Sayyiduna Jaabir (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) mentioned, “Every good deed is an act of sadaqah, and among good deeds is that you meet your (Muslim) brother with a cheerful countenance and that you pour from your bucket into the container of your brother.” (Sunan Tirmizi #1970)
In the above hadeeth, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) explained that every good deed is sadaqah (a means of one earning the reward of sadaqah). Hence, we should never disregard any good deed, no matter how ‘small’ it may seem, as it will earn us immense reward. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) thereafter mentioned two examples of good deeds that are perhaps overlooked by many people.
The first is to meet people with a smiling face and cheerful countenance. This simple, effortless gesture, as small as it may seem, is an act of ‘ibaadah. Furthermore, smiling is an action which is such that even people who are not blessed with wealth are able to carry it out and earn the reward of sadaqah. Nevertheless, one should be careful to only smile and greet the same gender or to mahrams and totally refrain from smiling at non-mahrams. Wives should especially practice upon this when seeing the husband off to work in the morning and when he returns after work.
The second example is for a person to pour water from his bucket into the container of his Muslim brother. Perhaps the reason for doing so was that his brother did not possess a bucket, and hence he assisted him in acquiring the water, or perhaps he just wished to save his brother the trouble of drawing the water from the well himself. Whatever the case, the good deed is that of assisting others and coming to their aid.
Hence, we too should try to assist people in whatever way possible e.g. when we cook or bake, we can easily prepare a little extra which we can then send to neighbours, relatives or those in need (the elderly, those in financial difficulty, etc.). Similarly, if we have been blessed with a particular talent e.g. the ability to sew, or we have a sought-after recipe, we can teach the skill to others and share the recipe with them, thereby assisting them and spreading happiness. In this manner, we will earn abundant rewards with a minimum effort.