Ask Away!

A new neighbor is moving in. You bake a lovely pie and head over to meet and welcome them to your neighborhood.

Does anybody still do that?

Anyway, you ring the bell and to your surprise, the man who opens the door has a big beard and the woman is covered up from head to toe…

They’re Muslims!

You’re going to be living with them from now on. What’s your reaction?

What are some things you’d like to know about them?

If you could ask them any and every question -freely- what would you ask?

I am Your Muslim Neighbor. I’m here for you. Post your questions and I will do my best to address your curiosity and concerns to the best of my ability.

Don’t be shy. I want to know what’s on your mind.

Understanding is a key to living in harmony and peace.

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8 thoughts on “Ask Away!”

  1. Interesting post! This is actually the reason I found your blog. We just moved into the neighborhood and learned our next door neighbors are Muslim, and no they did not bring us a pie. I want to invite them over for dinner, but don’t know how to make them feel welcome in our home. I know they eat dinner on the floor with their hands (I know the three finger rule, too), but I’m wondering if it would be a bad idea because I’ve never eaten that way and would probably make a mess of things or worse = offend them. I just thought it would be welcoming. One thing I would like to know, is there anything that would offend a Muslim in general?

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    1. Hello again Becky!

      I have been hoping someone would ask away! Please feel free to ask anything anytime.

      If you read my post “When Muslims Move In” I mention that not only did I not bring anyone a pie, but I sort of hid from my neighbors out of fear they wouldn’t be pleased to meet me. Anyway, does anyone really do that nowadays? (bring a pie)

      It’s so nice of you to want to invite them over. I think it’s a great idea you try to get to know them. If they are from a different part of the world, then you can probably expect cultural differences, but if they are born here, then they are most likely more than not, pretty average Americans. In my last post “A Day In The Life” I mentioned the real key differences in the life of a Muslim. Other than those types of things we are just regular people. (of course there are exceptions, but there are christian americans that are not so regular too)

      Actually not all Muslims eat on the floor with their hands. Some cultures have preserved this practice and indeed there are Muslims here in America that prefer this (science actually says it is better for digestion and absorption by the way) but that does not mean in any way they do not, or cannot eat with utensils 😉 lol

      It is very kind of you to be concerned about these things. I hope you have great neighbors who you can have a long lasting friendship with.

      My opinion is that if you are curious, just ask. It’s better to break the ice.

      As for the food, there are certain dietary restrictions in Islam (in the bible too) you might want to consider. There’s no need to bend over backwards, but there could be some awkward moments I suppose if you don’t know.

      I wrote a post called “What In The World Is Halal Food Anyway” that explains in brief the guidelines related to eating meat.
      I hope you enjoy it and I hope you’ll visit me again! Subscribe to my blog and you’ll get emailed every new post.

      So glad you came. 🙂

      -Your Muslim Neighbor

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      1. How could someone not be please to meet you if you bring them pie?? 😉 In the past, I’ve brought new neighbors a plate of chocolate chip cookies — mainly because it’s easy and my favorite.

        I do know they are from another country — not born here. And, I do know how they eat. It sounds like you think I’m guessing how they eat or where they are from when you say, “Actually not all Muslims eat on the floor with their hands.” It seems like you’re calling me prejudice. Isn’t that prejudice?

        Anyhow, you are absolutely right. This isn’t really the place to “ask away.” I should be asking my neighbor these things, not you.

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        1. Hi Becky! Forgive me for making assumptions. I thought you said you knew that muslims eat on the floor with their hands. I didn’t realize you knew anything about your neighbors, I was under the impression that you have just moved in. I wasn’t being prejudice toward you. My understanding was that you thought that about them because they are Muslim. My mistake!

          So you seem to already have gotten to know them a little! 🙂 That’s really good of you and yes there are many things in American culture and nomenclature that is very similar to what is in Islam. That’s why my tag line is: discover the familiarity of Islam. 😉

          Please do keep in mind that you can’t necessarily learn about Islam from people and what they do. You’d need to go to the sources for that. Like you mentioned in your comment about the hijab, human nature- People are imperfect and multifarious.

          Nevertheless, I wish you all the best, and I do hope you and your neighbors get along well and have a pleasant coexistence.

          I hope I haven’t made you feel you have come to the wrong place, or that I haven’t been helpful to you.

          It was late last night when I responded to you, perhaps my tone was that of fatigue. Please forgive me if I have made you feel unwelcome in any way.

          Thank you again for your comments and for perusing my site.

          Best Regards,

          Your Muslim Neighbor

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    2. By the way, I just wanted to mention that in Islam, there is a principle of jurisprudence which is that “the culture is decisive”. This means that in things that have not been dictated via the revelation, the predominant culture prevails. So even when a Muslim goes to a foreign culture, we are supposed to respect and adopt that culture in as much as does not affect or compromise what is more important, which is worship- following the guidance of God. I know many foreigners don’t really do this too well, but it’s not easy for everyone.

      🙂

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  2. An outstanding share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a colleague who has been doing a little homework on this.
    And he in fact ordered me breakfast due to the fact that I discovered it for him…

    lol. So let me reword this…. Thanks for the meal!!
    But yeah, thanx for spending time to talk about this subject here on your site.

    Like

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