Have you recently made new friends with Muslim people? If so, then you’re probably going to spend time together. As the good stereotype suggests, you may enjoy a Sunday afternoon on a barbecue with your buddies. What’s even more, you may decide to be the host of the BBQ party, which your Muslim friends are to attend. And if that happens to be the case, keep in mind that if you want to make a good impression, there are certain culinary practices you should be aware of, as well as other forms of etiquette which should be complied with. If you are in doubt, don’t worry, just consult with your guests prior to the get-together so you can avoid potential confusion and inadvertence.
The Social Aspect
One tradition you must make every attempt to honor is being mindful of the fact that Muslims shouldn’t be left alone with members of the opposite sex. It isn’t only ultra-conservative Muslims who follow this tradition, so be aware of the fact that you may need to follow a different kind of seating arrangement to respect their traditions. Also, you may want to inform guests of other faiths that some styles of clothing are inappropriate and so they should also try to avoid baring too much skin.
Environment Is Huge in Culinary Traditions
Did you know that one very strict tradition within the Muslim community is the requirement to remain pure while eating? This may turn out to be a challenge if dogs are present! The saliva of dogs is thought to be unclean (haraam) and if a dog touches the person or their garments, they are required to wash immediately prior to eating. Since you can’t have them remove their clothes to run through the washer, please be cognizant of this edict and have your dogs kenneled or in a room where they won’t have physical contact with your Muslim guests. They can wash their hands easily, but their clothing is another story altogether!
Muslims cannot eat meat from omnivores or carnivores, so this eliminates pork and many other animals which live both on land and water. For example, you shouldn’t serve frogs’ legs as an appetizer and you most definitely need to be mindful of any hot dogs you grill. If you’ve made plant to grill chicken hot dogs, make sure they are not stuffed in pork stomach lining, because this may be a small detail to many, but it will turn out inappropriate to a Muslim diet. Truly organic and halal chicken hot dogs will be made without skin or with cellulose tubing which is considered to be halal. If you are unfamiliar with the term, you can simply look at halal as that which is grown and prepared according to Muslim principles.
Unlike those of us who practice other religious traditions, most Muslims are very strict in their beliefs and practices. This may mean that you should set aside an area where they can perform their prayer rituals and that you would honor their socialization wishes. Muslims are indeed a holy people who are not antisocial at all. Their only wish is that you would honor their faith as they honor yours and this means hosting a BBQ they can safely enjoy without being contrary to their belief. Take the time to know your new friends and the subtleties of their religion and traditions. If you do that, you will give them an experience they are unlikely to enjoy elsewhere and it’s a guarantee that you’ll earn their gratitude. It isn’t as difficult as you might think, it simply takes a bit of planning but will lead to an enjoyable time for all.