Khidmet or Service is considered an integral part of many Sufi Orders and usually takes the form of feeding the poor and completing menial tasks such as cleaning. It is viewed as a method of de-constructing if not annihilating the ego and gaining closer proximity with God.
However I feel that true khidmet begins with ones immediate family, since; they are a source of sibling rivalry and tension. Also if we cannot ‘surrender’ to our parents’ wishes how can we ‘surrender to God’? (There is a Quranic proviso that Muslim parent’s wishes have to be within the norms and values of Islam)
Another important factor is intention thus if the service is mediated via the ego then it will be a source of bad karma.
I appreciate that the foregoing is alien to the western mind however as a Hindu sage once remarked freedom is in discipline and from my personal experience surrender is the key to creativity and true individuality.