At Your Service! (Hadith No. 2533)
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 138 :
Narrated by Anas (radiallaahu `anhu)
I was in the company of Jarir bin ‘Abdullah (radiallaahu `anhu) on a journey and he used to serve me though he was older than I. Jarir (radiallaahu `anhu) said, “I saw the Ansar doing a thing (i.e. showing great reverence to the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam)) for which I have vowed that whenever I meet any of them, I will serve him.”
When we talk about respect, there are certain norms in the society, for example, things like age, rank and status earn you respect. So the older a person is, the more his respect, and the higher one’s position is, the more he’s looked up to. Part of this respect is to be of service to such people. If your grandparents are visiting, you do their chores, your superior needs help with something, you do it before he has to ask, and the like. But what if roles were reversed? Elders serving the younger ones.. how awkward would that be? It was awkward for Anas (radiallaahu `anhu) that’s why he mentioned the age part. But Jarir (radiallaahu `anhu) was doing it because of his oath, for he felt no shame in serving a younger one, in bringing him water to drink or helping him make wudu by pouring water for him etc. To him, Ansaar were all the same.
I’m trying to think if I consider it beneath me to serve younger people or not. What about you?