Just had another one of those "random" occurrences. I planned to Blog today an experience I had a few days ago and in doing some completely independent reading just now I came across a directly relevant piece of advice. First the advice, then the experience insha-Allah:
"... A man said to the Prophet (SAWS), 'We eat but we do not feel satisfied'. He (SAWS) said, 'Perhaps you are eating separately. Eat together and mention the Name of Allah, and He will bless the food for you'.
... The Messenger of Allah (SAWS) also said, 'Eat together and not separately, for the blessing is in being together'."
(Source: Tafseer Ibn Katheer, explanation of Verse 61 Surah 24)
Strength is indeed in numbers. The other day, I met with a brother, a quiet brother, over lunch and he amazed me to say the least. In every bite he would take of his meal, without fail, he would say "bismillah" (in the Name of God). And then I looked to myself, worse than an animal, at times passing through a whole meal without once remembering and being grateful to the One who provided it for me.
Such a simple act but oh so important. I ask Allah for the steadfastness to begin every act with a "bismillah" and for a companion to set me straight should I forget.