On my visit to India, I was given a CD recording of a young Islamic scholar's speech on 'Islam and social service'. Now this Sheikh is a passout from Al Azhar University so the lecture was laced with quotes and references from the Holy Quran and hadith.
A story from that recording stayed with me about a saintly Muslim teacher who was asked by an old and poor non-Muslim woman to pray to God for her lost child.
The pious man prayed to God and and his prayer was answered. The old woman's lost son was found.
Now the old woman had thought to herself that she would make 'halwa' (traditional sweet) and feed it to the saintly man if her son was to be found. So, to share her happiness when her son was found, she visited the old man who was sitting with his disciples and taking the 'halwa' in her hand offered it to the teacher.
The teacher was in a dilemma and his students sensed it. That day, he was fasting. And Muslims don't eat or drink while fasting. The old woman who was not a Muslim apparently did not know about the teacher's fast and its conditions.
For a moment the teacher thought and then opened his mouth and let the poor woman share her joy with him by eating the halwa she had lovingly prepared for him.
After she was gone, the students were quick to quiz him on this. "Why, teacher, did you break your fast like this?"
The teacher replied: "I know I can mend a broken fast with another one, but I do not know how to mend a broken heart."
(I understand this was a voluntary fast (nafil) and this story made an impact on me. Did you like it?)