I was reading a book the other day, The Ten Things You Need To Know About Islam, written by Ron Rhodes. Near the end of the book there is a chapter, on the courtesies to follow when inviting Muslim guests over for dinner.
I better brush up on my Islam because there's protocol to follow, I knew nothing of these things. The chapter went something like this.
Say, you've invited the new neighbours that moved into the house next door over for dinner, they're Muslim. What is the proper procedure to follow so you won't offend your new guests.
If there is one thing that pisses a Muslim off the most it's not wearing the appropriate clothing. Ask your wife and daughters to dress modestly, no mini-skirts, cleavage or anything like that, nothing that will draw a persons attention to the female figure, especially the female ankle. If your daughter is under ten years of age and one of the Muslim guests is a man, keep your eye on her. You don't want her to stir up any emotions in him, after all they've just met. Show some control over your daughters.
Whatever you do, make sure you serve the right food. They eat nothing derived from a swine. Keep that ham in the freezer. Warn him before hand, that you won't be serving pork chops as the entrée, and you only barbecue veggies, and no that wasn't a pig on a spit rotating over the coals that he saw over the fence last week. Serve what is right for a Muslim. Ask them what they prefer to eat, they'll tell you, but it might be so foreign to you, you won't know how to make it. How do you stew, goat balls? But please, be careful the meat and most of the food you prepare is Halal, slaughtered and/or prepared in the Islamic way (in the name of Allah).
Never, ever make eye contact, while in conversation, it's considered bad manners. When you are all talking together, watch as they speak to you. Their eyes will be glued to the floor. No, they aren't looking for dirt, they are just avoiding eye contact. They're not being rude, it is just their custom.
Don't be offended if they don't pet Fido or rub Felix the cat's tummy, or even to admire your forty gallon salt water fish tank. They hate animals as pets, especially dogs, they believe they are unclean farm animals. Nor be offended if they don't want to shake your hand after witnessing you handling Fido. As a matter-of-fact be sensitive about your hands. In Muslim culture they always use the left hand to hold their penis while urinating. They expect you to hold yours in the left hand, too. Sorry to all you righties out there. Never get any splashes on your skin or clothing. Heaven forbid.
Allah's Apostle said, "Whenever anyone of you drinks water, he should not breathe in the drinking utensil, and whenever anyone of you goes to a lavatory, he should neither touch his penis nor clean his private parts with his right hand." Hadith 1:155
The right hand is used for eating.
When striking up a conversation never ask a Muslim how his wife is, it's considered very rude, it's better to ask simply, how is the family doing? Then, he won't suspect you of spying on his wife.
Allow your guests to take off their shoes and walk on your rugs barefoot. Don't worry if they have toe-nail fungus or athlete's feet. Do the same if you are ever invited over to their home, taking off your shoes as soon as you enter through the door.
I know, I know, don't get offended if your wife is asked to eat with his Muslim wife in the kitchen or another room. Sometimes Muslim men and women don't eat together. Be open to that possibility. It's no big deal. You don't want to offend them.
Remember to say grace with your eyes open when you are giving thanks. They do, so you should too, just to keep the peace. Substitute the name of your saviour Jesus with the name of their apostle Muhammad, just temporarily of course, remember it's just to keep the peace.
Never call your neighbour your brother, call him, friend. To a Muslim being called a brother, implies you are theologically in agreement with him, which hopefully you are not.
A whole book could be written on the subject of Muslim's view on women. So, don't be offended. Just remember; women in Muslim countries have fewer rights than men do. Muslim women wear head coverings because Muslim men consider women's hair as an object of sexual temptation. Women make Muslim men stumble, and are believed by Muslim men to be less intelligent. Hadith 1:301, the weight of a women's testimony is half of that of a man's. A women's only salvation is to please and obey her husband. A man can divorce his wife without reason, a woman can't. They can also engage in marital punishment against their wives. Sura 2:226; 4:34
Don't let any of these things bother you. Try to get along after all, more Muslims are sure to be moving into your neighbourhood.
When travelling to Islamic countries don't expect the same courtesies. This is a warning, don't speak of Christianity or any other religion for that matter, while in any Islamic country. Evidence has proven you could lose your head.
Oh, and women, cover-up!
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Ref: The Ten Things You Need To Know About Islam - Ron Rhodes