take the water, Ikrima wanted me to take it to the one groaning. When I got to that one, who was ‘Iyash, he was supplicating:

“O Allah! We have never refrained from sacrificing our lives for the sake of our faith. Honor us with the rank of martyrdom, and forgive our sins!”

‘Iyash saw the water but did not live long enough to drink it. He could only utter the profession of faith just before he died. I immediately returned to take the water to Ikrima. However, I found Ikrima also martyred. Then I hastened to Harith, my uncle’s son. Unfortunately, he too was lying dead on the burning sand.[5]

Hudhayfa (r.a.) expresses his emotional state as follows:

“This is the most touching event I have ever witnessed in my life. Even though they had no relationship, their altruism, kindness and compassion left deep traces in my mind. It was their unshakable belief in Islam which caused them to behave that way. It was Islam which created such degree of brotherhood among people.”

Love is not just a claim. Love means to share your brothers’ sorrow, to help them with their needs, to show self-sacrifice and to be able to share your belongings with them. Real brotherhood appears during times of hardship. In a saying of the Prophet (pbuh) it is stated that:

“The similitude of believers in regard to mutual love, affection, fellow-feeling is that of one body; when any limb of it aches, the whole body aches, because of sleeplessness and fever.”(Muslim, Kitab al-Birr, 66)

The Prophet (pbuh) was sometimes asking his Companions:

“O my friends! Did you caress an orphan’s head today? Did you visit a sick person today? Did you attend a funeral today?” With these questions he was pointing out the importance of altruism and was directing his Companions to live not an individual but a social life.

In another Sacred Hadith, he was expressing that social services will be means for closeness to Allah the Almighty.

“Verily, Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, would say on the Day of Resurrection: O son of Adam, I was sick but you did not visit Me.

He would say: “O my Lord; how could I visit Thee whereas Thou art the Lord of the worlds?”

Thereupon He would say:

“Didn’t you know that such and such servant of Mine was sick but you did not visit him and were you not aware of this that if you had visited him, you would have found Me by him?”

“O son of Adam, I asked food from you but you did not feed Me.”

He would say: My Lord, how could I feed Thee whereas Thou art the Lord of the worlds?

He said: Didn’t you know that such and such servant of Mine asked food from you but you did not feed him, and were you not aware that if you had fed him you would have found him by My side? (The Lord would again say):

O son of Adam,

I asked a drink from you but you did not provide Me. He would say: My Lord, how could I provide Thee whereas Thou art the Lord of the worlds? Thereupon He would say:

Such and such of servant of Mine asked you for a drink but you did not provide him, and had you provided him drink you would have found him near Me.”(Muslim, Kitab al-Birr, 43)

The following verse about brotherhood and altruism is also very significant:

“And they give food out of love for Him to the poor and the orphan and the captive: We only feed you for Allah’s sake; we desire from you neither reward nor thanks: Surely we fear from our Lord a stern, distressful day. Therefore Allah win guard them from the evil of that day and cause them to meet with ease and happiness;”(76; 8-11)

In conclusion, men of service should purify themselves from bad feelings such as grudge, jealousy and apathy and have their share from the maturing and blessed grounds of serving and loving others.

Heart’s being filled with love for creation for the sake of The Creator

When a heart is filled with spiritual light, bestowed by Allah the Almighty, a desire to help others naturally emerges in the heart. Those who place Allah and His Messenger’s love in the center of friendship become friends with all of creation. Their hearts expand and become an all-embracing heart.

Service can only be performed with such an all-embracing heart and this type of heart can produce prosperous results. A seed which is planted with love becomes eternal. That is why we need to program our lives based on the principles shown by Allah the Almighty and His messenger (pbuh).

[1]. I’la Kalimat Allah: means to exalt the name of Allah and to convey the message of Islam summarized in Kalimat al-Tawhid or the declaration of God’s unity.

[2]. See Ibn Abd al-Barr, Isti’ab, II, p. 590.

[3]. Mishkat al-Anwar – (Nurlar Hazinesi), p. 126-27.

[4]. See Bukhari, Maghazi, 10; Waqidi, Maghazi, p. 280-81.

[5]. See Hakim, Mustadrak, III, 270.