In one hadith of the Prophet (SAW), some of his companions complained that they ate but were not satisfied. The Prophet (S) said, "Perhaps you eat separately." They said, "Yes." He said, "If you gather together and mention Allah's name, you will be blessed in it." (Abu Dawud)
Alhamdulilah it has always been sunnah to eat together as a family, friends, and community. Growing up I was not raised in a Muslim home, but my mother made it a tradition to eat together and have big meals on Sunday. MashaAllah I have always had that mentality growing up about the importance of bonding and being together at the dinner table. I think nowadays with microwave meals and hungryman dinners, people are not eating together as much anymore. It's truly sad, as children are growing up not experiencing real home cooked meals and family dinners.
Do you have dinners as a family or do your family members get their plate and eat in their rooms? How can you create a since of closeness when their is distance?
“The most beloved dish according to Allah is that which most hands feed from.” (Ibn Hibban, Hasan
The benefits of eating together:
- Family bonding and closeness- we can ask our children about their day and how they are feeling. Showing that we care about what is happening in their life. This is also creates a better relationship with parents
- Wonderful memories- I loved sitting with my brothers and sisters at the dinner table and being with the ones I love. Especially if I have not seen them all day, we are eager to catch up. Children will pass on these wonderful traditions in their own family.
- Diversity- We can began to share different meals and talk about where foods originate, have themes in your home and it's a great way to teach a lesson
- Islamic eating habits- We are teaching our children a beautiful sunnah and also how toeat and manners of eating in Islam
MashaAllah so many benefits in eating together. Cooking with love and dhikr makes our dishes much more blessed and then sharing it together is a blessing in itself and beautiful experience!
Also getting children to help in the kitchen with cooking and cleaning is important. Children are more inclined to eat food they helped to make and also they learn how to cook. We are teaching responsibility as children learn the importance of keeping a clean kitchen and seeing how much love and effort it takes to get meals made and keeping a kitchen clean
Strive to make time to eat together and you will be surprised at how wonderful a feeling it is!