During the first seven years of his devotion to Allah, Shah Baha’ ad-Din an-Naqshband (r.a.) lived a life of service to creation. He served the sick, the needy, the homeless and even caring for wounded animals, to cleaning up the roads that people used. He expressed the feeling of nothingness of self that peaked in his heart in the following lines:
The world is wheat,
I am hay,
The world is nice,
I am bad.
He also stated that he had achieved the greatest Divine Inspirations during the years of these services.
Because Imam Abu Hanifa (r.a.) refused to issue a judicial opinion upon the personal desires of the caliph, he chose prison instead of being the chief justice of Baghdad. Thus he manifested a great example of justice and righteousness at the expense of his own life.
Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (r.a.) chose to be a tortured prisoner as a result of his opinion in the famous debate of whether the Qur’an was Created or not, rather than compromising his ‘aqidah and what he believed to be the truth.
In short, all these examples of bravery and strength through faith are only a few of the uncountable examples that reflect the exemplary good manners of the friends of Allah (s.w.t.). Service then is to the One Who is Worthy of service. Service through His Creation is a means to serve Him.