Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Anybody who believes in Allah and the Last Day should not harm his neighbor, and anybody who believes in Allah and the Last Day should entertain his guest generously, and anybody who believes in Allah and the Last Day should talk what is good or keep quiet”[Sahih Bukhari]
The only thing that allows a person to behave morally, when there is no one to notice any lapses, is the belief that Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) is always watching and that each moment of our existence will be either a source of reward or punishment for us on the Day of Judgement. Those who believe this are told by the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) to do three things:
1. Not harm their neighbours.
2. Entertain their guests generously.
3. Abstain from useless, immoral and every kind of sinful speech.
It has become somewhat of a trend to view guests as burdens, when the fact of the matter is that they are providing us with additional opportunities of earning Jannat. Regardless of who they are, Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) will reward us for what we spend on them of time, effort and material resources.
Regarding the duties of hosts, Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) advised us to provide guests with food of a higher quality than what we normally eat ourselves, on the first day. On the second and third day we may give the kind of food that we regularly consume. Beyond this, what we do for them counts as Sadaqa.
Whether we obey a Fard (obligatory) command or a Sunnah/Nafl (voluntary) one, we are rewarded for it by Allah (subhana wa ta’ala), though the reward for fulfilling a Fard is greater.