Anas ibn Malik was one of the companions who had served the Prophet (s.a.w.) for many years, he therefore knew Prophet Muhammad’s (s.a.w.) habits very well.

When the Prophet (s.a.w.) observed a fast, he usually broke it with milk and dates. And in the early hours of the night, he would take some simple food for his suhoor.

One day, Anas knew that the Prophet (s.a.w.) was fasting; so he arranged for his iftar*. Anas kept the milk and dates ready. However, at the time of iftar, the Prophet (s.a.w) did not appear for the breaking of the fast. Anas  thought that he may have accepted an invitation from someone and broken his fast elsewhere. So Anas ate the food himself and decided to go sleep.

Soon, be that as it may, the Prophet entered the house with another companion. Anas asked the companion discreetly whether the Prophet (s.a.w.) had already eaten.

“No,” replied the companion softly. ‘The Prophet (s.a.w.) had to deal with some urgent work. He was delayed so much that he is now late for iftar.”

Anas felt so ashamed! There was no food left that he could offer to the Prophet if he (s.a.w.) asked for food. There was no more milk either. Anas waited expectantly, ready to explain the situation to the Prophet.

Actually, the Prophet (s.a.w) had already sensed that Anas was hesitant in offering him food. This was not like Anas at all. The Prophet (s.a.w) thus clearly understood that there was no food or milk in the house, without Anas uttering even a single word.

What the Prophet (s.a.w.) did was remarkable. He behaved as if he were not hungry at all and went without supper with a cheerful face.

Anas used to say: “The Messenger of Allah never mentioned this incident during his lifetime to anyone.”