With the fast-paced lifestyle of our era, people are almost always in a hurry. Whether it is rushing for school, rushing to work, rushing to buy groceries or rushing for salaah – most people are perpetually on the move.

The effect of this fast-paced lifestyle can be seen in the home as well, where despite the members of the household living under the same roof, it is commonly witnessed that many of them actually spend very little time together. In fact, it is not unheard of for some household members to only meet each other once in the entire day!

Naturally, this is unhealthy for the family unit, as family time is essential for the family to be able to bond with one another. In the absence of family time, the household members may have just a few meters separating them, but their hearts will be kilometers apart. Hence, it is not surprising to hear of incidents where brothers fight with one another and even take each other to court, or children abandon their parents and dump them in old-age homes. The reason is clear – their hearts never bonded and developed love for one another.

Despite the prevalence of busy schedules, one common factor between all the household members is that they all have to eat. Currently, many people eat at their own convenience and time due to which each person eats alone. It is thus seldom that they sit together, as a family, and eat together, whereas this is one of the best opportunities for the family to bond.

Apart from eating meals together bringing about unity and love in the hearts, it is also a cause of barakah (blessings) entering the food. Hence, some Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) once complained to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) saying, “We eat but do not get satisfied.” Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) replied, “Perhaps you are eating separately?” When they replied in the affirmative, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “Eat together and recite the name of Allah Ta‘ala, barakah will be placed in that food.” (Sunan Abi Dawood #3764)

If every meal cannot be eaten together, we should choose at least one meal (supper is generally easiest for most people) and make a determination to eat that meal together. Insha-Allah, in doing so, we will find that this time spent together will be quality time, will cause the hearts to bond and develop love, and will result in barakah entering the food.

May Allah Ta‘ala enable us all to spend quality time together, as a family, and place love in our hearts for one another, aameen.