Eating in a restaurant that doesn’t have halal food can be pretty funny.Or awkward. It’s the way you choose to see it. Here are 5 struggles every Muslim experiences at a moment like that.
1. Finding vegetarian food
Sometimes it’s easy. Sometimes it really isn’t. When the only veggie food is a dry salad, you just want to leave. Often you can’t, because you’re there with colleagues or you’re having a lunch meeting. Dry salad it is!
2. Saying Bismillah (a little more quiet than usual)
Muslims say bismillah (in the name of God) before we start eating. But it can easily come off as a “scary, Arabic word”, so you just whisper it. Which actually makes it scarier, but anyway.
3. Answering questions about what is halal and what isn’t
Non-Muslims always ask these questions while ordering. ‘Hey, can you even eat fish? Is that not haram?’ Or the mostly asked question: ‘Why don’t you order chicken? I thought it was just pork you guys don’t eat.’ And then you have to do the whole halal-haram-speech, including the ‘Yes, I eat chicken. Just not in restaurants of non-Muslims’-part.
4. Eating with your right hand
Your non-Muslim companionship eats with their forks in their left hand, you don’t. You can look like someone who doesn’t have a clue and never ate with a fork before. And yeah, realizing that is a little awkward.
5. Skipping dessert, because you want tiramisu and don’t know if they put alcohol in it
It’s the most annoying thing ever for a non-Muslim: wondering if there’s alcohol in your food. Many delicious desserts we all eat can also have an alcoholic version. So either you ask it, or you skip it!
Anyway, it doesn’t matter what Muslims can or can’t eat. If the company is good, we’ll enjoy ourselves either way. And getting a bucket of fried chicken wings at an Arab restaurant afterwards also helps.