The importance of having a family dinner with kids: In today’s quick and fast-paced world, we don’t spend as much thought on some matters as we should. In this article we’ll take a look at the family dinner and what it really means in today’s world.
Iftar – uniting through family dinner
Normally, it’s a daily part of daily life. Nothing special. In the evening, families have dinner, nothing out of the ordinary. Even more marvelous it is, that this gets a festive, spiritual character once Ramadan starts. Then, we get a glance on how it ought to be like, the important act of eating and drinking. With a ceremonial character, all members of our family help prepare the table. Before that, a quick stop at the bakery must be made, where the fresh smell of bread lets us anticipate the time of the evening meal with joy. During the day every member of the family took care of its own responsibilities. Students went to school, workers went to work and children met their important task of play! This inevitably leads to separation. When we are together again at maghrib, it’s not just because. That would also be nice, especially considering that it’s the family we’re talking about. But the come-together serves another purpose as well.
Bismillah, before we start
Sitting at the table, the ceremony begins even before we actually begin to eat. Our prophet (PBUH) thought it to be very important to evince good etiquette:
Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “When any of you wants to eat, he should mention the Name of Allah in the beginning, (i.e., say Bismillah). If he forgets to do it in the beginning, he should say Bismillah awwalahu wa akhirahu (I begin with the Name of Allah at the beginning and at the end).”
We are used to say Bismillah whenever we begin with something and we should not be making an exception in the matters of eating and drinking! There’s another way of turning this into a habit and ceremony – maybe have a thought-out prayer especially for Ramadan – just within your family? Certainly, that will tighten your bond. And one could use that to start to give responsibilities to the young ones, if one decides to let them come up with a prayer, or let them speak the prayer out loud for example.
Sum up the day
Once the main meal is finished, we may have a glass of tea or two. That’s an indispensable part of every day for many families. It is also the perfect opportunity to speak to each other, to talk about and try to come up with solutions for problems, to tell what we were proud of during the day, and our plans and hopes for the next day.
All in all, we believe that sitting together in an evening can really bring a family together. And the iftars on Ramadan are a perfect opportunity to install that into everyday life.